Thursday, 21 May 2020


  This is not about the sorry exodus of millions of our more unfortunate brothers and sisters playing out on prime TV these days. It is not a piece about the government, or about politics or economics. It is neither critical nor sacerdotal. It is not about Mr. Modi or the Biblical scale suffering he has inflicted, yet again, on those who had put their trust in him. That is a matter between him and his Maker, and I hope the potter who moulded him can forgive him, for history will not. This is not about a callous Finance Minister with the rictus of arrogance stretched across her face. It is not about a judiciary which has thrown away its moral compass in the arid deserts of ambition and preference. It is not about a media which has struck a Faustian bargain with the devil and is content to feed on the offal flung its way. It is not about Rahul Gandhi or Mayawati or Nitish Kumar for they have already become irrelevant to the pathetic course of events unfolding.
  This piece is about me and the burden I carry, a burden of shame, that has been sitting on my back for the last few weeks and cannot be dislodged, no matter how hard I try. It' s a burden which just got heavier this morning when I read a post by an army officer describing his moving encounter in Gurgaon with families of "migrants" walking their way to Bihar, no footwear on the weary soles treading on melting roads, hungry and uncomprehending four year olds, of how they wept and tried to touch his feet when he gave them a few five hundred rupee notes.
  I hang my head in shame in the India of 2020. At belonging to a country and a society which exiles tens of millions from their cities, fearful of catching an infection from them, from a virus brought here, not by them, but by my brethren flying in from abroad. Of treating the hapless victim as the perpetrator. Ashamed of being a gullible cretin who swallows all the lies and half-truths churned out by a dissembling official apparatus. Of beating pots and pans as a servile hosanna to an uncaring presiding deity to drown out the sounds of tired feet marching to their distant villages.
  I can no longer recognise the religion I was born into, it no longer has the wisdom of its ancient sages and rishis, or the compassion of an Ashoka, or the humility of a Gandhi. It is too full of anger, of hatred, of violence. It has replaced its once lofty ideals with even loftier statues, caring deeds with dead rituals. It once fed the mendicant and the poor but now drives them away as carriers of some dreadful disease, without any proof. It even finds an opportunity in this pandemic to stigmatize other religions.
  I am ashamed of my middle class status, of many of my friends, colleagues and the larger family even. Cocooned safely in our gated societies and sectors, we have locked out our maids, drivers, newspaper man, delivery boy and a dozen others who have built for us the comfortable lives we now desperately try to cordon off from the less fortunate. We have deprived them of their livelihoods. We encourage another extension of the lockdown because our salaries and pensions are not affected. Our primary concerns revolve around resumption of deliveries from Amazon and Swiggy: the lot of the migrating millions is dismissed as just their fate- the final subterfuge of a society that no longer cares.

   I am ashamed of the thought processes of my class, of Whatsapp forwards that oppose any more "doles" to the hungry millions, that denounce MNREGA- the only lifeline the returning labour have left- as a waste of public money and food camps as a misuse of their taxes. I am ashamed that people like me can encourage the police to beat up the returning hordes for violating the lockdown, which, in the ultimate analysis was meant to protect "us" from "them". For the life of me I am unable to comprehend how we, sitting in our four BHK flats, have the heartlessness to blame sixteen tired labourers for their own deaths: why were they sleeping on railway tracks? How can one not be ashamed when I hear my peers decrying the expense of trains/ buses for the returning migrants, the costs of putting them up in quarantine, when they approve of their likes being flown back by Air India ? This is not double standards, this is bankrupt standards.
  I am ashamed of my social milieu which lauds the leader for dismissing the cataclysmic sufferings of almost five percent of our population as "tapasya", as if they had a choice. I am mortified to see the layers of education and affluence, the facade of civilisation being peeled back by a virus to disclose a heart of darkness in our collective inner core, the sub cutaneous mucous of hatred and intolerance for a minority community, contempt for the destitute. All age old prejudices, bigotry, racism and narrow mindedness have reemerged, fanned by a party which has fertilised their dormant spores.
  I am ashamed of the dozens of four star Generals and beribboned Admirals and Air Chiefs who  were quick to shower flowers and light up ships at a dog whistle from a politician but did not move a finger to provide any help to the marching millions. Did it even occur to them that they owe a duty to this country beyond strutting around at India Gate? That they could have used their vast resources and vaunted training to set up field kitchens for the hungry marchers, putting up tents where the old and infirm could catch a few breaths, arrange transport for ferrying at least the women and children?Their valour has been tested at the borders, but their conscience has certainly been found wanting.
  I am ashamed of our judges who have now become prisoners in their carefully crafted ivory towers, who had repeated opportunities to order the executive to provide meaningful relief and succour to the exiled wretches, to enforce what little rights they still have left, but spurned them at the altar of convenience.
  I am ashamed of our governments who have forsaken the very people who elected them, and are using their vast powers, not to provide the much needed humanitarian aid these disorganised workers desperately need, but to take away even the few rights they had won over the last fifty years. I am ashamed of a bureaucracy that uses a catastrophe to further enslave those who have already lost everything, which insists that illiterate labourers fill in online forms to register for evacuation, pay hundreds of rupees ( which they do not have) for rail tickets, produce ration cards and Aadhar before they can get five kgs of rice, all the while beating them to pulp. Of a Joint Secretary to government who can apportion blame for the infections by religion. This is not Orwellian or Kafkaesqe, this is a government gone berserk. How can one not be ashamed of such a soul-less administration, and of the people who commend its mistakes?

   They will reach their homes ultimately, those marching millions, minus a few thousand who will die on the way. They will not even be mentioned in the statistics: there will be no Schindler's list for them. And we will pat ourselves on our collective, genuflecting backs that one problem has been taken care of, the danger to our neo-liberal civilisation has been beaten back, the carriers have been sent away, the curve will now flatten. But the mirror has cracked and can never be made whole again. As the Bard said, the fault is not in our stars but within us. Or, as  delectably put by another great bard, one of our own who now belongs to the "others":

             " Umar bhar Ghalib yahi bhool karta raha,
               Dhool chehre par thi, aur aina saaf karta raha."

  Actually, this piece is not just about me- it's also about you, dear reader. Look into that cracked mirror. Do you feel any shame, just a little , for what we have become, for the lost soul of a once great nation?  


  1. Naked reality, unfortunately. Thanks for being so brave to write up this heart-rending piece.
    Heera Lohia.

    1. Avay Shukla ji has not known reality. Anybody can write what he has written sitting in GK flat or Hill station cottage. It is no bravery at all. Having served as an IAS officer, he is part responsible for why crores in India are still in the status about which he has written. This is result of large scale corruption in the entire administrative machinery called Govt, Avay Shukla was part of it. Bravery would have been had he written to his bosses or done something himself within his area of influence from time to time to remove corruption from the system while in service. Selfishness and corruption at all levels over the decades is the result of present pathetic state of affairs. What hapless Indians could do was to pay for his services which he didn't perform then the way required and pay for his pension too so that he can maintain two houses and comment on what others are doing currently. Commenting is easy, doing is not! By writing like this and publishing photos, one of which is from Bangladesh, he is eyeing next Pulitzer award. Avay Shukla should be ashamed of what he didn't do when time and opportunities were before him!

    2. Reality is that every one who is not contributing to ease the pain and sitting on sideline has time to write negative articles. If every one did something and tried to reach out and relieve the suffering and the author of the article took some pain to come up with some suggestion too in this regard, it would serve some purpose.
      This situation could not have been foreseen. The whole world is going through this crisis there is much suffering every where. But some how we in India think that the goverment has to do everything. Indian governments response to the situation has been as good and has been praised by the world. But it is not inough by any scale. NO country seems to equipped to handle this crisis except China.
      We as individuals must do little as it might seem in our own way and it adds on. The writer of the article has written very beautifully but its old news!!!
      God bless India
      Jai Hind

    3. Don't be coward, don't feel ashamed, oneside we are more populated than 44 contry of EU, and still gowing on instead pointing out on that, baby crying mentioning itself shows you are not a worrier, keep smilong first live in a village, then explore yourself, save the nation from poverty and gulamiat....then write


    4. Avay, from the comments, it's pretty obvious, moral bankruptcy is where we are at!

    5. That unknown guest has written some honest feedback there..seems avay should have spent more time improving the system than trekking in Himalayas during his service years

    6. Yes, this takes courAge but we need something more

    7. Then the present IAS officers and other administrative machinery will write in future about the pathetic way the situation was handled now. Brave. And it goes on

    8. Only if we start living in present n do something proactive can our country prosper. That's true caring for the country. If you people insist to live in past and shun the responsibility which the Nation is in dire need of, then 😔

    9. Yes. You reflect my state of mind.

    10. I belong to the elite retired IA&AS group where your article has been discussed. I studied in a village government school and I am proud to say that my English teacher received sahitya academy award for Tamil literature. I had to refer to the dictionary often to find the meaning of words such as sacredotal rectus etc. I did not know of moral compass nor of arid desert. Everybody has high praise for your English. I can only write ordinary English. I am a scientist by education and an accountant by training. Your bias against Modi in person has gone to the extent of condemning him to eternal hell. As many have pointed out you did nothing to mitigate the suffering of the poor when you were in a position to do so. After retirement you live in a five bedroom house and a summer cottage too in some hill station. I don't have such luxuries. Have you made a single positive suggestion? Have you lifted your little finger to organise help? Yes you should be ashamed of yourself for being negative only. There are many like Alok Nath who live in a hut to help the poor. You may ask "do you". No, I don't because I am 100% deaf and near 88 years old. Get off your high horse and do help those in need and post it in your blog.

    11. I as an Indian feel our hearts bleeding seeing the sufferings of our kind in the midst of this most dreaded virus. However I am sure there are a whole lot of us fellow men who are extending a helping hand to serve the needy in our own way closer to our homes or places of residence by giving food and other necessities.There are many more of us,a individuals or collectively ,besides police,healthworkers, doctors ,nurses helping our fellow beings as best as we can in a silent way at times . Wish the super rich and so called celebrities showing out their workouts, cooking passion etc would come to ground level and lend themselves to serve the sections of our society who are the worst hit. It is a heart wrenching sight to see the millions of a lesser kind take the brunt of the dreaded virus for no fault.

    12. Must not forget that tens of millions of people living in shanti towns etc have already perished in last many decades due to bad sanitation and toxicity in environment. In other words the viruses and diseases is in these peoples lives ongoing. Now corona virus lockdown has highlighted the problems these people are facing for a very long time due to negligence of Govts ?

    13. Going through the comments one can see that people donot liked this article highlighting the problems poor people are facing.
      Unless government provides clean housing, food and medical security to these poor people living in shanty townships they will keep on having larger families. The middle classes keep on enjoying the fruits of these poor labourers. This article highlights a failure of
      Politicians, democratic institutions and the corruption and mindset. Now everyone is shaken because everyone's health and food security is at risk ?

    14. What a negative nation loathing and pessimistic article by Mr Avay Shukla a retired IAS.
      he finds every thing bad in the efforts of the people and government and citizens of this country.

      Shame on him.

    15. What a negative nation loathing and pessimistic article by Mr Avay Shukla a retired IAS.
      he finds every thing bad in the efforts of the people and government and citizens of this country.

      Shame on him.

    16. Please try to keep such pessimistic vision to yourself...Modi did not import this deadly virus from had been a part of this system and have retired in the year 2010 when Congress was in the centre and at the peak of corruption and scandals...Did you take any step against the system at that time? This system has become corrupt because people like you like to speak trash sitting in their comfort zone.

    17. Mr Avay Shukla are youu selling these pathetic story to foriegn media?
      See the postive people out of their homes feeding these hungry migrants.
      Get out and do something other then spewing poison.
      Be a doer not an observer.
      Being candid is fine but not with opinions but with right thinking.
      When you write do you ask in what way am I helping?????

  2. Kya tamaachaa maaraa Ajay Shuklane...

    1. Written like a barbarian in a barbarian's language

    2. A heart wrenching piece! I am grateful to you for touching our soul. I hope that it moves the powers.
      They could still arrange sufficient trains and buses to reduce their suffering

    3. The replies at 23.53 on 22/05 and 2.20 on 22/05 are the perfect one... writer is just blaming the current situation but ignoring why this situation is arised...the most corrupt govts in last 65 years is solely responsible...the corruption was at heights before 2014...which is now brought under sizable countrol.the current epidemic is worldwide...but we have saved thousands of life ..just don't spread hatred during this situation.

    4. Crocadile tears. Please let us know what he has done as an Indian now and also an IAS officer during more than 30 years of service to mitigate the problems of migrant workers. People like Shukla only are responsible to a great extend to the present conditions of workers by not doing anything when they were enjoying the power. After retirement , such people wanted to be in limelight by writing such articles without understanding the seriousness of the ground situation.We all are watching TV and know the ground realities. We will be happy to know your suggestions from your experience, especially when you were enjoying your life with tax payers money for so many years.

    5. This is called andhbhakti. How long you will keep on blamming earlier government.Wrong decisions by ignorant.....( Will not take name) has created whole mess. Remember one thing if you are taking credit of any good thing, which has happened then must accept mistakes( blunder) which you have committed.( Here you means government)

    6. is the mass exodus system driven as pointed out,as far what we see it seems to be suo motto due to desperate situation.....

    7. Very erudite. However what have you done and what are you doing to help. Change starts with you always. Stop pointing fingers and start using your hands to help it goes a long way. May not give you recognition but definitely mental satisfaction. RU upto the challenge or RU just here to talk???

  3. Thank you. This write up is a representation of millions of us who are crying in heart and praying.

  4. Moving words but words don't move monsters or else we wouldn't have the Chinas, Russias, Venezuelas of today

  5. As per our constitution we aspire building a socialistic republic..But this brutal mishappening openly defies it. The downtrodden have no consideration or empathy from the govt. It's a matter of national shame..

  6. What a super expression of what many like yours truly really feel deep inside us about this shameful migration of simple, honest, hard-working, uncomplaining base of our social structure.

  7. Very true analysis by the writer. Nobody is bothered about the plea of migrant workers. Shame on the system.

  8. Guess we as human failed. We collectively had solutions but could not come up as solution. Too much of PANIC held most of us back, yes there so many stories where people who were beyond self came out and do whatever best they could to support people on road. A big salute to all who came out in support to people on roads directly or indirectly. Lot to learn and improve as humanity.
    Compliments for narrating the reality.
    God will definitely show the way to come out all as winner.

  9. Agree with every point raised here...
    I feel more ashamed for myself ...also feeling frustrated ...for my voluntary inertia...feeling pick up rose or rifle ?

    1. Sanjib Mukhopadhyay. Kolkata

    2. This IAS shit should certainly be ashamed of writing such a pathetically long msg. I am not ashamed - I paid our maid servant for two months of lockdown. This fellow doesn't understand the problem of handling impatient four million migrants who were not taken care of people like him- ias, ips etc. Army is doing its duty, so is government in this unprecedented situation.
      But what these people are doing? He might be one of those who travelled back.
      Did these people follow the rules? Did they isolate themselves after returning?
      Did their families care about social distancing?
      Only they are the ones who should be ashamed of bringing it and spreading it here, causing millions suffer and locking billions like me in house.
      Stupid fellow had so much time to write but what did he do?

      Truth is that we have a problem and we face it, provide a solution, ve part of that solution.

    3. If govt has done it's job, we wouldn't be discussing this is. What a joker and peanut brain you have.

  10. Excellent blog no doubt. But this impotent rage helps no one. That too written in English 98 % of Indians won't even get to read it. And the English speaking crowd is not bothered. They will criticise the neta, the civil service, the army, the public ( for being poor ) and have their mutton kebab and whisky and not pay their househelps, drivers, chowkidars as 'no work, no pay'.

    1. We paid our househelp through the lockdown.our entire building. We paid the building help double for staying on site, each flat in turn provided 4 meals.But then, maybe Keralites are different.

    2. Keralites are different. All of us can learn from you. Your chief minister has been an example of how the centre and other states need to handle the situation. This article is heartbreaking. Moral bankruptcy at its finest.

    3. Resonates with me. A monumental tragedy
      Hope it stirs a lot of people to reach out to the migrants returning to neighbourhoods around us.
      Now more than ever we need to give succour and hope to those who have lost hope in urban India.

  11. Evocative commentary on the societal state of affairs. Will governments ever shift from public service to social service, from civil service to civic service ?

  12. If you are ashamed of everything and everyone in this nation then I suggest you move to a place where you feel very proud. Tell others of your ilk also so that they may also follow you there.

    1. What a shameful reaction.

    2. this writer needs to be condemned in stronger words.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. Kaps....did you know that bhaktorvirus is as dangerous, if not more dangerous than coronavirus? I pray that a vaccine can be found to rid you of your disease.

    5. Mr Shukla is ashamed of everything / everyone except himself.

    6. Agar khilaaf hai hone do jaan thodi hai
      Ye sab dhua hai koi aasmaan thodi hai..

      Lagegi aag to aayege ghar kayi zad me
      Yaha pe sirf hamara makan thodi hai..

      Hamare muh se jo nikle wahi sadaqat hai
      Hamare muh me tumhari zuban thodi hai..

      Mai jaanta hu ke dushman bhi kam nahi lekin
      Hamari tarh hatheli pe jaan thodi hai..

      Jo aaj sahib-e-masnand hai kal nahi hoge
      Kirayedaar hai jati makan thode hai..

      Sabhi ka khoon hai shamil yaha ki mitti me
      Kisi ke baap ka hindustaan thodi hai.. ~ Rahat Indori

  13. *"प्रवासी मजदूर और राजनीति।"*
    दोस्तों एक तस्वीर और कहानी शेयर कर रहा हूं, यदि यह कुछ समझा सके तो जरूर जवाब देना।

    "गिद्ध और छोटी बच्ची।"

    ये तस्वीर इसी शीर्षक से न्यूयॉर्क टाइम्स में छपी। साल था 1993, जगह थी सूडान।

    फोटोग्राफर को पुलित्ज़र अवार्ड मिला।

    पर चार महीने बाद उसने आत्महत्या कर ली। पता है आपको आत्म हत्या का कारण क्या था ?

    दरअसल यह एक दर्दनाक तस्वीर थी जिसमें एक गिद्ध एक भूखी से तड़फती बच्ची के मरने का इंतजार कर रहा था।

    फोटोग्राफर ने यह मार्मिक तस्वीर खींची जो बहुत बड़ी खबर बनकर छपी थी।
    सबसे प्रतिष्ठित सम्मान मिलने के बाद वह फोटोग्राफर बहुत खुश था।

    लेकिन 4 महीने बाद उसके पास एक फोन आया।

    एक पाठक ने पूछा कि आखिर उस बच्चे का क्या हुआ ?
    उसको गिद्ध ने खा लिया ?
    क्या वह मर गया ?
    फोटोग्राफर ने जवाब दिया कि मुझे नहीं पता, मैं यह तस्वीर खींच कर चला गया।

    जिस पर पाठक ने उस फोटोग्राफर को कहा कि आपको पता है उस दिन इस बच्चे के पास एक गिद्ध नहीं बल्कि दो गिद्ध थे ?

    पहला गिद्ध जो उस भूखी बच्ची के मरने का इंतजार कर रहा था, ताकि उसको खा कर भूख मिटाए।

    दूसरा वह गिद्ध था जिसने इस बच्चे के दु:ख को भुनाया और दुनिया का सबसे प्रतिष्ठित अवार्ड जीता।
    आपने आखिर उसे बचाने का प्रयास क्यों नहीं किया ?

    इन सवालों के बाद उस फोटोग्राफर ने आत्महत्या कर ली।

    यदि कोई भी प्रवासी मजदूरों के तस्वीरों को शेयर कर राजनीति कर रहे हैं और उनके लिए कुछ कर नही रहे तो यकीन मानिए वह भी एक ऐसे ही गिद्ध है जो इस मौके को भुना रहे है।

    *दर्द को बांटा जाता है, भुनाया नहीं जाता।*
    *दर्द बांटने वाले देवता कहलाते हैं, दर्द भुनाने वाले गिद्ध!*

    1. आप के इस कहानी में वह सब है जो होना चाहिए । लेख, फोटो ,नकारात्मकता का विशलेषण हो ,अफसोस प्रकट किया जाए,अपने पर ले कर सरकार के कार्य शैली पर भरपुर कटाक्ष किया का समुचित सांकेतिक जवाब है ।
      अच्छा लगा ।
      लेखक की अंग्रेजी अच्छी है।
      पर सोच ,
      का बरखा जब कृषि सुखानी।

    2. Absolutely agree with you. Such bloggers are vultures who feed on others misery.

    3. That story of the photographer, the dying child and the vulture has one lesson in there that the narrator neglected to highlight. The conscience of the photographer as seen not only in the honest response to the question but also in that final act of suicide.
      How many today in India - media, politicians, bureaucrats - will even acknowledge the problem let alone admit culpability?

    4. The photographer saved the child's life, a little known story. 🙄

  14. I, too, hang my head in shame.

  15. Being an ex-IAS officer officer Mr. ShuklaaShukla have a role in this pathetic situation of migrant workers in the country. After retirement and enjoying all retirement benefits,shedding crocodile tears has no meaning. Look inside you and see, what contribution you and yourfolk have done for these people during your tenure in govt for decades.
    When in power do nothing and after retirement in,sitting in comforts of home,people can write anything without even understanding the gravity of the situation. Yes, there is a serious problems, in this tragic situation. Instead of critising and blaming everybody for the situation the country is facing now and indirectly trying to create hatred in the society by highlighting religious issue for cheap popularity, give suggestions ,if you are a well meaning person.

    1. Clearly you cannot handle the truth. Look at the state of this joke of a country. This government brought the country to its knees even before the virus hit us. We were already on the cusp of a recession then. This has just thrown us over the cliff. Why can't you see sense? A government who has failed the most vulnerable in the country is a joke. The government doesn't just serve industrialists. This government has compromised the public interests in their quest to keep themselves safe. I cant wait for the next elections. We will never ever forget how they treated the migrants and payback will be administered during the next elections.

  16. We are all as a people responsible for the sad plight faced by these hapless thousands that have to undertake this gruelling ordeal. Who has come to their rescue. Nobody. It has been a case of each man for himself and God for all. The haves have become haves at the cost of the have-nots . Indians including me talk of Charity, fellowship , care for those requiring care but rarely practice . Greed has become our heartbeat . We will not lend a helping hand. We have politicians, civil servants and other parasites who have looted and looted and still continue to loot.

  17. No plan, not bothered about poor, privatisation at this lockdown to increase the prices; who is responsible? The government? employers? public? These poor brothers and sisters of us toiled day andnight for minimum wages to make many millionaires. Where are they now? Having known about the government for the past 6 years why don't they arrange transportation? Why are we public forgetting the 5year stories during election? These messages don't reach the major population. Why the TV channels are not bringing this into limelight? Lapses everywhere. Humanity is lost long back. What more is needed to describe the situation where liquor shop is recognised as essential service by the superior power when many were refused permission to pay last tribute to own parents. Sir, thanks for writing so that we can comment a percent of our feelings.

  18. It's not too late.Let's join hands and help them.
    Jacob Chacko (Architect ).
    Dream India Network NGO(Arranging shelter homes and food for migrants in Bangalore).

  19. How barbarian we are turning out to be,in this era of democracy and. Ivil liberty. A stony silence to the most burning problem does not augur well for the government which failed to take migrants factor into study before lockdown. Having not provided sometime to people te reach their places, it woy have atleast provided free trains for migrants to reach their homes
    Never heard of people walking thousands of miles on bare foot with children in this contemporary era.

  20. This blog is from a sensitive heart of an Indian like me. Every word is apt and every sentence can make us hang our heads in shame.
    I too have read the message by the army officer who met the migrating people.
    As an ex armed forces officer, I wrote to the PMO and to PM modi on how armed forces can be use in aid to civil power to ameliorate the suffering of people. I am yet to either receive an acknowledgement or a reply. My letter to the Hon. PM is reproduced below:

    Commander Dipak D Naik Indian Navy (Retd) 41, Ex-servicemen Colony,
    President & CEO Naik Environment Research Institute Ltd. Paud Road, Pune 411038
    Mobile: 9881609999 /9890209999. email: &
    To, 19 May 2020
    The Hon. Prime Minister of India
    Prime Minister’s Office
    South Block, New Delhi.
    A suggested solution to the problem of migrant workers
    Hon Prime Minister Sir,
    The magnitude of the problem of providing succour to the migrant labour is
    increasing beyond the capacity of state governments. This being a totally
    unorganised sector no one has the data on the number of migrants and their desired
    destinations. This unprecedented human migration will spread the pandemic deep
    into rural India. Using force against them is against human rights. This is a fit case
    for armed forces to be called in, for 'aid to civil power'. This calamity can be resolved
    by adopting following steps:
    1. IAF/ ARMY/Navy should be tasked to carry out an aerial photo reconnaissance to
    identify mass migration routes and numbers by mapping of walking migrant
    labour…. Duration 1 day
    2. Based on the aerial recce results, convoys of army vehicles be organised to gather
    the migrating people from various highways…..Duration 2 to 3 days
    3. These convoys should bring them to relief camps established by the army / CRPF
    / ITBP etc at suitable locations along the highways. These camps can provide food,
    clothing, and medical care (including COVID-19 Tests).
    4.The identity of every person, his place of work and desired destination should be
    recorded. They should then be regrouped by destinations and by state of Corona
    infection to decide on their further disposal.
    5. The army can thereafter coordinate with police, Railways, and state transport as
    well as army formations at nodal towns near destinations for onward dispatch.
    6. Arranging onward journey for these labour families.
    7. The expenditure incurred by the armed forces can be paid from the 1000 Cr
    announced by the Finance Minister for migrant labour.
    An early decision in this regard is necessary for humanitarian reasons.
    With warm regards,
    Yours Sincerely,
    Cdr Dipak Naik (Retd)

    1. Great n practical indeed Sir

    2. NOW THAT Is useful. Simply writing "I am ashamed" in overly flowery prose, (that became very tiring frankly),is not enough.
      A practical solution... is what is needed.

    3. Mr. Naik thank you for this. They should be more people like you. I hope we all remember the utter failings of this government their sheer callousness when it comes to voting in the next elections.

    4. Cdr Naik suggestions are highly appreciable unlike Mr.Shukla's,IAS (Retired) writeup shedding crocadile tears for getting appaluse from people of his catagory. In fact people likeMlike is part of this problem by doing nothing for the welfare of the migrant workers for decades of their service in govt and shamelessly blaming the same machinary after retirement.
      Each Individual has to ask themselves, "what I have done myself in the current situation" . Then the answer will be "nothing", not even some small amount of donation, except critizing the govt.and others based on individual like and dislike and writing articles sitting in the comforts of their homes. That is the truth.

    5. I agree. Mr Shukla and likes if him, did nothing. People are feeding the migrants, paying their house help without work, contributing to PM funds to meet the expenses in this difficult phase. So, dud at least what we could, we are not ashamed. A d does that help? He should hv gone out, help them, at least donated to organization which are helping.

    6. Shri.Naikji,
      I salute you for giving such a timely & excellent suggestion for resolving the issue of our migrant labourers who are on the highways towards their villages. I hope urgent action is undertaken by our PM before more lives are lost. The inept handling of this chaos by the GOI brought global shame on our country. The migrants,all over India, had signalled their desire to go back to their home state immediately after PM announced the lockdown 1 in March. However, it was ignored & used as Political capital to criticise the Delhi CM.
      NAIKJI,your suggestion is the correct way to redeem the situation & create order out of the gigantic chaos.

  21. What Ajoy Shukla has contributed as an IAS officer during service life.How many times he wrote like this during his tenure? Why today after74 years so many migrant in the country.Who has ruled this country and where he was an efficient IAS officer

  22. Never ever in the history of India such Exodus happened after partition of 1947. Shame on this government where it's own citizens have become refugees. Bhakts are blind hence they will follow blindfold. Writing's already on the walls it's walerloo of this tyrannical regime.

  23. Who is responsible for this scenario?
    Why India could not create employment in every region.
    We ,the Civil servants , are also responsible for it sir.

  24. Completely shakes up the soul , the conscience . But knowing the establishment and our elitist 'tax payers' 'principled economics' , it would not even move th÷ needle . I can't write like you but I hang my head in shame too . Can't get sleep at night these days . Thanks for writing this piece .


  25. I feel NO guilt .
    I have locked up myself & doing my social duty of not to contract & transmit the virus.

    The management outside,of the people in public spaces is of administration.
    Bottom line..lin GOVERNMENT MACHINERY is not used to serve a poor citizen on the road in suffering.

    I would have been surprised if story was of compassion for these poor souls.
    I label you a case of Gautam Buddha syndrome.
    Dr Rajiv Sharma

  26. No words to say. I appreciate you for your brave words. Thank you for making everyone remember about this worst situation. I am giving you a big SALUTE.

  27. Of course everyone is always involved in everything. From the cretin who won't accept to the weeper and hanger of heads in shame. From the photographer to the vulture (a picture impossible not to see) to the person of the rallying cry. Issue is simpler than it is not.
    Change the system so that we elect representatives. Not elect because there is no choice. Not elect because we believe every other fellow-citizen to be a blot on our landscape and because we believe in desecration of the faith of others (there's even an immigration officer who has written in for this one - kudos to you Avay for reaching beyond the stars); not for praise and the celebration of prosperity in the form of billions of dollars of the few but so that, by unspectacular will, by ordinary day to day conscience we build leadership that is first driven by mercy.

  28. पूछुंगा किसी रोज
    जिंदगी से
    आँखें अब सच देखती नही है
    या जिंदगी को जीने का नजरिया बदल गया है
    रिश्ते, नाते ये हैं जिन्दा
    या फिर कागजों मे इक धब्बा हो गया है
    भूख, प्यास, गरीबी औ गुरबत
    जिंदगी का था ये कभी अभिशाप
    अब तो ये खुदा की नेमत बन गया है।

  29. True words, It is the harsh reality!

  30. History will remember year 2020 was an year of shain for India. The responsibility of povrrty lies on the present and previous generation. They created the mess. They elected foolish government. They are lucky, corona came instead of revelutire. But it may happen.

  31. I wish,we should not comment on personal life of anybody but to look within,our own origin,our brought ups and moniter our doings/karmas those are the foundation of future.....

  32. Thank you for expressing the impotent anguish and rage so many of us feel today. And more shame on those whose comments here exemplify what has gone wrong in us as a people.
    All of you who have chosen to attack Shukla for his comments: do you have nothing better to offer than the usual, tired sneer at what he was and what he does? Your evasion of the things he says is exactly the problem he notes.

  33. Agree with each n every point and thanks for this write up...It's an expression for all who feel the pain deep inside but unable to help enormously. Shame on the system. Where there is no value for the humanity, there is no good for the country...We as a human failed.

  34. Absolute Greater Kailash language...And from a very affluent IAS officer..I presume all of his wealth is through the humble government pay..

    Haven't you seen the comments of the army officers who've traveled the length of the country from Bihar to down south who've spoken about the umpteen food stalls and all the people who in their personal capacity have been helping the migrants and the stories from the migrants of never having to travel hungry all through their arduous journey...No, you wouldn't have...on the contrary, you'd in all probability be listening to the rhetoric of Kejri Baba (BTW, for the first time in the past 8 years that he has been in politics for, he hasn't been coughing or found cloaked in a muffler since the advent of Covid)... God save your soul...

  35. The current scenario is a reflection of our collective past.

    We as a nation do not value governance.

  36. The originator of the topic Mr.Shukla a retired IAs officer and must have worked for period of approximately 33 years in the government on various important assignments with important ministries and also may have toured a number of countries in the world with a view to bring improvement in the country.During the the course of his service six government may have changed if his thoughts were the same as what has been expressed today in his bombastic English should have made SOPs for function of government in all such fields he is mentioned today.The poor people of the country including the migrants don't know that in finalising every action on the ground may it be movement of migrant labour or anything in the country there is an IAS officer sitting on the file.Criticism is easy rather than doing.Mr.Shukla can still come out and help people.His action of such writing is unacceptable.

  37. As has been usual in these pieces the author has decided what the problem is a d judged those who are taking action.
    No analysis, just emotions taking everything at face value.
    This is the stuff if which laid back governance is made of. Make money off the system, live like a king, treat the citizens as insects to be dealt with, concern oneself with promotions, not bother with the change of the system - just manipulate the system fir ones own silver spoon and whatever else associated and then criticize anybody who is doing whatever they consider is right.
    No suggestions for better action, justcsut back for 45 days a d watch the fun then begin to think on limited visuals all repeated, apply bias liberally and pronounce judgement while condemning all those who are doing what they can and understand to take action.
    Not bother about negative forces, not condemning politicking, no problem with socially low comments as long as these are against the government which he lived off, forget the lack of money, forget to check how things can be managed with limited resources and faced only by criticism from all sides.
    No idea of reality beyond the charmed world that he lived in for 45 years, as a maibaap sarkar for the thousands that he ruled over.
    Beyond bias, beyond hypocrisy, just another low thinking man with lots of flowery words at his command.

  38. All of us are probably aware of the massive movement of laborers and daily wagers across India. The movement is unprecedented and very difficult to forsee.
    What saddens me is that a lot of us, inspite of requests, did not pay the domestic help. That was the least a lot of us could have done.
    I also feel that the Govt including the various state Govts must he held accountable. Central Govt for lack of specific directives and Co ordination for this migration across the country. State Govts for a lack of apathy and administrative ability to facilitate this. That said, the migration is fear driven and in multiple cases I have found, laborers leaving out of mis-information and unfounded fear.
    India's humongous size and population are factors which cannot be wished away

  39. Thank you Mr Shukla. So much I wish to say. Cannot really find the words though. How massive is our failure and even bigger is our continued unwillingness to even acknowledge the suffering that we are all directly or indirectly responsible for. How Stark the silence and how hardened our conscience. All of us, not just the leaders - after all this is the choice we have made - are responsible.

  40. Beautiful. I am sure Mr Shukla must have done atleast his part in this grave situation.

  41. When I dissected the problem of migrants, I find main issue is the vunerable section of workforce ie casual labour, contract or outsourced workers , street vendors and petty self employed like local presswala and local tailors. Ideally host States like Maharashtra ( 98 L in-migrants from other States as per Census 2011), Delhi( 65 lakh) Gujarat ( 41 lakh) and Karnataka ( 34 lakh) could have given food and confidence to vulnerable section of migrants.

    There are issues on both sides. Quite often we observe that outsourced workers like Muti Task Workers, porters, data Entry Operators, Field Investors, gardeners, security Gaurds, drivers provide better services than regular staff at half cost. We have to find a mid path, win- win situation for employers and workers. Some mechanism may be deviced through which employers may be asked to deposit some fixed amount every month in their ( out sourced workers) accounts linked with Aadhar/NPR number, which may be maintained by central agency. This amount may be given to outsourced workers in health emergency or any other emergency situation by the Union Government.

  42. This comment has been removed by the author.

  43. Ifyou are ashamed it is good. U will now realize that for 70 U gave IQ,3R'su ignored EQ+SQ and above all u didn't give Viveka-buddhi. Indiraji gave us Vivekananda as youth icon & FD Art51A, but u didn't include it in schooling. In garb of secularism u allowed minorities to teach their idea that my God alone is true but u didn't teach vision of Bharat that whole world is our family. U didn't establish people in their respective swadharma but allowed them to rise to levels beyond their character and competence. U created a culture of loot, chalta-hai, corrupton, divided people into vote banks. Why Lakhs of our people were forced to migrate in the first place over last 70years?
    Yes u IQeducated should be ashamed you ignored Bharat, where religions are really trying to make us good towards the best by working in seva-bhava for good of society. U have created religions of terrorism not religions of love, working together to inspire us to strive for highest illumination, which is Bharat. U criticised Bharat and gave selfish corrupt India. So Be ashamed.

  44. Facts are facts. Shooting the messenger is no solution. As he said, we are all responsible. Be brave, stand up and accept first. Then give your piece of mind for solutions.

  45. I think it's just a lot of grandeloquent writing and with the side or main goal of portraying Modi as the dictator demon. Nowhere has Shukla mentioned what he did now to ameliorate the condition of the people for whom he's shedding copious crocodile tears. And what about his grand IAS career...did he do anything substantial to help the economic development of Bimaru states and prevent the population explosion there, which are the root causes of the migration. I would like to paraphrase what he ended with "Actually, this piece is not just about us - it's also about you, dear author. Look into that cracked mirror. Do you feel any shame, just a little , for what you did not do during your long IAS career to speed up development and improvement in health infrastructure?"

    1. You are so dumb and reflect the masses of great tribe of brainwashed fake nationalistic bhakts.

      It is not Shuklas responsibility to take care of the migrants. It is the governments. As decent human beings it is our individual responsibility to help put less fortunate brethren. However the buck ultimately stops with the government who has demonstrated such cruelty and heartlessness and a mean spirited nature with not just the help extended to the migrants but the ridiculous economic stimulus packages. This government even displayed their cruelty in playing political games when the congress offered 1000 buses.

    2. Who do u think is govt? U forget We're democrcy. We're creators of govt. If we're divided as citizens, politicians use us. For 70 yrs the educated elite of India ruled. Now the masses, the poor have chosen a party who talks of Bharat, of Hinduism, of Ramrajya of village dev. which Gandhiji wanted but which for 70 years never done. So, poor of UP, Bihar, we're never made rich so they had to migrate. Why didn't we stop. Now both parties have to work together based on Best of India+Bharat, all religions have to work together to ensure each follow their FD & Swadharma. Let us stop Fault Finding. And this blog itself is divided, blame C or B. Let Mr A create oneness, not division.
      Ask how do I change education to make good people not IQ. Good= commitment to kartavya-palan, to let religions be made responsible to produce good.only good to be in politics or any college. Intellect without character is dangerous. All education to provide one hour daily for sadhna and swadhyaya to awaken viveka build will power to do that which you know & think is right.

  46. Sir, I believe we fail our nation if we sit pretty doing nothing. Can we not form a network across India #We care# where we willl reach out to common folks who have been through hell, in this the India of our dreams. I believe we will be failing in our duties if we dont reach out to these hapless citizens and tell them we have failed them during their arduous journey home and we wish to make amends. First we thank them for bearing up with the restrictions that must be followed and we apologize to the little children who braved fire and brimstone. We must extend to them at least a token of gratitude in both cash and kind. However little it may be. Shall appreciate your leadership on this. I will not be found wanting.
    Best regards
    Bransdon Corrie

  47. Brilliantly written Mr. Shukla. I applaud your courage & penmanship to put into words what so many Indians are thinking and feeling. This post is being shared widely across social media neteorks so it clearly has struck a chord with a LOT of people.

  48. A very well written article which touches a chord in many of us. With all your administrative experience, you may like to suggest ways and means of helping out. I agree with Bransdon Corrie. Lead the way, there will be many who are more than willing to help.

  49. His suggestion for helping poor in the time of pandemic are highly appreciable and requires consideration.

  50. Again we're looking for fire fighting, blaming the govt or praising it. No one has made a long term suggeztion to ensure committed to kartavya-palan to excellence in work, to care & concern for others. Being good is not a 2mts noodle. It is a life long struggle.
    We on this blog should decide to create Common Maximum Program to bring MHRD/NCERT/DIET/B.Ed college and all Religions on a Platform. Shut them up in a good hall. Dont allow them to leave until they have agreed & Evolved a CMP for producing the Srestha, enlightened citizens, who have love for all religions are really trying to make us good towards the best by working in seva-bhava for good of society.
    Let us be constructive. Don't allow 3rd rate preachers or leaders to divide us Vivekananda as youth icon is given by Indiraji, Rajiv of Congress & Gandhi Nehru & freedom fighters. Fundamental Duties Art 51a should be read by those writing here. Why is it not a part of schooling? Why do we allow Any one to college or govt if has not imbibed its spirit. Make religions accountable to inculcated the spirit of love for nation
    Be constructive

  51. Mind capturing points made. And well made. Deservedly made. Alas ! None of the "wretched millions" will read this. The pathetic "middle class", who do chance upon it, will shrug helplessly.
    The shameless political leadership of India will squaff at it. Possibly target the author. The bureaucrats, pig-skinned as ever, will look the other way.
    Hope ONLY lies in the wretches .... will they learn their lesson ?

  52. Aap and Congress played the politics in Delhi, driving out thousands, so that they could blame BJP. Many Congress governments did the same as did TMC... in such a emergency, politics should have been given backseat and worked with government as one team.. one lesson learnt is that oppositions will play such politics and people will move. Hence transportation should not get constrained but only controlled. Every district should have a great hospital and quarantine centres.... And opportunities at all districts and states so that people do not migrate too much. West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, UP have to create job opportunities to stop migrations...

  53. Very well articulated. Could not have said it better. Hope people are wiser when they choose their masters next time and vote for humanity and development, rather than hatred and bigotry.

  54. The author sheds copious tears for the plight of the unfortunate millions, in the comfort of his most undeserved retirement benefits, blaming Modi & Seetaraman for ALL that has gone wrong. Apart from hanging his head in shame, he has not mentioned ANYTHING which he himself has done to help out the people .
    “I hang my head in shame in the India of 2020. At belonging to a country and a society which exiles tens of millions from their cities, fearful of catching an infection from them”
    Modi did NOT exile the people - he asked them to stay put & gave several facilities like free food, gas etc. That the people didn’t stay was the failure (AS USUAL) of the bureaucracy ( headed by the IAS, the MOST SELF SERVING, UNCOMMITTED , APATHETIC , CORRUPT & CONCEITED organisation in this country) to deliver relief on ground.
    ” Cocooned safely in our gated societies and sectors, we have locked out our maids, drivers, newspaper man, delivery boy and a dozen others “ At Modi’s instructions, of course ?
    Mr.Shukla, what most of our citizens are ashamed & disgusted of is our overpaid, pampered & utterly failed bureaucracy. The failures of our society are more due to it than the present leadership.
    Get some BALLS Mr.Shukla & enjoy yourself as you did during service .Don’t waste your time in hypocritical , ineffectual public bewailing & hair pulling.

    1. There is no place for abuse here. Nor guilt and blame. The problem is huge. It needs to be addressed because it has not been addressed adequately. priod.

    2. I sincerely wish Dipak Naik ji's suggestions are acknowledged and taken up. You probably know from your experience that the armed forces can use this strategy.

  55. Mr Shukla, why were we all sleeping after the Anand Vihar Fiasco , then the Gujarat to Rajasthan Fiasco, then the Surat Fiasco, then the Kota Fiasco.
    All of a sudden it's become a humongous problem
    Why didn't 30 Chief Ministers raise their voice ?
    Sirji everyone is complicit in the woeful condition of the Labour. Esp the Industrialist and the Farmer . Nobody says anything against them. Why ?
    Because everyone wants to pass on the blame.
    It's the Employer first , Mate & Dealer next, every Administrative Officer right upto Chief Secretary of every State , every Labour Commission employee. Exploiting Public (you & me ) and then the Central Government. But we as usual start from the Top , because we want to rid our conscience of Guilt.

  56. Few barbarians vomited venom in comments section.

  57. We are a cruel heartless nation. It still hasn't played out yet,the poor,jobless & large hungry population unless cared for,we will next witness food riots & maybe the next revolution.

  58. 2 yr old image of rohingya in bangladesh removed removed

  59. The no of negative comments goes to show how deep and well organised is the machinery that hits out at all those who criticise the haphazard working of this clueless government. Most of the critics don't even have the guts to put their names to the comments.
    Thank you Mr. Shukla for having the courage to put in words what we are all feeling in our hearts.

  60. A non performer try to wash his hand. What your genre did along the so many years. As a bureaucrats you all could do a lot. Why this unplanned, uncontrolled, imbalanced growth Why this much migration and development is in one corner of the country. Have you seen how they travel by train in general class . Seating in toilets in overnight journey. I am studying on this subject last 35 years about Bengali migration labour in Tamilnadu. Now you are shedding crocodiles tears.At the time of construction of bungalow you might have bargain on labour charge not on cement cost. If Govt could start the movement of then at beginning there would have been more spread as it could take 2 months if we accept the count of Manish Tewari of 1.2 cr. Give suggestions not only criticism. Still you can perform and contribute.

  61. Sir, your point about "unplanned, uncontrolled, imbalanced growth" is well made. All would concur. There is nothing in the blog however, to provoke personal remarks from you. In your 35 years of scholarship you would know how much of a struggle the country has had to have faced. The responsibility is enormous. The good we have achieved is also enormous. As are our failures.
    When we confront ourselves with our failures we are able to corrct our mistakes, even if it takes a long long time.

  62. Not everything is lost as yet. People like Mr Shukla can still come out of their comfort and help those who are still on streets. We have seen scores of organizations providing water and food to Kanwarias and during other religious occasions, but they are absent these days.
    As for politicians, what are they going to assess in their Aerial surveys in Bengal and Odisha which is not available in satellite images and reports from ground staff, when they didn't come out to see people's plight in Delhi itself.
    Just hypocrisy !!

  63. The problem about our version of democracy is that every item of criticism is taken personally. On the one hand that is good because it is correct. On the other it shows up why we are slow in the arriving at the point when we can correct our faults. Hope all of this will be part of the change to happen.

  64. Migrant workers plight was indeed shameful, but here I think it's need of hour to motivate everyone during lockdown.. Comfort of living in bhk flat is achived only when one has struggled at certain point of time.. Work is worship in any form.. Everyone including doctors, health workers and police or military are warriors.. Government has done level best in every possible way.. And mind you our pm had aldready asked forgiveness.. Only better administrative norms could have reduced their sorrow.. Your write up is straightforward but it wrongly justifying that common person including government is doing nothing

  65. Thank you for this soul-touching article coming from a compassionate heart. Every word is poignant and every sentence can make us hang our heads in shame. I have seen the real plight of migrants through channels -MOJO, The Quint, The Print, The Wire, HW, NDTV, India Today. The present Indian map is drawn with terrifying figures of our poor migrants collapsing and dying as they walk to their homes. The gap between the haves and have-nots are too wide. The migrant labourers who built our homes and offices have no house of their own and they are deprived of honour, dignity and livelihood. The untold pain and agony of the migrants and their families are touching the soul of many Indians who wants to go out and help but are helpless. We can only request the Government machinery to be more sensitive and reach out to the helpless and the poorest who are our brothers and sisters.

  66. Writer an IAS, I'm sure is sitting on a fat pension after a satiated beurocratic life. Unfortunately he happens to be from the generation who have handed over the batton after many decades of nation building. No way that generation can cry foul about the house they built for us.
    Now to us, we must focus our energies in building our country, society, community we live in. Let us make a difference. It may appear as a insignificant small one, but please initiate that small positive change around you. So that collectively when we hand over the nation to our next generation, like the writer did, we could be proud of it. I see us there.

  67. Finally hackles have been raised; by the time i got to this masterpiece, the nameless trolls had been at it. In a way it's a good indication, somebody is getting worried? Also encouraging to see so many readers look genuinely moved and helping to get this article viral to counter the several other malignant viruses floating around.

  68. As a bureaucrat keeping quiet and not raising the voice for the people (even to the extent of taking governments to SC) would have been appreciated when he was in power or when he started wielding pen power since 2010. But he chose not to. This migrant case was bound to happen with the exodus of migrants from states like bihar, orissa, assam ,west bengal,northeast to other states happening consistently over the decades. Any disaster/crisis this was bound to happen. The locals will revolt and fight for their jobs. Many times glimpses of this happened albeit in small scale in maharashtra, UP etc. All the bureaucrats knew that, but chose to keep quiet for their power. None of them ,came out and raised their voice. The same thing is happening in USA too. This was common sense even the animals have and not let other animals take over their area of food. They will share it as long there is abundance, but never let if there are less resources. Crying and pointing fingers after the disaster struck anybody can do. But as a worthy administrator or journalist who is taking up the people's cause should fight at all times and not chose to blame others or whip up sentiments by writing. He /She should provide /suggest solutions and if they can however small it may be do things to alleviate the crisis.

  69. Reading comments, apathy, audacity, arrogance of many, it is clear this vinoba shall go but one the heads is here forever. Cry my beloved India....

  70. Sailor Blue22 May 2020 at 20:37
    Reading comments, apathy, audacity, arrogance of many, it is clear this Corona shall go but one the heads is here forever. Cry my beloved India....

  71. The main issue, that of the haplessmhapless worker, seems to be sidelined by many commenters and focus turned on what the writer or the govt should have or could have done. Would be good if someone can turn this into genuine action, so that all of us can at least put our money where our mouth is

  72. I endorse the comment of ' unknown ' person about MrAvay Shukla. While in service if all officers do their job properly, administration would be better and people happy.

  73. I wish I had the guts to write this article. Totally agree.

  74. Avay Shukla I am ashamed of some political parties who are pocketing money in the name of providing food to poor. Why did they have to leave if they were being fed? I am ashamed of journalists who are trying to improve their TRP by covering these migrant labourers. I will just quote a story that will say it all

    Remember the picture? The name of the picture was "The vulture & the little girl.
    In the picture, a vulture is waiting for the death of a hungry little girl. Kevin Carter, a South African photojournalist, captured the March 1993 famine in Sudan. He was awarded the "Pulitzer Prize" for the film. But Katar committed suicide at the age of 33, despite receiving so much respect.
    But what was the reason for suicide?
    In fact, when he was busy celebrating such a great honor at the time, the news of his receiving the award was being shown on various TV channels, at that time someone asked in a phone interview what happened to the girl in the end?
    Carter replied that he could not say because he was in a hurry to catch his flight.
    "How many vultures were there?" He asked again.
    "I think there was one," Carter said.
    The man on the other end of the phone said, "I'm saying there were two vultures that day, one of them with a camera."
    Realizing the significance of these words, Carter became upset and eventually committed suicide.
    It should be humane to get anything in any situation. Carter would be alive today if he had taken the starving baby to the United Mission's feeding center, which was only 1/2 mile away, where the baby might have been trying to reach.
    Today, 26 years later, the vultures are still returning home from all over India with cameras in their hands, busy taking pictures of workers walking thousands of kilometers. There is no holding even after seeing the children.
    These vultures are more concerned with gathering news, with increasing channel TRP, than with worrying about workers' deaths. They are busy collecting breaking news by pouring spices on the bodies of dead workers and children.
    Kevin Carter had self-esteem, so he committed suicide. But the vultures named after this journalist are busy making breaking news with dignity.

  75. Kudos for raising the millions from slumber with this piece ....very. well worded .
    It needs inner strength to pen such thoughts ...stay strong .
    And yes I ow a Big Thank to You .

  76. Thank you Avay. Most of us think alike. We are not alone. Our nation will overcome the fanatics.

  77. our strong political affinities have made us zombies

  78. Mr. Shukla, I pity your agonising desperations. Please don't carry such a heavy burden of shame on your petite soul but just part away with some few thousand rupees as a help to the poor on the streets; your deep sense of guilt will be removed.

  79. One of the enduring mysteries/paradoxes of India is how the vast majority, which is impoverished, keep voting over the last 70 years against their own interests in generally free and not-unfair elections.

  80. I am ashamed that you were an IAS officer and had the power to influence things at some point in time. Such an imbalanced mind who can't comprehend the realities of life. I think of those lives that you would have ruined with your flawed decison making. Thank goodness you are an unknown, good for nothing writer now and have only a handful of people who read your one sided rubbish. May God give you the strength and the wisdom to look at things in totality. May you get better soon. And also my prayers are with your family who have to live with your nonsense and ego.

  81. Why it could not be forseen? Just like PM nnounced availability of daily needs for society dwellers.. similarly it could have been announced
    - lockdown will start after 48 or 72 hours
    - that community kitchens would be available - like other countries
    - this way lakhs of students, patients, marriage-folks would not have remained stuck till now. My team member an only child, is stuck in Delhi since 2 months - working from his rental room for office - while his heart patient father was rushed to hospital by his lonely mom in Jaipur
    - then migrants either could have chosen to stay or take trains to villages..
    - today most poors are being fed by joint efforts of society dwellers like us

    If only poor would have been consider d as well and not just affluents.

  82. In government functioning systems are more importantly than individuals. We have a Labour Ministry and their officer and offices all over the country. Labour Ministry and its IAS secy is conspicuously absent from all the turmoil. Labour Minister has not made single comment nor was he seen anywhere.Why should they be not held responsible for this

  83. Avay Shukla, Additional Chief Secretary to HP government, protocol status 25, below an Army Commander and above DG CBI/IB/BSF, 35 years IAS service, made two sins in this story. He blasted the incumbent government on one hand and on the other, provoked entire middle class hunger for comforts with domestic labor as a birth right, ie slavery, only because there are no minimum wages compulsion in India. Now, who will spare him? Is it even possible!! Well done Sir, From an old soldier. Anil

  84. Very irrational piece. Has multiple flaws, a few that I bothered to pen down. But before I do that, a couple of disclaimers:
    1. I think the government can be stricter in its dealing with the states to manage this. This is not the time to showcase the federal nature of the constitution.
    2. The Finance Ministry is a disaster in communication, at the minimum and at planning and execution (if it is not just a communication failure).

    Now on to the issues, I have with the vitriol filled duplicitous, imported coffee table walon ka 'Biblical' hyperbole in the article. I would focus more on the message than the messenger here:

    A) _Country and society which exiles tens of millions_ : For an IAS Officer, he is supremely ill informed. One Delhi does not a country make. No other state has 'exiled' millions. In fact, states are trying hard to stop the labour class from leaving - Lutyens walas have penned many angry paragraphs damning the governments which came in the news for trying to retain the labour class - it seems, the author has let one instance drive his understanding. The bigger driver for migration is the lack of earning capability given the lockdown, along with the basic need for food.

    B) _Can no longer recognise the religion (he) was born into_ : Shooting the messenger a bit - he has always been a non-practicing Hindu who has repeatedly shared his scorn and hatred for RSS. He himself had identified the issue that in India, we have turned the words secular and communal on its head, and (in his words), _"So " communal" today means a Hindu who is not ashamed of saying he is a Hindu, and " secular" means a Hindu who panders to other religions in order to get their votes at the next elections! ........... But in the Kafkaesque India of today if you were to proclaim that you are a Hindu ( even though you have equal respect and regard for all other religions) you would be branded " communal"- this is what political discourse has been reduced to by our politicians. And being " secular" no longer means treating all religions equally: it means splintering society into a myriad " minorities" ( another perversion of the Oxford Dictionary) and then pandering to such of them as suit you in your naked pursuit of power."_. It is not surprising that he has failed to see that RSS / Sewa Bharti is the largest network feeding the poor while being outside the official channels. Ignoring his hatred for his religions as a non-thought through drivel.

    C) _Cocooned safely in our gated societies and sectors, we have locked out our maids, drivers, newspaper man, delivery boy and a dozen others_ : Yes!! That is the very definition of a lock-down. Rather than focusing his rage for people who did not pay their helpers, he is more interested in getting them back.

    D) _We encourage another extension of the lockdown because our salaries and pensions are not affected. _ : Myopic view from a pensioneer whose pension got doubled in the last five years. Not everyone else is unaffected. My colleagues in the industry (mid-level executives) have already taken anywhere between 15 Lakhs to 40 Lakhs hit in bonuses and increments already this year, and expect more financial cuts depending on how the recovery gets delayed. Salaried people at other levels have also seen varying levels of losses - and this will impact their abilities to be generous in the coming times, so this argument is disingenuous at the very least. What excuse does this pensioner have in not doing more?

    E) _oppose any more "doles" to the hungry millions, that denounce MNREGA_ : Taking these comments as a sample set, and my other WhatsApp groups as a super set, I have not come across *ONE* friend, colleague or relative who has denounced any financial measures. The common refrain has been that we need more, not less. I think the author needs to consort with better people, the class that he has been part of, seems to behave more and more like the relic of British times that they trace their roots to.

    1. Wanted to write a takedown myself, but you have said it brilliantly.
      His piece has (obviously ) been floating around on Whatsapp, wanted to share your reply too...
      Is there a link I can share on your reply ...

    2. I also got it from WhatsApp only. So searched for the source and replied here first and then on my groups. Copy from here if you like.

  85. Continued....:

    F) _ heartlessness to blame sixteen tired labourers for their own deaths: why were they sleeping on railway tracks_ : This is idiocy of the highest order. If you sleep / stand on tracks, you (if an adult) or your parents (if a child) are to blame for being there. It is not the fault of the Gods if you do it for Dussehra, or if you do it to hide from state agents trying to stop people from traveling out of red zones. No situation or environment factor takes the blame away, and labeling it heartless, is just the author acting out and trying to throw different kinds of blame and guilt, hoping something would stick.

    G) _ my peers decrying the expense of trains/ buses for the returning migrants_ : Again, not *one* example of such behaviour on any of my groups, so it does seem that the author needs to keep better company. The discussions that I have seen have been more on the poor planning and abysmal communication by the state governments, who were organising the same and who were actually paying for the tickets.

    H) _facade of civilisation being peeled back by a virus to disclose a heart of darkness in our collective inner core_ : On the other hand, I am seeing people volunteering time and money to help and feed as many as they can, and to the best of their own financial abilities. In each of my friend/ colleague/ relatives' groups we have numerous people who have personally and collectively contributed.

    I) _ashamed of our judges who have now become prisoners in their carefully crafted ivory towers, who had repeated opportunities to order the executive to provide meaningful relief _ : This author, and the likes of him, have been vocal opponents of Aadhaar based measures and mechanisms. The very architecture, which could have identified specific individuals and targeted relief was opposed and rendered toothless by these crusaders. Now they lament that judiciary is not over-reaching into the executive. Convenient U-turns seem to be a trademark for him and his elk.

    J) _produce ration cards and Aadhar before they can get five kgs of rice_ : A few friends have shared instances where food items received via crowd-sourced contributions was found on sale on the Kirana shops nearby, with the packaging material. This seriously impacted their ability to raise the next round of contributions from donors who got to know. Such leakage was supposed to be plugged with a swipe of thumb/ scan of eyes, but alas, these luminaries were more concerned about potential misuse of privacy than plugging the 70 year leakage in PDS which rendered such infrastructure inefficient and infeasible. The author seems to have no issue against the privacy concerns from his use of services from the Big Tech (blogspot itself is a Google product), which actually monetise these alleged privacy violations.

    K) _ Actually, this piece is not just about me- it's also about you, dear reader._ : Unfortunately, this seems to be more about the author than a general commentary about anyone else.

  86. कुछ सवाल अपने आप से

    आज हमारे घर में कोई भुखमरी का शिकार नहीं है,

    क्योंकि खेत खलिहानो में कोई पसीना बहाता है।

    आज हम नंगे हो तो भी वैसे दिखाई नहीं पड़ते,

    क्योंकि कोई हमारे लिए कपडे बुनता है।

    क्या अहसास है हमें की हम जीन घरो में ऐशो आराम से रहते है,

    उनके लिए सीमेंट की बोरियों उठाई है कईयो ने अपने कंधो पर।

    देश विदेश की सैर सपाटे कर हम फिर जमींन पर उतर पाते है,

    उन्ही के द्वारा बनाये गए हवाई अड्डों पर।

    दिवाली, ईद, क्रिसमस और बैसाखी पर हम घर जा पाते है,

    क्योकी रेल की पटरिया बिछा रखी है किसीने।

    आज जिसके सीने पर हम गाड़िया दौड़ाते है शानो शौकत से,

    वोह सड़के बनी है किसी के खून पसीने से।

    हममे से कुछ लोग सेठ और उद्योगपति कहलाते है,

    क्योंकि मशीनो पर घिसते है कई कारखानों में।

    शादी समारोहों में हम हिरे जवाहररात चमकाते है,

    क्योंकि जान जोखिम में डाल कर उतरते है कुछ खदानों में।

    मई की चिलचिलाती धुप में जब वोह निकल पड़े है पैदल,

    क्या हमें उनमे अपने बच्चे और बूढ़े माँ बाप नहीं दिखाई दिए?

    चार छे महीने की तन्खा भी न दे पाए,

    क्या इतने भुक्कड़ हम हो लिए?

    देश निर्माण करने वालो से इस बदसलूखी को क्या कहे?

    जो उनका किया नहीं, उसकी सजा वो क्यों सहे ?

    क्या उनको इन हालातो में छोड़ देना देशद्रोह नहीं है?

    यदि इन हालातो में कोई हमें पाखंडी कहे तो बिलकुल सही है।

    वसंत बंग , पुणे

    A Gentle Bang – My Occasional Poetic Surge

    May 20, 2020

  87. Do something concrete for a change. Feed atleast one migrant who is on the road each day. How are your maids etc,you exploited all your life,have you enquired, let alone done something about it?. We have plenty like you in all the government services who do nothing except write,comment and criticize.stop being a parasite.

  88. @Avay Shukla

    Dear Sir, you are my senior, are way experienced and know more about life than I do Sir. Probably, in comparison to your stature and experience, you could say that I was just born "yesterday (in the 80's)". I am a citizen from a middle-class family belonging to open category with no extremes in religion or political ideologies. I vote conscientiously. I am struggling with a transition between careers due to changes in personal life and do not see scope for employment in near future unless the lockdown ends. I didn't bat for the prevalent ideology or the lockdown. Yet, I suffer to some extent and wonder who all did bat for the win! A look at the statistics associated with the privilege of practicing adult franchisee shows one and one dont add up to two in this case. So, NO, I'm NOT ashamed. I'm just sorry for what's happening around me and I am left wondering whether I will see light at the end of the tunnel.

  89. Nice english!
    Now, would like to hear of your account of all you did to eliminate these ills in the society while you were in service!!!
    We are waiting!
    This much english even Chetan Bhagat can write....

  90. Mr. Shukla, what a heart-felt piece of writing! The luminosity of your soul shines through your words. Maybe that's why it has been much shared on twitter and facebook. Am sharing it on my facebook account

  91. Mr. Shukla, as you are actually ashamed of everything and everybody in the country, please apply for a citizenship for another country, will help lighten your burden and ours as one less Buffon amongst us.

  92. this article is a feedback for everyone to look inside and reflect... the situation is really getting worse day by day... the anger of people is increasing and most of the us are not even ready to reflect, doing a valuable discussion is far away... actually the thing is when u r aware then only u get disturbed, bt if u r nt aware of reality or doesn't have a right perspective of development, u dont get effected and u prefer to be in ur dreams...

  93. Mr Shukla: stringing a piece like this is both heart wrenching and despairing; and you've got it perfectly laid out like an elegy for a nation whose soul, shall I say, is 'no more!' One can only lift up one's hands helplessly and make those little contributions on the palms of dirty hands extended with anxious hope, so that atleast a little morsel can be got for the hungry soul. That's in cities, but what can we say about the hinterland, where neither grain nor money nor any extending hand can be seen...shudder to think about it.

  94. Well said sir...pained and ashamed as well.

  95. Unfortunately you are now retired. But I must point out that it is job of the IAS to administer, and the politician to make speeches. For example, Bhirwara controlled COVID because of the administration, and not the politician. It seems to me that if our working class is on the roads marching home, it is a case of an administrative failure. Why should a man risk himself and his family on a long unknown journey by foot if his needs are met in the place where he is living?
    Please come clean and not hide behind a politician's frock. Pick up the phone and call your juniors at the office. Tell them "I am ashamed of my incompetence in serving my nation, since your incompetence is reflected in my training of you all. I am ashamed of not teaching you all to uphold the office of the civil servant and the dignity of the civil service. I am ashamed of the indifference and the incompetence that I and my colleagues have brought to the institution of the Indian Administrative Service."
    This act will leave you a bit cleansed, and may force the current generation of IAS officers to ponder the true nature of their work- which is efficiently administer no matter which party is in power.

  96. This is a very provocative opinion piece. While we can keep asking what he did when he was an IAS officer or what he will do now, actually that does not matter. This article shows us that this nation has a moral issue as much as the social, political or economic issue. When the moral is clear, the rest will be done by all of us together.

  97. This comment has been removed by the author.

  98. Sir
    Im in agreement with lot of inadequacies and lacks.

    But please don't crib about the situation as an Arm Chair specialist. Instead give all possible solutions. People of your stature should write articles with solutions and not cribs. There are enough cribbers.

    You analyse the situation and say what can be done better and how. Dont spread negativity.

    With 1.33 Billion People, resources are less. Need to optimally utilise those. Please make suggestions how to

  99. A thought that came to my mind after being stormed and touched by the literary excellence and the human angle of the article...

    Yet another depressing story on the unprecedented crisis the poor migrant labour had to suffer...

    While as a system we could have done much better, it appears that we failed to anticipate the magnitude of the impending crisis.

    Yet, a lot is being done by many individuals, society and the governments to minimise the sufferings, neither heard nor chosen by many, to write and feel nice about.

    In any case, these measures fall terribly short of what is needed to mitigate the sufferings caused by such spontaneous mass exodus.

    A major reason for this level of suffering appears to be the unconventional methods of travel, that are not chosen by the labour, but forced on them by the circumstances and inadequate Govt response.
    However, one cannot ignore another major factor that is bound to be associated with such suffering, is the
    desperation and 'come what may' attitude of the migrants that appears to have been driven by a euphoric longing to head home by any means...
    Don't know what is stopping our social activists from jumping into the field to persuade the migrants..

  100. As citizens we also have a responsibility to help. There are many worthy organisations that one can support. Let's join hands to help. Very pleased with the work that Dream India is doing in this area.

  101. Sir, eye opener...I wrote the similar article 'The Lost Soul' on 4th May. Can share with you separately.

  102. Yes,indeed. A lot of soul searching needs to be done especially by those of us who read these columns. All the outrage expressed in these comments is further testament to the fact that we are a cold, callous people who have forgotten to share and care, and have nobody of stature to remind us or no system to teach us better. Our grasping exploitation has brutalized us into subjugating a huge majority to serve our foul selfish needs.

  103. Sir

    While I fully endorse the fact that we as a society have failed to provide basic necessities for human subsistence for majority of our brethren, I think that at this juncture it would have been much better for you ( and of course for all of us) to stop the blame game and put our might in resolving the problem. Unfortunately nothing of the sort seems to be coming from you.


  104. May 23, 2020

    Mr. Avay Shukla,
    IAS (Retired)
    Government of India

    Dear Mr. Shukla, I enthusiastically read your tirade against your prime minister Mr. Modi, and his government’s handling of COVID lockdown vis-a-vis migrant workers. I also googled you and found out, you retired from service in 2010. Sir, here is my humble advice to you: stop complaining sitting in your 4 BHK flat, and get activated immediately. First and foremost, give up the plush 4 BHK flat, the car and the driver, and move into something humble (this move alone will immediately relieve you of feeling guilty and ashamed). Next, either join an opposition party or start your own crusade for the betterment of your fellow unfortunate countrymen’s plight, and work incessantly until you make a meaningful difference in lives of these unfortunates. Oh, BTW, to jumpstart your cause, take a page from your chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal’s playbook as an example of how an IIT graduate who also had a prestigious government job like you, quit his job (unlike you, Sir, who waited to retire with a fat pension), gave away his Magsaysay award money and started AAM AADMI PARTY for very reasons aired by you. The sooner you act, the accent is on act, not talk, the sooner you will be vindicated of your “burden of shame”.


    “निमित्त मात्र”

  105. I just have one question after reading this vile, anger laden, viciously written spew of hate
    That is, when was the this Nation great with sweet soul?
    Under Aurangzeb, the British Raj or Nehru/Gandhi khandan?

  106. I am impressed Sir. What an article. Each and every word is the view I subscribe to. Only request if this lovely piece could also be in hindi. It will have more readership, and that too by the people who are more effected. Please Sir.

  107. Very Good Morning to All !! This is the time for action plan ...I have mailed to Noida heads as school buses are free, we can help each and every citizen walking to his home town by these buses till their jurisdiction and followed by other city authority.

    My mail :-

    ---------- Forwarded message ---------
    From: Shobhit Batra
    Date: Sat, 23 May, 2020, 14:31
    Subject: Reg - BUS Service @ Noida & Yamuna Xpressway
    To: , ,
    Cc: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Very Good Afternoon to the Dignitaries,

    Greetings From BUNIYAD !!!

    GAUTAM BUDH NAGAR is doing a great job to tackle COVID - 19, Heartiest Thanks to all !!!!!

    Yesterday after long time I went to the expressway and saw lot of people walking on Expressway with ladies and kids, Humble request to start BUS service to help them to at least out of our jurisdiction limits, It will be great help, till date we were just looking in media, but after yesterday I seen personally their pain it was heartbroken. We are ready if we can be of any help towards this facility and like me many more can volunteer in their own capacity.

    With Due Regards,


  108. I don’t think we The Bandar Log should be blamed...

  109. Moving and hard hitting sir.
    But no, i don't share the dark prognosis completely: so long as writing and yours exists and looking at the comments, the soul of this nation still has life. Huge ask but it is not dead as yet. Would require enormous work from us and at least one Gandhi to spring up.

  110. Iam also part of this population that is ashamed of the situation today. However, I need clarification. At the beginning of the lockdown when people from Gujarat were caught in Hardwar, Amit Shah arranged Luxury buses for their return. And when people from Hardwar who were in Gujarat requested they be able to avail of the returning buses, they were denied.
    Next trains from the south arranged and paid for in advance so the labour could go home, are not being allowed to proceed when they reach Orissa. People responsible for the fly system wont even answer the telephone calls made to know what is happening. Why do people in power hamper the little that is being done for the labour? What is holding them up. Not an excess of trains playing that they cant let these trains through. What about how long they are cooped up in the train without food and water? I am old and unable to do much these days except cry and pray that this situation will ease. But I would like the authorities in Orissa to look into this hold up and ease the way for the trains to proceed.. or people will end up dying in the compartments.

  111. Naked truth. People will keep on asking many irrelevant questions. They won't dare to ask the Govt/leaders because they are being worshipped. So unfortunate.

  112. Naked truth. People will keep on asking many irrelevant questions. They won't dare to ask the Govt/leaders because they are being worshipped. So unfortunate.

  113. Very vivid exposure of our callous indifference to the sufferings of others. We boast of very lofty inheritance of Vedic Rishis who preached common consciousness and mutual dependence of all sentients but how selfish we have become throwing away the distilled wisdom of ages as decadent and irrelevant. We still insist that ours is very knowledgeable, technically superior and most resourceful generation. How sad that the political leadership has never evolved any consensus even for such basic issues as how to groom our children for being good human beings and good citizens. I think social groups should take initiative to debate and flag basic issues of national importance and compel political parties to adopt a minimum consensus programme. We as individuals should also remain conscious of our own response and conduct towards our needy brethren.

  114. beautifully written Avay Shukla sir.surprised by the comments

  115. Mr avay Shukla only a IAS officer is capable of degrading armed forces in a blog. Because that's how you treat them in real life. You have slowly and steadily reduced the status of the armed forces with your bureaucracy and made sure we become sub servient to you. Just one example is your defence secretary being elevated above the armed forces chiefs. And for you information not following orders is termed as mutiny as per armed forces act punishable by life imprisonment in peace time and death in war time. Unlike you power hungry and corrupt bureaucrats who are found with crores stashed in your houses. So please don't lecture the armed forces about out duties which you know very little of having spent most of your life in a room with an air conditioner and human slaves to service your every need. I have enough interaction with IAS officers accross the board to know exactly how disgusting your thinking is and how much you do things for your country. If you have the spunks come for a face to face debate on television and I will rip apart this persona you're creating about yourself and degrading your own country and its Government. This is a classical example of 'jis thali mein khaate ho usi mein ched karte ho'. Anyways it's not surprising for your types.
    And finally please list down the list of things you did in 2020 to end this suffering even for a few people.

  116. All that ever you guys are punished with even for serious crimes is a posting to another place. Try doing it in the armed forces and you'll be court martialled.

  117. This article is beyond awesome. Loved every word of it. I am not sure anymore of what we set out to be and what we have become. Looking at those labourers my heart cries a million times but I am not able to do much except grieve.Thank you for writing this article. It simply provides the assurance that humanity isn't dead and there are people like you who keep it alive.

  118. This article pierced my stony heart eliciting a stinging tear.
    Thank you for urgently reviving my dying humanity.
    May God Bless You forever more~

  119. The author should have shown some understanding and appreciation of the fact that the world is going through an unprecedented existential crisis of not our making and our government is doing all in its power to handle it in the best way possible and the need of the hour is to close ranks and support the governmental efforts keeping all other issues, especially petty politics aside...��

  120. Dear Mr.Avay Shukla,

    Though you have averred that your article is not political, I do find a lot of politics in it.Had you been a fiction writer or a politician or even the usual left liberal I would have bothered.That you are a retired Civil servant bothers me a lot.Contextualising everything to 2020 and "Now"exposes your intellectual dishonesty.I am not going to counter you by asking what you have done to change the system.But by not tracing some of today's problems to the past you have betrayed your bias and intellectual dishonesty.The migrant problem of today started in the 1990s with globalisation.India started losing the soul of rishis in 1947 because of the votebank politics of the Congress and followed by other poltical parties.
    It lost its soul and pride because of the fake history peddled by the left activists who masqueraded as historians.
    Not a word on these.As an IAS you are not aware when the deterioration in the judiciary started.Surprising.Unjustifiably defaming the Hindus without calling out the behaviour of the Tablighis is strange.To my knowledge nobody is exiling the migrant labour.They are moving out because of the lack of support,security and in some cases family pressure.
    It is sad that there is no institutional framework to support them.
    But the silver lining is the support extended by organisations like the Seva Bharathi and the Ramakrishna mission.No mention on this.Red rag to the bull?
    The sad part is no single suggestion from you as to what is to be done.
    That the system took a lot of time to come to terms with the problem and start reacting is undeniable.But linking all of that to the government and that too implicitly to the Central govt is nothing but playing the opposition parties.
    Shall rebut you on all the points Sir a couple of days later as I am a bit tied up now.

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  122. Dear Mr. Shukla, While you have articulated your sentiments beautifully and very correctly pointed out the failure and apathy of our nation's leadership and institutions in managing this crisis, I would like to ask you what you are doing to help the migrant labour and the poor besides feeling ashamed? Are you arranging food, shelter, medicines, money as many individuals and groups are doing locally? Are you drawing upon your extensive administrative experience to chart out a plan to help alleviate their suffering even in a small way? As a retired IAS officer your experience would be very useful right now. Sadly, your piece comes across as self-serving and exploitative of the very people whose suffering makes you hang your head in shame. When this pandemic has passed, everyone, including yourself, will forget about these people. Life will go on as usual and this poetic but flawed piece of writing will be remembered as yet another feather in your cap.

  123. Dear Mr Shukla,
    Your narrative is so typical ...high on style and low on substance and suggestions! If only half that style of yours was devoted to suggesting viable and alternative would have made for a much more fruitful and engaging piece! For a person who has served in the Government, it should have been so much more easier to understand and appreciate the difficulties and challenges of governance. It is a pity and a tragedy that people like you have chosen to criticise almost blindly anything and everything, even while having nothing to offer or suggest, which a democratically elected (nay, re-elected) Government is doing or has done. Among all the 'shames' mentioned by you, you may like to put this right at the top!

  124. Dear sir a great article except for the barb on the army the second half i did not agree with. but then no one is perfect. excellent article.

  125. This comment has been removed by the author.

  126. This is a well written article. However many of the "shames" mentioned here are not applicable to the "Kerala model". While this model has attracted attention over the years, the contrast with the rest of India has never been as dramatic as during this pandemic. The author, as an IAS officer should be aware of this and should have mentioned this.

  127. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  128. I feel not just little shame, but enormous shame. yes clearly we have failed our own brothers and sisters
    In reading your article, I got a small silver lining, it was cathartic in some sense. I have been trying to put words to my thoughts on this shame, your words provided that relief.

  129. Those who do not tear up at the sight of our barefeet millions mapping the length and breadth of the nation they fondly have called their motherland, even mother as in bharat maataa, must have lost their souls. What we did or did not do yesterday should not be the filter to judge what we do today. We can admire Narendra Modi for fooling us all, an uneducated man with a talent to fool anyone, a charismatic communicator, a machiavellian ready to teach machiavelli, a ruthless bigot, a narcissist as good as anyone ever lived, a friend of the rich and famous blind to anyone unable to meet the bar he set for others to cross into his perimeter, a street side bully who has virtually decimated his peers and leaders alike. But to not see his flaws in the way he has hurt the people who have given him the mandate to bring good governance is to be deaf, blind, mute and senseless. Thank you Mr Avay Shukla for sharing your emotions. Hope its shared with our countrymen as widely as possible.

    1. I am unable to make out as U types very absurd,meaningless and shameful lines for mature dear fellow.your put-up is worth less however your writing ability is warm.

  130. This post reminds me of the Bollywood leftists writers and director for whom the expensive cigarette and Wine used to be the artistic inspiration . With these two product of debauchery they use to right about the pain of poor, helplessness of the weaker and about the insensitivity of the rulers . they didn't mind taking alms and accolades from the same ruling fraternity whom they used to despise in their blood soaked stories . This never used to end here, they were ethically silent on the source of funds which used to create such an amazing artistic products on 70 MM .IN a developing country , it is so easy to raise moral, ethical and questions based on social responsibilities and awareness and AVOIDING the fundamentals which makes a nation and social as entity of social responsibility. This country was controlled and captured based on the emotive outpouring of the kinds mentioned by the writer of this post . Bollywood writers, politicians, Administrative officers, Jihadis and spiritual gurus, all have used this style of emotive victim hood either to sell their existence or satisfying their delusional and sadistic post retirement life . I remember an anecdote of a leftist/communist leader who was addressing a gathering of factory laborers and said while looking at the running vehicle - Yeh jou petrol in gaddiyon main jal raha hai, yeh petrol nahi tumhara khoon hai " .. jai Hind

  131. The so called 'haves' feel that these Indian citizen who are marching to their villages are dispensable and the death of a few do not matter to them. The fact that most of them are of the backward class and minority, adds to the apathy. We have a President, who became the President, only because he is a Dalit and a Prime Minister who belongs to the backward class. I am ashamed to see the abject silence of the President. He has forgotten his roots, blinded by the power. Finally to ourselves, "People deserve the Government they get".

    1. This is so simple to blame president and prime minister for each and every mis happening in the country.Same way U r also soundinglike any thing.people like U liberates the veiws undeserving.

  132. Feel a little shame for the lost soul of a nation.

    I have gone through your above headlined lock down story .Firstly I appreciate your writing flow in the shape of very longer sentences .There is no doubt about that you seems a good blog or topic writer . It extends INQalabi feeling towards genre or people around you .Dear writer you have no idea that how many times U used the word Ashamed of being....On behalf of many people .Do you think that you can take onus for being ashamed about who so ever you know in your area, premisis or city.You simply wrapedup all the dignitaries write from Hon'ble prime minister to military ops. in your whimsical , fanatic and exiting flow of typing the words . Not only man like U but entire country men feeling sorry for un fortunet and sudden exodus of millions of working sisters and brothers . All the state governments along with central government paying attention and ful heed. Though we every Indian fellow extending sympathy ,solidarity and support as and when requires.Your write-up in the form if extra exileration seems sentimental ,emotional and impractical as wel as abusive in the term of responsibility for state .
    Gentleman U have nowhere given solution or mature advice in the subjected problem in your blog.There are infinite words to criticise your theme and the way you are denying the performance and duty of different sigment of society. However I do appreciate for the spark of kindness, compassion and feelings for mankind.Whatever I realize ,I putup my views ,now U you have all the right's to criticis my points like any thing.
    Ramkishor Dwivedi