The evolution of a democratic society is centred around the expansion of rights — civil, political, economic and cultural, leading to the empowerment of people. Democratic nations respect individual and group rights for moral and instrumental reasons. Duties, both legal and moral, are cherished in order to reinforce those rights. The obligations of the individual to the collective must be understood in that context; rights and duties complement each other, just as responsibility comes with freedom. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to suggest a dichotomy between the rights and duties of citizens when he said last week that the country had wasted a lot of time “fighting for rights” and “neglecting one’s duties”. His speech was not the first time that he or other Hindutva protagonists have called for a foregrounding of duties over rights. Service and the sacrifices of nameless and faceless nation-builders have formed the bedrock of the modern Indian Republic, but their sacrifices

Even at the peak of the second wave in India last year, when no contact tracing was done or was possible, not a word was said about the Delta variant being in community transmission — where the source of infection cannot be traced. But with extremely transmissible Omicron becoming the dominant variant across major cities, INSACOG, the consortium meant to monitor the genomic variations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has for the first time officially mentioned that India has entered community transmission; daily fresh cases have been over 0.3 million since January 19. Even as on June 15 last year, when the second wave had peaked here, India claimed to have only a ‘cluster of cases’ as reflected in WHO’s last epidemiological report (weekly) mentioning the stage of transmission in member-States. In contrast, the U.S. declared community transmission in February 2020 when the source of infection was untraceable in one instance; only 15 cases were detected then. The closest India came to
 
Lead

Tackling the Omicron wave, getting future-ready

Chandrakant Lahariya Angelique Coetzee
 
Comment

Dealing with the macroeconomic uncertainties

Lekha Chakraborty Harikrishnan S.
 
Comment

The devastating impact of school closure

Bhaskaran Raman

Conversation beyond performance

Usha Raman

The question is, who will be vice-captain: and Rishabh Pant fits the bill

Suresh Menon

Cursive writing, without curses

G. Sampath
 
Open Page

Wardrobe function

Himani Datar
Fireworks celebrating an event such as New Years or other important calendar events.A city profile is in the background. Art is on layered groups for easy editing.
Open Page

Rethinking resolutions

Divya Venkattu
Vector Elephant
Open Page

Fable of Padayappa

George N. Netto