It's day 3 of Coronavirus lockdown and things are not getting any better. Yet.
The US has become the country with largest number of Coronavirus cases (~85K) surpassing China and Italy. Given the enormous impact US has on the world economy, I shudder to think what impact this will have on it.
India has slowed down its exponential growth in cases a bit, but it is still growing pretty fast. Or may be its just because of the extremely low number of tests we are doing. Who knows?
Today I was checking the corona cases in different countries and was wondering why doesn't Russia figure somewhere in the top. That's when I stumbled upon this piece. The headline read:
Coronavirus deals blow to Putin's plans to stay in power until 2036
When I read the article, I found that Putin was planning to make some fundamental changes in the constitution which would give him power till 2036. Yes you read it right!
16 years of unchallenged rule.
Can politicians really do such things? Pass a law which keeps you president for 16 more years, when you have already served 4 terms as president?
Turns out they can. His proposal was already passed by the parliament and the constitutional court, and was pending a vote by people, which is now postponed due to coronavirus.
Apparently Putin runs a "managed democracy". It means that:
power flows from one man: The president has no serious political competition, his friends and allies control the commanding heights of the economy and Putin is the ultimate arbiter of disputes between elites
I was wondering how the Russian people must be feeling. And why are they not fighting back?
But then I recalled that our situation in India is not much different. Before this virus hit us, there were protests in street opposing the absurd CAA-NRC acts.
Are we going down the same path as Russia? Would a time come when our politicians will seek a 16 yr term extension - and "we the people" will not have the vigor to oppose it?