Dvāpara Management Perspective of Migrants in India during COVID-19 : The Fixes that Failed (Part-II)

(Continued from Part-I)

Brig JS Rajpurohit, Ph.D.

“Fixes that fail”; Systems View of COVID-19

This is an analysis of the labour migration crisis from system’s view though one of the archetypes known as “Fixes that fail”. 

Government of India declared Lockdown on 22nd March, 2020 that had unintended consequences of labour from various metros migrating to their home towns. These unintended outcomes were rectified by fresh measures to prevent migration but unfortunately further deteriorated into complex psycho-social dilemma and a crisis. This cycle of actions and reactions was repeated till some acceptable solution was arrived at. The situation should have been dealt with, in a more rational manner to stop migration or manage it effectively. Cause and effect and circles of causality (Figure 1 of fixes that fail) identify the problem with two feedback loops; Balancing loop B1 and Reinforcing loop R1. System’s view shows balancing B1 loop where in due to country wide lockdown due to COVID-19, the labour class working in metros e.g. Delhi, started migrating back to their home towns in UP, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam and other states.

As the pandemic spread, migration numbers swell; depicted by ‘S’ in Figure 1; meaning rising migration rates which caused people to violate law and order. It forced the government to take harsh measures to prevent migration to protect people from getting infected. Steps by the Delhi government reduced the migration temporarily as shown by balancing part by ‘O’ in B1 loop. This was the first set of fixes or measures by the government that should have solved the problem. By these measures, part of migrating population was checked and stopped either within Delhi or at the borders of Delhi and UP. Since the measures put in place by the government were not strong enough, the impact multiplied and more labour started migrating as shown by ‘S1’ in R1 loop.

Multiplying effect led to people congregating at various places for buses and not finding them started hiring other means of transport or started walking along highways. Actions by the government, halted the migration temporarily but accentuated the problem with every passing day (time delay) called ‘Delay’ in Reinforcing loop R1 and it was visible on ground. Poverty and hunger added fuel to the fire. There was pandemonium across the nation and uneasy tension among Indians for inability of government to resolve the challenge could be felt. This impact is depicted by ‘S2’ in R1 loop. The entire issue is analysed with a holistic or ‘system’s view’ that says that for every problem, there are solutions that have to be assessed and applied in a holistic manner, failing which the measures fail and problem gets compounded. As problem gets compounded, further actions are initiated by the actors and situation improves only to worsen. The process continues till problem is resolved with a long time and suffering of people as penalty. In the instant case of migration, it could have been appreciated by administration and dealt with holistically before it became a social challenge. The police actions to maintain law and order became part of vicious cycle. Governments of Delhi, UP and Bihar got involved for their respective interests. State governments wanted safe return of their people from Delhi, Mumbai etc. and in the milieu, migrating people violated government rules of social distancing and lockdown, which led to Delhi government issuing next  set of orders to improve upon previous orders to stop the movement (depicted in Figure 1 by ‘S”).

These are the remedial measures adopted by the government in R1 reinforcing loop and as shown by blue stars in Figure 2 based on feedback of the unintended consequences of the first set of corrective actions taken by the government.

B1 loop could have been closed with the situation balancing out and with no side effects. However, the loop caused delay in seeking solutions or the repercussions of the corrective actions by the government were not strong enough. As a result, the situation had side effects that required immediate attention of the government. Attempts of migrants to reach home earliest led to actions by the police, imposition of curfew, violation of curfew by migrating labour and social disharmony. This was not the desired outcome by the government and hence led to additional measures till situation was resolved. A graphical representation of the situation of Fixes that fail in Figure 2 shows improvement in the situation over a long period but with a dip after every action by the government.

COVID-19 has posed a crisis the world has not witnessed since Spanish flu of 1918-1919. It is an unprecedented history in the making. Indian government response and handling of the pandemic has been one of the best in the world. In the instant situation that India is in; threat of COVID-19 is a real one and the migration is similar to the one Lord Kṛśṇa faced. Facing the calamity of an impending terrible war he was able to move a large chunk of population from Mathura to Dwarika without much upheaval.

Government under leadership of Mr. Narendra Modi deserves accolades for serving the humanity and saving millions of lives in the country from COVID-19. The government administration has effectively managed spread of the pandemic and Indian response has been appreciated the world over. However, response to deal with the migration of labour, consequent to pandemic and orders of Lockdown, requires deliberations. The measures taken by the government to fix the problems ended up creating different yet more problems instead and logical planning to deal with socio-economic issues needed to be developed. Preventing migration was the right decision but survival package in places of residence was a must in such sensitive circumstances. A planned operation to keep the labour wherever they were and looking after them would have been possibly an effective way to deal with the reverse migration.

And if the decision of the Government was to move the labour back to their villages, this too could have been planned systematically and entire movement could have been made comfortable and rejoicing journey for the poor and homeless. Any more politics on the issue is detrimental to our very existence as a nation and our economy, as our survival base depends on these humble, poor, shell shocked silent migrants.

If Lord Kṛśṇa could succeed in his times, so can we in our times.

To be continued…..

Brig JS Rajpurohit, Ph.D. Group Commander, Group HQ NCC, Gorakhpur (UP)

8 thoughts on “Dvāpara Management Perspective of Migrants in India during COVID-19 : The Fixes that Failed (Part-II)

  1. (Comments received via Wats App)

    Incisive analysis…I admire and liked your use of “systems theory” and “systems thinking” to explain the migrant crisis.. the illustrations made by you are self-explanatory.. easy to comprehend. Also want to compliment you for the reference to the Mahabharata in the title. 👍🏻
    by – Col Sumant Khare

    Very well analysed sir.
    by – Col (Dr.) Brij Mohan, Jaipur

    Excellent piece. Heartiest congratulations. Proud of you!
    by – Prof. Sahni, IGNOU, New Delhi

    Very insightful article, really brilliant analysis in terms of systems theory
    by – Dr. Sanyogita, Jaipur


  2. (Query / comment received via Email)

    The Editor, Waves Blog.

    I was invited to contribute my blog to your blog Platform. When I responded with my article, i was sent the synopsis of Brig (Dr.) JS Rajpurohit ji’s article, which holds that Sri Krishna had this problem and so he built Dwarka and shifted as the solution. It is ridiculous and preposterous. It amounts to suggest we should build another India and shift there!

    it is highly absurd to suggest that Sri Krishna had this problem, which has no basis whatsoever. The cause of sri Krishna shifting to Dwarka, was that Mathura was the Kingdom of his Maternal Uncle Ugrasen, whose son Kamsa had to be killed by him. This had soured the relationship of the two families. So after killing Kamsa, Krishna realised that many of the relatives, felt that Krishna’s assassination was heinous and hence were antagonistic to him. So naturally he did not want to continue in that place where an ignominy was attached to him. There was no corona or Covid-19 or any other disease.

    There was no wholesale migration of all the people of Mathura to Dwaraka. The texts say that majority of the Mathurites were on the side of Krishna, because Kamsa’s treatment of Devaki and Vasudeva, was not approved by the majority of the Society. This was the politics of the Royal family at that time!

    Does Brig (Dr.) JS Rajpurohit hold that the present situation in the country is Political? (I have not seen the entire article and hence this question).
    Yours sincerely,
    S.R.Krishna Murthy.


    • (Reply received from author via Email)

      I am sanguine that Shri SR Krishna Murthy is well versed with the classical texts and acclaimed research works on and related to ancient Indian history and specially with Lord Krishna and and his altruistic idiosyncratic mode of living coupled with his benevolent attitude throughout his existence on the known living planet. He appears to have been invited to contribute articles in Vedic Waves blog which is a win-win situation for both the Vedic Waves Blog and Shri SR Krishna Murthy. In response to his article that was sent to Vedic Waves, he was sent my article on “Dvapara Management Perspective of Migrants in India during Covid-19: The Fixes that Failed (PART II)”.

      I have written the article on “Dvapara Management Perspective of Migrants in India during Covid-19” in three parts as under: –
       Part I – Dvapara Management Perspective of Migrants in India during Covid-19: The Situation and the Problem (PART I).
       Part II – Dvapara Management Perspective of Migrants in India during Covid-19: The Fixes that Failed (PART II)
       Part III – Management lessons from migration of Yadu to Dwarka and contemporary labour migration during Covid-19 (PART III).

      Para wise comments to the remarks by Shri SR Krishna are as follows: –

      Shri SR Krishna Murthy has referred to Vedic Waves sending him a ‘synopsis’ which I am not aware of and I have not submitted any ‘synopsis’ to Vedic Waves. Secretary Vedic Waves has confirmed that she has been sent link of my article on “Dvapara Management Perspective of Migrants in India during Covid-19: The Fixes that Failed (PART II)” to Shri SR Krishna Murthy. The critic, am sure understands the difference between ‘synopsis’ and an ‘article’ and his remarks on Part II of my article with 1238 words cannot be considered a synopsis by any standards and that too from a blog. The last line of his remarks says, “I have not seen the entire article and hence this question”. On one hand, he has made very offensive and negative remarks (It is ridiculous and preposterous) to an article and calls it a ‘synopsis’ and on the other hand, he says that he has noy read the ‘article’. In either case, negative remarks on an article which he has not read raises certain queries and doubts. In fact, it is not expected of him to comment on an article without emphatically conceiving and analyzing the contents of my writing.

      Hence, prima facie, there is no need to respond or reply in any form but I humbly put forth my perspective as an inevitable part of epistemological necessity.

      In my article comprising three parts, I have not mentioned “Sri Krishna had this problem and so he built Dwarka and shifted as the solution’ anywhere. My primary attempt has been to analyse recent migration of labour in India and its management perspective.

      Dvapara yuga migration of Yadu community from Mathura to Dwarka has been taken as a historical fact as an insight on this issue and inevitable and relevant references from authorised sources have been quoted. Cause and affect relations have been explained from ‘Systems Thinking’. An archetype, ‘Fixes that Fail’ has been used to analyse the situation, it worsening into crisis and role of the government to tide over the crisis. In the end, I have attempted to draw management lessons for all of us.

      Analogy expressed by Shri SRK Murthy that “It amounts to suggest we should build another India and shift there” is perceptual construct and deduction of the critic and bears no relevance to the article. The incident of Lord Krishna moving Yadu clan in my article has been taken as a historical example to show to the reader that the existing government and we all as citizens can draw lessons to prevent unexpected migration like the case in point and if that is not possible; initiate suitable actions to facilitate the entire process.

      The critic has commented on causes of migration. There were number causes of migration of Yadu community and one of them has been referred by the critic. I suggest that the critic reads Shrimad Bhagwat Puran and especially Chapter 50 that elucidates reasons of migration. Shlokas from 41 to 46 make reasons amply clear and need no elaboration.

      Shri SR Krishna Murthy has said, “There was no wholesale migration of all the people of Mathura to Dwaraka”. I am sure that the critic knows that Lord Krishna had moved with the clan while his elder brother, Balram stayed back to fight Magadh king Jarasandh. So, the issue of wholesale as referred is baseless. I humbly recommend him to understand meaning of wholesale migration as there is no term called wholesale migration used by ILO or UN who manage major migrations across the world and MEA in corresponding Indian context. Wholesale migration as quoted by the critic appears to be another psychological construct of the critic and does not relate to major theme of the article. Migration of labour was a recent unexpected incident in India that has been analysed in my article from management perspective and hence needs to be viewed in the same perspective. Analysis of migration has been explained in Part II and III of my articles. SB 50.47 has already been expressed in my article to elucidate reasons of migration of Yadu community. Further to it SB 50.48 explains the security plan to settle Yadu community in Dwarka and plan to kill king Jarasandh later. It is to be noted that the shloka SB 50.48 specifically mentions about construction of fortress and settling of Family members i.e. Yadu community.

      Last question raised by the critic is, “Does Brig (Dr.) JS Rajpurohit hold that the present situation in the country is Political? (I have not seen the entire article and hence this question)” is self-explanatory. Since the critic has not read the entire article and has posed the question, defies the basic logic. It is recommended that all three parts of my articles may please be sent to him and should there be any more queries, I shall be happy to answer. He is also recommended to read for better understanding the subject:-
      1 श्रीमद्भागवत पुराण
      2 महाभारत
      3 कन्हयालाल मांकयलाल मुंशी-कृष्णावतार शृंखला
      4 कृष्ण की आत्मकथा-मनु शर्मा (हनुमान शर्मा)
      5 नरेंद्र कोहली-महासमर
      6 श्याम फिर एक बार तुम मिल जाते-दिनकर जोशी
      7 पन्नालाल पटेल-पार्थ से कहो चढ़ाए बाण
      8 दीप त्रिवेदी-में कृष्ण हूँ।
      9 सूर्यकांत त्रिपाठी “निराला”-महाभारत
      10 श्रीमद्भागवत गीताw
      11 भगवद्गीता-डॉ राधाकृष्णन

      So, It is better to understand the management perspective of Migration of labour due to Covid-19 crisis, relevance of migration of Yadu community, role of Lord Krishna and management lessons for all of us. My article is a humble attempt to discuss the crisis from management perspective with correlation or drawing a similar example from ancient Indian history.
      Brig (Dr.) JS Rajpurohit

      (Editorial Team’s Note – It is good to have elaborated interactions but It is a request that such discussions should be kept to the point in interest of readers. Thank you)


    • The Respected Editor, Vedic Waves.
      My dear Editor, Thank you for sending the first part of the Dr. (Brig.) J.S. Rajpurohit on the mass exodus from Mathura to Dwaraka. When your letter to me mentioned in response to my blog on Covid-19, that the learned Scholar has compared the present exodus to the above mentioned episode, the reference implied that the two contexts were similar; because the subject of our letters was Covid-19. But now, when you were kind enough to send me the first part, it is clear that his comments were not on the cause of action; but the mode of action. True, he is a trained planner and disciplinarian, and I am full agreement on the subject of the mode of handling the exodus. Indeed I have already made that point earlier in one of my blogs.
      But still it is not fair to compare Modi Government’s actions with that of Lord Krishna, because, according to rules, comparisons should be between equals and likes (similar items). For two reasons. Krishna, had the time at his disposal, since he knew of the imminent migration, the moment he ordered building Dwaraka. He could make all well-thought out plans in detail for execution in an orderly way. But, Modiji, had to take an ad hoc decision in the face of the ‘grave pandemic’, when the tragedy of Spain and Italy stared in the face. After all he was a politician. Further, the executive’s history has been the same right from the British period. We know what happened in 1946, etc. Compared to that time when several lakhs of people were eliminated, Modi, I must say, is thousand times better. But we can not expect any excellence from any Govt. under the present so-called “Constitution.”
      Indeed, my heart-felt apologies to Dr. (Brig) J.S. Rajpurohit, for my comments due to a communication gap.
      Yours sincerely,
      S. R. Krishna Murthy.

      Liked by 1 person

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