Unveiling the Sociological Impact of COVID-19 in India

Introduction

The Coronavirus pandemic certainly wreaked havoc at not only the national sphere in India but an international level. It forced the economy to distress, psychology to depression, physical strength to respiratory illnesses backed with all other major diseases, spiritual health to a full stop by shutting down the doors of the temples, et al. It affected from child to adult and economy to health, thus leaving it footprints in all the major reals that play a crucial role in the sustenance of the life.

However, a positive trait, which is oft-mentioned was that it gave us some time when we were packed in our houses during the lockdown to introspect why this is happening and behind that what actions are leading to such a catastrophic situation. When everyone was packed at his/her home during coronavirus pandemic due to the lockdown imposed by the Government of India, nature sustained itself and a plethora of examples such as the decline in pollution, visibility of Himalayan ranges, et al. are evident enough to buttress the claim.

Another positive trait of the Covid-19 was that it gave a push to the cyber world as people shifted immediately to online platforms from offline to keep their work and life on track. However, it also gave birth to a lot of cybersecurity issues and drastically raised the graphs of cyberattacks during the lockdown period as well as after that, which is discussed elaborately with the help of data in this project. The Covid-19 also made the people, residing in poverty, vulnerable as online education became a norm during Covid times and the children unable to afford the smartphones and internet recharges, regardless of electricity availability, et al. were unable to attend such online classes as a result of which they failed to avail their basic right to education. The issue is discussed in the project with the help of data and it is depicted that the digital divide got widened in India not only during the lockdown but was pre-existing among genders, place of residence (urban vs. rural), etc., and underprivileged people hardly have access to any modern technological facilities such as smartphones, internet, et al.

Further, the project also delves into sociological issues, especially suicide and domestic violence. As per the experts, the primary reason(s) behind this huge upsurge in the suicide rates were – as a result of lockdown, people experienced emotional/mental trauma due to prolonged confinement in a ‘hostile’ home environment. Moreover, the problem got aggravated with the lack of communication and interaction with friends and teachers. Although there was an online medium to contact friends and teachers, yet the medium is not that comfortable during the initial days as well as even today meeting someone offline has a major psychological impact than online. Moreover, it is discussed in the project that as per the data, among the persons who committed suicide mostly were students and the reason behind committing such a heinous act is likely to be study-related pressure, apprehensions about attending online classes, lack of facility to attend online classes, the financial crisis in the family, overuse of social media, fear of contagion, parental pressure, domestic violence and substance abuse.

Further, the cases of Domestic Violence were increased due to anxiety and stress. Apart from this, economic stress further aggravated the problem. Research suggests that the repeat victimization of women is seen to be more frequent in cases where the family is under some sort of financial strain. The arguments were also made under the Domestic Violence Section in the project on marital rape(s) and domestic violence against ‘men’ during Covid lockdown in India.

The repercussions of Covid-19 on the mindset and behaviour of the individuals are also discussed and a few suggestions were also laid down so as to cope up with them.

Literature Review

During the lockdown period, the day-to-day activities of individuals certainly came to a halt. Soumitra Pathare, Lakshmi Vijaykumar, et al. (2020) in their study highlighted that for the year 2020,[i] the search identified 27,997 Google hits with 1095 suicide related articles for the relevant lockdown dates in 2020, the search yielded 27,997 Google hits with 1095 suicide-related articles. Through these 1095 pieces from 56 periodicals, 713 articles (relating to the same person who died by suicide or attempted suicide) were eliminated, leaving a total of 382 distinct individual instances, 326 of which were suicide deaths, 43 attempted suicides, and 13 indeterminate cases. Official sources were unable to determine whether the person died by suicide, as a result of a potential case of murder, or as a result of an accident. There were no relevant articles in 16 of the 56 journals published in 2019. From 23,982 search results, 332 articles were found to be relevant. There were 234 unique cases after deleting 98 articles with repeated accounts about the same individual, with 196 cases of suicide, 24 cases of attempted suicide, and 14 undetermined cases of suicide. Cases that were not determined were not included in the analysis.

Shreya Mohanty & Swikruti Mohanty (2021) in their study observed that According to the National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) 2018 Crime in India Report,[ii] a crime against women occurs every 1.7 minutes in India, while a woman is subjected to domestic abuse every 4.4 minutes. The COVID-19 epidemic has exacerbated the situation.[iii] During the lockdown, the National Commission for Women (NCW) saw a 94% rise in complaint cases of women being abused in their houses. As a result of the pandemic, approximately half a billion women in India are at risk. The government has yet to create a clear policy or a thorough COVID action plan to address these challenges.

[Image Sources: Shutterstock]

Covide-19

Domestic abuse and intimate partner violence have risen as a result of chronic entrapment, family overpopulation, increasing substance use, skewed relationship dynamics, travel constraints, and limited healthcare access, but coercive sexual practices have also risen. With its socio-culturally diversified population, India has been one of the worst-affected countries by the pandemic. Concerns behind “closed doors” are as dangerous as the infection itself, with the rise in reports of gender-based violence on the basis of pre-existing gender inequity and minority stress stated Vasundharaa S. Nair & Debanjan Banerjee (2021).[iv]

In the study, various data has also been utilised such as due to the digital divide among genders in India, the female to male vaccination ratio is worsened from 0.96 at the end-March 2021 to 0.90 at the end-June 2021 Centre for Economic Data & Analysis, (2021).[v]

A study conducted by Pew Research Center (2018) and reported in 2019 stated that merely 24 per cent of the Indians who responded owned a smartphone while 34 per cent in toto have any phone.[vi] Moreover, In October 2020, a survey was conducted by the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) (2020) of 118838 families, which found out that 11 per cent of the families purchased new smartphones since lockdown began to facilitate their child.[vii]

As per the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Crime in India – 2020 report, cybercrime in India increased 11.8 per cent from 44,735 registered cases in Crime in India – 2019 to 50,035 registered cases in 2020. The crime rate under this category increased from 3.3 in 2019 to 3.7 in 2020.

Moreover, the students were the ones who suffered the most as a result of Covid-19. According to a study published in the Asian Journal of Psychiatry (2020),[viii] over 53% of Indian University students suffer from moderate to extremely severe depression. According to studies conducted by India Today (2021), 74% of Indian students suffer from high to severe stress.

Blessy Elizabeth David & Sanjay Kumar (2020) gathered data on psychological concerns faced by individuals during the lockdown between April 9th and April 20th, 2020, with a total of 1,894 replies. The information is useful for determining the extent and severity of psychological suffering experienced by Indians during the COVID-19 crisis. It could also help government authorities and healthcare staff take the necessary steps to ensure that people’s mental health is in good shape.[ix]

Conclusion

Though the Wuhan virus unleashed havoc in every field of life, it is high time to act in the present, plan for the future and leave the sad past behind. There is a plethora of findings, studies and research that showcase the negative impact of Covid-19. In this research work, most of those data and findings were analysed with an objective to study the Mental Concerns, resulting in a rampant increase in the rates of suicides and domestic violence, posed by the Wuhan virus in India. Moreover, the research work also studied the rampant increase in Digital Transformation by analysing the increase in Digital Divide in India and the reason(s) behind the increase in Cyber Crimes.

The psychological concerns posed by Covid-19 are deeply embedded within the mindset of the people, thereby it is the need of the hour to raise awareness and make people stand against the psychological implications that they face. The Government of India has to act as a linchpin in disseminating the awareness and facilitating the victims. This would help in declining the curve of suicide rate and domestic violence crimes that has drastically increased during the pandemic.

For ensuring cybersecurity, the research work has suggested that the government shall promote cyber hygiene and cyber ethics by making it a compulsory subject in the school curriculum, invest more in cyberinfrastructure (i.e., both computer source systems and cyber experts’ manpower) of the nation to buttress cybersecurity, et al. Moreover, adequate steps should also be taken to minimise the digital gap widened by the pandemic.

Author: Kaustubh Kumar, in case of any queries please contact/write back to us via email to chhavi@khuranaandkhurana.com or at  Khurana & Khurana, Advocates and IP Attorney.

[i] Soumitra Pathare, Lakshmi Vijaykumar, et al. (2020).

[ii] National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) 2018 Crime in India Report.

[iii] Shreya Mohanty & Swikruti Mohanty (2021).

[iv] Vasundharaa S. Nair & Debanjan Banerjee (2021).

[v] Centre for Economic Data & Analysis, (2021).

[vi] Pew Research Center (2018).

[vii] Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) (2020).

[viii] Asian Journal of Psychiatry (2020).

[ix] Blessy Elizabeth David & Sanjay Kumar (2020).

Leave a Reply

Categories

Archives

  • June 2024
  • May 2024
  • April 2024
  • March 2024
  • February 2024
  • January 2024
  • December 2023
  • November 2023
  • October 2023
  • September 2023
  • August 2023
  • July 2023
  • June 2023
  • May 2023
  • April 2023
  • March 2023
  • February 2023
  • January 2023
  • December 2022
  • November 2022
  • October 2022
  • September 2022
  • August 2022
  • July 2022
  • June 2022
  • May 2022
  • April 2022
  • March 2022
  • February 2022
  • January 2022
  • December 2021
  • November 2021
  • October 2021
  • September 2021
  • August 2021
  • July 2021
  • June 2021
  • May 2021
  • April 2021
  • March 2021
  • February 2021
  • January 2021
  • December 2020
  • November 2020
  • October 2020
  • September 2020
  • August 2020
  • July 2020
  • June 2020
  • May 2020
  • April 2020
  • March 2020
  • February 2020
  • January 2020
  • December 2019
  • November 2019
  • October 2019
  • September 2019
  • August 2019
  • July 2019
  • June 2019
  • May 2019
  • April 2019
  • March 2019
  • February 2019
  • January 2019
  • December 2018
  • November 2018
  • October 2018
  • September 2018
  • August 2018
  • July 2018
  • June 2018
  • May 2018
  • April 2018
  • March 2018
  • February 2018
  • January 2018
  • December 2017
  • November 2017
  • September 2017
  • August 2017
  • July 2017
  • June 2017
  • May 2017
  • April 2017
  • March 2017
  • February 2017
  • January 2017
  • December 2016
  • November 2016
  • October 2016
  • September 2016
  • August 2016
  • July 2016
  • June 2016
  • May 2016
  • April 2016
  • March 2016
  • February 2016
  • January 2016
  • December 2015
  • November 2015
  • October 2015
  • September 2015
  • August 2015
  • July 2015
  • June 2015
  • May 2015
  • April 2015
  • March 2015
  • February 2015
  • January 2015
  • December 2014
  • November 2014
  • October 2014
  • September 2014
  • August 2014
  • July 2014
  • May 2014
  • April 2014
  • March 2014
  • February 2014
  • January 2014
  • December 2013
  • November 2013
  • October 2013
  • September 2013
  • August 2013
  • July 2013
  • June 2013
  • May 2013
  • April 2013
  • March 2013
  • February 2013
  • January 2013
  • December 2012
  • November 2012
  • September 2012
  • August 2012
  • July 2012
  • June 2012
  • May 2012
  • April 2012
  • March 2012
  • February 2012
  • January 2012
  • December 2011
  • November 2011
  • October 2011
  • September 2011
  • August 2011
  • July 2011
  • June 2011
  • May 2011
  • April 2011
  • February 2011
  • January 2011
  • December 2010
  • September 2010
  • July 2010
  • June 2010
  • May 2010
  • April 2010