Ministry of Home Affairs (India)

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North Block, Central Secretariat

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) or Home Ministry (IAST: Gṛha Maṃtralāyā) is a ministry of the Government of India. As the interior ministry of India, it is mainly responsible for the maintenance of internal security and domestic policy.

Quotes about the Ministry of Home Affairs[edit]

  • The 40-day lockdown was further extended at a time of sporadic expressions of resistance and anger by migrant workers in a few cities. Extreme precarity doesn’t have a singular expression. While some are responding with anger, others are responding with resignation. The severe distress among migrant workers in India is not entirely by chance. It has been marinating for a while but the epic new scale has been manufactured due to the unplanned and unilateral decision of a lockdown taken by the prime minister. The arbitrariness and unpreparedness are evident from the confusing messages from the central government concerning transport for migrants. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order on April 29 permitting inter-state travel for workers who want to return home and instructed the states to appoint nodal officers to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Thereafter the MHA issued another order on May 1 stating that “passenger movement by trains, except for security purposes or for purposes as permitted by MHA” was to be prohibited. This was followed by another order on May 3, which stated: “it is clarified that the MHA orders are meant to facilitate movement of stranded persons who had moved from their native places/ workplaces, just before the lockdown period…” Through these orders, the MHA has taken refuge in obfuscation. Notwithstanding the confusing orders, the constant shuffling of travel modes and costs further expose the central government’s lack of empathy, thought and planning. We present a highly generous estimate for the total travel cost by trains. If all of 6.5 crore inter-state migrants (Ravi Srivastava’s estimate of the number of migrants) were to return, and assuming an average ticket fare of Rs 650, the total travel cost comes to around Rs 4,200 crore. To put this number in perspective, the cost of the Statue of Unity in Gujarat is reportedly Rs 3,000 crore. The PM-Cares as per news reports from early April had Rs 6,500 crore.

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