Dr. Anjani Devi and Venkatesh Kumar Singh

The world is struggling to recover from the unexpected shock of Covid-19 which spread all over the world is threatening the human survival. The outspread of coronavirus forced us to rethink about the notion about the notion of security. The concept of security is not a new term in the political context. In the discipline of international relations, this terminology signifies a ‘national security’ which particularly deals with the state’s security from the external threats which is a narrow definition of national security. However, such notion has changed with the end of Cold War under which the national security has become non-military in nature and state no longer remained as referent object. Because the threat to the nation or state were no longer identified with the military or external aggression. In contrast, the issues such as climate change, drug trafficking, human trafficking, natural disaster, cyber-security and transnational crime, resource scarcity and infectious disease, pandemic, social security have emerged as the forefront security threat. Therefore, human security has been included as an integral part of the security agenda in the post-Cold War era and added as a non-traditional security issues.

Source: WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID -19) Dashbord; Data Last updated 09/08/2020.

The WHO data shows that the virus has infected more than one crore and ninety four lakhs people within eight months and killed more than seven lakh twenty one thousand people till date all over the world. And in India itself, more than twenty one lakh people were infected and killed above forty –three thousand until now. The cases in the islands are also increasing rapidly and the island’s health infrastructures have been overburdened from its capacity to deal with the crisis. The administration has put more than fifty percent people under home isolation which indicates lack in preparedness and absence of basic infrastructure in the island. The decision of putting the Covid-19 symptomatic patients in home isolation is making the other family member’s life at risk as it would further spread instead of stopping. The islanders are panicked as a result losing their faith in the island’s health services and administration in dealing with the current on-going situation. It reveals that a pandemic and infectious diseases are threat to the state’s security and internal stability. In addition to this, the global pandemic challenges the state mainly from three ways incorporate: health, economy and politics. It directly challenges the state’s credibility on providing adequate health services and facilities to its citizen and failed to do so have the potential to create internal instability. Consequently, it would challenge a state’s legitimacy as the public health and domestic security and stability are closely related to each other. The current pandemic crisis COVID – 19 is not only a health crisis but it is a human security crisis which has killed millions of people as compared to war. It has deprived the peoples of their freedom from want and freedom from fear and ultimately prevents them to live with dignity. The pandemic has also destabilised the whole structure by challenging the status quo. Besides having an impact on the economic and health system; the politics at a domestic and international level are also remained equally affected as the virus respects no boundary. The pandemic has made human security more relevant than ever. It needs immediate attention and ignoring would have a serious implications on whole humankind and destabilise the national security and territorial integrity.

The Way Forward

The crisis has raised an alarm to pay more attention towards human security at present which has undermined our safety and security. It demands collective effort and shared responsibility at the global level, as no country can tackle the pandemic by its own. International institutions must promote confidence among nations and provide financial assistance to the least developing countries. It also demand to upgrade the health infrastructure and awareness among people. At present developing the vaccine is need of the hour but countering only to the health necessities are not adequate in the longer term rather considering to the holistic approach comprises of health, economics, politics, culture, society and national security in a larger frame is significant as it would help to address the crisis in a more organised way.

Dr. Anjani Devi is an independent researcher from Little Andaman done her doctorate from School of International Studies, Central University of Gujarat . Venkatesh Kumar Singh is an Assistant Professor teaches in the Department of Political Science, Jawaharlal Nehru Rajkeeya Mahavidyalaya, Port Blair.