International Relations

Lockdown in India Prompts Mass Worker Exodus

Posted on in International Relations

Last week, the Indian government initiated a nationwide lockdown of its 1.3 billion people. It is the world’s largest and most aggressive lockdown due to the coronavirus. The lockdown has left many migrant workers jobless, without public transit, and in desperate need of food. Many have begun to defy the lockdown order and have fled to their home states.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Lockdown in India Prompts Mass Worker Exodus


“Modi seeks ‘forgiveness’ from India’s poor over coronavirus lockdown”
“India advises states to curtail mass migration amid lockdown”

“Coronavirus: India’s PM Modi seeks ‘forgiveness over lockdown”
“India Tries to Stem Migrant Worker Exodus Amid Coronavirus Lockdown”

“India must walk a fine line between containing the virus and keeping economy running”
“For a billion Indians, lockdown has not prevented tragedy”
“A Government Without Strategy, and Also Without Humanity”


  • Writing: Describe the trajectory of COVID-19 cases in India. Why are cases relatively low in India and why did PM Modi act so drastically in comparison? Next, what policy tools can the Indian government implement to curb the ‘twin catastrophes’: coronavirus and starvation?
  • Debate: Modi had no other option but to initiate a lockdown in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Poll: Was initiating a nation-wide lockdown in India a good policy strategy?
  • Short Answer: How will a mass exodus of migrant workers impact 1) India’s economy and 2) India’s fight against COVID-19?

Current events quiz:

1) As of March 29, 2020, India has reported how many cases of COVID-19?

a. 1,237
b. 562
c. 987
d. 1,866

2) According to Indian epidemiologists, what percentage of India’s population is likely to contract COVID-19?

a. 40%
b. 25%
c. 55%
d. 70%

3) According to the Prime Minister’s address, India’s lockdown will last for how many total days?

a. 28 days
b. 21 days
c. 14 days
d. 7 days

4) India’s nation-wide lockdown is the second largest lockdown in the world behind China (T/F)

5) The lockdown has improved India’s ability to fight the spread of the coronavirus (T/F)

6) The Indian government’s stimulus package includes a delivery of grains and lentils to 800 million Indians for 3 months (T/F)


1) C

2) C

3) B

4) False

5) False

6) True

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Featured Image Credit: Press Information Bureau, Government of India – 

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