Editor’s Letter

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the world. Its implications will be studied for many years, and it is no doubt that this particular event will re-shape our current way of life. To address some of the questions and ideas around it has been the main theme for the latest issue of Catharsis.


To start with, Jay writes about the recent controversial discussion on the interpretation of the American constitution as argued by Prof. Adrian Vermeule; it is based on moving away from an individual-libertarian interpretation to that of the common good. It is an understanding of how the post-COVID-19 world will challenge our constitutional values. And to give an idea of what a post-COVID-19 world will or can look like, Aditi considers how it will be dependent on the citizens – whether they comply or critique their government’s policies. All this will require understanding the context of the world in the upcoming crisis, and Rohin goes to explain this in the Indian economic setting; the roots of the existing situation and the possible solutions.


To understand some of the hidden fallouts of COVID-19, Debargha looks at two issues in particular – children and correctional homes. However, it is no doubt that the impact will change some of the existing structures of global economic and political relations which are discussed by Swagat, wherein he tries to lay down a map for an uncertain future.

Imagining a post-pandemic world can be difficult, especially in terms of the impact it can have on the relationship between the individual and society. But literature can provide a glimpse of it which is discussed by Adhishree. In addition, a piece written by Yunfei, who was in Shanghai, talks about the experience of the pandemic and the lockdown. It speaks to the universality of how we have been feeling in these times of uncertainty.


In this edition, we have two interviews—one with Maxwell J. Smith to discuss the ethics of public health policy during COVID-19; and the second one is with Surbhi Kesar and Rosa Abraham to understand the historical nature of the informal labour of India and the implications of it in a post-COVID-19 world.


The issue closes with a comment on the feeling of boredom and idleness, a state felt by many in the lockdown. It discusses how and why these states are experienced by people and explores the historical background for such views.


Divanshu Sethi, Editor