John Denver famously sang these lyrics in his famous love ballad, “Leaving on a Jet Plane”:
“’Cause I’m leavin’ on a jet plane
Don’t know when I’ll be back again
Oh babe, I hate to go”
When John sang these iconic words in 1966, when flying was quite the luxury, he could not even have dreamed how aptly they can be applied to the terrifying ‘Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2’ (“COVID-19”) virus. With India going into a harsh and strictly enforced total lockdown from March end till May 17, 2020 (likely to be substantially extended), all airports have been shut and flights grounded. No one is going anywhere, whether they like it or not. No emotional love ballads will be sung, no jet planes will fly off into the sunset. A few repatriation flights have started to bring Indians stuck overseas back to India as part of the world’s largest peacetime repatriation effort, and allow some foreigners to leave India for their home countries – but as of now it is still a trickle.
Continue Reading I’m leaving on a Jet Plane (or maybe not!): CBDT clarifies tax residency for people trapped in India