I congratulate Ramachandra Guha for this very relevant article on Prime Minister Modi’s deeds amid India’s Covid-19 surge (Ramachandra Guha: Crisis-hit India needs a leader who listens, not one focused on building his brand). It is an objective assessment and every point has been substantiated with apt examples. Although Nehru did commit some mistakes, we have to give him his due amount of praise for his sagacity in statesmanship and non-partisan attitude. Politicians of yore had the people’s welfare in mind and not votes alone. Guha has precisely driven this point home.
However, we would like to have more inputs on Modi’s vaccine diplomacy. It was foolhardy to send away so many vials abroad without thinking of the amount that would be needed at home before Indian citizens had even started being vaccinated. It is now a diplomatic embarrassment that those countries are unable to get the vaccine now especially as a second dose is mandatory.
As for the oxygen fiasco, the less said the better. The Bengal elections were another masquerade of helicopters and big rallies in the wake of a second wave of the pandemic doubtless aggravated by more than a month-long election festival. The “vaccine festival” (tika utsav) that was announced was a great comic irony and April Fool’s joke when vaccines were already in short supply. Modi should know that you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time but not all of the people all of the time. –Tapati Gupta
Prime Minister Modi is famous for his slogans – the latest is “tika utsav” (Coronavirus: India records over 1.52 lakh cases in a day, ‘tika utsav’ begins amid vaccine shortage). He did not stop election campaigning even when India was seeing so many Covid-19 cases. Modi prioritised winning West Bengal over ramping up India’s oxygen production and fighting Covid-19. –MS Murty
Politics and pandemic
The sequence of events such as political rallies, the shortage of oxygen and beds and a week healthcare infrastructure have all lead to India’s Covid-19 tragedy (Modi is a ‘super spreader’ of coronavirus, says IMA vice president). The farmers’ protests are another example where the Modi government’s reluctance to repeal the laws contributed to the spread of the pandemic and also lead to the disruption of supply chains. On top of it, going ahead with the Central Vista project at a time when the pandemic is ruling the roost and the most vital health infrastructure needs immediate and accelerated attention is all the more disappointing. –Ramana Gove
The recent spike in Covid-19 cases has put our lives in danger. Even at a time when India was witnessing fatalities owing to Covid-19, the election rallies were in full swing. The Election Commission should have considered the people’s health and safety paramount and focused on enforcing innovative ways such as virtual rallies. –Varun Dambal
As Covid-19 cases rose in India, it should have been the job of a single authorised central agency to make public announcements pertaining to the pandemic and putting facts (without politics) before the country. When even the scientific community is confused and unable to comment on virus spread in absolute terms, politicians must keep their mouths totally shut on this aspect. By saying “it is not right to link elections to surge in Covid-19 cases”, Amit Shah ignored basic scientific logic by blatantly justifying wrongdoings during the elections. – Ideaot
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