India @2020 in numbers that speak !  

99 percent of all statistics only tell 49 percent of the story. But there are numbers that also tell a story, as Samir Nazareth found out

 Indian soldiers patrolling near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh
Indian soldiers patrolling near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh

Samir Nazareth

As the year creeps to an end, the new year of 2021 is under considerable pressure to undo the damagesdone by its predecessor. So much has happened this year that it is difficult to recall them all. But here are a few key numbers that marked the year.

0 is the number of times the Prime Minister has fielded questions at a press conference or met anti-CAA protesters or protesting farmers in 2020.

1 is the number of times Twitter has flagged a tweet of Amit Malviya -the head of BJP IT Cell- as ‘Manipulated Media’. However, fact checking websites had documented 16 occasions when Malviya was guilty of spreading misinformation.

1 Rupee fine was levied by the Supreme Court of India on Advocate Prashant Bhushan following contempt of court proceedings initiated against him for his tweets that were critical of the apex court.

1 The number of times in 2020 that PM Modi recoined a Nehruvian concept. He coined the term Atma Nirbhar Bharat as a strategy to overcome the fallout of his handling of the Covid crisis. Atma Nibhar Bharat is nothing but a new name given to the Make in India policy to promote manufacturing in the country. Make in India was the original Nehruvian plan to build Independent India.

4 hours were given by Prime Minister Modi to Indian citizens before he put the country into a harsh lockdown. It added to the health crisis by forcing millions of suddenly unemployed migrants to walk home or travel in crowded vehicles, leading to an avoidable socio-economic disaster.

12 episodes of PM’s monthly radio talk Mann Ki Baat (Inner Thoughts) were aired for which he crowdsourced topics and examples from Indian citizens for his monologues. How many can you recall?

20 Indian soldiers were killed in Galwan (Ladakh) Valley in a hand-to-hand skirmish with soldiers of China’s PLA.

21 days were touted by the PM as the time required to tame the pandemic and contain the virus. The war of Mahabharata was won in 18 days, he famously said, but 21 days would be needed to win the battle against SARS-Cov2. Nobody knows whose advice he followed.

23.9% is how much the Indian economy contracted between April and June 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019. The GDP contracted by 7.5% between July and September 2020.

36 runs scored by India at the Adelaide Test in the second innings is the lowest score by India in Test Cricket.

53 citizens were killed in the Delhi riots in February 2020, instigated by hate speech. 36 Muslims and 15 Hindus were murdered in rioting in a small part of the national capital between 23rd and 29th of February. The myth of the ‘strong government’ fell through.

94 The is the rank of India in the Global Hunger Index, 2020. Only 13 of the 107 countries ranked are behind India, which is much behind Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal. GHI is based on the proportion of undernourished in a population, the proportion of children under the age of five suffering from wasting (less weight in proportion to their height), the proportion of children under five suffering from stunting (low height in proportion to their age) and the mortality rate of children under five.

144 is India’s ranking in the World Happiness Report 2020 which said, ‘India is a new entrant to the bottom-ten group. Its large and steady decline in life evaluation scores since 2015 means that its annual score in 2019 is now 1.2 points lower than in 2015.’

665 doctors succumbed to SARS-Cov2 infection according to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) as of 21st December. As per the Central government, no records are being maintained on the number of deaths of doctors and other healthcare workers.

13,450 crore is said to be the total cost of the Central Vista Project. This is another vanity project of the Modi-led Central government after their Rs 2,989 crore Statue of Unity.

10 million migrant workers were hung out to dry by the lockdown, declared Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Minister of State with independent charge in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, in Parliament on 14th Sept 2020. However, the next day he stated that the government had not maintained any record of the number of migrants who had lost their lives or had become unemployed because of the pandemic.

10.1 million Covid cases were on official records in India as of December 21. Reduced testing and several states resorting to the less reliable Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are responsible for relative low numbers, some experts believe.

189.2 million Indian citizens are undernourished as per the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) report ‘The state of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020’. Further, 51.4% of Indian women in the reproductive age are anaemic and 34.7% of Indian children under 5 are stunted.

250 million Indians are said to have demonstrated on 26th November to protest the farm laws enacted by the BJP government.

423 billion US dollars was the increase in the wealth of Indian billionaires between April to July 2020 as per a report brought out by UBS and PwC. One billion US dollars is approximately equal to Rupees seven thousand, three hundred and ninety crore.

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