World media berates Modi for ‘India’s descent into Covid hell’

While all other countries went into war mode, evolved strategy to combat the epidemic, Modi used the occasion to hold the elections and have his governments in the five states

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Arun Srivastava

While the threat of corona acquiring the dimension of tsunami was looming large, the business community was busy minting money by exporting the vaccine and medicines to foreign countries. Modi refused to intervene and stop the export as the people desperately needed the medicines and vaccine.

It cannot be denied that India’s corona crisis is a product of the myopic governance that has marked the seven-year rule of Modi, who has formed the habit of refusing to take responsibility for his failures and also the toxic combination of incompetence and authoritarianism that marks his government’s actions.

India and its people have become victims of the callousness displayed by Modi and his lieutenant Amit Shah. Even while the country was facing the threat they continued to hold rallies unmasked.

It is not that the second wave descended without any warning. The scientists and researchers had warned in September 2020 that the risk of a second wave was very real. While all other countries went into war mode, evolved strategy to combat the epidemic, Modi used the occasion to hold the elections and have his governments in the five states.

His obsession to win the West Bengal assembly election was so acute that during the last two months he addressed not less than 20 rallies. Amit Shah

addressed not less than 30 rallies and held nearly two dozens of road shows. Both continued with their programmes in spite of the fact that corona had already started ravaging the state and the country.

Though Modi-Shah duo have succeeded in managing the Indian media, the global media has turned severe critic and has put the blame on Modi for being complacent and not being prepared for the second wave. No doubt this is the worst that could have happened to image-conscious Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi who tried to project himself as the darling of the global media, suddenly finds himself as minnow. The person who strived to use the export of medicine to refurbish his image as the world-guru, has lost his charm. While The Times, London, carried the headline “Modi flounders in India’s gigantic second wave,” it has blasted the government for “the air of complacency and denial that have dogged his government’s response to the crisis.”

The Guardian said “The system has collapsed: India’s descent into Covid hell”. The newspaper added: “Many falsely believed that the country had defeated Covid. Now, hospitals are running out of oxygen and bodies are stacking up in morgues.” India reported 314,644 of the new cases that were reported Thursday morning, nearly half of the total worldwide tally. International coverage has now zeroed in on India.

The global press has castigated holding mass election rallies in West Bengal that may have worsened the situation. The decision to allow the Kumbh Mela has also been denounced as reckless. The media accused the Indian government of lacking the courage to call the gathering off for fear of alienating their Hindu supporters.

It also talks about Modi, without face mask, at a West Bengal election rally. The Financial Times mentioned about oxygen shortage and funeral pyres on the banks of the Ganges. FT blamed: “The devastation has sparked outrage at the lack of preparation among officials who believed the worst of the pandemic was over.” The Washington Post carried: “In some cities, crematoriums are running their furnaces round the clock.”

The Wall Street Journal expresses skepticism and quotes researchers: “With its population of more than 1.3 billion people and skyrocketing infections, India has a higher chance of developing variants, which may take root and spread beyond its borders”.

It is worth mentioning that in March the European countries began implementing non-pharmaceutical interventions to control the covid-19 epidemic. Most interventions were implemented in rapid succession in many countries. The researchers urged the governments across the globe not to relax lockdown too soon and to conduct an urgent inquiry. Scientists issued two desperate pleas to government to prevent a second wave of coronavirus in the UK.

They cautioned against “substantial relaxation of the social-distancing measures that have been in place”, including the partial reopening of schools and the retail sectors. There is no denying the fact that the ill-conceived idea of massive election campaigning has been primarily responsible for the resurgence of Covid-19. It is a fact that relaxation of lockdown, coupled with a potential breakdown in public trust, has brought us back into a situation where the outbreak is once again out of control.

The image of Modi stands impaired with the perception that he has failed to tame the second wave.

(IPA Service)

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