India’s COVID-19 Crisis – A Question Mark On Modi’s Credibility


India's COVID-19 Crisis-  A Question Mark On Modi's Credibility


Is this a Bollywood movie or reality? Seems like the Modi government has been way too inspired by the Indian film industry and the result is the unprecedented dramatic moves that are suffocating Indians. The catastrophic COVID-19 crisis in India is raising questions over Modi’s competence and credibility as the Prime Minister.

As days go by, the large-scale Indian population seems to lose faith in the current government. This fact was made clear with BJP’s loss in the recent West Bengal election. However, the question is, where exactly did Modi go wrong?

We lay down some of the glaring issues netizens have been pointing out:

1. Lack of Contingency Planning
Emotions over brains! When COVID-19 emerged for the first time in India, Modi imposed a country-wide lockdown on very short notice. As a result of such frantic decision-making, transport facilities got overloaded and a lot of people lost lives. A leader is expected to make proactive yet calculated decisions and this is exactly where ‘India’s supreme leader’ failed by imposing panic-stricken decisions.

2. Vaccine Diplomacy preferred over Indian lives
India, the world’s largest vaccine producer, donated or exported more than 66 million doses before realizing that its own needs had jumped because of the surge in infections. Recently the government has banned further exports till the country’s vaccination needs are met first. Why so late to realize this Mr. Prime Minister?

India's COVID-19 Crisis -  A Question Mark On Modi's Credibility

Image Source: Screengrabs of global newspapers

3. Scientist warnings of a possible deadly variant ignored
A group of scientific advisers appointed by the government had warned officials in early March of a new contagious variant taking hold of the country. Despite the early predictions, the government did not take steps to prevent the spread of the virus. Millions of largely unmasked people attended religious festivals and political rallies that were held by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself, as well as, other leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and other opposition political parties.

4. Agricultural laws fueling farmers to protest amid surging cases
What perfect timing to provoke farmers amid the rising COVID-19 cases! Hats off to Mr. Modi for playing a secret villain in this scene. Despite the blunder, the government has failed to resolve the matter to date. Unmasked farmers are still protesting on a large scale on the outskirts of the capital.

5. Oxygen supply prioritized for healthcare late
Almost 222,000 deaths later, the government realized the need to prioritize oxygen for the healthcare system. Numerous manufacturing companies were using precious oxygen for industrial purposes before this. To add to the trauma, most oxygen suppliers are based in India’s eastern states while there was rising demand in the western and northern parts of the country. There was also a lack of coordination of oxygen supply and distribution. Oxygen express trains were launched – but they seemed too little too late.

6. Decision to allow Kumbh Mela’s crowd is being scrutinized
Amid soaring COVID-19 cases, the government allowed a large gathering (Mela) of Kumbh pilgrims, without enforcing strict checks on COVID-19 protocols. This huge failure led to a 99% positivity rate among the Mela returnees – an unforgivable failure on the part of the government. Once again religion became the killer than the savior.

India's COVID-19 Crisis -  A Question Mark On Modi's Credibility

Image Source: Screengrabs of global newspapers

7. PM CARES Fund: Does the PM really care?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi sanctioned 100 thousand portable oxygen concentrators to be procured and 500 more PSA oxygen plants from PM-CARES. This will improve access to oxygen, especially in district HQs and Tier-2 cities. Actor Kangana Ranaut tweeted, asking for accountability from Delhi and Maharashtra chief ministers for their failure to use the funds allocated by the Centre from the PM-Cares for building PSA oxygen plants.

A blame game started when reality struck. Major delays from the Center were observed resulting in only 33 of the 162 PSA oxygen plants being installed, four months after the contracts were given.

 

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8. Face-saving tactic: Stay silent & urge state governments to take action
Over time, it has become more and more clear that the Prime Minister is not ready to take responsibility for the situation. In the current situation, every state is on its own with the center taking the minimal interference route to stay behind the curtains and putting the onus on the states.

COVID-19 has revealed the hypocrisy and inefficiency of the current government. It’s time Indians choose their next leader wisely as a Prime Minister can either make or break a country. Everything India is going through today could have been easily avoided given a more proficient leadership. India did not deserve this!

Modi will have to answer for all the lives lost. Were those lives any less than his own?

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