All rightwing leaders of big countries have failed in corona management

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By: Arun Srivastava

It is merely a coincidence or the curse of the destiny, it is yet not clear, but one thing is explicit that the rightist political parties and their leaders, like Donald Trump, Narendra Modi and Boris Johnson, have been primarily responsible for the spread of the variant Corona epidemic and death of  thousands of innocent people.

Since the rightist forces, symbolising the trait of capitalism and neo liberalism, have been least bothered of the security and empowerment of the poor and common people, these leaders articulating their class interest have also been hostile to their existence. It is worth mentioning that USA under Trump had registered highest number of affected persons and deaths. But under Joe Biden in same America it has substantially come down and the poor are getting more facilities.

Indians have not forgotten how Modi had turned his eyes away from the labourers and allowed them to die on the railway tracks and roads. His rail minister did not arrange trains for transporting them to their destinations. Modi was more concerned of protecting the lives of the rich, big people and urban middle class.

It was his concern for his people that the national executive of the BJP in February this year praised him for victory on Covid and in a resolution hailed Modi: “It can be said with pride that India not only defeated Covid under the able, sensitive, committed and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Mod. The party unequivocally hails its leadership for introducing India to the world as a proud and victorious nation in the fight against Covid.” On his part Modi had also boasted before the World Economic Forum’s Davos Dialogue on January 28 that India “not only solved its problems but also helped the world fight the pandemic”.

Ironically this ingratiating eulogy did not last longer. Soon, in the month of March corona emerged as a monster and started ravaging the Indian. Every day, on an average, not less than 2 lakh people are getting infected. The rate of death has also shot up. The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that burial grounds and burning ghats are falling short of space. The bodies are placed on one upon another and then pyre is lit. The condition has deteriorated to such an extent that even Modi friendly media is finding it tough to conceal the fact. In Uttar Pradesh, wall was built outside a crematorium to hide the burning pyres.

The passive silence and utter neglect to this scenario by Modi, the home minister Amit Shah , BJP president J P Nadda has been most deploring and shocking. These leaders are so desperate to win Bengal that find no time to take on the corona call.  The culture of flattery has attained such a dimension that no senior BJP leader is ready to speak out his mind.

The most shameful aspect has been while more than thousands of people are dying every day, the rulers who decide the fate of India, are immersed in their pursuit to win the Bengal elections. Their desperation to win Bengal was manifest in their plea to the EC to continue with the phased poll. They knew that this would harm the people, they would be inflicted with the corona, but even then they forced the Election Commission to stick to the scheduled. In sharp contrast Mamata Banerjee had appealed for clubbing the remaining phases in the interest of the people. The phased polling would provide Modi with the opportunity to interact with the voters and address more public rallies. Unfortunately the home minister has not at all been following the corona protocol even while it is his ministry which had laid down the guidelines and rules.

On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi has cancelled his rallies in Bengal in view of Covid spike. He is right in saying; ‘Leaders should think about the consequences of holding large public gatherings’. But Modi and BJP are unwilling to respond.  But Mamata has at least responded by cancelling big rallies in the next three phases of polling.

Initially Rahul Gandhi had pleaded to stop sale and also to import foreign made vaccines. This enraged the Modi aides. The most trusted disciple of Modi, the Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad even cast aspersion on him saying that he was promoting the interest of foreign pharma companies. Ironically just after two days of Rahul’s suggestion, Modi ordered for import of Russian medicine Sputnik. Prasad’s accusation hit his own face.

Though the Modi government boasted of having sufficient medicine, the fact remained that the vaccination centres across states had to suspend the inoculation drive as stocks ran out. It was in this backdrop it was revealed that vaccine production was half of what was needed. Only 6 after this revelation the Congress tweeted “Where is PM Modi, India asks,” highlighting how Modi was busy campaigning in Bengal while India struggled.

Naushad Forbes, former President of the CII (Confederation of Indian Industries), said this. “In January 2021 India approved its first vaccines for use. Between July 2020 (before any vaccines had passed testing) and January 2021, the US ordered (and paid for) over 600 million doses. That’s for a population of 300 million. In the same period, India ordered 11 million doses, for a country of 1300 million.”

Meanwhile, former PM Manmohan Singh has given five suggestions to Modi to tackle Covid-19 crisis. Singh said people are now beginning to wonder when their lives will get back to normal and argued “there are many things we must do to fight the epidemic but a big part of this effort must be ramping up the vaccination programme.” Singh also asked the Prime Minister to proactively support vaccine producers to expand their manufacturing facilities quickly by providing funds and other concessions.

The prime minister should be at his job, sitting at his desk and coordinating with chief ministers in handling the Covid pandemic. His attitude does not deserve appreciation. It is appalling that he is more concerned of winning election than protecting the lives of the crores of the poor Indians, a sizeable section of whom may vote for him. There is no denying that India has been devastated by second wave because of Centre’s mismanagement.

Modi must listen to his own colleague Nitin Gadkari is known to be the rare bold minister; “The [Covid] situation is very serious and no one knows how long it will last… What will happen in the next 15 days to one month it’s difficult to tell”. (IPA Service)

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