As Modi is making India a Hindu Rashtra, he frequently uses names of fictional Hindu gods – such as Ram Ban (Lord Ram’s arrow) and Laxman Rekha (Laxman’s prohibition line) in his speeches on coronavirus.
By Rakesh Raman
As the first phase of coronavirus lockdown announced haphazardly by India’s Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has failed, a new study suggests the country to extend people’s confinement in their homes.
The study done by researchers at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy (CDDEP) and Princeton University has proposed an extended lockdown in India which is expected to become the epicenter of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The study also points that continued regional lockdowns are likely needed as the epidemic will progress from the more populous states to less populated states and some states may see transmission increase only after another 2 weeks.
As Modi – who is an uneducated religious demagogue – is not trained to handle any area of governance, he had announced a sudden lockdown for 21 days on March 24, without giving any time to the people to prepare for the hardships.
While the Modi government failed to plan and implement the lockdown, hundreds of thousands of poor migrant workers are leaving the cities to go to their native places while the lockdown is in progress. As they defied the social distancing guidelines, millions of people in India will get infected with coronavirus for which Modi alone is responsible.
The Modi government has reportedly informed the Supreme Court there is a possibility that 3 out of every 10 migrant workers who are going back to their respective villages may carry the deadly virus along and spread it in the rural areas where 70% of India’s 1.4 billion people live.
MODI’s RECKLESS DECISIONS
In order to hide Modi’s failures in handling the coronavirus crisis, his supporters are blaming Tablighi Jamaat – a Muslim congregation that took place in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz Mosque in early March – for spreading the virus. However, more people will die because of Modi’s reckless decisions and inaction than what has been done by Muslims who gathered with the government’s consent.
The UN Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet also said she was distressed by the plight of millions of internal migrants affected by the sudden announcement of a coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown in India. Without any planning, Modi had announced the lockdown in a dictatorial manner.
Now instead of providing the test and treatment facilities in hospitals and personal protective equipment (PPE) to doctors, Modi is asking Indians to hit their kitchen utensils to encourage the doctors who should keep working in high-risk hospitals to handle the coronavirus patients.
While doctors and healthcare workers are at a greater risk of catching the virus, they have started wearing raincoats and helmets while handling the patients. Some have even refused to treat the patients.
Although Modi and some more BJP leaders have created a special account to collect huge donations for managing COVID-19 pandemic, the money is not being spent on hospitals and personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors.
The Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund (PM CARES Fund) was created on 28 March 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic in India. But there is hardly any transparency in the management of this fund.
While the Modi government is not improving the healthcare infrastructure to combat the disease, the CDDEP research shows that between 300 and 400 million Indians will be infected with coronavirus by July.
The research adds that at the peak (somewhere between April and May 2020), 100 million individuals will be infected. Of these, approximately 10 million cases will be severe and about 2-4 million will require hospitalization.
HINDU RASHTRA WITH CORONAVIRUS
But instead of planning for better healthcare facilities during the ongoing lockdown period, Modi is behaving as a Hindu sect preacher. In a curt video message, Modi asked all Indians to light candles, lamps, and torches at 9 pm on Sunday (April 5) to fight coronavirus. Earlier, he had asked people to hit their utensils.
As Modi is making India a Hindu Rashtra (a country only for Hindus), he frequently uses names of fictional Hindu gods – such as Ram Ban (Lord Ram’s arrow) and Laxman Rekha (Laxman’s prohibition line) in his speeches on coronavirus. Similarly, the Modi government asked Indians to watch a Hindu serial Ramayana at their homes during the lockdown period.
Modi and his colleagues in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are so careless that they refuse to realize that there are nearly 250 million Muslims in India, besides Christians, Sikhs, and people belonging to other religions. Obviously, Modi should not use Hindutva parlance in his reckless utterances which insult minority communities.
The chattering classes believe that India needs a wise leader who could lead the country with scientific wisdom – instead of foolish cultism – in this hour of crisis. Modi can only deliver some toxic political speeches; he is not trained to talk on any topic – such as coronavirus – that needs a domain expertise.
In fact, Modi must take help from experts to chalk out plans for supply chain management to provide succor to the poor, inventory management for distributing protective gear in the hospitals, and auditing processes to ensure transparency in the accounting systems for managing coronavirus funds.
But unfortunately Modi – who does not have any understanding of these moderns subjects – is giving very generic, meaningless advice such as lighting the candles and hitting the vessels to people which even a wild boor can give.
As Modi’s lockdown decision has boomeranged, the risk of coronavirus is increasing rapidly in India. The government says that as on today (April 6), there are nearly 4,000 coronavirus cases. But these are unsubstantiated figures. People argue when the government does not have proper hospitals and healthcare infrastructure to test the coronavirus cases, its data on patients and deaths cannot be correct.
The flaws in the data released by the Indian government can be assessed from the fact that India is doing only 30 tests per 1 million of population. But in other countries such as South Korea and Italy, the number of coronavirus tests per million is more than 7,000.
In fact, the Modi government is giving some random, off-the-cuff numbers about the disease. Actually, the number of coronavirus patients and deaths in India is far higher – probably in thousands – than what is being reported. And as a research report suggests, the number of infected cases will go over a million in a few weeks.
With coronavirus explosion, India is poised to become the epicenter of the pandemic. Thus, it will cause a health disaster for the entire world.
As the Modi government is not capable of handling any situation that requires professional competence, the global community including the UN, WHO, the U.S., and the European Union must intervene to guide Modi before coronavirus assumes catastrophic proportions.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects.
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