Modi’s Covid Lockdown Was Crime Against Humanity: Harsh Mander

Narendra Modi speaking about Covid-19 through video conference in New Delhi on March 24, 2020. Photo: PIB (file photo)
Narendra Modi speaking about Covid-19 through video conference in New Delhi on March 24, 2020. Photo: PIB (file photo)

Human rights activist Harsh Mander has accused the Modi government of calculated murder by creating an environment where death was inevitable.

By RMN News Service

A human rights activist Harsh Mander says that Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s 60-day coronavirus lockdown in India, announced with four hour’s notice, was: “A crime against the people of India. It is and must be recognized to be a crime against humanity.”

He was referring to the abrupt lockdown that Modi had imposed on March 24 that led to a social unrest and unprecedented economic downturn in the country.

In a 48-minute interview on December 28 to journalist Karan Thapar for The Wire news service, Harsh Mander also spoke about his personal experience at India’s premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi. [ Click here to watch the interview. ]

In October, when he got infected with Covid-19, he got himself admitted into a general ward of this hospital and described the experience “as close to hell as I can imagine”. He called it “an unending nightmare,” adding that AIIMS is guilty of at least gross negligence, which could have led to his death.

In the interview, Mander said the lockdown was designed to protect the rich citizens who, ironically, brought the disease to India but the price and cost was paid by the poor. He accused the Modi government of “calculated murder by creating an environment where death was inevitable”.

He also said that as compared to Modi, Pakistan PM Imran Khan displayed “much greater sensitivity and compassion for his working-class fellow country-people” while handling the pandemic.

When The Wire asked Mander to respond to the fact that the Home Minister, several cabinet ministers, and chief ministers went to private hospitals when they got Covid-19 rather than government-owned public hospitals, Mander replied: “It is shameful beyond description”. He said it is a clear sign they do not trust their own public hospitals.

As Modi is an uneducated demagogue, he takes random decisions in an autocratic manner without following the experts’ advice. Earlier, a leading Indian businessman and managing director of Bajaj Auto company Rajiv Bajaj had said that the Indian (Modi) government had imposed a draconian lockdown to contain coronavirus.

He added that the lockdown restrictions were so stringent that people were not allowed to come out of their homes, but still it was a porous lockdown because the infection kept spreading and now it is increasing.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted that India’s GDP will shrink 10.3% in the year to March 2021 as PM Modi’s sudden lockdown has paralyzed the economic activity in the entire country.

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Rakesh Raman