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India: Prime Minister Modi’s Admirable Stewardship In Tackling Second Wave Of Corona – OpEd

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There is no doubt that India is now undergoing the most stressful period in the last 70 years, after India attained independence from British rule.

The second wave of Corona has caught India by surprise and shock, when Indians thought that they had reasonably tackled the first wave of Corona last year.

During the first wave of Corona, India responded to the crisis reasonably well and Mr. Modi managed the crisis admirably well.

In the case of the second wave of Corona, which certainly is more devastating than the first wave of Corona, Mr. Modi is doing his level best to tackle this grave crisis with all the resources at his command, The unfortunate fact is  that section of opposition parties in India are leaving no stone unturned to castigate Mr. Modi as an inefficient administrator, saying that Mr. Modi has failed to anticipate the second wave of Corona and has not worked out any forward planning strategies  earlier, to face the conditions in the event of a  second wave.

In India, which appears to have  a chaotic democracy with personal liberty and freedom of speech having  no upper limits, (almost all democratic countries in the world seem to be chaotic democracies!), the print and visual media in India is mostly highlighting the negatives to such an intense level that the morale of the countrymen are getting disturbed. The opposition political parties and pledged critics of Mr. Modi are decrying his leadership so severely, that one even suspects whether they are more concerned about decrying Mr. Modi than tackling COVID second wave.

In this grave situation, with tremendous pressure on Mr. Modi due to the surging second Corona wave and  extremely severe accusation of his critics and section of  the media particularly visual media, describing every sad event as a “breaking news”, Mr. Modi is discharging his duties with extreme level of patience and is maintaining his composure and calmness  in the face of the relentless criticism against him.

Now, let us look at the criticisms against Mr. Modi for his so -called “failure” and examine whether the problems are due to him or inspite of him.

The first criticism is that Mr. Modi has not anticipated the second wave and has failed to take preventive steps.  Has any country or any government in the world anticipated the second wave? Even today, the reason why COVID 19 happened is a matter of debate and wild guess.  The criticism that Mr. Modi has not  anticipated the second wave “may be a powerful argument” for his pledged critics. With media repeatedly publicizing such criticism, Mr. Modi is silently bearing the pain of such unjustified and malicious propaganda. 

The second criticism is that when India started producing vaccines, Mr. Modi gifted it to several countries in the world.  Mr. Modi sent the vaccines produced  in India abroad to the recipient countries, who were at that time more affected than India, when no one knew that second wave would come soon. The critics say that Mr. Modi did this to enhance his personal  popularity in the world. Can there be a more absurd criticism than this?

Another criticism is that Mr. Modi has not been able to make medical oxygen available to the hospitals all over India and people are dying due to want of oxygen. India certainly has enough medical oxygen production capacity for  normal times but certainly not adequate for abnormal time such as the present one. Mr. Modi is monitoring the oxygen supply scenario on a day today basis and is doing his level best to rush the oxygen supply to the needy areas by road, rail and air. Newer oxygen production capacities are being built and several factories having oxygen plants have been asked to send the oxygen production to the hospitals and even if it means suspension of production of main products in the factories. What can a Prime Minister do  more than this? The obnoxious behavior of critics can be understood by the fact that when a large oxygen plant of capacity of more than 1000 tonne per day is remaining idle in Tamil Nadu (Sterlite copper unit) and the company management is ready to restart the oxygen plants and supply oxygen free to whoever needs it, the so called environmental activists say that they would not allow these oxygen plants to operate at any cost.

There are a set of so-called farmers sitting in protest in Haryana Delhi border for more than 100 days and hundreds of them continue to sit there without wearing masks and without observing social distance and are blocking the roads preventing the transport of critical materials. The pledged critics of Mr. Modi keep their eyes closed to this audacious behavior of the so called farmers.

Today, the discerning, neutral  and responsible citizens feel aghast that Mr. Modi is not being supported and instead being pulled down by the unrelenting critics, which is weakening the efforts of India in tackling the corona second wave.

What is striking is Mr. Modi’s hard working stewardship in the present grave time, focusing his attention on the job and ignoring the motivated criticisms.

Mr. Modi knows that a large section of Indian population stands by him in tackling this grave crisis, though some opposition parties, pledged critics and sections of  the media want to paint a different picture.

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N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

One thought on “India: Prime Minister Modi’s Admirable Stewardship In Tackling Second Wave Of Corona – OpEd

  • April 25, 2021 at 7:53 am
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    “There are a set of so-called farmers sitting in protest in Haryana Delhi border for more than 100 days and hundreds of them continue to sit there without wearing masks and without observing social distance..” Really? Terrible. And here we are, going on about Kumbh Mela where only a few million gathered, and political rallies of mere tens of thousands.

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