In recent weeks, no other person on the planet has taken a blame than India’s Prime Minister Modi on handling of COVID second wave that devastated millions of lives and thousands dying every day. The COVID Second wave is a double mutant variant that is considered more dangerous than the variant found in UK and South Africa. Prime Minister Modi was blamed for allowing religious gatherings and election rallies in poll bound states that went into polling in April 2021. The astronomical increase in the COVID cases and with dilapidated health infrastructure that was inherited from past 70 years unable to cope up with the inflow has resulted in thousands of deaths. As the cases hit exponentially across the country the shortages of Oxygen, shortages of beds and ICU care created chaos and panic among people. India took the worst disaster in the modern history.
The Western media highlighted the devastation on the front page blaming squarely on Prime Minister Modi and created a hysterical narrative that echoes the nature of the media house. The narrative is similar to the one that was used to dethrone President Trump during his election in 2020 and portrayed him as a racist and not less than a dictator and equated him to Nazi. As we see, these media houses played a significant role to dethrone Trump and yes, the same narrative is being spun on Prime Minister Modi however, Modi has 3 more years to run for another reelection and yes, there is a lot of course correction that Prime Minister Modi can make to win People’s hearts. As, we look at the anatomy of India’s handling of COVID, there are some interesting aspects which neither Indian media nor western media wants to show that to public.
Most of the Indians do not have the details that Indian Government warned the state Governments about possible Second wave months ahead and asked to take strict measures. Prime Minister Modi have held six meetings with Chief Ministers of various States from September 2020 till April 2021 and discussed the health ministry bulletins to take strict actions as needed apart from funding 162 Oxygen plants across India but several State Governments including Delhi neglected the call. Unfortunately, the COVID second wave is so brutal that people were in panic, despair with gloom all over India. This raises an interesting point, does any country on this planet can sustain with this astronomical surge of cases and can any public health infrastructure hold the enormous number of infections?
Although, India have inoculated 180 million people second to US by May 10th since January 2021 and its inoculation is the fastest so far despite a severe crunch in raw material supply from United States. As most of the western media never highlighted the fact that, soon after President Biden took over, he invoked a defense act and banned the raw material exports to India. India’s vaccine policy is based on the phases that United States adopted however vaccine crunch is real but India is overcoming by importing Sputnik V vaccine from Russia and is manufacturing it in India in next couple of months. It is important to vaccinate maximum number in next couple of months before a third wave hits India.
Western media on every platform have highlighted Prime Minister Modi as a fascist and created an impression to the western world that he is a face of President Trump. The narrative was spun in such a way that, his party BJP winning two out of five states in recent polls and becoming a dominant player in Bengal is considered as a threat to democracy. The fact that this western media liberal journalists selectively ignored that, Indian people have voted Modi’s Party BJP for change. Out of 72 years of India’s independence, Modi’s party was in Power for just 12 years. Prime Minister Modi and his party BJP must work hard to change the narrative that western media have projected. In fact, Modi’s image have hit rock bottom in international fraternity.
Although Prime Minister Modi may not contest next general elections in 2024 considering his age as he will be 74 by then however, his party will have to take extreme uphill task to convince the voters. His Party must work and produce a new electioneering campaign that was adopted by US Democrats in 2020 elections. Prime Minister Modi in next 3 years must come up with a drastically new innovative ways to ramp up the Health Infrastructure, a new health policy and a new way of checks and balances for Central schemes adopted in States. For every funding made towards the schemes, it must be highlighted to show the importance to the beneficiary.
On the other hand, Government of India must hire a lobby firms across the globe to publicize the revolutionary steps taken aftermath of COVID and should work on counter narrative at international platforms. On the other hand, his party must find innovative methods to reach out to public and in every possible social engineering to address the concerns, highlight the development made and how COVID is not a government’s failure but a disaster that India had to face like any other country. The task of handling media and media houses must be investigated at every level and must adopt how liberal parties like Congress party work in conjunction with Indian media houses. It is imperative for BJP to re look and change course when westerly winds are against them.
This article first appeared on myvoice.opindia.com