Skip to main content

'Le Monde' editorial on Covid crisis: Modi's lack of prediction, arrogance and demagogy

Well-known human rights activist Shabnam Hashmi has forwarded a WhatsApp message, wondering, “they” can browbeat Twitter, Facebook, intimidate independent journalists, but can they really control the media world over? Reproducing the editorial of the French daily “Le Monde”, she says, “The Australian newspaper showed their thumb to the High Commission's “stupid” attempt at threatening them and asking for retraction and publication of rejoinder, which was turned down politely.”
This is what "Le Monde" editorial "Covid-19: Narendra Modi's India shaken" says:
***
Every day, 350,000 new infections and more than 2,000 deaths are recorded in the country. A situation due to the unpredictability of the virus but also to the lack of anticipation, arrogance and demagogy of the Indian Prime Minister.
Presented as the "pharmacy of the world", the country exported and offered millions of doses of vaccine, ensuring that it produced enough for its population to be protected. Three months later, the Indian "example" gave way to a nightmare.
Such a flashback cannot be explained solely by the unpredictability of a virus and its variants. Narendra Modi's lack of prediction, arrogance and demagogy are clearly among the causes of a situation that now seems out of control and requires international mobilization. The Prime Minister, after paralyzing and traumatizing his country in 2020 by decreeing brutal confinement, abandoning millions of migrant workers, completely lowered his guard at the beginning of 2021.

Collective immunity in 2023

Preferring nationalist harangues to health councils, more inclined to self-celebration than to protect populations, Mr. Modi only aggravated the situation. In an electoral campaign for the reconquest of the States that escape him, he multiplied meetings in front of gigantic crowds without masks. He allowed the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage to take place, during which millions of Hindus immersed themselves, each other, in the waters of the Ganges, transforming the place into a giant hotbed of contagion.
Mr. Modi is of the same imperative: prodigality of a vaccine diplomacy at the service of its ambitions, but unaware of the reality of the country's production capacities, priority given to politically favorable regions of India, rejection of its responsibility on the federated states. The result is that barely 10% of the Indian population has received a dose of vaccine and that, at the current rate, herd immunity will not be achieved until 2023.
In the face of this disaster, it is time for solidarity. Everything must be done to alleviate and shorten the suffering of the people of India, whom the pandemic has already brought back, by the millions, below the poverty line. The United States, the European Union, France, Germany and the United Kingdom have rightly announced the sending of aid in the form of respirators or components for the production of vaccines.
Never has the vanity of everyone-for-self been more blatant than in these times of Covid-19. Never has the dependence of every human being on all humanity been clearer. The Indian drama, like that experienced by Brazilians, also illustrates the ravages of populism, wherever *merchants of illusions prospering on inequalities manage to sell to voters their promises of salvation based in reality on nationalism and ignorance.

Comments

TRENDING

There is need to distinguish between RT-PCR positives and clinical cases of Covid-19

Insisting on the need to distinguish between RT-PCR positives and clinical cases of Covid-19, an open letter by 20 doctors and medical professionals: *** Firstly the virus has gone through the Indian population enough and is now well established as an endemic infection which shall keep causing flu like illness in only few people as most will not even develop severe symptoms. The ICMR had already called for the suspension of testing anyone not having any symptoms (Jan 2022). Children have been shown to tackle the virus much easier than adults. Children also do not pass Covid infection to others that easily as adults do to children. Schools have opened and no single outbreak or incidences of severe disease have been documented. Therefore healthy children must not be tested for Covid anymore unless the treating doctor in hospitalised cases requires it. Calling people (children or adults) with RT-PCR positive report as “cases” is faulty. A “case” is a person who has disease and presents wi

Musician and follower of Dr Ambedkar? A top voilinist has this rare combination!

Some time back, a human rights defender, Vidya Bhushan Rawat, who frequently writes for Counterview, forwarded to me a video interview with Guru Prabhakar Dhakade, calling him one of India's well known violinists.  Dhakade is based in Nagpur and has devoted his life for the Hindustani classical music. A number of his disciples have now been part of Hindi cinema world in Mumbai, says Rawat. He has performed live in various parts of the country as well as abroad. What however attracted me was Dhakade's assertions in video about Dr BR Ambedkar, India's undisputed Dalit icon. Recorded several years back at his residence and music school in Nagpur, Dhakade not only speaks candidly about issues he faced, but that he is a believer in Dr Ambedkar's philosophy. It is in this context that Dhakade narrates his problems, even as stating that he is determined to achieve his goal. A violinist and a follower of Ambedkar? This was new to me. Rarely do musicians are found to take a

Define Dalit not by caste but action, belief; include all who oppose inequality

By Ajaz Ashraf* Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan’s endeavour has been to redefine the term Dalit and delink it from caste, best exemplified by the headline to this interview. An academician of repute, he financed his studies by working as wage labour. During his college days, he joined a group of non-Dalit intellectuals, comprising a professor each from the Christian, Parsi, Muslim and upper caste Hindu communities, to work with Dalits. Their work invited a backlash. On 25 January 1986, the reactionary landlords of the Darbar community in Golana village, Anand district, gunned down four of his colleagues, wounded another 18 and set houses on fire. This prompted Macwan to establish the Navsarjan Trust, which aims to skill Dalits and expand their consciousness regarding the systemic oppression of which they are principal victims. On 25 January 2002, on the anniversary of the Golana massacre , he led a march through rural Gujarat. His experience of the march had him write a book wherein