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Stay united & don’t get misled as Covid-19 spares none

By Rajesh Mishra

As expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped the hint of extending the lockdown beyond April 14 in his brief message to the nation on Friday if Covid-19 cases continued to rise unabated, much to the disappointment of people. People had already started counting down the days to the end of the lockdown and were expecting a clear statement from the Prime Minister in this regard.

But, all that they got was a rhetorical reassurance that “1.3 billion people are with you in this ordeal”, which was like rubbing salt to their wound.

However, we Indians have a high tolerance level. Besides, lately we have got used to swallowing bitter pills provided by the present day’s government in the expectation of things to improve in various fields and at various levels. No doubt, things have improved also. There is much more transparency in the functioning of government departments today than in the past.

Furthermore, people recognise the gravity of situation. With Covid-19 positive cases increasing rapidly everyday worldwide and with more than 1 million people infected with the virus globally, people are in no mood take chances. People of India stand in complete solidarity with the government as Modi through his messages reiterates his concern for protection of citizens from this pandemic time and again. People know that these are difficult times and the only way to keep Covid-19 at bay is social distancing and confinement within the four walls of one’s abode.

Despite all this, the disappointment is there among people. I was myself not happy at the thought of the lockdown not ending on April 15. Yet, I was shocked to see the reaction of film actress Taapsee Pannu to Modi’s appeal. She tweeted: “New task is here! Yay yay yayy.” She was, in fact, mocking the prime minister’s appeal for lighting candles on the 5th of April. She was mocking Modi’s supporters also for standing in solidarity with the PM in the war against Covid-19. I find her statement in bad taste.

Those who criticise Modi for trying to bring people together in these difficult times through blowing conch shells and lighting candles are undermining the threat the Covid-19 poses to the entire world. They are dismissive of the fact that the developed world has been unable to fight the virus.
But then, Modi’s critics even had problems when he brought back stranded Indian expatriates from Iran and Italy amid Covid-19 scare. Had he not done so, they would have criticised him for leaving them in the lurch to fend for themselves.

My only advice to such people would be to wait until the crisis is over to spew venom against the present government. This is not a suitable time for doing politics either when the nation is grappling with a pandemic as it can mislead and misguide scores of ignorant and illiterate people. Let’s not forget that if Prince Charles and other high-profile European ministers can get infected by the virus anyone can.

(Rajesh Mishra is a senior journalist)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of BiharConnect and BiharConnect does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Gyanendra Kumar Keshri

Gyanendra Kumar Keshri is consulting editor of BiharConnect. He has nearly 20 years of experience in journalism, having worked for diverse media streams in India and abroad.

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