Centre’s Relentless War Against Corona Has Enhanced India’s Image
It cannot be denied that corona has claimed lakhs of lives in India and even in most developed countries like America the figure has crossed more than five lakhs which is 3 lakhs more than that of India! It cannot be denied that the prompt action taken by PM Narendra Modi in enforcing strict lockdown in 2020 ensured that the corona virus spread was contained and so was the death rate due to which reputed international organisations like World Health Organisation (WHO) among others lauded India generously! It also cannot be denied that states like UP which is the most populated state of India too took prompt, effective and laudable steps which ensured that it was contained due to which UP CM Yogi Adityanath received time and again lavish praise from many international organisations like WHO to which we all were witness just like we saw recently! With due respect to all the courts in India, we didn’t witness the same admiration from them! On the contrary, questions were raised on the handling of the pandemic by different courts and there was severe criticism also!
I consider myself too small a fry to say anything on courts but it just cannot be denied that when a deadly virus like corona has struck nearly the whole world, we all need to stay united and focus all our energy in providing relief and ensuring that the precious lives of people are saved! It is easy for anyone to criticise the government and for political parties it is most convenient also and expedient also for furthering their own vested political interests! It cannot be denied that when a war of words erupted between Congress and the BJP over the handling of the pandemic, eminent Congress leader and senior Supreme Court lawyer Kapil Sibal struck the right chord by saying that, “Stand Together India, it’s time to stand together not time to criticise after this battle is finally won will find out who was wrong and who was right.” But leaders from Sibal’s own party are not listening to him!
It just cannot be denied that no matter how hard political leaders from different political parties may try, the whole world applauded when India took the lead in helping the needy people from different countries by providing the necessary help and this was the main reason why when India now needed more oxygen and vaccines, many countries volunteered to help India generously with much needed help for which the real credit goes to PM Narendra Modi! Modi and his team have been working relentlessly round the clock since 2020 to contain the corona and yet maintained low key which I am afraid did not receive the much deserved applauding from either the press or the judiciary barring notable exceptions! One such exception is Syed Iqbal Simnani who is VP Technology, Deutsche Bank and who in his enlightening editorial titled “Before slamming India’s handling of Covid, let’s look at facts and not Twitter noise” published on May 1, 2021 in Sunday Times newspaper remarkably observes that, “Many commentators are making claims that India’s response to Covid has been bad from the beginning; also it is being asserted that the second severe wave was entirely predictable and the oxygen shortage was a simple solvable problem. Was it? I argue that India’s response to the first wave was much better than the global average. Pandemics are rare events which can overwhelm systems. Due to a much larger population, there was always a risk of a pandemic like Covid overwhelming India’s limited health infrastructure. And India did react quickly to the first wave of Covid in early 2020, putting in place a very admirable public awareness campaign and a nationwide lockdown keeping in view the systematic risks of a large-scale pandemic. Of course, there were heart-breaking scenes like a very large number of migrant workers leaving cities en masse and for their villages without any transport. There are always lessons to be learned, but under the circumstances, the government of the day did a good job.”
Who can deny that Centre as well as State governments had made lots of arrangements for stay and free food also but due to rumours by few vested elements the migrant workers panicked which resulted in them taking the extreme step for which it would not be appropriate to blame any government for it? Syed Iqbal Simnani who lives outside India and has nothing to do at all with Centre very rightly applauds it as it did a good job and also rightly suggests that, “Before slamming India’s handling of Covid, let’s look at facts and not Twitter noise.”
More to the point, Dilip Joshi who is an actor further very rightly opines that, “People should be responsible and cooperate, instead of just blaming the government. We have to be careful and follow guidelines, else this will never end. We’ve to maintain social distance, wear masks and get vaccinated at the earliest.” Even our Courts and Judges must always bear this in mind! Dilip also rightly suggests that, “When the lockdown ends, we have to be as careful as we are today. People shouldn’t start going out or behaving as if nothing happened.” Absolutely right!
It cannot be denied that PM Narendra Modi while chairing a high level meeting on May 15, 2021 to review the Covid-19 situation in the country asked officials to focus on testing, including door-to-door testing and assisting health care workers in rural areas. He also rightly underscored the dire need of reporting data accurately and helping rural India with Oxygen. PM also asked for augmentation of healthcare resources in rural areas to focus on door-to-door testing and surveillance. PM also rightly advocated empowering ASHA and Anganwadi workers with all necessary tools. Of course, these directions assume significance given that the deadly second wave of infections in the country appears to have affected rural hinterland faster than it did during the first outbreak.
It is a national tragedy that while we see different Courts lambasting government on one pretext or the other but no Judge has so far demonstrated the courage to ask farmers led by Rakesh Singh Tikait to stop protesting on roads because of which the corona virus had become a super spreader in rural areas and vacate roads promptly which is the crying need of the hour also! The Apex Court has clearly held that roads cannot be blocked and Shaheen Bagh protesters also had to leave but why blank cheque for Rakesh Singh Tikait? Should I salute Apex Court for this double standard adopted? Is Rakesh above Supreme Court that no rule applies to him?
Now Rakesh is seen saying that they will also march to Parliament in protest against the farm laws! We saw earlier how violence broke out when Rakesh led tractors rally till Red Fort and how Red Fort was desecrated on Republic day thus making a mockery of India in front of the world! What are our Judges doing? Why judiciary has surrendered so lamely, became mute spectators and allowed farmers led by Rakesh Singh Tikait to become super spreaders? Our Judges must introspect on this instead of just lambasting goverment which is doing all that it can to contain the virus but are helpless on Rakesh Tikait as Apex Court has strangely allowed him and his supporters to protest freely and a free run which is most baffling! One rule for Shaheen Bagh protesters and a different rule for farmers led by Rakesh cannot be ever justified even by the top court itself.
Supreme Court must feel terribly ashamed for not implementing the Shaheen Bagh ruling on one and all equally! It must feel terribly ashamed for allowing farmers led by Rakesh Singh Tikait to become super spreaders when our nation stands engulfed in corona and let me candidly confess that I am shell shocked to see all this! Before lambasting Centre, Supreme Court must introspect seriously on its own shortcomings and fallacies and remember the time tested adage that, “The Supreme Court is final but is not infallible.”
I am neither a member of BJP nor owe any affiliation to it. But let me say this most clearly that I am most impressed to see how Centre has declared war against corona and is working relentlessly to ensure that it is eliminated at the earliest. Our Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has also directed even Army Hospitals in Delhi and other needy places to be used for civilians. Retired army doctors have been recalled to render their services again to benefit the common man! It is good to see that the PM asked for guidelines to be made available in easy language along with illustrations for home isolation and treatment in rural areas.
Of course, Centre is taking so many steps to control corona and it is just not possible to dwell on all of them. PM very rightly took “serious note” of reports of ventilators provided by Centre lying unutilised in storage, directing the authorities to undertake an immediate audit of their installation and operation. It is not for nothing that reputed organisations like WHO among others are applauding PM Modi and UP CM Yogi for their herculean efforts round the clock in doing their best to control corona by taking all requisite steps in this regard which has certainly enhanced India’s reputation. It is not just Opposition parties but also Judges who must think holistically on this and not just dampen the morale of government by frequently criticising the government on one pretext or the other!