What is going on right now in India is extremely unfortunate. It’s a lot easier to turn around and point fingers right now in the middle of crisis, but is the human cost that is slowly getting etched into all of our memories. Many had assumed that we had passed the worst, until the last month when cases dramatically started to rise.
While it may be easy for the world to simply blame the case rise on the often quoted “Hindu nationalist government of the BJP run by Modi”, unfortunately statements such as these do not really allow for understanding to prevent history from repeating itself again.
It bellies another point prior however. Western media organizations often run the quote of the Hindu nationalist government run by the BJP as a standard. How often do we ever hear of Christian nationalist governments run by the Republicans in the US or the Conservative party in England?
Let us get back and take a quick look at the numbers.
For one, taking a quick look at the statistics shows that the overall highest number of deaths on a daily basis seem to be arising from non-BJP states, primarily Maharashtra and Delhi.
Maharashtra for one, prior to this tsunami surge was often blamed for sitting on stockpiles of the AstraZeneca vaccine Covishield refusing the indigenous Covaxin and also had much lower vaccination rates than many states around the country a month ago.
Well before the Kumbh Mela was active in early April Maharashtra was already gripped in the middle of largely rising cases causing a partial lockdown on April 4. Multiple restrictions were placed including stopping people from gathering in hotels. This led to some negative feedback for the government with regard to restrictions. There was supposed to have been a complete lockdown on the weekends but not many followed this restrictions and no enforcing was really seen. Following this, there were large reports that numbers of people would often be gathering on the beaches on the weekends especially Juhu beach. Selective orders also to keep Parks open, while beaches were to be closed also must have confused much of the public.
Religious institutions in Maharashtra also frequently wrote to the chief minister to relax the “break the chain orders” especially the Raza Academy stating that relaxation of measures should happen under Ramzan. While officially pursuing such policies, again it was said that enforcement was quite lax.
In the case of Delhi, while the focus again seems to be on Kumbh Mela nobody seems to mention the large ongoing farmers protests that were supported by the Delhi government for not only allowing the large congregations of people but also setting up permanent facilities for them! Large numbers of migrants from Punjab as well as Haryana to come almost semi-permanent residence in large encampments all over Delhi.
From reports on the ground, they have been numerous violations with regard to broken curfews in old Delhi and beyond during the Ramzan period for Iftar.
It was well noted that even in Delhi almost a year ago exactly the surge then was by Tablighi Jamaat worldwide gathering led to the initial surge during Ramzan as well.
What is happening now, is the unfortunate events of poor governance in both of these states by chief ministers of Uddhav Thakeray and Arvind Kejriwal of not controlling or enforcing the restrictions placed early in the days of the surge when they should have.
A quick look at Uttar Pradesh, by the statistics shows that the initial UP drive to vaccinate may be paying off dividends with much lower death numbers even though a much higher population. Here they threw their weight behind the indigenous Covaxin vaccine as well.
Initial reluctant to vaccinations has led to surging case numbers in Maharashtra for which they are now trying to catch up in large vaccine drives, that maybe too little too late. Maharashtra only recently started to lead in the vaccination numbers after the surge was well on its way.
Many will point the fingers to West Bengal as well as election rallies, however the data for West Bengal especially with regard to the death ratio and deaths daily shows that West Bengal is far lower than Maharashtra and Delhi again.
It may be a lot easier for the Western media to blame Modi, but the record shows that right from day one, Modi unlike other heads of state has repeatedly stressed the importance of maintaining guidelines from multiple social media platforms. Repeatedly he is stressed the importance to vaccinate, maintain social distancing as well as wearing of masks.
While the rest of the world at the attacked the BJP government for releasing the Covaxin vaccine “too early” it proved to be a masterstroke especially when after another two months the phase 3 trials showed Covaxin efficacy at almost par of the Astrazeneca vaccine or even better. Modi himself prior to the data being released, stressed the importance to vaccinate and publicly received the indigenous Covaxin.
Let us also not forget, that while India has now vaccinated close to 150 million people, it has sent almost the equivalent 100 million vaccines all around the world as part of its vision to help Third World countries that could not otherwise obtain the vaccine. It ahs done this under its guiding Hindu vision of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam” the world is one family.
It should be noted that while doing this, countries such as the US and Europe have denied exports to Third World countries for which millions more might’ve died if not for India.
What is unfortunate is that all of the preparation and efforts which include setting up multiple hospitals as well as oxygen facilities have simply gone under the radar in view of the massive increase. India may have prepared for the surge, but never really expected the Tsunami.
What it has however allowed is the repeated ad hoc statements of “Hindu nationalistic BJP government run by Modi” being responsible for the crisis.
It is however important to look at the statistics on the government of India site posted below to make your own conclusions. Look at the number of deaths state wise as well as the death ratio and the vaccination rate. It may be simple to blame the effects of the Covid Tsunami in Mumbai on the Kumbh Mela over 1700 km away, but this would not help India or Maharashtra. This would be especially untrue since the railways have also limited travel routes around the country over the last few months.
It would also harm us in the future as history would only repeat itself if standards of lockdowns are not being met.
This is the time for Indians to come together in the Covid war that Is taking place in India. Attacking Modi or Hindu traditions is what international media has been doing for years. It is time, we individually not fall prey to the social media hate tsunami and instead try to do some research on our own to understand the origins of the Covid surge to yet again flatten this curve.