His general comment is also applicable to India. The steps taken by the Modi government since the outbreak of the pandemic are now being analysed all over the world, enumerating his blunders regarding Covid management. PM Modi had praised India under his leadership for becoming vaccine hub and pharmacy of the world, and several developed countries had been supporting and encouraging India, but now Germany has categorically said that it was perhaps their mistake.
The Guardian published an editorial on April 23, titled ‘The Guardian views on Modi’s mistakes: A pandemic that is out of control’ in which it said that “the Indian prime minister’s over confidence lies behind the country’s disastrous Covid-19 response.”
It is true, as the editorial says, Narendra Modi claimed in the beginning of March 2021 that the country was in COVID-19’s “endgame”, but India is now in a living hell.
Modi entertained a misconception about his own ability, and also the ability of his government and the vaccine manufacturers, which led to gross errors in the India’s vaccination programme, which was launched on January 16, 2021. The grave shortcomings in the whole programme were highlighted but Modi listened to no one.
He claimed that India was “world’s pharmacy” at the time when “not even one per cent of the population was vaccinated” which signalled that “pre-pandemic life could resume” leading to larger and larger unmasked gatherings becoming super spreader events. He perhaps did not know, or even cared to know about the real capacity of vaccine production in the country. Large number of vaccine doses were exported even when sufficient raw material was not available for vaccine production at home.
PM asked for suggestion from others to handle the Covid situation “more effectively”. However, when suggestions are given, they are ridiculed in a most uncivilised way, such as we have seen when the former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh recently gave his suggestions.
“India’s death toll was largely avoidable and a result of arrogant and incompetent government,” the Guardian editorial read. “Mr Modi has put the onus on state governments to clear up his mess…He should acknowledge and make amends for mistakes that have caused enormous suffering. He needs to engage with experts on how to uphold restriction; ensure government delivery matches promises…Future historians will judge Mr Modi harshly if he continues with the exceptionalist views that have led to a disastrous public health outcome.”