The author is an air warrior, global traveler, writer, and hobbyist
The Wuhan virus has taken the world by storm but while the world has, by and large, been able to put the clamps on the virus, in India due to a lack of political will and foresight this has not happened. Wuhan or China virus is the name used by Donald Trump and that is the correct terminology. All viruses are named after a place like the Spanish flu and there's no reason not to name the virus which originated from China as the Wuhan virus.
When the virus first broke in India in early2020, the Modi government appeared to have got a grip on how to deal with it. There was some success which was actually like a mirage and in January the health minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan announced that India had seen the back of the Wuhan virus. Even at the Davos conference, Premier Modi claimed victory over the virus. But many experts were warning the government that a second wave could be in the offing and it was important to prepare for it. Unfortunately, the euphoria and chest-thumping by the Modi government had the opposite effect and the government allowed all sorts of activities to start.
This was a great dereliction of responsibility and the Modi government allowed elections to five states which would involve 186 million people to go ahead. In addition, permission was given to the Kumbh Mela where 20 million people attended to take place and the cricket board decided to hold the Indian premier league. These are just the tip of the iceberg as over all the people because the signals being given by the Modi government were confusing, thought everything is normal and virus protocol was thrown overboard; no mask( by and large )and no isolation/distancing and mass gathering.
Narendra Modi completely lost focus and he concentrated on the elections where thousands of people 90% without mask attending his meetings. This showed his lack of appreciation of the problem which had been projected to him by the doctors and for this, he has to take the blame but Modi is a man who doesn't believe in taking any blame and you have him sitting like the cat.
The virus caught the Modi government on the flat foot. In mid-February, Tabassum Barnagarwala, a journalist with the Indian Express newspaper, reported a seven-fold rise in new cases in Maharashtra. He also reported that samples had been sent to look for imported variants. The matter was not taken seriously by the Modi government
Experts now say that "crowing "about India's exceptionalism in "beating" the epidemic and declaring victory on the virus was a big blunder.
India's second wave was fuelled by people letting their guard down, attending weddings and social gatherings. Worse the government, allowing political rallies and religious gatherings. In mid-February, Bhramar Mukherjee, a biostatistician at the University of Michigan, tweeted that India needed to "accelerate the vaccination drive while the case counts are low". Nobody quite took notice.
The government was also guilty of trying to do virus diplomacy and 6 million doses were distributed to so-called friends. There was no sense of urgency in the government to enhance the virus vaccine production or ramp up the inoculation drive. India's health structure is inadequate and no effort was made to try and upgrade facilities in hospitals in case of an upsurge.
Within a month Modi's House of Cards came crashing down and the virus totally swamped India. Thousands began to die of the virus and many died for lack of a hospital bed and worse of all lack of oxygen.
To every action, there is a reaction. Despite almost 300,000 people have died in India of the virus, not a comment has come from anyone in the Modi government. The health minister should have been sacked but he is still on the stage. Modi himself should have acknowledged his hand in the failings. During the height of the pandemic, he visited Bengal 22 times to hold election rally's which were attended by thousands. Yet he was defeated. It now appears that he was more interested in winning the election in Bengal than attending to the Wuhan virus.
The government has now woken up but it is a bit too late and now it will take a lot of time to stabilize and in the meantime, experts are fearing that many more will die. One hopes this does not happen but then the question arises that even if 300,000 people have died who is responsible? In all probability, the second wave of the virus would've come but had the government been alert and proactive the deaths and misery could have been greatly alleviated.
This pandemic should be a lesson to the Modi government. A great leader is one who is proactive and accepts responsibility, unfortunately, this is not the quality of the present leadership. This is the bane of India; you want power and adulation but don't want to accept responsibility. Until this ethos is eradicated India will continue to have similar hiccups again.
The damage done by the Modi government to India's prestige and stature abroad is incalculable and for this alone they will stand as accused at the bar of history.
MG Singh (author) from UAE on May 10, 2021:
Thank you, Mark, for your comment, you are right we are all connected especially as a large number of Indians are in the USA. I hope we can break the back of this Wuhan virus.
Mark Tulin from Ventura, California on May 10, 2021:
Though we have less cases of Covid in California, if other parts of the world aren't safe, we aren't either. We are all connected.
MG Singh (author) from UAE on May 08, 2021:
Thank you Devika, your good wishes are important.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 08, 2021:
MG Singh this is sad for what is going on in India. Hope the pandemic clams down. It is a difficult time
MG Singh (author) from UAE on May 08, 2021:
Thanks, Tom, Hope you and your family are safe.
tom on May 07, 2021:
my bus stop containment zone
MG Singh (author) from UAE on May 07, 2021:
David, I agree, Modi has not exactly covered himself with glory in this sad endemic.
David Issac on May 07, 2021:
Thank you for this article. I had been a supporter of Mr. Modi for many years but now I am having nagging doubts. As a great leader, the least that he could have done was to acknowledge that a mistake has been committed but he is silent and that is sad.