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Hats off to 1.3 billion Indians and their leader

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mehulnationalist
mehulnationalist
A proud nationalist working in Product Development and taking active interest in current politics.

This was the headline of CNN on 16th April: Under India’s caste system, Dalits are considered untouchable. The coronavirus is intensifying that slur

Wait. What is this? When whole world was fighting against “Wuhan virus”, CNN was more concerned about untouchability in India. Even whole India was fighting against Wuhan virus with so much positivity, but it was western media which was reminding to whole world that, Indians still consider untouchability as their routine. It is a different topic, and not only I, but any common Indian can argue with these liberals, why we Indians don’t encourage such negativity in our country. On the same day there were around 2500 deaths in US alone, but CNN was worried about why Indians are castiest people on earth. Is this bias was against Modi?? Yes, it was. Believe me, these guys were literally predicting that, India will have to pay big price considering its huge population. They were assuming, India will have maximum cases in lacs if not in millions.

However, such a big crisis did not happen. On the contrary, India was helping many countries, sending hydroxychloroquine to almost 55 countries and keeping infection under control for its 1.3 billion population. Isn’t that amazing dear CNN and BBC?? In fact, India was the first country to initiate video conference among its neighbors (SAARC meeting) during this crisis, and same concept was implemented in G20 virtual meeting as well. India has registered lowest cases (if we take ratio of infected cases and population). In current situation, we need positive attitude. This blog is written to appreciate the efforts of 1.3 billion people, their leader and to send a message to liberals that, yes India did which was difficult to achieve.  

After almost 80 days when first case was registered, India has almost 560 deaths, much lower than other countries having same size, and population. At the mid of March, many were predicting worst scenario for India, but India really managed well. So, let us analyze what happened to some of worst affected countries and then understand where India stood.

  1. Italy: Population: 60.36 million, First case detected:31st January. Deaths around 24000 as on 21st April. Total cases per million:2732
  2. Spain: Population:50 million, First case detected on 31st January. Deaths around 21000 as on 21st April, Total cases per million:3864
  3. France: Population:67 million. First case detected on 31st January. Deaths around 20000 as on 21st April. Total cases per million:2265
  4. USA: Population of USA :333 million. First case detected on 20th January. Deaths around 45000 as on 21st April, Total cases per million:1946
  5. India: Population:1341 million. First case detected on 30th January. Deaths around 645 as on 18th April, Total cases per million:9

(Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-canada-australia-among-top-to-control-covid-outbreak/articleshow/75181309.cms)

India is almost 2.5 times bigger in population than whole Europe and 5 times of US. “Wuhan virus” started to show its real effect around same time in India and most of Europe. It started 10 days ahead in USA. India was successful to control the spread of virus as per the current status. Many Indians are considered as undisciplined, filthy, uneducated, casteist and so on by western media and It is also true. However, same Indians were also able to perform better than their counterparts. At least there was no community spread in India. Even WHO is confirmed it.

So, what are the factors which played important role?

Leadership. Yes, that helps a lot. Even though a country is rich, but if the leader is not matured, then people of that country have to suffer. It is said that, true leadership is tested during crisis. You can see the response of Leaders like Trump, Boris Johnson, Jair Bolsonaro. All were laughing at Wuhan virus initially. In fact, Boris was so overconfident that, he shook hands with many patients, and finally he was tested positive. Trump wanted to give importance to economy. He did not like lock down, because for him elections were coming in this year. Jair of Brazil thought corona crisis is a trick of media. All these leaders put many lives in danger due to their ego. I do not want to go into details of lives lost due to “immaturity” of these leaders.

Modi was able to understand quickly. He had very tricky situation. He was not lucky like other leaders since he had to pick either economy or humanity. At one side, he had 1.3 billion people. Many Indians do not have proper hygiene standards mainly due to liberal laws and habits. On the other side, he has to repair economy. Indian economy was not performing well from some time. Now, when we have some hope of recovery, we got this crisis. We should also remember, before lock down, Indian government was able to help and call back many Indians from many countries. Many were isolated after they came to India. A proper health infrastructure was in place for them. If he might not have taken lock down decision at right time, we would have lost around 8 lac people by 1st week of April.

(source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-southasia/india-says-lockdown-has-spared-it-from-overwhelming-number-of-coronavirus-cases-idUSKCN21R0XE)

I think, this is very small number. We could have lost millions. Certainly, Modi should be given credit for saving many lives. But why most of Indians follow Modi? Well, because over the time, he has led by examples. People have monitored him for long time, and they trust him. So, Indians are equally responsible for this success. The success of appreciating medical and cleaning staff by standing in balcony and clapping for them was great example about respect Indians have for their leader. Modi performs better under pressure. Can you imagine any country where almost 1 billion (assuming 0.3 billion in India are as always against Modi), can follow their leader so closely in recent times? So, this was great example of collaboration of leader with its people to save whole country from crisis. If crisis worsens in May after lock down is released, Modi will surely be blamed. So, its all about leadership.

Timely Lock down. It is considered as biggest lock down in world. Indian PM Modi did not worry about economy unlike Europe, USA. This was right decision at right time. Just putting 1.3 billion people inside house is a big decision. This is equal to putting almost 20 % of world population inside house. Even China did not have lock down in whole country. It was not only humanity, which took center stage, but Modi also tried to give justice to economy. He already has announced 1.7 lakh crore stimulus, that included free food grains and cooking gas to the poor for 3 months and cash doles to women and poor senior citizens.

During this time, most of the people stayed in their homes. I can just give you one example of Indian state Uttar Pradesh (UP). The population of Uttar Pradesh is around 23 crores, which is equal to combined population of France, Italy, Germany, Spain. The size of UP is smaller than these countries combined. So, you can imagine how lock down was implemented with huge population concentrated n small area. You can also compare number of cases in UP (around 1200) against 6.7 lacs (0.67 million) combined cases of these countries.

Testing method: Tracking people who came in contact with infected person and testing them. India’s strategy was focusing early detection of cases and stopping infection from there before any community spread. India was often criticized for performing lesser tests. Many critics argued that, since tests were slow, casualties were also low. Well, if that was the case, then why many people did not die?? In a democratic country like India, if few casualties happen due to any crisis, it becomes global news immediately. India is not China, which will/can hide many deaths.

The ratio of number of tests/infected cases for India was 20. It was 6.47 for Italy, 3.61 for Spain and 5.05 for USA. That means, India was already ahead in testing for infected people. This shows that, the argument of less testing is not valid. Did the excessive testing help countries like US? No. So, India was right in using testing method only for the people who came in contact with the infected people. That does not mean, India’s  testing is low. India only tests people, where it is necessary. With 1.3 billion population, we have to think rationally. However, in recent weeks, India has also ramp up testing.

Well, every society has matured and immature people. Having 1.3 billion people, It was natural that, many people would come out on streets. There were off course “immature” people who went against lock down. It is common in any democracy. Being democratic country, India could not do much for such “immature” people, since government is also monitored by Supreme court. A petition was filed in SC for action against media for communalizing the Jammat event.

So, India gives equal freedom to all even during crisis, and that’s what makes this challenge more difficult with huge population. This is exactly a big challenge for a country like India, since we have to fight against virus and we also have to take care about people, who are against their own country in a democratic way. In countries like North Korea, China, they can easily execute such people since their government is not answerable to its people or SC. “Single source” event of Tablighi Jamat was one of the worst things happened with India. Most of Indians followed all rules of lock down and suddenly they realized that, there were more than 2000 jamaat members gathered in a mosque in Delhi against all rules. They were informed about danger in advance by government and Police. They not only neglected but gave wrong information about their actual numbers. Final number was more than 2500. They traveled in different part of the country and put whole country at the risk of community infection, since many of them were infected.

I will also consider this strategy as failure from Government, since I was expecting a very strict response from government. At least, Modi should have named and shamed them during his speech to nation. It was so shameless that, when government was helping them to come out from their hidden locations and requesting them to get hospitalized, these guys did exactly opposite, which was not even comparable with any civilized society. They spread infection at many places. They did not stop even after being caught. The real tragedy started when they were getting treated in hospitals in different places. They misbehaved with the medical staff, pelted stones when police and medical staff used to go to their homes for testing, made efforts to infect many people in country. In fact, there was hardly any incidence like this in whole world, where doctors were getting attacked during such crisis. India had a great success story, but the Tablighi Jamat incidence was a black spot.

This should be termed as terrorist activity. Indian government need to be very careful, when lock down is released, since the same people can try to repeat this misadventure. This is the misfortune of India. India was not only fighting against Virus, It was also fighting against this jamati virus. And that is what makes India’s efforts as one of unique. For the countries like Italy, USA, France, Spain etc, their enemy was Wuhan virus. For the India, it was Wuhan, Jihadi virus. In fact, after so soft approach towards Jamatis, India was still blamed by western media that, Indians have Islamophobia. Thats why I reiterate, 1.3 billion fought against multiple crisis, kept calm against many misadventures, and still were able to keep death count not crossing beyond 650 after 75 days. That itself is really big success.

In brief, India’s response against this crisis was very matured. India considered humanity above economy. It was always told that, life in India is cheap. But this crisis showed that, Indian life was much more protected than rest of the world. India was also able to treat many foreigners, who came to India with Wuhan virus from their countries. Nobody knows, what will happen after lock down, but that is a fact with all countries. We would have lost many lives if we might have selected economy over humanity. Many may still say that, poor economy after lock down can take many lives. I do not agree with this. I see lot of positive attitude among people, and I am certain that, India will bounce back and can recover momentum.

Whole word is very busy in this crisis, so it will take time to realize how big is this achievement not only for India but also for humanity. India has shown that, with measured response (not aggressive or soft), any crisis can be handled with positive attitude and timely actions. So, this is the time to say big THANK YOU to our PM, our health, police and cleaning staff for pulling us together from such crisis. Stay safe.

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mehulnationalist
mehulnationalist
A proud nationalist working in Product Development and taking active interest in current politics.
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