The early trends for the Indian general elections in 2024 came out as soon as Mr. Gandhi completed his 64-65 minutes AICC Virtual Media Briefing on Coronavirus Pandemic. At the time when Indian National Congress, India’s oldest party is still busy grooming up its youth icon, the Gandhi-scion; BJP is looking forward for a 350+ seats in its third consecutive victory.
I am in no mood to joke, and it is damn serious.
Even before I move on the contents of the address, I want to ask a very simple yet very complicated question. Mr. Gandhi addressed the press, but in what capacity? Why didn’t a party worker with an official designation (who can be held accountable) address the congress’ press conference? Mr. Gandhi had already resigned from the Party as president. He is not a part of the All India Congress Committee. No one knows if he is still a part of Congress Working Committee or not, his own party members wanted this clarification a month ago. If the press conference was limited to Kerala and Waynad, it was fine. But it was not limited to his constituency. Did he speak as a party spokesperson? Or has the party invented a new position for him that we don’t know of? This is not new for the party. If we look at Mr. Gandhi’s political career, there have been several positions that were tailor made for him. He started his political career as a Chairperson for National Students’ Union of India and Indian Youth Congress. Who was the chairperson before him and after him? No one! the position was established especially for him. Who is the vice president of Indian National Congress today? Who was the vice-president before him? No one! the position was especially established for him. So, once again, in what capacity is he addressing the press? What does his words mean?
Also read: The Inconspicuous Syndicate
Moving on to the actual contents of his press conference. His statement: “We stand in solidarity with the government today but will raise questions once Pandemic settles down” reflects a serious issue with grave consequences for the country. I believe one of the major roles of Opposition is to highlight the lapses in the ruling government’s approach. Isn’t it? What is the use of the opposition if they are too afraid to raise questions beforehand? Does it help if they raise question only when something bad happens? Moreover, in this case they are standing in solidarity with the government and not raising questions because they haven’t researched properly. Uttering “strategic” more than 67 times in less than 60 minutes does not mean that he has a strategy or anything close to what resembles like a strategy. His press conference reminded me of one of his interviews in 2014 with Arnab Gowswami, Frankly speaking with Rahul Gandhi, that had gone viral for obvious reasons. No matter what the host asked he replied with two phrases: “Women Empowerment” and “Open the system”. This time no matter what a journalist asked, he replied with two words “Strategic” and “Testing”. A parrot can do better than this.
I assume he spoke on behalf of INC, because as soon as his comments and intentions are questioned, the party might come up with the statement “He spoke in his personal capacity and it has nothing to do with the Party”. The party has done it a million times in the past and won’t hesitate this time especially when Rahul Gandhi tried to promote Chinese business agenda.
How? Two points:
- Out of several international companies that provide video conferencing services, he chose Zoom video conference, the company that has most of its research and product developed in China and is owned by a Chinese native Eric Yuan. Mr. Rahul Gandhi promoted an app that has sever security and encryption lapses, compromising cyber security of Indians as well as a national party.
- Rahul Gandhi claims in the conference that lock-down cannot defeat the virus but aggressive testing can. He goes on and explains how testing will help to isolate. However, home isolation imposed in the form of lock-downs does the very same thing. Testing does not stop the virus from spreading, it only confirms a positive case. Lock-down stops the virus from spreading. Gradual releasing on the lock-down is the most efficient way of utilizing the existing resources. Rahul Gandhi furthered Chinese narrative of aggressive testing. In fact he himself mentioned in his conference that the test kits have to be imported from China.
Let me explain with a small example as to how lock-down is more effective and efficient way in handling the pandemic than simply importing. Lets say there are 10,000 people, and only 10 testing kits. If there is no lock-down all these 10,000 people get the virus, to test them the existing 10 kits are not at all sufficient and a lot more would be required. This is what happened with Italy. They did exactly what Mr. Gandhi recommends, aggressive testing and isolating the areas where tests were positive. At the end, a developed country like Italy surrendered and said we don’t have enough healthcare staff and facilities for our patients. The hospitals in Italy stopped taking in old patients. Italy is 60 million people, compare it with India’s more than 1.3 billion i.e. 1300 million i.e. approx 200X more.
However, if Italy would have followed Modi’s model. They would have not embarrassed themselves like the way they did. From the same example. When we have a strict lock-down, all those 10,000 people would not come in contact with anyone who is already infected. The only people who have the risk of getting infected are doctors, healthcare staff, police department, essential service providers. Plus the lock down is not 100%, there are people still coming out. The point is, the healthcare system will not be overwhelmed by sudden rush. Lock-down makes sure that the number of people that would need the test remains manageable and there would be sufficient time to reuse the test kits. When on 20th April, some more services are relaxed, there would be a new set of people who would come in contact with the virus, and even with the small number of kits would be sufficient. Then the next set of services would be relaxed, and so on. It is as simple as seat utilization in the service industry. Flatten the curve as shown in the picture below:
Modi government’s idea behind lock-down is two fold, first not to overwhelm the healthcare system by a sudden rush in the number of patients and second not wasting tax payers money by importing more than required number of test kits from China. No, wonder Indian National Congress don’t get the second part, because they have always been eager to import. I am very glad that Congress is not the ruling party, if it was the ruling party, we would have either seen many many deaths or would have had accrued humongous debt to repay to China like Pakistan has today. And they would still come out clean saying, it was a natural calamity, we did our best.
The problem with Indian National Congress is that Rahul Gandhi or any other Gandhi for that matter runs a one man show. He/she is always surrounded with boot-lickers, yes ma’ams and yes sirs. It does not matter what Rahul Gandhi’s current designation is, whatever he says is the word from the bible for the party karyakartas. Sometimes I envy him, he says stupid stuff and goes back to enjoying his life, his party people happily spend their life time cleaning up the mess he creates in less than an hour.
It is not that the government is doing everything that can be done and there is nothing that can be highlighted. There are more than enough questions that the opposition parties should have asked Modi Government by now, if only they had a good intent. Some of the issues that should be raised are:
- Indian Railways suspended its operations for the first time in over 150 years. It was a very good opportunity for maintenance work, which was never done because it was not possible to stop the operation. The opposition should have asked the government the rate at which the railways have replaced the rail lines. Why didn’t they ask? Or rather why didn’t they push the government.
- Same goes with the roads. There were literally no cars on the streets, roads could have easily been repaired. How many roads were repaired? or How many new roads were built? Why didn’t the opposition raised this issue?
- Sewer-lines; Since traffic was not a problem, I suppose the sewer-line laying work has been done. Why didn’t Rahul Gandhi ask this? Drainage cleanups; come a little rain and there will be floods.
- What is Indian government doing to get local video conferencing apps? Why is India not manufacturing test kits locally in India instead of importing them from China? The USA already started manufacturing them in house. If they can why can’t we?
- What is the status of Indian research on Coronavirus?
- The air quality and the water quality improved after the lock-down was imposed. What is the government doing to keep it the same state after lock-down is lifted? Are factories that are shut for the time being asked to set up waste recycle systems?
- Why is government not taking strict actions against the people from a specific peaceful and afraid community, who are spitting and pissing on healthcare staff? Why are they still allowed to roam outside? Why aren’t they put behind bars?
Congress is not raising these issues because doing that will hurt Congress’ chance if at all any, of coming back to power. Congress knows, it does not matter who Indian Muslims vote in state elections, they will vote for them come a general elections. That’s, why no comment on Tablighi Jamaat by Mr. Gandhi. Congress knows raising questions regarding manufacturing and local product development in India will make them talk about Modi’s flagship projects like Make In India and Startup India. And likewise.
These are some of the questions which I could think of, I am pretty sure there would be many more. Indian Opposition in not behaving like an opposition should, they are behaving like an outsider who is waiting for Modi Government to make a mistake and then snatch the power to rule the nation from Modi. But the thing is, there are always a lot of people like me who would always be there to raise questions and try that the BJP does not miss something important. So, people who are waiting for the government to make mistake, can keep waiting. Mr. Gandhi is still young, just 49, there are many many more general elections he is going to witness as unofficial party president.
Thanks for reading, stay healthy stay safe!
Please have a look at my posts regarding Coronavirus, I am sure you would like them:
- Exploiting Indians studying abroad in the name of Covid-19, it talks about the injustice being done with the Indian Students in the countries like the US and the UK.
- The unwarranted fear of Coronavirus!, it talks about the numbers that are not mentioned when deaths are spoken of.
- Coronavirus isn’t a threat to humanity; China is!!! it talks about the internal issues of China and how China is using Coronavirus for its own benefit.
- All in the name of Coronavirus It connects some dots, it shows how some countries are using pandemic to fight their sky high corporate debts.
- Coronavirus will hit India from Pakistan, not China, I wrote this in Feb, if the very same questions were raised by Indian Media and opposition parties at that time, we would have avoided a Tableeghi Jamaat like situation and the lock-down would have been released by now.
- Covid-19 Outbreak exposes prevailing Hinduphobia, it talks about certain Hindu practices that are/were discarded as meaningless but have suddenly resurfaced.