WRITER AND PHILOSOPHER Aldous Huxley once penned that “no tragedy reveals the whole truth” and it sums up the humanitarian catastrophe in which we are currently holed up. The gruesome visuals of hundreds of bodies of suspected Covid victims on the sacred
Ganga at Buxar in Bihar are enough to give us nightmares. There may be a question mark whether these bodies came from Uttar Pradesh side or not, but the whole truth is that villagers are throwing their dead in the river, unable to afford even their last rites.
At present, the country has been officially recording over 4,000 deaths in a single day. Shortage of beds, oxygen, cremation slots has left our health system in a shambles. Poor health infrastructure and unpreparedness of the government that had prematurely announced “the endgame” of covid and victory over the pandemic, has been exposed. Now at a time when the virus is spreading to the hinterland, the government is still giving the impression of being more occupied with removing criticism on Twitter than trying to control the pandemic. No doubt, the pandemic seems to be a self-inflicted catastrophe of such a magnitude since independence.
Today even many hard core supporters are criticizing the government for maladministration. There is no denying the fact that this had dented the country’s image and it is clear that the present government led by prime minister, Narendra Modi, would be remembered not for some tough decision that it took, but for this unprecedented crisis. Probably the most difficult
Assembly elections held during the surge of the second wave of Covid-19 are over. The results, as we all know, were anticlimactic for the BJP particularly in West Bengal with Mamata Banerjee coming to power third time in a row with a greater majority than before. The biggest takeaway from the results of the Assembly elections in West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and the panchayat polls in Uttar Pradesh is that BJP may be in for a rude shock if general elections were held now. In panchayat elections, the Aam Aadmi Party, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party have done pretty well in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.
Next year is a bigger year for state elections, with UP going to polls in March and Gujarat by the end of next year. The Covid management failure forcing India to seek global help with a hat in hand would cost the ruling party dear. The much publicised Gujarat model of development in 2014 ensured victory for the BJP while in 2019, the Pulwama attack and the Balakot surgical strikes, did the party in. However, now there is only one issue — Covid and its mismanagement. The Shiv Sena in an editorial in its mouthpiece Samana has said that while smaller countries in the neighbourhood like Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are offering help to “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” to tackle pandemic, the Modi government is going ahead with the multi-crore Central Vista project. What an irony?