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PM/HM Where art thou?

I am a Narendra Modi fan- notwithstanding his poor execution capability or his inability/unwillingness to groom a second line of leaders. I admire his courage, his positive intent and the selfless, relentless efforts he makes for India. I did not vote for BJP just because it is a default national party without any strong alternative contender; I voted for BJP as I believe Narendra Modi has it in him to make an unequivocal impact.

Off late India has been breaking records in terms of number of covid-19 cases reported per day as well as the number of daily deaths due to coronavirus. To add to our woes, our Prime Minister and Home Minister seem to have gone into hiding. The pandemic was not their doing. We are dealing with a virus with an ability to mutate faster than our ability to understand it. We are a country where people throw caution to winds by ignoring social distancing norms. State Governments have not been able to preempt and plan for the epidemic nor have the municipal corporations been able to control lockdowns.

These are unprecedented times which called for unprecedented measures. But our Prime Minister had us clanging vessels when Israel, China, Germany, US, UK were busy investing in vaccines. He left it up to 2 private players to develop and manufacture vaccines, one of which had a contractual commitment to export most of the vaccines made. The Central government felt obligated to stand up for symbolic Hindutva at the risk of losing thousands of lives by allowing the Kumbh Mela bereft of covid protocols. The BJP leader in our PM, was compelled to hold rallies in West Bengal amidst surging pandemic. The Home Minister and Prime Minister realized that the Parliament building was old and needed to be replaced asap; but they didn’t bother to overhaul the crumbling health infrastructure of the country. When the daily caseload rose from a few thousands to 4 lacs, it dawned upon the central government that India is a federal state, so the burden of dealing with the pandemic was conveniently transferred to the individual states. It is common sense that in a federal republic like India, the vaccination program should be strategized by the central government. The execution should be collaborated with the state heads and delegated systematically. A Sanjay Raut or an Arvind Kejriwal may indulge in oxygen/vaccination politics but a man of PM’s stature cannot stoop to that level and reciprocate by finger pointing.

The ad hoc lockdowns without clarity on protocols and vaccination drive being implemented in fits and starts with a fallacious app have made a mockery of our country, worldwide.

Human beings are bound to have flaws. Even the father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi had several shortcomings. But his biggest virtue was humility. I am waiting for Modi to accept that he messed up big time. It is now that we need the courageous PM with the 56” chest to express regret, take responsibility and offer remedy. I am keen to see the same tenacity that Narendra Modi displayed during the Bhuj earthquake in 2001, which catapulted him to the CMship of Gujarat and acted as a catalyst for his extraordinary rise to power.

India doesn’t need a strict, aloof, disciplinarian school principal at the moment. Rather, we seek an empathetic, gentle, loving kindergarten teacher who demonstrates to the subjects that he is one of them, that he understands their pain and that he is willing to rectify the past flaws. Its not too late to course correct and prevent the impending catastrophe if the top leadership is willing.

Will our leaders come out of hiding and address our concerns? Will the Prime Minister and Home Minister exhibit the grit to accept their blunders and reassure Indians that they will accept responsibility to handle the situation with the persistence and positive intent that they are known for? Will they really work towards Acche Din when it really matters?

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