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Our rulers must accept failures, take corrective measures

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Highlights

Leading international medical journal The Lancet on Saturday called upon the Modi-led government to “own up to its mistakes, provide responsible leadership and implement a public health response that has science at its heart to contain Covid”

Leading international medical journal The Lancet on Saturday called upon the Modi-led government to "own up to its mistakes, provide responsible leadership and implement a public health response that has science at its heart to contain Covid".

In its editorial, The Lancet said India squandered its early successes in controlling Covid-19 and till April, the government's Task Force had not met in months. It observed government's attempts to stifle criticism inexcusable.

Even before the 2nd wave, government declared it was Covid 'endgame'. Its actions falsely suggested that India had reached herd immunity and despite warnings, it allowed huge political rallies, events. It said even before the second wave began in early March, Indian Health Minister Harsh Vardhan declared that the country was in the "endgame" of the pandemic. The BJP has been trying to duck and rubbish such observations saying that Lancet being a scientific magazine should restrict itself to matters related to research etc and not talk on political lines.

The most unfortunate thing is that our political executive refuses to accept the truth though they are aware of it. Ask any volunteer on the roads of Delhi or for that matter in any State, he would come out with stories on how people were suffering while the governments keep patting their own back.

Undoubtedly, the political strategist Prashant Kishore was right when he, in an interview, said that India was passing through a stage where the all governments want psychological dominance. They don't stop at seeking votes as it used to be in the past. They want to control the mind space of the people. They allege that nothing happened in the country till they came to power. The parties that had come to power particularly in the last six and half years have shifted their focus from effective governance to taking control of everything.

He is right as we are seeing that there is growing sense of intolerance by every government. If someone tries to revolt or even question, all-out efforts are made to suppress the voice. The tendency is 'listen to what we say, clap at what we say and do or get slapped.'

For any political party, the leaders and cadre should be the eyes and ears of the government. They should be allowed to give feedback on real ground level situation. But that never happens. They keep praising everything the Chief Minister or the Prime Minister says. They present a picture as if everything was fine and people were enjoying Ram Rajya. Not just the rank and file of the ruling party but the officials also generally paint a rosy picture instead of telling the political bosses about where corrective action needs to be taken.

It is really a matter of regret the Chief Ministers or Prime Minister hold meetings with officials and ministers, but the fact is none of them is an expert on the pandemic. They look at the situation more from economic angle. Even opposition parties are not holding discussions with experts to come up with reports and suggestions for the government. It is a different matter whether the government accepts it or not. They should do their duty and put the findings in public domain and let people judge who is doing what and whether the ruling parties are moving in proper direction or not.

Maharashtra which till recently has seen cases reach a peak has shown the way on how to mobilise public support to fight the pandemic. It has roped in Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL). The RIL

Had undertaken certain initiatives to battle COVID-19 in Mumbai in coordination with the Maharashtra government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Hospitals with RF will manage 875 beds for coronavirus patients in the city. Where there is a will there is a way. Hope governments will wake up at least now.

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