The total number of new Covid cases in India in the last 24 hours on April 28 has been 3,23,144, indicating a reduction of 29,847 cases from the peak of 3,52,991 new cases on April 26. Hopefully, the number of infected cases will further come down over time. The number of a daily rise in infection by over 3,00,000 is a grave situation. This is a time when all stakeholders should be united to address the menace, but unfortunately, this is not happening.
In a democracy, criticism is the best method of displaying healthy disagreement. But there’s a very thin line between criticism and cynicism. What is happening right now is that vested politicisation is amounting to cynicism. Let me give some examples.
Many opposition leaders are screaming that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are responsible for this Covid blast because of their election campaign in Bengal. I agree if it’s a criticism that PM should ensure Covid-appropriate protocol in gatherings. But it is a fact that all other parties were also indulging in election campaigns and violating all the protocols.
Furthermore, do the states Maharashtra, Delhi, Chhattisgarh or Punjab have upcoming elections? So then why do these states have the highest number of infections? West Bengal has just 15,000 cases daily (which is also alarming), but all are silent on this aspect. Doesn’t such selective criticism amount to cynicism?
The Kumbh Mela is wrong amid such a Covid-sensitive time. That is something that must be criticised. But then, so should the farmers’ agitation in Delhi and Punjab that is being supported by both the Punjab and Delhi governments, apart from other non-BJP parties. Both Delhi and Punjab are suffering the worst, but you will find people only blaming Narendra Modi’s campaign at Bengal for the second wave of spread. That’s what I call cynicism.
A few days ago, CMs of different states asserted that they are ready with beds, oxygen and all other arrangements to tackle any upcoming Covid surge. In my opinion, when the Covid spike became uncontrollable, the Central government took responsibility. No doubt the national government has prime responsibility in such a situation, but state governments also have the responsibility. All state governments wanted a free hand in dealing with the Covid situation. So why should the Centre alone take the blame alone?
There are a lot of such issues that show political insensitivity during such duress. Let me give another example of cynicism. I don’t want to list everything, as people know where I want to point.
Time and again, Maharashtra CM has alerted people to observe Covid-appropriate behaviour as there could be a spike in Covid cases. Finally, he had to opt for a lockdown. People ignored all the alerts, advice and caution being directed by the CM. The result is that there became a Covid infection blast in Maharashtra. The point is simple: there’s no election, no Kumbh nor even any other agitation.
Now, for this, if you blame the Maharashtra government, won’t it be amounting to cynicism? No state in India is a police state, nor can the public be controlled by the police. In a democracy, people are masters. They have the main responsibility. So, people have no right to blame or criticise the government when they themselves violated all guidelines given by the government. If you still criticise solely the government, then it amounts to cynicism.
To be in a democracy, we must deserve to be in a democracy. And we only deserve a democracy if we perform our social and constitutional duties. This second wave will go, but there will be a third wave and so on. If we remain careless, irresponsible and ignorant, then even vaccines won’t help because the virus is mutating fast. Let’s not be cynical, and rather remain responsible towards society, the Constitution, and our country. All the public, our governments, societies and all other stakeholders must be united in this war against Covid-19.