Canberra, April 30, 2021 (PPI-OT): The Indian High Commission in Canberra has condemned a report published in The Australian, a daily newspaper, wherein Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s missteps and complacency have been held responsible for the devastating second wave of coronavirus in India.
The article titled “Modi leads India into a viral apocalypse”, said that despite the repeated warning of health experts and a burgeoning shortage of oxygen and vaccines in India, the BJP government allowed religious gatherings such as the Kumbh Mela to continue unabated, while the country’s prime minister Narendra Modi himself spearheaded mammoth election rallies in which tens of thousands participated without masks.
The article, while acknowledging the potential impact of mutated Covid viruses also refers to “hubris… nationalist politics… slow vaccine roll-out, an ill-equipped health system… and promotion of the economy over containment”.
“Arrogance, hyper-nationalism and bureaucratic incompetence have combined to create a crisis of epic proportions, critics say, as India’s crowd-loving PM basks while citizens literally suffocate,” the author wrote.
The Indian High Commission in Canberra, in a letter to The Australian’s Editor-in-Chief Christopher Doe, called the article “completely baseless, malicious and slanderous”, and urged the newspaper to publish a rejoinder.
Written by Philip Sherwell, the article in question was originally published in The Times with the headline, “Modi leads India out of lockdown and into a Covid apocalypse”. It was reproduced in the Australian daily a day later with the title: “Modi leads India into a viral apocalypse”.
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