This morning, PM Modi asked the Indian population to fight the coronavirus (symbolically) by lighting lamps, candles, and torches at 9 pm on Sunday. For 9 minutes, we’ve been asked to act like the entire country is watching a Prateek Kuhad concert, waving lighters in the air. Considering the immense power the PM possesses to affect behaviour (like we saw with the thali clapping), he could have asked for people to do something more effective. These are some of the questions that still remain after his address
1. What is the protection being afforded to doctors in light of the recent attacks on them in Indore?
2. Why didn’t he ask the police to be more gentle while dealing with people on the roads? There are videos of cops upturning vegetable carts and beating people.
3. Why not ask people to refrain from spreading communal hatred, especially at a critical time like this?
4. Why not ask people to stop hoarding goods? It’s been reiterated that essential supplies will be available.
5. Who will ensure that religious gatherings do not take place? The Nizamuddin incident, Yogi Adityanath attending a religious event in Ayodhya – all of this needs to stop.
6. Why not talk about the migrant workers walking 100s of kilometres home, and even losing their lives?
7. Why didn’t he mention what he plans for people post-lockdown? There is still no information on how that will be handled.
8. What is the plan for those with severe financial burdens?
9. How exactly is the PM Cares fund going to be used?
10. What is being done for those starving and unable to get food? Many of them cannot subscribe for temporary ration online.
11. Why not implore people to not be racist toward those from the Northeast? There have been many instances of people calling them ‘coronavirus’, spitting on them, etc.
A whole lot of questions, but the only illumination we’ll get is from candles.
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