The latest advisory of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on treating COVID-19 gains praise from a wide spectrum of the medical and scientific community for its evidence-based approach towards COVID management. Also, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi went on record to laud India’s scientific community for their invaluable contribution to the nation’s fight against the COVID pandemic. However, given the propaganda of a section of India’s liberal community, it is time to ask a few tough questions of the eminent liberals of our country who think they know more than scientists.
Modi Government’s Multiple Steps in Sync with Science
That the liberati of India weren't the smartest people around was well known. What has been on demonstration for more than a year-and-a-half however accounts for nothing less than plagiarism. The word 'plagiarism' is used because the model templates that the liberals in the West use to discredit the far-right political class, which is genuinely anti-science in its thought and behaviour, has been copy-pasted blindly in India to criticise the Narendra Modi government on ‘science’.
Of course, as we say in Hindi – nakal ke liye bhi akkal ki zaroorat hoti hai (it takes brains to copy) – and that is where the liberati, that also demonstrates signs of being the real ignorantsia, of India comes a cropper, as it blindly rants on all the supposed issues of India’s right wing when it comes to science.
The government of India set up a scientific advisory committee to steer its response to the COVID pandemic way back in April 2020. Even before the committee, the government, following advise from august quarters, chose to keep events like the Holi celebrations of 2020 an absolutely low key affair. Even as the World Health Organization (WHO) kept insisting that masks were not needed by all, the Modi government had strongly recommended both masks for all and physical distancing. As early as March 2020, proposals were invited to push for rapid innovations by various bodies such as the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to develop materials and machinery that prove useful for tackling COVID-19. A vaccine task force was also set up in April itself.
Not to be outdone was the upkeep with latest scientific advise on treating COVID with suitable medicines. Clinical trials were facilitated both for vaccines as well as potential drugs by the scientific administration that saw the slashing of significant red tape in approvals and clearances without compromising on scientific rigour. Vaccination process was followed as per protocols that complies with scientific thinking for health workers, co-morbid patients and elderly citizens. Even with the internationally manufactured vaccines, decisions to fast track emergency use approvals have been taken based on evidence presented to the scientific administrators as well as following up on the processes adopted by scientific communities in leading nations.
Trying to Clutch at Straws, Falling Between the Stools
In contrast, India’s liberati continued to search that one straw to beat the Narendra Modi government with, in turn exposing their double standards. Kumbh Mela was a super spreader based on sporadic data, but the confirmed fanning out of thousands of Tablighi Jamaat preachers after a markaz cannot allow the markaz to be considered a super spreader. A khap panchayat in Mewat is definitely a super spreader, but not the thousands of protests asking for the beheading of Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati for blasphemy . Elections are the cause for COVID to spread, but when it comes to farmer protests, we lose our voices and comprehension abilities all of a sudden.
This kind of monkey-balancing saw the liberati fall between the stools on so many occasions. However, what has been even more shameful is the manner in which they fanned vaccine hesitancy, either by sharing spurious news reports or by giving voice to the likes of Akhilesh Yadav, TS Singh Deo, Prashant Bhushan and many others.
If that was not enough, the inability to understand statistics or its malevolent use was on display on multiple occasions. Studies that projected bloodbath across India came a cropper, but those medical equipment salesmen still get overtime in the media space. Death undercounting on a deliberate basis kept coming up as a charge – of course when it came to the West doing much worse on undercounting of cases and deaths, there was utter silence. Since the media in the US was willing to discount lab leak theories despite evidence only because a certain leader said so, efforts were made to discount all similar research and opinion within India by this very Commissar.
If that was not enough, there was a deliberate search for any way to show Hindus as a superstitious people who coat themselves in cow dung, while evangelists who find the COVID pandemic as an opportunity to convert people were noble saints. This set kept praising states that have performed miserably on COVID management like Maharashtra and Kerala, while the strategy of sensationalism has been adopted on states like Uttar Pradesh, which had far fewer cases despite the much larger population, to create an impression of an evil regime throwing bodies in the river to hide deaths.
The selective shifting between numbers and percentages to suit the agenda has already been exposed multiple times, but never let facts get in the way of good Goebbelesian propaganda if you are part of the liberati.
India’s liberal class has shamed itself ever more when it comes to its unscientific behaviour on sharing false reports and creating doubts related to the issue of the COVID pandemic. One would have hoped that after all these faux pas, these folks would have stopped. However, that is sadly a dream for a parallel universe. We can only Imagine, as John Lennon would have said.
Rohit Pathania works in the space of renewable energy and environment. Other interests include politics and the economy.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!