The entire country has rallied behind Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the coronavirus pandemic, leading American newspaper The New York Times has said.
In an article on the Covid-19 crisis across the world, and in India, the newspaper said that PM Modi’s approval ratings have soared even higher, sometimes touching 90 per cent in the last few months. It also compared PM Modi to other world leaders like US President Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin. The NYT said that unlike these leaders, PM Modi has been “thriving” during the coronavirus crisis.
If India rides out the pandemic in a decent form, PM Modi may emerge even stronger, the NYT further said in the article. It recalled the Pulwama bombing and India’s response which further bolstered PM Modi’s re-election bid in 2019 to make the point.
PM Modi is widely seen as a mobiliser, and not as a despot, and that is the reason why his various calls to the nation during the Covid-19 lockdown were largely followed by the people, said NYT. As the coronavirus crisis gripped the country, PM Modi appeared before the nation and asked them to observe Janta Curfew, and the people obeyed. That was March 22.
Since then, PM Modi has appeared thrice before the nation – first time to announce a nationwide lockdown, then its extension and most recently, to announce a Rs 20 lakh crore financial package – and all his requests have been adhered to.
Even the unique exercises like asking countrymen to stand in their doorways and clap at a certain time, or to light candles at another, have been followed by millions. NYT called them as “softer, feel-good exercises”.
The NYT story, however, also pointed out the hardships faced by migrant workers who are leaving in hordes to their native places since they can’t find work in locked down country. The accident in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya is also mentioned in the article.
But what worked for PM Modi, according to NYT, is the fact that he never downplayed the virus threat or said India had capabilities it didn’t. The Prime Minister also worked well with the state authorities regardless of ideology, it further said.
It also said that the number of infections in India and the death toll is very less for a country which has a population of more than 1.3 billion.
India on Monday reported the biggest one-day spike in the number of Covid-19 cases in a single day so far as 5,242 more people tested positive in the last 24 hours, Union health ministry data showed.
The number of people who have died after contracting the highly contagious disease also rose to 3,029 up from 2,872 from Sunday.
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