• Vaibhav

Media Outlets and Social Media's Agenda to Malign India's Ruling BJP Party

May 4, 2021

Yes, parts of India are devastated by the recent wave of COVID-19, there's a lack of oxygen supply, hospital beds, and vaccines. Perhaps, the government should have monitored the situation a little better before opening gatherings (during elections rallies or Kumbh Mela). Agreed. Hindsight is 20/20.

However, the government cannot be blamed for everything when imposing restrictions, and lockdown is a dual-edged sword. For many, it was a choice to risk getting infected by the virus or dying of starvation as the economy spiraled downwards. With vaccine availability and pandemic seemingly under control, the government decided to ease restrictions. These media outlets often use Kumbh Mela images to show Hinduism in a poor light. What has Hinduism done to these media outlets to warrant such a debasement? They should remember that even in the US, 5 of the 9 supreme court justices voted to protect mass gatherings for religious purposes against California.

India is the world's largest democracy and 11 of its cities ranked among the top-25 by population density. None of the major economies of the world had successfully predicted the subsequent waves and mutant strains of coronavirus. Similarly, one cannot blame the Indian government for this wave. In fact, India did relatively well in 2020, it supplied hydroxychloroquine when foreign countries were utilizing it in the initial throes of the epidemic. The government of India was also supplying vaccines to the world before the current wave.

Some of the responsibility goes to the people of India to protect themselves by wearing masks and social distancing and not be cavalier towards the virus. Equally, the news of blood clots and other side effects made several people who had lined up for the vaccine to postpone their commitment.

A few media outlets have made their policy (under the subterfuge of delivering truth), to show only panic-stricken caregivers, family members, and deaths. In fact, a couple of international media outlets have placed reporters only at funeral sites and crematoriums. I believe these international news agencies should also focus their efforts more internally and show what happened in their countries too.

Why didn't they send their reporters to the graveyards and funeral homes of other countries too? Other economies of the world were also struggling with the pandemic, corpses of dead patients lined up the cemeteries in their own backyard.

Nonetheless, many still believe that the Modi government has done wonders for India, they have overcome obstacles, threats, fought systemic corruption ingrained in the DNA for over 70 years, introduced reforms that have and will benefit India in a long run. In a democracy, it is often difficult to impose tight restrictions on the people who are free, just like in the USA, where several people across the states protests wearing masks or getting vaccinated. However, the Modi government has sprung into action, importing oxygen, the drug Remdesivir, and other supplies.

Finally, I believe India should vaccinate itself not only from the COVID-19 but also from media outlets and pseudo-secular activists who are trying to malign India's image.

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