The Wuhan virus pandemic has managed to unite the country as India has displayed a remarkable resilience and resisted the virus pretty well. At a time when the Central and the respective state governments are focused on flattening the curve, some ‘journalists’ and publications on the payrolls of the Chinese Communist Party are trying their might to defame the India as their deeply engrained hatred for the Modi government knows no bounds. It is unfortunate see that some people of the lowest order like Vidya Krishnan have attempted to milk the pandemic to further their anti-India propaganda and in the process blurred the line between being anti-government and anti-India.
In a desperate attempt to forcefully weave a desired narrative for Western media, which has otherwise been rendered speechless by India’s measures against the Wuhan Virus, Vidya Krishnan writing for US based publication ‘The Atlantic’ strives to claim that the Indian government is showing how not to handle a pandemic. To say that her article titled “The Callousness of India’s COVID-19 Response” is misleading is an understatement. It is down right anti-India.
The article shows a desecrated Indian tricolour as it replaces the sacred Ashok Chakra with a depiction of the deadly Wuhan virus. Now it’s a separate thing that insulting and distorting the flag is a punishable offence under under the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, however, did Vidya Krishan’s conscience not shake even for a bit, seeing a desecrated Indian flag on her story? Perhaps her hatred for Prime Minister Modi has blinded her so much that she is ready to insult India if need be if that is what it takes to shame the Modi government. Unsurprisingly, The Atlantic not dared to put up a desecrated flag of China amid this pandemic.
Right from the beginning of the article, Krishnan finally used this opportunity to pontificate over the Citizenship Amendment Act. She wasted no time in labelling the CAA as anti-Muslim and the Delhi riots as a ‘pogrom’. Now there has much been written on how the CAA doesn’t affect a single Indian muslim and the dastardly attack by ISIS in Kabul’s Gurudwara further highlights the need for the CAA. She conveniently left out mentioning constable Ratan Lal and Intelligence Bureau Officer Ankit Sharma, among many other Hindus, who were killed in the most heinous way by radical Islamists.
Only Krishnan knows why she brought in the CAA and Delhi riots in her article which sought to hit out at the Indian government over its supposed failure to contain the pandemic.
She then used the CAA protests to falsely claim that the Indian government was sleeping during the period between January – February as she points out that India recorded that the first case of the virus was reported on January 30 and the government ‘didn’t take any action’.
Anyone who has followed the virus since it was first reported in China knows that countries like Taiwan, the USA and India were among the quickest to react by restricting travel to and fro from China despite the WHO’s wrong assertion that there is no need to restrict flights from China.
On January 31, a day after India’s first case was reported, the government advised all the airlines to suspend their flight to China. On February 4, India stopped E-Visas for Chinese nationals. Patients and any contacts of the patients who came later were being quarantined.
While Krishnan accuses the Indian government of sleeping during the months of January, at the same time the government was airlifting its citizens from the virus’ epicentre in Wuhan as it rescued over 700 of its citizens. In February, the Central government also sent 15,000 kgs of medical equipment to China to help the latter battle the Wuhan virus. Of course, all this doesn’t find a mention in Krishnan’s piece as it won’t fit her agenda.
Krishnan then moves to falsely claim that India in the recent weeks, has witnessed an exponential growth in the number of cases. As it stands, India has 987 confirmed cases of the Wuhan virus of which 25 people have succumbed to the deadly virus and 87 have successfully recovered. In Krishnan’s article, both logic and arithmetic have gone for a toss.
Continuing with their proactiveness, the government made the difficult decision to call for a ‘Janta Curfew’ on March 22 and then a 21-day complete lockdown in order the prevent the disease from blowing up. A emerging economy like India with 1.3 billion people decided on a complete and largely successful lockdown even when the number of cases are relatively low and pressure on hospitals infrastructure has not been witnessed yet.
But writing for the international publication The Atlantic, Vidya Krishnan criticises the decision to impose a 21 day lockdown as she wrote, “a headline-grabbing initiative announced with little warning, but one that will do little to address the myriad problems India faces in dealing with the coronavirus. It puts responsibility for containing the outbreak on citizens, instead of instituting a robust official support system.” Krishnan then dons the hat of an epidemiologist and claims that the lockdown will do nothing to solve India’s problems with public health and safety.
Contrary to her claims, the 21 day lockdown is the minimum required period to break the virus’ chain and the fact that India is not seeing an exponential rise in the number of infected person is a sign that the lockdown will certainly aid in the long battle against the Wuhan virus.
She slammed the Modi government for not being compassionate enough, however, PM Modi in his announcement repeatedly folded his hands as he urged ‘his family members’ to not venture out no matter what. The Prime Minister in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ apologised to the nation for having to take tough decisions and impose a nationwide lockdown. He also directly interacted with a number of people who had tested positive and their respective families.
Krishnan falsely claims that only after a ‘widespread outrage’ did the government announce an aid package. If Krishnan had cared to listen to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s press conferences, she had on multiple occasions stated that the relief package is in the works and will be announced soon. She claims that the $22 billion package is pitiful as she doesn’t realise that it is just a relief package to meet the immediate needs of India’s poor while a stimulus package where the concerns of the industry will also be addresses is also set to be announced. Clearly, it will be too much for Krishnan who doesn’t understand basic arithmetic, to understand the nitty-gritty of the relief package which will not only help the poor financially but also not let them go hungry.
Krishnan then moves to peddle yet another lie that the medical equipment industry is in disarray because of lockdown. She conveniently ignores the fact that the medical equipment industry comes under essential services and is not affected. Of course, there will be some delays due to logistical handling in the face of a nationwide lockdown but that certainly won’t plunge the industry into ‘disarray’.
At this juncture, the reader wonders whether Krishnan is just plain dumb or a rabid Modi hating communist who has lost sense of reality. She successfully assuages the concern of the reader as she proves she is a combination of both as she slyly claims that the cost of testing is $70 where as in reality, it is free in government hospitals. One only has to pay for the testing if the person prefers to get tested in a private hospital. The government which Krishnan repeatedly addresses as ‘anti-poor’ has taken the decision to make testing freeing government hospitals, especially keeping the poor in mind.
She then touches upon how India’s actual numbers must be much more higher as India is not testing enough — much to the glee of liberals who continue to slam the government of not testing enough and also slams the government over its contact tracing. However, the newly turned epidemiologist Krishnan doesn’t understand that India has one of the most robust tracing programmes.
Let’s take the case of Bollywood singer Kanika Kapoor who hid her symptoms from the authorities and fled away from Lucknow airport. The UP administration assembled 1000 member team to trace the singer’s footsteps since arriving from London. In Rajasthan’s Bhilwara, 6445 people have been kept in home isolation thanks to contact tracing.
Krishnan further blames the government over its failure in banning exports of virus related equipment including PPE (masks). On the contrary, India is procuring N95 masks at a break-neck speed while also developing indigenous manufacturing who can supply masks and PPEs.
Coming to the point of ventilators, companies like Reliance and Mahindra and Mahindra are already aiding government’s efforts in manufacturing ventilators. Yesterday, the Gujarat government set up a 2200 bed coronavirus hospital in just 6 days which is in addition to the 1,200-bed hospital to treat coronavirus patients. The WHO has publicly praised the efforts of the Indian government and the PMO. None of these find a mention in Krishnan’s article as it would portray the government in good light.
At a time when the USA has become the new epicentre of the Wuhan virus, President Trump has urged companies like Ford to manufacture ventilators.
Trump has woken up after the virus has caused havoc in the USA while the Indian government even when the cases are below 1,000 has already seen private companies start the manufacturing of ventilators.
Krishnan ended her article by quoting Ramanan Laxminarayan who she positioned an claimed is an epidemiologist. On the contrary, Ramanan Laxminarayan is no medical doctor and instead is a PhD in economics who in turn has been successfully sued by US based NGO for stealing is Intellectual Property. Certainly, Laxminarayan by no means is an epidemiologist.
Krishnan’s hate for the Indian government is amply visible on her Twitter timeline.
However, Krishnan’s propaganda article shouldn’t come as a surprise and India must brace for more such articles at a time when China is attempting to buy good press to wash its hands off the virus and paint the countries currently fighting the virus in bad light.
ThePrint reports that since 2016, China’s foreign ministry has hosted around 100 foreign journalists from leading media houses in Asia and Africa for 10 months. The visiting journalists are meted out the red-carpet treatment. They have been ‘gifted’ apartments in plush residences of Beijing and the Jianguomen Diplomatic Compound, where the cost of a two-BHK apartment is around Rs 2.4 lakh.
Krishan wrote this article for The Atlantic, a publication which in the past few weeks has acted as Xi Jinping’s propaganda outlet. The publication recently blamed Trump for ‘rebranding the virus’.
Atlantic Staff Writer David Frum put out a distasteful tweet.
Frum’s colleague Anne Applebaum resorted to spreading fake news that China is sending medical aid to Iran and Italy out of the goodness of their hearts despite the fact that the shipments were not donations, but exports purchased by those countries.
It seems that Vidya Krishnan has just got started and it is only a matter of time before she comes up with yet another disgraceful article as long as money from China continues to come in.