Amid the second wave of coronavirus, all leaders across the political spectrum are trying to help the people, and some ministers in the Modi government have also given their hundred per cent to ensure that the help reaches the needy and the losses can be minimised. However, except a few, none of the union ministers have stepped in to counter fake news and propaganda of the opposition, which sends a wrong message to the masses.
Apart from Prime Minister Modi, union ministers like Nitin Gadkari, S Jaishankar, Piyush Goyal, Rajnath Singh, and Nirmala Sitharaman have kept their ministries running and are trying their best to improve the situation. Even Dr Harsh Vardhan, although not too efficient, is also trying his best to help India tackle the coronavirus crisis and the rising misinformation against it.
But the total number of ministers in the Modi government is 54 and hardly 8-10 of them are visibly working towards containing the virus. The rest of the ministers, neither are publically seen nor are seen using the internet and social media to reach out to the masses. This has created a perception among the public that the government is absent from their lives and the ministers are enjoying the grandeur of Lutyens’ Delhi.
In fact, some of the ministers are only hurting the cause of the Modi government with their stupid statements. Recently, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, DV Sadananda Gowda, while speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, said, “The court has with good intention said everyone in the country should get vaccinated. I want to ask you, if the court says tomorrow that you have to give this much (of vaccine), if it has not been produced yet, should we hang ourselves?” He added, “Practically, certain things are beyond our control, can we manage them?”
Such irresponsible, depressing, and stupid statements from union ministers hurts the morale of the people of the country. Even if the situation is bad, the job of the Modi government, or even the ministers is to try to manage it and encourage people to fight against it, not give such depressing statements.
Moreover, the opposition leaders are targeting the Modi government using various kinds of fake news on vaccine export and complacency on the part of the government but only a few union ministers have come forward to counter their claims. And this is damaging the image of the government among the masses and creating a perception that the government and its representatives are not there when they need them most.
Many of the ministers and many BJP leaders are missing from the scene when the citizens of the country need them the most. Some ministers across the departments should have utilised their resources in the fight against the pandemic, but most of them are not even there to hear out the problems of the people, forget about utilising the resources.
The Modi government has more than hundreds of departments, a large number of PSUs, and academic institutions. The need of the hour is to put all the resources together and utilise them in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
All ministers should divest their ministerial as well as personal staff to manage the resources available and ensure that the medical equipment, vaccines, oxygen, ventilators, and all other required resources reach the patients.
The fact that only 8-10 ministers are visible in the media sends a wrong message to the public. The people from RSS and BJP karyakartas are more active on the ground in helping the people and managing the resources than the ministers in the union government. While this sends a great message among the people on behalf of the party and the organisation that they will certainly survive the pandemic, but anger against the ministers missing from the scene seems to be simmering.
In many places, the people from the ministers’ constituencies have declared them ‘missing’. This will certainly require an overhaul of the ministry and the ministers who are missing in action would be the first ones to lose their job in the post-corona reshuffle. Moreover, the union ministers also need to deploy their resources and teams to counter fake news and propaganda against the government.