Saturday, March 25, 2023
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Modi had trapped himself in a corner, then coronavirus arrived to save the day for him

Anti-CAA protesters have dispersed, and economic problems can be blamed on Covid-19. Modi is too smart a politician to miss the opportunity in a crisis.

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The Covid-19 epidemic has come just in time to save the first year of Narendra Modi’s second term. The year had begun in a strong economic headwind; growth of the non-government part of the economy had been reduced to just over 3 per cent in two quarters till December. Politically, Modi had walked into a cul-de-sac with his amended citizenship law, which sparked extended protest sit-ins by citizens, provoked firm push-backs from state governments and state assemblies, and risked the decennial Census. How the narrative has changed in a few weeks!

The protestors against the citizenship law have dispersed, state governments are queuing up for desperately-needed financial support, and all economic problems can be laid safely at the door of Covid-19. The prime minister, not seen in Parliament during some key debates, is now on national television every few days with avuncular homilies while imposing a lockdown without notice, demonetisation style. He is on the world stage too, getting public thanks from the US and Brazilian presidents for emergency supply of pharmaceuticals.

The opposition is stumped. It has to show itself as part of the national effort to deal with a crisis, though criticise it must. Meanwhile, Modi is too smart a politician to miss the opportunity in a crisis, and is using it to bolster his own image (PM-CARES, for instance). This is not very different from how effectively Donald Trump has used Covid to push his challenger, Joe Biden, off TV screens.

Also read: Will Modi cut a New Deal? Covid-infected economy can produce an Indian Roosevelt

Mistakes are being made, of course, but it is easy to ride out criticism when the nation is rallying round the leader. Trump has brushed aside criticism of his delayed and bungled response to Covid by lashing out at China, the World Health Organization, and anyone else in sight. Modi’s response to the graphically reported migrants’ crisis was different; he apologised while saying that he knew the people would forgive him. Countries like Bangladesh and Singapore gave people enough notice before a lockdown, but Modi believes in surgical strikes.

War-time leaders invariably gain in popularity, especially if they are great orators. Churchill bungled his way through World War II (and dreamt up a disastrous military expedition in World War I as well), but he made great speeches. The US economy emerged from the Great Depression (1929-33) only with the launch of the war production effort a decade later, but Roosevelt’s New Deal that came in between has got the credit. George W. Bush won re-election on the back of the “war on terror”. It has ended badly, but Bush is safely back on his farm. Our own Lal Bahadur Shastri emerged a hero because he fought Pakistan to a draw and did not get thrashed, as Nehru had been by the Chinese.

Modi itches to present himself as a war-time prime minister. The Balakot air attack was used brilliantly to swing the election narrative his way last year, despite the loss of an aircraft, which showed up defence deficiencies (out-dated aircraft, out-ranged missile) against a much weaker neighbour. Before that, the Uri terrorist attack in 2016 was countered with a “surgical strike”, so questions about the security failures there too fell away. Now Modi has been offered a more real but different kind of war, which he has likened to the Mahabharat.

If you want to anticipate his next move, recall his comment at a media event back in 2007, on how Gandhi had been able to convert the freedom struggle into a “Jan Andolan” (people’s movement). He said he hoped to do the same for development tasks. That would explain initiatives like the “give it up” campaign on subsidised cooking gas. It is the same Jan Andolan goal that Modi now seeks to emulate with his “Janata curfew”, banging of utensils, and lighting of candles. These fall somewhat short of the Dandi march, but Modi isn’t done yet and Covid still has legs. The difference with Gandhi is that today’s initiatives have an implicitly coercive element — don’t go along and you might get beaten up. Meanwhile, the further marginalising of Muslims has also developed into a Jan Andolan.

By Special Arrangement with Business Standard

Also read: Modi must not extend lockdown. Economy won’t survive on ventilator for long


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  1. As per an article in Hindustan Times Pakistani ISI has opened up many fake profiles of Hindu Sounding names. Just check out a few comments posted here on this thread on those saying Hafiz Saeed and Masood Azhar are great Patriots fighting the Kashmiri cause. Why is that pro Modi articles and comments elicit a response that is always Anti India. This isnt just here it’s in YouTube and Twitter as well.

  2. Shekhar Gupta must be enjoying reading the comments here. Thank God COVID-19 is already patented to China else someone would have linked it to Modi. Such articles and below discussions reaffirm my faith in our democracy. Elections have winners and losers. The ethics involved during elections are always debated but seldom determine the outcome. Yes COVID-19 and subsequent Tablighi Jamaat have essentially blown the wind out of Anti-CAA movement. From the looks of it, 2024 is Modi’s if the economy picks up. That may not be too difficult given how MNCs are now eager to at least partly diversify their supply chains. Hopefully, Land Acquisition Bill will make it through now

  3. He is more dangerous than corona. He still harps on GST and demonetisation to build his spurious arguments against Modi and goes on to ridicule everything connected with Modi. His viral comments is a trash that needs to be dumped.

    • Mr H.K. Chaudhary: At the outset, let me fully endorse your right to worship Modi, Adityanath, Amit shah, Pragya Thakur, Babu Bajrangi and the many other gods and demi-gods in the Sangh Parivar pantheon. That said, you need to understand that demonetisation was not only voodoo economics but nothing short of warfare on the poor and the 82% of Indians who work in the informal sector. It was a manmade disaster inflicted on the indigent by the Great Gujarati you worship. That idiotic move, which is now being taught in macroeconomics classes as a classic example of an unwanted liquidity shock should have been enough to make any sane voter question the wisdom of retaining the Delhi University graduate as the PM of the nation. When that is followed by an equally crazy GST implementation, alarm bells should have gone off. Clearly they didn’t go off in your skull.

      India would have been much better equipped to deal with the current crisis had the Great Gujarathi listened to the likes of Raghuram Rajan, Arvind Subramanian, Urjit Patel etc. But then, when authoritarian leaders can count on blind worship and devotion from the likes of a H.K.Chaudhary, why would they care ?

      • So now you got something against gujarati people also? You are trying hard to hide your anger and agression for people who dont see eye to eye. Mr HK Chaudhary is not blind in his thinking and you are also not that bright as you think of yourself.

        • Mr Parag rb: Nope, nothing against the real Gujarathi called Mohandas Karmachand Gandhi. Do not see eye to eye with another Gujarathi who venerates Savarkar, one of the killers of Gandhiji.

          Nope, never thought that I was bright. You are the one insinuating that !

      • @Kili Jolsiyar. Dude Lets be real, Modi won 2019 despite all the things you pointed out and conveniently ignored Jan Dhan, Direct transfer, Ujwala, PM Awas and countless corruption-free pro-poor initiatives. We all are biased and prejudiced and choose to believe the narrative that justifies our beliefs. Truth is we all make mistakes and People of India (at least the majority of them) voted for Modi. You are perhaps right about Modi but you are just one. So if you wish to blame someone you must blame Rahul Gandhi for being unable to challenge Modi.

      • Another harward economist spotted.. It is always easy to point fingers at others Do you have a better solution to this problem? Why don’t you come up with a flawless stratergy to eradicate poverty Mr. Kili?

  4. It’s highly probable that “Kili Jolsiyar” who writes above is one among many thousand paid or unpaid cyber warriors of CPI(M) either based in Kerala or in the hostels of Jawaharlal Nehru University !!!! Who else have time to read all other comments and come up with monotonous replies time and again?

    • Mr Prahlad Saxena : You haven’t studied Probability & Statistics” have you Sir ?

      In any case, I would be happy to debate with you and hear your arguments countering my views. So far, there are none.

      • And now you are trying to patronize others. I wonder how qualified you are to comment on people’s intellectual scope? You should remember that main aim of education is not knowledge but action. So tell us why you brought up the topic of probability because it is my fav topic.

  5. All I see is zero facts and figures, and 100% shamble of an argument. Just like much of our liberal brigade today. No wonder your guys’ political future is fucked, completely out of touch with realities and living in your own comfort bubble. Not to forget having that holier-than-thou attitude of yours isn’t helping too. But I’m happy with this article, simply cause I get to see how sick the left mentality is and why it failed even in history and will continue well into the future with it’s remarkable faliures.

  6. Looks like a pro Congress article that is hell bent on criticizing everything that the Modi administration comes up with. What do u expect????that Modi should hold a referendum before declaring these measures??? That also in a country like India where 10 different heads speak about 10 different self serving agengas?? Can u imagine the amount of mass migration that could have taken place had time been given to the people?? The exodus we see today is just a marginal portion of what would have happened had there been a prior notice of the lockdown. Yes the situation of the mass migration could have been dealt in a better way but the government is not god like with powers to do no wrong….they are humans and have limitations. The Indian population has not shown much maturity over the past few weeks either. This is a war like crisis are preemptive measures are to be taken. Be thankful to have a leader like Modi who is farsighted enough to take steps to protect everyone. Look at the countrys that are supposed to be the 1st world nations. They are brought down to their knees. And not because of just this virus but the arrogance of the world leaders who thought China is too far away and they are too developed to really face any challenges. They have flaunted their own social distancing rules and now their countrymen are paying the price. This second wave of infection is because of the mass migration that occurred due to panic n layedback lockdown rules of the world in general. Modi has taken enough steps to stall a crisis in India. Had it been allowed to progress the story of USA and Italy would have been nothing compared to what was a possibility in India.
    Also there is no mention of the Indira Gandhi or Rajeev Gandhi n the wars they lead….i suppose they are ok since they are Congressmen. Dont presume yourself an expert and publish discord generating articles. If u want to be opinionated then contribute to make people aware and unite them to fight this war. Human life is higher than petty politics.

    • Mr/Ms AG: Why does your ilk like to misconstrue criticism of your Führer with being Pro Congress ?

  7. Constantly trying fault and criticizing every move by Mr. Modi seems to have become a favorite time-pass for a set of Journalist, especially those who have lost their coveted space post regime change.

    It’s a blessing that we have a leader like Modi Ji at the helm at these trying times. We need someone who is smart, decisive, wields full control of government/party and has the foresight to take necessary but difficult decisions, Mr. Modi fulfills all necessary ticks and we should be grateful for this !

    My 2 cents to Mr. Ninan, Please criticize when you see genuine faults along with sane reasoning, but leave some room to appreciate genuine steps & positive outcomes.

    • Mr Diwakar: Constantly supporting every move and policy measure that PM Modi makes, despite the utterly idiotic and harebrained nature of many seems to have become a favourite way to kill time for a certain set of people. We had fiascoes like demonetisation, a botched GST implementation, a bungled humiliating backing down at Balakot and now a totally cruel declaration of lockdown. And this lockdown essentially condemns the poor to slow death by hunger and malnutrition. But then, they are the poor that middle class intellectuals like youself care 2 hoots about.

      And when your devotion to the Führer leads you to make asinine, preposterous claims like:

      “Modi has taken enough steps to stall a crisis in India”

      one must wonder which India you are talking of – the India of the gated communities that your ilk inhabits or the India of the poor daily wage earning migrant that your ilk has kicked out of cities.

      Indeed, your ilk reminds me of the many who clap and howl with great gusto when Swami Nithaynanda proclaims that he delayed sunset !

      • You see the difference mr kili, you are clearly represneting a political ideology here and people like us who are just common citizens of this country not dedicated to any ideology but only rationalism are countering you because you just can’t stop yourself from being an anti modi bhakat. Looks like you didnt see any problem in this country before 2014.

        • Mr Parag rb: If you claim that being anti-Modi is a political ideology, then isn’t being pro-Modi also a political ideology ? In any case, apart from simply attaching labels to my stance, why don’t you muster arguments explaining why you are right and I am wrong ?

      • Well, if you are not dedicated to any political ideology then why u keep correcting those who are speaking in favour of modi’ s work and policies? If he is wrong, People will give him feedback, why you are so worried? According to you People were in good mind till they were electing someone you like and suddenly their wit is on toss just because they have expressed faith in someone you abhor.

        And what is this arguement you are asking me to muster? You dont think that common people cant muster any argument of their own and only your arguments are truthful and logical. If you are paying any attention then you will realize that if there are 10 arguments for not electing the modi , there are 100 arguments for not electing his opponents and 1000 if those opponents happens to be communists. People of this country have very fine understanding of this so keep argue with them if you must.

        • I have a right to comment about anybody and any ideology. Exactly the same rights that you too enjoy.

  8. With respect to the interpretation in this article its bang on realities of his style. We are debating Churchill. Nehru etc even today that means their decisions has far reaching effects. So Modi’s, Manmohan’s , Sonia’s etc. Unfortunately scholarly will give benefit of doubt to the Scholar Manmohan but not unscholarly Modi. This shows that he is smart and effective leader unlike many former PMs who had let go opportunities in Crisis. Today situation is that China sends virus and India its medicine…Should we build on this narrative????

  9. Few journos have not forgotten Modi for pushing them to side lines. They just can not forget the hey days under congress regime when they were awarded for licking …. of ……. this article is born out of that.

  10. After so long of corona effect in india, still indian thinks that its all fake news about corona, corona is in china, usa, italy or even in metros how come it is going to effect rural areas untill tablighi incident. Author is really running sort of any positive thoughts going on in india. Totally biased, librandus r still on anti-national agenda. They never see anything positive going on in india. They have lost their positiveness n overall they r exposed totally. Each n everyone understands this.

    • middle m@@@n…….because all belong to kaa@@ngress era…now being sidelines and are like fish out of water……

  11. What is happening in every country let alone India. It seems that print has taken contract for demeaning india and its leadership. No problem, you will find some of like minded in India also. We Indians have been ruled by foreigners due to a few Indians who for want of his personal pursuit sold the mother country to other. No foreigner ever dared to fight with us, however they could because some of us helped them out.

    • Mr Kumar Nath Thakur: Since when did criticism get conflated with demeaning ? And what makes you believe that the leadership of the Great Gujarathis should never be criticsed? After all, the Gujarathi leadership paradigm inflicted untold hardship on the nation through demonetisation, a completed botched GST implementation, the Rafale scandal, lynchings of innocent Muslims, high levels of unemployment, unequal growth, utter economic mismanagement, promotion of pseudo-science and now an unplanned, hasty lockdown that has punished the poor didn’t it ?

      And what makes you come to the utterly preposterous claim”No foreigner ever dared to fight with us” ? Forgotten the beating inflicted by the Chinese in 1962 ? Natoinal pride is surely to be welcomes, but delusions of the kind you seem to suffer from need treatment !

      • Hello Sir John! What employement you are talking about after my father there were no employment in our house!
        What I meant to say is it Modi jis fault it was not Modi shashan when my uncle was searching for jobs
        It was not Modi, S 2014 when my aunt was desperately searching a job ! ( 1998)
        Even I was an unemployed person before 2014.
        But thanks to Modi govt. For lending some small business loans .

        • Manasvi ji: While it is surely heartening news that you have now been able to obtain a job thanks to the Great Gujarati, may I suggest that you also shed a tear for the millions who lost their jobs due to a harebrained, completely bonkers measure called demonetisation? Also a brilliant idea emerging from the Great Gujarati ?

  12. What a load of crap. The writer is a complete ignorant of world politics and is clearly biased. Complete moron

    • Not much wisdom evident in your comment Mr/Ms R ! Of course, your ability to abuse and scream expletives is clearly graeter than your ability to argue politely.

      • Hello Kili, Why are you so INTOLERANT???? Why can’t people like you take any comments FOR Modi? You lie openly and only spread fake news and views and expect no one will object? And then when people have had enough they will react in an agressive manner like R above. That is also not acceptable to your types INTOLERANT people.

        • Hello Ash saab ! I am critical, as simple as that. I believe that any elected politician should be held accountable for his deeds and misdeeds. That applies to ALL politicians, regardless of party affiliations. However, I fully understand that for people like you iwho belong to cults, be it the Modi cult, the Swami Nithyananda cult, the Asaram Bapu cult, the Tablighi cult and so on are conditioned to never question their leaders. Indeed, it is regarded as blasphemy to do so.

          Yes, an argument that runs counter to the established narratives is often regarded as heretical and the one who advances these uncomfortable views is attacked personally. Thus, in India, anyone who questions the RSS/Modi narrative is dubbed as anti-national, intolerant, a Congressi etc. etc. There is utterly no debate, just flinging epithets at each other – the easiest thing to do. Sadly Ash saab, you too belong to that category.

  13. Writer seems to be English medium Bakht. When your elite oriented publications start praising the incumbent, then surely all is not well, rather well controlled.

  14. Writer seems to be English medium Bakht. When your elite oriented publications start praising the incumbent, then surely all is not well, rather well controlled.

      • Ya it’s better than this rubish for sure…
        I on this day can say… Someone thinking against one of the powerful leader… Ya they must have some chance to fight, isn’t it… Go on…
        Only 1 year left in Kerala election and this has helped current government to hide it’s mistakes….
        Write an article on this one also… My dear communist writer…

        • Namaskaram Mr Jinish V.K. Nair !

          One would have expected a denizen of God’s Own Country to be a lot more independent in his thinking than the average private-parts-in-public-scratching Adityanath follower. Sadly, you disappoint by your own ignorance of the progress made in Kerala in fighting COVID 19. The response of the Kerala government is lauded internationally and the measures put in place in Kerala have kept the incidence of the disease low. The helplines set up in Malayalam for overseas Keralites is without parallel and speaks volumes about the pro-active approach of the Kerala government.

          Why don’t you pack your bags go and live in UP or Bihar if things are that bad in Kerala ? I am sure you can get the Bihari or UP equivalent of “kallu” and mingle with your fellow intellectuals there ? If you want, I can even arrange to send you some “upperi” at regular intervals !!

          • Why don’t you shut your commie trap and get the hell out of this discussion before you are insulted further

  15. Such a wasted article. Get a life, Mr Ninan. Clearly, you’re a loser.

    For all its faults, India has done a phenomenal job about controlling the virus, especially in a country as large and crowded as ours. If your so called “intellect” doesn’t want to see that, you’re the loser.

      • Modi WILL win next election even because of his handling of the COVID crisis in India. Modi’s statesmanship has risen by miles after what steps he has taken and the way he has handled and worked with other countries. The only problem is IN people like Kili Jolsiyar, who are so self centred, egotistic and communists that they cannot withstand the success of Modi. Modi will win next elections 100% and even beat commies in Kerala and TMC in Bengal. WATCH……..

  16. What is the necessity of bringing in that last sentence? It seems not to be an individual opinion based on one’s own understanding but rather a narrative that is put across just to spice things up. The marginalization of muslims, though debatable, is not as prevalent as you would like it to be to suit your narrative. Not everyone is a saffron clad extremist with the ideology of hate and the itching towards aggravating communal tensions as some like to put it across.

  17. Just faulting a political leader you don’t agree with is not journalism.the analysis of the situation, the response to it etc are not dealt with in a logical perspective. The opposition to the CAA is no more than a reflection on unreasonable exercise of political power in a democracy. Throwing in words like Hindutwa is meat for the left wing but makes no sense. We Indians have no ability to read and understand a political manifesto. Everything done by the government was in the manifesto.

    • CAA was not in the manifesto Mr Gobi Sampath ! It was aknee-jerk reaction to the fact that the Assam NRC process revealted that most so-called illegal migrants to India were Hindus from Bangladesh. And, the BJP, a Hindutva espousing party could not be seen as throwing out Hindus, never mind the fact that the Assamese wanted all Bengalis out, Hindus or Muslims.

      Therein lies the problem with this silly defence of Modi’s or rather Amit Shah’s policies – they forget that religious identities are weak glues for nation building. After all, Pakistan could not unite behind Islam could it ? And Bal Thackeray had no qualms about throwing out the “kaala madraasi” from Bombay because they did not belong to the “marathi manoos” didn’t he ?

      Min-boggling that educated people like you would join unquestioningly join the Modi cult like the many illiterate who joined the Aasaram Bapu or Swami Nithyananda cults.

      Pathetic !!

  18. But one cannot simply deny the fact that the Indian political narrative is going to be pre and post corona . Up until now it was Modi whob chose and driven the political narrative which was based on Hindutwa or divisive politics. Now with corona a ‘unity ‘ euphemism has been brought in and the popular support for the fight against corona may not be dissipated soon. In this new narrative RSS and its hindutva agenda could be pushed to behind the curton or Modi has to take up an aggressive hindutva agenda which will spoil his current image. It would be difficult for Modi to translate this ‘unity’ into hindutva. Also it is a big challenge for him to drive the economy and a recovery seems impossible in the near term. The current advantage is short term while a big challenge lies ahead

    • Well said Mr Joshy Paul !

      The problem with the fascist ideology called Hindutva is that while it might rally the Hindu, upper middle castes around the Modi cult, it will only weaken the fragile bonds that hold a nation as vast and complex as India together. And even the most chauvinistic and jingoistic of the Hindu upper castes that will blindly accept that 2+2 = 5 if Modi says ditch their Indian passports the moment at the earliest opportunity possible. Admittedly, the Great Gujarati know how to consolidate his own political power by squashing every institution of democracy that was painstakingly built up over the decades. But that comes at the expense of national unity. Something the Hindu upper castes don’t seem to care about or understand. Yet.

      • So you judge people by their caste. You are a bluff man. You talk about national unity and you abhor hindu upper caste. Even I am against the brahamnism and vedic caste system and manusmiriti but I dont endorse your langauage of class struggle and divide. You have let me down. How can you judge a person by his caste and how you can label a whole caste. You are sick in your mind. Here you are just sugercoat your extreme hate for hindu upper caste when you give lofty speeches about your arguments and bla bla bla. I am sure given an opportunity , you will also support the ethnic cleansing of upper caste hindus. Shame on you. I still say that humanity is omnipresent no matter what your caste is. Same thing applies for prejudice and logical thinking. Your religious intolerance may go to hell. I wonder how someone may have this much of venom for a person just because he belongs to a particular caste. You denote the pinnacle of manusmiriti mr kili. You are dismissed.

    • But the unity narrative plays right into hindutva. “We” are united, all of us INDIANS, and They are working against Us. If They weren’t sabotaging Us then our heroic unity would terrify covid19 into fleeing the country.” That’s how I see the dialogue play out among nationalists anyway, so I don’t see it as forcing Modi to change tack at all. It plays right into his hands. Human psychology always wants a scapegoat in a crisis and the virus has the potential of spreading hindutva ideology by selling the idea that those who are insufficiently Indian are literally killing people with disease.

      I agree with you that long term Modi will take a hit trying to navigate economic recovery though.

  19. Is this what you say…taking over advantage of the freedom of speech, now this is one fine example of what a Writer or a media shouldn’t be, Instead of supporting the deeds our PM is doing..we have people like this wanting a TRP rating….Shame on you!

    • Why should one support the deeds of the PM as a knee-jerk reaction without critical analysis? Especially when many are not taken by him but a shadowy chap called Amit Shah ? Additionally, you seem to have forgotten that most of the authoritarian decisions of the Great Gujarati have plunged the nation and its poor into disaster. Forgotten the hare-brained scheme called demonetisation ? A botcehd GST implementation? The black face suffered by the Balakot fiasco ?

      Of course, bhakths like you do not believe in truth to power. But then, in your worldview, graduates of Delhi University are infallible geniuses aren’t they Mr Dev ?

      • I fully agree with you Mr/Ms Anon. No politician should be blindly followed.

        Sadly, the educated middle class India would disagree with you. If the great Gujarati says bang your vessels, they will do so with gusto; if he says light a candle, they will do so without questioning. Having surrendered and outsourced their thinking to the Great Gujarati, they are full-fledged members of a cult as opposed to smart, educated citizens. They will defend every idiotic move the Great Gujarati does – just as they defended demonetisation tooth and nail. Indeed, it was tragi-comical to watch bhakths defend demonetisation long after the Great Gujarati realised his folly and cunningly distanced himself from it !

        Very reminiscent of Germany under the Führer.

  20. This article shows a few journalists can still call a spade a spade. Let their tribe increase. Good for democracy.

    • I fully agree with you. Sadly, the press is increasingly getting gagged by the Gujarathis. Most TV channels and print media have now become mouthpieces of the BJP. The media cannot operate freely in India unless it toes the Modi line.

      The World Press Freedoms Index puts India at a miserably 140th place of the 180 countries surveyed. Indeed, under Modi, the country has fallen even more. Sadly, in India, if you call a spade a spade, you run the risk of spades and shovels being used to bury you in a shallow grave.

  21. Your article reeks of one sided spite. Someone with so much of a skewed opinion that it biases his writing an article as a journalist, shouldn’t be a journalist at all.

    • Correct..but such journalists are students of a particular school of thought and contrary to innovators they are only trained to think and justify a particular ideology only..there view is completely anti out of the box!

  22. Spot on with your analysis,Mr Ninan.
    The trouble with the current PM is everything is done as a PR exercise for impressing the public and not much thought behind decisions -he likes to ride the tiger and put on a show to impress people,but does not then know how to get off-it happened with demonetisation,GST,Article 370 and now the shut down.
    There is no end game or exit plan.He shut down a country of 1.3 billion with four hours notice because it would make him look decisive on TV without consulting with the chief ministers who had to implement it and without thinking about the millions of migrant workers and daily wage labourers..The curve of infections are still rising and community transmission has started to rise albeit slower than expected,but how and when does he call the end of the shut down?Tough one.
    Over 400,000 people a year die of TB in India and around 250,000 die of Malaria to put the threat of this Virus into context. Covid has a mortality rate of less than 1% and pominantly affects people over the age of 70.It is not surprising that it kills people in their thousands in Europe and America with much older population than India with much higher life expectancy than India.In Italy ,nearly a quarter of people are over 65,whereas in India,this is just over 5% and he median age of the population is 25. So,it was unlikely to affect India in a big way so long as strict contact tracing and isolation were undertaken as Korea showed the world( which did not have any lockdown).Was any of this taken into consideration before imposing a lock down on a country the size of a continent and putting the livelihood of millions at risk.
    No,because it would not make him look decisive .

  23. Prints Gupta endorsing all the stories these days falling flat on his face while him calling Modi supporters obedient infants . In times of social media these journalists get the bouquets and brickbats delivered instantly

  24. When the British ruled India, there were Indians too, who supported British Empire, for reasons like personal safety, benefits, etc. These trolls commenting on this article Are the same kind of people. Either they’re getting paid for such comments or are filled with hatred in their mind.

    But Deep inside you know very well what Modi is doing. You know very well that he has been a disaster in his job. He only spreads hatred and violence.
    But you’re comfortable because it doesn’t affect you. And you find it convenient being on the side of the attacking mob. It is the easiest thing to do.
    The day when Modi govt loses popularity, you’ll conveniently switch sides.
    So keep on trolling. It affects no one. It only shows how sick And rotten your mind is.

    Every single citizen of India knows the truth.

    • Excellent comment Mr Rahul Shrama !

      What these bhakths forget is that India is not a country that has been formed naturally like say France, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands etc. It was an artificial construct that the British used for an administrative entity they they put together from several hundred independent kingdoms. And when the British left, you had 2 major states viz. India and Pakistan emerging from what was British India. With the departure of E.Pakistan in 1971 from Pakistan due to ethnic, racial and linguistic reasons, one soon had 3 countries. The moral of the story being that India is a sum of many parts that are “held together” as opposed to “having come together” to form a state. Even today, there are regions that do not wish to be in the union – Punjab and Kashmir being examples of parts that wanted to break away. Add to this mix restive places like Nagaland, Assam, Manipur etc. where you need the AFSPA to keep them in the Union, one would quickly realise that the most important job of the PM would be to keep the unity of this fissiparous nation intact. On that count, the Gujarat model of the Delhi University alumnus fails miserably. Indeed, Modi has roused every sleeping dog in the country in the name of Hindutva: anti-Muslim sentiment; anti-Dalit sentiment; anti-Hindi feelings by progressively imposing Hindi in the Union Ministries; reviving the Ram Mandir issue and so on. Incidentally, the vast majority of Hindus in the South had never heard of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and still consider South Indian temples like Tirupati, Sabarimala, Guruvayur etc. as more important for them.

      Worsening the situation is economic mis-management by letting quacks run amok. Trained, world-class economists like Dr Raghuram Rajan, Arvind Subramanian, Urjit Patel, Nobel Prize winners Amartya Sen & Abhijeet Mukherjee are sidelined whilst complete quacks like Baba Ramdev & Anil Bokil dictate economic policy. That culminated in demonetisation, a colossal display of economic folly and a war on the informal sector of the economy where 82% of Indians toil.

      It is sad to see that many educated Indians do not call this man’s bluff and choose to join the vacuous Modi cult. A cult that is playing with the very unity of the country.

      • It is an intellectual intolerance which reflects in your commentary. What you mean by modi bhakats? Are there no bhakats of communism, marxism and terrorism? And people who are not modi bhakats and used to hurl abuses at him are more intellectual and liberal and have better understanding of this country and issues related to it? Well there are so many unanswered questions but one thing is clear ” if by calling someone a modi bhakat means that person is lesser being than you because he and you dont see eye to eye then believe me your manufactured , tailored and conditioned intellect doesnt worth a dime”

        • Mr Parag rb: The phrase “Modi bhakth” in my original comment was not addressed to anyone in particular. But since you seem to react angrily to that term, one wonders whether you indeed are one. Care to clarify Sir ?

      • I did left a reply to the above comment but to my dismay it is not published. Can I know why? Does freedom of expression stands only when we talk in a particular way or it is for everyone who wants to participate in a debate triggered with this thread..pls publish my comment..lets open the debate further

  25. I understand the hatred ! but this article in the middle of the crisis is just pathetic ! Especially the timing ! U could have posted this after this crisis was over ! N hopefully it will be over ! the whole world is fighting against one virus ..we don’t need another one..let’s deal one crisis at a time please

    • There is always some excuse or the other to not criticise Modi. For you Mr Rajath K.R. timing appears to be the excuse. In any case, how does this article impair the tackling of the COVID 19 crisis? Care to elaborate Sir ?

  26. TN Ninan is supposed to be an expert on Indian economy and budget. And what has he come to in this article! This would rather pass as article by Shivam Vij or Jyoti Malhotra! Feels sad for Ninan.

    • Dr Dilip: One notes that you have decided to play doctor and come up with unasked for diagnoses of imaginary patients. One wonders if this is due to the fact that you have not been able to muster any cogent arguments to rebut the Mr Ninan. Care to clarify Dr Dilip ?

    • Daksh: Don’t read it if you don’t like it. Nobody forced you to swallow what you term as stupidity …

    • Mr G.Yagneswaran: What makes you call Mr TN Ninan a “crook” ? The fact that he wrote something that hits home and hits hard and yet your “modi bhakthi” induced brain freeze prevents you from accepting? Of course, one also notes that you are quite skilled at hurling abuse when you are unable to put forth a single argument countering what Mr Ninan has to say.

      • Sir kili, lets not make modi bhakti equivalent to brain being non receptive of an idea which runs contrary to your political belief also means some type of brain freezing. Also you are claiming some kind of intellectual superiority over those modi bhakats. Why there is so strong urge in you to see all the things in doesnt work like that. Ideologies serve themselves we all know that so please stop being a mouthpiece of some ideology. You can not term people idiots when they voted for modi and then the same people sane when voting for others. Everyone has his/ her own judgement according to his life and it has to be respected. You and me are also individuals , lets not make this more than that.

        • Mr Parag rb: Thanks for your response.

          Clearly, you did not read the initial comment of Mr G Yagneswaran. Had you done so, you would have realised that my retort points out the glaring absence of any counter-argument in his vacuous comment. Merely calling Mr T.N.Ninan a “crook” does not amount to advancing the debate. And my response merely indicates that Mr Yagneswaran, like many others in his tribe or rather cult, do not believe in questioning their elected leaders. And I never used the word “idiot”. Although I do allude to idiotic behaviour!

          Of course Mr Parag, it is your prerogative to function as a lawyer for individuals like Mr G Yagneswaran and other members of the Modi cult.

  27. Even nature helps those who are on the side of righteousness and Modi is on the side of right but nothing comes to save the crook librandus who can’t survive without lies and fabricated stories.

    • Mr Ak.Dev: You pontificate:

      “nature helps those who are on the side of righteousness and Modi is on the side of right”.

      Nature did not come to the aid of Jews that were gassed by Hitler, Vietnamese that were napalm bombed by the Americans, E.Pakistani Bengalis that were raped and massacred by West Pakistanis, the innocent Muslims who were burnt to death in Naroda Patiya by RSS and Bajrang Dal mobs, Mohammad Akhlaq who was lynched in Dadri and so on. There is no natural law that states that righteousness will necessarily triumph. Nor is it always self-evident that Modi is always on the right side of things. Heard of the hardships inflicted on the poor through demonetisation ? The 4 hour notice to shut down commercial activity that threw the lives of the poor into jeopardy?

        • Mr Parag rb: I think you have now run out of arguments. Clearly, when the bhakth pulls out the “Kashmiri pandit exodus” excuse, you know for sure that he is cornered. So here comes my question:

          Should every debate be qualified by an initial reference to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits before being able to deabte ? If that is the case, why doesn’t the good Hindu in you condemn the pogroms against Sikhs before starting any debate ?

      • Still Talk about the mass exodus of hindus from kashmir..lets all know your views on that.
        Also discuss why there is so much political violence in your state?
        Tell us why you think balakot a gimmick ( as you have mentioned in one of your comment) and what should india do to curb terrorism coming from pakistan or you dont think that it is problem at all?

        Also tell us how the lockdown announced by central govt ( and by many state governments) is not good. What ideas you can propose instead.

        Tell us why ram mandir issue is so frustrating for you? What problem have you got with the ram mandir.

        Answer all these question because people here now want to really know your views.

  28. Disgusting.. Pathetic mentality of writer..this is due to pro active steps of pm we are very low in number of corona cases in comparison of USA and Italy.. This type of article is completely unacceptable in this critical scenario.. Thumps 👇

    • India is like Africa in this regard. The low numbers are because of lower ties and travel to China than Europe and US, the initial epicenter and because of low testing. Our peaks will come later.

      One thing that will protect us both is younger population. Italy’s old population (over 65, 2014) is 22%. Ours is 5.5%. This is an old people disease and this will keep deaths low. As a country, our medical response has been one of the worst, but not the worst. Brazil and Nicaragua have worse leaders than Modi.

      • Mr Kaushik: If Brazil and Nicaragua have leaders who are worse than Modi, I am sure it is a cause for celebration !

  29. Khisiyani Billi Khamba Noche
    Reading this article was like watching Ancient Aliens in History Channel.
    This author cooks and lives stories in his mind.

  30. PRINT’ Shame… Disgusting… Is this the best you have amidst of world crisis. You have just proven, how biased and sold-out you’re.

  31. The fundamentalist Malayalee Christian inside Ninan has spoketh the final word… like his worthy predecesors like TJ Philip and George

    • The Hindutva fundamentalist and Savarakar & Golwalkar worshipping mentality of Mr Prapan has spoketh the final word !

      Jai Hind !

  32. I have already said everyone would abuse the author because he spoke and wrote truth. Let’s take author hates Modi. Rahul who is reduculed as Pappu has been requesting to prepare to face virus. Forget everything else why a simple physical distancing exercise was not introduced on day one when we got report of first death in China, forget about WHO which declared it pandemic late. Considering the size of our population we could controlled large gathering well in advance to reduce the spread and also death.

    • Even Tablighis think they are right. You can sense foul smell of slums only if you don’t live in slum.

    • Very well said Mr N. Nagarajan !

      The problem in India today is that even the educated do not realise that they have ended up in the Modi cult. And like every member in a cult, deification of the cult leader, blind, unquestioning loyalty to the leader and a desire to attack anyone who questions the actons of the leader is what we see in very large dollops today. So much so that if Modi were to say that 2+2 = 5, cult members will thrash you if you question that. Thus, a completely idiotic step and a classic example of voodoo economics called demonetisation was never questioned by bhakths. Indeed, even after Modi realised that he had screwed things big time and distanced himself from demonetisation, you could still see bhakths still defending it tooth and nail !!

      It is truly a sad state of affairs when leaders are not held accountable by the citizens who elect them. And when citizens regard their elected representatives as cult leaders who are infallible.

  33. One must rise to the occassion when there is an opportunity. Simply saying that because of a situation Modi saved his image does not do justice. Modi is brave in decision making and for long term policy measures. And fortune favours the brave.

  34. Its funny how indian public are hypocrites….they say that tgey have conyrolled tge vidus but in teality they are hiding facts.

  35. Author wants to become famous or he is blind so he wants to make some money by criticizing a person who is working day and night for the nation. He knows in this way he’ll be famous and anti people of modi will give him some money to live life.
    My serious concern for the author is just come out of all your mind miseries and stay home.

  36. Troll army is and fake comments do not make the story wrong. Anti CAA-NPR-NRC are the protests to save millions of Indians from the fascists agenda of Shah-Modi-RSS. As always, they claim that only Muslims will suffer. The fact is that everyone will suffer and Muslims will still be there because they need Muslims to blame, they cannot survive their politics without an enemy.

  37. I’m tickled to see the butthurt Bhakts in the comment section.
    How dare you criticise their Dear Leader!

  38. Citizens were not protesting against CAA only illegal migrants and their sycophant masters. This article is as shit as the Print. You wanted lockdown with notice, ask for notice from China when you contract Corona.

  39. The entire world faces a pandemic but here we have ‘The Print’ with toppled words compressing every emergency step to a mere political decision and an attempt to snub a trifle of anti caa protestors.
    Shame on you!
    Criticise yourself, you dumb heads!!

  40. Left-liberals want millions of Indians to die, so that they can blame all on Modi. Unfortunately, that is not happening. So this burning sensation in their stomachs is overflowing as too many articles from the left-liberal cabal.

  41. He has a gift none of his eight predecessors, from Manmohan Singh to Rajiv Gandhi, had: Being able to speak directly and convincingly to a large enough section of Indians who will take his word for gospel, and his order like a papal bull. Shekhar Gupta

  42. This is an unbelievably ridiculous article. It smells of anti Modi stink. It’s shocking to observe how ignorant and unthankful the author is. How can you even breathe with so much hatred and negativity in your pitiful brain which obviously is lacking in oxygen? Get yourself checked. Hopefully, there is some vaccine for this anti Modi disease you are suffering from.

  43. Is Print is promoting conversion to Christian! For every article in print their main advertiser is praising Jesus and Christianity. How much money Print is geeting promote Christianity?

  44. And this post proves that you don’t have any credible information, so you propogate for hits. Shameful

  45. Like everything in this country is attributed to Modi from this article it looks like he invited the corona virus to save his govt. !!!! And by the way the anti CAA protests were orchestrated by political parties inciting the sentiments of the minority when it is clear that no Indian stands to lose. And when did Modiji ask you to bang utensils . That was the malayali version of taali bajao. Can understand with limited knowledge of Hindi. And that was for the frontline workers not for himself . Wgen Spain and Italy does it, it jams appreciated. Only this unholy Modi hatred is palpable in this article. At such a trying time let better sense prevail
    Utter rubbish.
    This is the press we are scared of.

  46. I dont understand Mr Ninan saying Modi should have give sufficient notice for lockdown. It would have caused more infections. One more inaccurate point. SG is not on lockdown. It also did not give sufficient notice.

  47. Why do keep writing articles that are against him? Try to accept the fact that he has always been there for the country and remained honest and sincere towards his duties and responsibilities.Dont try to impose your nonsensical views against him. Stop your hatred

  48. Why do keep writing articles that are against him? Try to accept the fact that he has always been there for the country and remained honest and sincere towards his duties and responsibilities.Dont try to impose your nonsensical views against him.

  49. I agree journalism has a role in exposing the loop holes with its constructive criticism, but is this article really the need of the hour?? Certainly not… And surely not when the world leaders and organisations are actually appreciating the Indian effort in containing the spread! In these tough times media needs to write stuff that reassures the citizens that government is doing their job and spread awareness how each one of us can contribute by following regulations of the lockdown.

  50. the author i belive has got it wrong…the memory of the masses is always by default short. they might for a while forget that economic crisis is not because of modi but not for long…eventually they will have to blame him…at the max, it might have brought some breathing space for modi gov ….but the result of this lockdown will be catastropic for india and no amount of IT CELL/ media spinning can hide the pain of the masses int he lon//g term.

  51. Words cannot define how low can someone think. I want to ask why are you perverting journalism in the name of this article in this hour when the world needs leaders like Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi and Narendra Modi to show light in this our of crisis. Why are you writing such a piece of shit. Get a psycho-counselling done that is my request. I pray to Allah for your mental health wellness.

  52. You are repeating the revisionist history propelled in academia regarding the Roosevelt’s New Deal. Roosevelt created a great depression out of a recession.
    The great depression of 1930 was caused by the very policies taken up by his predecessor Herbert Hoover and continued by Roosevelt. US had many recessions since their inception until 1929. Their founding fathers believed in little government intervention. In fact a much bigger recession started in 1920. But, government never intervened to stimulate the economy. Infact they never did any special stimulus kind of thing until 1929.

    The stock market crash of 1929 occured due to low interest rates and increased money supply by Federal reserve. After the crash occured, the money supply went down. Wages and prices had to go down in theory as deflationary recession is taking place and markets are being corrected. But the presidents imposed minimum wage laws, price controls, crop destructions to increase prices and so on. They created a depression out of a recession and let it plague the country for well over a decade.

    That’s when the Government did seriously erode the constitutional values embarked upon by their founding fathers. Govt. became a rescuer. people started looking at Govt. for jobs. Taxes were raised. Regulations and red tape increased. US had no income taxes until 1913.

  53. This is another one from the MODI BASHERS Group who only rely on biased theories and purposely turn a blind eye from the obvious facts. A little restraint and a sense of responsible journalism was expected at this hour of world crisis!

  54. It is easy to bash someone for writing critical articles of the govt in today’s times but no one seems to have raised any objections to the central surmise – which is mismanagement of the economy and not paying adequate attention to economic matters for the last 3-4 years and instead playing up on emotive issues.
    The author, though writes on economic issues also does not seem to have prescribed any solutions – so I have taken the liberty of suggesting a few.
    1. All sarkari salaries at 4th or 5th pay commission level – to cool off inflation and save on wage bills.
    2. Stop to Capex intensive projects for now.
    3. Loan moratorium for one year – with no accrual of interest (the current one is simply of no use – where is money going to come after 3 months?)
    4. After one year, loan recalculation to reflect prices at that time. Eg if property has depreciated then loan amount should be proportionately reduced.
    5. No repossession of business/property for next 3 years.
    6. Abolish income tax for 3 years.
    7. High rate of interest on savings or govt bonds (to encourage recapitalisation).
    All measures are temporary and can be reviewed periodically.

  55. Coming from a seasoned journalist like T N Ninan, seems he has reached the nadir in his writings.

  56. He has taken all the necessary steps to ensure a proper functioning. For all those against caa I want to ask what you do with a growing tumor, it needs to be cut away. He is the best pm we got after sardar patel.

      • From Swachh Bharat to withdrawal of LPG subsidy to the better-off, to demonetisation and now Covid-19, through all the other initiatives he has unveiled, he has invariably asked people to do something. Immediately, it makes them feel wanted, and responsible. Who doesn’t enjoy being taken seriously, and that too by such a powerful leader? He’s got the gift of seeking a sacrifice from people and pleasing them, instead of dispensing favours.
        For the poor, Modi’s outreach is through direct and efficient delivery: Cash, LPG, toilets, housing, and there must be more to come. The message is not needed when money can work. His direct delivery of benefits to the poor has been phenomenally better and less leaky than anything in the past. Shekhar Gupta

  57. He has taken all the necessary steps to ensure a proper functioning. For all those against caa I want to ask what you do with a growing tumor, it needs to be cut away. He is the best pm we got after sardar patel.

    • What due rights? CAA is for the benefits of persecuted communities outside of India, not only Hindus which is fine. NRC should be scrapped. Why feed anti-India forces outside India for pet projects that don’t benefit Indians? Many Modi supporting Indians do not support NRC.

  58. Disgusting article ..surely gives us a glimpse of the pathetic mentality of the writer…this sick mentality of yours is more fatal than the covid-19 itself..may God help you

  59. I don’t understand what kind of material The Print Snouts before Writing the Articles. This is Complete Pathetic in Times of Crises.

  60. How do you blog with an iq equalling room temperature,these propoganda’s is what destroys the unity you dumb ass blogger,if you’re blogging atleast put in some actual helpful information bitch

  61. The author is a first rate idiot to say the least. Modi was never cornered but some stupids like this author continue to believe in harping stupidity

  62. The bias that foreign bought press like the Print have are so apparent it is hilarious. The
    Anti CAA protests were also foreign funded and thankfully the country does not have the Gandhi Nehru Wadra family looting it anymore.

  63. And the author of this article saved this job by typing this article. So sad to see our journalism standard.

  64. Brilliant piece , but who cares, the author would be abused as anti national criticising him during the hour of crisis.

  65. Shame on you, your brain is polluted with politics ,and anti government stand, diverting nation’s attention to dirty political stand rather than leaving it to citizens to decide it for themselves, you are trying to give it a different direction.

  66. This article is biased one and shows hatred towards modi. The intellectual writting this article is intellectual of nothing.

  67. In fact, this crisis has trapped more in deep corner. Now no more jugaad can work and no more coated explanations will work. It has haulted many decisions and is going to change the environment and how people perceive this crisis management and decision making process. Transparency will be demanded by people themselves and this is going to push the wrong and fake things into further corners

  68. One of the best columns in the Print in recent times! How Modi was able to mesmerize 1.2 billion people will be for future historians to analyze.

    He has laid the foundations of a comeback in 2024 unless the economy spins out of control.

  69. Rather modi it is you presstitudes who will find lame excuses to switch over sides since the impact of corona is reduced due to the stringent action by modi.

  70. The author is so consumed by hatred of Modi that he cant think straight. Behind the author’s diatribe one senses a reluctant and unacknowledged admiration for Modi. Granted Modi is no saint nor a brilliant leader having made many mistakes but it is this kind of unbalanced reporting that results in my complete loss of respect for the media today who at the same time as they bash the government for every single thing complain about a muzzled press.

  71. I notice Flipboard curate all negative News about India and mostly western news shows only negativity.. Modi has emerge as a great leader but some only see negative . Very Bias article. Thumbs down.

  72. Coronavirus bhi sanghi hai.. Modi se mila hua hai… Look at the frustration & hatred of these fanatics against India’s leader. The PM is in a fight till end with this terrible disease along with his populace, and these small people are burning in a self imposed hell of negativity.

  73. Very shameful and opportunistic of your media house to think and propagate such views irrationally and anti-nationally.

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