Artist Baldev Singh dressed as Yamraj as part of a coronavirus awareness drive by Delhi Police Tuesday | Arun Sharma | PTI
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New Delhi: Prime time news Tuesday was a mixed bag of debate and drama, with a small helping of some actual news. After a leave of absence yesterday, Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami was back with a big smile and a message for Mumbai Police.

Times Now’s Rahul Shivshankar and Navika Kumar shared projections on the spread of the coronavirus till 3 May and beyond, nationally and in states, to indicate what should be allowed next month.

On Aaj Tak, Sayeed Ansari worried about the increasing number of health workers testing positive for Covid-19 in the capital.

Zee News discussed the ‘Mahabharat’ in Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), after criticism from different quarters on leadership lessons from a Ramayana webinar organised by the administration amid the Covid-19 crisis.

NDTV India’s Ravish Kumar, on the other hand, expressed his doubts over the Delhi Police masquerading as ‘Yamraj’, the Hindu god of death, on the streets to warn citizens about social distancing.

Zee News anchor Aditi Tyagi focused on the controversy in JNU on a Ramayana webinar slated for 2 and 3 May. The webinar is being organised by Vice Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar and Congress’ student wing NSUI has raised objections against it, calling it ‘propaganda’.

Tyagi said the session is meant to draw lessons for the current Covid-19 crisis, “Lekin tukde tukde’ gang ko lal dikh raha hain ( the ‘tukde tukde’ gang are seeing red). “The Left” is saying this is an attempt to convert history into puranic kathas, she remarked.

Zee News’ big question was “Shri Ram ke aadarsh mein vipaksh mein ko agenda kyun dikhta hain” (Why do they see an agenda in Shri Ram’s ideals?).

As part of a special report on Aaj Tak, host Sayeed Ansari discussed how “corona ka meter tham nahi raha hain” (corona has no signs of stopping). He said five states in particular were having a tough time — New Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. He said the havoc of coronavirus had wasted all preparations made by the government, and in Delhi, which is the third worst state, doctors, nurses and other health workers were “pareshan” (distressed).

Republic’s ‘The Debate’ opened to a smiling Arnab Goswami who thanked viewers for their “constant stream of support” that has “just not stopped coming” after his police interrogation, where the police allegedly took away his phone.“I am absolutely fine” he assured viewers. He also had a message for the Mumbai Police:  he would visit them a thousand times more if only Congress President Sonia Gandhi “broke her silence” over the Palghar violence.

On Times Now’s ‘The Newshour’, anchor Navika Kumar continued with a special segment — ‘Times Fact India Outbreak Report: India Corona Projection’. Quite a mouthful, right?

She said this report would “beat fear armed with facts” as it represented the  “most exhaustive corona projection survey on Indian TV” and could tell you if your state or city is in a position to ease the lockdown.

According to predictions, the worst case scenario showed that there would be 55,000 cases by the end of May in India, while the most likely scenario suggested 39,000 cases. At least six major states could significantly dilute lockdown post 3 May. The best case scenario was there would be 10,000 cases in Maharashtra by 3 May, and 14,000 by 18 May, she added.

In Tamil Nadu the best case suggested around 700 cases by 3 May and 1,000 cases by 18 May, while UP would have 2,000 cases by the first week of May with its peak still ahead of it. Karnataka was witnessing a downward trend, which indicates administration has managed well and can look at lifting the lockdown. Similarly in Kerala, the peak was past us and lifting the lockdown would be easier.

On Prime Time with Ravish Kumar (NDTV India), the anchor with his signature straight face said that this was not a time for Ramleela. He said there is a problem when Ravan from Ramleela, wears Yamraj’s costume and comes out on the streets — “Koi bhi confuse ho sakta hain” (Anyone will be confused).

He was talking about the person dressed as Yamraj/Ravan touring the streets of the capital as part of the Delhi Police’s efforts to warn people about coronavirus, urging them not to step out. The police could be seen tailing the man, while holding spiky balloons made to look like coronavirus.

While the intention may be fine, this method is not, declared Kumar. In the name of death, needless fear can spread, which can snowball into rumors. “Yes people have died, but far greater numbers have recovered,” He noted.

He also said that Yamraj being shown protecting the police did not look good for the forces.

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