New Delhi: United we stand, divided we fall. In times of a pandemic, this pithy old adage still holds ground. Some politicians today chose to shed partisan politics to appreciate the government’s efforts at fighting coronavirus, but alas, there will always be some chronic naysayers.
One of the first in the appreciation category is, surprise surprise, who do we have here? Well, if it isn’t Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, reacting to the relief package announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Thursday.
The Govt announcement today of a financial assistance package, is the first step in the right direction. India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women & the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown.#Corona
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 26, 2020
Former MP Shahid Siddiqui also embraces the announcement with arms wide open.
We welcome the steps taken by the GOI to provide relief. I hope the whole system will be geared up with empathy & care to take these measures to the last person. System will not behave the way Police is behaving with every Indian as if they are all criminals.
— shahid siddiqui (@shahid_siddiqui) March 26, 2020
Critics, like economist Rupa Subramanya and author Tavleen Singh remain, well, critical.
Apologies.Deleted earlier tweet. I had mixed up the units. So India spending less than 1% of its GDP on a relief package. US spending 10% and Canada about 5%. Either India thinks the economic and social impact won't be that high,or this is a first instalment or it's just a sop. https://t.co/sRnJK1bdrm
— Rupa Subramanya (@rupasubramanya) March 26, 2020
The Finance Minister announces an economic package for migrant workers. Does she know that there are no arrangements to even help them get home?
— Tavleen Singh (@tavleen_singh) March 26, 2020
Congress leader P. Chidambaram may have publicly voiced his support for the Prime Minister but BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya still can’t stop finding fault with him.
It is amusing to see Chidambaram pontificate on every issue..
As Finance Minister, he failed to bring consensus on GST, messed up the stimulus package(s) and ran the economy to the ground but that doesn’t stop the media from indulging him. Being in opposition is surely a luxury!
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) March 25, 2020
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has been winning praise for his handling of the coronavirus crisis in the state and here’s one reason why: transparency about numbers at a time when many question government statistics.
Total samples drawn – 3156
Total -ve sample results – 2860
+ve cases – 124
Sample results awaited – 150
Inconclusive or rejected – 22
— CMO Maharashtra (@CMOMaharashtra) March 26, 2020
Ever ready to bust myths, mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik finds fault with the PM’s parallel between the 18-day-long Mahabharata war and the 21-day-long battle against coronavirus.
When politicians say Mahabharata war was 'won' in 18 days, they fail to mention that the 'winners' – the Pandavas – lost all their children (Abhimanyu, Ghatatkoch, Aravan, Upapandavas). That was the price of the 'victory'. Careful with mythic smilies.
— Devdutt Pattanaik (@devduttmyth) March 26, 2020
BJP’s national spokesperson Sambit Patra is definitely out of tune with the times — and the government’s social distancing messaging – as he hails Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for his much-criticised Ayodhya aarti.
जय जय श्री राम 🙏🙏🙏 https://t.co/RzBUtEEWGG
— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) March 25, 2020
Former chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah knows better than anyone what it means to be separated from family.
Please see this thread to understand what this lockdown does to families who have loved ones in detention. The continued detention of @MehboobaMufti, Sagar Sahib & others is nothing short of inhuman. They must be released. https://t.co/D0Jue4uhVu
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) March 26, 2020
And lastly, comedian Akshar Pathak’s joke is arguably as good as Akshay Kumar’s comic timing.
when they make a bollywood movie on coronavirus, akshay kumar will play the role of a selfless doctor who finds a cure against all odds, and katrina kaif will play the role of quarantined katrina kaif washing bartan
— Akshar (@AksharPathak) March 26, 2020
With inputs from Fiza Jha