A scathing in French newspaper Le Monde held prime minister Narendra Modi’s “lack of anticipation, arrogance, and demagoguery” responsible for the ongoing Covid catastrophe in India, the Telegraph .
“Narendra Modi’s lack of prediction, arrogance and demagogy are clearly among causes of a situation that now seems out of control and requires international mobilization,” the editorial said.
The international news media has been in its criticism of the Indian government for mishandling the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. On April 28, the country 3.79 lakh new cases and 3,596 deaths, the highest since the pandemic began.
“Preferring nationalist harangues to the advice of health experts, more inclined to self-celebration than to protect populations, Modi has only aggravated the situation,” the editorial argued, according to the Telegraph. “The prime minister, after paralysing and traumatising his country in 2020 by decreeing a brutal confinement, abandoning millions of migrant workers, completely lowered his guard at the beginning of 2021.”
The French newspaper took note of the campaign rallies Modi held even as cases rose, sans mask and social distancing. It observed that Modi allowed the Kumbh Mela pilgrimage where millions immersing themselves into the Ganga were turning the place into a “giant hotbed of contagion”.
It also looked at Modi’s vaccine strategy, concluding that he ignored the reality of his country's production capacity and made vaccine diplomacy subservient to his ambitions.
Le Monde painted a picture of the tragedy unfolding in India by describing scenes of relatives of patients begging for oxygen, lines of ambulances at the gates of overwhelmed hospitals, and mass cremations. “From the cities to the rural areas, from the rich to the poor,” it wrote, “the carnage doesn't spare anyone.”