‘The power of Team India’: Leading newspapers print Modi’s piece lauding India’s vaccine drive

Several of them also had editorials tempering the celebrations with caution.

ByNL Team
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‘The power of Team India’: Leading newspapers print Modi’s piece lauding India’s vaccine drive
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On October 22, the Indian Express, the Times of India and the Hindustan Times published a piece by prime minister Narendra Modi on India administering 100 crore doses of the Covid vaccine. Lauding it as a “bhagirath effort”, the piece across papers carried Modi’s byline.

Calling it a “tremendous journey” for India, Modi reminisced on how things stood in the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 – though the tragedies of the second wave and the number of deaths found no mention. The piece also stressed on how India had been successful in coming up with its own vaccine – although peer-reviewed data for Covaxin still hasn’t been released – and credited healthcare workers, scientists, entrepreneurs and social workers in making the administration of vaccine doses a successful feat.

“The vaccine drive is an example of what India can achieve if the citizens and the government come together with a common goal in the spirit of Jan Bhagidari,” he wrote.

Newslaundry took a look at some of the leading English newspapers to see whether they carried the prime minister’s piece. This list is not exhaustive.

On the Delhi edition of the Indian Express, the piece appeared on their editorial page at the very top of page 12. Right beside the piece was Express’s own editorial piece taking a stand on the matter. The editorial said “That this target was reached in less than 10 months after the vaccines were rolled out, without the rural-urban divide holding back distribution, is a marvellous achievement of India’s scientific, regulatory and administrative agencies under the Centre...”

However it ended on a cautionary note: “The Covid guard must not be lowered, any new strain can throw a curveball.”

The Times of India published a part of the piece on its front page in Delhi, with the piece continuing on page 20. The newspaper also published its “Times View”: “Vaccinating 100 crore is laudable...However, the country needs to inject another 88 crore jabs to reach its target of inoculating every adult by the end of 2021...”

The Delhi edition of the Hindustan Times published the piece on page 16, which is also their opinion page. Much like the Indian Express, the Hindustan Times editorial today also took a cautious stand.

“In all, these numbers present a rather impressive outlook of India’s battle against Covid-19, and must be celebrated,”the editorial read, “but there’s more to be done in the country’s battle against the virus.”

The Hindu had the prime minister’s piece on its oped page, alongside its own editorial on “scripting history”.

“India could have probably reached this grand milestone earlier had time not been wasted in asking States to procure vaccines directly from the two manufacturers at a higher cost to vaccinate the 18-44 age group,” the editorial said. “While basking in glory, it is important not to lose sight of the bigger goal of vaccinating all eligible adults by the year-end.”

The Tribune also carried Modi’s piece on its opinion page. Its editorials for today were on Aryan Khan’s arrest and how a fertiliser shortage is impacting farmers.

The Daily Pioneer’s Delhi edition also published the piece under their “analysis” section on page 7. Mint also carried the piece on page 15, while New Indian Express had it on its oped page, as did Business Standard.

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