As the devastating COVID-19 continues to soar, the popularity of Indian Prime Minister Modi has fallen

As the devastating COVID-19 continues to soar, the popularity of Indian Prime Minister Modi has fallen



Analysts say that for a leader who has avoided political challenges and has a reputation during his tenure, the devastating COVID-19 crisis engulfing India may be the prime minister Narendra Modi (Narendra Modi) so far. Challenging challenge.

In many parts of the country, people are expressing a deep anger to contain the second wave of brutal wars. This anger is directly directed at the government because the government has not fully prepared for the virus’s revival.

Indian story Plead on social media The supply of oxygen or the treatment of antiviral drugs abound, as planes full of foreign aid continue to land to prevent the country’s troubled medical system from collapsing.

Baljeet Asthana felt very depressed after spending a few days fixing the ICU bed for her mother. She said that her mother was dying due to lack of oxygen, so she took a video of herself outside a hospital in New Delhi in early May.

Asthana spoke directly to the Prime Minister and asked her what to do.

She said to the phone’s camera: “I ask Modiji and Kejriwal to let me know.” She also referred to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

She is polite and restrained, but has disturbing requests for help.

She said bluntly: “If you can’t tell my husband, then I will ask you to legalize the benevolent killing in India. Because you don’t know what ordinary citizens of India are going through.”

“We are working hard, we are working hard to get basic items such as oxygen, medicines, hospitals,” Athana continued steadily. “Let us die with dignity.”

Rural hardest hit area

Under the pressure of daily infection rates, this anger has also spread to more rural areas.

According to data from the World Health Organization, India released more than 300,000 new infections every day for more than three weeks, and the country accounted for half of the global reported cases last week. Experts believe that the number of officially recorded cases and deaths is greatly underestimated.

In Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, the devastating second wave was particularly severe, and the government opposed it.

A man angered outside a hospital in Milat after his niece died of the virus, cursing and accusing Modi’s self-proclaimed superpower Baladia Janata party.

A man in Meerut yelled and swore to a video camera, condemning Modi’s party for failing to obtain medical supplies such as oxygen. (Press Release/YouTube)

“What kind of superpower can’t even find oxygen for its people?” he asked, waving an oxygen mask in front of the door. Camera record Information about the survey site Newslaundry.

Yamini Aiyar, chairman of the Policy Research Center of a think tank based in New Delhi, said: “When people are suffering, it is most certain that certain suffering is turning into anger against political leaders.

“We are caught in policy complacency”

Aiyar said that it is well known that India spends far less on the healthcare system than any other comparable economy, accounting for about 1% of its GDP, and the country’s medical infrastructure is “collapsing.”

However, the Indian government did not take time to strengthen it to prepare for a possible second wave of unpredictable viruses.

She told CBC News: “On the contrary, we are caught in an assumption that there is a trap such as Indian exceptionalism.” The first wave of the pandemic was not as serious as the public health experts in India feared. It is not as serious as in other countries.

“We are in a state of policy complacency.”

Modi said at the World Economic Forum Virtual Summit held in January that India has defeated the virus and “save humanity from major disasters by effectively containing the corona.”

Three months later, India announced the highest number of infections in the world.

The family of Vijay Raju, who died of COVID-19, mourned before being cremated in a crematorium in Giddenahalli village on the outskirts of Bangalore, India. This week, the country died of 4,000 cases of coronavirus for three consecutive days. (Samuel Rajkumar/Reuters)

Aiyar said many Indians felt that the second wave of warning signals had been ignored, and Modi, who campaigned in key state elections in March and early April and rallied in front of thousands of people, disappeared in the operation. Up. Is experiencing a health crisis.

Aiyar said: “We are seeing a prime minister absent.”

She said that for a politician, this is particularly shocking because his brand is built on mobilizing supporters directly through non-traditional means such as social media platforms, rather than through the media and press conferences. (Modi has not held a press conference in the seven years of his tenure.)

Aiyar said: “On the contrary, what we are seeing is a deep silence. I can even say that our political leadership sympathizes with this when a national crisis occurs.”

“I think his silence exacerbated feelings of anger and betrayal.”

Watch | As the COVID-19 crisis continues, Indian Prime Minister Modi is getting more and more angry:

A leader’s prestige seems impeccable, and his COVID-19 response is now causing an uproar. The country’s medical system has failed, crematoriums are overwhelmed, and Indians plead for basic medical supplies. 2:12

‘The foothold of war’

On Friday, Modi told farmers in a virtual meeting that his government “On the basis of warHe said the virus is spreading rapidly in rural areas.

He said: “All government departments, all resources, our troops, our scientists, everyone is working day and night to fight COVID.”

This is the first time he mentioned the impact of the second wave on rural India, where medical and health services are not sound.

Modi gestured while speaking during the fourth stage of the West Bengal parliamentary elections held on April 10. (Diptendu Dutta/AFP via Getty Images)

Modi has not spoken to the country on TV since April 20, when he ruled out a nationwide blockade, such as the blockade he imposed when the virus first spread in March 2020, but tended to Local containment strategy.

He did call on Indians to take public health measures seriously and show “discipline” to “win the fight against corona.”

But that speech was held a few days after he held a large-scale political rally in West Bengal, when the party was trying to win state elections and was amazed at how many people he could see in front of the crowd, while the infection rate was rising. domestic.

Modi has also been criticized for swimming in the Ganges for reluctance to discourage millions of people from going to the holy city of Haridwar for the Kumbh Mela Hindu festival held in March and April.

Although he later urged the festival to end as soon as possible, thousands of people had been confirmed to have been infected by then.

On April 12, during the ongoing religious Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar, a man wearing a mask washed holy water on the Ganges River. Thousands of people infected with COVID-19 have been confirmed to participate. (Xavier Galiana/AFP via Getty Images)

The consequences for the “Teflon” leader?

Although anecdotal evidence suggests that the streets of India are full of anger, especially on the streets of cities, official opinion polls are still rare.

Morning Consult, a US data company, also tracks 12 other global leaders. Data released by the company showed that Modi’s popularity dropped sharply in April and has now fallen to its lowest point in a year and a half.

Michael Kugelman, senior assistant for South Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Centre, said: “Modi is indeed in an unknown political realm.”

Kugelman said: “He has never been criticized by so many people like he is now.” He pointed out how unusual this position is for politicians who he considers “Teflon people.”

“The political challenge and political fragility did not persist. He managed to overcome this challenge.”

On May 12, a woman mourned after seeing the body of her son who died of the coronavirus disease in the morgue of a COVID-19 hospital in New Delhi. (Adnan Abidi/Reuters)

And Modi is still the most Popular world leaders tracked by voting companiesAs of May 11, it is 1 point higher than Mexico’s Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and 29 points higher than Justin Trudeau.

According to data from Morning Consult, Modi’s current approval rate is 63%, while his disapproval rate is 31%.

This is a key signal, and it is too early to judge whether the current crisis will have a long-term impact on Modi.

Sadanand Dhume, a researcher at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, said: “His number is still very high.” “For an elected leader, about 65% is still a good approval rating.”

But Doum insists that it is much more difficult for Modi and his government to criticize his handling of the COVID-19 crisis because the pain is so personal and the evidence that the country is struggling is too numerous to list. .

Damm believes that what matters is how long it will take India to deal with its brutal second wave, as hospitals are still reporting shortages of critical medical supplies and beds.

Modi’s brand, and his preferred image of a strong India, has also been weakened.

India has rejected foreign aid for more than a decade, insisting it is self-reliant, but its long-standing position since the 2004 tsunami has now been reversed.

The country is looking at the land of airplanes containing international coronavirus relief supplies. Local officials are working hard to distribute them to where they are most needed, while people are going to social media to buy life-saving oxygen.

Workers are preparing medical supplies to be delivered to India on May 9 from Dubai International Humanitarian City in the United Arab Emirates. (Abdul Hadi Ramahi/Reuters)

Modi and his BJP party may have short-term political consequences, but the next general election will still take three years.

Diem said that there is enough time for Modi and his advisers to focus on other things and to restore his reputation.

Diem said: “They will do what they have already started, and they will change the topic.”

“They will find other things to talk about, and they hope that by the time the next general election comes, people have forgotten the horrors of 2020 and 2021.”


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