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COVID-19: Pandemic Vs Propaganda

The Bharatiya Janata Party versus the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi battle was on full public display during the pandemic. BJP held its ‘Maharashtra Bachao’ (Save Maharashtra) agitation, with party workers across the state in black masks, unfurled banners slamming the Thackeray-led government over its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. There were many attacks on social media, BJP leaders like Kirit Somaiya, has played a full-time blame machine by circulating videos and pictures of various hospitals and patients to show how this government has failed to overcome pandemic. Whereas Uddhav is doing a good job in the crisis. He did not allow a meeting similar to Nizamuddin in Maharashtra and handled the Bandra and Palghar incidents well. He is doing things well despite all the dirty tricks of BJP supporters and leaders. He kept Maharashtra united in the face of the crisis. Mumbai is an overpopulated city where many people travel by trains. Many hid their history and might have spread it to others while they were symptomatic. The cases are rising but it’s stable in rising not like the other countries. We should acknowledge the Government and help them in such crises rather than hurling attacks.

There are educated fools who go for walks don’t wear masks and don’t even follow rules. It’s not the government’s fault. They are trying their best to contain the spread. On the other hand, as part of its agitation, state BJP unit party workers were seen in social and broadcast media shouting slogans against the Thackeray government, holding placards in a symbolic protest. The protests were held outside their homes, state, district and city party offices in a move to roll out a campaign and to generate a sentiment against the government. BJP also made demands of an independent fiscal package worth Rs 50,000 crore for farmers, daily wage earners in the state to combat Covid-19. If you look at the pattern of Coronavirus spread throughout the world, you will know why it is more in Maharashtra and most in Mumbai. It has nothing to do with Government or governance. Why would anyone want to fail, they know their survival is on services they rendered to people? In India, the strongest economy is that of the state of Maharashtra and Mumbai is India’s biggest commercial and industrial hub. It has a flourishing diversified economy; it is most industrialized and home to India’s heavy industry. Entertainment, Fashion, Apparel, international trade, tourism etc. are the pillars of its affluence. Now I am not saying that the economy per se is responsible for spreading the virus but a bigger economy automatically causes bigger movement of people. This virus has been imported in India through travellers, traders, tourists and returning NRIs. Mumbai is the gateway of India; hence the virus is bound to find its way through the gateway. It started infecting the rich and through local transmission found its way into the poorer habitations.

Besides, lifestyle also plays a contributor. In Mumbai, almost the entire upper- and middle-class population lives in multi-storied buildings. Whether it’s the deluxe apartments of the rich or the chawls of the lower middle class, the residents share too many spaces and there’s a constant physical interaction between them. In lobbies, in lifts and in hallways they are coming physically close to each other. The poor who live mostly in slums and at least one hundred share a toilet each day; have statistically speaking, higher probability of contracting the virus. So, let us focus on saving lives and not get into a political blame game. In time to come, research will expose the weaknesses in our system. The Shiv Sena and other ruling parties did not take this lightly and slammed the Opposition for playing politics amidst a full-blown disaster. They also hit back on social media. The former CM has also alleged that the state and the city have reduced testing of patients in a bid to bring down the Covid-19 positive cases. Government is doing all that is possible, there is point in questioning their integrity.

It is our fault too, as soon as the lockdown is little relaxed, we have allowed Newspaperwala, Kachrawala, Doodhwala, Watchmen everybody passes through the floor by using elevators. Don’t you think it’s every individual’s responsibility to get a test done and make sure we don’t spread the virus in our building at least let alone the area. We just want to blame authority and government by getting influenced by political propaganda and forwards; do you think Uddhav Thackeray is a magician? Take a look at Mumbai, and see how people live there in such close proximity to each other. Wherever you go a huge crowd is running around. CoOVID-19 is spreading in Mumbai like any other state or city of India and the world and you want to find fault with only Uddhav Thackeray? Uddhav Thackeray has tried his best to stop COVID-19 spreading like many other heads of state across the world. All of them have succeeded in a few ways and failed in a few ways. It is immature to criticize only Uddhav and play random politics by taking advantage of such crises.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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