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State-Orchestrated Massacre: Kamra Slams COVID Crisis in NYT Video

Kunal Kamra, in a video for The New York Times, slammed the Modi government over handling of the COVID crisis.

Updated
COVID-19
3 min read
Stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra.
i

While featuring in a video for The New York Times, Indian stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra spoke on the death and destruction caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly failing to control the crisis.

Referring to a speech by Modi, where the Prime Minister is heard saying that India, effectively controlling the coronavirus, has “saved mankind from tragedy,” Kamra accused him of downplaying the pandemic by “blatantly lying".

“Did you know India was the first country in the world to beat the coronavirus in January 2021?” Kamra asked, taking a jibe at the central government.

‘This Is Where I Stop Laughing’

Introducing himself, Kamra said, “My name is Kunal Kamra. I’m a stand-up comedian from India, and this is where even I stop laughing. At our peak in May, we had 400,000 case per day and 4,000 deaths per day and experts say these figures are a gross underestimate. Even now, as the rest of the world reopens, we are still suffering.”

“My people are needlessly dying. Our government has blood on its hands”, he added. “No world leader can compete with Modi. He runs India on a cocktail of bizarre lies and high-octane hypocrisy. And boy, he can act,” Kamra said referring to a recent speech where PM Modi got emotional while condoling deaths by COVID-19.

Slamming the organisation of the Kumbh Mela, he said that “in March, not only did the Modi government refuse to cancel the Kumbh Mela festival, but they actually promoted it,” Kamra pointed out, adding that it was a “gathering of millions and millions.”

“Most of these Hindus went to wash away their past sins but they should’ve stayed home and prayed for a better future,” he said.

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Kamra also slammed the election rallies held by PM Modi ahead of the West Bengal elections 2021.

“The subtext is clear: Your vote matters, but your life doesn’t,” Kamra said.

Further stressing India’s ordeal, Kamra added, “Crematoriums were overflowing. Hundreds of bodies washed up in the Ganga River. These are suspected COVID deaths. Dead bodies found in the river, of people who couldn’t afford to get a dignified spot in a crematorium.”

Kamra Slams Vaccination Drive

Kamra also took a jibe at the shortcomings of the vaccination drive and referring to PM Modi’s statement where he called India as the “pharmacy of the world”, Kamra asked: “We produced more than 60 million doses for other countries, but we didn’t make enough vaccines for ourselves. So, what’s our government doing about this tragedy?”

Insinuating the government’s unscientific temper, Kamra said, “Modi’s Ministry of Science and Technology commissioned research into how yoga and breathing exercises can help fight COVID. The government dropped flowers from helicopters on doctors, as a tribute. As a mark of respect. But if you die as a doctor treating a COVID patient, we’ve cancelled your life insurance. That’s some sneaky pickpocketing.”

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Kamra said, “We live in an out-and-out lie,” adding, “but our government is a master of one domain, attacking its critics. Recently, at least two dozen people were arrested for putting up posters that criticised the government’s vaccine policy. The government even asked Twitter to block some of these tweets which were critical towards its COVID policies.” Further, he said, “the police is filing FIRs against doctors who posted social media pleas for oxygen.”

Talking about his own family, Kamra said, “I am the privileged one percent. My parents and me got COVID, and my dad was fortunate enough to get an ICU bed for 14 days. Hundreds of thousands of Indians aren’t as lucky. Ordinary people and our frontline workers are literally keeping the rest of us alive. If we survive this pandemic, it’s because of them.”

“Even I, as a comedian, I’m struggling to satirise this absurdity. It’s a state-orchestrated COVID massacre, and I am outraged and heartbroken. And that’s all I got to say,” Kamra said before concluding with, “And you know what? You elect a joker – expect a f***ing circus.”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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