‘They Have Slipped’: Anupam Kher on Centre’s Handling of COVID

The PM Modi-led government has been heavily criticised for its poor handling of the COVID crisis.

2 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Actor Anupam Kher with PM Narendra Modi</p></div>

In a surprising move, actor Anupam Kher, who has often praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly, on Wednesday, 12 May, criticised the Centre for slipping up in its management of the COVID-19 crisis.

Speaking to NDTV, Kher said, “It is important to hold government responsible for what has happened. Somewhere they have slipped. And it is time for them to sort of understand that there is much more to life than just image building maybe.”

“We should as people... Get angry..,” he added.

When asked by NDTV about the images of COVID-hit families begging for hospital beds, corpses floating in holy rivers and struggling patients, Kher responded:

“I think the criticism is valid in lots of cases and I think it is important for the government to sort of rise to the occasion and do things that they are chosen by people of this country for.”
Anupam Kher

“I think only an inhuman person will not get affected by the bodies floating. But for another political party to use it for their gain is also not right”, he said.

‘Aayega Toh Modi Hi’

The actor’s comments to NDTV on Wednesday are a marked contrast from his usual stance, and come just days after he was criticised for tweeting, "Aayega toh Modi hi," in response to an analytical tweet that questioned the government’s absence in the current COVID-19 crisis.

Senior journalist Shekhar Gupta had taken to social media to call out the government's response to the virus, or rather the lack of it.

Responding to the tweet, Anupam wrote, "Aadarniya @ShekharGupta ji!! Ye kuch zyaada hi ho gaya. Aapke standards se bhi. Corona ek vipda hai. Puri duniya ke liye. Humne iss mahamaari ka saamna pehle kabhi nahi kiya. Sarkar ki aalochana zaruri hai. Unpe tohmat lagaye. Par isse joojhna hum sabki bhi zimmedaari hai. Vaise ghabrae mat. Aayega toh Modi hi!! Jai ho!"

(Translation: Respected Shekhar Gupta!! This is too much, even by your standards. Corona is a problem for the entire world. We've never faced this pandemic before. It’s important to criticise the government but it’s our responsibility to handle this. Don't worry. Modi will come back! Jai ho!)

However, Kher’s tweet didn’t go down well with a section of netizens as he faced a backlash, many referring to the large number of casualties because of lack of facilities.

Criticism of the Govt

The PM Modi-led government has been heavily criticised for its poor handling of the COVID crisis as it allowed crowded election rallies and religious gatherings like the Kumbh Mela to continue even amid warning signs of a second wave. As a consequence, India is now bearing the brunt of a relentless surge of COVID cases amid which citizens deal with an overwhelmed healthcare system.

Meanwhile, despite the lockdown in Delhi, the Modi government has continued in its construction of the Central Vista project.

(With inputs from NDTV.)

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