What is the Modi government doing during a deathly pandemic? It might look inexplicable but one answer to this actually involves tracking down and arresting individuals for questioning it.
Starting May 12, the Delhi Police, that reports directly to the Union authorities, started to arrest people who had put text up posters throughout the city. “Modi ji, why did you export the vaccines intended for our children?” The posters mentioned in Hindi.
By the end, the Delhi authorities had detained as many as 25 individuals — most of them poor residents seeking to earn some cash putting up posters — under a ton of segments like disobeying the order of a public servant or defacement of public land. “Nothing short of ridiculous,” as one lawyer put it, describing why in a collection of tweets.
Given the Modi government’s extreme response, the irony is that the posters actually highlight some thing that the government has often raised itself as a means to pat itself on the spine : India’s record quantity of vaccine exports to countries across the world.
Back in September, Prime Minister Modi moved to the United Nations General Assembly and delivered an”assurance” which India’s vaccine production capacities are open to the world. Aside from enabling orders with Indian producers, this involved an explicit government programme known as”Vaccine Maitri” to supply vaccines to other countries.
This was — as is normal for foreign policy at the Modi era — accompanied by a marketing blitzkrieg to bolster the government’s reputation. The Indian authorities claimed credit for its global supply of vaccines, with friendly media outlets regularly crediting Modi for this.
In a statement that has not aged well, the Indian authorities at the United Nation even claimed in March the India has provided more offenses to the world than to its people.