Around 187 eminent personalities have written an open letter criticising the Narendra Modi-led government's handling of the pandemic and questioning their priorities when the country was witnessing the worst public health crisis.
The signatories, include activists, academics, authors, and professionals, said that it was disturbing to see the citizens running pillar to post to access the basic healthcare services. During a crisis, when the union government was supposed to step up its game, it was found to be largely missing in action.
The letter pointed to the heartwrenching visuals of dead bodies floating in rivers and lying abandoned on the roads making headlines that hinted at the ineffectiveness of the government's measures. People from all walks of life have been coming forward to help the ones in dire need amid the raging pandemic, meanwhile, the government seemed to have absolved itself of its responsibilities.
Aruna Roy, one of the country's most prominent activists; economist Kaushik Basu; historian Romila Thapar; Harsh Mander, and Rajmohan Gandhi were some of the signatories to the letter.
"Instead of deploying the man resources it commands to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the State seems to have reneged on its moral and constitutional responsibilities," they said.
The letter further added that the government failed to work in tandem with the other political parties. It neither welcomed suggestions nor created a national task force comprising of members from all parties, state governments, and experts.
"What is especially nauseating is that amidst this chaos, there is an attempt to hide and obfuscate the gravity of the situation, while government harass journalists and citizens for speaking the trust. Equally shockingly, billions of dollars are being squandered on wasteful projects such as the Central Vista and a new residence for the Prime Minister in the capital city," they said.