India’s Hindu nationalist government is primarily responsible for the apocalyptic pandemic wave currently slamming the country, says Freedom From Religion Foundation Communications Director Amitabh Pal in a nationally distributed op-ed.
In a piece written for the Progressive Media Project and circulated through the Tribune News Service to hundreds of newspapers in the United States and abroad, Pal details the missteps of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his regime, which, not surprisingly, includes pandering to religious majoritarian sentiment:
The top official from Modi’s party in charge of a mountainous state allowed a massive Ganges bathing religious festival to proceed in the middle of the pandemic — one year ahead of schedule due to astrological reasons. Millions of Indians took a dip and disseminated the virus all over India.
… In keeping with its Hindu nationalist ideology, the Modi administration has a fondness for junk science that extols the cow and the traditional Hindu medicinal system called Ayurveda. Two cabinet ministers were present at the launch of a medicine (named Coronil) that a godman known as Baba Ramdev, with a medicinal empire, is peddling as a COVID-19 cure.
Pal has close family members living in India, and hears daily from his mother, as he says in the op-ed, “about relatives falling sick, getting hospitalized and worse.” Read more here of his dissection of Modi’s complacency and ineptitude.
Right-wing majoritarian rule has taken a huge toll around the world — and Pal’s piece provides us proof of that.