IAMC Weekly News Digest, 14th May 2021
“I cannot breathe.”… The most immediate cause of their suffocation is a deadly new wave of an unpredictable, mutating novel coronavirus. But, as a political scientist who studies India, I also see shadows of the kind of deadly systemic force that bore down on George Floyd’s neck when he gasped the same last words. In India, that force of callousness and contempt takes shape as Hindu nationalism – propelled and promoted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Because of Modi’s politics, COVID-19 has brought India to its knees and tens of thousands of Indians to their deathbeds. In the world’s largest democracy, the Modi regime must be held accountable for the terrifying surge of death and disease since March….
India’s coronavirus death toll crossed 250,000 on Wednesday in the deadliest 24 hours since the pandemic began…. and concern is growing about the transmissibility of the variant that is driving infections in India and spreading worldwide…. The country accounts for half of COVID-19 cases and 30% of deaths worldwide, the World Health Organization said. It has designated the B.1.617 variant found there of global concern but said its full impact is not yet clear. The variant has been detected in six countries in the Americas, the Pan American Health Organisation said, adding that it was worried it was highly transmissible….
Delhi-based author Vineetha Mokkil has written an “open letter to Modi bhakts in America” asking them to stop funding the current political dispensation as punishment for pushing India’s healthcare system towards a collapse amid the pandemic…. Mokkil…. wrote in the article: “While India gasps for breath,… your God is lavishing Rs 22,000 crore on building himself a glitzy new palace in the heart of Delhi. Consumed by his vanity project, he forgot to instruct his government to procure adequate vaccine supplies – the one thing that could save countless Indian lives as the second wave explodes in the country….” She concluded: “….Open your eyes wide. Open your eyes and behold his grotesque core. He is full of false promises. He has a forked tongue and an ice cold heart. He cannot save, protect or defend the people under his care. Stop leaving offerings on his bloodied altar. Stop funding his campaigns of hate. Stop enabling the annihilation of secular India’s soul.…