THE word of caution and the word of relief that Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi offered the nation have their own importance in the current context. He has signalled reopening of the economic sectors. He has indicated relaunching of various activities that were affected due to coronavirus restrictions in the past seven months But he wants the nation to be careful. ‘Yes, lock-downs are over. Yes, the country has done well on the coronavirus front. Yes, the world appreciates whatever India has achieved in a blind area. Yes, it is now the time to open up the areas that were closed until now. But as we do all that, as we have a sense of relief from the clamp-down of the markets, we cannot throw caution to the wind. So, friends and countrymen, be cautious. Do not become victims of your own lethargy in following norms of sanitation and hygiene and appropriate social distancing.’
No one can miss the importance of this appeal. If the people abide by these appeals, things would improve all the more. By all parameters, the country has done well on the coronavirus front. The number of new cases has dipped below 50,000. The number of new fatalities also has gone below 600 for two consecutive days. The number of active cases, too, has dipped below 8 lakh across the country. These statistical figures are far lower than the ones just a few days ago, indicating how well the Government has handled the coronavirus challenge -- across the landscape, beyond political considerations. This will certainly bring a sense of relief to the people.
As a newspaper, ‘The Hitavada’ has all along insisted that such a condition was not far off. In just 6-7 months, the Government could bring under control a scourge the like of which the world had never experienced. This is, thus, a matter to be happy about. There is no need for any loud celebration at all, as the country is still reeling under the effect of the pandemic. But there is a need to register a sense of relief from the tense times of the pandemic. The virus may continue to bother us for a while more. But the initial sense of scare is gone, thanks to the efficient manner in which the Government took care of things. Now what remains to be done is to continue our sense of care and caution so that we do not slip towards the wrong side of the virus and invite fresh trouble. As we enjoy the sense of relief, we must also thank the Government in general and Prime Minister Mr. Modi in particular for the leadership offered in the bad days. They made the difference -- of course aided by people.
Together, the Indian nation faced the challenge quite capably. In comparison to what other countries did, we fared far better. This happened because the larger Indian society did not lose its sense of unity and dignity even though it was faced with very tough and dirty challenge. During the past seven months, the Prime Minister addressed the nation several times, besides his Mann Ki Baat programme and a few other speeches. Each of his communications was purposeful and directed to achieving certain goal. He realised that the nation’s common people needed assurance that things would be all right and that the corona challenge could be overcome.
When the people heard the cool, calm and confident words of the Prime Minister, they felt assured that things could be taken care of because those were in safe hands. But as the Prime Minister addressed the nation, he did not offer any false promises, or painted a rosy picture when things were bleak. All he did was to offer the nation a promise that no stone would remain unturned and every opportunity would be utilised fully in the fight against coronavirus. The people realised that they were being led by people of right substance. Let alone a few politically hostile statements by a handful of persons, the overall picture in the country in the past seven months was one of a united response of the nation to the pandemic challenge. And that is the true picture of India.