As the coronavirus crisis in India deepens, some left-leaning ‘intellectuals’ are revelling in the tragedy porn to attack the Modi government. One such left-leaning ‘intellectual’ and anti-India propagandist is Arundhati Roy, who recently penned an article in British daily ‘The Guardian’ that was replete with lies, misinformation and propaganda.
Exactly a year ago, Arundhati Roy had claimed that the Covid-19 is not even a crisis in India, and the Modi government is only misusing it to kill Muslims.
While being deceitful is second nature to Arundhati Roy and lying her favourite hobby, the extent of lies she peddled in The Guardian at a time when India is grappling with a ferocious second wave of COVID-19 is particularly egregious. Here are the three appalling lies that Arundhati Roy peddled in her recent article in The Guardian:-
Arundhati Roy spreads lies and misinformation about PM Cares Fund
In her article which was published on Thursday, Roy spread lies and misinformation about the PM Cares Fund, the Prime Minister’s Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations Fund. She alleged that the PM Cares Fund operated like a ‘private trust’ and had no accountability.
As it turns out, Roy’s assertions about the PM Cares Fund are nothing but plain and unadulterated lies. PM Cares Fund is a relief assistance fund headed by the Prime Minister and its trustees include Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, Minister of Home Affairs, Amit Shah, and Minister of Finance, Nirmala Sitharaman in the Government of India.
In addition, the PM Cares Fund is independently audited, and its audited statements are publicly available. But these facts don’t stop Roy from drawing false equivalence between a government relief fund and a private trust.
Interestingly, the likes of Arundhati Roy, who casts aspersions on the PM Cares Fund, have no qualms with foreign based unverified NGOs. They have more trust in unverified and murky foreign NGOs than the PM Cares Fund, and have actively protested against the government’s crackdown against foreign-based unlicensed NGOs.
Besides, Roy’s lies maligning the PM Cares Fund comes at a time when it is being extensively helpful in procuring oxygen concentrators, ventilators, protective gears and other important equipment to find the resurgent wave of the coronavirus outbreak. Moreover, over 80% of the cost of vaccines in the first phase of Covid vaccination was borne by this fund.
Roy’s rhetoric of ‘PM Modi owning shares in air supply’ are hollow and meaningless. They don’t even make sense.
Arundhati Roy lies about India’s vaccination drive and COVID-19 vaccines produced by SII and Bharat Biotech
Another lie that Arundhati Roy peddled in The Guardian article was related to the COVID-19 vaccination. In her article, Roy alleged that Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech, two of the organisations underpinning India’s vaccination drive, will make “obscene profits” from the sale of their vaccines. She alleged that both are being allowed to roll out two of the most “expensive vaccines in the world”.
Roy here conveniently fails to mention that more than 160 million people have been already vaccinated free of cost in India. The central government will continue to give vaccines for free to people who cannot afford them at the government centres. However, in her attempt to criticise the Modi government, she failed to acknowledge it in her article.
Serum Institute of India is charging Rs 300 per dose($4) from states and the Bharat BioTech has kept its prices at Rs 400 per dose($5.5). These prices are among the cheapest in the world. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are expected to cost around $20 per dose, but Arundhati Roy continued to peddle lies that Indian-made vaccines are the most expensive in the world. Several states in the country have already announced that they will be providing the jabs for free to their citizens, but this again was conveniently not mentioned by Roy in her article.
And to increase the capacity of vaccine production, the organizations have to make profits so that the amount earned can be invested back to increase the production. India, by the dint of its size, needs the SII and Bharat Biotech to expand its manufacturing capabilities multifold. But the leftists like Arundhati Roy, whose understanding of economics can be best described as grotesque, do not want the organizations to earn even modest profits that would help them in upscaling their operations.
Also, India is a free market economy and not a socialist economy as the left-leaning ‘intellectuals’ like Arundhati Roy desire it to be. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are private entities and they have a right to earn profits unless Arundhati Roy is advocating the Centre to expropriate them just like Yogendra Yadav, Ram Guha and others suggested the government appropriate private properties in the fight against coronavirus.
Arundhati Roy peddles propaganda about the West Bengal elections
In her bid to spite the Modi government, Roy also found a way to push propaganda about the West Bengal elections in her article in The Guardian. According to Roy, the elections in West Bengal is should have completed in a single phase, citing that it is geographically a small state.
While West Bengal may be geographically a small state, Roy fails to highlight that it has a massive population of more than 100 million. The state has a complex riverine geography and has witnessed extreme political violence in the last few years, not to mention the threat of radical Islamic terrorism from the porous border it shares with Bangladesh. But as expected, these facts were swept under the rug by Roy. They were not mentioned in the article to give readers a context about the decision taken by the Election Commission to organise elections in 8 phases.
2011. 2016 elections in Bengal had 6 phases too
Roy also did not mention that this is not the first time that Bengal is seeing elections in multiple phases. The state has long been a hotbed for political violence. Even the 2011 and 2016 elections were also held through 6 phases, with the first phase divided into two days.
Hundreds of political leaders and workers have been victims of violence in West Bengal. But for Arundhati Roy, those deaths do not warrant a mention because most of the victims belonged to the opposition parties.
In fact, Arundhati Roy also had a problem that BJP campaigned vigorously for the West Bengal elections. As a political party, the BJP is well within its rights to contest in a democratic election anywhere across the country, especially in West Bengal where dissent has been suppressed and hundreds of its workers have been victims of violence perpetrated by TMC goons. Roy pontificating that BJP should not have run a high voltage campaign in West Bengal reveals her underlying fear that the saffron party may well be poised to make major inroads in West Bengal politics and pose a threat to Mamata Banerjee’s political hegemony.