‘State-orchestrated Covid massacre’: Kunal Kamra’s NYT opinion is scathing govt criticism

New Delhi: “I am a standup comedian from India. And this is where even I stop laughing,” said Kunal Kamra, Mumbai-based standup comedian and a strong critic of the Modi-led government.

In a video opinion to the New York Times, Kamra said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ‘blatantly lying’ when he said that India beat the COVID-19 in January 2021. He went on to detail the government’s mismanagement of the virus’ second wave in a gut-wrenching video essay to the publication.

Kunal Kamra’s assessment is withering: He accuses the nation’s leadership, especially an overconfident Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of putting political vanity before common sense and opening the door to a devastating resurgence of coronavirus infections, New York Times said, in the video’s caption.

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Further in the video, Kamra noted that during the COVID-19 peak in May had 400,000 cases and 4,000 deaths per day and that experts believe these figures are a ‘gross underestimate’. “My people are needlessly dying. Our government has blood on its hands”, he added.

“No world leader can compete with Modi. He runs India on a cocktail of bizarre lies and high-octane hypocrisy. And boy, he can act,” Kamra said in his video. He was indeed referring to the nation’s address where the Prime Minister got emotional, condoling the deaths caused by COVID-19.

Kamra also pointed out the conduct of Kumbh Mela, religious congregation on the banks of River Ganga, despite the rise in new cases. He said that the government not only canceled the Mela, but they also promoted it. “Most of these Hindus went to wash away their past sins but they should’ve stayed home and prayed for a better future,” he said.

Besides, he also slammed the election rallies held in April, where Modi had taken pride in ‘huge crowds’.

The standup comedian went on to explain India’s ordeal including overflowing crematoriums, dead bodies washing up in banks of Ganga and the shortcomings in the vaccination drive.

“So what is our government doing about this tragedy? Modi’s Ministry of Science and Technology commissioned research into how yoga and breathing exercises can help fight COVID,” Kamra said, pointing out the poor scientific temperament amid the raging pandemic.

“We live in an out-and-out lie,” Kamra said, adding: “but our government is a master of one domain, attacking its critics.” He pointed out the case where FIRs have been filed for putting up posters that criticised the government’s vaccine policy and the government asking Twitter to block some of these tweets which were critical towards its COVID policies.

Kamra concluded by saying that he was struggling to ‘satirise this absurdity’. “It’s a state-orchestrated COVID massacre, and I am outraged and heartbroken. And that’s all I got to say,” Kamra said before ending with, “And you know what? You elect a joker – expect a f***ing circus.”

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