After Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party targeted the Indian Government over the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ programme, senior party leader Shashi Tharoor is attacking the Union Government for halting exports of Covid-19 vaccines in light of the second wave of the pandemic.
Shashi Tharoor cited a comment by WHO chief scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan to say that the government should hang its head in shame over the vaccine export ban. He said, “When a senior WHO official, a distinguished Indian, says India’s decision to ban vaccine exports has had a severe impact on 91 nations, the would-be “vishwaguru” should hang its (governmental) head in shame.”
Ironically, this comes after Priyanka Gandhi has been relentlessly targeting Prime Minister Modi for exporting vaccines that ‘belong’ to Indian children.
Rahul Gandhi, too, has been attacking the Government over the same issue.
Under such circumstances, it is bizarre that Shashi Tharoor, and by extension, the Congress party, is attacking the Indian Government because export of Covid-19 vaccines have been brought to a halt.
The entire narrative of India “sending doses abroad” is misplaced as the doses of vaccines sent to friendly nations under ‘Vaccine Maitri’ is a small percentage of what India has already provided to its own citizens. Also the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ initiative has built an enormous amount of international goodwill for India, reflective in the support and help India is getting from several nations to battle the second wave of Covid crisis.
But even so, the initiative was heavily criticised by the Congress party while it now says the Indian Government should hang its head in shame. The NDTV report, too, in a bizarre fashion attacks Vaccine Maitri while blaming the government for halting exports.
The NDTV report says, “Not only did India fail to place bulk orders for its own citizens last year, it exported approximately 66.3 million doses by April 16 this year — touted as Vaccine Maitri, an attempt to help friendly nations while showcasing India as the world’s vaccine-manufacturing hub.”
“Hit by the onset of the devastating second wave, New Delhi quickly banned these exports, redirecting supplies, instead, to states within the country and opening up the vaccination programme to priority age-groups. In the process, dozens of nations depending on supplies through Gavi were left high and dry,” it added.
Quite clearly, it is a ‘Heads I win, Tails you lose” situation and an agenda-driven criticism of the Indian Government. Adding to that, the Congress party is engaging in flip-flops that would put anyone to shame.
Other ‘journalists’ are also jumping on the bandwagon with criticism that hardly makes any sense.
While it is true that African countries have not received adequate amount of vaccines, it appears bizarre to blame India for the same instead of developed western countries, some of which are indulging in vaccine hoarding.
Quite clearly, it is a dedicated effort to tarnish India’s reputation and the Congress party is actively participating in the same without consideration for India’s reputation. During the devastating second wave of the pandemic, the Government was heavily criticised over unavailability of vaccines and Vaccine Maitri.
Now, the same individuals are casting aspersions on the government for halting exports of the same.