By Sushil Kutty
The friendly neighbourhood coronavirus ‘Omicron’ has claimed its first kill in the developed West—an unfortunate person in the United Kingdom, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this in London when in India Prime Minister Narendra Modi was setting an example by going mask-less in the company of hundreds of similarly unmasked Indians in the holy city of Kashi—Modi’s parliamentary constituency Varanasi.
Narendra Modi has also forgot to keep social distance. But he has nothing to fear, Modi has taken his double dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and he had to save the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, where the Ganges was left wondering what all the hullabaloo was all about, why was this person with a grey beard stepping in and out of holy waters?
Also, till then, Modi hadn’t been told that mom-of-two and Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan had contracted Covid-19 and her symptoms were “mild”, which is a characteristic of Omicron. Not just KKK, her pal Amrita has also been laid low by Covid-19 and the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corp has come into action.
This was when, throughout the day a section of the media questioned Modi’s senseless interference in Kashi, questioning why he had ruined the ruins of Kashi with a corridor and what not, didn’t he have any sense of history? At primetime in the evening, the other section of the media held forth on why Narendra Modi should be celebrated in the annals of Hindu history.
The whole day, the entire day, all the waking hours of the day, there was Modi, Modi and only Modi. There has never been a Prime Minister more “event full” than this PM. Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the “Bhavya Ram Manidir” in Ayodhya—and, the other day, it was the turn of the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Selfish old man? He didn’t leave anything for Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath — neither the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, nor Kashi Vishwanath temple in Banaras. Both Hindu gods are now beholden to Modi, and whoever says Narendra Modi is not a tyrant, hasn’t spoken to Yogi Adityanath yet. Modi has systematically deprived the Yogi his chance at immortality.
Henceforth, Mark Twain’s “older than history, older than legend, older than tradition and older than all of them put together” Kashi will forever be Modi’s legacy. It wouldn’t matter even if Yogi Adityanath becomes Pradhan Mantri. The Yogi will have to raze the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor to erase Modi’s traces from Kashi.
But then, why labour that issue? Yogi Adityanath cannot grudge Modi his place in the ‘Ganga Ghat’. Isn’t Modi doing all this for Yogi Adityanath? The way things are, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister could do with divine intervention. Two of the three top Hindu gods reside in Kashi— Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Also goddess Annapurna. If the trio want, Yogi Adityanath will be Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, again—twice in a row!
The good thing about Narendra Modi is he made Indians forget the existence of the coronavirus— Delta, what? Omicron, who? How long since Modi asked the nation to bang steel utensils? Long time, and in the meantime, the coronavirus mutated and we had Delta-1 & 2; why, we have Omicron! And Kareena Kapoor Khan has Covid-19.
It is a ‘Jab We Met’ moment that the KKK would not like to dwell on. The BMC has sealed Kareena’s residence, effectively quarantining her. Kareena was irresponsible. Her friend Amrita and Karan Johar, who threw the party, which the coronavirus gatecrashed. Down south actor Kamal Hassan has also given shelter to coronavirus.
Is it Omicron? Till 12 noon on December 14, there were 41 Omicron cases in India with Maharashtra having the maximum of 14— Rajasthan 9, Karnataka 3, Kerala 1, Andhra Pradesh 1 and Delhi 2 besides Chandigarh 1. Modi’s home state Gujarat had 3 cases.
In the 24 hours ending 8 am, December 14, India recorded 5,784 new cases with 252 deaths. Compare this with the United States. The US had by December 14 recorded 50 million cases from the beginning of Covid-19. And it does not look like the coronavirus will be abandoning the United States, if at all.
The problem for India is India has been closely following the US in matters of coronavirus. And if the coronavirus hasn’t decided to leave the United States yet, then be assured it isn’t going to give India a pass. The other problem for India is India’s current leadership will do anything or leave everything to win elections! West Bengal saw Modi and Amit Shah forget Covid-19 like it wasn’t.
The results were horrendous. Thousands died and for what? Modi and Shah faced a humiliating defeat though the BJP number rose to 77. Now, there is another round of elections and every political party is like there is no coronavirus. A deadly déjà vu is what we could be looking at. Crowds and coronavirus are chums. They feed into each other. Problem No.3 for India is Modi gets carried away by crowds at an election rally, or at the Ganga Ghat, he forgets there is a pandemic. (IPA Service)