Kerala’s handling of Corona-19: A bundle of jokes

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New Delhi:  God knows who spread the word that Kerala was the only Indian State that was successful in containing spread of Corona when the deadly virus hit India in 2020. News papers like the Hindu and the Mint flashed special reports about the Kerala Model of containing Corona 19.

In an article published in Mint on March 20, the paper said Kerala Chief Minister “Pinarayi Vijayan was among the seven Chief Ministers who made war with the Covid-19 look easy.”  The Hindu in its special editorial in May 2020 titled “The mark of zero: On containment of Covid-19 cases in Kerala, “went many steps ahead.

Just read few lines of the editorial: “If in April there were early signs of Kerala gaining an upper hand over the virus, its control became clear from the fourth week of April. …  The containment success can be traced back to how Kerala did not wait for directions from the Centre but instead led from the front. … But what sets it apart from the other States is the manner in which it followed textbook epidemiology protocols to the tee.”

“That editorial is over 500 words long and may or may not be a candidate for the world’s longest joke”, said a piece published in vocal media outlet Newslaundary.

Kerala recorded over 40,000 new cases of the coronavirus, along with over 200 deaths and a test positive rate above 19 percent. With only 3 percent of India’s population, Kerala now accounts for almost 70 percent of all new covid cases. It is number 1 in daily number of deaths. The nationwide test positive rate is 2.4 percent, while in Kerala it is over 19 percent. So what is left to say about the famed Kerala model, it further said in a report?

Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament from Wayanad in Kerala. His party is technically in opposition there. But nobody has seen any tweet, a note of caution or any criticism from him about the way the state government is handling Covid?

This is the Kerala model. It is much more than just media management. It is also about the ruling party keeping the opposition in its pocket. There is nobody in Kerala to question the government. The so called ruling party and the so called opposition are there only for the sake of appearances.

There are eight legally recognized political parties in China in addition to the Chinese Communist Party. However, in order that they may be allowed to exist, these other parties are required to recognize the “leading role” of the CCP.

That’s what Kerala is today. A one party Communist state, with the so called opposition Congress recognizing the “leading role” of the CPI (M). There is no internal opposition. Outside the state, their image is managed expertly by their contacts across the media.

Take your favorite anchor, editor or journalist and dig deep into their past. You will find a Communist connection, usually from college. While other political parties wasted so much effort getting their message out, the Communists invested in those who control the flow of information.

The Kerala model also includes controlling the “experts”. These folks will say incredible things, such as Kerala’s covid disaster is a “controlled explosion”. When the test positive rate goes through the roof, it is their job to concoct wild theories such as ‘targeted testing’. Kindly note that this targeted testing technology has not been shared with the rest of the world, nor anywhere outside Kerala. Like the Kerala model, it is supposed to be taken on faith.

Some of these experts are making up their credentials, but the more disturbing are the ones who are not. These are people who should have known better. Our society invested in nurturing these experts, in training their minds to think freely and honestly. They did not. They sold out worse than any lobbyist ever has.

The reality is that the first wave never quite ended in Kerala. But our experts and intellectuals had an election to win. So they went to work designing cow urine jokes and xenophobic jibes against people of India’s poorest states, such as Bihar or Uttar Pradesh.

Even when the voting was over in Kerala, they could not resist. The chance to pile on Kumbh Mela or Kanwar yatra was too enticing to pass up. Even when that got over, they kept lying and making up excuses.

But the virus cannot be appeased and made to go away. It can neither be bribed nor intimidated. And so we have the current explosion. Of course, the blame for which will be fixed on Modi, beyond a doubt., the writer of this report in Newslaundary says.

(Excerpts from Newslaundary report)

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