As millions of Indians continue to suffer due to government apathy and coronavirus, their woes have finally found mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's letter to the nation on completion of six years in power. As anticipated, Modi chose to highlight the "historic decisions" and "rapid progress" in the sixth year of his rule. He, however, admitted that migrant workers, labourers and others went through "tremendous suffering" during the coronavirus crisis.
"In a crisis of this magnitude, it can certainly not be claimed that no one suffered any inconvenience or discomfort. Our labourers, migrant workers, artisans and craftsmen in small scale industries, hawkers and such fellow countrymen have undergone tremendous suffering," Modi's letter addressed to "fellow Indians" read.
The Indian PM, however, said that he will ensure the "inconveniences" of migrant labourers and poor people don't turn into disasters. "However, we have to take care to ensure that inconveniences that we are facing do not turn into disasters," he added.
"Deficiencies in me, India lacks nothing"
In his letter, Modi apparently admitted that there was no dearth of resources in the country but it was his personal failure. "There could be deficiencies in me but there is nothing that our country lacks," the prime minister wrote.
Crores of Indians, who worked as daily wagers in sprawling cities, were left unattended by the government during most of the coronavirus lockdown. Left without food, jobs and shelter after the government announced nationwide lockdown, they started walking, cycling or riding in trucks for thousands of kilometres to reach their homes. Many died on the way, pregnant women were forced to give birth on roads and India's coronavirus battle turned into an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.
The prime minister claimed that a "golden chapter" began in Indian democracy when he was re-elected with full majority. He claimed that under his rule, India's stature rose significantly and the dignity of the poor was enhanced. In his letter, Modi also recalled the 2016 surgical strike across the Line of Control and the 2019 air strike on terror camps. He also mentioned the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, which resulted in nationwide protests, and said the amendment "was an expression of India's compassion and spirit of inclusiveness".