It took a virus which threatens to wipe out our civilization, but India’s right wingers and left wingers finally agree on something — PM Modi delivered an outstanding speech in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak yesterday.
While India’s right-leaning community predictably threw its full weight behind PM Modi’s initiatives and his call for a Janta Curfew on Sunday, several prominent leftists in India have also applauded PM Modi’s national address on the coronavirus outbreak. “Appreciate PM @narendramodi‘s clear message to people to stay indoors, encouraging work from home. Also endorse his appeal to all employers to give paid leave to staff. He’s asked people to not panic-buy & hoard. Appeal to everyone to be united and follow the govt’s instructions,” wrote Shehla Rashid, who routinely bashes the Modi government on Twitter.
Shabana Azmi, who is normally no fan on the Modi government, called PM Modi appeal to honour medical workers at 5 pm a “master stroke.” “It’s not nonsense . Its a master stroke to unite all Indians to feel we are in this together,” she wrote.
Vir Das, who usually tries to be funny at the expense of the Modi government, called the speech “measured.”
Left-leaning journalist Barkha Dutt too praised the speech. “PM speech was truthful and direct. It did not underplay the #Corona threat at all unlike what sections of twitter would want us to believe,” she said. “PM @narendramodi has brought home the gravity of the coronavirus,” she added.
Even politicians in the opposing camps were appreciative. “I am glad that the Prime Minister recognized the enormity of the #coronavirus threat and did not diminish its ferocious scale and dangerous intensity,” said Congress spokesperson Sanjay Jha.
Yogendra Yadav said that the PM’s call for Janata Curfew should be respected, and said that the Economic Task Force was a good idea.
Twinkle Khanna admitted that she’d often written against the government, but said that this was a speech that “delivered.” “Have written against many govt moves but this was a speech by the PM that delivered. It staves of panic without undermining the gravity of the situation.Applauding those providing essential services will also make us feel more united during this pandemic,” she wrote.
Sonam Ahuja, who’s often trolled for her absurd leftist stances on Twitter, didn’t tweet herself, but retweeted a tweet that called the speech “outstanding.”
This reaction from India’s leftist cabal wasn’t quite expected — most of these people have developed a reputation of bashing the government at whatever opportunity they get — but it perhaps underscores how their opposition to the Modi government is more reflexive than based on anything concrete. PM Modi has delivered many similar speeches during his stint, but it’s only when India is facing a threat that’s graver than everyday petty politics that India’s leftists have finally found a reason to back their Prime Minister. Not everyone is on the Modi bandwagon yet though — at least not publicly. Rahul Gandhi, who has been repeatedly been telling anyone who’ll listen that India hasn’t been adequately dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, has been mysteriously quiet on Twitter since Modi’s historic speech.