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Modi's leadership appears competent, pragmatic, demands patience, perseverance

By Sudhanshu Tripathi*
According to an old adage, it is during critical times that test and validate the capacity and calibre of a leader. A true leader always emerges successful against all odds due to his or her unwavering self-confidence, faith, honesty, determination and clear vision to serve the suffering humanity. As history shows, challenges before humanity lead to unusual circumstances which demand unusual measures to deal with them.
Whether they were world wars or the Great Economic Depression during the last century, or 9/11 almost two decades ago, all these led to unusual, even horrible, counter-steps, like the US dropping atom bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasakil or the global war against terror, which resulted in to unimaginable loss of precious lives. A leader judged by how he or she takes a decision and firmly carries out decision to its logical conclusion, irrespective of protests or criticisms.
What is manifest in India is that Covid-19 is still beyond the expected limits in many parts of the country despite efforts by both Union and states governments two months long to contain the spreading pandemic. That is why the Union government, under leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had to further extend the ongoing countrywide lockdown 2.0 for another two weeks, though many reasons may be assigned to the rising figures of the corona-infected patients across the country.
Unfortunately, a significantly large number of Indians still believe in their grossly unfounded and illogical reasoning of their religions or irrational and unscientific dictates of their religious heads, and hence are insistent on not only ignoring scientific rational, underscoring preventive measures to fight the pandemic, but are also adamant to violate them, notwithstanding serious threat to their own lives or their kin.
This is clear from their highly offending, illegal and inhuman acts of spitting or attack on doctors and other supporting staff, and organized stone-pelting on policemen. Although the government has now provided a protective legal cover, inviting strict punitive action against those responsible for such atrocious behaviour, such stringent role has yet to deter hard-headed and obstinate criminals, engendering the recurrence of such attacks.
In fact, doctors, healthcare workers, their supporting staff and others are performing exemplary jobs amidst most critical times despite sleepless nights away from their homes, risking their own lives due to regular exposure to corona patients because of substandard PPE kits. 
Many duty-bound doctors and policemen have, so far, sacrificed themselves due to unavoidable exposure while ceaselessly serving infected patients. Against this worrisome situation, the role of political leadership assumes.
Sensing the possibility of the impending disaster, Modi immediately swung into action and resorted to nationwide lockdown 1.0 so as to break the continuing human chain as a potential carrier of the virus. That indeed resulted in successfully containing the pandemic to just few thousand infected patients. 
Besides ensuring proper management and availability of extra-beds, ventilators and other life-supporting facilities in hospitals with requisite number of doctors and supporting staff, quarantine centres were also established in all over the country to separate the possible infected people from the not-so infected lot to contain the pandemic.
With these efforts, the overall situation in India is far better as compared to most of the highly advanced countries of Europe and the US, where the number of infected patients and deaths have mounted sharply. 
The recent long queues of liquor alcoholics in the country has emerged as a serious threat to the ongoing fight against the pandemic
No doubt, the long spell of lockdown has adversely affected daily wage earners and other weaker sections in the country. But the government is looking after them by providing food, medicines and reasonable economic help to mitigate their woes.
Modi has appealed to countrymen to donate in the PM Cares Fund for providing help to thousands of millions of needy people, and that has led to massive outpouring of largesse by rich and competent countrymen and charitable trusts of several temples, besides many other organisations, government employees, and even common people, including children, and few beggars too.
Such is the en-masse effect of his appeal towards arousing confidence and assurance among all countrymen that the entire nation has taken it as an opportunity for offering service towards humanity. Following the true spirit of vasudhaiv kutumbakam and reflecting statesmanship, Modi has extended magnanimous help to not only neighbouring countries in South Asia but also to the US and few European countries by providing medicines and dispatching Indian doctors.
Thus, the visionary leadership of Modi is now being recognized not only in India but also in the whole world and by the World Health Organization (WHO) as well. While his all-out successful efforts to contain the epidemic has earned him the top position with 68% of rating among global ranking of leaders, the so most powerful leader in the world, President Donald Trump, has ranked just 3rd position, thereby signifying the marked contrast between the two, and underscoring the Indian leadership’s success story accomplished for this end.
Nonetheless, the recent long queues of liquor alcoholics in the country has emerged as a serious threat to the ongoing fight against the pandemic, besides massive transportation of workers and labourers stranded in metros or elsewhere, which together may undo the credible achievements so far. Yet, India has, so far, significantly managed to overcome the otherwise worst stage of the most dangerous menace due to the competent, distinct and pragmatic leadership of Modi.
But the fight against this epidemic is not over as yet, nor is it going to end in the near future. It demands patience and perseverance, and also strict adherence to all precautions by countrymen, while consistently strengthening the hands of the national leadership.
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*Professor, political science, Uttar Pradesh Rajarshi Tandon Open University (UPRTOU), Prayagraj (Allahabad)

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