'More to life than image building': Anupam Kher says Centre 'slipped' in Covid-19 response
As the deadlier, more infectious second wave of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) continues wreaking havoc in India, the central government has been facing strict censure from several quarters over its alleged mismanagement of the pandemic. This time, Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, noted film personality and an otherwise generous proponent of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, has appeared to open up on where he felt the Centre had "slipped" in Covid-19 response.
Anupam Kher, in an interview with news publication NDTV, said that it is important to hold the government responsible for what is happening in the country in the wake of the second Covid-19 wave. "Somewhere they have slipped. It is time for them to understand that there is much more to life than just image building maybe," Kher was quoted as saying in the interview by news agency PTI.
The news agency reported that Anupam Kher is often viewed as being close to the Narendra Modi-led government, and that his criticism of the government's "image building" in the face of a pandemic is a striking shift from his usual tone.
Anupam Kher, a former chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) also added, however, that using the government's lapses for political advantages was wrong.
"I think the criticism is valid in lots of cases... Only an inhuman person will not get affected by the bodies floating (in the rivers)," Kher said in a reference to the scores of bodies found floating in the Ganga and other rivers, leading to suspicion that they might be those of Covid-19 patients.
"But for another political party to use it for their gain, I think that is also not right. I think we should, as people, get angry. It is important to hold the government responsible for what's happening," he added.
As the second wave of the coronavirus disease progresses, the central government has repeatedly been facing severe critiques over its Covid-19 policies, from procurement of vaccines to the alleged dearth in supply of medical oxygen, hospital beds, ventilators, and other medical supplies. Anupam Kher termed the state of affairs in the country a "war-like" situation and said that people have the right to complain and get angry but that it should not hold back on being compassionate towards fellow citizens.