How has Pandemic shaped politics in India? Can COVID-19 cover the plot our politicians are planning?

The outbreak of coronavirus changed the whole pattern of how politics has been conducted in India. There were a lot of topics that were into the discussion before COVID-19 came into existence but now the whole outlook has changed. Some of it may have worked in favor of the politicians but is it long term?

Earlier this year, there were tons of debate going on regarding the government’s decision on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA-NRC) and the Ayodhya verdict but slowly the narrative changed to COVID-19. It was not the government’s doing or plot that led to the coronavirus spread but did it help the center? Yes. Issues like the economic crisis, the highest unemployment rate in over 10 years, and the majority-minority drift created by the political leaders, everything seemed to settle down.

But to the disappointment of the center, the corona situation has only highlighted the state-wise competency of the leaders who have handled the responsibility of controlling the spread of coronavirus in their states.

With the highest number of cases, Maharashtra became the worst-hit state among all but also not to forget, it also became the state with the highest number of testings. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackrey has been showing his strength in the state affairs and what he can do when handed the power. Even Arvind Kejriwal handled the crisis to the best when it comes to spreading awareness in the national capital. He was one of the first Leaders in India who had made the statement of normalizing Corona and learning to live with it for a couple of coming years, during a press conference. In the post-COVID era, the role of regional leaders will expand. The pandemic has been testing grounds for people as well as leaders who are looking to gain the public’s trust. If not anything, COVID-19 may give an alternative leadership in the coming years.

Even as the politicians had to change their game plans, they somehow worked it out for themselves. Prime Minister Modi for example, has used a number of opportunities to address the nation during the time of crisis where termed pandemic as war, bringing in examples from the Mahabharata, and most of all, he showed his power. He demonstrated the command he has over the Indian audience when he asked the nation to light lamps and make noise and people willfully did it. He knew then that after everything was over, this is what people will remember. 

The ruling party may be thinking that with Modi taking all the credit for lockdown, they gave increased their popularity and they actually might have but the aftermath of lockdown has been taken care of by the state leaders and people know this. They acknowledge this as well. And to the surprise of the Modi government, the states might be clearing the dirt now but when everything comes back to normal, it is the center who will be held by the neck. So, no matter how hard these politicians try, the popularity is based on situations and it will not last as long as it seems. Whatever plotting might be happening on papers, it will not necessarily see the light of the day.

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