The speech comes as at a time when India prepares to head into Unlock 2.0 with more relaxation in restrictions even as cases are on the rise.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation at 4 pm yesterday in what was perhaps his shortest speech since the pandemic. He began by saying that in comparison to other countries, India was stable and its mortality rate low. But he also went on to admonish the general public for becoming careless in their behaviour and letting their guard down with Unlock 1.0. He said this was a dangerous trend especially when we needed to be more alert.
Whether it’s the leader of a village or the country, no one was against the law and rules like social distancing and masks in public must be strictly followed. Starting July 1, Phase 2 of the Unlock will be in force with relaxations in night curfew, more trains and flights and more people allowed in shops.
The rest of the speech was devoted to addressing hunger in the country. He said his government had ensured that no one went to bed on a hungry stomach during the lockdown by provided 5 kgs of wheat and rice to the poor. Benefits from the PM Garib Kalyan Yojana have been transferred to nine crore farmers for procurement of grains.
The crux of the addresses was related to the continuation of these benefits during the festive season, until Diwali and Chhath Puja. He said 80 crore people can avail free food grain till the end of November, costing the government 90,000 crores. He also said work was underway on the ‘One Nation One Ration Card’ scheme. He said the success of these schemes went to the taxpayers and the farmers.
He ended with the promise of continuing the fight against coronavirus and reopening the economy. He stressed once again on self-reliance or Atmanirbhar. There was an expectation that he would speak about yesterday’s breaking news i.e the ban of 59 Chinese apps in India but PM Modi steered clear of China, something which the opposition Congress was quick to point out. They said he was too afraid to talk about China and his address lacked substance; it could have just been another government notification.
Speaking to a news channel on Monday, Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora confirmed th…