New Delhi: Reacting strongly to an article published in The Australian on Covid-19 crisis in India, the Indian High Commission in Canberra urged the newspaper to publish a rejoinder. Terming the article “completely baseless, malicious and slanderous”, the High Commission said, “It appears that the report has been written only with the sole objective of undermining the universally acclaimed approach taken by the Government of India to fight against the deadly global pandemic, at this decisive moment. ”Also Read - PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana: Farmers Must Complete e-KYC By THIS Date to Receive 11th Installment

“Modi leads India into a viral apocalypse”

Written by Philip Sherwell, the article published in The Australian, has attributed the deadly second wave of coronavirus India to the complacency of PM Modi. With the headline,’Modi leads India into a viral apocalypse’, the article starts with PM Modi’s statement during an election rally in Asansol, “I have never seen such huge crowds”. Also Read - Narendra Modi Hosts Deaflympics Contingent, Says 'You Brought Pride And Glory For India'

“Narendra Modi could not hide his delight as he surveyed his cheering supporters. ‘I’ve never seen such huge crowds,’ the Indian prime minister declared at an election rally in West Bengal last Saturday,” Sherwell wrote. Also Read - Covid or no COVID, Work From Home Policy Stays on Table For Several Companies | Full List

He highlighted, “Arrogance, hyper-nationalism and bureaucratic incompetence have combined to create a crisis of epic proportions in India, with its crowd-loving PM basking while citizens suffocate.”

‘Malicious and motivated report’

In a letter to the Editor of the Australian newspaper Christian Dore, the Indian High Commission said that the article sought to “undermine” the Modi government for its approach to the pandemic, which the government said had been “universally acclaimed”.

“It is astonishing to see that your respected publication has chosen to reproduce a baseless malicious and slanderous article without bothering to check the facts of the case with any authorities in the Government of India,” said the rejoinder, signed by India’s Deputy High Commissioner.

The letter also mentioned “a number of measures” taken by the government to tackle the pandemic, starting from the lockdown in March last year to the country’s vaccination drive.

“Welfare of every citizen of India remains the highest priority for the Government of India,” the letter read.

“Coverage of such motivated and malicious reports in your publication only helps in spreading falsehoods and undermining humanity’s common fight against the pandemic.  Needless to add, it does no good to the reputation of your own publication”,  the Indian High Commission told The Australian.