Lockdown Diary Of A Teenager: What young India thinks of PM Modi's speeches

Our government has definitely won the support of its young people on the emotional front. But is the government on the right track to reassure its citizens of a strong plan of action in the coming weeks?

 |  3-minute read |   03-04-2020
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These days, most of the conversations in families are related to the pandemic that no one ever saw coming. After World War II, coronavirus has proved to have deleterious effects on all of mankind. It is not wrong to think that in the future when our generation becomes parents or even grandparents, we will be passing on tales of this time to our young ones. However, not all our versions of this period will be the same or even similar.

We teenagers have very distinct opinions on almost all subjects. Thus, the same characteristic applies to our views on the world’s and our country’s different strategies to combat the new coronavirus too. A common step adopted by many countries of the world has been to offer gratitude to the essential-services workers by clapping for them. This was observed in India on the day of Janta Curfew on March 22, and was appreciated and followed by commoners and celebrities alike.

However, nine days into lockdown, with Covid-19 cases surging at a dangerously high rate and ever-stressed citizens, the video message this morning from our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi produced mixed reactions. The message was apparently to outline the roadmap to fight coronavirus, but when the crux of the speech involved lighting lamps to not feel alone, many of us were left perplexed. 

We don’t mind following this symbol of unanimity. However, we ask ourselves whether mere symbols are enough in this time of catastrophe. We wonder if there should be a well-outlined game-plan with more serious action against this epidemic.

main_modi-speech_040320054404.jpgThe speech was apparently to outline the roadmap to fight coronavirus, but when the crux of the speech involved lighting lamps to not feel alone, many of us were left perplexed. (Photo: Twitter/ @bjp4india)

I got in touch with some teenagers on what they thought about the Prime Minister’s speeches on March 19 and April 3 respectively.

The first person said, “I think that PM Modi has indeed set an example for countries worldwide in expressing gratitude to essential workers and standing united against Covid-19. However, I do believe that he is also side-tracking from the real problem, which is India’s lax lockdown has not substantially controlled the spread of the virus and extensive testing has not been done in all states.” 

Another said, “The Prime Minister’s first address to the nation in which he announced the Janta Curfew was an inspired attempt to assert leadership and communication during the time of crisis. Unfortunately, the address on April 3 didn’t match that standard. When cases are rising, the nation needs reassurance. We want to hear what the government is doing to get more medical equipment, gloves, masks, ventilators, etc. It maybe important to show solidarity but as long as the nation is in the dark about the future, the panic that might ensue can undo all the work the government has done till now.” 

Yet another teenager said, “PM Modi’s three addresses to the nation have reiterated his strengths as a leader - communication, appeal and building trust among his people. His government’s relief measures, on many counts, have been excellent. I do feel, however, that his speeches have lacked the clarity and simplicity required to enable each stratum of society to understand how the various relief measures help them. Yet, I applaud the government’s efforts towards solidarity in India’s fight against the coronavirus. During a crisis, the leadership must find ways to make citizens feel secure and PM Modi’s speeches do just that.”

Our government has definitely won the support of its young people on the emotional front. But is the government on the right track to reassure its citizens of a strong plan of action in the coming weeks? We can only hope and pray that things look up from here.

Also read: Lockdown Diary Of A Teenager: Who does your home have, The Grinch or The Optimist?

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Arshya Gaur Arshya Gaur @arshyagaur

Student. Avid writer and reader.

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