Taking into account President Joe Biden’s timidity and rapacity and Johnson’s self-centered attitude, it is good that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is showing signs of taking India’s vaccine strategy out of the Anglo-American basket and turning to Russia.
While the incompetence of the Indian government is starkly visible in its handling of the second wave of the COVID-19 crisis, its performance has been far worse on the vaccine front. The BJP-led government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which seems to believe in the ideology of free-market capitalism, thinks that the market will magically produce the number of vaccines the country needs.
Despite having the coronavirus situation under control, New Delhi was under immense pressure from various international lobbies and their local proxies to roll out a mass vaccination campaign. It can be argued that India’s ongoing oxygen shortages are the direct result of prioritizing foreign-curated experimental vaccines over local necessities.
The exponential explosion of Covid-19 cases — and it is likely much worse than officially reported, because of inadequate testing and undercounting of cases and deaths — has revealed not just official hubris and incompetence but lack of planning and major deficiencies in the public health system.