Protecting a nation through hardships and complexities

Protecting a nation through hardships and complexities

From the high-level scientific analyses to a mammoth vaccination drive, Priyam Gandhi-Mody’s 'A Nation to Protect: Leading India through the Covid Crisis' is an in-depth and fact-based chronicle of India's pandemic response and crisis management strategies.

The book had its UK launch recently, hosted virtually by the Nehru Centre in London, as an in-conversation session between the author, India Inc. Founder Professor Manoj Ladwa and Nehru Centre Director Amish Tripathi.

Described as a definitive account of India’s pandemic response from the upper echelons of leadership and government, the launch offered fascinating insights into one of the most defining chapters for India and the world in the last two years.

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The author shared: "Not many people know this, but the Indian intelligence already knew from September-October of 2019 something is going on in China, and we had been tracking this very closely."

She explained how India had taken pre-emptive measures even before getting its people back from Wuhan in China, by analysing what was happening in other countries where Covid had already spread.

For Priyam Gandhi-Mody, a strategist specialising in political communications who frequently writes political non-fiction, this is her third book and encompasses Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's robust grip on the administration of response mechanisms to deliver much-needed support for the people. The book also aims to give a detailed analysis of how the Indian government, led by scientific advice, galvanised its resources, augmented capacities rapidly and used its reserves to unleash effective solutions.

Several complex topics and unaddressed criticisms that made headlines last year against India's pandemic response came up during this discussion. For instance, controversial issues like the mass exodus of migrant workers and the religious fervour around Kumbh Mela were among some of the topics cover and addressed by the author to offer a unique perspective.

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Professor Ladwa pointed out how people, especially outside of India, at times tend to take a monolithic, homogeneous approach to assessing things, which doesn't always take the complexities of a country like India fully into account.

"The other point I was gripped listening to is your (Gandhi-Mody's) assessment that the real super spreader was the farmers' protest. But I was aghast at how the farmers were being egged on to congregate in the way they were doing at the time of this pandemic. And now that you've been able through facts and your study expose with data that this was a tragic epicentre for the pandemic and how it was dealt with is useful to know," he noted.

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