Opinion | Thanks to Modi, India Had a ‘State-Orchestrated Covid Massacre’

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Video by Veda Shastri, Adam B. Ellick and Gabe Johnson

In the Opinion video above, Kunal Kamra, an enormously popular stand-up comedian in India, puts all jokes aside and takes a serious look at his government’s handling of the pandemic. His assessment is withering: He accuses the nation’s leadership, especially an overconfident Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of putting political vanity before common sense and opening the door to a devastating resurgence of coronavirus infections that have devastated the country.

India has been struggling for weeks amid this second wave, which has sickened millions, killed hundreds of thousands and overwhelmed the nation’s health care system. At the peak of the crisis, new infections numbered about 400,000 a day, a record-breaking pace.

Since then, the daily counts of infections and deaths have dropped. But Mr. Kamra says that had Mr. Modi and other political leaders responded more quickly and more effectively, a lot of lives and heartache would have been spared.

“My people are needlessly dying,” Mr. Kamra says. “Our government has blood on its hands.”

Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) is a comedian based in Mumbai, India.

Veda Shastri (@vedashastri) is a documentary filmmaker.

Adam B. Ellick (@aellick) is the executive producer of Opinion Video.

Gabe Johnson is a documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist.

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