‘Book’ing the truth: A Nation to Protect tells it like it is!

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‘A Nation To Protect’ is written by Priyam Gandhi-Mody and published by Rupa Publications.

Invited by Rupa Publications (for whom I have written two books) to attend the Mumbai launch of Priyam Gandhi-Mody’s bi-lingual (in English and Hindi) book A Nation To Protect, I was stunned by what unfolded at the event.

For starters, the book (which I have just begun reading) is a concise tome (about 250 pages) on how India, under the stewardship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, battled the Covid-19 epidemic at all healthcare levels—lockdowns and protocols, sending migrants home, manufacturing, delivering and finally even exporting vaccines, and ensuring supplies of oxygen and vital medicines to every nook and cranny of the country.

Mody is a strategist specializing in political communications and an alumna of the University of Delaware and Florida State University, who has worked briefly at the Capitol in Tallahassee.

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Among the entities that have endorsed the book are (on the back cover) Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute of India, BW Businessworld, Open Magazine and Padma Shri recipient Dr. Shashank Joshi, Member, Covid-19 Task Force, Maharashtra. And present on the dais at the event were Piyush Goyal (Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food & Public Distribution and Textiles, Government of India and Leader of House in Rajya Sabha), Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of the Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly and Dr. Jalil Parkar, associated with Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital for 16 years. He has a Fellowship from Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio and is a Pulmonologist.

The author introduced the subject of her book, and elaborated on how the world had perceived India in COVID and the doomsday prediction of bodies piled on streets and how almost 50 percent of the population would be affected. No one had expected the country to handle the pandemic as well as it did, despite the adversities like its population and how sections of it were incited by political vested interests.

The speakers, including Dr. Parkar, were lavish in their praise for doctors, healthcare workers, the private and public sectors and police among all others who helped the nation during the pandemic selflessly. Both Goyal and Fadnavis also vociferously condemned the dirty politics that prevailed, especially in Maharashtra (which suffered the most) and Delhi. Fadnavis said sarcastically that “Oonchi level ki raajneeti (high level of politics)” was played by the ruling state government, even as the need of the hour was fighting as one against the virus, overruling political differences.

Fadnavis narrated how, for example, there was never a shortage of vaccine supply to Maharashtra (as proved by documents), but there was a false illusion created about the deficiency. He narrated how the ruling party coalition had insisted that the Center give them the permission and resources to make their own vaccine, but that at the end of two years, there was no sign of it!

Goyal talked about how the Prime Minister was active night and day, even researching and following lessons from the Spanish Flu that had ravaged the world a century ago. He said, “He told me that in USA, those states that had given importance to life did well at that time and succeeded, while those who gave priority to livelihood failed.”

The Minister also elaborated on how oxygen was supplied to the far-off Southern states of India by taking into confidence the Air-Force as well as railway employees, cutting the time needed from a theoretical two weeks to just two days.

The Prime Minister heavily invested in an “Atmanirbhar” (Self-Reliant) Ethos, backing and encouraging scientific researchers. As a guest at the event, Dr. Mukesh Batra, a big name in the field of Homeopathy, pointed out how the PM was always encouraging the use of Alternative Medicine, provided it was validated. And Homeopathy had given miraculous results in tackling the disease.

It was pointed out that Indian journalists created a totally distorted and malicious impression of the country’s endeavors to the foreign press, where they had the freedom to write, even as unbiased foreign correspondents praised whatever was coming to light in India and how the nation was even lending a helping hand to advanced countries that were not coping as well as India was!

And, for the record, in 73 years of being independent, India, which had needed international aid in even relatively minor things like cyclones or famines, never needed even the tiniest help from any nation during Covid, though it helped many countries! At 1.11 percent, India’s Covid fatality has been the lowest in the world, which left skeptics astounded.

The book graphically validates and narrates all that was positive and negative during this fight and is a must-have for readers and especially naysayers to realize the truth.

A Nation To Protect tells it like it is, and kudos to all those who made the book possible.

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