13 photographs which show how ‘Vikas’ has propelled India towards a $5-trillion economy on your WhatsApp. (No wonder Narendra Modi’s jokers want you to amuse yourself with ‘Ramayana’.)

COVID shines the light on two sides of India. The first is political and medical: the preparedness and readiness of the Narendra Modi government to combat #CoronaVirus after China first reported it.

We can debate that till the cows come home and emerge none the wiser. Suffice to say health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan (an ENT specialist) is best known as a Ramlila artiste.

The second more horrific picture COVID reveals is the state of delusion in which Indians have opted to live.

For six years now, a torrent of hype about growth, development and a $5 trillion economy has flowed forth, and repeated ad nauseam on WhatsApp as if it were a mission accomplished.

These images from around the country show that the most basic dignities of life—food, water, shelter, transport, security—continue to elude humongous numbers of Indians despite all the hot air and propaganda.

And that situation has probably only worsened since demonetisation.

No wonder the information and broadcasting minister Prakash Javdekar thinks watching Ramayana during the shutdown of the country is the way forward.

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Screenshots: courtesy The Telegraph, Deccan Herald, The Indian Express, The New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle, Dainik Bhaskar