Anupam Kher, who is often viewed as being close to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and is a strong defender of the BJP-led regime has come out saying that the government has ‘slipped’ in the COVID-19 crisis and it is important to assert public criticism towards authorities as its ‘valid in lots of cases’.
During an interaction with a new channel, he was asked whether the government’s efforts should have been more towards providing relief instead of managing their image and perception, Anupam said, “Somewhere they have slipped ... it is time for them to understand that there is much more to life than just image-building maybe. I think the criticism is valid in lots of cases... Only an inhuman person will not get affected by the bodies floating (in the rivers),” in reference to the scores of dead bodies found floating in The Ganges and other rivers leading to speculation that they were of COVID-19 patients.
However, he also added and said, “But for another political party to use it for their gain, I think that is also not right. I think we should, as people, get angry. It is important to hold the government responsible for what’s happening. Somewhere they have slipped. It is time for them to understand that there is much more to life than just image building maybe.”
He also said that the people are facing a tough time today after having taken ‘undue advantage of Mother Nature’ and said, “There are problems, pain, anger, frustration, that’s obvious... Lot of people say ‘You are always so optimistic’, but I say there’s no other way out for me. Our lives haven't been smooth sailing. It is just that this situation has happened on a world level.”
Anupam termed the state of affairs in the country as ‘war-like’ situation and said that people have a right to complain, get angry and feel helpless but should not hold back on being compassionate towards fellow citizens. He said, “How can you console someone who has lost a family member due to shortage of oxygen, medical facilities or beds? You can’t. But that does not stop life... I lost a friend to corona. I’m still doing my job. I’m assisting humanity, people in pain. I’m helping myself by helping others. That’s a natural process of feeling compassion towards others. People have gone out of their way to help each other in times of war, floods, drought, and earthquakes. It’s not the first time people are helping each other.”
The actor has started Project Heal India to extend support to the needy amid the coronavirus pandemic. He has collaborated with Dr. Ash Tewari, urology (chair) at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, and Baba Kalyani, managing director of Bharat Forge Ltd. Together, they have sent medical equipment, including oxygen concentrators and ventilators, to various hospitals in cities such as Mumbai, Kanpur, Delhi, Pune, and Ghazipur.