19 C
Sunday, February 25, 2024

Modi Stole My Mask


Share post:


GoaChronicle reporter Sonakshi Datta recently posed a few questions to the authors of the upcoming book “Modi Stole My Mask”, Amit Bagaria (author and guest-author at GoaChronicle) and Savio Rodrigues (Editor-in-Chief, GoaChronicle), to get an insight into the making of this treatise of truth.

On being asked as to why and how they turned into authors from successful entrepreneurs, Bagaria said, “I was a consultant for the last 22 years of my 30 years as an entrepreneur. I was fed up of having to convince clients of doing the right thing, as everyone just wanted to make a quick buck. I also wanted to stop running after money. Therefore, being a trained journalist who had a passion for writing, I decided the best way for me to give back to society was to become an author and a columnist. Someone has to tell the truth in this country.”

To the same question, Rodrigues replied, “Journalism is my vocation. Authoring a book based on facts and data is a mere extension to that vocation of mine.”

On asking them that even though the second wave of COVID-19 in India is the talk of the town, what was that one moment when the idea of writing a book on this issue took birth, Mr. Rodrigues said, “I decided to join Amit in co-authoring the book because of the vicious political and media propaganda in the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic focused on targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the failure of containing the pandemic and forgetting about the health crisis affecting the people of India. People’s lives were immaterial to propagandists. We both come from strong research and analytical background; we decided our skills should be used to investigate the truth behind the COVID-19 pandemic in India.”

And Bagaria replied, “When I saw that 75% of our fellow citizens started blaming Prime Minister Modi, as if he purposely caused the second wave to harm India and harm himself by losing the next Lok Sabha elections.”

Talking about how and when the two of them decide to come together to write this book and how much time did it take for them to finish writing it, Savio said, “Amit is a fabulous writer and a rigorous researcher. He puts India first always and that is what attracted me to forging this relationship. He understands that no matter what and who, the truth is all that matters and we need to say it to even people we respect, like Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This is our first book and certainly not our last.”

And Amit let us know, “When Savio saw the quality of my writing in GoaChronicle, and how much readership my articles were getting, he approached me and asked me if I would be interested in co-authoring the book. By then, although I had completed about 40% of the book, I said yes because both of us together could do much better than me alone- as the saying goes, 1+1=11. Plus, we will be working on several more books in the future. It has taken us more than 920 man-hours of effort to research the data/facts, and to write the book.”

When asked as to what all does the book has to offer to its readers; what are the facets covered and what is that one thing which makes the book a must-read, Bagaria answered, “COVID-19 has infected almost 17 crore people (over 2.16% of the world’s population) and killed more than 35 lakh people in 18 months. In India, it infected more than 2.71 crore people (over 1.95% of our population) and killed more than 3.1 lakh people in 15 months. Is the coronavirus a Chinese bio-weapon purposely unleashed upon the world? How bad are India’s total cases and deaths as compared with other large countries?”

He continued, “Which states are the most and the least affected; which managed the pandemic well and which didn’t? How bad is India’s second wave? Was it planned in advance? If yes, by whom and why? Were the Kumbh Mela and the state elections responsible? How did co-vultures profit from it? Why did India face a shortage of vaccines, hospital beds, oxygen, and treatment drugs? Did Modi divert money for constructing the Central Vista instead of fighting COVID-19? What kind of dirty politics was played during the second wave? Was the media irresponsible and biased? Who all helped India to cope with the virus? When will all Indians get fully vaccinated? – These are the different aspects covered.

“The one thing that makes the book a must-read is the data and the facts in the book, which will make it extremely difficult even for India’s worst enemies to challenge”, he added.

And to this question, Rodrigues responded by saying, “Opinions can be biased but facts and data cannot. As a journalist, I have learned that it is facts and data that paint a true picture of an issue. People can make an informed decision on the COVID-19 pandemic management by India and Prime Minister Modi only if they have the real facts and data, otherwise, it is mere speculation for propaganda.”

“Modi Stole My Mask”, we can very well understand that this is a sarcastic title. On the same note, on being asked whether they think that they will be labeled as ‘Bhakts’ for supporting Modi or they might have already been gifted with this tag; and how do they plan to deal with the negative comments, GoaChronicle Editor-in-Chief retorted, “I am a ‘Bhakt’ for India. I am also aware that there are many ‘kambhakts’ in India and outside of India. People will react to the book in different ways, and that does not bother us. Our intent is to ensure that the truth matters, not government intention or political intention but attention to the successes and failures of the management of the COVID-19 health crisis by India so that we save lives now and learn to save lives in the future if faced with another health crisis. We have always been fond of Modi and appreciate his role in the reshaping of India but I love India more and therefore as citizens, we will question the Prime Minister of India.”

To that, the serial entrepreneur turned author, Amit replied, “The tag ‘bhakt’ is not negative at all. In Hinduism, those who believe in one God or the other are considered bhakts of that God who they worship. Bhakti means attachment, fondness for, homage, faith, devotion and worship. It was originally used in Hinduism as a reference for devotion and love for a personal God or a representational God by a devotee. Speaking on behalf of Savio and myself, we are BHAKTS OF INDIA. And if Modi also happens to be the one doing good for the country, why shouldn’t we respect him for that?”

He went on, “That does not mean that we are ‘andh-bhakts’ or blind devotees. In my book “Congress Mukt Bharat”, I have criticized Modi very strongly for what I believe are his failures. 25% of that book is dedicated to listing the successes and failures of all 14 Prime Ministers of India and I have given points out of 10 to each one of them. It will surprise people who may think the title is biased, that a Congress PM has got same points as Modi.”

“Even in this book “Modi Stole My Mask”, we have written right in the beginning- “We are in no way implying that Modi or the Central Government is not to blame for the utter lack of preparation or the management of the COVID-19 second wave. As Chief Executive, the primary blame must definitely go to Modi.” At the same time, we have asked, “Is Modi the only one to blame? Or is there shared blame? Who all are the culprits? Is there a ‘larger story’ behind this second wave?” He continued.

Being faced with the question of how the research to write this book went about; and because such an extensive and debatable topic asks for colossal data to put forth the authors’ views, what were the challenges both of them faced while collecting the same, Bagaria replied, “The research involved going through more than 540 media articles, social media posts, websites and data sources. The main challenge was that I slept less than 210 hours in the past 38-40 days, and sometimes I was just trembling on the keyboard or stumbling as I walked. I hope it will not have a long-term effect on my health.”

And to which Rodrigues answered, “There is no gain without pain. The work has been painstaking but our aim is for people of India in India and outside of India to open their eyes to the truth and make informed decisions about their country and their political leaders. We do not want our nation of intelligent people to become men and women wearing blinkers to any political propaganda. The interest of India must be above all.”

As is known, the book became the No.1 bestseller on Amazon Books in three different categories within 36 hours. Talking about how much more optimistic has this feat made the two regarding people’s thirst for truth and the date of the book’s official launch, Amit retorted, “Being the bestseller in three categories is not enough. Among all books on the Amazon Kindle Store, it was at the 25th rank. It must become No.1 there. At least 50 lakh Indians should read the book. Though pre-ordering has started for both versions, the eBook will be available for sale by 31st May and the printed Paperback edition hopefully by 25th June.”

“Being the No.1 bestseller is a good feeling but the best moment for us would be if millions of Indians and foreigners too read our work. There is so much misinformation in the nation today. People with vested interests in India and outside of India want the country to be embroiled in confusion and chaos. The COVID-19 pandemic second wave was being used as an opportunity to ridicule the Indian government but most of all Indians”, said Savio.

Related articles

Man who put up ‘Gyanvapi Mandir’ sticker tortured by Varanasi police, implicated in false cases

In early February, it was reported that a man belonging in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Roshan Pandey, who is...

Gmail says ‘here to stay’ after viral, fake message claiming end of email service

Washington: Google’s email platform Gmail said that it will continue operations, after a fake message about the end...

IMF reaches staff level agreement with Ukraine on disbursement of about $880 mln-statement

Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Ukrainian authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on a disbursement of...

US Odysseus mission lands on Moon but signal weak, status uncertain

Washington: The Intuitive Machines Odysseus lander touched down on the Moon and sent back a weak signal to...