Covid in India: Why is the government playing down the crisis?
BBC Newsnight In Delhi, crematorium staff are working night and day to deal with the dead, makeshift pyres have been built and oxygen supplies are being sold on the black market. Relatives are buying fridges in order to store the bodies of their loved ones and doctors are treating those dying on the streets outside their hospital doors. Attendance at religious festivals has been encouraged - with national newspaper advertisements - and political rallies attracting thousands. Now those criticising Modi's handling of the pandemic face being silenced on social media, or told they are unpatriotic if they speak out. One newspaper editor told BBC Newsnight the government has continually played down or hidden the death toll and infection rate. But how can India solve a problem its own government has insisted for so long wasn’t so bad? The BJP's National Spokesperson Gopal Kagarwal, LSE Prof Shakuntala Banaji and Twitter’s former Head of News, Politics and Government in India Raheel Khursheed speak to Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.