On 29 April 2021, India reported 379,257 new cases of Covid-19 infections and 3,645 new deaths, up from 360,960 new infections and 3,293 fatalities the day before, making it the deadliest day the country has lived through so far since the start of the pandemic.
So how did India get to this point of crisis? This question is often asked on the assumption that India did well during the first wave of the pandemic. As a production hub for some 60% of the world's vaccines, India is often referred to as the pharmacy of the world, and at the start of 2021, much was being made of India's global vaccine diplomacy and the rollout of what was supposedly the world's largest Covid vaccination programme.
The Indian government only approved two vaccines for domestic use - the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute of India.
In short, the harrowing tragedy that is playing out in India is a politically engineered crisis.
Instead of doing everything in its power to plug the gaping holes in the country's chronically underfunded medical infrastructure, the Modi government has kept peddling the message that India is handling the Covid-19 pandemic with competence and care, while at the same time persecuting citizens, medical staff, and journalists who are calling attention to how an unprecedented disaster is snuffing out lives with unfathomable ferocity.