Criminal neglect

Indian tycoons and Bollywood stars have reportedly fled India amidst a raging pandemic for boltholes across Europe, the Middle East and Indian Ocean destinations such at the Maldives, which banned flights from India recently, sparking a last-minure rush. This blatant escapism is drawing widespread criticism in India as large swathes of the population are suffering unmentionable agony, many dying on the street for lack of oxygen and medical care.

Ranbir Kapoor, Bollywood’s sixth highest paid actor, has been slammed after brazenly sharing pictures on Instagram with his girlfriend Alia Bhatt as they arrived at Mumbai airport on April 19, just before the ban, with the caption “Maldives calling”, report the tabloids.

Both had reportedly only just recovered from COVID-19 themselves before hopping on a plane. They joined fellow Bollywood stars Disha Patani and Tiger Shroff, who jetted off to the Maldives the day before as India continued to battle with devastating infection rates.

While Ranbir, Alia and Tiger kept a low profile, Disha splashed bikini-clad pictures and selfies on her Instagram. This lot and others like them have paid as much as USD 20,000 for a one-way flight out of India to destinations like Mauritius and the Maldives.

A spokesman for Air Charter Services India told journalists that the demand for private jets was “absolutely crazy” before the ban came into effect.

With hundreds of thousands of new infections setting new records, and the healthcare system crumbling, many Indians are calling out the callous Modi government for its criminal neglect.

We in Pakistan should learn from this before it is too late.

Comment of the week

More on the health emergency in India. Critics of the PM Mr Narendra Modi are asking, what is an oxymoron?

Answer: The moron in charge of supplying oxygen to a gasping nation.

That is putting it mildly, we think.