“Jab tak dawai nahi, dhilai nahi” (No let up till vaccination) to “Dawai bhi, kadaai bhi” (Yes to medicine, yes to caution) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s coronavirus slogans are just proof of how well he handled the pandemic in a nation of 130 crore people where other developed countries continue to struggle. Almost three-fourths of Indians believe that PM Modi has done a good or outstanding job in handling the pandemic, the India Today Mood of the Nation (MOTN) opinion poll has revealed.
While 23 per cent of the respondents said PM Modi’s handling of the pandemic has been outstanding, 50 per cent said it’s good. Another 18 per cent said it’s average, while 7 per cent said it’s poor and only 2 per cent responded very poor.
The India Today MOTN opinion poll was conducted in coordination with Karvy Insights. A total of 12,232 interviews were conducted across the nation, both face-to-face and over telephone, from January 3-13, 2021.
It’s been more than a year that India, and the world, have been living under the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. India witnessed a complete lockdown in four phases starting March 25, 2020. The lockdown was announced by PM Modi himself in a televised speech to the nation.
Industries, shops, offices, educational institutions, and public transport shut overnight, and only essential services were allowed to operate. The pandemic, and the subsequent lockdowns, impacted the economy and led to massive job losses. Unlocks were announced in several phases from June to bring normal life back on track. Sops were announced to revive the economy. And as the MOTN opinion polls show, PM Modi seems to have ticked the right boxes in dealing with the pandemic situation.
Over two-thirds of respondents also expressed satisfaction at the Centre’s handling of economic distress due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the poll showed.
Even some of the most developed countries have not received this kind of appreciation from their citizens. A Pew Research Center survey of more than 14,000 respondents in 14 advanced economies of Europe, Asia, North America and Australia found that 73 per cent of respondents thought their country had done a good job in tackling the outbreak. But a different picture emerged in the US and UK, where delayed action to combat the pandemic received less emphatic support. More than half of those polled in these two countries said they thought the outbreak had been handled poorly. This survey was published in August 2020.
While 94 per cent respondents in Australia were satisfied with their government’s handling of the pandemic, the number was 88 per cent for Canada and Germany each, and 74 per cent for Italy. Compared to India, lesser respondents in France (59 per cent), Japan (55 per cent) Spain (54 per cent), United States (47 per cent) and United Kingdom (46 per cent) gave thumbs up to their governments’ Covid efforts.
The MOTN opinion poll has found that not only have Indians endorsed PM Modi’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis, but they are also happy with his overall performance. Some 74 per cent Indians expressed satisfaction with the prime minister, up from 54 per cent in the MOTN opinion poll conducted in January 2019.
The Modi government’s vaccination drive is considered to be the largest in the world. India rolled out two coronavirus vaccines Covaxin, which has been developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology, and Covishield, developed by the University of Oxford and pharma major AstraZeneca. Its India partner is Pune-based Serum Institute.
Various opinion polls from last year too have shown that support for PM Modi and his policies continue despite the pandemic, lockdown, and economic distress.
The August 2020 edition of MOTN survey had found that 77 per cent respondents were satisfied with PM Modi’s performance during the Covid-19 crisis. This is in contrast to the mood in most developed and developing countries.
According to a survey conducted by United States-based research firm Morning Consult, PM Modi’s popularity has risen the most among major global leaders amid the pandemic. The analysis tracked approval ratings of several heads of states.