“Those Who Work Make Mistakes”: Anupam Kher After “Image-Building” Barb



Actor Anupam Kher has often defended the Narendra Modi government and the BJP (File)

New Delhi:

Actor Anupam Kher tweeted a six-line poem in Hindi on Friday morning – an apparent attempt at damage control after comments to NDTV earlier this week seemed to criticise the Narendra Modi government’s handling of the Covid pandemic.

“Only those who work make mistakes. Those who spend time idly looking for the evil in others… their lives soon come to an end,” he tweeted.

On Wednesday Mr Kher, who has often praised the Prime Minister and is a strong defender of the BJP-led regime, told NDTV he believed the government “had slipped” in managing the Covid crisis.

“Somewhere they have slipped… it is time for them to understand that there is much more to life than just image-building maybe,” he admitted.

He also admitted it was important to hold the government responsible for its actions, saying: “We should get angry… It is important to hold the government responsible for what has happened.”

And asked if the government’s efforts have been more about managing image and perception than providing relief, he replied: “I think the criticism is valid in lots of cases and I think it is important for the government to rise to the occasion and do things they are chosen by people of this country…”

The words marked an extraordinary departure for the 66-year-old former Film and Television Institute of India chairman whose wife, actor Kirron Kher, is a BJP MP.

About two weeks ago, Mr Kher was trolled for responding to a critique of the government’s handling of Covid with a tweet that said: “Aayega toh Modi hi (but Modi will return).”

India is struggling to contain a devastating second wave of coronavirus infections and deaths, with more than three lakh new cases and thousands of deaths a day for the past three weeks.

The flood of cases has meant hospital beds are overflowing, medicines and oxygen supplies are scarce, and the vaccination drive has slowed (even stopped in some places).

The government has been heavily criticised for its failure in anticipating and responding to the crisis, with scathing observations also being made from foreign press and in medical journals.

This week the government revealed its plans for a “positivity drive” to repair its image, which includes union ministers tweeting identical messages to highlight efforts to control the virus.

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