India watched Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on coronavirus on Thursday evening with much anticipation. In his speech, the Prime Minister talked about how India can fight coronavirus, urged people to practice social distancing and to keep indoors, unless it is of extreme importance. Some in the industry, without wanting to be identified, felt that PM Modi could have been more specific on some of the measures being taken to counter it. However, industry leaders such as Tech Mahindra CEO and MD CP Gurnani and Biocon Chairperson and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, believe that the speech showed all seriousness and intent.
Seeing that nothing went unaddressed in the speech, CP Gurnani said that the Prime Minister's words were measured but the intent was very clear. "By using the word janata curfew, the Prime Minister has shown seriousness and intent by saying that you need to take action, realise it is critical and exercise discipline." He also welcomed the message on not crowding the hospitals and therefore leaving them to deal with more serious cases. By saying that people need to salute the essential service providers, he seemed to be seeking encouragement for the ones at the frontline, much like how soldiers are backed during a war. To the trade and industry there was also the message of not doing any layoffs and to take care of employees and also that there was an economic stimulus coming and would be worked out over a period of time.
Calling it a well calibrated speech that has brought out the seriousness of the problem on hand, and was meant to connect with the citizens, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said, "The Prime Minister has also brought out the economic impact of coronavirus. The government is aware of it and is coming up with an economic taskforce under the chairmanship of the finance minister as a response to this impact." She particularly welcomed the emphasis he laid on the havoc coronavirus could create and how he highlighted that with resolve one could overcome it. In this respect, urging the citizens to self-quarantine as that was the need of the hour.
Many felt that PM Modi could have spelled out the measures around coronavirus testing and the resources backing in the government's efforts, while others felt that to provide a lowdown of the measures was not the job of the prime minister. They believed that it was really the job of the concerned ministry and the ministers to articulate specific measures. Overall, the speech has been hailed for underlining the point that the issue at hand is serious and that there is no room for complacency.
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