Award-winning author Arundhati Roy on India's response to Covid-19

  • Arundhati Roy talks to ITV News correspondent Rageh Omaar

If there was a country that represented a potential global nightmare scenario were Covid-19 ever to take hold, India would be that country.

The figures are stark and scarcely believable. India has four million cases and rising. On one day alone this week, India accounted for forty percent of all new global cases.Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned, award-winning writer and activist and a strong, persistent critic of Prime Minister Modi.

She told ITV News that his Hindu nationalist government‘s response to coronavirus is not only unsuitable but could not have been worse.

"You had a lockdown which was announced with four hours notice to a population of 1.3 billion people. We were just ambushed, almost, by our Prime Minister," Ms Roy said.

"A lockdown does not enforce physical distancing, it enforces physical compression".For Ms Roy, there is no doubt that it’s Prime Minister Modi who is to blame for India’s inability to deal with coronavirus.Already beset with crippling domestic crises, including an armed confrontation with China on its northern border and paralysing sectarian violence between Hindu nationalist supporters of Prime Minister Modi and minority Muslim Indians.Ms Roy says coronavirus has now put India in the eye of a perfect storm.