Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi apologized for a nationwide lockdown during his monthly radio address to the nation on Sunday morning.
“Let me seek forgiveness from all the countrymen. My conscience tells me that you will definitely forgive me as I had to take certain decisions which have put you in a lot of difficulty,” Modi said.
Modi ordered the 21-day complete lockdown on March 24 in an effort to fight the coronavirus from spreading. All nonessential establishments, including shops, factories, and places of worship, are required to remain closed throughout the lockdown.
The decision left tens of thousands of India’s migrant laborers scrambling to return to their hometowns, as they no longer had a means of income in India.
In his radio address, Modi asked poor Indians for their forgiveness.
“Especially when I look at my poor brothers and sisters, I definitely feel that they must be thinking, what kind of prime minister is this who has placed us in this difficulty? I especially seek their forgiveness,” Modi said.
“I understand your troubles but there was no other way to wage a war against corona for a country like India with a population of 1.3 billion. It is a battle of life and death and we have to win it, therefore, such strong measures were absolutely necessary. Nobody likes to take such strong measures, however, looking at the situation all over the world, it seems this is the only option,” Modi said.