21:55 GMT15 June 2021
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    Trivendra Singh Rawat is a 60-year-old Indian politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who served as state chief in India’s Himalayan state of Uttarakhand for four years, between 2017 to 2021. In a bid to shuffle leadership positions in the state, BJP recently relieved Rawat of his duties as state chief.

    A clip of Trivendra Singh Rawat has excited mockery, sarcasm and disappointment from Indians after a clip of him went viral on social media.

    The footage shows Rawat telling the media that coronavirus - whose disease COVID-19 has killed almost 3.35 million people worldwide in the past year – is, when all is said and done, a “living organism” that “has a right to live”. Furthermore, the senior BJP politician went on to add that human beings were being outsmarted by it for trying to eradicate the virus from our ecosystem.

    “Seen from a philosophical angle, coronavirus is also a living organism. It has the right to live like the rest of us. But we humans think ourselves so intelligent and are out to eliminate it. Thus it is constantly mutating itself," a mask-clad Rawat can be heard saying in the interview in Hindi which has now splashed all over social media.

    Rawat’s statement seems to have offended Indian citizens, thousands of whom have lost their loved ones to the pandemic, although some are heaping ridicule on Rawat with appropriate memes and others are calling him to account for his insensitivity.

    This is not the first time a state chief from Uttarakhand has come under pressure after making bizarre statements.

    The person who has succeeded Trivendra Singh Rawat as state chief in Uttarakhand, Tirath Singh Rawat, has also found himself in the spotlight several times for saying outlandish things.

    Earlier in March, Uttarakhand’s state chief Tirath Singh Rawat said that “India had been ruled by the US for 200 years,” getting his facts a little bit muddled as he meant the UK instead. Before that, Tirath Singh Rawat was trolled left, right and centre by Indian women after he passed “judgement” on women who wear ripped jeans and questioned their morals.

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