What India and China mean to world: One gives virus, the other cures it

24th January 2021

24th January 2021

Jiar Bolsanoro and the Hanuman-Sanjeevani image he tweeted in thanks

What was China's most significant contribution to the world during the past couple of years? The Chinese virus is likely to be the answer that may echo though the minds of the people the world over. Of course, the most visible contribution of the country has been to make the world sick, via the pandemic which originated in its Hubei province in Wuhan city. The Wuhan virus is somewhat erroneously named as Covid-19, with the word Covid standing for corona virus and 19 signifying the year 2019. 

The whole world fell sick in the year 2020 only though this strain of corona virus was first found in 2019 and hence Covid-19. China should be held accountable as it is responsible for the spread of the virus worldwide. When it first found out the virus, instead of warning other nations about the dangerous portents of the Wuhan virus, it suppressed the emerging facts.

The Chinese travelled across continents, thousands of kilometres effectively acting as carriers of the Wuhan virus. In Italy, a Chinese woman stood in an open market carrying a placard: I am Chinese, not virus. She attracted many to herself and people hugged her, perhaps feeling guilty. Later, Italy was the worst hit nation at one point of time, with dozens dying every day and hospitals running out of beds to handle more patients.

China exported the virus worldwide, without a doubt. Deliberately? Maliciously? Well, it certainly didn't warn anyone that the Chinese nationals could be carriers of a deadly virus. Just as the bird flu is spreading via travelling now, via migratory birds, the Chinese nationals carried the virus to every nook and corner of the world.

What is India doing now in January 2021, a little less than a year after it found itself looking at the spectre of Wuhan virus?  Well, it has started exporting vaccines which could be a potential cure for the pandemic. 


This export of Wuhan virus and export of vaccines is the difference that defines China and India. That is the difference between the worldview of the two nations.

China is a hegemon, wanting to extend its hegemony by coercion.

India is a friend, extending a helping hand, to all friendly nations, barring China and Pakistan for obvious reasons.

On Friday, millions of doses of vaccines reached far-off Brazil and it's President Jiar Bolsanoro thanked India. He took to Twitter to convey his thanks to India and said: Brazil is honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle. Thank you for helping us with vaccine exports from India to Brazil.


Bolsanoro's 'Dhanyavaad' was retweeted hundreds of times by Brazilians as also Indians. 

What won him a "billion hearts” was Bolsanoro's use of an image of Lord Hanuman carrying sanjeevani booti in his Tweet. Bolsanoro was apparently inspired to respond in kind as the "Gift from the People of India and Government of India" carried a simple message from our timeless scriptures, Sarve Santu Niramaya (May all be free from disease). The Brazilian President thought nothing described the arrival of vaccines in his country than the image of Lord Hanuman carrying the life-saving medicine.

India may be emerging as the pharmacy of the world in the midst of this crisis and turn a challenge into an opportunity.

Sant Kumar Sharma, a seasoned journalist, is an authority on Jammu and Kashmir. Two of his books on Article 370 and Delimitation are already out. The third one on Indus Waters Treaty is now out and could be bought here.

Sant began as a teacher but after six years, joined the Indian Express, Chandigarh in 1990, the year when terrorism was taking its first step in J & K and soon there would be exodus of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley. He subsequently worked for The Statesman, The Times of India and Star News among others. He is based in Jammu since May 2000.


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