GLOBALIZATION DRIVEN BY PROFIT MOTIVE WITHOUT TRANSPARENCY HAS PROVED DISASTROUS
The rate at which COVID 19, also called Coronavirus, is spreading across the world, leaving a trail of disaster behind, it would be difficult to foresee what state the world would be in by the time you received your monthly copy of Naad.
Today is the seventh day of the lock-down announced by the Government of India, effective 25 March 2020; an unprecedented move about which the PM Sh. Narendra Modi, informed the Nation in a televised speech on 24 March 2020. As the PM explained, the Coronavirus-spread needed to be stopped before it entered the stage III, a situation in which communities got infected enmasse, making it difficult to track the movement of the carriers of this dreaded virus. Though, by and large, India has not, as yet, seen the catastrophic levels of the infected and the consequent fatalities, one is keeping one’s fingers crossed and praying for the slowing down of the spread of the virus in India and its eventual neutralization. With a huge population,wide-spread poverty, large number of ghettos and slums in which the urban poor live in cramped spaces, even the most restricted spread of the COVID 19 in communities will create a dangerous situation, which will be unprecedented in scale and spread across a huge geographical area.
As is well known, the Coronavirus originated from China’s Wuhan city in Hubei province, where doctors were receiving one to five patients everyday as early as third week of November 2019. Unfortunately, china waited for two months (21 Jan 2020) to issue its first public warning, by which time, the spread of virus had attained an uncontrollable dimension. “A study based on sophisticated scientific modeling has indicated that had Chinese authorities acted three weeks earlier, the number of COVID-19 cases in China would have been reduced by 95% and the global-spread of the disease limited,” writes internationally renowned strategic thinker and writer Brahma Chellaney. It is a well-known fact that the Communist Party of China (CPC) is extremely sensitive to protecting its ‘face’ (reputation) at any cost. In the instant case it did not let the world know about the lurking danger that had the potential to hurt its reputation. But in the end, it did so at the cost of preventing peoples’ suffering.
Lately, through mainstream media, and mostly through social media, theories have been floated that the Coronavirus is the by-product of some bio-weapon engineering. For the time being it is just a rumor as no proof of this exists anywhere. But this is also a fact that no country, particularly the scientifically and technologically advanced countries, where research facilities are the best in the world (the U.S, Israel, Germany, France, Britain, etc), are so deeply involved in responding to the mayhem caused by the pandemic to their own countries, that they have not been able to pay attention to finding out the actual cause of the spread of Coronavirus. Such matters can (and must)be attended to only after the devastation caused by the pandemic and its spread has finally been reversed.
In an economically globalized world, where faster means of travel, international trade, labour intensive factories and technically qualified young people move from one country to another for work, earth has shrunk and has truly turned into a global village. The level of international trade, manufacturing, research, connectivity and inter-dependence among nations today is such that no country can remain isolated from any significant development taking place in any other country; be it terrorism, climate change, environmental issues, spread of contagious diseases, etc. Therefore,it is necessary to work with a high degree of transparency, which I am afraid, china did not follow in the instant case. Italy, which has till now suffered the highest number of deaths due to Coronavirus, has a well-established trade relation with china.Similarly, America imports 97% of its antibiotics from China. France, Germany, Britain, Spain, etc.,have extensive trade relation with China. Their democratic system and open societies make these countries vulnerable to the intended or unintended machinations of powerful and rich dictatorships like China. In the present instant, this is what seems to have happened.
In the olden days, not too far back, the western world called the eastern European countries as being ‘behind an iron curtain’.This signified a fact that countries under the influence and control of the erstwhile Soviet Union were shielded from the open western societies by a huge iron curtain, which neither allowed anything to enter nor exit from these countries. Today,the same thing should have applied to china, but no country dare call china by any such name as most economies of western world are dependent upon china, which manufactures everything from Pin to Plane and from small souvenirs to special sophisticated submarines. A matter of fact, china controls the manufacture-supply chain in a vice-like grip and therefore, western countries are loath to call the Chinese bluff. The fact is that in the present day Inter-connected world profits are more important than human lives.
However, the man-made pandemic has caused unparalleled global economic crises, human suffering and social disruptions. Someone must be held accountable for causing such a massive human and material loss to the world. END.
-Col. Tej K Tikoo