By Charan Singh
Covid19 struck the world at its weakest moment. At a time when the world(How India leads in the grip of virulent Covid-19) is reeling under a barrage of turmoil such as U.S-China trade war, U.S – Taliban failed treaty, Pakistan’s perennial tryst with terrorism, Iraq’s civil war, Iran’s grappling with the hostility and economic sanctions of the U.S., economic parochialism in Europe in the form of Brexit, Australia’s bush fire tragedy, China’s hegemonic approach to the world and India’s persistent headache with her truculent neighbour, the world was never vulnerable as it is today.
To make the pandemonium worse, the Corona pandemic(How India leads in the grip of virulent Covid-19) is strangulating the world as an albatross around the neck. This indeed exposed the frailty and fragility of global governance.
The role of global institutions like the UN (United Nations) and WHO (World Health Organization) is under the scanner. Time and again, we have witnessed that the shenanigans of the mighty and powerful are at play in the world’s largest body.
The lack of alacrity shown by WHO amidst the Corona pandemic(How India leads in the grip of virulent Covid-19) clouds the minds of several peoples about its integrity. The legitimacy of such organization is questionable.
During 2008 subprime crisis and 2014 global pandemic Ebola, The U.S assumed the global leadership(How India leads in the grip of virulent Covid-19). On the contrary, now, The Trump administration’s “America first” slogan making him source a vaccine from Germany for Americans alone just to turn down the Chinese pharmaceutical imports and monopolise the pharmaceutical market, jeopardises the global consensus to fight this menace.
So, there is a big void in the global leadership, as both economic powers: the US’s flirting with nationalism and China’s critical role in unleashing the Coronavirus has made the world a disintegrated pack at a time when the world body must hunt as a pack.
Every crisis throws an opportunity. And the wise and matured must cease it. To assert herself a global power, India can resurrect and redeem herself by taking some extreme measures:
1. Winning International trust
Responding to the gravity of the situation, the alacrity that PM Modi showed to reach out to the SAARC nations and G20 is quite praiseworthy.
However, the challenge for India lies in manoeuvring the way in convincing other countries that India is the most transparent and trustworthy ally instead of China’s opacity or the USA’s hardened nationalism.
Deploying the tool of technical cooperation, investing heavily in research and development vis-a-vis health care, education and technology could be the masterstroke in India’s quest for being a global leader.
While India (How India leads in the grip of virulent Covid-19) enjoys a very cordial relationship with most of the countries, India must be more assertive in any international forum. At this point of time revamp and redemption of the UN and its associates body is the need of the hour.
2. Putting the house in order
Despite enjoying the status of regional power, India has a lot to do in keeping the house in order. The current government’s propensity to take strong yet harsh decisions invoked a mixed response.
Fixing the process execution impurities, the government must create a space for dialogues among Civil societies, Media and Opposition.
Pandering to a certain ideology while closing the communication channel with dissenters does not augur well for the democratic values on which India had been founded.
3. Creating a technology-based ecosystem
In his book “21 Lessons for the 21st century” Prof. Yuval Noah Harari expounds the importance of Artificial intelligence intertwined with BigData.
Had we strengthened our surveillance system using AI and Data monitoring, perhaps locking down the entire country could have been averted.
Each and every patient or potential carrier of the virus could have been easily spotted. Although technology is a double-edged sword, technology can be of amazingly advantageous in a big democracy like us especially in an emergency of this magnitude.
4. Going back to our roots
India is endowed with five thousand years old culture. Our education system must inculcate the scientific research of these cultural practices without casting the shadow of religion.
Although they say, religion is the opium of masses. Without succumbing to the pressure, all the practices that benefit the body, mind and soul irrespective of any religion must be encouraged without chauvinism.
5. Cultivating patriotism
The best thing about India is whenever there is a crisis, the entire country is united. Instilling the sense of patriotism with a tinge of compassion is more important than jingoism.
It is important to create a space for dialogues and difference of opinions notwithstanding the difference in ideologies.
At the same time, if a difference in opinions means encouraging and helping the enemies of the country then the law must take its course.
Following the principles of democracy, if India conducts herself assertively in the international forum, there is no iota of doubt that India will lead in the days to come.