As the knowledge that the coronavirus is a biological agent created in China is gradually becoming official information, thanks to the investigation running in the United States, the inhibition coupled with greed that the mainstream and social media platforms suffer from will give way to a condemnation of the communist regime in Beijing. But condemnation will not be enough. Already an effort to mislead is afoot. Now, increasingly, reports and analyses are appearing on media that propagate a “leak” theory. The underlying message is, as denying the China-origin of the virus has become nearly impossible, that it was an accident. Even some Indians are part of this campaign of misinformation.
Don’t say ‘Wuhan’, say ‘China’
On 5 May, the media was full of stories of Pune-based scientist couple, Dr Rahul Bahulikar and Dr Monali Rahalkar, who said, “their theory that was initially dismissed as a conspiracy has again grabbed global attention after the US President Joe Biden ordered a probe into it…” Of the duo, the husband goes on to claim, “We started our research in April 2020. We found that a relative of Sars-CoV-2, RATG13, a coronavirus was collected from a mineshaft in Mojiang of Yunnan province in South China by the Wuhan Institute of Virology. We also found out that the mineshaft was infested with bats and six miners hired to clean the faecal matter were infected with a pneumonia-like illness.” The wife says, “Wuhan Institute of Virology and other labs in Wuhan are experimenting on the virus, and there is a suspicion that they did some changes in the genome of the virus, and it may be possible that the current virus was invented in the process.”
On the face of it, the theory looks like pitted against China. But look at the cunning wordplay. Two words “Wuhan” and “leak” are being played up in a manner that “China” and “deliberate” do not register in the reader’s mind. The hypothesis can, however, hardly hold its ground when it is considered that the so-called leak affected no part of China outside the city where the laboratory is situated. Accidents don’t pan out that way. The world has seen Sars-CoV-1 and also Anthrax attacks. It has the experience to discern what is an accident and what is a biological weapon.
The sequence of events of the past two years — involving a biological attack on all powers that can challenge China like the US and its NATO allies UK, Italy, France, etc culminating in Donald Trump’s electoral defeat — has made it clear that the Xi Jinping regime is too dangerous to be dealt just with adverse opinion. Now the target is India, particularly the Narendra Modi regime. It may be noted that when the final analysis of the US presidential election arrived, none of the charges against Trump proved as decisive a factor as the American population reeling under the coronavirus attack. The breast-beating over vaccine and oxygen in India now is leading the discourse in the same direction. China created the pathological agent in a bid to devastate the world economy in phases, from which it would emerge as the sole player around which the activities of the world will revolve, with people in countries as far as those in North and South America to closer Asian countries wearing Chinese clothes, using Chinese ware from the kitchen to the factory, exporting less to China and buying more from it, and thus reducing their nations to the status of glorified slaves of the sole survivor-superpower.
Controlling information dissemination for impression favourable to China
The main instrument in the sequence of events referred to above, engineered by China, involve the global leftist (euphemism for “communist “) network that has long infested all channels of communication. Mercifully, the loose talk of some corporate heads and blatant conduct by others make the game clear. If during the Congress-headed UPA rule in India, there were reports that journalists were on the payroll of the Communist Party of China (CCP), now CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey says on record that the staff of his company has a leftist skew. Facebook in India uses the services of AltNews, a fact-checking website led by a communist Bengali called Pratik Sinha, which targets only such posts that are critical of Muslims and political parties in the opposition. YouTube, a product of Google, pulls down videos that expose the shenanigans of the CCP.
These are facts in the public domain and not opinions of the writer of this article. On 18 April 2020, Sirf News had published a report exposing what is known as the “50 Cents Party”, which employs between 2,50,000 and 3,00,000 people across social media platforms. These trolls, who were once paid 50 cents for every act of spinning a story in CCP’s favour, mass-report posts and videos that report and condemn the excesses of China in the domestic as well as international circuit.
Thus, with both journalists and social media commentators in their kitty, when the megalomaniacal Xi, who has got himself chosen as the permanent president of China, set about wrecking the world with the virus developed in a laboratory of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the intelligentsia doubted the narrative of a bio-war, damning it as a “conspiracy theory”.
The commentariat was so sold out that none of these factors mattered: Media services of the US panning China, exposés by a Chinese businessman in exile, data leak from the second largest Chinese company Tencent, damning articles in journals of science, confession by China’s own doctors, scientists’ opinions and reports of intelligence agencies.
- In February 2020, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that inside a Chinese laboratory, a bunch of scientists were developing weapons for a biological warfare. Now, RFA is a US government-funded news service that broadcasts radio programmes and publishes online news, information and commentary to readers and listeners in Asia and is known for editorially independent reporting and a mission of providing accurate and uncensored reporting to countries in Asia that have poor media environments and limited protections for press freedom and freedom of speech. Yet the rest of the global commentators were not impressed.
- Exiled Chinese businessman Guo Wengui condemned his native country that month for suppressing the real, shockingly high Covid-19 casualty figures. Who cared?
- In February again, China’s second-largest company Tencent accidentally leaked the real figures of Covid-19 deaths in China. The media was not interested.
- When the exposés had just started, The Lancet, which has otherwise cautiously avoided deploring China for creating the bio-agent throughout, could not help but say at least that Beijing was lying.
- In March last year, China itself confessed partially to its guilt when one of the doctors, who had spoken publicly about the Wuhan conspiracy and was jailed consequently, died. The media looked the other way.
- Early in April 2020, the British MI6 had conclusively called it a Chinese virus. The media couldn’t care less. The commentators worldwide refused to turn vociferous in a demand to teach China a lesson even when, in June last year, the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance — involving sleuths from the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand — published a 15-page research document damning China with a report like that of the MI6.
- In April that year again, Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier, a virologist and French professor, said that it was a laboratory in China that had created a new type of coronavirus. The statement had no value for the media.
From a disgruntled element to a Nobel laureate, all critics of the Xi regime were slotted as conspiracy theorists and dumped.
But managing the media was not Xi’s sole feat. He had managed no less than the World Health Organisation, especially its dubious Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, based on whose statements the narrative on health is set worldwide. Enjoying the Chinese president’s hospitality at a time when it was early enough for the world to take safeguard measures, Tedros had the gall to announce in January 2020 that the coronavirus could not even transmit human-to-human! The WHO reluctantly declared Covid-19 was a global pandemic, seemingly when his benefactor China was sure it was now too late for the world to save itself.
In the midst of all this, Xi hopped from one photo-op venue to another without a mask on, as China’s industrial hub Shanghai and capital Beijing stayed ‘unbelievably’ unaffected by the virus that had not only attacked neighbours of China but travelled as far as Alaska in the United States.
But destroying economies and controlling information dissemination were just a part of the game. The much larger and more devilish game was being played in the political arena.
Then US President Donald Trump, who had sensed the Chinese act of subterfuge, was the network’s highest-value target. He was but too late in the act of intervention. He signed an order prohibiting US investments in Chinese firms that are determined to be owned or controlled by the country’s military as late as mid-November 2020 — by when the international communist cabal had already ensured his ouster. Throughout the campaign for the presidential election, Twitter heckled him and heavily influenced the American electorate by constantly marking his tweets as unreliable. The permanent deletion of his handle was only the last nail in the proverbial coffin.
Of course, Trump could have handled it smarter. He made too much of noise before cornering the enemy. Instead of getting squeezed under administrative pressure, the mafia saw gaping holes through which it would not only wriggle out but also raise an alarm worldwide in the name of freedom of speech. The arrest of Chinese moles in the US in February last year could have been a quiet affair. Before that, the three-year long trade war with China without offering the world a kind of notice period in which they could look for alternative sources of trade only built enemies of Trump everywhere. They came in the shape of political foes as much as business rivals. Recall that in this duration, Trump was not treating friends, allies and partners properly either. Every now and then, he would threaten even the Narendra Modi regime in India of dire consequences if the trade imbalance was not set right. He heckled India even for hydroxychloroquine, a compound and drug that eventually proved ineffective in the treatment of Covid-19.
Thanks to the seasoned statesman that Modi is, however, the bilateral relations did not deteriorate. The Indian prime minister went out on a limb to even endorse Trump’s candidacy. One may say it was injudicious in hindsight, but if the real, formidable power of the communist-jihadi combine is now evident, this is as much a virtue of hindsight. The newly made guidelines and IT rules by the government of India is but a step in the right direction. Google and Facebook kneeled readily. Twitter bowed with reluctance.
The evil institutions that feed these communist-jihadi megaphones must be dealt with next.
With Trump removed, they now target Modi
If it has looked as an all-out Chinese communist conspiracy so far, the episode involving India introduces the jihadi element to the story.
The outbreak in India did not, of course, look like an attack when a traveller landed in Kerala from China. It did not even when a few cases emerged in Mumbai soon after. But before long, a shocking incident, the video of which is still the most viewed post on Sirf News, surfaced in Patna, Bihar. Muslims from China, Iran and several central Asian Muslim states, which had all been infected were found sheltered in a mosque, which raised an alarm in the neighbourhood.
When India was still trying to figure out the motive of these foreigners, the news of the massive congregation of Muslims from across India and the world in Delhi’s Nizamuddin Markaz of Tablighi Jamaat broke in the media. Expectedly, the initial response from Muslims, including the intellectuals in the fold and their leftist apologists among Hindus, called it “fake news”. Within a couple of days, however, the horror tales were spread across the media spectrum. The ‘secularists’, on the defensive now, pleaded that the entire community could not be condemned for the act of a “fringe” organisation, never mind that Tablighi Jamaat is as mainstream Muslim as it gets. The suicidal leftists of the country were not ready to wake up even when mosques and dargahs (mausoleums) refused to shut down in the last week of March when a nationwide lockdown was announced. They remained open for the whole of April 2020 and up to mid-May last year while caretakers of all other places of worship had responded with obedience immediately following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s appeal. Worse was to follow.
When several Muslim clerics and lesser Muslims from the Tablighi Jamaat were detected as Covid-19-positive and quarantined at special healthcare centres, many of them manhandled doctors and nurses and some went to the extent of molesting women healthcare workers, flashing before them and defecating on the corridors of isolation centres. And then, the apologists’ excuse that the disgusting show did not enjoy the whole community’s support fell apart.
In the meantime, the foreign Muslims who had come to attend the jamaat had gone incommunicado, dispersing across the country, flouting visa rules. The Muslims of at least 19 countries were involved in the mischief.
Then came an Eid, and all caution of social distancing was thrown out of the window when Muslims from Chandni Chowk of Delhi to Charminar of Hyderabad came out in large numbers to shop and, consequently, spread the contagion. This year, it happened again.
The Indian government had so promptly announced a strict lockdown that if the Islamic scourge above had not happened, the country would long have overcome the pandemic.
All this while, both mainstream and social media companies extended their censorship rules to offer protection to Muslims as well. Members of other communities were prohibited from criticising, let alone deploring, Muslims for deliberately spreading the disease of China origin. Many famous Twitter handles and Facebook profiles raising the right questions were silenced while in newspaper and television offices — where patriotic journalists had been targeted and marginalised just the previous year with a misguided, woke, feminist #MeToo movement — those pointing a finger at China or Islam were ridiculed and virtually left with no meaningful work.
None of the above was, however, a direct threat to the Modi regime. With recovery as well as casualty figures appearing within control in the most populous democracy and developing economy when much richer countries were struggling, the Indian prime minister had to be shown callous towards the people. Hence, a rumour was spread that the big cities in the country were all running out of food for the poor. The fake news at a time when supplies for the marginalised sections of the economy was brimming over storage capacity sent across a panic wave among the migrant workers living in slums of metropolises and other major employment destinations. The labourers herding in buses and trains back home shot the infection figures up on the one hand and painted a poor image of Modi — exactly as the enemy wanted.
Come November 2020, it was a foregone conclusion that Donald Trump had been disposed of even though the result of the US presidential election was a couple of months farther away. For, throughout the campaign and even before, social media platforms in general and Twitter in particular had began harassing him, marking whatever he posted as ‘unreliable’. For pecuniary or political gains, the companies led by Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey were virtually behaving like a third contender in the election that had an entente with the Democrats. Too much of negative coverage about Trump finally brought an end to his presidential term. A shameless Twitter, still seething with vendetta reminiscent of the regimes of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong, was eager to deal the last blow. They deleted Trump’s account permanently.
A seasoned politician Modi was a tough call still. Having long snatched the plank of Gandhism from the Indian National Congress and socialism from all samajwadis of the country, the Indian prime minister had checked on all the politically correct boxes. Not for once had he uttered a word or committed an act that would challenge the distorted Indian understanding of “secularism”. When he had to cry for Hindus, he cried only for Dalits following an incident of assault on some members of the Scheduled Castes suspected of smuggling cattle. Ergo, here was a BJP leader from the RSS stable whom the West was struggling to brand as a “Hindu nationalist” while their foster children in India could no longer say a “Brahmin-Baniya” party was ruling the country. Modi proved way beyond the grasp of detractors who had taken Atal Bihari Vajpayee for a grand ride atop a ludicrous Himayat Committee in 2003 which had, while failing to fetch Muslim votes, had alienated many hardcore Hindus who refused to turn up to vote in the scorching heat of April 2004. So, how would they defeat a ruler, all walls of whose fortress looked unbreachable? Hindus, both upper and lower castes, were steadfast in his support. Muslims, unlike post-Godhra 2002, were shooting in the dark to latch on to an issue that would provoke the entire ummah. They had tried the plank of “intolerance” in the period 2014-19, which eventually fizzled out, as no criminal act of vandalism, lynching or desecration of places of worship of the minorities could be attributed to an orchestrated work of the Sangh Parivar. In fact, several of the allegations proved unrelated to the idea of intolerance altogether, and the perpetrators in some of them were not even Hindus. In one, the rape of a nun in West Bengal, the culprit was not even an Indian; he was a Bangladeshi infiltrator.
So ‘tolerant’ was this government that it decided not to object when the Supreme Court decided to read down Section 377, a Victorian-era law dealing with “sex against the order of nature”, which men in the khaki uniform were allegedly misusing to heckle homosexual people. How does an adversary put such a government in trouble?
They finally got an issue after which their constant breast-beating gave way to direct assaults. Legislative acts like the repeal of Article 370 and the abolition of talaq-e-biddat (popularly referred to as triple talaq) had the Muslims simmering for vengeance. The active pursuit of the Ram Janmabhoomi case of Ayodhya in the Supreme Court by the government, which culminated in a verdict in favour of the Hindus, gave them the message that it was time for a counterattack. They used the amended citizenship law (CAA) as a ruse to erupt into riots nationwide, much as the change in the statute of 1955 had done nothing to alter the status of citizenship of Indian Muslims.
Nevertheless, as the case of Trump would show finally, it is not violent protests like Black Lives Matter that had brought an end to the Republican presidency. When the dust settled, calculations showed that they were not Blacks who had been animated by the BLM who had vote en bloc for the Democrats; nor did the Hispanics who must have been upset with the Mexico Wall. It was the prolonged distress caused by the Chinese-origin virus that had turned the American electorate against the orange-haired tycoon-turned-politician. Modi must similarly be put in spots of bother by projecting the pandemic as a situation beyond his administrative control.
This is why the communist-jihadi commentariat, which had assiduously avoided naming the origin of the coronavirus and fell on any critic of the CCP like a ton of bricks for one-and-a-half years, pounced on the opportunity to coin the term “Indian strain/variant” the moment some travellers brought in a mutated version of the pathological agent from the UK into India via the porous airport of Mumbai in Maharashtra, a state managed by an ever-bumbling Uddhav Thackeray who occupies the CMO at the mercy of the NCP and INC.
It is to use the pandemic as a political weapon against Modi that no commentator is highlighting the fact that “last-mile delivery” is the job of a state government and, therefore, the respective chief ministers must be held accountable for the poor oxygen supply even as the IAF, Indian Navy and the Indian Railways — that run on the writ of the union government — are working round-the-clock for the supplies.
With the lockdown having taken the wind off the sails of Shaheen Bagh type activists personified by the ilk of Sharjeel Imam, and Khalistani-supported farmer agitation going nowhere despite a toolkit-aided support by a forever frowning Greta Thunberg, pop star Rihanna and former porn star Mia Khalifa, they hope against hope that the sheer longevity of the disease in our midst will frustrate the people against Modi.
As amply demonstrated above, coronavirus and its consequences are just a political weapon to unseat Modi and, hence, it would be thoughtless of an Indian to bite this bait. And while this campaign is political, it is not the government alone who needs to fight it. The situation calls for social awareness and a campaign that will influence the economy and, thus, the way we live.
Since the beginning of the expansion of Chinese territory, self-certified by their people in yesteryears as the “Middle Kingdom” during the reign of the Qing dynasty, subterfuge and defamation campaign against targeted lands has been their strategy of invasion.
Since the ideology and ways of Mao Zedong had begun giving diminished returns in the enlightened world, Deng Xiaoping embarked upon a journey in the late 1980s and early 1990s to dominate the world by flooding it with impossibly cheap goods, keeping aside all labour laws and government regulations that shoot the price of every product up. That stopped paying China rich dividends just before the present Covid era. In 2018-19, besides the trade war with China, the communist state was in news for its economy going downhill. When the biological weapon angle became obvious, Japan led several other significant nations to withdraw investments from the expansionist country. Xi Jinping, the epitome of the crooked Chinese character, then got himself declared as the permanent ruler of China and announced the country would not depend on none but itself.
Coronavirus is the first demonstration of what Xi at the helm and his revision of the Chinese strategy meant. The virus having devastated the whole world while leaving all places in China except Wuhan unscathed, the dream of Xi of a unipolar world with China as the sole superpower is almost realised. The departure of Trump from the scene in the US and a supine Joe Biden, who is merely posturing against China — evident in the fact that all cases against Beijing’s wrongdoings have been withdrawn in the US — has made Chinese imperialism a cakewalk. The onus is on all emerging economies led by India to turn the story around. This will, of course, not be done by means of war today.
But the war is already upon us. A war of a different kind that calls for a different tactic of warfare. It is not too much to ask if sensitised Indians take a step further and lead a campaign to hate China. The despicability ought to be so strong that anything Chinese causes a revulsion within. And alternatives are today available.
The market is hardly dominated by high-end products where the price difference is high. For example, it does not matter if the highest model of China-made OnePlus costs just about 50% of the premium mobile device of South Korea-made Samsung. In the low and medium range, the products that flood the market, the alternatives are competitively priced. From Ganesha and Lakshmi idols to pichkaris for Holi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had shown that indigenous choices can put up a formidable fight. Let macro products like steel — the dominance of China in which can be attributed to the Nehruvian legacy of exporting iron ore at throwaway prices — remain in the domain of the government. Ordinary citizens have a whole lot of other goods and services, the monetary flow of which is in their command.
Even coronavirus is ultimately an economic weapon. India’s answer must primarily be economics too. Xi will soon realise that unleashing an economic war is a double-edged sword. It has bled the world. The world can bleed China back.