After the annus horribilis of 2020, where the China-origin coronavirus, causing pandemic Covid-19, devastated the world that is still struggling to fight the pathogen, the eve of the new year has brought in the optimistic note of the approval of AstraZeneca-Oxford University-made and Serum Institute of India-assembled vaccine to safeguard people against the biological agent. Amid somewhat disconcerting reports of the efficacy of this and the elsewhere approved vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech, one may still seek solace from the indomitable spirit of man to look for ways to cross hurdles in his progress that look insurmountable. Families have suffered irreparable losses, with the passing of their dear ones in the past year, even as the commentary reduced the precious lives to dispassionate statistics. And the toll was not attributable entirely to the particular viral disease. Pressed hard beyond limits, the healthcare facilities had no option but to ignore patients who were suffering from other ailments and warranted urgent attention. The souls of victims of Covid-19, as well as those that were denied adequate care due to the pandemic, and their kin deserve a closure in the form of justice.
As the world fights the scourge, which was, in all probability, the handiwork of the evil regime of the Communist Party of China that aimed at dominating an aftermath scenario economically, the one government that could have given it a befitting reply is on its way out. A terrible spokesperson of his refreshing agenda in the dreary polity of political correctness, Donald Trump has failed to retain power in the United States. Whereas supporters of the Narendra Modi dispensation in India often wish their prime minister were as forthright as the head of the US, the pitfall of shooting from the hips is now for all to see. Expectedly, the leftist media in the US — along with social media giants Twitter and Facebook — had been after Trump since his ascension to the most colossal ‘throne’. They do not hesitate to twist the Indian reality either but find Modi too smart to be cornered after efforts to do so, helped in no mean measure by their Indian agents, fizzled out gradually since May 2014. That brought about the difference in the result of the Indian general election of 2019 and the American presidential poll in the just-concluded year. An analysis of voting patterns in the US suggests Trump’s constituency did not quite dump him, but the extra votes needed to stay in the office is what the Republican head could not pull off, an art Modi has mastered by appropriating Gandhi and socialism, which makes the sections of the Indian electorate that are not parts of BJP’s core constituency push the party’s vote share beyond the first-past-the-post mark.
This year, the probe against the suspected Chinese moles in the US administration will stop. Joe Biden is likely to re-hyphenate India and Pakistan. While the American trade war with China may ease off, giving the world economy much reprieve, its reliance all over again on cheap products of questionable quality from a country run by a shady organisation is once again a cause for concern. In this scenario, ‘permanent’ President of China Xi Jinping’s idea of withdrawing from Deng Xiaoping’s doctrine and Modi’s emphasis on Atmanirbhar Bharat may pan out differently. Xi is forced by the distrustful comity of nations now whereas countries like Japan and Australia are eager to draw closer to India, as is the United Kingdom. Indians must appreciate that a self-reliant India that their premier is stressing is Make-in-India 2.0 rather than a push for the tested and failed ideology of swadeshi to make the most of the NDA government’s policy.
With Democrats — Americans fool themselves by believing the suicidal leftist ideology, if not communism, ended with the collapse of the USSR and Latin American socialist governments — at the helm in the still-most-powerful United States, China will get its just deserts only in a situation where the powers that are to cut it to size do not have their own billions invested in the Middle Kingdom, as the US does. That is a possible picture of the future, the making of which has but started, albeit tentatively. The US must one day get a sophisticated version of Trump by way of Japan’s Shinzo Abe or his successor Yoshihide Suga. When affordability at the cost of the standard of products does not rule the marketing roost, world leaders will have an answer to the notorious P4 Lab of Wuhan. That year hasn’t yet arrived.