In my previous articles, I tried to expose some of the facts about how the pandemic has revealed the fault lines which exist in our families, society and the country at large.
It’s no wonder a small invisible virus has brought us to our knees by its sheer power to spread and show its destructive nature not only on individual health but also in the whole economy.
As an inquisitive exploration of the natural world one would wonder whether such a thing never happened and many for example compare this to the Spanish flu pandemic of the early 1900s during which many died due to similar illness.
We also know that the virus changes itself (obviously because of some other changes in the nature of its host or environmental conditions) by changing its surface proteins on the basis of which the name of the virus also changes, but what’s amazing is that we never realized we exist on such a thin line of separation between life and death.
Even after the last pandemic and many other similar pandemic and epidemic diseases addressed in the medical texts, we were unprepared as a human race that can otherwise explore the surface of the Mars and moons of other planets.
The point to learn is we are imperfect at the core and it’s clearly exposed–in a way good to be in the light of our strengths and weaknesses at the same time.
With the pandemic of a small virus well set itself into the globalized world, there is another thing to realize–our country is going through a peculiar process of finding itself in the de-developmental period because of the virus.
The economy is down and the usage of fossil fuel is decreased, consumption of electricity is reduced. And probably the desire of the western world for energy-guzzling countries like India and China to stop running its economies at the pace in which it was running has fructified thanks to the virus.
If newer and newer strains keep coming and keep the economic fuel-guzzling of China and India at a lower level than before it would be favourable for the global natural environment in terms of a slower rate of global warming.
This exposes a fundamental defect in a thing called “development”. Now whatever people believed and voted for a thing called “development “was that if someone will come and pour his money (probably loans taken from various national and international banks) in the name of infrastructure development it then makes other people like common public start their own process of development by investing and doing some economic activities rising the level of consumption the fossil fuels at large.
Though we know that per capita consumption of energy via fossil fuels is much less for India as compared to the US, nevertheless it’s more important that it reduces somehow rather than who is reducing it.
If India and China reduce their quest for development or rather de- develop then it would be better for the whole world no doubt, but it would be even better if the US also de developed along with most European countries (which is less likely).
The powerful countries will have their say in this as they had been doing before. If India can be used as a local policeman for the west which has messed up much of the gulf countries (rich in oil and ready to supply at a cheaper price) and if two biggest populations can be made enemies to each other and keep the west free of the necessity to waste its resources on policing rogue countries and also have good effects on the environment as a whole why not use the virus and its perpetual presence to the advantage of it?
The disadvantage has been for the common gullible public of countries like ours who blindly believes in a thing called “development” and voted for it without much imagination of how it can make its own original way of existence possible instead of meek copying of the model dictated by the west and its banks and other institutions.
This virus exposes clearly how we as a country lacks original thinking to offer something in the place of “development “ and give an alternative original solution to the problems which existed then and even now.
We blindly accepted the worldview of how we must go about living without asking sincerely what would happen if a small virus will topple it all and make us the same pawn at the hands of a more powerful country just as it happened before independence.
The whole meaning of independence is in question if we couldn’t independently think and have our own way of “development” which didn’t have to depend on the other powerful to even run its basic services like health and immunization etc forget about things like running a democracy just for a namesake.
Dr (Maj) Haricharan Tk is a gynaecologist based in Bangalore. He can be reached at: [email protected]