TRT World’s portrayal of India’s grim picture using an image of burning pyres at Kathmandu shows its commitment to the profession they are practicing … writes Ashok Nath Sharma

As the world struggle to tame Covid-19, some forums and their masters with vested interest are trying to tarnish India’s global image. They try to single out India when the entire world is struggling to contain the pandemic’s surge.

As Covid-19 deaths spike across the world its fatalities are casting a shadow over economic recovery of major countries. The US’ move to drop the patent claims of vaccine producers will help developing countries to produce the precious vaccines locally. Instead of joining the war against the virus, some are focusing their attention to tarnish India’s image — the world’s largest democracy and the rising global super power.

The campaign is being led by TRT World — Turkish state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation — along with official Chinese government social media platforms. The campaign is being gobbled up by some Western media outlets and perennial India critics.

India is a country with 1.3 billion people. Like any other country, it wasn’t fully prepared to face the tsunami of second wave. Global super powers like the US and UK were paralysed in a similar situation.

This comes at a time when there is an ongoing global campaign to exonerate China from unleashing the deadly virus on the world. China’s failure to alert the world about the incident at Wuhan put the entire population and economy of the world at the mercy of the virus. By ignoring the virus and focussing on its mutant is a game to tarnish India’s image. However, there are not many takers for the campaign.

The TRT world portrays a grim picture of India by using an image of burning pyres at Kathmandu. That much commitment to the profession they are practicing.

A social media post linked to the Chinese Communist Party drew flak even from sympathisers of the Xi regime. The post on Chinese site Weibo showed an image of a rocket launch in China alongside a photo of Covid victims being cremated in India. The post along with the image read, “Lighting a fire in China vs lighting a fire in India.” However, the post, which appeared on Saturday afternoon, has since been deleted.

It was reportedly published by an account belonging to an official Chinese law enforcement agency — the Communist Party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission — which has millions of followers on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter.

Users responding to the post, wrote that it was “inappropriate” and that China “should express sympathy for India.”

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times, wrote, “Hold high the banner of humanitarianism at this time, show sympathy for India, and firmly place Chinese society on a moral high ground.”

The Weibo post appeared a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the country’s deepening crisis.

Xi said China was willing to enhance co-operation with India and provide any additional help where needed.

Another prominent figure who has come out in India’s support is Britain’s Prince Charles. He along with his British Asian Trust launched a campaign to raise funds and procure oxygen for India. He was supported by Indian-origin British Lords like Dr Rami Ranger and Lord Karan Bilimoria. Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden also issued a statement in favour of India.  

India is in the vortex of a crisis. But it is capable to overcome this one too. The country is equipped with modern medical facilities and blessed with a talented pool of health professionals. Instead of evaluating the facts, critics are jumping into conclusions

“India is in the middle of the pandemic second wave’s battering, as never seen before. As it battles the alarming spread of the virus, the world media has spared no time in lambasting a country of a whopping 1.4 billion where the sheer numbers make the implementation and success of any public scheme a challenge. I have been visiting India for over a decade now and have travelled all over the country, especially Tamil Nadu which I consider my “spiritual home”. I have always had the highest respect for the leaders and public officials who are entrusted with the task of running such a diverse and vast country. Wherever I went, the people greeted me with love and affection, for which I remain in their debt. I can proudly claim that I have seen India up close over the years and that is why my heart bleeds to see it not only in agony at the moment, but also for the bad press that has been hurled at it by those who I am not sure spend any time here to understand India, its people and their myriad challenges,” Hayden said.

India is in the vortex of a crisis. But it is capable to overcome this one too. The country is equipped with modern medical facilities and blessed with a talent pool of health professionals. Instead of evaluating the facts, critics are jump into conclusions. They are not studying the data. India has 134 deaths/1 million of population. Almost, all the Western countries including US has reported more than 1,500 deaths per million.

Covid In Numbers

India                    134
Hungary              2,719
Bulgaria              2,276
Belgium              2,056
Italy                     1,960
UK                        1,868
Brazil                   1,795
USA                     1,757
Poland                1,711
Portugal              1,667
Spain                   1,657
France                 1,562
Romania             1,417
Sweden               1,368
Switzerland        1,212

India is 120th in the world in terms of deaths per 1 million. The US, with double of the number of reported cases as compared with India, has three times more deaths.

The casualty figures may get much worse than 134 for India. If the casualty rate becomes the same as that of Switzerland, the total death count would be 17 lakhs, and if it is that of Italy or Belgium, it would be 34 lakhs.

The pandemic has wrecked the life of many and the odds are heavy against developing nations. Germany has 13 beds for its 1,000 people. It is 13 for Japan, 6 for France, 4.6 for Switzerland and China has 4.3 bed per 1000 people. UK has 2.5, Canada 2.5, whereas in India it is 0.5. So, for every 2,000 people India have one hospital bed. Instead of supporting India’s fight, critics are demoralising political leadership and Covid warriors.

Who will get benefit out of linking the new mutant form with India? When, we were hesitant to tag the virus to Wuhan, Ground Zero of the outbreak, critics are conveniently calling it as Indian mutant.  There is no justification for that. Hypocrisy thy name is Western media!

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