Ep. 26: The ‘stunning’ reaction to #India’s horrendous #Wuhanvirus wave
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam it ain't. Pandemic porn it is.
The late Christopher Hitchens once wrote a book titled “The Ghoul of Calcutta”: it was about those profiting from deaths in that city. I looked up the term, and it means a monstrous being associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh. I was struck by how appropriate that term was when I saw the following tweet. Note the use of the term ‘stunning’. It implies that the pain of hundreds of families of the dead is a spectator sport for this woman, a former WaPo reporter in India. Isn’t that the very definition of ‘pandemic porn’?
Can you condemn a person for the use of a single word? Yes, if it is consistent with a series of actions. Besides, remember how in ‘Z’, the greatest political thriller of all time, the single phrase “lithe and fierce like a tiger” was the smoking gun. It’s hard to give Gowen the benefit of the doubt as she was a repeat offender in her days in Delhi, as I pointed out in 2018.
It is a pattern repeated by almost every foreign correspondent in India, as I said. My ‘favorites’ in this regard are Amy Kazmin of the FT and Max Rodenbeck of the Economist. Their outlets’ coverage of the recent Wuhavirus panic in India is illuminating. The crocodile tears don’t quite cover up the pure gloating:
It is remarkable that all of the ‘seven districts’ that the FT reporter has allegedly studied (“collated local news reports”) are in BJP ruled-states, whereas the epidemic is considerably worse in Congress-ruled states. It seems to be an attempt to discredit the official numbers. And why only cremation numbers? Why not burial numbers as well? Can we say “selective cherry picking”?
In this more detailed screenshot, see the districts, as well as the sources of data (yes, such neutral sources as scroll.in and NDTV). Why not Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Punjab, Chhattisgarh?
The fact is that this coverage is essentially the same -- intended to distort, cause mass hysteria, and, presumably, lead to regime change -- as the #toolkit vendors’ tweets exposed in the following: there is obviously an agenda, and disinformation, and possibly taqiyya too. Swati Maliwal is an AAP politician:
The breathlessly negative coverage of India contrasts with any number of earlier western articles that wondered why Indians were not dying like flies in the streets (while citizens of developed nations were) as in this image from New York of mass graves of unclaimed bodies a year ago. Nobody in India called these ‘stunning’, nor did we do that when 9/11 happened: we sympathized and empathized with the Americans then, but clearly, that’s not reciprocated.
Now that Indians are in fact dying in droves, all’s well with the world according to these people. Vasudhaiva kudumbakam, it ain’t.
Today, the world-famously liberal Biden-Harris administration in the US is withholding essential raw materials, which will prevent Indian vaccine maker Serum Institute from producing vaccines not only for India, but for the entire developing world: it is the largest producer globally, and has supplied 60 million Astra Zeneca doses around the world, much of which was donated by the Indian government, and some under Covax contracts.
Unbelievably, the US is hoarding 45 million Astra Zeneca doses. They cannot be used for vaccinating US citizens, because the product is not approved by the US FDA. So why doesn’t the US donate the doses to India and others at this crunch time? Maybe Annie Gowen has an answer? This is classic ‘dog in the manger’ syndrome.
In addition, rich countries have emphatically nixed a call by India and South Africa to suspend TRIPS (Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights) provisions: that simply means that during the emergency, licenses to patents and other intellectual property will be provided at a nominal price so that poor countries can produce generic vaccines for their use.
I am also reminded of the pneumonic plague scare in Surat a few years ago. The media (both Indian and western) painted a grotesque picture of negativity that led to mass hysteria and panic. The same thing is happening today in regards to panic buying and shortages of oxygen, Remdesivir (a drug that has been proven to do virtually nothing for virus patients: this is on authority of the WHO; although, admittedly, WHO fiats are a bit dicey) and so on.
Why? You might legitimately ask. I have one, somewhat lame, answer: persistent racism. Here’s another example of that in breaking news on April 23rd. They used Indian and African troops as cannon fodder in WW1, but never acknowledged their sacrifice, as they were untermenschen. This is from the British media, https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-56840131
But there is more: pervasive contempt for India. See this verbatim report of what the sainted Angela Merkel said in the context of Indian vaccine production: they have “allowed” India to produce vaccines. Now, now, little doggie, you get your biscuit, coz you’ve been a good little doggie, but understand your limits, ok?
There is more, much more, that hints darkly at sinister intent: and we have seen glimpses of this in the past, in the cavalier disregard for the lives of people from the global South. Usually, the perpetrators also benefit monetarily. Today, a perfect storm is developing, of technology, climate change and balance of power. The Wuhanvirus pandemic fits neatly into a Final Solution, the kind that an impersonal Artificial Intelligence might produce.