Why Is The World Turning Towards India During Covid-19 Pandemic?

India, which is the largest producer and exporter of hydroxychloroquine has received requests from more than 30 countries to supply the life-saving drug for treating Covid-19 infected patients. This is, however, not the only thing, that India is exporting.

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India takes pride in being the world’s largest supply of hydroxychloroquine — manufacturing roughly 70% of the world’s total supply, according to Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) secretary-general Sudarshan Jain.

The drug is not manufactured in developed nations like the US because of non-existent malaria which puts India at an advantage at this stage of the pandemic.

Recently, Indian PM Narendra Modi received a letter from his Brazilian counterpart requesting him to release hydroxychloroquine which had earlier been banned for exporting by the Indian Government.

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In his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Bolsonaro referred to the Ramayana and likened hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) to the “holy medicine” (Sanjeevani booti) to highlight the importance of ensuring that India supplies the drug to Brazil as the latter fights the spread of coronavirus.

President Bolsonaro emphasized on the similarity between Hinduism and Christianity in the letter which said “ “Just as Lord Hanuman brought the holy medicine from the Himalayas to save the life of Lord Rama’s brother Lakshmana, and Jesus healed those who were sick and restored the sight to Bartimeu, India, and Brazil will overcome the global crisis by joining forces and sharing blessings for the sake of all people.”

In an exclusive interview with India Today, Brazil’s envoy to India Ambassador André Aranha Correa do Lago explained the reason why there was a reference to Indian mythology in President Bolsonaro’s letter.

“President Bolsonaro is a religious man and he saw how religious PM Modi was. So he thought it was interesting to show in his letter how two religious men with very strong traditions could find examples in their religions that were most appropriate for the case.” he added.

World Adopting Indian Values and Traditions

Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, the world seems to be heading towards Indian values and traditions. After Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu advocating traditional Indian greetings — Namaste, US President Donald Trump and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar exchanged a Namaste earlier this year instead of the traditional handshake in the Oval Office.

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And, ironically, it seems that many Indians have now regained respect for Namaste thanks to it being adopted by various foreign leaders, from Prince Charles and Donald Trump to Emmanuel Macron, Benjamin Netanyahu and others.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demonstrated at a press conference how the Indians do ‘Namaste’ while greeting people. The Guardian chose to call it ‘The End of Handshake’, asking readers to give up handshakes, hugs, high-fives and cheek kisses.

A video of Prince Charles ditching the handshake for a Namaste has gone viral on social media impressing netizens. In the video, Prince Charles is seen bowing to the crowd while his hands form a namaste.

Namaste has been derived from two Sanskrit words Nama, meaning bow and te, meaning you. As people across the globe have started greeting each other with Namaste, chances for contracting the virus through physical contact is kept at bay.

Meanwhile, it’s not only the Namaste, but even global burial rituals have also seen a shift due to the coronavirus pandemic. For centuries, Hindus gathered to burn corpses on funeral pyres along the Ganges River. Gone are the big, public funeral processions that are a key part of mourning for adherents of many faiths across South Asia.

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Hindus burn the body as it requires fire, the smoke diffuses into the air, the ashes are submerged in water and as they settle upon the earth, the soul/spirit is released. According to CCN, China is also widely burning the bodies of those infected with the virus which is in terms with the Hindu tradition of burning dead bodies at funerals.

China has also taken the first step towards curbing the next pandemic by banning the consumption of cats, dogs, and meat of wild animals. A prohibition on the consumption and farming of wild animals is being implemented across China post the Covid-19 pandemic, which is believed to have originated at a wildlife market in Wuhan.

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Back home in India, Chicken sales in India have come down over 50 percent and prices by 70 percent as people have started to refrain from Non-Vegetarian food. India’s top poultry firms have reported a massive drop in sales of chickens and eggs in recent months as people have preferred to go vegan.

From Hydroxychloroquine to Namaste, from Vegan food to Cremations, the global community seems to be increasingly turning towards Indian traditions and values.

What many people, including Indians, lamented as outdated, has become both vogue and necessity and will only grow in the coming years.

Nitin J Ticku is a MARCOM specialist with a deep interest in Education, Defence and Geopolitics. Nitin holds a double masters degree in Business Management and Journalism and is a frequent contributor to the EurAsian Times.