“Jaan hai to Jahan hai “
(If there’s life, then there’s world).
Being a firm believer in scientific rationale, I believe, numbers hide ultimate truth. The truth may be a scientific principle, nature’s symmetry and harmony, economic condition, social constraints and if you can believe, civilisational value system. And also many many different aspects in life, society and political systems. You just cannot hide a number.
Looks like India performed exceedingly well in fight against Covid -19, 0.3 deaths per million of population till today. Contrast this with world average of 17.3 per million, 406 per million for Spain or 86 for USA. It is surprising. Countries with much better health-care facilities, much stronger economic muscles, failed miserably in fight against Covid-19. What positives did India offer what those super powers could not?
If you look at closely, all these countries essentially delayed the imposition and enforcement of Lockdown. They were dithering whether they should allow loss of certain number of lives vis a vis the spectre of economic slide downhill. Finally they lost both, lives as well as economy.
Contrast this with India’s response. India imposed lockdown at the earliest opportunity. Surprisingly our cantankerous political system, of all hues, stood together. And inspite of hardship, people also stood behind. There were certain lackadaiscal naysayers and stupid minds. But India dealt them determinedly and aggressively.
It was not an easy decision. Specially for political parties, always fearful of the quicksand of political base in our boisterous and overly competitive democracy. Everybody knew that a spell of economic hardship is going to follow whether we win or lose this war. Bringing back economy on the right track, will be an onerous and unpredictable endeavour. And voters pardon every sin except economic mismanagement and resultant hardship in day to day lives. Politically it was a suicidal decision. Yet the decision was endorsed, though in expectedly slightly varying degrees by all political spectrum. People also appear to accept, in general, the rationale and predictable consequences, in short to medium haul, following our win or loss.
I think our civilisational value system played a role. All said and done, civilisationally and spiritually we value human beings and their mind space more important than materialistic world. Contrast this with Western civilisations, growing out of a belief system where human beings are subordinated to a faith and holy book. Naturally they weighed economy more than the spectre of death among their populace. And this differences in civilisational value system made a difference in numbers of innocent lives, lost at the alter of economy. Our age old wisdom, “Jaan hai to Jahan hai ” (If there’s life, then there’s world), has been proven right again.
The author, Tapan Misra, is a distinguished scientist and advisor for the Department of Space Headquarters in Bengaluru.
Newsroom24x7 has taken the liberty of publishing this article for wider dissemination. It has first appeared on the author’s wall on a social media platform.