Coronavirus epidemic: Indian populism may affect its foreign relations

India, which is about to become the world ’s most populous country, is facing the challenge of insufficient medical resources under the new coronavirus epidemic, as well as populist political issues.

Some extreme Indian populists target the origin and spread of the new coronavirus against Muslims or Chinese.

Indian populist politicians make use of the new crown virus epidemic to make the original religious and ethnic conflicts and foreign relations conflicts more serious.


Coronavirus epidemic


Increased conflict with Muslims

In India with a population of more than 1.3 billion, there are about 200 million Muslims. As the epidemic spread, they became targets of extreme populist Hindus.

The origin of this contradiction comes from a large Muslim religious event held in the capital New Delhi in mid-March 2020.

Just like the Hindu religious gathering held in the same period, this gathering held in the Nizhamuddin district of New Delhi was approved by the Indian government in advance.

However, a mass infection occurred in the missionary activity attended by tens of thousands of people. Indian officials said that at least more than 1,000 new crown confirmed cases were related to the missionary activity in India, including the death of more than ten participants Twenty thousand people were quarantined, and many people have been prosecuted for violating the epidemic prevention policy.

But the organizers of the event accused the authorities of only making a fuss about the event, not mentioning the Hindu gathering missionary activities held at the same time.

Under the spearhead of the media and social media, the Indian media not only spoke out about the event, but also appeared a lot of extreme remarks against Muslims.

On social media, the so-called "new crown jihad" and other words have become hot searches, pervading the atmosphere of rendering Islamophobia.

According to media reports, there have been incidents of Muslims being unjustly attacked by Hindu thugs in many parts of India.

Coronavirus epidemic

Accused China of concealing the epidemic

While Indian social media described Muslims as spreaders of the new crown virus, they also condemned China as the producer of the new crown virus.

The new coronavirus has killed more than 100,000 people worldwide. The West suspects that China has covered the truth of the epidemic, while the United States suspects that the new coronavirus may have originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Some politicians and media in India also pointed the spearhead of the new crown epidemic on China, criticizing the lack of transparency in the Chinese system and extremists directly listing the Chinese authorities as the source of virus production.

In February, Manish Tiwari, a member of the opposition party who had served as the government ’s information minister, stated that the new crown virus was a Chinese-made but out-of-control biochemical weapon. As soon as this remark came out, the anti-Chinese sentiment that had always existed in Indian society was exploded.

According to a poll conducted by an Indian agency, 67% of the respondents believe that China should be responsible for the evolution of the new crown epidemic into a global pandemic.

The Indian International Judicial Association and the Bar Association also filed a prosecution with the United Nations Human Rights Council, accusing Chinese authorities of concealing the epidemic and causing the global pandemic of the virus, and demanding China to compensate the international community and India for 20 trillion dollars.


Coronavirus epidemic


Officials maintain cooperation

The New Crown Virus epidemic once again stirred up the old civil complaints of India and neighboring countries China and Pakistan. However, in the face of the practical difficulties caused by the epidemic, the Indian officials still maintained the attitude of cooperation with China.

In a telephone call at the end of March between the foreign ministers of the two countries, the Indian foreign minister responded to the Chinese Foreign Minister's appeal to overcome Shi Jian, thanked China for condolences and provided medical supplies, appreciated China's outstanding results in epidemic control, and was willing to learn from China's experience.

The Indian Foreign Minister stressed that he did not agree with the labeling of the virus, and believed that the international community should send a positive signal of solidarity, firmness, and strength in the difficult moment of fighting the epidemic together.

Indian health officials said that India has purchased 1.5 million rapid virus detection kits from China, of which nearly one million have arrived. This will help India increase the virus detection rate.

Wenhong Zhang, director of the Department of Infection at Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University in Shanghai, said that the world ’s control of the new crown epidemic does not depend on the United States and China, nor on Europe, but on the world ’s large population and medical care. Is the place with relatively insufficient resources well controlled? This includes India.

Wenhong Zhang said that the epidemic once again proved the importance and urgency of building a community of shared future for mankind.

Coronavirus epidemic


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