Eminent Artist Devyani Parikh
I have been tracking various social media groups and Internet forums which have millions of users from us over the world. As expected, the only topic of discussion everywhere these days is: Corona.
While most of the discussions are mostly about precautions and updates, a significant number of users have now started noticing the maturity with which India is handling this issue. What was till recently considered a third world nation, is now quickly gaining respect & recognition at the world stage.
Following are a few examples which illustrate how India is impressing the foreigners:
1) Firstly, and most importantly, many are impressed with Indian Govt’s quick measures & proactive initiatives even at such initial stages. The reason for this appreciation is that in all other countries, despite the rapid rise in cases, their respective govts had been ignoring the issue, and some were even taking it casually. Whereas India is one of the very few nations where Govt has jumped into action to tackle at root level itself. This has impressed many foreigners, especially Americans.
2) The strong measures like strict lockdown & police bandobast in India is being appreciated by Europeans. The reason here is that Europe is usually a highly democratic continent where emphasis is more on giving flexibility to people. So, they find it a bit strange when they see news visuals of Indian police forcefully chasing out violators from the streets during the curfew. In fact, Italians have been highly impressed with scenes where Indian policemen have lathi charged violators, because the Italians know the severity of this issue, and hence they feel such ruthless strictness by Indian police is fully justified, and is in the best interest of larger public.
3) Many, especially Americans, are impressed with the calmness of Indians, who are not resorting to crazy hoarding of essentials despite a nationwide lockdown. For example, even now, most of the American stores are almost empty, and Americans are fighting against each other in stores over these issues. However, in India, everything seems to be running smoothly without any hoarding or shortages.
4) Almost everyone are impressed with the innovative methods used by Indians to follow social distancing. For example, the circles & boxes drawn using rangoli powder to ensure decent distance between people in queues at groceries, ATMs etc, have really impressed Europeans & Americans.
5) The world is clearly noticing how Indians are utilising their skills of jugaad to solve these tough problems. For instance, PM Modi’s idea of turning train coaches into ICU wards and sending them to all parts of India over railway, has taken many by surprise, because it is so simple yet practical.
6) Low cost kits from Mylab, Low cost ventilators developed by Mahindra company’s mechanical engineers. All these show Indian engineers are also rising to the occasion to help the health sector, with these innovative & affordable solutions. Everyone from across the world have been highly appreciative of these, and are now encouraging their own engineers to follow suit.
7) Public participation in India is something which has taken everyone by surprise. Probably because the usual perception about India in the west is that Indians are illiterate, careless, selfish, lazy etc. So, when they find Indians heeding to the leader’s call for participation through different means like Janata curfew, cheering for health workers etc, so enthusiastically, it gives an impression that Indians really care for their nation, are serious about fighting this issue, etc.
8) Last, but not the least. Finally, India is emerging as a new powerhouse, thanks to a strong & trustworthy leadership. The clarity and focus with which Indian PM is tackling this issue seriously, has already started receiving accolades from all over. During this global crisis, when China is acting like a cheat, Europe is down to its knees, and America is running like a headless chicken, the words from Indian PM, in all the recent summits have been heartwarming and inspiring confidence. In some ways, PM Modi is now taking the role of a global leader, filling the vacuum, taking charge & guiding the world, just like how leaders like Abraham Lincoln had long ago filled leadership vacuum and inspired the world. This is something which rest of the world is also beginning to notice, and acknowledging the same.