By GP Acharya (16 March 2020) – The World is witnessing two serious threats, now. The first one is COVID-19 induced Global Pandemic which is infecting not only Global population but also economies, financial markets and supply chains around the world. The other is ethnic nationalism hammered Civilization Clash.
The lethal virus which has already marched to all the continents, except Antarctica, is wreaking huge havoc around the world. It is terrifying every nations irrespective of their size, population, economy and strength. Pandemics like COVID-19 are seen more vulnerable than any other transnational issues, the world is witnessing now.
On the other hand, the Hindu-Muslim civilization clash fueled by ethnic nationalism in India, Islam-Christian conflict accelerated after 9/11 or Black-White discrimination in America or Rohingya displacement in Myanmar or ethnic conflict in Africa or Middle-East, all resemble the domination of religion over religion, culture over culture, caste over caste, race over race and human over human.
COVID-19 is believed to be originated as virus in the wild animals before it was transmitted to human. The covetous nature of gluttonous human desire is the major cause of bringing human-animal contact closer which consequently pooled transmit corona virus into human being. Human desire of insensible live-stock farming and acquiring wild animals as their pets are another reason of making human-animal contact easier.
On the other hand the luxurious lifestyle, massive urbanization culture by clearing land, agricultural development, unprecedented wild forest clearing, and massive road construction through the middle of the forest, deforestation and climate change are creating obstacles in the life and habitat of wild animals. Consequently, all the human activities are helping to bring human-animal contact much closer.
Nepal is highly vulnerable because of existing geography and our health care system. Telemedicine and Virtual Treatment could be best approach to minimize the crowded hospital visits in case the virus outbreak spread in Nepal.
Hence, it’s high time to stay conscious, sensitive and be aware of lifestyle, food habits, and exercise and proper preventive medications. Regular yoga practice and exercise, exposure to sunlight, deep breathing, positive thinking, deep sleep, health and hygiene culture and vegetarian lifestyle certainly help boost up body’s immunity power. It would be a smart idea of not consuming everything available in the market or imported directly from the wild forest for the sake of nutrients and energy. Yet, the processed natural herbs would be an Ayurvedic notion of maintaining body’s resistivity and immunity.
Nonetheless, since the summer is approaching, and with the rise in mercury; the spread of virus is expected to go low.
Governance and Diplomacy
The COVID-19 pandemic is clearly dominating the existing bipolarity between the US and China. While, the Civilization clash, fueled by ethnic nationalism, will certainly dominate the Global politics as claimed by Samuel P. Huntington. Realizing the urgency of Global Governance, all the nations have to unite together without any prejudice or ego to combat against all transnational issues including the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemics like COVID-19 are not country specific diseases and they do not require visa or entry permit to terrify the general public. Pandemics are boundary less Globalized lethal terrorists which can sweep away the entire population if not prevented technically and addressed properly on time.
The pandemics could affect every aspects of economy. The COVID-19 is controlling health, economy and supply chains throughout the world within two months of its outbreak. It has already marched all the way half of the world affecting more than 100,000 people of nearly 90 countries; nearly 4000 have lost their life by now. The connections of human, travel, trade, economy and supply chains have been severely affected worldwide. There is going to be shortage of most essential stuffs like medicines, masks and hand sanitizer throughout the world. Consequently, the share markets have already lost more than $5 trillion due to the impact of the virus, mentioned international media. Most of the industrial productions are halted nationwide in China and some in other countries; school, college, universities, institutions and churches among others are closed in several countries; numerous flights are cancelled worldwide and volume of trade and transit have been drastically cut off worldwide. After all, the impact of COVID-19 is wavering Global Economy at the greatest risk of recession.
Meanwhile, China is doing reasonably good job in controlling the virus. But, its outbreak throughout the world is due to severe negligence of the remaining world despite of China’s continuous utterance for mandatory quarantine and isolation of the virus suspected and affected one. The insensible travel, movement and connection of human being is the main reason of its speeding up throughout the world.
Presumably, the pandemic would have been limited if the outside world have shown cooperative measures with China in its early outbreak. Conversely, some countries showed their ridiculous behavior by tagging Corona Virus as “Chinese Virus”. Even, they have shown merry-making behavior assuming that China’s economy would go down following the virus outbreak, blamed some analysts. Sadly, the entire world is terrified now. China is gradually overcoming from the national grief following the strictly conscious mechanisms and preventive measures of handling the virus.
However, the powerful nations must overcome their belligerent attitude towards severely affected nations such as China, Iran, South Korea, Japan, and Turkey among others; provide possible assistance, technical support and medical accessories/equipment that could help contain lethal virus and save lives.
The safer and more resourceful countries, with advanced technology and medical equipment, must extend their hands adopting Medical Diplomacy. May be, they can collaborate with WHO, other International Organizations and Philanthropic Groups to support in this hour of universal health crisis. Realizing the urgency of emergency medical response, countries need to cooperate irrespective of political ideology. Medical Diplomacy need to be executed as part of humanity without any political prejudice.
On the other hand, the clash caused by religious conflict may invite serious ethnic Global War between the differing civilizations if it is not addressed in an organized way by bridging between the contradictions in community of nationals. The religious conflict induced by political ego would consequently propel the decline of authoritarian regime sooner or later. Further, it would leave more space to the emergence of terrorist and criminal groups.
The ethnic conflict induced by ethnic nationalism could be serious “ethnic war” that could invite huge loss to the human civilization. The Hindu-Muslim conflict in India is a serious concern of worry that could catalyze for ethnic cleansing between nationals not only in India but also in the neighboring countries and beyond. For instance, the recent Delhi conflict where both the Hindu and Muslim rioters tried to sweep away each other. Similarly, the scenery were severely terrifying after 9/11 where Islam-Christian conflict created huge terror around the world.
The ethnic nationalism- be it White nationalism in the US or Hindu nationalism in India or Islamic State in Middle-East or Rohingya sweeping in Myanmar- all are gradually weakening democracy there. Subsequently, their nationals are expressing a genuine concern of displeasure over their regimes. Consequently, these unprecedented moves are not only weakening democracy, but also their economy, sovereignty, legitimacy and national security.
It must be realized that the patriotic feelings guided by religious and cultural belief of nationals are much stronger and cohesive than the nationalistic philosophy of any muscular nationalism. The government once comes and goes; its leaders once emerge and vanish later. But, the people’s belief on religion and culture remain emotionally cohesive. The more stronger and cohesive the social harmony in a country, the higher the prospect of political stability and economic prosperity. After all, there would be a higher chance of living democracy, and subsequently there would be greater possibility of leaders surviving. Else, there would be just one more page addition in the history of world politics mentioning- “The twenty first century authoritarian nationalist empire collapsed due to the hangover of muscular ethnic nationalism…”.
Yet, the time has not elapsed to make history praiseworthy for the generations to come. It’s the true moment to inject “harmony and humanity” genes into the political leaders in the generations to come. Thus, it’s high time to restore social, cultural and religious harmony among nationals of distinct community. “Live and let live” and “Respect and expect the respect” would be significant social mantras for maintaining peace within the community of varied culture and belief.
Even though, the domestic issues of any nations are entirely their sovereign internal matter. Of course, no foreign nationals or government can raise any objections against their domestic laws and constitutional provisions. But, the concern is reasonable due to the possible impact it can induce in the neighboring countries and beyond. Can any political leaders, despite of their so called strong political hold, control the global movement of ethnic cleansing, if spread unfortunately?
India is the same civilization where the seeds of non-violence were injected by Gandhi Ji once. Non-violent resistant had been hallmarks of Indian independence movement under Gandhi back then. Why the 21st century modern India could not bridge between the contradictions in community of its nationals, today? Gandhi had even envisioned of organizing people, belonging to different nations, together expecting them to act as one man, mentioned “Young India”.
Gandhian philosophy, so far, believes in civil disobedience movement as an extreme form of protest. But, the ethnic nationalism is fuelling for ethnic cleansing of communal hatred, today. Presumably, the personal empowerment of people, Gandhi had envisioned back then, obviously were not that of only one ethnic community.
It is believed that the nationals of Indian sub-continent, by virtue of Eastern Vedic Culture and spiritual blending, possesses all the human and social values- compassion, cooperation, harmony, love, respect, friendliness, lightness, calmness, graciousness, caring and sense of belongingness among others. The modern day rulers are there to uncover, nourish and bring out them through their political and cultural intelligence instead of using coercive measures to dominate their minority groups.
A rebellious national, if any, need more inclusion and belongingness, social cohesion and religious acceptance. With socio-cultural and socio-emotional attachment and social inclusiveness the rulers can bring out true human values in their nationals. Every nationals, irrespective of their cultural beliefs, caste, color or race are the wealth of nations. However, a great nation has to capitalize on every potentials of their nationals, resources- both human and natural, soft power, culture and cultural diversity.
More importantly, the responsibility of great leaders is to adhere compassionate values so that some of their oblivious nationals could realize the importance of social and cultural values. The more they realize, adapt, accept and respect to cultural values of all community; the more respectable they would become and live longer ever after this epoch of life.
GP Acharya is a researcher and analyst who holds an M.Sc. in Computer Science, M.Sc. in Statistics, completed MA in International Relations & Diplomacy, and studied MPhil in Management.