Insightful newsletter of Drishtikone: Issue #292 - Global Celebration of the Indian Dead
There is a rampant necrophilia going through the world media. Even with half the US deaths at peak, India is being hunted for devastation, while US was spared. We ask questions today!
“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
When Jarasandh had cornered the inhabitants of Mathura in an attempt to draw Krishna out, there was a major sense of sorrow and helplessness in the people there.
They felt that the curse of such a war with Jarasandh and his twenty-three akshahouni army had befallen because of Krishna. Even when Krishna had saved them from Jarasandh’s wrath so many times. He would create coalitions of evil every time and bring a large army and Krishna would ensure his defeat and let him go back. Alone. Every time his army would be annihilated.
The folks from Mathura started abusing Krishna when he decided to take them over to Dwarka.
It is said that one night, in sheer sadness, Krishna went to the forest and retreated into a cave. Only Uddhav, his friend, followed him. The state that he saw Krishna in, broke him down. No one had ever seen Krishna like that.
The man who had done so much for his people was abused and cursed by them when he was actively working to take them out of that situation.
They had decided that the devastation of war was brought upon them because of Krishna. Little realizing that it was Krishna who was saving them all along!
Many Jarasandhs are at India’s gates and even inside today. No one knows whether this second wave and the super variant hurting India was an act of bio-terror or its spread actually a result of some mistake.
What we do know is that the attack on our minds and consciousness is tremendous.
कुछ सच्चाई है, बहुत सारा झूठ और काफी अंदाज़े बयां
We need to look at tragedies using wisdom and intelligence to understand their import and where they could lead.
A person who can think of Dwarka and have the sagacity to fight all the evil that the Jarasandhs bring along cannot have been easily mistaken.
India’s situation - a Reality Check
The Daily new cases for the US have been following the trend in the graph below. Do you notice that for over a month the cases had topped 200,000 per day? Even today, at the best scenario for the US, the new cases per day are still over 50,000!!
Here is the trend in India. For a population 4 times that of the US, the 100,000 mark was first breached on April 4th!
Now let us look at the number of deaths that have happened in the US versus India. But before we go there. Let us look at the Case Fatality rate.
Does that make sense? Let us understand this a bit more clearly.
Even at the worst peak for India, where the world media is full of burning cremation grounds and how the dead are ‘piling up’, India’s Case Fatality Rate (the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed cases) is far lower than the CFR for the US during its best days in pandemic so far!
The daily death counts in the US have breached the 5000 mark many times. In a population of 332 million.
What is the situation with India? The first time India’s death cases have crossed the 3000 mark was on April 27th.
That is bad. But the hue and cry - given the context of the populations that the two countries have - is that even justified?
Way back in April 2020, when the daily deaths mark in the US had breached 6000 - double of April 27th peak in India - the New York Times was ruing how the photos of the dead bodies are not being shown by the media.
CNN’s Brian Stelter, meanwhile was saying that for the true suffering to be seen, deaths need to be shown.
While there have been some professional images from inside medical zones, they remain rare. “Make note of what we can’t see,” the CNN commentator Brian Stelter said in March. “That’s the suffering happening inside hospitals.” He went on to discuss a video that was taken covertly in a hospital. What it means, he said, “is that we’re not seeing this crisis with our own eyes.” (Source)
You see there are differences in the norms of media coverage of dead bodies.
When the dead are from Western countries, the media is restrained. When the dead are from the “backward/developing” world, the norms change!
Nothing brought that out more starkly than the coverage of Ebola outbreak in Africa and COVID-19 pandemic deaths in US, specifically New York.
“Images of dead bodies in the streets and medical workers in hazmat suits” was staple fare. Daniel Berehulak, an Australian photojournalist working for the New York Times, was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for his coverage of the epidemic. He had “followed a burial team and documented a trail of the dead”. This year, though, the coverage is very different, and it is unlikely that Columbia University will be handing out Pulitzers to photographers following body collection teams in Europe or the US. (Source)
It is time to ask the question that everyone should have been asking by now in India!
Where are the Pulitzers for coverage of the dead in the US?!
Yes, things are bad and pathetic. Yes, even one death is too much. Yes, for those whose dear ones have died, every death means a lot.
But this is a pandemic that has left no one untouched. Jobs were lost, businesses closed. Lives messed up. Suicides piled up.
Just the sheer coincidence of being alive is a miracle in these times.
IN New York City last year - July 2020 - close to 14% of those above 75 years getting infected were dying. Despite the best medical facilities in the world and a much less deadly variant!
So far, the U.S. death rate is unclear, researchers from Columbia University and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said. They found that New York City's COVID-19 death rate was highest among those 75 and older (13.83%) and those between 65 and 74 (4.67%). (Source)
And that is important to understand.
Now let us understand the special variant hitting India.
The impact of a special variant - that is contributing to a higher positivity rate.
The strain in India, specifically in Maharashtra, is a Triple Mutant variant. What does that mean?
First of all, the name is a simplified description and can be misleading. This variant actually has many more mutations. "It's a shorthand for three mutations that are significant," says Amesh Adaljia, assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. "There are three mutations amongst a whole cluster of mutations that have been associated with increased transmissibility or immune evasion." Researchers, including Divya Pej Sowpati a scientist leading COVID-19 genomics at the Centre For Cellular And Molecular Biology in India, have tweeted explanations to counter misinformation circulating. "Triple Mutant: Again, WRONG name, because it has many more defining mutations. Dubbed "triple" because in addition to the two mutations, it also has V382L in its Spike. This is a sub-lineage of B.1.617, found mainly in MH samples and also a bit in other states." (Source)
Interestingly, it has not even been designated as a VOC - Variant of Concern by the CDC in the US as yet. (Source)
Now researchers have published their assessment in The Lancet: that there is strong, consistent evidence that the primary transmission route of SARS-CoV-2 is indeed airborne.
So let us put things in context and proper perspective.
At its worst, India’s deaths per day are just above 3000.
Deaths per day for the US peaked over 6000 in April.
Twice! For a population 1/4th of India’s
3000 is indeed high. But is it that much worse than the US?
While dead bodies in “poorer countries” is a Pulitzer winning business, no one gets even a look for his local photography prize for showing body bags in the US!
Why is India’s situation being singled out? Let us look at it another way.
Let us ask the earlier question again - Where are the photography Pulitzers for US and European pandemic deaths?
Meanwhile, Indian media is trying to peddle quacks as experts to promote fear and worry across the country. This guy Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding is a nutritionist who is being pushed by the likes of NDTV as a “COVID expert!”
That is why Dr. BN Gangadhar and other mental health professionals have come out with an appeal on how all this fear-mongering is impacting the general population.
Media channels have now become a major health hazard!
This is a very difficult time for India. There is no doubt about that. But remember that the world - specifically the Western countries and in particular folks in New York City - have faced far worse during their tough days. Yet, their tragedies were not paraded in media as shamelessly as the voyeuristic and racist media has done in the case of India.
All that brings pain, suffering, and hurt for us. But we cannot leave our basic grace and intelligence because someone somewhere has an agenda to hurt us.
What others do to us is their Karma and way to live. How we handle what is thrown at us is completely up to us. We can either display gracefulness and remain calm and objective or give in to the mass hysteria and start hurting ourselves.
What we will do will determine our future.
Finally, if you can register as many folks as you can to take the COVID shots. It will save many people around you.
Rutger Professor stalking families and parents of Hindu Students
We had discussed in detail how a Hindu hating Rutger University “history” professor was targeting the Hindu students along with her colleagues. The professors in that University have ganged up against the Hindu students. Read Issue #289 - Hinduphobia and the 'Mimic Man'
This is now a very serious concern! US Universities have faculty ganging up against the Hindu students and stalking even their parents!
It is quite obvious that we have a major threat to the lives and education facing our children!
market corner: 10 quick bytes
CoWIN Vaccine Registration for 18+ Age: Registration for COVID-19 vaccination India phase 3 kicks off - more
Tejas cleared to carry fifth-generation Python-5 air-to-air missile - more
Urban company turns unicorn, valued at $2 billion - more
Over 14,400 ha area in Andaman & Nicobar becomes first large territory to get organic certification - more
80% MSMEs, startups urge FM Sitharaman to extend GST payment, return filing deadlines without penalty - more
Fertiliser consumption likely to rise 10% on higher acreage post bumper rabi harvest - more
Top 25 companies in India for professional growth, as per LinkedIn - more
Formal job creation maintains its pace with 1.23 million jobs created under the EPFO in February - more
80,718 properties registered in Mumbai during stamp duty cut period; up 114% year on year - more
China is building its own permanent space station, could launch the first core module this week - more
DRDO uses Tejas Tech to set up Oxygen plants: In a bid to boost India's fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) will set up 500 medical oxygen generation plants in the country within three months. The plants will be set up under the Prime Minister's Citizen Assistance and Relief in Emergency Situations (PM-CARES) fund, the Defence Minister's office said on Wednesday (28 April). "The Medical Oxygen Plant technology developed by DRDO for On‐Board Oxygen Generation for LCA, Tejas will now help in fighting the current crisis of Oxygen for the COVID-19 patients," it added. (Source)
Oxygen Express Stats: The Railways on Tuesday delivered 70 metric tonne of liquid medical oxygen for Delhi, carried by an Oxygen Express train from Raigarh in Chhattisgarh to the national capital. The LMO which arrived early morning, is being disbursed by Delhi government to various hospitals to provide relief to patients battling with shortage of medical oxygen and poor health conditions amidst the growing coronavirus pandemic. So far, 450 MT of LMO have been delivered to Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi in 6 Oxygen Express trains through 26 tankers covering more than 10,000 km. According to official figures, IR has delivered 202 MT to UP and 174 MT to Maharashtra. (Source)
French Soldiers warn of Civil War due to Islamism: The French government has hit out at an open letter signed by active soldiers who warned of a “civil war” in the country due to religious extremism. The letter was signed by 1,000 active soldiers including both men and women. In addition, 20 retired generals also signed the letter. The letter pinned the blame on “fanatic partisans” for creating divisions between communities while alleging that Islamists have taken over whole parts of the country. The letter said, “The hour is grave, France is in peril” and was published in a right-wing magazine on the 60th anniversary of a failed coup on April 21. (Source)
Facebook facilitating targeting of kids for smoking/gambling: In a series of controversies for the social networking giant Facebook, a group has shed light on how children are targeted by businesses for age-inappropriate advertisements. Children as young as 13-years-old who have shown interest in smoking, gambling, and extreme weight loss can be easily targeted through advertisements, as found by the lobby group Reset Australia and reported by The Guardian. (Source)
video corner: Taliban’s Creation
Not many people know the history of the Taliban. Came across this video - and it has all the main pieces in there. Some implicit and some explicit references to things that created the terror factories from Pakistan.
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