This is the tale of two countries. One gave a deadly virus to the world that spread disease and death, and made economies collapse; the other gave the antidote to the virus, generating hope and optimism all around.
A year after COVID-19 spread from Wuhan into an epidemic, China and India are being seen by the rest of the world as contrasting images of each other. China lost the face and stature of being worthy of a global power while India earned the sobriquet of being ‘Hanuman with Sanjeevini’ (Lord Hunuman carrying a mountain with a lifesaving plant), ‘saviour of the humanity’ and world’s pharmacy as it opened its heart and purse string to supply medicines and COVID-19 vaccine to the world.
- Namaskar, Primeiro Ministro @narendramodi— Jair M. Bolsonaro (@jairbolsonaro) January 22, 2021
- O Brasil sente-se honrado em ter um grande parceiro para superar um obstáculo global. Obrigado por nos auxiliar com as exportações de vacinas da Índia para o Brasil.
- Dhanyavaad! धनयवाद pic.twitter.com/OalUTnB5p8
Proving the doomsday Sayers wrong, Indians turned the pandemic into an opportunity to build domestic capacities and has now launched the biggest vaccination drive and, more importantly, leveraged it at the diplomatic level to turn friends into admirers and strangers into friends.
I thank Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi ji as well as the Government and people of India for the generous grant of one million doses of COVID vaccine to Nepal at this critical time when India is rolling out vaccination for it's own people. pic.twitter.com/uO7qQpLiSx— K P Sharma Oli (@kpsharmaoli) January 21, 2021
The common man in Pakistan is awe of India as it is the only country that didn’t get the gift of COVID-19 vaccine from India. Television anchors are asking Imran. Khan to not stand on false ego and ask for India’s help in the pandemic while common people are wishing their country follows India in innovations and are caring for its people.
India’s ‘vaccine maitri’ has strengthened India’s position in the south Asian neighbourhood to such an extent that it’s making China jealous. Indian planes are flying to all the south Asian capitals carrying gifts of vaccine vials for their frontline warriors. China's mouth piece Global Times has written many articles questioning India's capacity to make vaccines. One of it said:
Diplomacy over hypocrisy
India’s diplomacy made strides even as China posed the biggest security threat to India in the Galwan Valley by launching an unprovoked attack on the Indian Army and killing 20 men. Carrying a big stick and speaking softly, India dealt with China militarily and stood to its bullying without raising the pitch for a war. Today China stands alone as the world has rallied around India against the dragon.
Global Influencers like Bill Gates praised India copiously. In one of his tweets he said:
During this period, India was elected as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for two years with an unprecedented majority. The support for India made the Imran Khan government face the flak in the National assembly. “Winning the seat is not important but getting 184 votes out of 192 in the UNSC is a big thing and shows the lies of the government's claim of countering India’s growing influence,” opposition leader Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said in the National Assembly.
New Delhi cemented its relations with the Middle East throwing Islamabad and its new found Islamic friends like Turkey and Malaysia in a tizzy. Modi was given the highest award by the Saudi Arabians; in the UAE, the King opened the biggest temple for the Hindus. The countries in the Gulf are seeking India’s support in bilateral investments and partnerships.