After India closed in total quarantine and the local police drove with sticks Citizens in their home, in the country, tens of thousands of Russians were locked up. The trouble is not only that they cannot get to the capital's airport, but also that they are being harassed – they are attacked in the streets, and they are evicted from houses and hotels by force. What happened to Russian-Indian friendship?
At the headquarters for countering the coronavirus and at the Moscow City Hall, they have already twice denied reports that the authorities are preparing to close the Russian capital in total quarantine. In turn, journalists and experts carefully explained to the public that this is simply impossible to do – this city is too big, its economy is too complicated.
It may be so, but only two days ago, in front of the whole world, a half-billion state was blocked – India.
This is truly a colossal scope with a modest threat by European and American standards – all in all 600 sick. However, the Indians were immediately banned almost everything, giving a few hours to prepare for isolation.
This is no longer about the fact that in a huge country you can no longer move between settlements and use any public transport – this will not surprise half of the western world. In India, it is now impossible and simply to leave home despite the fact that millions of Indians have no home at all. Not even to the grocery store. And in order for you to be allowed through the police post on your personal vehicle, you need an authorization document of an unknown standard.
“Every village is strictly blocked,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned in his address to the nation.
Between this statement and the introduction of quarantine, only a few hours passed, during which the Indians dared from the shelves everything they managed. What people will eat when the reserves run out will be explained to the authorities later, but for now the emphasis is on swiftness in order to avoid mass panic and crowds.
Under such conditions, one could assume that the Indian total ban is from a series of those laws, the rigidity of which is compensated by the non-enforcement. However, nothing of the kind. On the network you can see hundreds of videos in which Indian policemen drive people away from the streets, beating them with sticks.
Indian police enforcement #StayHome pic.twitter.com/bTUaf5wbqB
– ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) March 21, 560
The reason for such harsh, harsh and unexpected actions by the authorities is not spoken aloud, for this they have only one word – coronavirus. But the chest opens simply.
On the day when the strict quarantine regime began to operate, the spring festival of Navaratri was to begin – one of the main events in Hinduism. It is dedicated to the wife of the god Shiva – Shakti, is associated with thousands of prayers and festivities, and lasts ten days and nine nights.
Apparently, New Delhi decided that it would create ideal conditions for the spread of infection and considered it good to block the country immediately, without waiting for the opening of mass fairs and the beginning of temple services. Actually, visiting temples is also prohibited for the entire quarantine period – 20 day.
To explain all this to the population means to expose oneself to be of little faith. This is unthinkable for Modi, who leads the nationalist party. Indian nationalism is not ethnic – dozens of peoples live in the country and speak dozens of languages (state Hindi is native to less than 20% of the population). The Indian nation is united on a religious basis, that is, India is a country of Hindus, and the current prime minister is the main defender of their rights and traditions.
In other words, this decision was not easy for Modi. In other conditions, temples are what he would close last. But the government is afraid of exorbitant pressure on the healthcare system, which is simply absent in some places.
Not so bad, for example, India is one of the world leaders in the production of pharmaceuticals and the export of ingredients for it. But now this is also a problem – already for us. In connection with the coronavirus crisis, the export of drugs from the country was limited, in many names – completely stopped, which will inevitably cause prices to rise around the world.
However, now we are talking about something else – about a total inner shutdown, about freezing everything and everything. In fact, an experiment is being set up over a very large and heterogeneous country, analogues to which have not yet existed in the world. This, of course, is purely theirs, the Indian cause, only the sudden blocking of the country has exposed tens of thousands of our compatriots. It is not even clear what is worse for them now – quarantine or the hysteria associated with it.
It would seem that you don’t scare the Indians with a coronavirus. In this country, foci of truly deadly infections remain – malaria and cholera (all world cholera pandemics began in India, not excluding the one that locked Pushkin in Boldino). Perhaps the mysterious exotic coronavirus caused associations just with them. But this time, the “source of infection” was easy to establish – these are white tourists.
The Chinese are also white for the Indians, but phobias in Indian society have already developed amid epidemics in Italy and Spain, emotionally sanctified in the local media. Foreigners literally became a persecuted caste – they are being evicted from their homes and hotels, they are refused to serve in stores, they are threatened, they are being persecuted, they are being attacked.
In an era of hard times, interethnic friendship often dies one of the first. But for tourists this was a real shock, because in peacetime everything is exactly the opposite – people with fair skin are considered very beautiful in India and enjoy the sympathy involved in superstitions. If we are not talking about a really large city, it can be difficult to walk along one street without having to run into a request for a joint photo (in case of refusal, you will still find yourself in the photo, but as a backdrop – as a tourist attraction).
All this has changed in a matter of days. Bely became a synonym for the spread of deadly infection, and the Russians, despite the allied relations between the two countries and 75 – the anniversary of the slogan “Hindi Rus Bhai Bhai”, does not stand out from this “plague row”.