India’s COVID-19 crisis: A call for people’s unity
There is no enmity between the working class people of each country. Rather than being duped by the bourgeoisie into stirring hostilities under the banner of “patriotism,” we should instead unite to mutually resist our capitalist oppressors.
In recent days, the pandemic in India has rapidly deteriorated. Without a doubt, it is India’s working class people who suffer the most.We have always advocated treating our neighbors with kindness, as indicated by the words “世界人民大团结万岁” (“Long Live the Great Unity of the World’s Peoples”) inscribed on the banner atop the Tiananmen gate tower.
So it is perplexing that some of our nation’s pundits took the opportunity to jeer at India in order to flaunt their own superiority.
Destitution, hunger and the lockdown
ON March 24, 2020, Narendra Modi had announced that the country would go into a lockdown after four hours! This nation-wide lockdown was to last till the end of May, after which there were local lockdowns but not a general one.
It brought acute hardship to millions of the working poor, among whom the migrant workers’ woes received global attention. What was striking about the Indian lockdown was that, in contrast to virtually everywhere else including the U.S. under Trump, no compensation was offered to the people (except paltry amounts to a few specific target groups) for their loss of incomes because of the lockdown. They were pushed into a situation of income loss, destitution and hunger, from which they had not recovered even months after the lifting of the lockdown.
China on the horizon as ‘world’s pharmacy
The World Health Organisation’s approval Friday for China’s COVID-19 vaccine known as Sinopharm dramatically transforms the ecosystem of the pandemic. In immediate terms, this has potential to boost global vaccine supply, as China’s overall yearly production capacity is approaching five billion doses.
The western pharmaceutical industry’s monopoly has been breached, as Sinopharm’s is the first COVID-19 vaccine developed by a developing country to be validated by the WHO and only the sixth approved for emergency use globally–in fact, the only non-western vaccine so far. Literally, China has gatecrashed the aggressively-guarded orchard of powerful western pharmaceutical companies. In practical terms, the WHO approval allows China to enter the portals of the COVAX as a qualified supplier.
A Country Gasping for Air
Indians Pay the Price of Government Inaction as COVID-19 Surges
It feels like the end times in New Delhi. Ambulance sirens blare through the night, a constant reminder of the unbelievable tragedy unfolding in the city. India is currently experiencing a devastating, record-breaking second wave of COVID-19, with the capital especially hard hit. Every night ushers in a now sadly familiar ordeal. Desperately sick patients go from hospital to hospital, begging for oxygen. The hospitals, with only hours of oxygen to spare for their own patients, turn the afflicted away. Relatives and friends post urgent pleas on social media, trying in vain to source the third most abundant element in the universe. But not for love of God or money is there any oxygen to be had in the city.
Factory to the World?
The Production Linked Incentive Scheme aims to build an Indian manufacturing base across 13 key sectors. What works. What doesn’t
On March 10, the $274 billion, Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. announced it is starting production of the 5G-compatible iPhone 12 in India. It appeared like a routine announcement. After all, Apple has been assembling older generation iPhones in India through contract manufacturers since 2017. It wasn’t.
It might have been a small step for Apple but was a giant leap for Indian manufacturing. India’s new Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme to reduce import dependence and promote local manufacturing had lured three of Apple’s Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers – Foxconnn Hon Hai, Wistron and Pegatron – to pump in millions of dollars to expand Indian facilities. They will move a step up from assembling imported parts here to making or sourcing more components locally. Like Apple, about 70 firms have shown interest in availing the PLI Scheme to set up manufacturing facilities in three key sectors: mobile and electronic components; pharma-APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients); KSM (key starting materials) and medical devices.
India-China dispute: The border row explained in 400 words
Relations between India and China have been worsening in recent months. The two world powers are facing off against each other along their disputed border in the Himalayan region.
In 400 words, here’s some background to help you understand what’s going on.
What’s the source of tension?
The root cause is an ill-defined, 3,440km (2,100-mile)-long disputed border.Rivers, lakes and snowcaps along the frontier mean the line can shift, bringing soldiers face to face at many points, sparking a confrontation.
The two nations are also competing to build infrastructure along the border, which is also known as the Line of Actual Control. India’s construction of a new road to a high-altitude air base is seen as one of the main triggers for a clash with Chinese troops in June that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.