In the parable ‘Siddhartha and the Swan’, Siddhartha Gautama sagely pronounced the verdict that ‘The Saviour is more potent than the destroyer’. From this wise ruling, we can very well deduce the definition and criterion of a ‘superpower country’ as one having ability and willingness to save the world and itself from disasters and during emergencies more efficiently than rest of the world.The parameters that we had been holding hitherto for being a ‘superpower’, country have been dismissed as fallacious during COVID-19, lockdown. We generally consider a country as a superpower if it has resources mighty enough to influence international affairs and to outperform the majority of the globe in military strength. Contrarily, the criterion for being a superpower ought to be the country’s collective ability to avert and tackle the situation of emergencies like the one we’re experiencing at present, and its resilience in case such an event does take place.Prior to the pandemic, we as a country and almost the whole world used to compare us with the tall and glorified image of the USA and Russia. However, the pandemic has discarded this misbelief that the USA is the most powerful country able to withstand any disaster and we are in fact witnessing how helpless the USA has been from the very initial stages of the outbreak of COVID-19. New York, the most populous city of the USA, has emerged as the worst affected city on the planet, surpassing China and Italy. If a country with such abundant resources and political influence is unable to save itself, let alone the rest of the world, what significance does it have to be even considered for the designation of a superpower country?Quite unexpectedly, amid such grave circumstances, India has risen to the occasion and came out as a powerful country for its disaster management system has been doing a laudable job with proportionally lesser number of positive cases despite having such an enormous population. We, as a developing country, are not only providing prompt relief to infected persons but have also lent our helping hand to the needy nations. We readily accepted the USA’s demand for our domestically produced hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) as a ray of hope for the treatment of the disease. This has reaffirmed the world’s reliability on us in such tough times, especially owing to the subsequent surge in the pleas for HCQ by several other countries.The sagacious steps taken by both the Government and the citizens has helped to mitigate the crisis and strive to flatten the curve of COVID-19 spread in several states as a triumphing march towards eradicating the highly-infectious virus. Though the numbers are still rising each day, statistics suggest that we might be around the peak which is a positive indication for the fall in frequency of cases. In several states across the country, the officials have stated that the number of recoveries in their respective areas are now outnumbering the number of new cases and causalities. The population and number of cases ratio, in toto, shows that we have been fighting the infectious disease quite satisfactorily.Having regard to the above deliberation, it is much hopeful for India to reclaim its glory and come out as a stronger-than-ever country to replace China in the top positions, held by the latter in international affairs. We have the largest youth force in the world, and we can very efficiently utilise their contribution towards the country and humanity for a glorious future.Shivanshu K. Srivastava
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