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  Opinion   Columnists  09 May 2021  Abhijit Bhattacharyya | India, world in middle of a ‘Third World War’

Abhijit Bhattacharyya | India, world in middle of a ‘Third World War’

The writer is an alumnus of the National Defence College, and the author of China in India.
Published : May 10, 2021, 12:00 am IST
Updated : May 10, 2021, 12:00 am IST

It’s not just India. The world is in the midst of a long-drawn, protracted Third World War


It’s now a “Third World War”. In the nineteenth century, Prussia’s Maj. Gen. Carl von Clausewitz had said: “War is a mere continuation of policy by other means”. That is what the People’s Republic of China is now engaged in -- waging war in order to dominate the world.

We have now entered the third year of this epic campaign, which began in 2019 on a low key. The Chinese strategy was simple -- to subdue without shooting -- and to bring India to its knees. This has now turned into a conflagration. New Delhi was totally unprepared and last year, as the threat of the pandemic rose, it got caught up in health issues and couldn’t put adequate infrastructure in place. This monumental misjudgment led to vast numbers of Indians shivering down their spine, failing as usual to read Chinese malice.

It’s not just India. The world is in the midst of a long-drawn, protracted “Third World War”, the first salvo of which was fired by Beijing’s dictator-for-life Xi Jinping from Wuhan in 2019, to fulfil the Communist Party of China’s twenty-first-century ambition of becoming the planet’s numero uno power.

The seeds were sown at Wuhan, President Xi’s favourite venue to showcase his country’s new global ambitions. Remember the “Wuhan spirit” of 2018 – when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met the Chinese strongman in the aftermath of the Dokalam standoff earlier that year? The prime target was, of the West, and specifically the United States; but Beijing then changed course towards the secondary target, India; decimating Delhi’s health and resources through a second-wave warhead that penetrated through the fragile firewall of Lutyen’s Delhi’s diplomatic gullibility, political vulnerability and strategic inability to retaliate against the CPC’s malice. This not only brought Delhi down, forcing it to kowtow to the world for aid and help, but now threatens the very existence of India’s demography.

As fatalities rise across the land and corpses pile up, the killer epicentre of the war has ferociously revived across the whole of India, wreaking havoc of the kind not seen by Indians before. Without a bullet fire or a bomb dropped, the flames of war are about to send India’s economy and its health systems into the ICU. India’s defence and diplomacy are on a psychological ventilator, with the polity embarrassed and bruised for going into an avoidable and premature celebration to declare victory over the China-origin virus pandemic.

New Delhi’s enormous misjudgment in assessing the incendiary punch of the conflagration has sunk a nation of 1.3 billion into an unprecedented state of pessimism and panic, dejection and depression. India also miscalculated the swift course change of the “Third World War”, because unlike all belligerents in previous conflicts in human history, its mass killing spree without military mobilisation doesn’t have any visible or definite contours.

The deathly blow of the Chinese-origin virus (Covid-19) is far worse than the physical devastation and destruction that India faced in either the First or the Second World War. The outreach of this virus has been more devastating than the poison gas in the First World War (used by Britain, Germany and Austria-Hungary in the trenches adjacent to the Franco-German border and beyond) and the subsequent reduced use by combatants in the Second World War following the public revulsion caused after the 1914-1918 war.

In the twenty-first century, however, the Chinese-origin virus has already affected around 320 million people globally and is now on an uncontrollable overdrive. Having afflicted 20 million-plus Indians and killing over 200,000 of them, this silent chemical-biological killer is infecting around 400,000 people in India every single day, with around 3,500-4,000 succumbing every day. The funeral pyres are everywhere, not just in crematoria: ambulances, alleys, parks, car parks, riversides are seeing corpses lit before the last rites.

Compared to the two world wars of the twentieth century, which were largely fought in Europe and other parts of the planet, this is the first “world war” in which India is one of the principal battlegrounds. Make no mistake. Even at the height of the bloodshed between the belligerents, the First World War was a European war, leading to 30 million deaths. It happened mostly on the European heartland, Russia, Turkey, Mesopotamia and East Asia, in which a maximum of 40 nations were directly involved or affected.

The 1939-1945 Second World War, however, killed 60 million people, double that of the First World War, with the devastation centred mostly in Europe, the Soviet Union, North Africa, Southeast Asia, East Asia and the Pacific islands. Mainland India survived a direct assault, along with most of the African continent, Australia, plus North and South America.

Compare these with the Chinese-virus killer of the Third World War! It has spared no one, except perhaps the country of its origin, as is being claimed by the CPC in its centenary year. Hence, of the 223 countries (sovereign, semi-independent, autonomous, dependents) in the world, all are under attack except one! Isn’t it a World War of one (among 223) against 222?

In the midst of this calamity comes the “offer” of proposed assistance to India from Mr Xi, who is also the CPC’s general secretary! Should India accept it? As far as Beijing is concerned, we can emulate what then PM Manmohan Singh had done in 2004, in the aftermath of the tsunami, to politely refuse any assistance, at least from the CPC. India can seek or accept aid or help from any of the remaining 222, but not from the one that is actively trying to turn this country into a vassal state at a time of its distress. China has already proved that it is an existential threat to a large number of countries. Now the “Third World War” looms large, with the threat of the airborne “Made in China” germ/virus hovering over the planet.

You don’t have to look very far for evidence of the Hans’ mischievous thought and intent. On Weibo, see the image of a Chinese rocket launch positioned next to a photo of Covid-19 victims being cremated in India. The text read: “Lighting a fire in China versus lighting a fire in India”. This nasty, nefarious image was published by an account of the official Chinese law enforcement agency -- CPC Central Political, Legal Affairs Commission -- that has millions of Weibo followers. It shows the Chinese rejoicing at the sight of funeral pyres of Indian victims of the “Third World War”. Will nemesis catch up one day?

Tags: third world war, india covid cases, india covid deaths, china, covid-19, india, covid-19 india, india-china