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“Indian variant” is a repeat of how the world changed Hitler’s “hooked cross” to “Swastika”

You cannot tell future generations about the deals between the Fascist Party and the Church. When tourists visit Vatican City, you cannot tell them that the city was a gift from Mussolini to the Pope.

Brace yourselves folks, because a great evil is upon the world. Here it is, casting its evil shadow on the faraway nation of Australia.

“Indian variant”

From America to Europe to Australia, no human being on the face of this earth is safe. Because the “Indian variant” is coming for everyone. Look, the BBC even decided to release videos in five languages warning people about this most dangerous “Indian variant.” That’s right: five languages.

BBC describing ‘Indian variant’ in five languages

Here is a tiny side note. Notice how the languages belong to some region called “South Asia,” but the virus belongs only to India!

It is quite natural to compare the pandemic to a World War. It has spread to every corner of the planet and has caused at least 35 lakh confirmed deaths. The real number could be much larger. It has devastated economies, forced hundreds of millions of people into poverty. There is likely no human being anywhere whose life has not been turned upside down over the last year and half. Each one of us breathing today is lucky to still be alive. This is World War 2 all over again, possibly even worse.

And just as with World War 2, the global media faces a problem. One of these days, it’s going to be over. And then, the media and history books will have to record for future generations about the nature of the evil that caused this.

The “hakenkreuz” or hooked cross was the dreaded symbol of Hitler and his Nazis. At its peak, the Nazi flag with the hooked cross flew over almost all the capitals in Europe. Millions of innocent people were snatched from their homes and they perished inside gas chambers.

Who was behind this horrific crime? It was Christian fundamentalists, acting on their age old hatred against Jews.

But if you are a western historian, you can’t put that down. You cannot tell future generations that every member of the Nazi SS wore a belt with the words “Gott mit uns” (God with us). You cannot tell future generations that the Nazi symbol of the hooked cross is a variation of the Christian cross. And you cannot tell future generations about the deals between the Fascist Party and the Church. When tourists visit Vatican City, you cannot tell them that the city was a gift from Mussolini to the Pope.

So you change terminology. You can’t use the original German word “hakenkreuz” that the Nazis used to describe their own symbol. You cannot use the term hooked cross, which would be the literal English translation of that. Nor can you use English, French, German, Spanish, Russian or Portuguese to describe it. That would leave the Christian west with too much blame.

So you go halfway around the world and dig out a Sanskrit word for a somewhat similar looking symbol. And thus the hated Nazi symbol becomes designated as the “Swastika.” For hundreds of millions of people in the west, “Swastika” will be the only Sanskrit word they know. And they will despise it. Each time they hear it, they will think that Hitler was inspired by the pagan Hindus.

The same thing is happening today. They can’t name where the virus came from. That would hurt the global compact between the Religion of ‘Love’, the Religion of ‘Peace’ and the Religion of ‘Equality.’ Instead, they want to settle on “Indian variant.” They want to blame the pagans again. With a reported 33 crore gods, it has to be the fault of the pagans somehow.

Look at poor TIME Magazine, wondering what other options they have, other than calling it “Indian variant.”

Time discussing ‘Indian variant’

Oh India is “demanding,” are they? How dare the pagans stand up for themselves? Why are they making this inconvenient in some small way? If people don’t call it “Indian variant,” what other name could they possibly use? All the possible names in all languages of the world have run out. If you don’t like names, you could use combinations of letters and numbers to designate viruses. As in B.1.617.2, the official scientific name. But hey, with the media looking for something to call it, even the numbers ran out somehow, despite there being infinitely many by definition.

By the way, if we have to have geographic names, did anyone consider calling it the “South Asian variant”? They already designated my entire culture and history as “South Asian” instead of “Indian,” so why not use it for virus variants too? I know. Because South Asia has a lot of countries and you can’t point a finger at the ones that have an Abrahamic faith as their state religion.

The blame must go to the one country and the one culture with a billion pagans in it.

They can’t name the country where the original virus came from. But the variant is from India and they make sure everyone knows that. They did it with the hooked cross of Nazis. It came from Christian Germany, but it was remembered only as the Swastika. Now, we have a virus that came from Wuhan in China, but all we should remember is the so called Indian variant.

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Abhishek Banerjee
Abhishek Banerjee is a math lover who may or may not be an Associate Professor at IISc Bangalore. He is the author of Operation Johar - A Love Story, a novel on the pain of left wing terror in Jharkhand, available on Amazon here.  

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