World Heavyweight Champion Mohammad Ali refused to prepare for the Vietnam War on religious grounds in 1967. He lost his title and was also sentenced to five years for avoiding war. He was then at the peak of his boxing career. He had declared himself great. It was claimed that he flies like a butterfly and stings like a bee. Two decades later, three-time World Heavyweight Champion Ali appeared in a pathetic form. At the inauguration of the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996, Jyoti was shaking his hands as he lit up. He could barely hold the torch. At the same time, when a journalist asked him, ‘Do you still think that you are the greatest?’ Then he expressed his anger for a moment and whispered, ‘No, I’m not, it’s time!’
Chinese Communist Party Secretary General Xi Jinping became the most powerful leader since 2016 after being declared the top leader in China. Xi emerged as the most powerful leader after Deng, China’s most powerful leader ever. Despite slowing down, China’s economy still ranks second in the world and tops the list of exporting countries. Xi Jinping’s ambitious plan BRI was adopted by 64 countries, which severely affected American dominance in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Based on PPP, it is estimated that China’s GDP has surpassed US GDP. China is being seen as the next super power in the world.
On the other hand, Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman, became the US president, whose duty war became the reason for the Chinese economy to falter. Jinping has hardly breathed a sigh of relief since the first phase of China’s trade deal with the US. China has faced the worst crises since the 1950s. An unknown virus emerged in Wuhan and engulfed the entire country like wildfire. More than 3,300 Chinese were killed. Today, how badly the world has become entangled with China, it can be gauged from the fact that the corona virus has spread all over the world. The death toll in Italy has surpassed China and now New York remains its main center. Many countries are considering claiming damages against China for hiding information about Corona and allowing it to spread to the world spontaneously. Jinping’s Dream Project BRI is at stake. Although no one has yet openly protested, But there is a strong buzz in China and questions are being raised over Jinping’s leadership in dealing with Corona. Suddenly the chair of the top Chinese leader does not look as secure as before. How sudden merciless times change the fate of mortal humans and destroy their ego.
In 2016, Donald Trump defeated former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, defying all political pundits. Trump contested elections in an unpredictable, unorthodox manner with his tireless campaign for ‘America First’. He shook up international relations. The charges brought China to its knees by creating maximum pressure from the war. Abolished Baghdadi. Announced the end of IS in Syria and Iraq. Just a month ago, America was witnessing the highest growth rate and lowest unemployment in recent years. Trump, who survived impeachment, looked invincible in claiming to be re-elected as president, but there were other plans at the time.
Xi Jinping, Kim Jong-un and IS who couldn’t, Covid-19 did it in less than a month? The US has also overtaken China and Italy in the number of infected people. Unemployment has reached an all-time high of the past 38 years and despite a two-trillion-dollar economic package, is experiencing a rapid recession. We heard the slogan during Howdy Modi in Houston in September 2019 – this time, then the Trump government. Now this slogan seems hollow or far-fetched. Economic catastrophe is all around, the chances of Trump getting a second term are rapidly weakening. There is an old saying that who is in control of God’s will?
In May 2019, Narendra Modi returned to power with a huge majority. Modi was seen in ‘mission mode’ to take bold policy decisions. Took bold decisions like triple talaq, article 370, reorganization of jammu and kashmir. Made a big decision like implementing CAA pending for half a century. These decisions also caused some outrage. Prime Minister Modi also expressed his determination to make India a five trillion dollar economy at home and abroad. But hasn’t the Covid-19 thrown a trap? Modi’s leadership in uniting and fighting against Corona is praised, but the entire 21-day lockdown is causing economic devastation. Despite the announced steps to strengthen the poor and the economy, Moody’s and SBI have slashed India’s projected growth rate of 2.5 and 2 respectively. Estimated a growth rate of 3 percent. With this, the realization of the dream of a five trillion dollar economy will probably go many years ahead.
It is too early to predict the political impact of the lockdown. A lot will depend on how quickly the economy returns to track. How long do poor and weak people remain troubled? Who knows what time will bloom next?