In the last few years, the countries around the world suffered from many epidemics like Ebola, yellow fever, SARS and MERS, and now the latest one being Coronavirus. But neither of these epidemics have in the past, had much impact on India. In fact, despite being the second-most populous country in the world, the toll due these epidemics is one of the lowest in India.
According to scientists and doctors, India is safe from Coronavirus as its relatively humid and warm weather acts as a defence against the spread of the virus. Viral outbreaks are possible in conditions involving lower temperature, which is the reason why viruses spread speedily in cooler and less humid areas like Japan and South Korea, said KK Agrawal, president, Heart Care Foundation of India.
“The geographical spread of nCoV suggests that it has so far been restricted to cooler climates,” said Souren Panja, Head, Critical Care, RTIICS. This points to one of the most important factors that has influenced the continuity of the Indian civilization- its geographical location and its climate.
India is one of the oldest civilizations and oldest ‘continuous’ civilization in the world. In more than 10,000 years of civilizational history, many natural and man-made events took place, and they wiped out many civilizations around the world. For most of human civilizational history, India supported one-fourth of the global population and accounted for a similar percentage of the global economy, thanks to its sacred geography.
The Indian subcontinent has a sacred geography, which makes it most livable place on earth. The Indo-Gangetic plain is the most densely populated region in the world, and Varanasi, a city in this plain on the bank of River Ganga, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. With a hot climate in most parts of the country and a long humid and rainy period every year, thanks to its unique monsoons, India is blessed with livable conditions all year round.
The sacred geography of India acts as a defence against the natural and man-made calamities. The Indian subcontinent is surrounded to by sea in south and south-west while in north and north-east, the mighty Himalayas act as a defence. The Himalayas also cover a large part of the Northwestern border. The only border through which easy direct human entry is possible is the western border, and throughout millennia, the western border has been the one area through which invaders like Mughals and Huns made entry.
The Indus valley plains are also most fertile in the world, thanks to Himalayas and rivers originating from Tibetan plateau. Tibet, often called ‘roof of the world’, sandwiched two of the greatest civilizations of the world- Indian and Chinese- is the origination of some of the largest water bodies of Indian subcontinent including Indus and Brahmaputra originate from the Tibetan plateau; it is home to 10 major systems including Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, Irrawady, Salween and Mekong. The Tibet region provides a lifeline to most densely populated regions of the world- South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.
For most of human history, almost half of the global human population resided in the areas for which Tibet provided the most important source that sustains life- water. The thousands of years of ‘continuity’ of the Indian and Chinese civilization owes to Tibet. India and China accounted for almost half of human species for the majority of the period of global history and this population lived on farming. The water and silt (helps in making the soil fertile) for farming came from Tibetan plateau.
India has a sense of sacred geography and has been a continuous civilizational unit for the last 6,000 years at least. In Vishnu Purana, it is mentioned that, the land to the south of Himalayas and North of the ocean is- Bharat.
The Shakti Peetha’s are also within the sacred geography of the country. When Adi Shankaracharya established four Dhams, these four were strategically established in the four corners of the country.
In our Itihasa- Ramayan and Mahabharata- the geography of the events within the area what Savarkar called the ‘sacred land of Hindus’: that is, the area north of the Sea, South of Himalayas, east of Indus, and west of Himalayan foothills. This scared geography was repeatedly united by many kingdoms like Mauryas and Guptas.
India has supported one-fourth of human population and accounted for similar percentage of global economy, not only due to innate resilience of its civilization, but because the people of this subcontinent were blessed with sacred geography with Tibetan plateau and Himalaya in the North which supports the most fertile plain in the world, Ocean on all other side except the North.