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‘Corona war and conspiracy theories’ - Book review

Literature 2022-03-03, 7:35pm


Jehangir Hossain

Jehangir Hussain

Journalist, writer and publisher Mahbub Alom has, in his book, ‘Corona Juddho O Shorojontro Totto’ has sought to trace the origin of the deadly virus and at the same time made an effort to present the causes, with available facts,  that prompted war of words and controversies on the burning issue.

Mahbub has been a prolific writer on politics but the pandemic made him interested to write three books on corona, though he feels that they would get not many readers or buyers.

He, however, feels thqat as a writer he feels satisfied about the new issue.

Mahbub tries to alert the peace loving people about the possible consequence of the raging debates and controversies.

He sounded the caution when the world’s number one super power, the United States and the rising power China were embroiled in the war of words.

Showing due respect to scientists, the author said that the scientists should be given the opportunity to prove whether or not the virus came from nature or was produced in laboratories.

Mahbub Alam

He wrote that Donald Trump brought allegations against China one after another on the corona issue based on baseless theories of Goebles to discredit China and some of the US allied repeated the allegations.

He said that the scientists alone can find out the truth.

He said that it was essential to find out the truth about the origin of the virus for tackling it and save mankind from the pandemic.

In the preface, he gave brief account of deadly pandemics,  that afflicted mankind in the past.

The writer dedicated the book to Comrade Haider Akbar Khan Rono, ‘A profile in courage  and clean face of Bangladesh politics.’

He drew a picture of the deadly corona virus ending the lives of millions of people across the world.

He also gave a pen picture of bubonik plague also known as black death which killed millions of Europeans in the Middle ages, Russian flu, Spanish flu, Asian flu, plague, cholera,  ebola, sars, nipa virus, HIV and aids.

He didn’t forget to mention that of these the people of this country was better acquainted with the deadly cholera that in the past depopulated village after village.

Nowadays, he recalls, no one knows that even close relatives used to abandon near ones and leave their ancestral villages at the mere hit of cholera breaking out.

The book is split into nine other chapters, Blame Game, Shorojontro Totto (Conspiracy Theories),  Corona Utsho Nie Bitorko (Controversies Over the Origins of Corona),    Vaccine Nie Rajnoitik Bitorko (Political Controversies over Vaccines), Shobaike Pichoney Fele Russiar Chomok (Russian Breakthrough Leaves All Behind), Bazar e Asahr Agei Bazar dokhol er Cheshta (Competition to Capture Markets Even Before Vaccines Reach Markets), China, US and UK Approves Vaccines, Soberana-Abdala Vaccine O Ashar Alo (Cuba’s Soberana-Abdala Vaccine Brings Ray of Hope) and Coronay Akranto O Mrittur Boisshik Chitro (Corona Infection and the Global Picture of Deaths).    

The writer recalls how Russia became the first country to make a vaccine to tackle corona.

The US had by then invested $200 billion on finding out a vaccine to tackle the pandemic.

The author recalls, all this prompted the North Town University professor of Global Health Lawrence Gostin to say, ‘ I never saw such haste in search of vaccines for treatment.’

North Town University is in the US.

Professor Gostin also said that covid-19 vaccines have assumed political dimensions.

He said, four countries, China, the US, the UK and Russia got embroiled in the vaccine politics.

He drew a picture of vaccination in Bangladesh and how the country became involved in the politics of vaccines.

He does not forget to mention the role of the World Health Organisation ought to play to make people in the third world more conscious and interested about the need to get vacci8nated.

He thinks that China ought to come out with more information about its vaccine.

The same advice is applicable about the vaccines developed in the Western countries.

He said that neither Pfizer-Biontech nor Moderna provided any information about their vaccines even to the researchers, though by early December all the vaccines of Moderna and 96 per cent of the vaccines of Pfizer-Biontech had been sold.

He finishes, chapter eight, ‘Vaccines approval by China, the US and the UK, by adding, in to to, an article  published by The New York Times on April 5, under the caption, It’s time to keep trust on vaccines made by Chin and Russia.

He says that the NYT article was translated and published by Prothom Alo on April 10.

The article says that some of the poor countries are worried whether or not they would get the vaccine when the rich countries are concerned about vaccine shortage.’

Mahbub has authored 13 books, including Corona mohamari o naya cold war, Prashad Hatyakando o Nepaler Rajniti, Nepal: Rajtontro theke projatontro, Coronakaler Shamprodaikota o Rajnoitik Biddhes..

 In Corona Mohamari o Naya Cold War , he wrote quoting a BBC report that coronavirus Covid -19was first detected by Scottish scientist Dr June Almeida in 1964.

But no further research followed to develop medicines as the US had cut its spending on health.

Corona Juddho O Shorojontro Totto  was pblished by Anarjo Publications Ltd on October 13, 2021.

The writer feels satisfied with his books on corona.

He also said that his latest book on Afghan history up to the country under Taleban rule was selling like hot cake at the Ekushey Book Fair.

Price: Tk  250