New Delhi. After expressing strong reservations over the reported tracing of superbug bacteria to India and tagging the national capital’s name (New Delhi metallo beta lactamase or NDM-1) in the superbug’s name, India has decided to give it back to the western world by renaming ‘Swine Flu’ as the ‘American Flu’, even though the name NDM-1 was given by British scientists. But India has claimed that it was not an act of vengeance.
“Precisely! If we had to avenge ourselves, we’d have rather called Swine Flu as Queen’s Bacteria or the British Bug, but we are just setting a few facts right here and following the right nomenclature. We hope that scientists world over would also follow the right nomenclature and remove New Delhi’s name from the superbug’s name.” Ghulam Nabi Azad, union health minister of India said.
Justifying the government decision, Mr. Azad cited a CBI report submitted last year where swine i.e. pigs were given clean chit in the Swine Flu case.
In its report, Cell Biology and Immunology (CBI) department of AIIMS had noted that no confirmed case of transmittance of H1N1 virus from a pig to any human being had ever been registered. As per the earliest recorded cases of infections, Swine Flu was traced to the American continents among the human beings, especially in Mexico, and then spread to other parts of the world through human beings only.
“Not a single pig was diagnosed with flu ever or acted as a carrier of the H1N1 virus, which causes Swine Flu. In fact, many farmers were worried that their pigs might get ‘swine’ flu from human beings. The world owes an apology to the pigs.” CBI report had observed.
Incidentally, even at that time, some scientists had tried to trace Swine Flu to the Asian countries when reports such as those by CBI indicted Americans instead of pigs for the disease, which has now led many to believe that there always was a conspiracy to malign the Asian nations for health hazards.
“British scientists had even tried to trace the roots of Mad Cow Disease to India five years back.” Mr. Azad recalled, adding, “In light of these findings, our government has decided to set right this historical wrong and stop using the term Swine Flu for what clearly appears to be an American Flu.”
The Union Health Minister, however, refused to comment as to why the government had not acted on the CBI report till now even though it was submitted more than a year ago.
Not surprisingly, the decision of the government has been welcomed by even the opposition parties, with the communist parties terming it the best step taken in the history concerning Indo-US relations. RJD, SP, BSP and other caste-based parties have hailed the decision as it sets right a historical wrong like the caste-system, while parties like DMK and Shiv Sena have expressed comfort with a move that renames an existing entity.
Main opposition party BJP too has termed it as a patriotic step coming close on the eve of the Independence Day, though the party has demanded that the government also renamed Mad Cow Disease as it wrongly maligned and mocked a holy animal like cow.
Pigs have welcomed the decision too.