Brazil President invokes Ramayana, thanks India for Covid-19 vaccine supply
Image shared by Brazil President @jairbolsonaro
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro on Saturday thanked India for the export of Covid-19 vaccines in a unique way, by tweeting an image of Hindu deity Hanuman carrying the jabs from India to Brazil.
It was a reference to the Hindu epic Ramayana, wherein Hanuman carries the life-saving ‘Sanjeevni plant’ to save Ram’s brother Lakshman’s life.
“Namaskar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi! Brazil feels honoured to have a great partner to overcome a global obstacle by joining efforts. Thank you for assisting us with the vaccines exports from India to Brazil. Dhanyavaad!,” Bolsonaro said in a tweet.
India had previously cleared commercial exports of COVID-19 vaccines, and the first consignments were shipped to Brazil and Morocco on Friday. The shots developed by UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca and Oxford University are being manufactured at the Serum Institute of India, the world’s biggest producer of vaccines, which has received orders from countries across the world.
Modi replied on Twitter, saying the honour was India’s in being a trusted partner of Brazil in fighting the pandemic together. “We will continue to strengthen our cooperation on healthcare,” he added.
However, this is not the first time Bolsonaro has invoked religion to thank or make an appeal to India. In April last year, the President had written a letter to India seeking hydroxychloroquine or HCQ, a drug thought to be effective in Covid treatment, touted by then President Donald Trump as well.
Bolsonaro had at the time invoked Hanuman carrying a ‘holy medicine’ in Ramayana, and referenced Jesus Christ, as well.
Meanwhile, the US Department of State also praised India in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to other nations. “We applaud India’s role in global health, sharing millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine in South Asia. India’s free shipments of vaccine began w/Maldives, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal and will extend to others. India’s a true friend using its pharma to help the global community,” it said in a tweet.