Feluda provides a ray of hope in coronavirus vaccine

Enlisting the nominal aid of fictional sleuths to solve coronavirus mysteries.

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Projects engaged in the hunt for a remedy for Covid-19 might call themselves by names borrowed from detective fiction heroes.
Satyajit Ray would have endorsed a promisingly path-breaking Covid-19 test kit, which has been given the acronymic name of Feluda.

Devised by two scientists of a New Delhi research institute, the test, which could provide a reliable result within an hour, honours the fictional Calcutta-based sleuth created by the cineaste.

Fast and accurate testing for the pathogen is a crucial factor in tracking down and halting the spread of the deadly virus, and it’s appropriate that the investigative skills of a diagnostic Feluda — short for FNCAS9 Editor-Limited Uniform Detection Assay — be recruited to help solve the lethal mysteries of the pandemic.


Similarly, other projects engaged in the hunt for a remedy for Covid-19 might call themselves by names borrowed from detective fiction heroes.

A possible candidate for such nominal enlisting might be another India-based sleuth, HRF Keating’s Inspector Ganesh V Ghote of the Bombay Police Force who has been the protagonist of over 20 books and several films.

Apart from imparting an impetus to the efforts to crack the Covid-19 case, the thought that hawk-eyed Holmesian stand-ins are surveilling preventive transgressions like going maskless in public or not maintaining social distancing might deter such trespasses.
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As Feluda might say, ‘Koro na!’ which translates as a prohibitory ‘Don’t do it!’

Tinker, Tailor, Tyrant, Spy: Sundry Jobs Of Dictators
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Hosni Mubarak, the late autocratic president of Egypt, had swapped his military fatigues for civvies before setting up house at Cairo’s Presidential Palace for the better part of three decades.

Here are the sundry jobs of other dictators

Hosni Mubarak, the late autocratic president of Egypt, had swapped his military fatigues for civvies before setting up house at Cairo’s Presidential Palace for the better part of three decades. Here ..
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A staunch communist, the former president of North Vietnam once worked as a baker in the US. Aged 21, Ho Chi Minh embarked on a voyage to New York, via Paris and London, moonlighting as a dishwasher to pay for the crossing. In the early 20th century, he served in the kitchens of the Parker House Hotel in Boston, whose guests, over the years, included writer Charles Dickens and John Wilkes Booth, notorious for murdering Abraham Lincoln.

After returning to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh helped liberate his country from colonial France, before delivering a pyrrhic victory against the US in the 1970s. “Anyone who does not follow the line determined by me will be smashed,” he once said. Around 100,000 people, mostly “class enemies” are thought to have been killed by his regime. Corpses, by the baker’s dozen, were dumped in the Saigon River.


(Image: Britannica/AP)

A staunch communist, the former president of North Vietnam once worked as a baker in the US. Aged 21, Ho Chi Minh embarked on a voyage to New York, via Paris and London, moonlighting as a dishwasher ..
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Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, a young seminarian with webbed feet, knew which way the wind would blow. Born in Gori, a small town in the Caucasus, Dzhugashvili harboured revolutionary leanings well before giving up the cassock for his now-trademark military greatcoat. However, before joining the ranks of the Bolsheviks, Dzhugashvili worked as a clerk in a meteorological observatory in modern-day Georgia, noting down barometer readings on an hourly basis.

He changed his name to Joseph Stalin in 1912 and became an acolyte of Vladimir Lenin, eventually becoming the latter’s political heir. Stalin outmanoeuvred rivals and executed “reactionaries” after assuming charge of the Soviet Union in 1924. Around 60 million civilians are estimated to have been killed under his watch.

(Image: Amazon)

Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, a young seminarian with webbed feet, knew which way the wind would blow. Born in Gori, a small town in the Caucasus, Dzhugashvili harboured revolutionary leanings w..
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The Cambodian strongman, a veteran of many parent-teacher meetings, schooled his compatriots in Marxist-Leninist ideology after being sacked as an elementary school teacher in 1955.

Born into an affluent family, Pot studied at the École française de radioélectricité, an engineering institute in Paris. He failed his exams and returned to Cambodia. Despite his lack of training, Pot got a job as a teacher of history, geography and morals at a school in Phnom Penh. He proved to be an incompetent educator and joined the Khmer Rouge —a militant faction of the Cambodian Communist Party — which ousted the government and blew up the central bank.

Pol Pot installed himself as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea in 1975. He initiated a purge of political rivals and citizens antithetical to his disastrous economic and cultural reforms. In 2009, the Documentation Center of Cambodia mapped 23,745 mass graves containing approximately 1.3 million victims of execution. The Khmer Rouge was overthrown in 1979 after an invasion by neighbouring Vietnam.

(Image: Wikipedia)

The Cambodian strongman, a veteran of many parent-teacher meetings, schooled his compatriots in Marxist-Leninist ideology after being sacked as an elementary school teacher in 1955.Born into an afflu..
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Duvalier, Haiti’s self-proclaimed ‘President for Life’, was a successful physician before breaking his Hippocratic Oath. Duvalier professed to have supernatural powers, even claiming that John F Kennedy was assassinated because of a curse he had placed on the former American president.

‘Papa Doc’ Duvalier came to power by promoting ‘Noirisme’, a movement that united the island’s black majority against mulatto elites. His diktat was enforced by the Tonton Macoute, a special operations unit of the Haiti’s paramilitary force, which killed and maimed dissenters. Papa Doc died of a heart attack in 1971, and was succeeded by his son Jean-Claude Duvalier, who at 19 became the world’s youngest president.

(Image: Britannica/AP)

Duvalier, Haiti’s self-proclaimed ‘President for Life’, was a successful physician before breaking his Hippocratic Oath. Duvalier professed to have supernatural powers, even claiming that John F Kenn..
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