“Guilty conscience Pricks the mind”. Industrialised countries have made it a point to drag the names of ‘rising economies’ whenever they discuss global warming or any topic related to it. ‘Passing the buck’ is the name of the game. If the subject is about a possible food shortage, they would say: “can’t help it, those two emerging powers are consuming much more than they used to “. or when they talk about green house emissions, they would say “These two countries have to act quickly to reduce the emission. The effects of climate change are already at our door steps.” The climate change, (or let us call it “Global Warming”) is a cause of great concern to the entire world. It is irritating the people to such an extent that they are retaliating by resorting to destruction of public property, mainly by setting on fire buses or trains in the name of protesting against something or the other. It is the extremists, political, as well as religious, who are taking advantage of this violent mood of the people. We have to hurry up; something serious have to be done to reduce the effects of global warming.
Archive for June, 2009
We are in the 21st century; science and technology have taken us to great heights. Like magicians, the scientists have been revealing one wonder after the other. The real geniuses may appear to be a negligible minority but their discoveries far outweigh their size or number. Just sit at home in front of your TV and you can see soccer or a cricket match which is in progress miles and miles away from your country. You are as close to it as the one sitting in the gallery. If one of the spectators happens to be your friend or a relative you can even talk to that person! You can see Dr. Manmohan Singh chatting with the media people or Mr. Obama cracking some jokes with his colleagues….or even a ferocious lion roaring in an African forest.
The past too, especially the distant past is equally exciting. From time immemorial these negligible minorities have been unraveling the mysteries of the world and making the lives of human beings more and more comfortable and enjoyable. Then there have been thinkers, artists, poets and godmen who dedicated their lives for the welfare of the human beings. And, with the arrival of religions, man became more disciplined and he took care not to commit any sin that should attract God’s punishment. Some of the teachings of the preachers are not relevant now but the fundamentalists would not budge. There is a remarkable similarity between religious and political fundamentalists—or shall we call them extremists? The whole world might have undergone a sea change but these fundamentalists strictly abide by certain worn out ideas; and they have their followers too!
I do feel that Cricket will soon gain importance in USA and the person behind it will be none other than Mr. Barack Obama. Don’t dismiss this as the wishful thinking of some one who hails from a Cricket Crazy land. No at all. The other day, he revealed two things; one was that he can cook “Keema” and ‘dal’ and the other was his love for Cricket and he owes these two qualities to his Pakistani friends who were his room mates during his college days.
And, because he is a Cricket fan it could be taken for granted that he would have enjoyed the just conclued Twenty – 20 in which Pakistan emerged victorious.
Of course it is not as easy as saying “I woke up one morning and found myself famous” but still, it can co – exist with rugby, soccer and basket ball and enter the international arena and make cricket more popular.
The BJP, one of India’s national parties, found itself in a disarray following its poor performance in the recent general elections. There were post-poll problems in some other parties as well but the chaos in BJP was glaring. There is a general impression that the main reason for its debacle was its hindutva policy because it smacks of communalism or pro-hindu approach. The so called secular parties, big and small, won’t have any truck with BJP because according to them it is communal; but the very same secular parties have no qualms about having tie-up with other communal or caste-based parties.
At the most, hindutva stands for Indianness and it is in favor of safeguarding the country’s ancient culture. It also envisages a common civil code. In fact, Hinduism is a negligible minority at the international level when compared with Islam or Christianity. But some religions are bent upon wiping out Hinduism (which exists mainly in India) by converting as many Hindus as possible, taking advantage of their poverty. When Hindus do not interfere with the private affairs of other religions, why do other religions indulge in provocative conversions?
As such, the BJP has to be seen not as a communal party but as one which wants to prevent the collapse of India’s ancient religion.
It is a widely accepted fact that democracy is the best form of government and it is based on free and fair elections and the implementation of the policies after open debate and discussion. The role of the press is equally important.
Freedom of the press is jealously guarded in a democracy since it is the press or rather the media which keeps an eye on every activity of the government in power and brings to light the best and the worst without fear or favor. But at times this freedom degenerates into license and the media loses its credibility. The press has several weapons to expose the government or any politician for that matter and one of the weapons is cartoons which exagerates an event but the humour part of it makes it up; but when cartoons becomes venemous it loses its humour. And if the reports are deliberately harsh on a minister or an MP it amounts to crossing the limits. It seems the British press was too harsh on Gordon Brown that it appeared they were hitting him below the belt.
There was parental anxiety in Mr. Obama’s tone when he asked the American kids to gear up to meet the challenges posed by the up and coming Indian and Chinese students “who are in the classrooms longer than the American kids”. Mr. Obama is equally worried about the US education system itself which he feels needs overhauling in order to compete with other international universities and colleges.
One wonders whether Mr. Obama was making some sweeping remarks to alert the American kids or he really meant it. Anyhow, India cannot take things for granted. It is true that Indian students have proved their mettle at the international level, but the Indian education system as a whole has to go a long way to attain international standards. While taking steps to improve the standard of education it is also necessary that the students should keep their hands off politics which is the main cause for all internal problems. Though Mr. Obama has said that the Indian and Chinese students spend less time on video games, the Indian kids from upper and middle class families do not deserve this encomium.
Just now the lilac is in bloom; if winter comes, can spring be far behind? Isles of Greece, Isles of Greece…All except their sun is set. Like flies to wanton boys are we to God….I could not help laughing at myself but it was back to square one. Karl Marx, Victor Hugo, Isaac Newton, Bertrand Russell and a host of other big names flashed across my mind. Europe loomed large in my mind or rather, its contribution to art, literature, philosophy, science, education, sports and games. The Europeans were the trend setters; they were good businessmen too.
But right now they seem to grope in the dark, restless and restive. Or else, why are they so reluctant to accord wholehearted support to the European Union? The poor voter-turnout in the recent European parliament elections does not augur well not only for the European countries but to the rest of the world as well. It is clear that people are more concerned about their immediate problems resulting from the global economic crisis than about the European Union.
But if they look back and draw inspiration from their forefathers they could safely overcome the present problem.
When Barack Obama made it to the top, he created history – no doubt, it was a long and tiresome journey but obama, the man, kept the spectators in good humour and won their hearts. Roses have their thorns too. The thorns came in the form of an unprecedented economic slump. Some stop gap arrangements have been made in the hope that the country will bounce back before long.
As the days rolled by, Mr. Obama must have come to the conclusion that prosperity will thrive only in a peaceful atmosphere and the result was his hour – long speech, the other day, directed at an international Muslim audience. His intention was not to chastise anybody but to identify the source of tension in West Asia. He was strongly in favour of a New beginning between US and the Muslims based on mutual interest and mutual respect. The entire Muslim world listened to him and most of them are convinced that new beginning could be made. Even those who were not carried away by his speech merely expressed their reservation without using any harsh words.
Can we hope for a new beginning?
The demand for state autonomy is rising its ugly head once again in India. It is a distant cousin of separatism and if this demand is conceded, it could gradually lead to disintegration of a country whose beauty lies in the concept of unity in diversity. In this connection, it is worth mentioning here that whenever interstate disputes crop up, the states concerned behave as if they are independent countries and often it results in a mini-war-like situation. What the country, (Any country for that matter) needs is not independent autonomous states but interdependent states under the control of a strong centre. Many Indian states are in the grip of regional and linguistic fanatics who mislead the youngsters to such an extent that they shed their Indianness with ease for the sake of their language or state. If the country is to be saved from this dangerous trend, the national parties must sink their difference and launch a compaigns to make the youngsters realise that their strength lies in the unity of the country; and each language and region is a part of this nation and no one is inferior or superior.