Friday, November 28, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
India has won in style. And to lose a series this way is not something that the Aussies are much used to. So much so, they were forced to make some face saving comments by diverting the issue and venting out their frustrations. One wonders why such comments are taken nicely by the ICC. Perhaps, because, it is not about cricket and ICC knows nothing but cricket!
But it was not one Hayden who sought to relieve his frustrations. The Aussie captain, gentleman Ponting, decided to have a go at Sunny Gavaskar, rather unnecessarily. Well, as Gavaskar said, the Aussies seem to be rattled, indeed.
The rise of India in world news was evident not just on land but in the waters as well. It would have been fun for our navy bro's chasing the pirates out of their ship and sinking it. The UN has recognised the Indian Navy's brave effort and even seems to have granted it the "License to Kill" on the pirate homelands.
This winning streak on land and on water actually, started from Space! The perfect launch and the touch down on moon by our Chandrayaan showcases India's capabilities - and the efforts of all those dedicated souls at ISRO. Forget the debate that sprouts up as always when anything significant happens - there seems to be no second opinion, now that ISRO has taken a page out of Abhinav Bindra's books on how to aim for and hit the target!
This clearly is Indian Evolution, if not a Revolution. As if land, water and space were not fuel enough, the American Intelligence has started taking serious note of India, among the other rising powers, as having a distinct possibility of capturing the lion's share of global dominance from the defending champions, the United States. Perhaps, the recession that started off with the Housing sector and the Financial sector debacle in the US underlines the vulnerability of the United States. Afterall, not many would have imagined that the stalwarts of manufacturing, the Big 3 Automobiles from Detroit would eventually have to chalk up a Business Plan and submit it to the Congress, to have a lease of life! That's not much of a pretty scene for a global giant. But then, reality is harsh - and the economy is even harsher!
The economy was, in fact, so harsh that it demanded a congregation of the Group of 20 Heads of Nations to assemble at Washington D C and chart the future path out. It was a quick reaction by the global leaders who promptly made it a point to do their bit about managing the intricately inter-connected world trade. Media reports have not talked lightly of the time and effort that the heavy weights have invested. There was this distinct sense of urgency in the high profile summit that is set to go on in a phased out manner. And not many such conferences would have yielded such a consensus so soon and so smoothly as this on has. Luckily for the world, this one wouldn't drag on for months and years like other political summits would.
Talking of urgency and consensus, the dark brown dust couldn't be all that transparent not to be seen at all! The layers of dust that could filter out the intensity of the sun as it reaches the earth should be quite a phenomenon. And a survey says how Governments around the world have been lethargic in protecting the oceans, falling far short of their own projections and promises. News items such as these warning of catastrophic rise in sea levels have appealed more to Film Makers in the Hollywoods than Governments.
One question strikes the casual eye: Why have these issues not been classified as being "Urgent"? If the dark clouds are such a serious threat that would affect rainfalls, visibility and health, if oceans are so precious to protect as would some endangered species be and if sea levels are rising alarmingly indeed, why doesn't the G20 or the G80 meet up in some serene place to read and understand the issues at least, even for discussion at a later date? If we are eventually to adapt ourselves to a waterworld, where would we play cricket and win matches against Ponting's men, where would we launch our rockets from and where would Wall Street be then?
Not to worry about the Indian Navy though. They could very well be close to home, chasing pirates away from the ocean above Madhya Pradesh and driving them onto the limited stretches of lands on the Himalayan Plains. We could have a G 20 summit with leaders fashioning Swim Suits. Or perhaps, by then, man would have evolved further with fins and gills. What's Darwin's take on this?
Thursday, November 06, 2008
It was not yet another sensationalist hyperbole when the media described the United States Elections as "History in the Making". For once, should I say, in living memory, the media was spot on. Barack H Obama did make History. In fact, he has done more than just that - he has, perceptibly, changed the course History was taking. This was a moment that the Americans could rightly be proud of.
Forget his biography for a moment; the guy seems good by his very looks; by his measured speech and choice of words; by his conscious humility; by the depth of his eyes - and what goes beneath those eyes; by the determination in his voice; even his lanky structure and the way he held himself as he walked down the stage, his poise . . . they all speak something of his character. It says, "Hey Americans, this is the best that you could have got!"
His mixed race parentage is, obviously, what would make the world sit up and watch - and listen. But more than that, the United States has, over the past eight long years, dug itself in a pit in its Foreign Affairs Department. Arrogance is not the best way forward in a growingly seamless world. And ignorance is even worse. To think that there was only one Nation in the Universe would'nt make much political or economic or whatever sense. Obama offered a hope from a deteriorating and an even increasingly humiliating situation.
This development, if handled carefully, diligently, with sense and serenity, is capable of changing the perception of a whole lot of nations about the "Super Power". Israel has already started worrying about the strategies of its patron. Obama would, hopefully, know better than that.
The President-Elect has had many a thing going for him. President Bush himself has done him a lot of favour by forcing the president's approval ratings to a Historical Low. He was high-handed in dealing with a fragile planet. He was quick to formulate the "Axis of Evil" theory. He invented tall claims about "Weapons of Mass Destruction" and the inevitable link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. He couldnt manage to plant those WMD's in Iraq in time, before the IAEA Inspection panel's aircraft touched base at Baghdad. He fulfilled his dad's dream of a world without Saddam Hussein. He showered weapons of "mass destruction" over civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. He threatened North Korea; he accoasted Iran. And in all the drama, he forgot his own home and his economy!
Put these all in perspective, Obama would have anyway been a silver streak if he had just said he was "not George W Bush"!
He would have definitely rejoiced to have his Grand mother by his side when he created History. But then, politics is all about points scored. And as commentators famously say, "Runs are runs, no matter how they come".
"For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century," Barack Obama said in his Acceptance Speech.
If he is really what he has projected of himself all the way, if he is really strong enough to dare to walk the rope, he has to double up even before the word "Go". He has no choice but to hit the ground running. And if he does that and if he walks the distance, the world would certainly be a better place.