Saturday, January 24, 2009

Clearway World Watch - Certainly, it's Uncertain

Eventful may not be the right word. At best, it would be an understatement.
Gladly, the surgery on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's heart has been successful. Amdist controversies about Asian Heart Institute over AIIMS, the Nation does heave a sigh of relief at the development.
One does wonder if it takes more than a brave heart to be at the helm during these testing times, though. The heart, minimally, has to be a functional one, of course, as has been ensured by Dr Panda and Co. Now, Dr Singh would wake up, hoping he doesn't get a shocker for the immediate future, till the docs declare him fit for office. Inflation, Recession, Pakistan, Politics, Elections and last but by no means the least, our own dear Mr Raju . . . there seem to have been more than one reason that drove Dr Singh to AIIMS at short notice. Perhaps, he would rather spend a few more days in peace than rush back to his unenviable seat.
Talk of Raju! Man! This guy has got real guts - not one to be complaining of a chest pain or a blocked artery anytime soon. The Damage Control folks have a lot of ground to dig out of the Satyam mess. Ramalinga Raju doesnt seem to have dumped his skeletons in a hurry. What started off as one innocuous mis-handled and ill-conceived acquisition bid goes into a never ending maze. And I would bet our interrogators are wasting their time trying to question Raju. Quite possibly, he himself would have lost track of what he has been doing over the past few years. One leading to the other and to yet another . . . SEBI and the Serious Fraud Investigators would rather find out what is and what is not first, without getting into the "How" part of it, as of now.
One sure thing is, when the judge pronounces his verdict on the number of years awarded to the Satyam bosses, we would have to listen to it twice. We are getting so used to hyped up or understated numbers from Satyam of late, that any figure emanating seems distorted like a badly scratched prize card.
The world is not all that bad, after all. While the Satyam boss got himself sucked into the siphon he designed, the Americans have a new ray of hope in Obama. And the ray shines spreading light and cheers the world over - not to mention some shivers to Pakistan as well. Fidel Castro seems a happy man in Cuba, blessing the President's intentions regarding Guantanamo Bay and the changed American outlook. That's not a sight you would see every other day! Obama is moving, is moving fast and is moving steady. Early days to judge? Well, he gets the benefit of doubt.
So, while the new Administration in the US gets moving firmly on its agenda, lip reading experts have already spotted the new team pronuncing "Pakistan" and "Afghanistan" at quite regular intervals, and pronouncing them together. Ms Clinton has already had a word with Mr Zardari. Zardari might have been more fortunate and happy to have had Sarah Paulin in for Joe Biden; now that he has Clinton giving him a hard look, he'd better get down to business than run for China's moral support.
Notwithstanding the series of economic stimuli that make Uncle Sam look more like Santa, the highly inter-connected world economies have been spiralling out, not stopping on its downward spree yet. Britain too has joined the Big League of recessionary economics.
Put them all together, our Prime Minister is definitely better off in the safe confines of hospitals, without access to news channels or papers, for a while now. He has high voltage political games awaiting him anyway, with elections round the corner.
But a casual look at the polical and economic scenario is enough to scare the Indian layman. With Pranab Mukherjee calling the shots at PMO and Finance for Dr Singh, Mr Chidambaram learning the ropes of Home affairs instead of his Finance Forte, the Finance expert in the hospital beds with juices and sugar-free horlicks by his side, SEBI still trying to figure out what hit them and fighting it out with Court orders for Raju's possession, the inverted Satyam - MAYTAS - having its hands laid in more than one Metro Project, World bodies projecting more terror seeping in from across the Indian border and a global recession with no end in sight, who is handling what in India?
Well, the economy is still running, and more importantly, still growing. And no new scams have been unearthed; and terror hasn't risen its head again after 26/11, yet. That's good enough for the Indian citizen. We have not grown all that sophisticated to be asking for more than that!

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