Time and world in the current global village concern everybody and everyone, whether young or old must pay at least some attention to correctly gauge the ‘prevailing winds’ blowing in and around the world at that time. The complex nature of the time and the world is very difficult to untangle and hopelessly mired in depths we may not know or things of which we have got no comprehension.
In this book, I have tried to summarize events, situations, personalities, and at occasions, a few stories that bring deeper comprehension of the world and its affairs in the larger canvas of the political and cultural dynamics of the time and their interplays as I see them in moving the world forward. The topics on which I wrote were all topics on which I felt rather strongly about or topics that I felt important. I hope they are enjoyed and appreciated by all those who read them.
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While writing the book, I was often tempted to add my own comments about what I felt about the issue at hand, but in the end I successfully resisted such temptations and restricted myself to the truth as I saw it. So this book is a publication on world affairs with just occasional comments of universal nature here and there.
Another problem I encountered while writing this book was the abundance of materials to select from.Several events of recent origin raced through my mind for space, but I had to be choosy to limit myself to the planned format of my book. Further, recent developments are too recent and hot to gauge dispassionately and earn space for objective analyses. Therefore, I avoided such materials as much as possible in this volume. This holds true about India also. Though this book is India-centric in world affairs, I avoided all opinions and comments on India related matters for the fear of being partisan. This volume is not planned as a platform for such contents. Nec Dextrorsum, Nec Sinistrorsum is the theme here and I tried my best to maintain it.
Often, I had been tempted to stray into topics quite unrelated to the theme of the book. Managing it and keeping my course on the track was the toughest part of my work. “My Time, My World” opened up limitless vista for entry. Again, I succeeded in confining myself to my Lakshmana Rekha.
Many unsaid thanks threaten to over-flood my senses. I would like to thank my parents for all the support they have given me while I was writing this book. They have been pillars of strength on which I could rest my wearied back whenever I was tired or down.
Indian economic development largely depends on rural economy. Infrastructure development is an aspect of the Indian economy that is crying for immediate attention. Indian economic programmes call for balance between socialism and capitalism as defined in Mixed Economy by the first Prime Minister of India, Shree Jawaharlal Nehru. Mixed Economy is a contribution of India to the world as was Neutrality or Non-Aligned Movement in world politics.
For centuries people in India have suffered from lack of food. Even though the huge famines, which killed a very large number of individuals and caused a large amount of suffering now belongs to the past, there is still hunger in India. This hunger is omnipresent and looks to be irremovable from the country. Even now because of lack of food, children are born malformed or are mentally challenged.
While the oil requirement of the United States of America will increase by 46% in the next ten years and of China by about 96%, India’s requirements will go up by about 132%. This is certainly a mammoth increase. India must find additional sources for oil within and outside the country apart from discovering other sources of energy as alternative to the oil. India will find itself in great problems in coming days unless it does not act fast. Further, increase in oil prices world over may find India in deep quicksand. India has only two options: either it will go down by inaction or it will claw its way up by a concerted action plan.
For a country to improve, it has to have a good education system. The gradual decline noticed in the standards of excellence in existing institutions of higher education in India like IITs of late is depressing. The fall is mainly because of the pay system of the professors there in contrast to those in China, Korea and Singapore and in western countries where a three-tier pay system is followed to attract the best to the fold. The pay system in most of these countries include a pay package covering the pay pack from the government based on the pay scale to cover basic needs, and other pay packs dependent on the track record of the individual and the institute concerned in the stipulated year. Individual performance forms the pillars in all these pay schemes, thus promoting excellence and rewarding performance.
India, Brazil and South Africa are considered as countries that have the same strength and stature in the world and therefore same interests. Birds of the same feathers flock together. Therefore, it is natural to expect them to flock together as an axis to safeguard their common interests in this complex world of competitions and ruthless manoeuvres. All the three are strong countries in their own right, and if they join hands, they can transform to be a power centre in world affairs and face challenges in every sphere to their best interests.
Both China and Pakistan have also developed interests in Nepal and try to checkmate India’s influences in the region. Pakistan often used the common border between Nepal and India to infiltrate terrorists to India. The rise of Maoists in Nepal is actively supported by China. The rising influence of China in Nepal is a matter of grave concern to India.
India and Japan are close neighbours of China. India’s nuclear tests had drawn the ire of Japan and it joined other developed countries in imposing sanctions against India at that time. However, they have been trying to improve their relationship for quite some time now. The political situation around the world also has compelled these two countries to come closer together over the last few years. American certificate to India that it is a responsible country and its initiative for nuclear deal with India along with the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) waiver to India in nuclear deals further mellowed Japan.
The worst enemy of Pakistan is not its neighbour, India. Rather, it is its poverty. Pakistan is one of the poorest countries in the world with a high birth rate that renders its economy failing to catch up with the population growth rate. Further, its unfortunate focus against India and war preparations for the purpose diverted its resources from development activities. It is only because of the financial and other backings of the United States of America that Pakistan has not yet disintegrated in spite of large-scale economic failings and wars against Al-Qaeda and Taliban along its borders with Afghanistan in support of the United States of America.
Oil is going to hold the future of the world. The countries that control oil interests will rule the world. Saudi Arabia has vast oil fields and tops the list of oil producing countries. USA shares an honour among the top ten oil producing countries. However, the amount of oil produced by America is not enough to keep its industries afloat for long. That is the reason why America wants to control more oil. Most of the Arab countries have vast resources of oil. This is why most of the developed countries including the USA want Arab countries as allies.
North Korea separated from South Korea after a quite violent history of war that threatened to become the harbinger of the Third World War in 1950s. South Korea with the help of the United States of America became a respected industrial power of Asia on par with Japan and Taiwan while North Korea under the Communist regime languished in this respect. It now wants to make up the loss of time and come back in the international arena by becoming a nuclear power.
The first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru respected the UNO and honoured its call for ceasefire while Indian army was successfully pushing Pakistan soldiers back from Kashmir in 1947 and in the process, lost half of Kashmir to Pakistan by declaring ceasefire and kept the irritating Kashmir issue alive to this day. No doubt, by listening to the United Nations Organisation, he had increased the prestige of India but it resulted in the main cause of the dispute between India and Pakistan. But the calls and resolutions of the UNO and its Resolutions are ignored as a rule by other countries. Absence of its own armed forces to force its resolutions and its complete dependence on other countries, particularly the United States of America, rendered it weak.
No country is a friend or foe permanently in politics and diplomacy. It is all a matter of self-interests and security of a country. India played close to the USSR till the latter disintegrated in 1990. Soviet Union was really a loyal friend of India in those decades with liberal political, diplomatic, military, scientific and economic helps to India. India survived all international pressures for decades in Kashmir issue and recurring Indo-Pak wars only because of the dependable support of the Soviet Union.
The world was created with the Big Bang about fourteen billions of years back. After billions of years of cooling from the Big Bang, the Sun of our solar system came into being leading to the birth of the Earth and other planets of the solar system. For approximately four billion years, the Earth remained without life on the planet. The Earth was too hot and cooled down very slowly. Life started on the Earth with the single cell creatures and over billions of years evolved to complicated patterns of life culminating in the birth of human beings in their present form.
While man is looking to the Outer Space to trace his cousins on the illusion that he has already conquered the Earth he lives on in his thirst for knowing it fully, he was in for a shock while he discovered the existence of a new species, Homo Floresiences, a cousin of Home Sapiens, in the island of Rampasasa in Indonesia, until a few years back. Locals of Rampasasa recall the Homo Floresiences as short in height. However, the attention of the world is yet to focus on this interesting discovery and scientists and archaeologists are yet to pursue this matter to know better about their cousins on this very Earth on which they live on.
Stem cells are the basic cells. They are the cells from what every part of the body develops after going through several stages. They are present in almost all living bodies in the stage of the initial growth. They form all cells of the body including the muscle cells, the nerve cells, and the bone cells. These stem cells if properly manipulated are potential of curing all genetic diseases and changing personal traits and character in living beings including man.
Kyoto Protocol is a United Nations initiative for international environmental treaty at climate change for achieving stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that shall prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Kyoto Protocol establishes legally binding commitment for the reduction of four greenhouse gases namely, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and sulphur hexafluoride and two other gases namely hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) let out to the environment mostly by the industrialized nations.
There are thousands of species of animals in the world. The continents, which have the most number of species of animals, are Asia and Africa. Species of animals are essential ingredients in bringing about balance in the nature and in human survival. Symbiosis is an essential rule of the animal world covering human beings. Protection of all species from extinction is a basic need for maintaining the balance in the nature and a responsibility of man as the most evolved and enlightened species of the animal world. They must be protected from destruction.
The tiger is the national animal of India. It is the largest member of the cat family and even bigger than the lion. It is a very ferocious animal and is well known for its ferocious hunting skills. It has been hunted for centuries. The tiger once used to occupy the whole of India, Pakistan, Russia and also Africa. In Pakistan and Russia, the tiger is now extinct, which is a terrible loss, as the largest species of the Tiger family called as the Siberian tiger lived in Russia. Sadly, it is now disappearing from India and Africa also. The cause of this is poaching and hunting. So is has been for centuries. Hunting and killing tigers were a symbol of strength and valour all over the world from the time immemorial and were the favourite pastime of valiant kings and British rulers in India. The poachers and hunters do not easily give up this adventure and the tribals who live near the forests are unhelpful in protecting tigers.
One of the most acute problems of the present world is the fitness problem: the problem of becoming more and more fat and obese day by day. There was a time when people were dying of starvation and there are people all over the world even now who starve for the lack of availability of food. But, excessive eating leading to uncontrolled obesity has become a chronic disease in many parts of the world now: the problem of eating more than what is needed. This is a sin more than a problem when one considers that in other parts of the world, people are struggling to get even a square meal a day. Need based consumption of the food is a solution for both the problems of obesity and starvation.
Out of every suicide case, one is a youth between 15 and 24. This statistics includes all those aged people who have a terminal illness and thus commit suicide. One in 5 teens thinks of suicide. This shows just how much pressure teens have. To get a good job and consequently good life, one has to study in a good college or university. However, especially in India, good higher education is a rare thing. Also, India being the second most populated country in the world and an amazing 40% of the people being below the age of 20, the competition in our country is cutting edge. One will also have to participate competitively in extra-curricular activities to be a success in life.
Greed breeds greed, and leads to ruinous deeds. People by nature always want some thing or the other. Often what people want for them may turn out to be harmful for others individually or for the combined good of the people. Therefore protection from other’s greed is an essential need of the human society. It is here that the process of law and justice come into play. Laws, law courts and legal systems were set up to see that the combined interests of the people are protected. Civilised society is obliged to obey the laws, law courts and legal systems for symbiotic existence. However, outlaws are the common feature of any society, those who live at the expense of others.
It has been believed that justice is absolute. People since ancient times have wrongly believed that justice can be made to measure to the crime committed or the good deed done. People believe that justice is very simple. They however are completely wrong as justice is not at all an easy task to do about and is a very difficult task indeed to decide and judge.
Germany, as the leader of a power in the region consisting mostly of the present Warsaw Pact countries may provide a real challenge to the financial strength of China and its neighboring allies in the first half of the 21 century and grow to be a financial giant of the world in the second half of the century by pushing the latter to second place. A close run for supremacy as a financial power of the world between regional powers led by Germany and China would be the main political drama of the new era. Both USA and Russia would be decimated to minor parts in the battle-royale.
The raison d’etre of poetry is the pleasure of the shocks of discovery about the life. It is the fraicheur of thoughts in poetry that endears it to its readers; it is the intensity, the undivided attention with which the poet experiences the deja vu that warms up the poetry to its readers; it is the concentration of thought and feelings which brood to beauty and rich shades of meaning in poetry. The art of writing poetry is the process of gradual release of the shocks of coalesced thought and feelings in relaxed contemplative leisure of a reflective mood. Those who attempt the release through the carefully chosen language are poets and their expressions, poetry. The development of poetic impulses helps such releases to be streamlined to carefully chosen language as an assuetude to prevent wastes by dissipation. The true pleasure of reading poetry is in having an arcane peek to the subtle unknown horizons of the poet’s mind, thought and personality.