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The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has become one of the most reviewed books since and even before its publication in June 2017. The antici...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Clueless Obama: Can presidency still be redeemed?

If happenings of the past few weeks are any indication then the neo-cons must be suddenly feeling invigorated for no fault of theirs. Democrats managed to let unthinkable happen. The senate seat held by John F. Kennedy and later on passed to Edward Kennedy was gloriously surrendered to once center-page nude-model turned latter day conservative. Edward Kennedy manage to hold that seat even at the peak of republican revolution when Mitt Romney almost came close to unseat him. With that loss, crucially, democrats lost their filibuster proof majority and, if one is to believe all the what corporate controlled media has to say, Obama's agenda is lost too. One might even have an audacity to ask, if there ever, was any agenda. However, except for its symbolic negativism, the loss in itself, in the long run might turn out to be beneficial and even to some extent resuscitate unravelling presidency and save it from turtling down the Carter highway. Not too long ago, Clinton with democratic congress could hardly identify the ground from which to govern only came back to beat republicans on their own only after Gingrich revolution. Far from becoming irrelevant Clinton with republican congress could oversee largest and longest economic growth and with his much ridiculed small-time initiatives did change lives of millions and even survived himsel his own unfathomable untruth. Does Obama have audacity to perform at a level where he can gain trust of moderate republicans? Only answer to that question can tell whether down the decades he will be remembered as only as a the first black president or more than that. An honest and rapid response on performance in the first year would be a low dismal.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The world view : Afghanistan

Since the time I wrote this post, the realism has started to dawn and it has started to look that we might be witnessing Bush term-three presidency. Well fine, one doesn't need to descend into such crass cynicism but how does one reconcile to the statement of General Petraeus that Iran can be bombed. The headline in the Daily Telegraph reads "Iran can be bombed says General Petraeus ". Then again if bombs were controlled by the Daily Telegraph, then many things wouldn't exist by now. God have mercy on our soul! One used to think in utter naivety that powers to be may at some time take a cue from Robert Fisk's column "Only thing we learn from history is that we never learn" in the Independent. Hypothetically, if Iran were to be bombed that would certainly not solve the problem, thus, sending in ground forces would be imperative. Would there be any possibility that Obama's election is declared technically invalid and the presidency handed over to McCain, after all he was the guy who once while campaigning in primaries burst into singing 'bomb bomb bomb Iran'. At least then General Petraeus will have a perfect match. I was wondering as a member of national Security Council has Hillary Clinton suspended disbelief of her disbelief or that was just to garner headlines as a member of senate committee.

The world view : Afghanistan

It is quite refreshing to see overall optimism and definitely a new sense of purpose on the world stage ever since Obama ascended Presidency of United States. The gratification stems from the fact that despite economic down turn one can see a glimmer of hope over the horizon. Down side of such a world view is that it can accompany complacency as the towering problems, regional imbalances and the wide spread chasm and deprivations cannot and will not disappear without being addressed squarely. The wrongs committed since time immemorial and aggravated and neglected during the Bush presidency due to lack of shear willingness or capacity to understand have created fragile situation which demand immediate genuine address. Unfortunately, there are no solutions, which can be pulled out by use of a magic wand but would require delicate hard work, willingness to understand and work towards assuaging the hurt sensibilities caused by years of ignorance and arrogance of powers to be. The region that requires immediate and without fail any attention is the conundrum in Afghanistan, which has has now almost overtaken much of polity and geography in Pakistan. One can be forgiven for being cynical about genuineness of the efforts being made, which brings the realization if problem is really understood. In the absence of basic and unbiased understanding no solution is going to have any lasting effect. Increase in the number of NATO troops in spring and a decrease in autumn, in an imitation of out of depth federal reserve and other world bankers in a desperate attempt to save capitalism, will definitely will not have any impact and will certainly not stop swelling of jihadi ranks. The impending implosion of Pakistan has its roots in its very creation and subsequent failure in establishment of a genuine political system and long unchecked periods of unbridled military regimes who did bidding for Western alliance up to the near end of cold war era. And the Western power while prophesying democracy had no scruples to deal with and encourage dictatorial military regimes in the country starting from Ayub Khan during to cold war era to Parvez Musharraf in the reign of war on terror. The parallel happenings in Afghanistan with deposition of King Zaheer in 1973 and subsequent violent changes of regimes until the ill conceived Soviet invasion in 1979 created a ground for the proxy battle between two super powers and both had no scruples in forwarding own interests at the cost of the fragile region including its impoverished population. The turmoil in Afghanistan spilled over to Pakistan in the form of refugees and the overlapping ethnic affinities in the frontier regions of two countries generated a common state of crisis, which regime in Pakistan set out to exploit to the hilt. The new found status as a front line state against spread of communism brought legitimacy to Zia-ul-Haq regime in Pakistan and opened the flood gate to Western and Middle Eastern aid in the form of cash and weaponry. Fighters of all hues, nationalists to fundamentalists, were all heavily rewarded for fight against soviet occupation and opium cultivation never was never a problem. In fact, the cash generated from the proceeds of drug pedaling was spent on arms for fight against Soviets. Westerner and Pakistan intelligence agencies joined hand in training jihadis. The scenario started unraveling after the collapse of soviet block and withdrawal of occupation force. Mujahideens and ward lords who had made profession out of their fight against communism, now turned on each and like never before a total chaos over took Kabul and rest of Afghanistan. This was the very opportune moment when west took its leave from the forsaken place and left it to fend itself.
You're my sunshine; Chase away the raindrops;
Make it all worthwhile;
Make all the pain stop;
Just like a river;
Keep love flowing;
Don't let our world stop;
Keep it going;

I used to wonder;
Where would I find;
Some kind of happiness;
And peace of mind;
I was living in darkness;
But then you came;
Bringing the sunlight;
Easing my pain;

If there's a heaven;
Then this is my prayer;
Lord knows I want to know you;
If we should meet there;
And then forever;
We'll walk together;
Nothing but sunshine;
No more stormy weather;
-Imortal genius of Ray Charles

Friday, January 8, 2010

Criminal and Amitabh Bachchan

Today's Hindustan Times carried a picture of Amitabh Bachchan standing with Narender Modi. Probably in connection with promotion of his new movie. Any wonder how craving more more and more money makes even big talking people spinless. But then Amitabh Bachchan is just a human trying to earn his wages even if that means hobnobing with criminals like Modi. But perhaps Mr. Bachchan realizes that Modi is tainted with blood of innocents and belongs to prison and by the very presence with him, Mr. Bachchan seems to be condoning misdeeds of a criminal.