Monday, May 2, 2011

RIP Osama Bin Laden

The media is flooded with the details of 57 years of OBL which is an interesting journey of a teenager who had money to burn, time to spare and a young brain to be influenced by extremist teachings. A youth who initially cooperated with the Western forces against the Soviets and then, with the same or rather more vengeance fought against all that they held dear to their heart. A man who is held responsible for thousands who died first in the terrorist attacks and then in the "War against terror".
So, we have seen in a period of nine and a half years the world transform. It has gone from world dominated by supremacy of U.S. economy, trading in U.S. currency and fighting its wars with U.S. weapons to a world that faced recession due to U.S. economy and trades in many other currencies and still fights its wars with U.S. weapons. Today, growth is in Asian markets and unemployment is commonplace in the western economies. The FILTH days (failed in London try Hongkong) have given way to FISHTAIL days (Failed in Shanghai trying again in London). Not only the Call centres but major production centres have moved to East.
But why talk of economy at the time of death of a big name that personified terrorism in the world? Only the naive and the idealist think of terrorism as something driven solely by ideology. The more pragmatic know that local power brokering, oil and weapon industry and drug trafficking are the main drivers of all so-called terror outfits. So Osama is gone, but all the factors that created him still survive - rather are stronger than before as the Middle East totters between fanatic dictators, weak monarchs and anarchy, corruption eats away the vitality of the masses of the new economic powers of the Asian and South Asian region.
These are the moments when we can make of break our destiny. This is the time for calling quits on the confronting brand of world politics and trying to bring around consensus to slowly bring the heat down between the different factions that the world finds itself in today's situation.
Finally, RIP Osama, hope that we don't have to see another life like his.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

United India Pakistan

I am writing this incident not just because it happened with me but the underlying truth is so important that we all must teach ourselves and the next generation the lessons to be drawn from it. I would have loved to record the whole conversation that I describe below, but that time little did I know where it will ultimately lead to. So here goes my conversation with a Taxi driver in Auckland on 13th Dec. 2006.

I took this cab right opposite my office which was in Central Auckland and sat, as is my habit, in the front. The fellow looked Indian and when he put on the radio to Tarana, which is a fully Hindi radio channel of NZ, I congratulated myself on my sharp (?) observation powers. I started making simple remarks like, who I am, for what I am in Auckland etc. The conversation reached a point where we were discussing holidays and how all locals here have almost two months off at Xmas. I said in India we have more need of holidays near Dashera, Diwali and Eid. Then I asked him his name - He said after a little hesitation Quaisar (not too sure of the spelling). I said which part of India you hail from, this time with more hesitation he said - Pakistan. I took it in my stride and immediately countered it with - "Ha asal mein to hum ek hi hain na!!". Then to my surprise, he went into statistical details of how much part of both the countries goes into defence spending. He also referred to the media hype and the propoganda machinery of the western powers that keep on feeding the fires of hatred between the two communities in particular and all our neighbouring countries in general.

I commented that India and Pak are divided just because of politics otherwise even I have my Grand parental home in Multan and so many cultural ties are common between both the so called nations. Finally, we reached my school site, the meter read - $53.60. I gave him 3 $20 bills, he gave me $10 back. I said "Sorry but I don't have change" To this he said, "Aapas ki baat hai chalta hai"

Can I dream of United States of India ?