Obama, Nobel, State-of-the-world, Diwali, Human relations
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The past few days brought a flurry of emotions along. Alongside the hectic preparations for despatching Diwali greetings and gifts to friends and colleagues across India, came the news of Obama getting the Nobel peace prize, and some wonderful articles in business dailies on the state of the world (economy). Also, interesting discussions with colleagues on human relations in today's changing times made me wonder on a lot of things. Penning the same here.. enjoy!
The world is not only changing at a rapid pace it seems to be longing for a return to the old normal - the steady and predictable state as it was in 1970s and 80s. I can sense that from the rather unexpected desperation of tone evident in reputed columns of international publications.
The sombre mood post the grand global crunch has totally changed expectations all around. Massive restructuring is taking place in the world economy, which is now a government dominated structure which many of us accustomed to the fruits of LPGwill fail to recognise properly!
I also came across this wonderfully written article by Prof.Jeffrey D. Sachs that spoke about the perils of government sponsored bailouts without a focus on longterm sustainable infrastructure projects. I found this very useful.
Set at a 180 degrees contrast to this global sense of doom comes Dipawali - the Indian festival of lights celebrating Lord Rama's triumphant return to his kingdom. The joyful nature of such almost religion-agnostic public festivals in India gives us food for thought. Such occasions also give a unique opportunity to examine human relations.
Let me share my thoughts pointwise!
The Western superpowers have realised that the years of irresponsible propsperity are almost over. This is a crude realisation, brought about by a sudden collapse of their world-dominating capitalistic structure.
We should expect a lot of humble gestures from the US towards the Arab world, China, and also erstwhile rogue states like Iran and N Korea. The US is in such deep trouble that it will dare not mess with anyone in a significant manner now.
The dramatic award of Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama for doing nothing worthwhile at all for peace till date is indicative of the fear of the Western world that their carefully arranged deck of cards may be falling apart. This award shows that when it comes to rallying behind the chief marksman of their civilisation (forget the often kiddish trans-Atlantic Euro-US rivalry), any authority in the West will go to any extent.
My take is - the award of the Nobel to President Obama is an award for the "future hopes" rather than "past achievements". In this, surely it's a Nobel first!
India celebrates its festivals despite any raging global issues. This is quite fantastic and indicates the detachment of Indian economy from a large part of speculative world economy. Celebrations, after all, are a very strong indicator of emotions, which are directly linked to reality.
Human relations are taking a turn for the worse. The way people related to each other is no longer what it used to be. Money and materialism is the ONLY driving force for many. I had a pleasant experience today when one of the most influential persons in my city called me (in response to a lovingly sent Diwali card and gift) and said "Sandeep, it is nice to see a person of your generation maintaining relations with my generation. Most people in this city have forgotten the importance of relationships." I realised things are truly going downhill. So friends, spare that extra moment and warmly wish your loved ones a great Diwali :-)
Globally, the banking system is in a fine mess (India is an exception).
Governments need to now focus on sustainable projects that drive real growth rather than projects generating paper money and paper wealth.
I met a young professional working with India's biggest private sector bank today. He told me that banks are now pushing pre-paid cards rather than credit cards. There were interesting insights in this.