Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Obama, Nobel, State-of-the-world, Diwali, Human relations

I'll soon start using POPUPS instead of footnotes. This will help my readers avoid too much of "up-and-down-and-up.." kind of scrolling in my posts. Please wait for a few days till that happens. Thanks!

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 LPG will 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!
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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 :-)
  7. Globally, the banking system is in a fine mess (India is an exception).
  8. Governments need to now focus on sustainable projects that drive real growth rather than projects generating paper money and paper wealth.
  9. 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.
Wishing you a great festive season ahead!
~

8 comments:

Akshay said...

Pretty interesting concoction of thoughts. All Valid points in their own rights.

-> I expect the US economy to bounce back and come strong once again though; their fundamentals are extremely strong.

-> On Obama, I believe the idea was it’s rewarded to people who represent peace in the world. No man does that more today than Obama. If not Obama - may I ask who else leads in the “peace” arena?
He has done a lot in the image and possibilities of peace (he’s been in the international public eye for much longer than his presidency).

This is what Michael Moore said “How outstanding that you’ve been recognized today as a man of peace. Your swift, early pronouncements — you will close Guantanamo, you will bring the troops home from Iraq, you want a nuclear weapon-free world, you admitted to the Iranians that we overthrew their democratically-elected president in 1953, you made that great speech to the Islamic world in Cairo, you’ve eliminated that useless term “The War on Terror,” you’ve put an end to torture — these have all made us and the rest of the world feel a bit more safe considering the disaster of the past eight years. In eight months you have done an about face and taken this country in a much more sane direction.

In turn, I agree and I am glad Obama won it. He is the torch-bearer of an all new America.

It also lays the foundation of responsibility he has to live up to now. And he knows it.


Happy Diwali to you too :)

Akshay Kothari said...

Respected Sir,
Surely the world we are living in is very unpredictable.Calculations,logics,
predictions,analysis,forecasting are the words people actually afraid before commenting on because possibility of getting favourable results have drastically fallen.
We have experianced the truth-

Everything goes very fine and some day news flashes that Lehman Brothers have filed bankruptcy and the result is that people who used to enjoy weekends are actually saving some dollars to sustain in future.

Stock analysts were shouting day and night about fundamentals,EPS,PE ratios of companies but when stock sheds 90%from all time high there is actually nothing left to calculate and comment on.

Everytime some new disease strikes the world and whole humanity cries accept the company which has petent for that drug.

There are serial blasts in almost every big city and still that Goverment wins just because of hope of its kind citizens-"AAM AADMI KE BADHTE KADAM,HAR KADAM PAR BHARAT BULAND"
How much secured i feel listening that!!

Yesterday i talked to my friend and asked about his bussiness this diwali he said only one thing-
"Kisaan ke paas paisa hi nahi hai bazzar kaise chalega,poore market ki halat kharab hai" sounds very interesting.

And today MONEY is the major criteria for HUMAN RELATIONS and without money we are trying our best to maintain them.Hatts of to us.

At last this diwali we can just Light the lamps of hope for Happiness and Prosperity.
Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous diwali.

Thanks
Proton Akshay
FALL09

manoj said...

Manoj kumar

Respected Sir,
I fell great to read your thought with your point of view.
It is really seemed unjustified with the Nobel peace prize.
but still I think - Obama made a clarity to world about his Iraq war and as well as afghan.
and he try to resolve many other issue as we all know..Russia and north Korea...
he had done the things which no else had done as to be president of USA.

but I also think - Does he deserve Nobel peace prize ??.. than.. still question remain there ???
thank you to share great thoughts on the issue

warm regards
PROTON Manoj
spring 09

himanshu said...

These are interesting thoughts which certainly would invite discussion as view points vary, so before I put across my point wish you and the entire PT family and members a very happy diwali.

The US economy would bounce back because countries like China, Japan would make that happen as there future depends on the US, I am not sure I have seen the kind of changes US needs to make to ensure that they do not face similar situation again. This country needs to make fundamental changes in its economic model it needs to go from a credit based economy to balance of debt and credit base economy. Warren Buffet has been talking about these fundamental changes in US for a long time, the changes which would be driven by people as the bail out by government has already starting to worry all economist you can not keep bailing out or owning business which are based on long flawed principals.
So US economy would rebound because the world needs it to rebound for there survival particularly China and Japan but I have believe the fundamental changes which are needed are still not be done.

Obama when my wife Nidhi saw him first time on TV she said he is destiny's child and the world needed hope after 8 years of disaster in US. This is country has great values and principals on which it was founded where a Obama becomes the president that’s hope and the world at large needs hope these days hence he gets the noble peace prize, in hope....
My personal opinion says history is the greatest teacher( Sorry Sandeep) and time would tell whether awarding Obama the Noble peace prize was indeed what the world needed or not.

However the world is changing and we need signs every where as the Oracles use to predict the future in the Greek civilization we can only hope that we see the light on the horizon.
Cheers for now
Jigme Nivsarkar

rhishikesh said...

Personally i do not feel that he should be given the nobel peace prize when there are other people who have had done more then he ever dreamed of....! it seem the nobel prize committe was very inspired by his peace talks(speeches). but ther's lot of difference between reality and hope(hope is ofcourse the magical potion to live)!! we can get hope from peace, peace from love and love from co-operation(vishwabandhuta, samata mamata...and all that)!! and through co-operation prosperity!! but we just cant start handing out prizes becoz someone is talking about world peace. india is doing it continously for so many years. shree shree ravishankar representing it. nothing has changed as far as US is concerned. it's most selfish nation in the world. circumstances are changing. Obama is behaving strictly with India. He is still not changing his attitude towards Pakistan.(handing out packages to them). Its all very complicated and he is trying hard to simplify it. It’s worth a try according to the nobel comitte. And thers also the possibility that us will remain sole superpower for next few years as there is no strong opponent to it( not even china)!!

Sandeep Manudhane said...

Rhishikesh - indeed! He is a great orator, very balanced, and that surely impresses people a lot!

Jigme - you and Nidhi are quite right when you refer to him as "destiny's child".. that summarises a lot of things in one shot!

Manoj - thanks for reading!

Akshay (Kothari) - that's quite a lot.. good. Keep writing!

Akshay - yes, he has to live upto it, provided the vested interests allow him to.

Cheers!

Keyur said...

Respected Sir,

Thank you for your insightful thoughts. Certainly, I still wondered why the hell 'Mr. Obama' was given a Nobel Prize. It may be true that he made the 'American Army' back to their home and also made his best to resolve the issue of Russia and North-Korea.

My argue is that if somebody treated for working only nine months for 'Global Peace', then WHY THE INDIAN POLITICAL LEADERS HAS NOT BEEN TREATED YET? As, all may be knowing after independence the Indian Government is trying hard to stop 'TERRORISM' BY NOT TAKING ANY STRICT STEPS AGAINST PAKISTAN!!!!??

Sandeep Sir, doesn't you think the Indian Political Leaders should be treated as a Nobel Prize for doing nothing against Pakistan and also for Protection of our Country and people AS WELL!!! Still in every weak there is at least one 'terrorist attack' in J&K and also at least one big attack in any of the state of India in every six month.

According to my view, Indian Political Leaders deserve much more than AN 'OBAMA'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!???

Am I right Sir?

Happy Diwali and a Prosperous New year.

Regards,
Keyur Joshi

Sandeep Manudhane said...

Keyur - Mahatma Gandhi deserved it the most, but he was far larger than the prize itself. After that, indeed, there have been Indian leaders who have done wonderfully well, but somehow not many have made an international mark that the prize committee would understand.