Monday, January 8, 2007

What to Choose?

I stumbled upon two interesting ideas that can radically baby or bust the boom India.

Ok, the rosy picture first. We are doing well. The world is braced up to defeat its growth of the nicest economic decades till now – 1950s and 1960s. This decade seems to win a better world for us; a possible world of cheeky socialists is evaporating away. Asia outsmarting America's GDP forecast in 2007 by a factor of four is good news any season. India’s budget is not budging away from its main target of investment this year: infrastructure. Morgan Stanley research reveals that Indian manufacturers pay electricity costs twice as much as their Chinese rivals and railway transport three times as much.

No wonder, there is an outcry to revamp or may be, install a durable infrastructure to turn investors away from China. Feb 28th is when the financial wisdom would either be rewarded or repelled.

But, I was bugged by our famed president making freaky wishes in a business newspaper on Jan 1st. He still wants to send somebody to moon. Examine Indian roads; they look no different than moon’s road-less surfaces. What use is sending a man to moon when most of his fellow men are left with no other option but to commit suicide in the face of failing crops. Even Mr. President’s take on technology is ridiculous; too much of technology is too bad. Nanotechnology can help cure diseases and get surgeries done effortlessly and painlessly. But, the same technology can alter man into a monster. While embracing a technology, one also has to alert – especially if your audience are gullible students – to the evils too. Good Luck Mr. President; bad luck students.

The second idea was about the newfound –but old- cog in the axis of evil: Iran. My ears have overgrown listening to accusations against America; its primary interest in the Middle East is oil, not to spread democracy. In this case, I stand on a double-edged sword (the metaphor of American exceptionalism devised by the late Semour Martin Lipset {1922-2006}). Americans have an exceptional interest in oil as well as an emotional interest to spread democracy. It’s hard to understand whether America is good or bad except for the context and the circumstances it invokes its choices. Yet, I believe that without it, the Middle East crisis can barely be solved. So, let Bush ambush it with his vulcans’ flailing policies; repeated failures should teach one where to draw the line or else one lands in a spiral of sins.

Ok, Iran is inviting trouble by not budging away from its nuclear programme. Whatever reasons it may give or whomsoever it alleges to trigger its nuclear needs (America or Israel), there is no point of peace with it. Ahmedinijad is a defiant leader who rarely exhibits any reason: not because he thinks the Jewish holocaust is a myth, but because he thinks he can bully others with nuclear power. No attempts to justify having a nuclear power (whether it is by India, North Korea or America) are convincing. Lowering the current nuclear arsenal makes sense rather than adding up to it. One prominent political journalist, Jonathan Schell, wrote in The Fate of Earth: “death is death; extinction is death of death.” What’s the point in accruing arsenals when a million Somalians are dying in Darfur and no one comes to their rescue. Today’s world seems to require humanistic weapons: dialogue and a passionate heart.

Fine, what makes Iran so defiant of even the UN? From where does it get its miraculous powers to disobey democratic powers and resist diplomacy? I was a stunned by an answer from somewhere in my hippocampus. Iran threatens to shut the Straits of Harmuz that can prevent a fifth of the world’s oil from reaching the market. Bingo, the oil price can shoot up to $100 a barrel and finally rattle the world’s stock markets. Crises define politics, it appears. But, for me or perhaps for everyone, every day is a crisis of choice among consensuses and conflicts. Making concessions for either of the options is wisdom; siding with either of them, violence. One has to know when to hold on and when to let go. Why does Bush or America or the world or even me doesn’t understand this Biblical breakthrough.

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