It is a good time of reading. However it is far from catching up with all the relevant stuff being poured in. Yet, my theory is that one should be satisfied if he is lucky enough to have a fairly good reading of two newspapers daily, one or two periodicals a week and a novel to rely on during the free hours. At the moment I am happy.
What does dominate the newspaper space these days? In my opinion, it is ‘global warming’. Be it pink or white. For us, the lay readers, the transcript of the Walk the Talk with Montek Singh Ahluvaliah, appeared a few weeks before in Indian Express was very enlightening. He exposes the absurdity behind the West-US combine’s argument for emission reduction. That developed countries will reduce emission by 80 percent and developing countries 20 percent.
The fact is that this proposal is still tilted in favour of the most industrialized nations which have been emitting green house gases for about 150 years. He argues for a per capita approach in estimating pollution which will show that developed countries’ emission level is four times higher than ours. 'Everyone in the world should have an equal carbon footprint. Pollution per person should be equalised', says Montek.
One positive development in the world politics is the election of 50-year old Kevin Rudd as Australia’s new prime minister. His ratification of Kyoto Protocol, isolating US in their arrogant defiance against mandatory emission cut, is a sign of promise. In US presidential run, all candidates are on back foot when they are asked about their commitment towards emission cut. In Al Gore, we missed a great American President.
I had a sudden disappointment to read Chavez can’t contest in the next poll because I believe we need him for some more time. I have been noticing him since his G77 chairmanship. He caught the imagination of every one who retains little bit of socialist sentiments with them. Yet, his bid for constitutional reform was ambitious and far-fetched. In a way, it is good that he bowed to democratic pressures; because absolute power leads to absolute corruption.
Putin personified confidence and a nation’s resurgence. However, the story of he sitting on a huge empire of parallel wealth aroused curiosity.
Modi and a few questions
Back home, things seem to be disillusioning, for all humanists. Modi’s landslide victory on the back of lies, murders, hatemongering and demagogue exposes Congress weakness than his skillfulness. A ‘Maut Ke Saudagar’ attribute to Modi in front of a crowd which is largely insensitive to communal killings apparently had no appeal. Though, the Indian liberal elite cheered Sonia.
Congress should have first created an environment that is receptive to the ideas of secularism, peace, brotherhood and love before going on offensive against Modi for his excesses. Such build-up was not there. The Congress network was practically absent in entire Gujarat while Modi was ruling the roost. An organizationally weak party can hope nothing but to remain a meek opposition.
Modi’s observation on Gujarat Pradesh Congress allows a glimpse at this man’s incisiveness. He was correct in saying that “the local team of Congress was a complete disappointment as opponents” (ToI, Dec 26). “Congress lost election much before election. It should have played an aggressive opponent from the beginning. It could have occupied the entire opposition space. But it didn’t do what any opposition is required to do”. The post-election performance analysis for Congress was also done by Modi.
The vigour shown by English print media was not seen in Congress’ attack on Modi. Among all the write-ups condemning the hate politics practiced by Modi, I liked ‘Why Modi must go’ by Shiv Visvanathan (Indian Express, Dec 14). http://www.indianexpress.com/printerFriendly/249968.html
In spite of all sincere efforts to evoke the conscience of the electorate, Modi emerged more powerful, a challenge yet to be effectively dealt with by the liberal India. Modi’s success also points to the little influence India’s liberal elite has in its mass politics.
The best election reporting I spotted was Varghese K. George’s coverage of Modi’s speech. Reporting a speech can at times excel all the labourious political analysis we do.
‘In 30 minutes, Modi names himself 29 times, BJP 6, and in slip asks: me as PM?’ http://www.indianexpress.com/story/250181.html
The megalomaniac shade of Modi, repeating his name in every 60 seconds, his intention to outgrow his own party and an indomitable secret desire to conquer Delhi, everything is best explained in Modi’s own words.