A bit of Political Holi?

23 MAR, 2016
by Bikash Mohanty

London Mayor Election is looming closer. It’s a bitter battle. I find it really unsettling. Responsible politicians should only speak about what they plan to do for the people who are voting for them, if elected. That’s all. They should not talk about what others are not planning to do. When they focus more on what others are not planning, then I lose my interest somehow, I feel as if there is something wrong. It’s exactly the situation, back in India as well. They indulge in too much of personal attack. Few days ago, they were discussing about each other’s personal appearance in the British parliament, suggesting other-party leaders to wear proper suits, discussing about their mother and late mother!!! That’s not what you were voted to discuss in the parliament. There in India, they are too busy discussing what government did not do or qualification of ruling party education minister or age/marital status of the opposition party leader. How about you do something different – try some new now. Bring some innovative ideas for the ruling government to consider, which they cannot ignore. That will be something incredible.

China’s growth has been slowing down recently. Matter of concern it is. It might disrupt steady recovery, which USA and UK has observed in last few years. In addition there are quite a few notable currencies in the devaluation path. Its calls for action/industrialization and that leads to increased carbon footprint, hence global warming.  Generous trading, comfortable living may now be at an end. Who knows?! Shall we talk about these topics, instead of appearance, personal attack etc.?

Scorching heat covered the Earth last year like never before, making 2015 by far the hottest year in modern times and raising new concerns about the accelerating pace of climate change. Not only was 2015 the warmest worldwide since 1880, it shattered the previous record held in 2014 by the widest margin ever observed, said the report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "During 2015, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.62 Fahrenheit (0.90 Celsius) above the 20th century average," said the NOAA report. "This was the highest among all years in the 1880-2015 record." Compared to 2014, last year was 0.29 Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius) warmer, the "largest margin by which the annual global temperature record has been broken." There was hardly any winter felt in the UK this year and in India, in the city that I grew up, winter has evaporated long back. I remember wearing heavy jackets while studying my engineering in India during winter evenings and these days, I don’t even consider carrying winter clothing, while travelling to India during winter. While some say it is happening, it is real and we need to clean up our act; others say no need to act, it’s fine because our earth goes through this hot-cold cycle in every could of centuries. So what do we really do? Action or no-action? Studies suggest that London has been estimated to have highest level of harmful air pollutants if any capital in the EU. It is terrifying that 330,000 London children go to school in areas with illegal pollution levels and nearly 10,000 deaths in a year at least can be attributed to London‘s air pollution. These death numbers are similar to the number of deaths cause in middle-east due to terrorism and bombing. Nitrogen dioxide and particulate pollution – largely created by diesel cars, lorries and buses – affects lung health and growth.  So where is the biggest threat? Within or elsewhere?

BREXIT could cost the UK £100 billion and led to 950,000 job losses as the new paper sources claim. Each household could be up to £3,700 poorer each year or more, GDP would be at least 3% lower by 2020 and unemployment could be rise by three percent. FEAR FEAR FEAR! Who is spreading these fears? Are these really validated claims and even though they are valid, how are they compared with the return benefits? What is the actual purpose of European Union? How was it formed, when was it formed and where is it heading? Any idea? Google can help perhaps. As-if we didn’t have enough conflict already!

More than 30 people are dead and more than 200 wounded after explosions struck Brussels during the Tuesday morning rush hour. Condolences to all of the family and loved ones of the victims. May the perpetrators be swiftly brought to justice? But why Brussels? What is the connection? There are multiple stories flying around. Google is always up-to-date and so are our own debate-networks. Killing people cannot be a solution to problem. It is definitely not, no matter what the connection is and what the story is. Killing is such an epidemic, that it spreads like an infectious disease in a community. These need to be converted to kindness sooner; otherwise it will affect everyone, every country. No one is safe really. One can’t simply kill some, assuming they will not be affected one day. No; we are observed over the years that people are being killed from every country, every religion and they are not specifically dark or white in colour. So who is targeting who here? How do we get to bottom of it? Grandmother narrated a story to me, when I was little. It goes like this…The King of a Kingdom once ordered all his citizens to bring and pour a jug of milk in an empty pond before sun rises next day morning, so that the king can observe a unique pond, which is full of milk, rather than usual water. Every citizen tried to cheat, they though it is dark anyways and no one could catch them if they poured a jug of water into the pond instead of milk. Next day morning after the sunrise, the king arrived to observe the milky pond and he was surprised to notice a normal pond full of water. Apparently every citizen thought, no one could catch them and they dropped a jug of water instead of milk. That is the present-day position of our society today. We are all trying to cheat, break the law, kill others, disturb others…assuming in return we will achieve success and our life will be wonderful. No? It’s only a dream, anyways.

In the welcoming sort of dissimilar news; Russia has now ordered to withdraw its army from Syria. Well-done, Bravo. We like that.  I just feel for the people of Syria. Imagine what all they have gone through, so much so that there don’t feel home in their own home, own country. The powerful rich nations are also slowing-down now, in their humanitarian efforts. Syria stands there open, broken and exposes as like a no-man’s land . It’s a good thing, Russia has ordered to pull its army from Syria but why did Russia went there at the first place, for the very first time for a seemingly noble cause?

And Pakistan cricket team has arrived in India to play World Twenty20 cricket tournament. This will be the first time, two teams have played cricket in India, after 8 long years. Two teams are bonding as if lost brothers reunited after a break. Good to see the attitude and aptitude.  There are still people from both sides trying to disturb the integrity by passing unnecessary comments, which has no value, aimed at only personal advantage. What do we do with these comments? Simple – to be ignored. By spreading hatred, some earn their bread for sure. Cricket is like a religion in the Indian subcontinent. Those who are involved in the murky mind-game, fear the sustainability of their bread/income, if there is no competitiveness left (rage instead) between India and Pakistan and two cricket teams. That’s why they can’t tolerate two team bonding well and saying good things about each other.

What am I trying to say? I am saying; THERE IS ALWAYS TWO SIDES TO EVERY STORY. There has been, there is and there will be obstacles always on the way to normality. Never has it been a cake walk.  Fair enough, how do we cross the huddle then? Simply by being honest in our own little world, in our own space, aiming to build an ecosystem of our own, which has honest us, honest friends, honest neighbours, honest colleagues, honest employer, honest politician, and honest life/business partners…everything we select will be nothing but honest. Honesty is not an option but a virtuous asset. If everyone moves a step towards this every day, we make collective and substantial progress. Dishonesty should not be tolerated at any cost, in personal life, at work-space, in society or in the political space. People decide, politicians follow people verdict. They don’t make their own decisions. We have come far-off from the time when we were ruled by kings and emperors. We are more advanced, more educated, more connected, more intelligent, more equipped now; for us to be ruled and imprisoned by politicians and their personal agendas.   Our mother nature cannot satisfy our greed or self-indulgence but she certainly has the capability to feed us every day for free, without the help of the pretending Corporatism who claim to be feeding the world population.

There is distinctive difference between debate and argument. Argument is seen as some sort of power these days. We love to argue and win. Winning is important to us.  If we don’t argue, we have to remain quiet and by remaining quite we appear clueless. Why should we be clueless – that’s our point. We think antonym of argument is silence but it is not. While being silent, we also listen and listening is far more splendid than argument. Whereas; debate does not involve only talking, it also involves listening, considering other’s viewpoints. When we work hard to appear infallible, others will work hard equally to find our faults. By admitting our faults, others will work to help us be infallible. Silly hey? but true. That’s how it works. J You know what I mean?

Do you know what; he is back, he is back bigger, better, everything as last time PLUS pure awesomeness this time. I am talking of someone who taught us “Believe… good things will happen”. Both I and my son adore him, he is our hero. He is playing in a theatre near to you as well. Make some time for him. His name: Kung Fu Panda. He is 3+ this time.

Remember In 2010, how the UN released a report revealing that a vegan diet is the best way to prevent global emissions from worsening climate change? And now, a study from Oxford University relays that by eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables, the world could prevent several million deaths per year by 2050, cut planet-warming emissions substantially, and save billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs and climate damage.

Chalo, with all that thought, let’s call it a day but jate jate/chale chale – let’s have a chuski (refreshing sip)…here it goes…and listen I don’t want to disturb you again after the chuski…you all have a very goodnight, Sabah-Khair and Subh Ratri. And wishing you all a very colourful and eventful HOLI today. Holi is an important festival to Hindus. The festival has many purposes; most prominently, it celebrates the beginning of spring. It is also celebration of love and forgiveness. Rightly so the song goes… Holi ke din dil khil jaate hain rangon mein rang mil jaate hain Gile shiqave bhool ke doston dushman bhi gale mil jaate hain…