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Showing posts from September, 2008

It is just not an American crisis but a global crisis, which might see a tectonic shift of power from the West!!!

The American financial system has hit its worst crisis ever. The crisis has been evident from the fact that in a given day, Dow Jones lost more than 4 per cent, which has been its steepest fall ever since the 9/11 attacks! It all started when Lehman Brothers, one of the largest US investment banks, filed for bankruptcy protection. As if this wasn’t enough, another equally big investment banker, Merrill Lynch, resorted to a merger with the Bank of America, and along with all this, the world’s largest insurer, American International Group (AIG) was also found gasping for breath! In fact, the signals for such an impending crisis were visible from the time the sub-prime meltdown had started, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac literally getting buried under the debris of bad mortgages. No wonder, this is just the beginning; and the big question in everyone’s mind is clearly: who is going to be the next casualty, and how far would this crisis extend. But more than what meets the eye, as far as

Needless Hoo Ha Over Et Tu Hu

There are no permanent friends and enemies; only permanent interests. Thanks to the legacy of foreign policy idealism left behind by Jawaharlal Nehru, India often forgets this basic tenet when it comes to pursuing national interests. The result is a yo-yo of knee jerk emotional reactions swinging from love and hatred. One day, China is perceived as the Asian partner along with whom India will herald the Asian century. That euphoria quickly gives way to hysteria and anger over the so-called duplicity of the Dragon. Both reactions are childish and miles away from the kind of hard headed and unemotional pursuit of foreign policy that is required of a modern nation state. Till days before the NSG meeting, it was reported that it was the smaller nations like Ireland, Switzerland and New Zealand that opposed the formal recognition of India as a nuclear power. There were appreciative murmurs of how China was keeping its commitment and supporting the deal. Suddenly, all hell broke loose and t

Finally – for a change – a few good words for bush!

As the final curtains on George Bush’s presidential stint begins, media space, blog space and myriad forms of literature are increasingly getting full of reflections from journalists, columnists, foreign policy experts, and leaders, on his tenure as a president. The matter of fact is that probably, there would not be any other American president who has received such blatant criticism on all aspects, and from all walks of life. So much so that it has been predicted by some publications and reports that Bush would go down in the pages of American history as the worst president ever. Some articles have gone to the extent of stating that President Bush would fare even worse than President Harding – the president during the Great Depression! But amidst all this, there have been a few articles that were carried out in Foreign Affairs, The Economist and some other globally recognised media houses, which had caught my attention. Not because of anything else, but on account of the perspective

Shameful religious extremism on the rise…

Over some time, I’ve been pondering over some disturbing trends that are evolving in the Indian society. These trends are so very hazardous that if they are left to themselves, then they are potent enough to completely destroy the secular and democratic fabric of our society. The bigger concern is that both the government and the civil society (the elite) are so engrossed in themselves, that they seem to be purposefully overlooking this problem. They are least bothered as these developments nowhere affect them directly. And this conspiracy of silence from all quarters is what is so very bothersome, and is giving leeway to the ones who stand to challenge every aspect of our democratic setup, at will! For they know that there is nothing that can contain them, and in the given environment, they are increasingly becoming more conspicuous with their acts. My concerns are with respect to religious extremism and its most dangerous manifestation in the form of collective vandalism. Unfortunate