IN A STRANGE WORLD

Reportedly, Iran wants to build a nuclear bomb but it cannot; Greece would like to keep its way of living through free spending and borrowing but is not allowed to do so; China and India each has plenty of coal which they would like to use as fuel and as a means to generate electricity but because of the quantity of Sulphur they would emit into the atmosphere the rest of the world would not tolerate it. In this way, sovereign countries are being forced to relinquish their prerogatives to satisfy the opinion of the world. It also proves that all countries, rich or poor, democracies or dictatorships, depend on each other and that many of their problems are not confined to a specific geographic region including their own. The problems are rather global in nature.

For example, the United States wanted to tweak its monetary policy to correct its financial market. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund suggested that the United States' action would adversely affect the world-economy. The Obama administration refrained from going ahead. Recently, when China devalued its currency, every country seemed to have cried foul. By devaluing the currency China would be better able to push its goods into other countries cheaply whereas making the goods and services of others more expensive within its border. This is a very interesting development. Gone are the days when one country could go it alone without taking others into consideration. Because the problems that have taken shape are really global. Therefore, their solution requires help from everyone.

This interlocking, mutual dependence has created some interesting alliances among different countries. In Pakistan, for example, the middle class favors democracy like India and the United States have. However, its military prefers to retain dominance in the governing. More often than not, it allies with the Taliban groups determined to overthrow democracy lock stock and barrel. At the same time, the Pakistani military gets a billion dollar grant every year from Uncle Sam for maintenance. So far, successive US administrations have looked the other way in spite of Pakistan's continuous duplicity. The US could not confront Pakistan because it depended on Pakistan's good will and cooperation to carry on its challenges to al Qaeda. The situation now is different.

Like their respective governments, people in different countries are also connecting with each other. Because of new tools like Facebook, twitter and skype people from remote areas as well as from big cities are connecting with each other at a mind boggling rate. They are spreading ideas as well as life styles. For example, the Supreme Court of the United States recently removed restrictions on marriage allowing individuals from the same sex to get married regardless of their religious orientation. This creates a groundbreaking situation at all levels both for society and government. The news of the Supreme Court decision has traveled far and wide. Countries that mistreated those with different sexual orientation are flagged for human rights violations. The gay and transgender population in India are emboldened enough by their American counterparts to demand respect and protection.

The media is also doing its part in the process. Even if it sensationalizes incidents, its reporting of facts enhances awareness among people in different parts of the world. That is how the spread of Ebola in the African continent, the beheading of innocent citizens by ISIS, the crisis of confidence in the economy of Greece, the shortage of consumer goods in Iran, kleptocracy in Russia and the swindling among powerful people in different countries find their way into public-narration. This makes not only the economy of the world globalized but culture, life style and even politics globalized. Therefore, when Hillary Clinton says "It takes a village to raise a child" she is not far off. Any child born today bears the mark of changes taking place around the world. Many good things are happening in various fields of knowledge. At the same time, the squandering of resources both in human and material terms is happening at a tragic speed. Mankind in the meantime is grappling to find a way for a permanent solution to this ongoing problem. The people of India have a big role to play in this global game. As time goes by, hopefully, they will assert their proper role.


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