Four Stray Thoughts : October 8, 2009

Here are my Four Stray Thoughts for October 8, 2009

  1. Going ga-ga over Indians: It is the time of the year when the Nobel Prizes are announced. It is a good thing that scientists/researchers who have devoted almost their whole lives to an area of interest are being recognized. However, the areas that they have been given award for go over the head of most of us. And that includes me too. I just cannot seem to connect/identify with the areas that they are getting recognized for. Yes I am ignorant and cannot understand and I admit that. At the same time, I applaud silently the efforts that these humans have put in that have got them this recognition. The one thing that I do not seem to indulge in is getting all excited if an Indian happens to be on the list. An Indian has won this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The media seems to go hyper over an Indian winning. C’mon the Nobel Prizes are meant to honor humans and do not bring in Nationality, etc. We end up looking so small when we start saying that a person is an Indian, he was born in so and so village, he was a good student in school. Then even his teacher and neighbours appear on the media and extol the virtues and get their 2 minutes of fame by claiming that they had seen the spark in him even when he was a kid, etc. Please do not do discredit to the person himself and to all mankind by behaving so cheaply. It were one to look at reality, then you should instead cover if the person would have been able to achieve the same results had he stayed back in India. Think about it. In any case, congratulations to Mr. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and all the winners of this years Nobel Prize in their respective categories.
  2. Asteroids hitting Earth: There is a news once again that an Asteroid is going to miss hitting the Earth in 2036 but it is on a collision course with Earth in 2068. Read it here. I am not an astronomy buff and this sort of news is laughable at times. Should I be doing an impromptu break dance now that I know that the asteroid will not be landing on my head 27 years from now? Or should I get depressed and sit under a rock with my head in my hands knowing that 59 years later, a big stone might actually fall on my head.  I just find these news items amusing. Given the state of our Mumbai roads, I am confident that it will resemble one big pothole in which the asteroid can comfortable land in. Maybe that is the solution that we and our BMC is waiting for to set our roads correct. Alas, we could have got the solution in another 27 years from now but the damn asteroid decided not to hit us and said he will come back later in 2068.
  3. Election Non-Issues: The State Elections in Maharashtra are due in less than a week from today. Apart from the name calling and shouting that is happening all over, one piece conspicuously missing is any debate on the real issues that are facing the common people. Our leaders need to understand that we are not interested if someone is a rat or a dog or even a snake. We are not even interested if someone is a Jinnah. In fact we do not mind if these animals can actually solve our real problems or at least discuss them. I fail to understand why any party does not discuss issues like rising prices, broken down infrastructure (power / water woes), endemic corruption, etc. I guess they do not have entertainment values and are way past their sell by date as far as the parties and our media are concerned.

  4. The mystery of the Taliban: A bomb went off in front of the Indian embassy in Kabul and several people got killed. This is nothing new as far as Afghanistan is concerned. At the same time, regular drone bombs will bomb out the militants hideout and several of them will get killed too. These are regular occurences and I personally see no solution because you cannot deal with the Taliban. But a news item caught my interest today. It says that India will support reconciliation with the moderate Taliban. I am amazed at our stand if this is indeed true especially after so many bitter experiences starting with the Indian Airlines hijack, release of some terrorists, few bombings at our embassy, abduction of our workers, etc. There are two points that catch my fancy in the statement: ‘reconciliation’ and ‘moderate Taliban’. A moderate Taliban, what kind of a joke is that? And reconciliation is something that has to made based on justice otherwise it cannot be sustained. I do agree that reconciliation is required but that has to be done between the two parties that are at loggerheads with each other. Here we do not understand who the two parties are. On one side is US and all other countries (India included) and on the other side is whom? Is it the moderate Taliban, the bad Taliban, Pakistan, who ? When even the two parties are not clear to anyone, where is the question of reconciliation?
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