Sunday, April 19, 2009

Obama under Indian lens

Obama under Indian lens

It appears that Obama might visit India soon. People would be looking at the event with interest. One set of admirers would no doubt applaud his color, without reference to his stance about India. Another set, less given to emotions, would look quite critically, and comparisons with Bush would inevitable. Of course, this visit will take only after the general elections in India are over and dust settles considerably. I am sure his advisers will advise him on this aspect, and not rush such a visit.

The popular, but quite a misleading perception here is that the Bush administration was more favourably disposed towards India and that the Obama policies may be more prickly for the mandarins in New Delhi.

But, this perception is partially [only partially] true. Bush was seized with one big idea: to improve America’s bilateral relationship with India, which had been estranged over the nuclear issue. Hence the singleminded determination with which he pursued the July 2005 civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, firmly overruling the objections of the non-proliferation zealots in the Beltway. Though here too the opinions are split. In contrast, Obama is keen on pouring money into Pakistan, to the chagrin of India.

USA is generally viewed as an unreliable strategic partner, and USA does not have an exactly a big share of Indian arms shopping. Time and again American military manufacturers have submitted their hardware for evaluation, always to falter at export license. Spin off is still there for the manufacturers, as their equipment is put to exacting tests and evaluation. And Indian evaluations go far, very very far. On this score Obama is yet to tested, and who knows he might as well pass too.

The bilateral relations have been at very frustrating cusp, and only a little push is all that is required to hurtle them this or that way. The US military-industrial complex aware of this, post-May 1998, that engagement with India was in Washington’s larger interest. But Bush does not appear to have pursued this with diligence.

While Bush kept himself clear of Kashmir issue, Obama tried to rush in. But fortunately, wiser counsels have prevailed and he back tracked from a pro-active [read anti India] stance. But his initial moves are not likely to be forgotten in a hurry, and an element of suspicion would remain.

But only the future would tell.

Friday, March 20, 2009



While Brahma was seeing into the distant future, He murmured: This  NOMOPHOBIA might be the nemesis of man.

These murmurs were heard across the universe, and Indra was disturbed,  He hastened to Brahma and craved permission to ask a question.  Permission was granted.

Indra: Sire, you murmured about Nomophobia. This word is so mysterious  and incomprehensible.

Spake Brahma: Listen, O Indra. This word is made up of NO, MO(bile)  and phobia. This is a new manifestation of FEAR, which will be  apparent in in the 53rd century after the start of Kali yuga, also  then known as 21st century AD.

Indra: Sire, why is this dreadful entity being allowed?

Brahma: Dear son, I am the Originator of knowledge. I permitted only  the invention of mobile phones. A noble device, if used in righteous  way. But man has base tendencies too. He can pervert any noble object.  He will use mobile phones in a licentious ways, and thus allow it to  dominate himself.

Indra: How is this phobia to be identified, Sire?? Man must be  imparted this profound knowledge too, in my humble opinion.

Brahma: That will be so, Indra. Man has a right to knowledge.  It is no sin to acquire it. In fact, it would be a grave injustice  if this knowledge is withheld. But, son, it is for man to utilize that  knowledge.

Indra: Sire, enlighten me.

Brahma: It's the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. This fear  will be about running out of battery, credit, losing one's handset,  being in places out of network coverage etc. Those suffering from fear  of being in closed places like dungeons will suffer even more, as they  may be out of the reach of the network coverage. And those dungeons,  called basements, will be for righteous pursuits.

Indra: Sire, if I might ask. How wide spread will this phobia be??

Brahma: In the said century, WWW would be widespread. A godling called  GOOGLE will help those men who are willing to be informed. About 53%  of users will be affected by not having network coverage. Men will  suffer more than women, because it is not the law that women must  suffer more than men. About 48% of females and 58% of males will have  manifested feelings of anxiety. Many would never switch off their  mobile phones, even while they are sleeping.

O Indra, can you foresee the ill effects of the this phobia.

Indra: In my humble opinion, Sire, there will be wasteful expenditure  of energy and resources. Mobile sets will run down fast, batteries  will pack up quickly. Sire, only those artisans who make them will  benefit by wordly riches. In an earlier audience, Sire, you had  brought out the ill effects of such matters on the environments. Sire,  this phobia is going to produce lots of new mess in the already messed  up Kaliyuga. Sire, is their any remedy?? Sire, you must have the  solution too, after all you not omniscient for nothing.

Brahma: I am pleased, O Indra, that you now have understood the perils  of this fear. As for remedies, recall that the timeless message of  Bhagavad Gita.

This fear is generated because of obsessive infatuation of worldly  lusts. In this case, the lust will manifest as excessive desire to  talk and chat. Mankind dread this phobia more than any other fear. Lusts  enslave the senses of man. Man instead of mastering the senses and  employing them for righteous pursuits, falls slave to them. Thus his  freedom of will is weakened more and more. Those humans, who are  enlightened about the righteous use of mobile phones and perils of  unrighteous use thereof will not suffer. There will be few of them,  but then those few are who uphold the order of the world from  crumbling.

Go forth, Indra, and impart this knowledge to humans. Don't be  disheartened that only a few would absorb this sacred and profound teaching.

Thus ends the dialog between Indra and Brahma about Nomophobia, and is  part of the Mobile Phone Upanishad, and penned down and published by  Veda Vyasa.

PS: Mobile phone was invented, WWW was invented and Googleji, the  presiding deity of search engines, has manifested itself. Indra  verified these figures of affliction with the help of lord Google.