Where art thou, o youth of India

I wonder what the youth of India have to say about a 74 year old man having to lead the fight against that age old problem of corruption. While the problem may be decades old, does it really take a seasoned veteran’s selfless sacrifice to curb this issue?

Some may argue that the wisdom and tenacity of Anna Hazare will be a huge advantage in this battle against corruption. Even though there is no denying that, it is sad to note that the young leaders of India, who have been propped up as the solution to all India’s troubles, have still not woken up from the apathy of their older predecessors.

Anna Hazare and his Gandhian philosophies have paved a path for an efficiently run India. It could be that a man, who is fasting at his age, will put more pressure on the government than a young healthy leader. But this does not change the fact that the young, promoisng Indians did not make the first move to fight against the injustices in the country.

However despite this, it is indeed an inspiration to see people from all walks of life and different age groups and castes have responded to this call for change. Anna Hazare has received unprecedented levels of support from people across the country and even outside it.

That being said, there is no doubt that India is still missing that one powerful youth icon, who may be able to catapult India to a whole different level. Until then, we must be glad that we have resilient, wizened veterans like Mr Hazare. He might well be the person to change the landscape of Indian politics forever.

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The hunger goes on

Cholera, malaria, famine and drought. These are things which could easily shake the foundations of any nation.  However, the people of Somalia have been fighting hard to live on.  But the sheer resilience of these people is once again being put to the test with the mindless theft of food supplies.

Image Courtesy: freedigitalimages.net

Preying on the weak is a natural law. But the theft of the food supplies of the World Food program by the corrupt officials and middlemen in Somalia takes this to a whole different level. Even more ghastly are the justifications that the UN and the officials have come up with.

In a press conference, Mark Bowden, the head of United Nations humanitarian operations in Somalia said that the theft was ‘marginal’ compared to the amount of food being supplied. But according to the Somali government more than 50% of the total supplies are being stolen and then resold in the market.

This is certainly not something new. This sort of exploitation of a situation of crisis has been happening for a long time and is a deep rooted problem in societies with a deficit. Somalia, Sudan, Philippines, Cambodia and Cuba are classic examples where such pilfering has been prominent.

According to one ‘business man’ in Somalia, this thieving is for the good of the people. This way, even though the food was being looted, it still ended up in local markets, having the ancillary effect of reducing overall food prices and making food more affordable for the poor.

However the people here are not happy having to pay for something that is completely free. A report on Al-Jazeera showed the people describing how the food packets were taken from them as soon as journalists had finished filming them being delivered.

The picture this paints for the Somali’s is certainly not pretty. UN officials predict that the famine could be the worst in 60 years and coupled with the relentless conflict, the situation is dire. Thousands of Somali’s have fled to nearby African and Asian countries such as Kenya, Saudi Arabia and so on.

And when they move into these places, they being with them the cholera, malaria and malnutrition that has become symbolic of Somalia. After 20 years of strife and hunger, it is time these people get a break. But that seems to be an impossible dream.

As BR Amdekar said: “Victory is always in economics.”

When anarchy prevailed…

Wanton theft, mindless destruction and pointless strife. These are the foundations of the riots that have been rocking the very foundation of English society.

In an unprecedented show of remorseless anarchy, youngsters from across the country alerted the country of the deep levels of disease in the pristine English society. Prime Minister, David Cameron did not mince his words when he called some parts of the society ‘sick’ and refused to condone this alarming act of rebellion.

Police forces from across the country and the extra services from the Scottish police have not helped to control the fires of hatred burning through England.

Cause

The worst part of the riot is the fact that the rebellion is without any palpable reason. These angsty youngsters seem to have gotten together with a misbegotten plan for revolution, without realising the chaos that would ensue. They also seem to be propelled by a sense of being victimised, without really stopping to think if they actually are.

It is indeed true that this year has seen some ups and downs in England, with the introduction of the cuts to deal with the financial crisis. But this mindless looting is certainly not the answer to deal with the impositions of the government. In an interview with a journalist on the BBC, a rioter in Manchester was quoted saying:

“I am just doing this because everyone else is.”

According to Professor John Pits, this is a classic example of power getting to the rioters sense of control, which results in utter dissolution of all social justice.

Effects

The results this show of dissent is going to have, is catastrophic. Not only does it evoke fear and resentment in the minds of people, this riot may set a precedence for other shows of meaningless angst. This will also cause damage to the economy of the country and it definitely sends the wrong message to the world at large.

Often terrorism finds a cosy nest in countries with such dissatisfaction brewing. So this may in fact trigger more violence creating an unsuitable environment for any social activity.

Besides these internal troubles, this will also create security concerns for the 2012, London Olympics. It will take a remarkable turnaround for countries to trust the safety of England and especially, London

Over 1000 arrests across the country, loss of lives, looting of property and the aura of fear and violence, these are the legacies of this pointless riot. The silver lining is the sheer resilience of the people here, who have got back on their feet and taken the matter of returning their beloved cities back to normal in their own hands.