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Those who believe in HIM would never want to know about HIM…

Those who want ‘proof’ of HIS existence would never get one either for, or against…

Those who never believe in HIM would never explain the ‘unexplained’…

THERE WAS, THERE IS and THERE WILL BE no time when these three were invalid!

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What is China?-A simple question though it may sound, the answer can be surprisingly complicated. It certainly will not be an understatement if I say the world is incognizant of a new political theory being scripted in China. Time alone can the judge whether or not this will change the world for the better.

If you are also one of those like me who optimistically regard democracy to be the best form of governance, it is time for us to think outside the box. I have spent my entire life (just over 30y) in the largest, and a fair amount in one of the mature democracies to be able to point out the inefficiencies in the system to almost the same magnitude in which I enjoy the freedom it provides me. Of course, no set-up can be ideal and might have their drawbacks, but I believe these flaws are large enough and yet subtle, that they undermine the proclamation of an ideal, free state. First of all, I believe we can comfortably draw parallels between democracy and capitalism as I think no democracy can escape capitalism. So, no matter how much ‘freedom’ we have, there is not even an iota of doubt that labor is exploited to the last drop. Freedom and opportunity is only for those who have fat pockets. What do you call a living where labor is exploited, intellectual rights are deprived and are bonded to the corporate Inc? I call it capitalistic slavery. I can go on listing the examples for each one of us being victimized in a capitalistic state but the bottom-line is that the problems are so deeply embedded and yet subtle that many of us are unable to understand their roots (partly because we are disillusioned by the aura of freedom!) and thus, democracy is never questioned!. The underlying truth in this society is that the money handles everything including your freedom! So, in the idealistic banner of a ‘free state’, the fine print, ‘cash only’ always goes unread.

Now let us for a moment examine the alternative available today. We don’t have to spend too much time to think about it as there in only one based on the conventional wisdom, which is socialism. It is more than proven that communistic form of government fails to provide even the basic needs for a comfortable living. The collapse of Soviet Union is an example of shaky fundamentals in this fast-changing world. Although the Hegelian and Marxist theories are extremely wise and idealistic, it stands unequivocally clear that they cannot be practiced in the same flavor as they can be preached. Having said this, it is also not obvious whether the failure of Marxism and other socialistic philosophies are due to the flaws in the theory or whether it is a consequence of not been able put it in practice. Nevertheless, the problems of adopting such a form of governance have been abundantly evident. To the very least, an individual can uphold his self-respect in a democracy which is also lost in a communist state.

Despite the issues, there are silver linings in both of these political theories that are diametrically opposed to each other. So, would not it be possible to find a middle ground? Can we come up with something that can work better? Such questions are logical and would not require Aristotle’s of Plato’s mind to come up with and thus have been thought about by many. But so far no country has ever attempted to experiment it. India when it became independent did try to put forward a policy of ‘mixed economy’ in an effort to find middle ground but has not worked. Why? Could be because of many reasons but it certainly suggests the difficulty in adopting such a mixture of theories.

What about China? China is a also a communist country with a long history of brutal suppression of its own people. Why did it not collapse just like Soviet Union? It has not even shown any sign of undercurrents. After the Tinnamen Square uprising in 1989, Chinese leadership had started experimenting what I would call an ‘Himalayan adventure’ and after 2 decades of sustained planning and execution it is standing tall, luring to take the 21st century with an unprecedented new political theory as its basis. Let us talk about the changes for a bit. First and foremost, opening the markets and allowing foreign direct investments is a direct anti-dote for communism. By doing so, China has broken the barriers of socialism moving rapidly to find middle ground. Although, many businesses are either directly or indirectly controlled by the government, opening the market is a giant leap in the pursuit of middle ground. The government seems to tell the people, ‘feel free to do your businesses and swell your pockets and don’t bother about politics, we will take care of it’. This remarkable delineation of economy and politics by adopting a two diametrically opposite political theories, China is silently writing a new chapter in the text books on political theory not just as a postulate but by actual experimentation. It has been successful so far and only time will tell whether this theory will hold good as a viable alternative to others or will fade in history as a sensational misadventure.

There is a lot of commotion and unrest in Indian political circles today that threatens the very existence of the UPA government at the centre. One of the two issues that has contributed enormously to the current volatile situation is the “Sethu Samudram project” in Tamil Nadu. This project involves the deepening of shallow waters in Palk straight that would facilitate a better maritime use and would cut costs dramatically as opposed to a route circumventing the entire length of the Sri Lankan coast. Indeed, this is an extremely useful project to improve the economics and trade in the region. Despite its significance, this project has been able to make no headway over the years, the reason for which is tightly embedded in faith of 800 million Hindus in the country. Yes, between the Indian eastern coastline at Dhanuskodi near Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and western coast of Sri Lanka in Talaimannar, lies submerged a bridge-like structure (Adam’s bridge) that is believed, by Hindu theologists, to be built by Lord Rama’s invading army into Sri Lanka. Therefore, considering the role of Lord Rama in every Hindu’s life, any proposal to dismantle such a structure would involve huge political turbulences and that is precisely what we are experiencing today. It is very unfortunate to see the recurring and monotonous election-based rhetoric among the policy makers when there can be a pragmatic approach in resolving the issue. I believe, despite its sensitivity, a clear compromise can be worked out. This article analyzes how.

To begin with, regarding the debate whether this structure needs to by protected or not, can be better looked at as a neutral person than as a radical and nor as a fundamentalist Hindu. Regarding the formation of the structure there are conflicting reports. Some reports suggest they could have been formed by natural water / air erosions during ice age (Wisconsin glaciations) while some reports suggest a certain degree of human involvement in its creation. Thus, it is highly crucial for geologists to be able to come to a conclusion in fairly reasonable time. One thing that seems to be in agreement so far is the time in which it was formed/created, which is ~ 1.5-1.8 million years ago. Coincidentally or realistically, this time fits well into the ‘Thretha Yuga’ (time period of Ramayana), which is ~ 1.7 million years ago. In case the origin of the structure remains unresolved, it is important to assume the structure to be a man-made one just by sheer benefit of doubt. This is important to do so because irrespective of whether Lord Rama created it or not, the fact that such an engineering could be executed at ~ 1.7 million years ago, warrants its preservation without reservations and prejudices whatsoever!. After all, this would be a display of brilliance by ice-age men.

In order to protect the structure as well as to enable maritime use, the simplest and a straight-forward strategy would be to build a Suez- or Panama-type canal on the Indian side of Adams Bridge between Rameshwaram and Dhanuskodi. The advantage of such a canal, in addition to protecting the mythical bridge, could be that it might turn out to be more economically viable option. Even if it is a bit expensive project, it will be worth pursuing as it will be a first for our nation to resolve communally explosive issue in a real ‘secular’ manner. Furthermore, it will also be a fantastic display to the world that how much India cares about geographies of archeological importance. Nonetheless, one thing is certain; be it Congress’s unprofessional approach or BJP’s effort for electoral gains or Karunanidhi’s irresponsible and atrocious comments about Rama; they will only take us all in a direction we precisely don’t want to be led into. So let us, as electorates, start driving the country where it needs to go. Think and prosper!

 

Welcome! This is my first blog adventure and I want to use this as a forum to share my thoughts that run deep within me, to be felt and appreciated by you.