By Harihar Swarup
Any one who claims to live in God’s light and hates a brother or sister is still in the dark. It is the person who loves brother and sister who dwells in God’s light and doesn’t block the light from others. But whoever hates is still in the dark, stumbles around in the dark, doesn’t know which end is up, blinded by darkness, says the Bible.
In these times, darkness, estrangement and bigotry have come to define us. If you don’t believe it, see what was happening in nation’s biggest Panchayat, where our honourable Parliamentarians were embroiled in China debate. Even out of parliament they are hell-bent on establishing each other as China’s ally. For generations, such practices kept us enslaved. So China must be happy now.
This year began with hatred. While we were still recovering from the devastation inflicted by the corona virus pandemic, Russia launched an attack on Ukraine. This war has resulted in a deadly arms race China like its friend Russia, locked horns over Taiwan. While Chinese President Xi Jinping could not properly tackle Covid-19 in his country, he tried to disturb India in border areas.
This year began with hatred some fresh discord in a world full of contradiction. Many of our significant achievements were lost between the advent of Covid-19 and the end of 2022. Covid-19 interrupted the global supply chain, and crises began to loom over global markets. As a result more people were forced back into poverty than those who rose above poverty. Worsening conditions in China and increased infections in several nations, including United States, have heightened concerns about the pandemic’s come back. This year will leave a legacy of fear and hunger through 2023.
It’s no surprise that economic disparity has gained new heights this year. The 10-month-long Russia-Ukraine conflict has escalated to next level. These two countries account for about 30% of the world’s wheat supply and approximately 60% of edible oils. Further, Russia exports fuel and energy to Europe. As Moscow withdrew, the already shaky continent fell into a profound recession. As a result, there was a regime change in Italy, and two Prime Ministers in the United Kingdom, lost their seats.
This year has also seen an outbreak of hostilities in our country. The comments of BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma during a TV discussion of May 26 gave reactions in India and abroad a handle to beat us with. Islamic countries objected diplomatically, and tension extended throughout the country’s ten states. The murders in two states— one in Rajasthan and another in Maharashtra—forced us to ponder whether we are regressing to the middle ages. Social media also fuelled fire.
The controversy surrounding Shah Rukh Khan’s film Patthan is the most recent example of social media fostering hostility. This has previously occurred with several films, books, essays and writers.
We also lost many leading lights this year—Birju Maharaj, Lata Mangeshkar, Rahul Bajaj, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Cyrus Mistry, Raju Srivastava, and Mulayam Singh Yadav among others. Such departures will leave a void for a very long time.
Despite, these shocks, we also received some good news in 2022. India was elected as G20 as President, and global financial institutions, voiced optimism about the Indian economy’s performance this fiscal year. This year, we could see a growth of 6.9%. When the rest of the world is teethering, India is marching forward. So the ruling government may get some kudos
Aside from the economy, there are some other exciting developments. It gives hope to see how rapidly we produced vaccines during Covid-19 era. Similarly, in Artificial intelligence, ideas, such as, ChatGPS may be game changer in industries such as education and journalism.
It would be unfair if I do not mention Lionel Messi and the football World cup here. People like Messi spread love and brotherhood. Such heroes must be created in India as well. But within days of the thrilling World Cup football final, the greatest football legend Pele of Brazil died. For the sportslovers of the world, the death of the icon was a great loss. The year ended with the death of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mother at the age of 100. PM rushed on December 30 morning to do the last rites but carried out all his scheduled programmes virtually. Modi learnt all the lessons of patriotism and discipline from his struggling mother.
Let New Year 2023 bring peace and happiness to the people in the world. The global leaders have to work hard to bring about an end to the war in Ukraine. The more than ten month old war has adversely affected the global economy, energy crisis has accentuated, the people are dying in battlefields, bombing of power installations by the Russians is continuing. The primary task in 2023 has to be the end of the Ukraine war. India as the newly elected president of G20 for 2023 can play a major role as a peace maker. (IPA Service)