A year passed by seeing frolics that played in all its grandeur. The year 2014 started at a juncture when world looked beyond conventional yield of democracy pushing the dividends to the grassroots, the original stakeholders. It happened in India by paraphrasing the political discourse. It happened in the world by highlighting the lack or overdose of democratic processes across nationalities. The common populace was wondering about the ultimate impact of terrorism and its reach. Human was wondering about the manoeuvres of God and the Grand Design.
Then it was a rhythmic ebb and flow, from January to December, week-by-week and played daily for popular consumption and exhilaration. The Indian days were hotter with enlivened teaching on history and economic development by Mr. Narendra Modi, jejune discourse on social and women empowerment by Mr. Rahul Gandhi, and mystical harangues on anti-corruption and swaraj by Mr. Arvind Kejriwal. They taught us many lessons, from facts to faking, yet amused us by their range of understanding of India or its aspirations. If we did not understand, the likes of Mr. Arnab Goswami provided great exposition into intricacies during weekdays, and the likes of Mr. Kapil Sharma summed all these up for universal grasp during weekends. Things played out to celebrate our commitment to democracy, liberal values, secularism, economic prosperity, and freedom. And, above all, for the arrival of achhe din.
Then terrorism was replaced with frontal attack on territory. Russia attached Crimea into its fold and shot down a passenger aircraft. Now, you do not need a terrorist outfit to perform. And then terrorist breeding ground (did I say Pakistan?) enthused terrorists to kill their own boys and girls in Peshawar. Later they started executing bad terrorists in captivity and rescuing good terrorists like Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who had masterminded Mumbai Terror Attack in 2008!
The flights started vanishing in air. Stories were written, retold after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 lost contact in less than an hour after takeoff on March 8, 2014. The fate after getting into air is now termed uncertain; but hopefully the reason would be known. The unravelling of fate of AirAsia Flight 8501, the December mishap, though slow, is happening. Well, the vanishing act has been the part of our folklore, since yore, after the invention of aircraft though.
2014 saw a real multipolar world. There emerged three kingdoms in Asia – India, China and Russia. It all played out well in Australia. While, democratically elected Mr. Modi gave a discourse about India and its capabilities, non-democratic prosperous China took away the bounty of having a free trade agreement with the host nation, and neo-democratic Mr. Vladimir Putin flexed his muscles by coming with three warships – a new diplomatic approach for peace and prosperity.
Our Prime Minister is our official social reformer, the prime mentor; and he loves delivering discourses. He talks about his mann ki baat, promotes the ice-bucket challenge like cleanliness drive, and above all, anfractuous right-wing nostrums. Now, Indian people also feel, ye dil maange more, at the end of the year like he wanted in the initial months. Of course, the political oppositions think otherwise, who are now scared that anything more from Mr. Modi may create a permanent disability in their aspiration of coming to power in the years to come. So, they shout for minority empowerment, minority justice, minority democracy, and minority government; after all, they are in minority today.
Dr. Manmohan Singh has been calm and poised as usual; must be wondering if he would have had a minister of information and broadcasting in Mr. Modi; he would have then equaled Pundit Nehru’s span as PM of India. Certainly, Mr. Modi gives more respect to Dr. Singh than anybody else; after all, Dr. Singh’s policies keep the current government going albeit having to change the nomenclature here and there.
At the end of 2014, common populace is aware of God’s techniques. The movie Interstellar told how to conquer the space with so much clarity that NASA decided to float future generations of human above the Cytherean cloud. It is a different matter that they have not been able to repeat the famous Moon landing even after more than 40 years and are still struggling with the return of a manned mission from beyond the space stations. Finally, the Indian movie, PK, the ultimate Bollywood drama, revealed how aliens would look like and how religions are to be rewritten (except that tradition will persist with love being beyond the luck of a protagonist). We now know it all.
Come 2015, democracy around the globe will struggle against its own shadow. Democratic people will learn better about nuances of personal freedom, liberty and secular practices. Terrorists will find new ways to spread terror while people and communities will fight a battle for survival – a cruel reality of modern living. Indian politicians will continue their entertainment acts while electronic media will play as the augmented reality for Indians. Finally, Mangalyaan-like (ad)ventures will perhaps break the zinx of NASA-written space odyssey, or at least its infatuated monopoly. On the other hand, the coexistence of machine along side human will go smoother and more intimate. Come live with me, and be my love – as indited Christopher Marlowe, the legendary poet of the the Elizabethan era.