2015: The Year of Tussle between Confusion and Aspirations

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The year 2015 went like a period of tussle between confusion and aspirations. Be it in India, or in western countries, or even in Middle East, the same mood prevailed. Far East or African countries or Latin America could not go in different way in this age of globalization. But each reacted differently and created their own identity in this period of history.

My opinion will not be received well if I do not provide adequate clarification about my observations, I know. Well, confusion was about what’s our priority; and if we came to enlist a few things as our priority items, then we worried about what they really were.

Does this look weird? Let me give four examples and explain while speaking alongside about ‘aspirations’.

Terrorism has always been an agenda when world leaders meet, at least in the last decades. The scene plays even when leaders from neighbouring countries meet – an excellent example is India and Pakistan. Don’t read too much into it as I am explaining my point. But in last one year, Pakistan is wondering about the validity of terrorism as its political and military strategy. Peshawar occurred apart from the internal disturbances that the hostile neighbour of India suffered through terrorism. For Pakistan, the parameters for evaluating between good and bad terrorisms melted, if we assume. So also, it was for Western diplomacy. 26/11 in Mumbai could not persuade leaders from other parts of globe to take a note of the state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan against India, nor could also consider erasing the subtle difference between good versus bad terrorism. But then Paris Attack changed the outlook, particularly, as it happened just before a global summit. Terrorism was brought into focus – became a priority. As it appears now, terrorism, as a war strategy against stronger opponent, is now hated much by people and leaders alike. But then who will deny the geopolitical ambitions of some leaders? Confusion smears into aspiration.

Terrorism and continual conflicts in different regions of the globe, most importantly the Middle East, have given rise to large-scale migration. Many in European countries, people of the countries that will be directly affected, fear a radical demographic transformation in the coming decade. But then the immediate challenge before the world community and European leaders is to tackle the migrants’ crisis. It’s to offer minimum humanitarian assistance to people who are running to a green pasture battered by conflicts and bloodshed – a battle of sustaining aspirations of people being displaced and the native inhabitants who are threatened by inflow of refugees – all amount to greater confusion.

‘Climate Change’ is the single most important argument of developed nations to worry about rapid prosperity of developing nations. When we say ‘prosperity’, trust the opinion of the same good old institutions built through decades by the developed countries. But then reality has struck. Globalization and Democracy’s Third Wave have forged the framework and processes to establish quicker movement of wealth, ideas and traditions from one place to another across the world. And these processes have also enthused systematic depletion of natural resources. Confusion is overwhelming with competing aspirations – one aspiring to grow, and the other to reclaim the benefits with sustenance.

People, obsessed with early twentieth century events, are scared of the re-emergence of orthodox nationalist sentiments. Be it Putin in Russia, Erdoğan in Turkey, or Modi in India, critics strive to see a flavour of authoritarian establishments that are taking over power in different countries. Admirers consider them strong leaders and see their rule as a reassurance of national aspirations. The confusion lies in the conflict of branding strong leaders as authoritarians against terming nationalism as an asset of development and growth in this globalised economy and connected supranational infrastructures.

I shall now speak about the fourth example, the hide-and-seek game of adopting technologies and adapting to technologies by us. Technologists argue that the adoption of new tech products undergo a rise-fall-stabilize cycle where these find their rational usages and appropriate makings to be used. They accept the crowd behaviour of users and evolution of technologies through a series of perturbations and stabilisations thereafter. In reality, many technologies die on their way while surprising ones may go on to establish themselves as the mainstream ones. On the other hand, users adapt themselves to the available technologies, thus igniting confusion for innovators; they wonder what is right and what is not. Confusion challenges the aspirations of users about adopting some and consequentially their falling into adapting to others.

In short, these four broad perspectives were hovering around through the whole year. While everyone made conclusions on their own – I made mine too – events played out in full giving this leaf of history a resemblance to a virgin nymph brimming with glory – nothing can be altered then.

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