I remember, during one election, my father returned from polling booth. I recently had become politically enthu. My mom & I kept asking him that which party did he vote too. He said this is called ‘gupt matdaan’ which means the vote is kept secret and hence why should he share with us that which party did he vote to. We guessed that perhaps he voted BJP dude but we never became sure where did his vote go. When he was politically active, he had friends in all major parties. Most of the times, 2-3 candidates used to be his friends, even the independent ones. During elections, we always had visit from all of candidates multiple times. His friend candidates would stay at home, even those from major parties. He sometimes accompanied their caravan and when he did, he did for all of them. We always had a big box of election campaign materials at home – flags, docs, banners, pamphlets, etc. Sometimes, in childhood, I would like some of flags and would intend to put the flag in house. He always scolded me and never let me do so. I have been very close to my father and I can tell you most of things about his political, social, religious views BUT I can’t tell you which party did he vote to in which election due to the clout, confusion & secrecy he created. I compare that to now, the people of today, here on twitter and elsewhere. Everything is so widely known that you can bet on your life that which party will 1 vote to. You know it about every1 via themselves In a way, I guess, the ‘age of voters’ is dead, ‘age of supporters’ is fading fast and we are now into the ‘age of political activists’ Everyone is an activist of one political party or politician. Only thing left is, perhaps, a valid membership of the party to verify it And people are not official members due to perhaps – either they don’t know how to become or they are too lazy to do that. Just that.
It is another happy new year. Sounds cliché, eh! But no, it’s 2008 which has become alive for the first time, with new resolutions, new plans, new schemes, new this, new thateverything will be new, as we expect, right! Well, it has to be, it’s a new year after all. But, the foundations of most of the New Year happenings are already set in 2007 itself and significantly all the news headlines will be the extensions of the last year’s editorials. Some of them will turn out to be marathons whereas most for them will be sprints only. Yet everybody hopes for a change and a totally afresh string of events, whether it is Hillary Clinton or Saurav Ganguly or you or me. This hope is the almost similar everywhere, irrespective of the political and geographical and social boundaries. A Pakistani will hope to get rid of General and Fatwas, whereas an Indian will expect to get the Comrades and rallies sacked by their destinies. The expectations are the same whether it is a mortgage loans defaulter in US or the oil barons in Middle East. Whether they are the monks of Myanmar suspicious of how the juntas act this year or the rural Indians speculating that how much money finally comes out from the government funds and policies after the largest logistics channel of the world formed by Indian bureaucracy and politics which can get a place in Guinness Book if some news channel gets an idea of it and start some Lead Guinness or send SMS for national pride campaign. In short, though the details could differ, the essence wouldn’t.
I also have some questions which will be taking my curious attentions this year. Let’s see if the answers could be obvious or the New Year will really welcome some real changes.
1. First, I am fed up of the Obama-Hillary teasing drama now and I am very much curious to know that which one of them is the filthiest flirt?
2. Second one is quite related to the first question. The reason behind this relation is that if you open any US or international magazine or newspaper you will find yourself reading about the latest episode of O-mama Hillo-ree soap or a column on Time’s person of the year, who once happened to be my favorite politician, Czar Putin. So, how will the political events take place in Russia this year? This is precisely important because Putin will be finishing his presidential terms. Though he has already appointed his close friend as president and he’ll stay in power as the prime minister. The change of positions are known to all, but it will still be an important event.
3. Few years before, one joke was very popular in virtual world which used to ask – If Bill Gates finds one dollar bill on the street, what will he do? The answer was – he’ll ignore the bill because he will be making 10 times more money in the time spent to pick the dollar bill. On July 31st this year, he’ll be retiring from Microsoft from day-to-day activities. So, according to the grapevine, Billu will have lots of free time after July 31st. Will he, now, pick the one-dollar bill from the street?
4. Aaaah, now here goes my favorite question. Hmmguess what? It could be yours as well. Well, curtains have been raised again after 4 years, this year in Beijing. And it’s the Olympic. And the question is..? I don’t know what should I ask – will India win a gold or how many medals will India win or after all, will India win any medal or not? Well, let’s say, who gives a damn!
5. Now, some serious questions. Moditva and non-moditva and everything seem to be working for BJP everywhere except in the central politics. Will this be continued in this year as well, as the month of November is scheduled for assembly elections in four Hindi states – Delhi, Rajasthan, MP, and Chhattisgarh? Nevertheless, I would like to skip Mizoram in this case.
6. Though we can skip Mizoram in the case of BJP, we can’t skip morons (no pun intended) of Indian politics in case of overall Indian politics. And the stupidity will steal the show again, as in 2007, it has been outlandishly performed by Karunanidhi, Devegauda, Gujjar leaders, comrades, Shiv-sainiks, and suchlike last year. But there is one guy who always stole the show, stealing the show, and will continue to steal it in the coming years. This rockstar is none other than Comrade Karat. And the question is – which all types of raga will he recite in 2008?
7. This year, as it is predicted, the world’s urban population will exceed its rural population. So, though India will still be the county which lives in villages, the most of world’s population will be living in towns. This, in effect, will increase the rich-poor differences, environmental challenges, and social disruptions. Henceforth, there will be more campaigns by Bono and much more meetings and reports will take place from UN office, IPCC, et al. As the Nobel peace prize has been awarded to mainstream world’s environmental activists for the first time and the UN has declared the year 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth, the question will be the same as the Yaksha had asked Yudhistir in Maharbharata. What next?
8. Despite the fact that the international politics ought to be much interested in the change of executives of US and Russia, the most speculating event is taking pace in our neighborhood, Pakistan. Last year has provided a big stage for the drama and as the General sacked the court, new military chief got appointed, Benezir assassinated, and the opposition has just weaken by the lack of alternate leadership in PPP and another opponent Nawaz Sharif is already tired and feared. General is also facing many challenges from outside and inside forces. West is also frustrated by the mis-utilization of anti-terror funds. So, will any of the political parties emerges to compete with Musarraf or general will retain the position or will the democracy get a life? What will happen to Pakistan, after all?
9. The biggest question is more related with predictions, analysis, speculations, trends, and numbers, at the global stage. Every country, industry, and people is anxious about how the global economy turns in 2008. There are just too many questions – will the US market face recession, will rupee rise more, will Sensex reach 30K, will oil prices rise, which way and how will the 3 trillion dollar tidal wave flow, and suchlike. And the answer will probably be – nobody knows until it comes.
10. The last question may constitute several little questions, like will Taare Zameen Par go (if yes, then will it be selected) to Oscars, will Darsheel Safary get nominated for best actor in any of the movie awards, how will the Indian cricket team perform, what will happen to Rahul Dravid, will MF Hussain return India, will Sanjay Dutt go to jail again, how will the union budget be, how will the terrorists and naxal movements proceed, what will happen to Nandigram, how will the Tata’s 1 lakh car look like, will India really send a satellite to moon this year, will the Indian IT outsourcing/BPO industry tend to crash this year, how will Bollywood treat the audience and box office treat the Bollywood, etcetera, etcetera. We surely seem to be waiting for the year 2008, aren’t we?