By Vivek Pattanayak in Bhubaneswar, October 11, 2017: The world today looks so different from what it looked only a few years ago. It has changed dramatically with an unpredictable maverick becoming the chief executive of the world’s oldest constitutional democracy who has sworn to raise a wall on the southern border, who constantly twits on affairs of the nation without any advice from his officialdom.

He repudiated understanding and agreements with nations and blocs with impunity without batting an eye lid. By drop of hat he issues executive instructions no matter whether they are constitutional, legal or moral. He offends foreign dignitaries either as guest or as host. The psychologists of the same country during his election had expressed doubt about his mental stability. The Mecca of liberalism in recent months witnessed flexing of muscle by neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and KKK possibly with tacit support of the chief.

What is most frightening is that apart from Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists who have killed innocent people either as lone wolves or in association with others, a senior citizen murdered scores of unsuspecting spectators of folk concert in the land which attracted people from across the world as land of opportunity. Gun lobby has been unaffected by such ghastly killings whether in shopping plazas or in schools.

At the other end of the globe we have a boyish looking dictator who sends missiles after missiles as if it is a display of firework like Dewali in India. Both the Yankee maverick and infant terrible trade abuses almost bordering on swear language with such ease even adolescent teenagers cannot compete. There is real danger of outbreak of the third world war with one mistake or inaccuracy.

We have a dictatorial but “democratically” elected Sultan like leader of the country known in the 19th century as sick man of Europe .He has heart with religious fundamentalist although supposed to be fighting ISIS. He dislikes the Syrian leader because of his sect although he has same religious affiliation.

In the east there is an emerging tyrannical leader elected by people on the promise to end drug trafficking. He is quite willing to kill drug dealers even personally if necessary. He had no compunction to call a head of a country by foul language.

In the Middle East, the king and his son of the land of prophet think that they have command from Heaven to pulverize a tiny country because a segment of population belong to a different sect than their own no matter what hardship old, infirm, sick, women and children face by incessant bombing. They with their other partners think they have moral obligation to the world of faithful to ostracize a rising nation of same faith, whose national airline has worldwide reach, just because it follows a neutral foreign policy in the region.

Thanks to limitless obduracy of Bush the younger who started an unprovoked war against Saddam, the old Babylonian civilization came under the sway of uncivilized and barbaric ISIS with a self-proclaimed Khalif by the name Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi, who like cat has nine lives. Every time he is declared dead by the Yanks he comes back alive after a while.

Taliban continues to dominate the landlocked nation in the central and south Asia even after death of Mullah Omar and drone killing of Mansoor his successor even after billions of dollars of aid from the developed world to establish a stable democracy. Its neighbouring failed state ruled by military for more than six decades receives aid both from the nation representing so-called free world and also land of prophet, interestingly with complete support of the only surviving populous “communist” nation.

Encouraged by its nuclear power obtained illegally, the failed state sends terrorists in the name of the religion across the border although not willing to accept displaced belonging to the same religion. Although the regime gave a secured hiding place to the fugitive Osama, the dreaded master mind of 9/11, the free world never ceased to fund failed state’s military.

The most populous nation of the world with no pretension of democracy has a leader descending from the high echelon of the ruling political outfit of decades who thinks that country has the capacity of mythical dragon to replace the only super power after fall of Berlin wall. He has a strong belief that economic strength and military might can convert all free small nations as vassals, of course in the name of revival of ancient route over land and also sea. Even it has claimed sovereignty over a part of the adjacent sea defying decision of international judicature. It has created an artificial island having scant respect for global public opinion.

In the largest democracy we have a leader whose followers strongly believe that the word “secular” is a dirty word, the expression “tolerance” finds place only in the medieval dictionary and freedom of expression should be protected as long as it supports the regime. Arrogance never known in this ancient land is the philosophy of the ruling elite. Messenger of bad news must be killed.

This reminds us of Goldsmith’s words “although vanquished arguing still”. Who should eat what food should be decided by a self-appointed group with blessings of the regime. Leader’s eloquence is more than an adequate substitute for what it is actually achieved on the ground.

If anybody questions anything what leader does or speaks there is ceaseless strolling, relentless persecution by state sponsored agencies or surprise shooting by faceless motor cyclists, a grim reminder of the uneasy eighties. There is a clarion call for revival of ancient civilization.

This is the vision of a “new” country where Gandhi has no place. In his assassin’s name temple is constructed and statue is erected. Nehru does not find place in the speeches which list the names of people who fought for independence of India. Names unknown in history find place in the list of Mahapurushas. We have to wait for the time when Buddha will have same fate as Bamiyan Buddha.

Brexit was a big shock for UK, Europe and the world. The lady who came to lead the nation although very badly battered in the recent election still thinks the country can go back to the times when the sun never set in their erstwhile empire although the country is highly divided nation reflecting tension between indigenous people and immigrants , blacks and whites, Muslims and non-Muslims.

The Germanic nation led by an angel who gave succour to millions of hapless people are seeing a rise of an alternative, a grim reminder of dreadful Nazism. Although Macron descended as a saviour of the beleaguered nation of Napoleon, ultra-rightists have not lost their elan. Terrorist attacks across Europe by the Muslims who came either as immigrants from the failed State or as refugees from war torn Middle East and North Africa reflect how ungrateful people can be. “You bite the hand that feeds you”.

Spain may split if Catalonia flexes its muscle. Scots may call for another referendum. Canada has survived two referendums on Quebec. This may inspire others in Europe to ask for self-determination. Kurdistan may emerge threatening Iraq, Turkey and Iran. All those, in the West in the past, who championed right of self-determination of Kashmiris are now having a taste of secessionism in their own backyards.

Now there is a possible election in the nation of rising sun which will decide whether pacifist constitution should be given a goodbye imposed unjustly by victors more than seventy years ago after destroying two innocent cities through nuclear bombs when the war had virtually ended. Is it like Meiji restoration? Will it bring back Samurai culture? Will it restore balance of power in the Far East?

Is it the same world we saw two decades ago heralding a new age of border-less travel, trade, commerce, business, movement of skill and manpower in the name of globalization, new world order and globalism?

Is it the same world of unity which promised to protect the earth from global warming, climate change and protecting human rights, dignity and life of individual? Instead, there is increasing jingoism in the name of nationalism, patriotism, and revival of the past glory whether real or imagined with no respect for liberal values, freedom of thought and dignity of individual. Is not the world missing Gandhi, Nehru, Nasser, Tito, Indira Gandhi, Castro, Trudeau, Mandela, Clinton, Vajpayee and Obama?

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