It needed fiction writer and a purveyor of phantasmagoria to reiterate to a world audience why Great Britain ran such a vast empire. So it was in the fitness of things that the organisers of the London Olympics deployed the creative skills of Oscar winning director, Danny Boyle, to cheerfully and unapologetically locate Imperial Great Britain as an Isle that changed the world. His interpretation of the industrial revolution had shades of both Charles Dickens and Adam Smith, which meant toiling working classes juxtaposed with adventurous mercantilists.
Just the other day, a political activist called me up from Patna and shared with me his views about what the ordinary people are going through while an economic slowdown looms on the near horizon. “Sadness and a sense of hopelessness has gripped ordinary people. And this mood is deepened by merciless inflation, power outages for 10 to 14 hours and inadequate supply of drinking water. Worse, there is no leader or a sensitive government to help them out from this crisis.”
Who wants to be a politician these days?
What happens when you lose your way? You pause. Ask people whether you are going in the right direction. Whether you need to go up or down. If you have Google Earth on your smartphone, then you try to find out where you are located to help you go right or left or turn back – depending on the kind of crossroads you find yourself at. Sensible people manage to find their way by adopting such methods and devices, but no such luck for governments.
It was a year ago that the Jasmine revolution swept the Arab world.
Just the other day there were disturbing reports from tragic Greece of how economic crisis was striking a death blow to the family as an institution.
After returning from Syria’s capital Damascus, the Sudanese general heading the Arab Observer Mission to Syria told the media in Cairo that the situation was not “apocalyptic”.
The other day The Hindu scooped the report of Supreme Court's amicus curiae on the Zakia Jafri's case, which stated that there was a case for prosecuting Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his alleged complicity in the Gujarat riots. Amicus Curiae Raju Ramachandran has shown the courage to state the obvious when everyone has been engaging in obfuscation for the last nine years. He has not allowed himself to be swayed by the slanted conclusions of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) that saw no merit in the demand for charge-sheeting Modi.
How ephemeral popularity can be. Take Manmohan Singh, for instance. Till 2009, his supporters claimed that Congress returned to power due to his integrity and popularity.