ByÂ Rohullah Naderi:
Many people argue that the only thing which is permanent is change. It keeps happening and some of it is not in our control. It is a widely agreed opinion, that change is sure to happen and will happen whether we want it or not. Some things happen so suddenly that we are taken by surprise. These changes just leave us in shock. For example, the phenomenon of Arab Spring took almost the entire globe by surprise. Now, was it a good change or a bad one is another discussion.
On the other hand, there are things that do not change or do not want to change. When we look back at year 2012 profoundly, we come across things that did not change and perhaps may not change anytime soon. The top 10 of such things are here:
1. I did not change:
My friends accuse me of being obsessed with politics. They say I think politics, talk politics, drink politics, eat politics and even breathe politics. This obsession, according to them, has become so embedded in me that I don’t see anything else but politics. I discuss a topic just through the prism of politics. The topic may not have a political angle but I find one. To prove their points, my friends cite my recent date with a girl that I had a crush on. I somehow managed to take her out but as expected I ended up talking to her all about politics. I told her about the corruption in India, the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West, the elusive peace in Afghanistan and ever growing bad effect of global financial meltdown on nations. When my friends heard about the disastrous date, their opinion changed into a belief that my obsession will never change. It was a date not a conference on politics. I was supposed to talk about personal stuff like likes and dislikes, romantic stuff and about myself, they argued. But politics took the centre stage.
2. Taliban’s position on peace in Afghanistan did not change:
When it comes to peace in Afghanistan, the main side which is armed and has foreign supporters did not change its stance on peace in Afghanistan in 2012 either. Taliban are ready for piece in Afghanistan but not for peace. Afghan president Hamid Karzai is confused whether it is the Taliban whom he is supposed to talk to about peace or its foreign backers. It has been a decade now since the initiation of unilateral peace talks between the two sides but still the president has no idea who the interlocutor is in this funny process.
3. No change in president Obama’s attitude towards the fulfilment of his campaign promises:
It is going to be four years and we are yet to see the fulfilment of president Obama’s campaign promises of change and engagement with the Muslim world. In fact, he seems to act against those promises. There is a breakdown of relationships with Pakistan, one of the key allies of the US in the so called War on Terror. Instead of engagement with Pakistan one sees more hawkishness and hostilities from Obama. He ignored his own policy of mutual respect and mutual interest by first supporting Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in the uprising. If it is mutual respect then respect the aspiration of the people. Oh! I totally forgot! He must have meant unilateral respect for American interest. It is our fault. Third world countries don’t get it and get fooled too soon by attractive and glamorous speeches of American presidents.
4. No change in drone operation:
They have no pilots. They come, bomb, kill the so called terrorists and go. It is so simple. The operators of drones have every right, from violation of a country’s sovereignty to labelling certain groups of people as terrorists. But the victims have no right. So people who live outside the US have not right to live, or maybe their lives are so cheap. Instead of killing only the Â terrorists, they also kill many innocent people. But that is not important; at least they kill terrorists to make the US/the world safe.
5. No change in the composition of UN Security Council:
It must be frustrating for India, one of the aspirants for a permanent seat at UN Security Council, not seeing any development in the much needed reforms in the composition of UN Security Council. I have a question. Is it really that hard to secure a permanent seat at the Security Council?
Good question. Technically, it is not that hard since India has all the criteria needed to become a permanent member. Then what is the problem? My friend, it is Uncle Sam who is not willing to share the benefits of being a permanent member with others. This is the precise reason that change might not come so soon in the UN Security Council. But Asia, being the largest continent on our just and fair planet has just one representative. Uncle Sam does not care about that. No rivals when it comes to international institutions. Your continent is not important. It is the five permanent members who decide everything in the UN. Please don’t be a slow learner.
6. No change in the sorrows of the Greeks:
It is officially a bankrupt country and one of the disastrous consequents of the creation of European Union in 1991. Greece has a herculean task to handle. It is in a very deep financial crisis. Very sadly, there was no change in sorrows of the Greeks in 2012 either. It is the biggest victim of EU policies which was formed hastily and now Greeks are paying the heavy price for it.
7. No change in the stance of Iran about its controversial nuclear program:
There was a thinker who said that never mess with the entire world. It is impossible and you end up losing the battle. I think Iranians are not listening to this thinker. The battle continues and up till now it has not produced a clear winner. Interestingly though, both sides claim victory. The West says that the crippling sanctions are working and Iranian regime is getting weaker with each day. Iran says that they are winning because up till now it has not knelt before the West. I must say the fight is tough. But it can be solved. Â First, Iranians must stop accusing Israel of pursing a nuclear program which has not even signed NPT, because Israel has the right to protect itself and can have nuclear bomb but not other countries even if they use the nuclear energy for peace full purposes. Second, live under darkness and third, beg the west for energy. Or is it the West which has to show some restraints? The last point was not a fair one.
8. No change in Shiv Sena’s attitude towards non-Marathis.
According to another Indian constitution, that we have not heard of, Maharashtra belongs only and only to Marathis. This unknown and I guess unwritten constitution further says that the state is strictly prohibited area for north Indians and especially for Biharis. But Marathis can settle down in any corner of India. No restriction for them whatsoever. Well, till Shiv Sena’a supremo was alive there seemed no change in this attitude but let’s see if his successors can keep it unchanged.
9. No change in Narendra Modi’s mode of campaigning:
Although Modi won the state elections convincingly, his style of campaigning did not change. There were still personal attacks from his side on the Gandhi family. During the elections, Rahul Gandhi was branded as international citizen who could fight elections from any part of the world. This means Modi still does not understand the concept of citizenship. The swath of personal attacks this time covered Sashi Tharoor as well. People say that change in Modi’s style won’t come unless he is defeated. Well, that might be a valid argument but I say he has paranoia.
10. Finally no change in the journalistic style of Nidhi Razdan:
This NDTV journalist is a treat to watch on the TV. According to Media Crooks, she is proof that you can be an expert on everything with specialization in nothing. What is the best thing about Nidhi? Now, don’t get me wrong, she likes everything large. Whenever confounded by a brilliant argument or pointed by a panellist, she quickly jumps to her favourite line “let’s look at the LARGER picture”. One would have thought that debates are meant to look at the finer details. No, not with Nidhi, the larger picture is a convenient exit. Training from NDTV helps.