About: This is a light-hearted story on what happened this week, in our World. I have reduced the marked boundaries this week hoping that we slowly evolve to a boundary less world. Imagine!
I’m also moving away from a pure reporting style to what I call, a ‘pulsating style’, with my breath in it. Hope you can feel it.
We look forward to new tidings in the New Year, and why not? The US is surely looking for inspiration in this direction with the ‘almost newly elected’ – yet to be wholly certified – President-elect Joe Biden looking to crank up the year(s). He is getting there, with his Transition Team receiving formal briefings since this Monday, and making announcements on new people additions – diverse, I must say – to governing portfolios. And they look to be just the right people behind the right desks. A team that looks like America!
One State after another is legally certifying the Election results in favour of Biden-Harris, in what seems to be a long-drawn process, consistently debunking the ‘baseless’ road-block charges of cases put up by the outgoing golf-playing President. Look, this is America, again.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister (PM) Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 2019 for talking peace with neighbouring Eritrea and unlocking many chained freedoms in his own Country, after decades of untold repression. Now in 2020 he is in a bloody ethnic war with rowdy elements in the country’s northern Tigray region, bordering Eritrea.
Ethiopia is divided into ten regions, and two cities, each with great autonomy, regional police and even militia. Abiy wanted to coalesce these divisions into a united country, which the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), which rules Tigray, saw as usurping of its powers. PM Abiy had dismantled the ruling coalition, led for years by the TPLF, and created a new Prosperity Party. This created a situation where the TPLF had to join the new Party and agree to PM Abiy’s dictations, or not. The TPLF opted not to join.
Recently, Elections called in the Tigray region, by the Government, were postponed due to the pandemic, which the TPLF disobeyed and went ahead with its own causing the present conflict to flare up, with the PM not recognising the Election results – rightfully so. Then the TPLF attacked an Army Post and the firing broke out. At the time of this post PM Abiy has subdued the TPLF – at least for the time being.
The TPLF should abandon its ‘illegal’ occupation of the minds of the people, join the Prosperity Party and work for the prosperity of Ethiopia. War of this kind gets one nowhere and the constant abrasion wears out everyone thin on both sides.
Early this week, as super cold winds descended on the North, India witnessed sordid protests by Farmers mostly in Punjab and Haryana against the New Farm Laws unleashed by the Central Government. Nearly every known Agricultural Expert in the Country has ‘certified’ that the New Farm Laws are path-breaking and the best thing ever to happen to Farmers in decades. Nevertheless, a section of powerful farmers are refusing to lean-in.
The New Laws basically throw open the up-to-now within-mandis /Government controlled markets of farm produce, enabling Farmers to sell directly to who ever they think offers them the best price, besides sticking to parts of the old system if they feel unsafe. This kills gangs of middlemen, many of whom live and propagate in swanky five-star Offices – mostly in the Punjab-Haryana area, from where the protests are the loudest. Now you know why! Many rich Politicians in India claim they are humble farmers – owning swathes of land. Other aspects of the New Farm Laws remove many foods items from the over 60 years old Essential Commodities List; and allows Contact Farming – a form of which has already been successfully introduced in Punjab. Think about this statistic: Farmers in Punjab (followed by Haryana) are the wealthiest Farmers with receipts 600% higher the that of the average ‘poor’ Indian farmer.
The way I see it, the New Farm Laws are progressive and gives absolute freedom to Farmers. Further, I’m for making a new Law, which taxes five-star rich farmers so that the poorer ones stop gaping at the stars and grow richer indoors.
News breezes in that Farmers in the State of Maharashtra are already reaping the benefits of the new laws being planted, and in recent time they have harvested over Rs 100 million in out-of-mandi sales across many districts. The heart of a farmer needs more!
India has always had a broad-based, deep-digging, farming community and this Government wants to lift them up to flower a better living. You cannot do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Let’s adopt the new and remove weeds in our path as we grow. The Farmers must listen and get back to their farms. Opposing for the sake of opposing is a fruitless endeavour.
“Let us change everything. If not now, never”, thundered one of India’s biggest movie superstars, the stylish Rajinikant, on 30th November, ‘announcing that he will announce’ the launch of a brand new Political Party on 31st December 2020’. He plans to contest all 234 State Assembly Seats in Tamil Nadu in the Elections to be held in May-June 2021. No doubts on the speed: he is known to be quick on the draw and super quick enough to catch a bullet by his teeth, when fired at him; and believe me there is no cigarette in the world that has not enjoyed the olympic journey from the pack, to the hand, to the lips, than Rajini’s master flick. Rajini’s ‘punch’ dialogues (one line statements sandwiched with meaty stuff, as the one at the top of this section) are legendary and changed the course of an Assembly Election, many years ago. “Even God cannot save Tamil Nadu if Jayalalithaa comes back to power” – that was the whip-lash, death-blow punch in 1996, which knocked-out the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa…and reverberated for a long time.
Hope the punch dialogues now works for his own party-when formed.
Of course he had his no-speed, Hamlet moment, ‘To do or not to do Politics’ since 2017 and Fans had almost given up. Now they are cheering non-stop. And the cigarettes are firing about like crazy and punches are being thrown in the air.
On 2nd December the United Kingdom became the first country in the World to approve (licence) the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, paving the way for mass vaccination. Britain’s medicines regulator declared it safe to be rolled out. Recall, that Russia and China have already approved use of the Vaccine without waiting for final test results.
The first doses are already on their way to the UK, with as many as 800,000 due in the coming days.
I’m hoping that the Vaccine isn’t garnered by a powerful few and is made available to those who desperately require to be shot with it – to stay alive, longer.
So, the Vaccines are here and many might be wary of them as the Vaccines are made of ‘conked out’, clueless viruses or bits & fragments of them. Well, let me enlighten your decision-making process. Roughly about 8% of human DNA is made up of ancient viruses that used to infect us millions of years ago – they are buried in our DNA. We are just adding to our inner stockpile of virus ammunition. Go out and get vaccinated, when the Vaccine does arrive. Your kids will carry them forward and have a story to tell, in generations to come. That’s domesticating the virus, is it not? We have it chained to our DNA.
I reckon this is vacation season. I’ve been reading about a few Bollywood starlets, some ‘newly married’, some ‘old married’ heading for gorgeous sea-green holidays in the Maldives. And spraying sizzling photographs on Instagram, and the kind. They can be seen on the beach-front, on the water, in the water, under the water, and on the marriage bed with fishes swimming above on the ceiling among other wonderful, picturesque sights. Difficult to choose between the starlet, the fish, and the scenery (…and the bed). I hope secrets tumble out soon – we know where to look, for the special effects!
Over the past week, I’ve been watching a lot of Netflix and kept in-step with Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Family moves in ‘The Crown‘. And also watched the true-story based 2007 year movie ‘American Gangster’. It’s a fascinating story of an honest cop who refuses to hide a million dollar cash-stash he finds in an abandoned car in a crime scene – instead hands it over to the Authorities. And the story of the clever rise to ‘indecent power’ of a drug-lord Kingpin who fearlessly establishes a cocaine drug-empire in America. Later, the cop busts the thriving drug-dealing gang which results in half of the New York Police being arrested for being complicit in crime. The honest cop goes on to become an Attorney – after doing evening classes – and gets the convicted Kingpin released after a jail term of 15 years. Russel Crowe honestly plays the honest cop and Denzil Washington drugs the Drug Lord. I thought both essayed their roles to perfection as Richie Roberts and Frank Lucas respectively, in a well-directed movie by Ridley Scott. Go watch it for the superb performances.
Honest pays and being honest is a reward in itself. Let’s live up to the policeman image of Richie Roberts. Worth emulating for a million dollars!
After months of scrubbing and soap-washing my hands I think I’ve finally reached the bone of the coronavirus. It’s a matter of time before I smash it with an over 95% efficient Vaccine hammer. Will 2021 be the year of the hammering the virus? Meanwhile, please wear that layered mask, keep washing – to remove bone stains – and, mind the gap between fellow humans. That actually keeps the virus away. It works!
Il’be dishing out more pulsating and honest stories in the weeks ahead. Our World is complex, but we do not have to understand everything – just the few that matter and ‘cook the food’ for us. And keep at it.
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