Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bye 2011! Welcome 2012!

As another year comes to an end, I can't stop myself from looking at the year gone by and remember the key moments of the year. As the famous quote goes, 
We don't remember days, We remember moments
This was an year characterized by change. Also this was an year when everything looks the same as the last year.  When i look back, the moments that WOWed are few but the moments that brought a change in me were a lot.. 

WOW Moment:
2011 will be remembered - for India's World Cup Win. Personally, my WOW moments happened after the matches: quarter-finals (Excited in Tawang Cold that i was going to see India-Pakistan @ Mohali LIVE), semi-finals (No Words can describe the elation, the pure joy of walking & sharing the triumph with fellow cricket fans in the stadium and the people from Mohali) & finals (Spontaneous Outpouring of Delhities on the streets). 

In the field, it was not Dhoni's Six in the world cup final that wowed me..  but Gambhir-Kohli innings at the final. Finally, Indian Cricketers did not choke and had the winning mentality. Thank you! Gary Kirsten!. We miss you!! 

WOW Moment - 2:
Anna Hazare's Protests caught media and public attention. India Media gots its 'Tahiri Square' Moment. From the perfect timing ('No News' seasons) to well-planned strategy & tactics, ensured that India took a step closer to its Lokpal bill dream. Hope this would be the beginning of much more active participation of civil society in the major policies of the government. 

Surprisingly all the major nations had one protest or the other. US - Occupy Wall Street Moment. UK - London Riots, etc.. 

WOW Moment - 3
 By far, this would be my most traveled year. Memories of 2 Wonderful Trip Posts here - Assam & UK

Hope 2012 to have many more memorable moments for all of us. Wishing you all to have a lot more memorable moments in 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Indian Leaders! Where are you?

As the nation moves to a new year, the lack of leadership especially political leadership is the biggest national problem. As I am back in Tamilnadu, I am able to experience it - better than ever  The state today is grappling with multiple political issues
  1. Fight with Kerala regarding Mullai-Periyar Dam
  2. Fight with Central Government regarding KoodanKualam - (while the entire state is grappling with daily 4-hour electric power cuts. )
  3. Srilankan Tamil Issue - Mostly on the Fringes
Thankfully, the rains are good this year. Otherwise, the age-old struggle with Karnataka for Cauvery waters would have started again.  None of these issues have easy answers or solutions. 

Successful 'Past' Protests:
Protests like Siliguri & Lokpal has given enormous confidence to other protesters that continuous & sustained protests by a minority will bring desired results in today's media covered India. So expecting the protests to die away (like yester-years) is not going to happen. 

Compromises & Quick Decisions:
So the government requires to be quick on feet. Need to be quick to 
1. Kill Protests - right at the budding stage. Like how Karunanidhi shut off colleges to prevent any pro-Srilankan Tamil protests during the final stages of Srilankan Army - LTTE war. And it involves compromises & quick decisions. And the nation requires have a leader who is trusted by the nation and who brings states/groups to accept compromises. 
2. Make Decisions - Prolonging decisions like Telengana State Formation is not going to help both the parties. 
3. Create Process to handle fasts & protests: As creating a policy of not negotiating with plane hijackers, the government needs to create a policy of not negotiating with people who pressure by fasting or protesting. 

Require 'Connected' Leaders:
And government & political parties can be quick only when they have leaders and not managers on the top. And the recent advances in communications and technology means these leaders can afford to be connected 24*7 with the people. 

Why I love this nation?
While Leninist China can bull-doze over people's wishes, India's democracy needs it to take care of the wishes of a small group. But that is exactly the reason i love this nation - even though it is painful.