Happy New Year! Arrival of 2010

By Padmini Arhant

The world bid farewell to the first decade of the new millennium and greeted the beginning of the yet another decade with hope and optimism. Events in the years 2000 – 2009 have been remarkably pulsating with the Y2K hype, Presidential elections, political scandals, New Wave terrorism, simultaneous wars, space shuttle disaster, natural catastrophes, environmental onslaught, economic recession, corporate failures, pandemics, genocides, religious sacrilege, and the demise of the famous and the infamous personalities overwhelming the population in intensity and casting the news media on a spin.

On the bright side, the innovative technology introduced novel electronic devices, gadgets and gizmos and continues to revolutionize modern existence in all frontiers evidenced in medicine, space programs, travel, sports, and entertainment not barring the election process such as the 2008 Presidential race.

Human character is tested every moment in life. The extreme adversity survival is an affirmation of the victims’ tenacity to weather the storm at any level. Tragedies of greater magnitude often unify people and unfortunately it’s never long lasting. Soon after, society defaults to individualism, the factor that contributes to problems facing humanity.

Contemporary issues are largely pre-empted by the concept of “me, myself and I,” involving power struggle, wealth amassment and spotlight.

From politics, economics to any form of entertainment, the aggressive domination serving the self interest rather than the common good is pursued as the only path to triumph in the targeted goals. Ironically, such behavior ultimately affects all including the original source, both morally and otherwise. Some change the course of action and evolve from it whereas others dissolve in it for a kamikaze end.

“Some things never changes,” is ominous throughout the crisis. Following the September 11, 2001 artfully orchestrated terrorism, the several testimonies to Congress concluded that the intelligence and the national security flunked in defending the country from the monstrous attack.

Eight years later the repeat scenario with the young bomber on Christmas day fortunately averted but again attributed to the same administrative branch’s dismissal of the warnings from the terror suspect’s father, the next of kin. Instead of following the lead and aborting the incident prior to any serious development, the bizarre explanation reportedly alluding to the suspect’s father not being a close relative defies common sense.

Pertaining to the terror revival, the travelling experience for particular people is guaranteed to be harrowing due to the ethnic groups branding largely stemming from ignorance causing further polarization.

The terror organization Al-Qaida is unduly regarded as the formidable opponent in the “war on terror,” when the reality being the gaping hole in the domestic front like the transportation department (TSA) deprived of the qualified personnel to lead the important division because of the partisan politics is an open invitation to all imaginable external harm out there.

Hence, the priority must be to thwart the internal threats, a hindrance to the functional government. It guides to the supermajority issue in the Senate that must be eliminated and made filibuster proof for democracy to prevail. Politics focused on self promotion uses the filibuster as a weapon, no less than the tactics availed in the terror plots by the assailants.

Only the public outrage and condemnation along with stripping the power that is misused will terminate the undemocratic means among the legislators entrusted to be the lawmakers. Further, the imposition of term limits is equally necessary in the meaningful political reform to enable successful legislations on national and global matter.

Today, politics is nothing but a popularity contest. It makes one wonder why nations bother holding the grueling elections that emits the worst out of candidates who pledge to safeguard the state sovereignty while grossly violate the ethics and sometimes even the constitution they are elected to defend. It holds no bar against the demeanor witnessed during the elections all over.

Since, politics seeks glamour and glitz with the media interested in style than substance, it might be simpler for the electorate to choose the most popular entity on-line and be disenchanted by the contenders. It would also save the political aspirants from the heartaches and blistering attacks funded by the special interests operating to reap huge dividends in the short and long term regardless of the outcome.

Then accordingly, the A-political celluloid celebrities will trump the political contestants for Hollywood is far-reaching with genuine dedication towards humanitarian progress monetarily and in policy advocacy, with the exception of the Californians’ leadership choice to represent the golden state.

With respect to the corporate structure, the recent revelations conform to the fact that the corporations rule the national and the international domain on all issues predominantly favoring them in their selective globalization and protectionism to suit the private agenda. There will be more in the forthcoming articles in this context.

When scanning the role of religion in politics, apparently, the constitutional separation of church and state is slighted with the religious groups heavily influencing the legislative process related to women’s health and the gay members in the society. The political fervor visibly displayed in the sermons posing a conflict of interest with the captive audience. At the same time, the activism among these groups is non-existent in deterring the government against war and human rights abuse.

Considering the global challenges, the religious institutions could be instrumental in alleviating the human plight, the appropriate call of duty that interprets service to humanity as the service to the revered entity.

For instance, the treasure held at the Vatican City, the holy shrine for the most venerable and compassionate Lord Jesus could adequately address the poverty, hunger and disease in the catholic and non-catholic regions of the world.

Lord Jesus personifies simplicity and sacrifice to mankind’s benefit and the wealth in possession of the “pious,” is an obstacle in the path to salvation and decries the ordained spiritual purpose.

The wealth disbursement for basic necessities viz. clean water, growing food crops, education, and disease prevention would provide enormous humanitarian relief to catholic nations like The Philippines, Mexico, Haiti, and other countries in Latin America, Africa and the Eastern Europe.

With Judaism, more rabbis need to join the scholars and peace activists in urging Israel to cease the settlement activity in West Bank and East Jerusalem. This would expedite the two state solutions for permanent peace between Israel and Palestine.

Likewise, the religion of Islam has come under merciless attack and falsely used as an alibi by the
terrorists to support their violent motives against innocent human beings. Islam has been wrongfully accused of preaching violence by some ill-informed political and religious representatives and certain media to stir controversy and infuse confusion in the mainstream thoughts.

It’s important for the religious order and the people of Islamic faith to overtly oppose the terrorists’ actions and the propaganda against Islam emanating from all sides. Silence is an improper response to slander.

Similarly, Hinduism is misunderstood for creating caste distinctions based on socio-economic status. On the contrary, Hindu religion invariably emphasizes on “all living beings created equal,” with the divine incarnates or “Avatars” on earth having represented the ostracized to dispel the human manufactured discriminatory conduct.

The multi-limbed goddesses have aroused curiosity for their appearance when in fact it’s symbolic of the feminine qualities in multi-tasking and places the female gender as the most productive and significant part of the creations.

Goddess Durga is worshipped as the mother of the Universe and the procreator sharing equal status and power with her consort God Shiva. Goddess Durga also known as Shakti meaning vibrant energy is omnipotent and a merciful savior of the weak and the oppressed.

However, the deity’s ferocious version of “Kali” is a force to reckon with and exclusively meant to deal with injustice, intolerance, treachery, chaos, carnage and destruction by the mortals.

Despite the aura of the Goddess Durga, women are still subject to atrocities reflected in the incidents of female infanticides, dowry homicides and denigration of various kinds in the Indian society.

Although, crimes of this nature are punishable by law, it’s essential to eradicate the concept that women are inferior in any shape or form. It reveals the hypocrisy with the female deities worshipped for fame and fortune but women in certain segments of the society do not receive the respect and dignity they deserve. Women’s organizations within India are fairly active and doing good work with room for improvement in promoting women’s rights.

In the neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan, women fall in the subservient category and the abuse of women in these regions are legitimized through Sharia law and the Karzai administration legalizing the non-consensual consummation in a marriage against Afghan women. Women in other Islamic nations like Indonesia share the experience of being treated as second class citizens in some urban and most rural parts of the country.

Elsewhere, in Africa, Middle East and Latin America the women are burdened with the religious orthodox traditions and ancient rituals leaving the women shackled in medieval times.

Irrespective of the economic status, the female infanticide continues even in the metropolitan China and the abandonment of female children ending in the orphanage is not uncommon. The disparities in wages and other anomalies against women persist.

Industrialized nations are no better. The repressive conditions for women in Japan are well known and perhaps masqueraded with the western outlook.

As for the western nations, women encounter domestic violence and the corporate culture showcase women in a condescending manner to push the commercial merchandise and during deal negotiations. The news reports on physical assault against service women by the private contractors and discrimination of pregnant officer in the war zones is regressive for an advanced nation.

In the United States, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) defeat recently in the legislation based on the myopic view that it would grant women equal participation in the combat role ignores other aspects on women’s rights.

Further setbacks on women’s rights extended in the Supreme Court Decision and the Senate Bill on equal pay for equal work killed by the Senate Republicans via 56-42 votes on April 23, 2008 on the grounds that the legislation would trigger lawsuits from the affected parties i.e. the women in this case.

Source: National Organization for Women – Thank you.

”The Supreme Court decision in the case of Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. In a 5-4 decision, the Court ruled that a Title VII complaint must be filed within 180 days of the specific action that sets discriminatory pay, regardless of its ongoing and continuing discriminatory impact on the employee.”

Decisions of this kind are a huge embarrassment for nations setting high moral standards and the legislative outcome confirms that principles are held in theory but not delivered in practice.

To summarize, Religions have become the tool for secular incarcerations by the minority fundamentalists undermining the majority human rights.

The religious intervention in politics is best when encouraging the government to embrace peace over military aggressions and illegal occupations of foreign lands, human rights and environmental protection are some of the issues that would bode well for the religious centers.

It should refrain from negative activities through ballot measures and public forum inciting hatred and unwarranted fear against gay community, Undocumented workers and responsible pro-choice women.

On women’s rights, the global community has reached many milestones with women as the heads of the government and leading in most professions. Nevertheless, there are far too many bridges to cross in establishing the equality ratio demographically.

Women’s organizations and human rights watch groups are striving hard to help humanity achieve progress multilaterally and regrettably the government cooperation is either lacking or insufficient to attain the desirable results.

It’s vital for every citizen to be aware and generate awareness on legislative affairs for the decisions made in the Capitol Hill profoundly impact the daily life.

The excess human greed led to the disastrous decade and those behind the travesty refuse to heed to the warning that,

Mortals brought nothing upon arrival. Therefore, they take nothing back on their departure. One might assume to be powerful but the human capability is limited like everything else on this planet.

No one is invincible and never will be. None have a permanent contract to exist on earth and all actions immaterial of stature, will be evaluated and judged accordingly. That being the status, the humanity flourishes through fairness, equality and freedom for all.

Democracy is alive when the government is of the people, by the people and for the people.

New Year resolutions for 2010 – Healthy lifestyle, fiscal responsibility and positive engagement e.g. being resourceful, peaceful, compassionate and eco-friendly.

Peace within you helps spreading peace around you.

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, in addition plenty of smiles and laughter in life proved to be beneficial.

Happy New Year to the citizens in the United States and around the world.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant