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Living through revolutionary times- Aug 28, 2012

Every generation must think it lives in revolutionary times. I certainly think I do. One indicator is the many subtle and not so subtle changes in the world map. When we were kids, the Cold War dominated the world’s consciousness. Very much in the shadow of the Western powers, India and the Indian media steadfastly followed the rivalry between the US and the USSR. While our political status was non aligned and Russian fairy tales entertained us no end (remember Baba Yaga and the numerous Ivan’s!), American culture showed us glimpses of a life full of the freedom to aspire.
The splitting of the USSR and the fall of the Berlin Wall have been momentous changes indeed. But we have also parallely been witness to dramatically different political systems. Communism Russian style gave way to the Chinese model. In our childhood, we debated the benefits of Soviet style communism versus democracy, now we wonder what the Chinese are doing better than us. It is hard for us to reconcile China’s tremendously capitalistic behaviour with its state controlled model. Now China is looking to re-engineer society and reduce their income disparity in order to continue to grow as an economy. Another innovative experiment to watch out for in our lifetime.
Back home too, the flavour of democracy is changing subtly and continuously. In the midst of chaos is hope that citizen awareness will grow and pressurise the system to evolve towards transparency and efficiency. It is a dream indeed, but who knows… In this wonderful lifetime miracles might yet happen!

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