Thursday, September 27, 2012

Implosion, please!!

In Tokyo's Rose Hall of United Nations, blessed and gifted people from 37 countries across the globe debate on an extremely sensitive issue, global warming. 

  • Do we foresee a nature based adaptation or technology driven ecosystems?
  • Is investment in climate change a good idea? Where does one draw the line?

These are some of the issues which young, vibrant and talented people debate on. 


Talking about exceptional people, Hamza Mohammad is a Somali freelance journalist living in London.He reports from camps 30 Kms north of capital city, Mogadishu. Camps made from plastic sheets, papers, tattered clothes thrown away by the big city. This "waste" is what refugees use to build their lives. 

A parallel universe. 

Isha Ali, a weak and fragile mother of five, struggles to put plastic sheets to save herself from rain.Like all refugees, she has walked weeks to escape the religious conflicts in her village.She lost all her five children during the exodus. She is too weak to stand. 

A village which once was the richest in terms of agricuture, is now inhabitable due to ethnic voilence between muslims and other tribes. 

Isha holds his hands in a feeble grip and manages to utter the words "Hungry , hungry". All she has had to consume during last three days is rainwater. 

She breaks into tears when she finds out he is a journalist, not an AID worker. 

In the city, 15 kilometers away from the camp, food received from UN and agencies is being sold illegally in a rampant manner. Economics is simple. Farmer charges money as per the charges incurred to grow the food. Relief ration comes at the price which the corrupt NGO officer asks. 
Per tonne wise, it a lot cheaper to buy the ration off relief agencies. So confident are the sellers that they don't even bother to remove the "NOT FOR SALE" or UN logos from the sack. 

Business !

When the problems become extreme, revolutions happen.Yes. We saw how a 27 year young unemployed Tunisian called Mohd  Bouazizi sparked the entire Arab wave. The universal truth is that "Change is the only thing permanent". Despots across the world tend to forget it time and again. The revolutionary waves reminds them with a slap on their head. Sometimes with a bullet !

How come extreme events like hunger and violence in Africa, Corruption in Asian countries like India escape a sustained revolution?

Born in 1924, Amiclar Cabral from an extremely poor country of Cape Verde realized the need for a revolution in his country. Young Amiclar was an educated Agro engineer and wondered at the same question.

How come there hasn't been a revolution in spite of the extreme pathetic situation of my country?

Amiclar sparked an armed revolution which Africa and the world had never seen before in the 60's. 

With a difference !

He realized that in most of the cases where revolutions failed the common mass who was suffering never identified itself with the mainstream revolutionaries. After a revolution was over the fighters gained power and the cycle continued. Mass continued to suffer. 

Amiclar made the common people beleive that the fighters were one of them. 


The revolutionaries integrated themselves thoroughly with the daily lives of common people. When not fighting, they were striped of the ranks and power and they worked on farms as common farmers helping people grow their village economy. Most importantly, extremely effective communication between the commons and the fighters was established. 
Amiclar Cabral realized that helping people satisfy their basic needs would free their minds to contemplate more ethereal problems, like freedom and independence.

When the fighters went to war, the entire village wept. When they won, the entire village wept.
Unity was achieved. 

For his efforts, Amiclar Cabral was assassinated in 1973. 8 months later his country acheived unilateral declaration of independence. 

That's the thing about us, we all know what we want freedom from: from our government, our jobs, our responsibilties. 

What do you want freedom for?

Call me an existentialist, but I sincerely believe freedom does not mean not having any responsibility. In fact, it means taking responsibility for "everything" in your life. You don't have anything to blame. Not even destiny or god. You are "free", remember?

While it's great to hear all extremely talented colleugues to debate on issues such as climate change, it would be heartening to see if all the talent was used to work upon a solution which is implementable and involves masses. Preaching and leading does not get sustainable solutions anymore.

Getting people to act without being motivated by a leader.The need to change should come from within. That's what is required.

An Implosion instead of an Explosion. 



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