The Start to the year
The year 2008 had started with a new record in SMS messages in India, when over a billion messages were exchanged in 2 days!
The year started with the effects of Benazir Bhutto’s death in Pakistan, and a year from that now, the country is sinking into deeper and deeper mess. The elections saw emergence of her husband as the country’s President with her party at the helm. Yet, there is not even the slightest of effort into finding out who killed her. Her life was in danger, for attempts were made at least thrice on her life, but who finally killed her is still a mystery. If Zardari’s Government could not find out, none can.
The year started in midst of the controversial Indian tour of Aussies and the antics by Ponting & co. in trying to by hook or crook beat Indians. the year ended with a complete rout of the Aussies by India in the home series… but the whinning did not!
The year started with India being a # 2 on the Dream Destinations list for travellers brought out by TravellersPoint and ended with Mumbai Attacks on the most important destination of tourists in India – the luxury hotels in Mumbai.
While early this year the Reliance Power IPO was sold in 1 minute, the current state of the economy would make such a scenario look like a dream!
Sometime in the beginning of the year, I also started learning Sanskrit and attending Upanishad classes in the local Arya Samaj school, which were very useful but shortlived.
Then Delhi was rocked by blasts… and the same pusillanimity from the Central Government – which is now its most enduring hallmark! The blasts occured despite the warnings conveyed by Modi to the Indian PM. Significant was how the Governments in UP and Center actually HELPED the terrorists bomb Indian cities!!
And then, on November 26, MUMBAI WAS ATTACKED! This was not a terrorist attack but a DECLARATION OF WAR by Pakistan’s State and Non-State Actors against India! In all this coverage, we saw the downright negative role played by the Indian media!
In a detailed analysis, we tried to understand this attack better….Pakistan media and analysts meanwhile continued to make a fool of themselves completely. .. and talk like they were hallucinating.. as did the Indian politicians.
Unfortunately, despite all the pressure and the sensational nature of the attacks.. NOTHING HAPPENED!! In the end, India DID NOTHING!!
Pakistan and India
In the broader discussion about Pakistan and India relations, we explored the question as to why is Kashmir important?
As early as September, Obama had asserted that Pak uses US aid against India – to prepare for a war against India. And in that discussion, I had put forward that Jehadis may be planning a big attack against India. I wish I had been wrong!
In October we discussed the terrorism and the economics of Pakistan in a detailed and researched essay.
Recession and Financial Meltdown
As early as Jan, we were wondering on Drishtikone, if we were in the midst of a recession? Now, I guess we might be wondering if this is a depression?
By Sept it became clear that the meltdown was truly on its way and US Senators and the Government wanted to do “something”.. as the Financial Abyss stared at us!
Despite the package.. the credit was frozen.
A discussion on why and what of the meltdown was also posted to seek answers.
Insights into India
And Anand became the World Champion of Chess.. again!
On the negative front, the tensions and frictions of the democracy were evident in the country.. as I agonized over them…. as we discussed the Humiliation of the Indian Army by the Politicians over the years!
One of the things I started this year was to go back in years using Google and reading news on some news papers in past years to see how the events unfolded then and reported by the journalists of the day.. and how they have been twisted NOW. One of the post that came out was the one on Jinnah and how he used the ignorance of the masses to make Indian National Congress into a villain!
This year, Indian railways notched a record surplus and distributed $1 billion in Dividends
Along the way, we lamented on the deteoriation in the Indian TV news.
Co-bloggers, guests and their contributions
Some new co travellers joined in this journey called Drishtikone…
Jeshi, my dear friend, has been writing for a long time with some excellent posts – he shared his thoughts on our school principal, Mrs. Rajni Kumar. A lady who is exceptional and amazing. He also wrote another one on enjoying the coffee and not let the cups drive the life! He also added life with a list on Punjabis!
Meanwhile, Vivek, another friend who started writing on Drishtikone, shared this little story on Maths… among many others!
Another, and one of most regular and definitely the most insightful writers on Drishtikone, Ezequiel, started writing on things related to Spirituality! And whatever he wrote helped so many with their daily lives and improve their thoughts. Here was one of his initial posts which I liked a lot. He wrote many essays like this one on Life’s change and the daily dozen actions… and discussing our perceptions
In the field of global politics, had the privilege of discussing The Next Great Clash, a book by Michael Levin in an interview with the author.
One of my all time favorite posts was made in March of this year “Was Krishna’s Gita a Rebellion of his times?“. It took a lot of introspection on my part and joining dots.. and I still did not get everything right in it. If one of the initial Upanishads discussed Krishna’s study of Vedas under Rishi Ghor Angiras, then Gita came between Vedas and Upanishads! And THAT is the greatest significance of Gita – it gave the foundational framework on which Vedanta was built.. it morphed the Vedas into the more profound Upanishads!
In another post on Spirituality, I tried to explore the relationship of ego and singularity.
As I studied the Upanishads in the class, I brought the story of Satyakaam for the readers. A story that I found very powerful!
In another important and significant post in my exploration, I tried to look at Spiritual journey from a mathematical standpoint.
We also discussed how the religions in east and west came from similar origins but then ostensibly took different routes.
I have always been fascinated by J. Krishnamurti, but I also discovered another great Saint, Mooji, who discussed many topics and this Satsang was especially very powerful for me!
A doctor this year started experiments into Near Death Experiences to see if Brain was indeed the only instrument of memory with us?
The Stories of Insight
In one of the most brilliant stories on spirituality, Suresh Naig, a guest writer, wrote on Relative Truth. A lot of people just loved it! He followed it up with another great story – The Phantom Limb.
Inspired by that story, I wrote probably the most significant story in a long time – Samar and Radha: A Love Story. This story and my own personal note on “Why I am a Hindu?” form two of my biggest favorites on Drishtikone! I then wrote one from the flip side “What I am NOT an Atheist?“.
My second story was on a different dimension “And the moon was bright…”
Science, Society and Innovation
One useful technology experiment that we talked about this year was the Hole-in-wall-Question Box. It clearly showed how little bit of imagination could do to transform lives of common people.
One significant energy alternative was discussed which was innovative and fascinating!
This year a significant scientific experiment in Switzerland was launched – the Large Haldron Collider. It was looking for God’s particle – a particle that theoretically gives mass to the energy to create matter. This experiment created a lot of interest and anxiety.
A significant post on Prof GD Agrawal’s fast unto death over the Dam on Bhagirathi evoked a lot of responses from his students and discussion of his work.
One political post that got a lot of hits and comments was the one on Communists – a lot of communists were angered and abused me as much as they could without much benefit 🙂
Despite India’s progress, we discussed about how the rich are threatening the food security in India! And the Indian Member of Parliament’s price was set this year at $6 million. That is how much this animal costs!
One of the most interesting story that I had discussed was of a blind man painting. I was amazed at the extra-ordinary capabilities of this guy. This led me to the story of another genius – a 7 yr old kid surgeon who was beating the daylights out of experts at Imperial College.
This year’s Monsoons took us down our memory lane on how the rains in our childhood were enjoyed.
Also, I got introduced to a new friend, Joseph Palli, who has started a company called ZCubes which is doing some extra-ordinary work!
A beautiful love story of an old couple… their childhood love!
Very early this year I had announced on this blog “Why I think Obama will be the 44th US President” – something that might come true this year on January 20.
We also covered the US elections and the debates and the good, the bad (McCain economics . Palin’s scary lack of knowledge) and the humourous (even this!) of the candidates.. #1….. until after the second debate I announced that it was “Game Over” for McCain.
Finally, as Obama was announced on Nov 4, as the new President-elect of US, I wrote this essay on the significance of his election!
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