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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Half cooked year

13 started with slogans that this year belongs to you (saal tera hain.) Year started with outrage over Nirbhaya. Obama took over his second term. Indian economy sluggish and Govt at helm paralyzed. What has happened over the year? Year of 11 was revolution. Year of 12 was year of failures. I would define this year as semi cooked. We had semi finals of elections won handsomely by opposition and has given rise to another uncooked player called AAP.  Government tried to be decisive but again failed on all fronts the situation being under cooked. BJP has shown hope in declaring PM candidate who definitely will mean business irrespective of empty rhetoric of unacceptability around him making him appear semi cooked again. Year 14 will be landmark as we will see finals and finally someone will complete the process.
On International front, Obama took over his second reign which took severe beating during standoff on healthcare reforms which were found under cooked, Snowden snooping accusations. But then did some diplomacy with Putin and Iran over Syria and Iran nuclear. Thankfully US economy has shown signs of recovery due to inherent basics. China continues to be aggressor across East Asia and had unstable issues with India. Though Chinese growth story is not impacted by global recession as it has Indian story but some sheen veered off. Also basic issues of freedom and separatism impacted it internally. Arab revolution countries continue to be unstable like Egypt, lybia. Syrian crisis now has taken serious turn. European economy has done very little to show signs of recovery though Northern countries remain solid as usual. Pakistan the perpetual migraine had elections and Nawaz Sharif returning but with imminent afgan pullout things stand fragile and its warning for India as well. SAARC neighbours had their set of problems where India has to be very careful especially in Bangladesh, Srilanka and Maldives. The ASEAN movement participation was the only positive for India.
On domestic side, country remains indecisive, paralysed and corrupt. On defences matter we remain weak as our soldiers were killed and mutilated. On foreign policy we remain weak. We had new scams and old scams returning. We have dual power centres: MMS vs Gandhi family. We had corrupt UPA allies having their pound of flesh. We had good for nothing ministers. In any other country, this kind of performance had no chance of returning to power in 14. But in India, things work differently and our voting patterns, politics we cannot say that for sure. BJP won in 4 states (I include Delhi as its largest party). System has shown what good meaning executives can do. People like them. I don’t say BJP is incorrupt but Nation had done well from 99-04 under Vajpayee and UPA1 reaped benefits before destroying economy since 09 under UPA2. AAP is new entrant and its largely driven by individual egos. The success in Delhi can be attributed to situation in Delhi which saw public anger during Anna agitation and Nirbhaya protest (13 saw more cases like Gudiya etc). But their agenda seems more flawed than communists and even UPA in terms of free lunch promises. The idealism can sound good but my advice to AAP is to be more mature and wait till 19)
Indian economy has gone worse and if you add impact of faulty UPA promised of food security, RTE etc, 2014 sounds worse. Only hope is elections and reforms which can be as a part of election agenda. Also RBI under new leader remains firm against politics. Slowdown has impacted various sectors. IT industry has taken up new challenges in cloud, mobile, healthcare.  Many new products are emerging from India. Good reports out of silcon valley also help us indirectly. Education though suffered thanks to political intervention. Aviation industry has some new hope after kingfisher debacle in form of tata ventures. World business has some new paradigms opened by internet 3.0 Analytics, Big data and social media 2.0. Core manufacturing, clean and non conventional energy have taken centre stage
Environment continues to suffer and we have seen more catastrophes in 13 than any other year. In India we had a semi man made disaster in Uttarakhand where thousands of people lost lives. Worldwide Hurricanes and earthquakes pounded people. It’s high time people do something to mitigate and help future generations.
On sports side, to start with cricket we had God retiring. Cricket will never be same. Nostalgia hit us when we actually realized that how we have evolved along with Tendulkar as a country. Of course in 12 we had seen lowest point of home defeat against England. 13 saw revival which again is half cooked. We won at home vs Aussies. New team India won champions trophy and few odi series. But the real test (or final) will start in SA during Dec 13 and later in Eng, Aus, NZ in 14. But new generation has sown some promise. Bowling continues to be a worry. On world scene Aussies are reviving and England seem on decline. SAF continues to rule but unless they have some ICC silverware they will not be treated as champions.  Viswanathan Anand’s reign ended in Chennai. Leander amazed everyone by winning US open doubles at the age of 42. Saina struggled. Hockey team struggled. Politics and drug again hampered other sports. Lance Armstrong was disgraced and corruption in soccer and tennis also saw its ugly head. IPL in India was disgraced by spot fixing as well.  Federer had an ordinary year when Joker , Murray and Nadal shared the spoils. All look forward to big year for Indian cricket with away series, ICCT20 and biggest soccer carnival in Brazil .
On cinema, again new directors and genres tried but stars and half cooked idiotic comedies in 100 crore school ruled. Hollywood also continues to have vampires and werewolves to rule though there is new trend of cinematic dramatization of classics. Marathi drama saw top actors performing but we lost many stalwarts. Art and Music saw some new entrants with promise.
On state front, even in later of 14 we will have finals.  Its really time to change this governance where there is corruption, law and order situation is so grave that activists are murdered in broad daylight even i city like Pune. What can you expect from such team of self serving leaders? Do we have option? New parties again serve interest of their leaders with large egos. Opposition is totally divided. Its high time people unite and provide stong option. Thankfully 13 saw good monsoons as compared to the drought situation in 12. Hope irrigation scams wont impact in 14.
City of Pune saw man made tragedies like Shindewadi. BDP, new DP, BRT, Metro, water situation remain unchanged. City lacks leadership and hope in 14 we have one. Expessway and National highways around pune continue to be death traps. We wish real change in 14


Lets hope 14 brings all those changes and cook the broth fully. Bit it comes with warning that if cooked more it will be burnt. And thats a possibility as well.

Author Gautam Naik runs blog http://nayakgiri.blogspot.com

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