Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The word 'Change' is used so casually these days that it does not draw serious attention to the quiet changes taking place in the world. Look at the following changes in different facets of life. They are path-breaking in every sense of the word.

*The Mecca of capitalism , the U.S.A. has done the hitherto unthinkable. The Govt. there is bailing out sinking ships; the financial entities that threaten to take the country's economic might down with them, thanks to the sub-prime (housing) crisis that started 18 months ago and has proved to be far more prosperity-threatening than was assumed at the start. Bail-out packages, that text-book Socialist medicine to cure the ills of managerial inefficiency, are being prepared by the blue-eyed children of original Capitalism, the Republicans.

*A Black man is pounding at the doors of the political Vatican of the White men's world. And the doors might just open to let the brave man in. If he fails to get in, it would still ring the bells of change because his failure would mean a woman from the other Political Party will reach within the breathing distance from the American Presidency. Whether Obama wins or McCain/Palin win, what will have happened is change of earth-shaking dimensions.

*Every month, nearly 10 million people get added to the list of owners of mobile phone connection in India. For a country where the waiting time for getting a (Land line) phone connection used to be several years not very long ago, this change is of Himalayan proportions.

*Indian Movies used to be ridiculed by the World for their songs-at-the-drop-of-a-hat and running-around-trees sequences. There are still several songs in every Indian Movie. Running around trees continues, may be in a more camouflaged way. But Bollywood Movies have found a market in the West. One could say that the vast NRI population in the U.S. constitute the bulk of the viewing public there. But what explains the brisk sale of DVD-s of Bollywood movies in Germany? I have a net friend from Germany, who lives in Hamburg and who chats with me mainly on the Bollywood stars.

*About 10-12 years ago, news meant only political news. The Newspapers were full of tiring details on political parties, their petty rivalry etc. Happenings in every other sphere were ignored or left to be dealt with by glossy specialty magazines that drove deep holes on the pockets. Even the national Newspapers were no exception to this. Today, a lot of importance is given to news on economics and human interest stories. Headlines on the first page are no more reserved only for politics. Developments in national economy and financial field are given pride of place in the limited space on the first page.The reading public need not hunt for pink newspapers to get a peek into money matters any more ; the daily all-purpose newspaper keeps the readers adequately informed, be it on oil prices, impact of the collapse of investment banks or merits of unit-linked insurance plans.