Effect Of The Pandemic On The Balance Of Power Between Nations?

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

~ John Donne.

I personally believe that the Pandemic itself will not have any effect on the balance of power between nations but, the period during which the pandemic came into being and affected lives, saw many developments that certainly will.

Let me list the events that I think were/are important for the world’s future in terms of Balance Of Power, henceforth BOP, between nations.

The first and most important, in my view, development was the breakdown in relations between the USA and China. The impact of this breakdown will unfold over the next few years with devastating effect on both economies till offsetting alternatives are found by both. That this period also saw the very nasty last year of the POTUS 45’s term which has changed the USA for ever and its future as an economic power is likely to face very strong winds though militarily little is likely to change.

The next was BREXIT. I strongly believe that this is a major development which will affect the BOP within Europe and may even hasten other exits from the union. Britain is likely to come out of it relatively unscathed but, will have to redraw its relationships with the countries of the Commonwealth, which in turn will impact many of them particularly India. British nationals of South Asian origin will have to rethink their loyalties and this is likely to be a major game changer in the sub continent.

The next in line is the military confrontation between China and India during almost the whole year which has broken their relationship and its impact economically is likely to affect China more than India.

Breakdown of relationship between China and Australia is another factor that will have serious impact in the global economic order during the rest of this decade. This coinciding with the strengthening of the Quad alliance has sent strong signals to China which is likely to react in unpredictable ways.

The crackdown in Hong Kong by China has already started to see exodus of highly qualified professionals and companies from the island and this is likely to impact the Chinese economy in unpredictable ways.

The Islamic world has been rent with violence since before the pandemic and if anything it has only increased during the last year. Oil based economies of the ME states have suffered and it has affected countries like Pakistan and India which send labour there. Quite how the Middle East will come out of the present strong winds of electric vehicles will impact the Islamic world and Muslim populations of the whole world which will overshadow any impact that the pandemic might have had.

Lastly, the latest developments in Mayanmar and Nepal do not bode well for the region as a whole. Quite how that plays out is yet to be seen and how China will play its cards there will give some indications of the shift in the BOP in the region.

All in all, the decade offers interesting ring side seats for people like me with nothing better to do than to read a number of news papers every day and speculate. While it will be interesting, I do not foresee any major shifts in the BOP during the decade. If anything, some polarisation will take place but, it will have little effect on the BOP.

This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Shackman. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Malapropism.


While admitting that English is not the lingua franca between me and a very old friend from the late eighties of the last century, he is back in my life via Facebook and WhatsApp.   He uses  English to convey some highly emotional messages. He is the son of a friend of mine and as it so often happens in India, I had introduced his parents to another set of parents with a daughter of marriageable age. Before too long, the two youngsters had got married to each other. I attended the wedding.

Recently, he was blessed with a grand child and this is the message that he sent me.

“You will no doubt remember that you were detrimental in my getting married many years ago and therefore I wish to convey this message to you before I send it to anyone else. My wife, Latha who came into my life thanks to you, and I have been blessed with a grandson. We are delighted and seek your blessings and good wishes for the child and all of us.”

For some strange reason, I think that he may have deliberately made that typo. What do you think?

Another Treat.

My regular readers will remember my pre Covid partner in crime Ramesh, with whom I used to go to the movies regularly. During almost the whole of last year we did not meet but were in regular telephone touch with each other.  This year too we have not met personally yet, though we have seen and spoken to each other on a few occasions, with a fence separating us.

Ramesh rang me up last night to announce that a treat will be delivered to me at home for lunch today. It came just before lunch time and my day was made.

This is Sai Bhaji a dish popular among Sindhis and which Ramesh knows I like very much.

We had made idlies and onion chutney to go with it and the unusual combination was simply sensational.

I over ate and had a blissful siesta and as I write this am full of gratitude for Ramesh and our country’s varieties of cuisines.

Have you experimented with mixing up different cuisines during a single meal?

One Keeps Learning.

I received this image from a friend to describe a political figure in India who is our biggest joke.

I had a good laugh and shared with a number of my friends who too enjoyed learning a new word for our joke. One however pointed out that there was a lady politico too, who fits the bill and wondered if there was a special word for that species.

Lo and behold, I found one for that too.

I have enjoyed learning these two words. Have you come across any such words recently?

A Treat!

Amul is a famous dairy products organisation of India offering a variety of products which are household names. It is also famous for its hoarding advertising which are humorous and topical. If you follow the link given earlier, there is a special column for its advertising which will be interesting for strangers to read.

Amul has constantly been innovating and launching new products and customers are delighted with the range and reach via all traditional and non traditional distribution channels. My family and I are great fans of it and its products.

Amul’s Camel Milk Chocolate was launched three years ago and I came to know of it only last year through an advertisement in a magazine that I normally do not read. Since then, I have been wanting to taste it but thanks to Covid, had to wait for it till earlier today when my son on an outing found it in a store, remembered my craving for it and bought it for me.

(If you look at the image carefully, you will see an embossed image of a camel and pieces of chocolate at the bottom right corner.)

I am delighted. It is everything that I expected from an unusual source. It tastes kind of strange but still very addictive. Now that I know where it can be bought from, it will regularly feature in my snacks.

Anything exotic like this recently in your life?