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.

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?

Eating The Indian Sun.

During winters many Indians  sit in their gardens in the sunlight to get some warmth in their ageing bones. This is called Dhoop Khana in Hindi which translates to ‘eating the sun’.
My GP had recently suggested that I sit in the sun for some time every day to get some Vitamin D which I do every afternoon when we get some sunlight in our verandah. The photo above was taken by an amused well wisher recently during one such session when I was musing over matters of great import while warming my ancient bones.  Pleas click on the image for a larger resolution if you wish to see how lost I was!

The point of this post however is not to show off my musing skills or to talk about my ancient bones but, to talk about something else.

In one of my earlier posts, I had written about our garden abutting a major avenue of our neighbourhood where I get to see many morning exercisers. Those early morning observations however are vastly different in quality as, the overall silence is not broken except for the chirping of birds.

During my afternoon sessions at the verandah however, the quality is different as, for some strange reason our mock picket fence abutting the road seems to attract many people to stop and converse on their mobile phones or, sometimes even to each other. The latter incidents can be quite tense as often major quarrels take place and I have had to shout to get the characters involved to take their quarrels elsewhere.

While I do appreciate the two wheeler drivers who stop to take phone calls instead of talking while riding, why choose the spot just outside our garden baffles me.  Similarly, quarrelling on the road while may be justified, why choose that particular spot is too.

Do such baffling disturbances trouble you too?

Another Outing.

My beard trimmer conked out and I had to go to the manufacturer’s service station located at a distance of 12 Kms from my home. I put on a mask, got into an autorickshaw, and went off to see a bit of Pune that I had not seen for near four years.

It was a great experience passing through many landmarks on the way that brought back many memories of my more mobile days and I thoroughly enjoyed the drive to and from the Service Center. So much so that the driver of the auto even asked if I was new to Pune!

The place that I  had to go to is called Swargate and I was simply amazed at the changes that have taken place during the time that I had not visited that area. The major junction is now free of the long waits at the signal due to the flyovers that have come up and we were able to go pretty fast to where I had to go after the main junction.

The icing on the cake was the excellent customer service that I received at the Service Center and the very considerate driver of the auto who drove efficiently, helped me in and out of the auto and over all kept me entertained throughout the adventure.

An outing that has given me the necessary impetus to be more adventurous from now on and more importantly the confidence to my son and daugher in love that I can still be left alone to my devices!