Modern Democracy–Success Or Failure.

I think that the question is unanswerable in its present form. In my not so humble opinion, it is neither. It is a joke.  I am one of those who enjoy the process and see humour in it instead of getting worked up about the outcomes.

The winning side always faces criticism from the losing side which blames everything else under the sun other than its own shortcomings for its loss.  The losing side is lampooned by all kinds of pundits for being incapable of taking on the winning side.

This is more than amply illustrated by the joke that has been doing the social media rounds the last few weeks. “The USA has now realised that it is easier to get rid of foreign presidents than their own.”

There are other countries which, after election results are announced claim that the candidate has been selected and not elected.

And others where the whole world knows that the elections are rigged but, they are held nevertheless and the winner hailed.

The oldest democracy and the largest democracy in the world recently had two elections almost at the same time. The former to elect its President and the latter to bring in a new legislature and government to a large state.

Both had one significant thing in common. The losers refused to accept their losses and the following two cartoons say more than I could ever say.

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In the lower cartoon, Tejaswi Yadav the loser in India’s Bihar is blaming Rahul Gandhi whose party and the former’s party jointly fought the elections together against the winning combination. The text says – “What sanitiser have you used that victory slipped away from our hands?”

I do not wish to say anything more about the American democracy but, will about the Indian one.  To start with let me reproduce a quote from Winston Churchill.  “If independence is granted to India Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low calibre & men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles.”

This was during a debate in the British parliament in 1947.  Since then a lot of water has flowed down the Thames and India has survived for over 77 years as a  democracy  except for a short aberration between 1975 and 1977. It has had its share of heroes and villains like all the other democracies of the world.

I quote a bit from a incisive article by an eminent writer of India – “In popular Western narrative, India wasn’t expected to make it in one piece, much less emerge as the world’s fifth largest economy.”

In the meanwhile, it is interesting to note that Britain, the so called mother of democracies is supposed to be facing a crisis of democracy!

Do you now see why I think that democracy is a joke?

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 Raju. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Learning From Erudite Cousins.

Both the cousins who feature in this post read my posts regularly and comment and so, it is dedicated to them.

I recently mentioned in my post “Learning” that “old dogs can’t learn new tricks.” To this, my cousin Shankar commented:

“Ramana, the Old adage is :

You Can’t “Teach” An Old Dog New Tricks –
Merriam-Websterwww.merriam-webster.com › dictionary › you can’t tea…

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks definition is –
—used to say that a person who is old or is used to doing things in a certain way cannot learn or does not …”

I corrected my post and thanked him.

Yesterday, I was on a phone call with another cousin Papa and in some context mentioned in Tamil that in my old age I am reverting to old traditions. To which he promptly responded with the very apt adage in Tamil that translates to English as “Doing Surya Namaskar after going blind.”

I am in regular touch with many of my cousins thanks to modern telephony and social media and enjoy talking to them. The talks and social media exchanges often revolve around nostalgia and since we are all, over the proverbial three score and ten, nostalgia plays a very important part in our staying sane. The word sane however is to be used with caution as some of us including my siblings are border line cases.

Learning.


This post has been inspired by one with the same title by Cheerful Monk.

Cheerful Monk goes further with a follow up post on the history of the naming of the two lions in her next post The Library Lions.

I had seen these statues of the lions in New York as a tourist on a guided tour and these details were not told to us by the guide. On the other hand, when I visited Paris as a tourist at the museum the Rodin’s statue The Thinker which appears on my mast here was explained in detail by the guide and made a deep impression on me.

The point is that I learnt a bit about Rodin thanks to the guide and about the New York Lions from Cheerful Monk. In the case of the former, my curiosity made me follow up with more investigations later on. Another work of art that intrigued me and about which I investigated and learnt was this in Milan;
One is never too old to learn new things although I find it convenient to use the adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” when it is needed.

The masks on the lions made me smile. Do they you?

My Best, Worst And Most Likely Case Predictions For The World In Five Years.

I am not Nostradamus and I find it extremely difficult to predict what will happen tomorrow leave alone during the next five years. There is so much uncertainty around that it is not funny anymore. Here is the latest ominous sign about the kind of unexpected things that can happen in the future just as this chinese virus came as a surprise.

My best prediction will be that:

  1. Almost all vehicles two wheelers, four wheelers and transportation and agricultural vehicles will run on electricity. Electricity itself will be generated from renewable sources and be non polluting. This single development will realign industry, maintenance and service work forces like never before.
  2. Artificial Intelligence and robotics will be the next big invader into employment and the Service Sector will be the biggest employer throwing unqualified workers out of employment and causing big strain on National budgets. This could raise taxes on working persons causing quite a bit of social unrest.
  3. Working and Learning From Home will be more common than working in offices and learning in schools and colleges, and this will strain the Realty Sector but will reduce traffic on roads and call for different kinds of policing and criminal activities.
  4. Women will increasingly be more visible in high positions and their wages will match male wages.
  5. Hard cash as we now know it will become almost extinct as electronic payment systems will increasingly take over.
  6. Banks as we know now will also disappear as while Banking will very much be there, Banks in physical existence as branches and offices
    will disappear.
  7. As much as I hate to predict this, wearing masks will be as ubiquitous as it is in Japan.
  8. Wireless charging of hand held devices which will be indispensable and will enable people to charge their devices on the go.

    Worst prediction will be that the Clash Of Civilisations will see intense hostilities across the globe and we will see unprecedented refugee problems across the globe. Some trigger-happy lunatic in charge of a nuclear arsenal may start something and none of us may be alive.

    The most likely prediction will be that nothing will change and we will blunder along as we are doing now.

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 Conrad. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Recipes For My Grandchildren.

This topic has been suggested by the youngest member of this Friday Bloggers Group.   She is young enough to be my grand daughter. I love the idea of this topic but unfortunately have no first hand experience of being a grand parent with recipes for my grandchild/ren nor that of a grand child who was mollycoddled and fed by grandparents.

My grandparents, only one set of them as the other had passed away long before I was born, by the time came into my life, were too old and too fixed in their ways of the older Indian generation that did not demonstrate love for their offspring. In fact, when they came into my life, they had to be looked after by my parents, uncles and aunts,  one after the other turn by turn. I was however able to be of service to my grandfather by getting him his favourite brand of snuff from his favourite tobacconist but, do not remember him getting me anything ever, nor my grandmother who never asked for anything nor gave anything to me.

I do not have a grand child and so have not had the pleasure of being a grand parent and all that comes with that status. I have seen my siblings and friends going gaga over theirs and have often envied them their pleasure.

My recipes for grandchildren therefore have been ready made, shop bought stuff like in the following illustrations.


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 Sanjana. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.