We need Opposition!

There has never been more need of a strong opposition than today – and that’s true for many countries and regions in the world, all at once. As I see the change, driven by political movements across the world, sweeping the status-quo altogether, I am horrified at the prospect that there is so little in the way of political opposition.

Brexit is a prime example of this. The UK needs a stronger than ever opposition from the Labour party but they seems to be in tatters and are not able to provide the strong front that is needed to keep some of the government activities in check. They have failed to deliver completely and despite me being a conservative supporter, I am not liking the prospect of giving a free rein to the government on matters of such significance such as our relations with Europe and the shape of our country going forward.

The US is another example where the Democrats are scrambling to put together a front which allows them to face off to the newly elected president. They are rudderless, leaderless and that is not a good outcome – particularly at this crucial juncture of the American history.

In the middle-east, we are seeing opposition either being crushed or not allowed to originate by the autocratic ‘rulers’ of some of these countries. The impact is in front of everyone – chaos, crime, loss of humanity and loss of world order.

In countries like India, the ruling party is solidifying its position – not all of which is a bad thing. What is troubling, however, is that there is just no opposition. No matter how strong or sensible a government is – they will inevitably make mistakes or introduce policies which relate to their ideologies and beliefs, not all of which will be sensible. There is just no opposition at the moment who can challenge the government and provide a sounding board for policies.

Its surprising, perhaps not, that all of this change is coming all at once – in every part of the world. May be we overlooked the need for change, may be people are frustrated at how things are working out (or not) for them, may be there is a lot of discontent (clearly). But do we all know which direction are we walking? Do we know what the other side of the tunnel looks like and if that is going to be the answer to all our anxieties and frustrations?

It has taken decades for us to get to this position where change has arrived. I don’t know how long it will be before we see a reversal of trend. One thing I do know is that it takes time to embed change which means the society will have to be ready for bumps along the way.

Momentary celebration of victory is all good, but we better have a plan for future. So far I’m not convinced that those who promised the moon have a scooby-doo (i.e. any idea!) of how to fulfil those grand promises.

10 more sleeps

I’ve been thinking of a way to start my post in a positive way but words (and thoughts) aren’t helping me, even amidst the festive cheer. To some, this countdown may seem double what they would’ve expected but this clearly isn’t towards Christmas. Rather, this is an eagerly awaited departure for 2016 – most likely a historic year and not for all the good reasons.

Looking back at it, I just cannot believe what the world has gone through this year and the tumultuous reign this year has had over all good fortunes which were wished when we embarked upon this year. Right from geopolitical crises to ‘populist’ movements to politics being turned on its head to Europe facing acute challenges (security, economic and political), 2016 has had it all. And we have probably witnessed a stream of activity we all wished we hadn’t.

What wish can we make for 2017? Well, for starters, anything could be better than 2016. But is that really true? I don’t know if we’ve either seen the worst or have become immune to the multitude of awful things which we’ve encountered. Whatever it may be, my hope for 2017 is that humanity prevails and world order is restored. The deaths, killings and sufferings need to stop. The uncertainties of the world today are not helping anything – trade, politics, economics, happiness. Happiness, because the sense of insecurity that exists in societies today isn’t a breeding ground for healthy living.

Even if it was a year for some to rejoice given how politics is being reshaped in the West, the consequences of this movement are still to be witnessed. So here’s my second wish, which is that I hope that all the rhetoric of this new political class is just that, rhetoric, and that it doesn’t become reality. Prosperity was never achieved by being exclusive. Nationalism and protectionism isn’t the way forward in a truly global world and now, more than ever, the world needs to come together to heal. There are more pressing problems than us rejecting people and globalisation.

I dream of a 2017 which gives us cause for joy and happiness. It is only after 2016 do I know how much even smaller things in life could give you inner peace. There are so many more things I want to write and so many more wants and wishes and hopes, but I think if 2017 can make the world a better place than it is right now, I will be happy.