One can almost hear the collective sigh of disappointment across the world among the South Asian communities and indeed among others as well with Malala Yousafzai missing out on the coveted Nobel peace prize. The reaction in fandom ranged from disbelief to disappointment to anger. This idolization of Malala and the expectation of her winning the biggest peace prize in the World is a symbolization of the trends in the World.
Malala Yousafzai is a young teenage girl, from one of the most poor and most conservative areas in Pakistan. She was going to school and was shot by the Taliban. It is important to note here, that in that area, the bombing of girls schools and even boys schools, and poisoning and shooting of female students is a random regular act, and Malala is not and was not the only girl to have been shot. She survived, and with much credit, moved on with her life and strong determination to continue study. How much that was her personal determination, how much that was the influence of her father, who is actually the one behind her fight is to be determined with unbiased analysis in the future. However, her only act of courage, defiance, and fame…is to get shot by the Taliban. With all due respect to the young lady and her determination and courage, that’s not enough service to the cause of World peace to merit a Nobel Prize.
The Nobel peace prize is considered to be a joke among certain quarters, including many academics and journalists. First of all, it is not quantifiable, like Physics, Chemistry, Medicine or Economics, which makes it arbitrary. Also recently, US President Barack Obama winning the prize just months after coming to office, almost as if in anticipation of his coming benevolent deeds, or the European Union receiving the prize, just for having no wars in Western Europe and somehow managing to maintain cohesion of constantly bickering states, has eroded the credibility of the award.
However, this time, the Nobel committee did a good job. The organization which won the prize, has done praiseworthy job of destroying ninety percent chemical weapons of the World, including the whole arsenal of India and South Korea, the Libyan chemical weapons under Gaddafi, the arsenal of Iraq, and over two third of the humongous Cold war stockpiles of both United States and Soviet Union, enough to destroy humanity on this planet several hundred times over. It is important to acknowledge the organization’s work, given the time that they are embarking on another challenging task, this time in Syria.
Finally, the hype over Malala in Western media is symbolic of the times we live in. To acknowledge her battle is one thing, to venerate her in a talk show, give her a meaningless prize and then move on to something more newsworthy is ephemeral; is what is wrong with the World. Most of the people who are dancing and fangirl-ing about Peace and Nobel Prize and Malala, had absolutely no idea about the organization OPCW, which won this time, and what they did to the cause of World peace. The talk show host who wants to adopt Malala, glosses over the fact that poverty, ignorance, women’s education, terrorism are structural problems, linked to and influenced by forces of Geo-politics and economics, which won’t go away if you make a Miley Cyrus out of Malala. The left-feminist-liberal lobby which is all giddy over Malala, are the same people who oppose US war against Taliban, indirectly supporting those who shot Malala.
The world is not a simple place. It is complicated, the problems are multifaceted. The allure of finding a short term symbolic solution is often great, but not prudent. The solution lies in an unbiased understanding of the problem, and working on it for a long time. Not creating a hype, with token symbolisms and then forgetting and moving on with life.
(Previously published here)
Shifted to Auckland, working in a newspaper…blogging for another…and still planning a PhD…also writing a massive journal article/book chapter. So yea, all’s well!
Here are two of the highlights!
1. Started Blogging for Times of Israel, and here’s the first one, on the “Shameful British vote on Syria“.
2. Op-Ed for Indian Weekender, where I work presently…taken up by the Ministry of External Affairs, India…which is basically a fancy name for the Indian foreign ministry, and published in their official website.
That’s all for now, so long! Have fun, cause I don’t have time for that anymore!
Hello peeps! Two good news! First, I am tutoring NZ Foreign Policy this semester. Loads of naive, impressionable second year brains to indoctrinate! Can’t wait! I will raise an army of bots! By the time it is found out what a major mistake the University made by appointing moi, the chips will already be implanted! The ramifications will be evident ten years from now when these kids will be diplomats or work in think tanks! And then, I can finally do a Darth Vader in class… ” I find your lack of faith…disturbing… ” Awesomeness! Secondly, my first ever scholarly journal piece, got accepted in Global Affairs Russia, and will be published in a few months! You’re looking at a future Nobel Laureate…right here, ladies and gents! Join the FB page of DWW, and I might get you a free autograph…to avoid the rush later!
Enough of moi. Now, today, I present Dylan Page, fellow IR scholar waiting for graduation, expert in Disaster Management, and blogger at From The Fourth Corner, who talks about Pakistan and Afghanistan for DWW. I thought it would be really interesting for the readers to share a perspective which is different and thought provoking, on arguably the most “dangerous” neighbourhood on Earth. So here you go! Continue reading
Right…so my second op-ed came out today. These were the two papers I was working on in this break. Break over, papers over. Regular work again. Foreign Policy convention this weekend, seminars and convention on Power and Politics next weekend. And then Uni starts again. Which is writing more research papers. But longer in size. Confused? That’s life of an academic, love.
Anyway, the reason for this op-ed was I got a complain in my email, which I obviously cannot publish, that Continue reading
Yo everyone! Everything working fine I hope? I’m usual…a tad busy with work…like always. Been a mixed week! On one hand England topped Euro Cup group! Whoa! Imagine?! Who would have guessed? Merry Olde Englande!!! Onward, march on mates! God save the Queen!
But…on the other hand, closer to regular life, totally disgusted with numbskulled analysts and policy wonks trying to fathom the US shift in Asia and the alliance formation with India. Hang on people, too fast! Continue reading
First of all…I wrote an Op-Ed, real journalism after a V-E-R-Y long time. It got published in Otago Daily Times here. The name of the piece is “Just a Natural Progression“, and it is on India, China and nuclear missiles, and stuff related to that. Do read, share and let me know what you think!
Secondly, I would like all of you to read this fascinating piece, on US Foreign Policy, which takes a look on what would have happened, if Realists were in charge, in place of Neo-Cons, or Liberal Interventionists, for the last two decades. It is an absolute MUST-READ.
That’s all thus far! Cheers!
UPDATE : I forgot to mention before, and it would be a major felony not to share this big news with my readers. I got the Scholarship. The University emailed me a couple of days back, that they were pretty much blinded by my light and decided that it was a no competition. So that’s that. Life is sunny for me now, even in this awfully cold and damp part of the World. Thanks everyone, and I’m bloody brilliant, ain’t I?
ORIGINAL : Now, I rarely do short posts with videos anymore…but this is different. This is a video that is going viral, about the ongoing Iran Nuclear Crisis. It is a five minute “doomsday” docu clip, named “The Last Day” depicting the day after Israel launches a preemptive strike on Iran, and Iran retaliates.
Now, there are absolutely unbelievable number of trash that can be found on Youtube, generally with utterly hilarious photoshop, or video editing, and borderline ridiculous to extremely irritating comments and prophecies. Also, they are biased on either side. The reason this clip is not that is because,
1. It is very intelligently shot, ( “Section 7, former center of Israel, Jerusalem and vicinity” at the beginning of the clip just totally floored me… ) with a gonzo lifelike shaky handheld camera, giving the motion sickness effect,
2. It is absolutely unbiased, not taking any side, or propaganda, just trying to show how gruesome war can be, and what people in Middle East, on either side of the religious spectrum might have to go through.
A conflict journalist will always be a conflict journalist at heart, no matter how sober and peaceful his life is right now…so I couldn’t resist sharing this clip, just in case you have not seen this already. Just a fare bit of warning, the hand-held camera work can be a bit nauseating for some…and it is absolutely not suitable for children. Continue reading
Occasionally there are times, when you read something that is so utterly devoid of depth, lacking unbiased analysis, filled with pretentiousness and holier-than-thou hubris, that you almost pity the imbecile who wrote it in a fleeting moment of emotional rush. Then you find out that the person who wrote that is not some first year student of diplomacy, or an activist in some obscure NGO, but a quite respected middle aged gentleman who is member of a number of policy think-tanks. And your outrage gives way to hopelessness, you lose your sense of humour, and patient disposition. You instantly understand the cause why the World is heading from one woollyheaded disaster to another.