Now that year 2014 is leaving us with memories some good and others not so good; people world over holding on to the rope of optimism wish each other happy, prosperous and peaceful New Year. The exercise repeated every year keeps us wondering about the gains and losses experienced. Whatever the case, the factuality reveals the year passed takes us nearer to the grave which should be at the centre stage to ponder about and not to ignore but to deliberate to get some answers for any good or bad that happened during the year. The features of the year leaving us, good or bad in 2014 have perhaps taught us to assess our wrongs, and seek their redressal.
On March 08, 2014 the ill-fated Malayan Airlines Flight MH370 with 239 passengers on board has still not been found and early on Sunday (December 28, 2014 another passenger aircraft of AirAsia flight QZ8501 is reported missing with 165 passengers on board. The authorities have called off the search to resume it early Monday morning. The offer of help is pouring in from many countries; in the meantime all keep fingers crossed and pray for the safe return of the aircraft with all passengers.
EU delegation, as reported (December 25, 2014), returned to Brussels from a visit to Middle East with video evidence claiming that Israel has committed war crimes against the people of Palestine. The uproar against the revealed genocide seems to have isolated Israel and in a new development Israel is earnestly seeking a very close relationship with India. India in a major shift in policy hinted at ending its support to Palestine at U.N. (The Hindu December 22, 2014). The political Pundits in Indian sub-continent believe that the "tectonic" decision is the result of desperate Indian attempt to get Israeli and US support for making some covert or overt constitutional changes in trouble torn State of Kashmir to annex it lock, stock and barrel.
Express.co.uk reported (December 16, 2014) that TTP (Tahreek-Taliban Pakistan) slaughtered 130 children injuring another 122 some of them seriously in a Pakistani school in Peshawar. The militants, seven of them, entered the school from rear entrance indiscriminately firing upon children to kill them displaying extreme brand of sadism. The act of terrorism is believed to be a reprisal for ongoing military cleanup operation of terrorist infrastructure in and around Pakistan. Pakistan is fighting terrorism for over seven years costing it the lives of more than 60,000 army personnel. The new trend, unfortunately, targets children all over world, be it USA, Australia, Pakistan, India or through pounding received in Palestine.
Japan Times prints the shocking story of using force to convert Muslims and Christians to Hinduism in India. The most powerful head of the Hindu group is reported to have vowed to press ahead campaign of conversions on mass scale. "Mohan Bhagwat of the rightwing RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh), which is also the ideological wing of Prime Minister Modi´s party, said India is a ´Hindu nation´ where many Hindus have been forcibly converted to other religions". In renewed Indian violence; hundreds of villagers of Indian north-eastern Assam state (predominantly Christian) to escape death have taken shelter in Churches and schools, reports BBC (December 25, 2014).
Fred Goldstein on December 13, 2014 writes in workers.org about CIA torture of unrestrained brutality at the secret sites around the world comparing it through witnesses to coldblooded murders. President Obama, in changed circumstances, in a television broadcast said "We need to look forward as opposed to looking backward". Shortly thereafter he announced that he was outlawing the use of torture, which had previously been authorized by the Bush administration". The gory details of torture including damning information now revealed would be something unimaginable last year or a year before. Bush administration’s vice- President Dick Cheney dismissing the torture report in live television broadcast said that "I would do it again in a minute, when it comes to using enhanced interrogation techniques on terrorism detainees".
India´s The Hindu reports (December 26, 2014). India painting a very scary scenario says that China, so far, could strike US only with land based missiles but now in the recent development "it is set to reinforce its nuclear second-strike capability by mounting on some of its submarines long-range ballistic missiles, which could target the US". But what seems more frightening is the statement given by Indian army general A S Lamba when he says India is getting ready to face China and Pakistan at the same time. It is not difficult to assess the quantum leap India has made in building its conventional & nuclear weapons capability.
On a positive note, Scottish referendum held on September 18, 2014 agreed upon and consented to uphold democratic norms allowed people to exercise their right of self determination. A new feather in the cap of British democratic value system must be a pointer for the entire democratic world to take the cue and respect people´s basic rights. An informal promised vote on independence for Catalonia on November 9, 2014 showed over 80% in favour ushering a new era of a hope that Catalonian people would be able to decide their own political future.
Israel irked by political embarrassment as European Union removes Palestinian HAMAS from the list of terrorist organizations, reports rbth.co.uk (December 18, 2014). The judges came to the conclusion that the court´s original decision to add Hamas to the list was based not on an analysis of the group’s actions, but on "factual imputations derived from the press and the internet".
Andrew Rettman reports (eupbserver.com November 11, 2014) that Danish Members of Parliament are set to pass a resolution to recognize State of Palestine. The report further says that parliament directs the government to recognize Palestine as an independent and sovereign state within pre-1967 borders and provide it (Palestine) with full diplomatic rights. Whereas EU parliament is voting to accord statehood to Palestine, Spanish MPs are also building their support for Palestinian recognition.
Indian Prime Minister Modi celebrated with scientists successful sending of a satellite into orbit (September 24, 2014). This is considered was landmark feat achieved by ISRO in Bangalore as India created history being the only country achieving the target in the first attempt.
The goodnews.org sharing its good news says that right across Detroit nearly 1000 Jewish volunteers did good deeds on Mitzvah Day on December 25, 2014 when "typically Christians celebrated Christmas, rather than doing services at a soup kitchen". It further says that for the last six Christmases Muslims joined the horde of Jewish volunteers for doing good deeds.
In spite of so much bad happening around the world like widening gap between rich and poor, soaring crime rate, human-right violations, political instabilities of nuclear power nations promoting cold war situations, a lot of good is also happening around forcing us to shun pessimism. The increase in knowledge, scientific and technological advancement helps us to explore possibilities of making our lives better and look for the ways to improve on anything that is gone wrong. Thus a positive outlook being the driving force makes it easy for us to wish each other a Happy New Year.