WORLD INTHAVAARAM, 2022–15
About: the world this week, 10 April to 16 April 2022, of course Ukraine, a shooting in the USA, the virus in China, India flies a new plane and shows off its foreign policy, and the festivals we celebrate.
Surely, the hunger for Ukraine to survive and chase out the invader is much more than Russia trying to find nazis in Ukraine or blindly obey the orders of its maniac Boss. Whoever has the best reason and the passion to win the war will ultimately prevail. But the damage and destruction to man and material is monstrous. Will it be possible to resettle and rebuild again?
Russia has probably discovered that it is better to search for nazis in Russia itself. Russian troops seem to be gradually vacating areas cleverly made impregnable by a rock-solid and determined Ukraine. Russia is moving to the Eastern part where they think the chances of hatching some kind of a victory, besides finding hidden nazis, is better than an egg on the face!
Towards the end of the week one of Russia’s most important warships — the guided missile cruiser Moskva- the flag ship of its Black Sea Fleet was abandoned, and sank to settle down at the bottom of the Black Sea. It was destroyed by a cruise missile attack by Ukraine. This is a massive blow to Russia, which will be hard for it to accept. Ukraine said it effectively used the Neptune cruise missiles to attack Moskva and destroy the ship. And of course, Russia says an on-board ammunition explosion caused a fire, which ‘killed the ship’. Either way Russia has a serious problem.
Ukraine is trying to get control of the skies and believes it may decide the outcome of the war. History tells us that in the David versus Goliath Battle, David won. And there is nothing more powerful on Earth than a group of determined people fighting to stay alive. Every day, the stories of strength, heroism, and conviction coming out of Ukraine is overwhelming.
Despite all the noises the war rages on, and maybe it will stop when Russia decides — after being whacked by Ukraine, on land, sea, and the air. And never capable of admitting it.
United States of America
The shootings are back with a bang. At least 16 people were injured — five in critical condition- in a shooting at a subway station in Brooklyn, New York. The shooting happened this Tuesday during the morning rush hour. The attacker showed a clear pair of heels, fleeing the crime scene immediately after the attack.
Police say, the incident is not being investigated as an act of terrorism. And a motive is yet to be established.
Later in the week, Police arrested a Frank R James, 62, accused of the shooting carnage. James had set off smoke grenades in a commuter packed sub-way car and then fired 33 shots with a 9 mm handgun.
Police found him — on a tip-off — at a McDonald’s outlet in Manhattan’s East Village neighbourhood. James was gone when police arrived, but they soon spotted him a busy corner nearby, when Police cars zoomed-in, Officers leapt out, and soon had him ‘peacefully’ handcuffed.
In recent months, James has railed in online videos about racism and violence in the US and about his experience with mental health care in New York City. Some pointers there, and the reasons need to be unravelled.
This week, Pakistan’s Parliament elected Shehbaz Sharif as its new Prime Minister (PM) following the ouster of PM Imran Khan, in a vote of no confidence. Earlier Imran Khan fended-off every kind of fast, swing, and spin bowling before being declared out due to a decision by the Third Umpire who went strictly by the Rule Book aka The Constitution. Team Imran — Members of Parliament of Imran Khan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Party — resigned en masse, boycotting the election of the new PM.
Shebaz Sharif is the younger brother of three-time PM Nawaz Sharif. He is the president of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) — ’N’ for Nawaz Sherif the founder- party. Previously, he served as the Chief Minister of Punjab three times, making him the longest-serving Chief Minister of Punjab.
The Government will hopefully stay in place until August 2023, when general elections are due. Until then, anything can happen. And no PM had ever completed a full five-year term in Pakistan’s 75 years history. Maybe a handful more of PMs lying up ahead?
The strangulating lockdown in China’s City of Shanghai continues from the beginning of last week. Shanghai is battling one of China’s biggest outbreaks since the coronavirus first came into being in the city of Wuhan about 800 km to the west. This week, on Thursday, cases touched a new high of 27,000 nos.
With the strictest ever curbs, millions in the city are increasingly frustrated, confined inside their homes, struggling to get daily supplies, with reports of shortage of essential items including medical supplies, doing the rounds. For many, their patience has worn thin and is likely to burst, spilling contents all over China.
Meanwhile, the World better keep a watch on what China eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
This week, the first ever ‘Made in India’ civil Dornier aircraft took to the air and successfully kept its flight path: the plan is that it will provide connectivity to remote towns of northeast India. This is being described as a significant landmark in India’s aviation history.
The 17 seat, Dornier 228 Aircraft undertook the commercial flight from Assam’s Dibugarh to Arunachal Pradesh’s Pasighat on 12th April, taking the Ministers in the Government for a safe ride in the path-breaking flight.
The Dornier is manufactured by India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited with technology transfer from Germany, which owns the original Dornier.
India’s New James Bond
India’s External Affairs Minister (EAM) is doing his Job with flying colours taking India’s Foreign Policy to new independent heights and connectivity. He even earned praise from Pakistan’s now ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan who said that India has a strong, independent Foreign Policy. And nobody can dictate to India.
On India’s ‘warm energy’ relationship with Russia, EAM Jaishankar said that those who are looking at India’s energy purchases from Russia would be better served if they turned their attention to Europe. He said, “We do buy energy that is necessary of your energy security. But I suspect, looking at the figures, probably our total purchases for the month would be less than what Europe does in an afternoon. So, you may want to think about that”.
With that kind of energy levels, later in the week, though a wee bit slow on the draw, Jaishankar came out with all guns firing. When United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said that the US is worried about India’s Human Rights Record, Jaishankar slightly lifted-up his cowboy hat and said that India too is concerned about US’s human rights record. ‘I would tell you that we also take our views on other people’s human rights situation, including that of the United States”.
In the South of India, in the dirt trails of the olden days, when movie Superstars such as M G Ramachandaran (MGR) and Shivaji Ganesan ruled the silver screen of Tamil Nadu cinema, there was another contemporary, a handsome actor called Jaishankar, who, though could not compete with the two big stars, did soft romantic and action movies and earned his badge as the ‘James Bond of Tamil cinema’. Jaishankar even did Western type cowboy-horse-gun movies and grew his spurs.
Now, I know the name Jaishankar can make a big punch and fire a gun -It has a history, mind it!
This week a cornucopia of Festivals are being celebrated or were celebrated in India and across the World, and as a friend of mine who works in NASA said in a forwarded message, listing the many festivals: ‘divided by race / religion, but let’s stay united as one mankind’.
We have: Ramadan fasting underway; Ram Navami — Lord Rama’s Birthday, Good Friday — commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrifice for our sins; Cheti Chand- arrival of spring and harvest and new year for Sindhi Hindus; Vaisakhi/Baisakhi — harvest, again; Puthandu-Tamil New Year’s Day; Chaitra Navratri Parana-the day following which new beginnings can be undertaken…Festivals remind us of the goodness in each one of us: let’s put it to great use by shrinking our differences and expanding our agreements.
More festivals and tales shooting up in the weeks ahead. Shield yourself with World Inthavaaram.