Understanding the ‘TRUMPian’ mindset!

Finally, the day of Jan 20th arrived, which marked a new beginning in American history. Not because of Joe Biden (the oldest President) or Kamala Harris ( the first female vice-president), but because that day was the last day of Donald Trump in acting President. I am sure many Americans must have felt relieved and even happy ( not those 48 million who voted for him) with his departure. His chaotic presidency certainly led to wide scale polarization in the States. Whatever he did was right or wrong, good or bad for America is something historians and political pundits will keep analyzing for the rest of their lives. Hence, I won’t delve into that further, as this is a part of history now, and certainly, those 4 years almost felt like a decade for many of us. Hence, it is better to stay away from choppy waters!

Well, having said that, then what is this post about? I am writing this post to try to understand what made Trump the person he is today. I have always been curious to know about his life, and the experiences he has had which must have moulded him to become what he resembles under his brand ‘Trump’. This is not about how he became president, or why did Americans accept him as their President. Neither would I like to delve into the causes of his winning and losing. Rather, I am writing this post to shed some more light on the ‘Trumpian’ mindset.

The Dictionary.com defines Trumpian as an adjective form for President Donald Trump. The term is especially used by critics to characterize his language, conduct, and policies. To understand the psychology of Trump, I read his biography book, watched Netflix TV show Trump: An American Dream, watched a few documentaries about Trump and read/watched several articles/youtube videos about him. Ofcourse, to clarify, I am not trained as a researcher or even a psychologist to make a statement about his personality. But out of sheer curiosity and with an intention to know this dark side of human personality, I tried to read and know as much as possible about him.

And, based on this, I did get to some facts or events which must have played a definitive role in Trump’s life which shaped him the way the world saw him especially for the last 4 years. Starting from his childhood, Trump was born with a silver spoon. His father was a real estate developer in New York city, and was a millionaire. His father was not only a very smart real estate businessman, but also very ruthless and cunning when it came to profits and competition. He tried to instill this attitude in his sons. Trump had an elder brother, who eventually committed suicide later in life. So, this background of having a strict father, being raised up in New York city and seeing elder brother commit suicide are the key elements which influenced Trump’s later life.

Because, Trump grew up in an environment where competition was considered the only form of survival. It’s almost like the hardest form of survival of the fittest. And this was natural because, living in New York city during the 1960’s and 70’s was not a cakewalk. Those days were some of the tough days when everyone flocked into new york for a better life, and hence, the competition for survival and to grow rich in life was harsh. In such a scenario, the Trump’s were millionaires, and so naturally, they had a natural instinct to protect their wealth, and hence, do whatever that is possible to not only stay in the competition but also come out as the best. Another important aspect of New York city life is the diversity that city imbibes, just like Mumbai. People belonging to different ethnicities and religions lived and worked in the same city. It was not uncommon to see Jews dominating the banking, particularly Wall Street and even to large extent the real estate business in the city. While Italians owned the mafia ( though this does not mean all Italians were a part of it). Irish Americans filled a large chunk of the working class population, while the elite WASP’s( White Anglo Saxon Protestants) formed the cream of banking, education, law firms and business conglomerates. And the rest of the others like Afro-Americans, Spanish-Americans, or even Indians and Chinese were mostly considered as aliens living out of the city.

Now, one of the most important things is that Trump’s belonged to neither of them. Because they had a German ancestry ( original name as Drumpf), and hence the mood at that time was anti-German due to WW2 and Nazi concentration camps which had happened, So, they had not only anglicized their name to Trump, but also lied to everyone that they had a Swedish ancestry, just to avoid the hatred from fellow jews. But the fact that they were kind of a minority in the city dominated by other groups, made them conscious of their survival. And hence, Donald Trump became aware of this and hence, did everything to maintain their richness, which was rather rare in the city. The real estate business consisted of several jewish businesses, and due to their competitive nature, it was rather inevitable for him to even scale further on becoming more competitive in order to survive. Ofcourse, this does not imply that the environment made him competitive. It did play a minor role, but the fact that Trump always feared losing whatever he had, and hence, this fear and insecurity made him become aggressive.

Also, he never got accepted by the city elites, because of many reasons. Firstly, the Trump’s did not belong to any dominant groups like the Jews or WASP’s. Second, Donald Trump was not very educated or sophisticated either. His father was not much educated, but had worked hard to become a millionaire which was respected by the then 1940’s society. But Donald Trump grew up in a millionaire family. At that time in the 1950’s and 60’s, the students were expected to study and go to Ivy league schools. But Donald was not a very bright student, and due to his rebellious attitude, his father sent him to a military prep school to instill in him some sense of discipline. He did graduate and only learnt too well to be disciplined. He later transferred to Univ of Penn, but never got mingled or accepted into the student life. He was more like a loner, and hence never had any good friends. He envied those who went to Ivy league and hence, this later made him despise the eliteness of Ivy leaguers or even higher education. And that’s why we see, his supporters are rarely highly educated people, but those who are just high school pass outs or even borderline illiterates. Because Trump has never been comfortable around those who are more educated or smarter than him. That’s why he despised scientists like Anthony Fauci, who were trying to give him advice on how to tackle the covid pandemic. But his hatred for educated men and women, steamed out because Trump knew he was not smart and could never get accepted into the highly educated circles. But at the same time, he understood, the only way he can beat others is by becoming more rich and famous. And hence, he shifted his attention to family construction business, which was like a cash cow for the family.

Donald Trump’s decision to enter the family business was not just motivated by his desire to beat his peers who were already studying in the Ivy league, or by the New York city environment. But it was also motivated by his father’s wish to launch him into the business, after seeing the elder Trump ( Donald Trump’s elder brother) fail miserably at the family business. His brother did not like business, and hence, the onus to carry on the family business came on Donald. But the crux of this story was not only Donald Trump wanted to become rich and successful in business, but also wanted to get into his father’s good books. Why? Because Donald Trump had seen how his brother had failed to live upto to his father’s expectations, and hence, had been insulted and eventually compelled to move out of Trump’s house. He later became a drunkard, out of regret and depression, and finally committed suicide. This event must have shackled Donald. Because he then not only had the responsibility to keep the business intact in that cut throat New York city competition, but also had to prove his worth to make his father proud. He feared that if he did not succeed, then he would also eventually die being a drunkard like his brother. That’s why Donald Trump became a teetotaler, and also became more aggressive, ruthless, greedy, cunning and selfish.

For him, the only way to survive and grow is to beat the competitors. And that’s why his mantra became ‘the end justifies the means’. He would use all sorts of methods, good and bad, nice and dirty, all ways to climb up the ladder. He made the notorious lawyer, Roy Cohn who used to work for the five Mafia families in New York as his personal lawyer. He corrupted the mayors of New York, filed cases against them if they did not follow his orders, requested for tax breaks etc to grow his business. But the most important and daring act Trump performed is to enter Manhattan. Why? Because his father had constructed projects in other boroughs of New York city, but never dared to enter the elite Manhattan. He had become a millionaire inspite of not having any construction projects in Manhattan, and he was happy and satisfied with it. But for Donald Trump, who always wanted to prove to his father, and also beat his peers, he dreamed big. He wanted to enter Manhattan and build the Trump tower. Because entering Manhattan will enable him to become a billionaire, which his father had not achieved in life. It would also make him get the respect from the Jews or WASP’s which he desperately craved for. It was a risky gamble, but it worked out at the end. Had he failed, it would have been the end of the Trump empire. But Trump got lucky and he excelled.

He not only successfully constructed his hotel in Manhattan, but also later built his iconic Trump Tower. And then he never looked back. But even though he became a billionaire, he still never got the respect and admiration from his other business colleagues or peers. For them, he was the guy who got a headstart from his father to get launched into the business. Also he had corrupted the new york officials and hence, become rich by unfair means. Ofcourse, Trump was not alone. At that time, most of the new york businesses were known for their selfishness and greedy nature. But Trump went much further.

He not only entered the Casino market, but went on a spree of buying golf courses, hotels, yachts, airlines, and even writing books. And then eventually it backfired. He lost a big chunk of it, & became bankrupt. At that crucial time, no one supported him but only his father. Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy not one, not two but whopping four times. And his father poured in his millions to bail him out. Well, what lesson did he learn? Trump learnt it quite a bad way that he was not good at running family owned construction business. Yes, this may shock us because the world knows he has been a billionaire for a long time. But in reality, as many have speculated over his real net worth ( which sparked the controversy due to his denial to make the tax-returns public), the fact is that Trump after the fiasco of becoming bankrupt four times, he switched over to reality business. Yes, and that’s where he earned his millions. It is his entertainment shows like ‘The Apprentice’, speeches, talk shows, books, beauty pageants which garnered him the attention and fame, which led to the rise of brand ‘Trump’. That’s why we see for the last few years, even though his company still manages construction projects, but they only lend their brand name and earn royalty. And going further, it is interesting that Trump even used his presidency to earn money, He did by selling stuff like flags, coffee mugs, shirts, banners etc all with Trump name, thus earning the royalty paid by his foolish loyal supporters. He even made the US government pay the Americans taxpayers money for his stay in Mar-A-Lago, owned by none other than Trump himself!

Anyways, the point is that Trump realized early in life that he is not smart or intelligent, and later in life, that he is not good at his family business as well. So, then what was he good at? And the answer is attention seeking. Yes, he used his display of flamboyant wealth, his personality, his charisma to get the attention he needed, desperately, so that he could earn his millions. Else, there was no way he could have maintained his wealth. That’s why, he talked rubbish, hated the media which ridiculed him, acted like a buffoon, criticized women who disliked him, and made his marriages and family affairs like a prime TV show. He created a brand out of nothing but narcissism, bombasting attitude, pompous, chaos and flamboyant lifestyle. With his books, like ‘The Art of the Deal’ and ‘The Art of Comeback’, he tried to portray being one of the most successful businessmen ever born on the planet. And unfortunately, Americans who could not become rich like him became his loyal followers.

The worst part is that his supporters often came from humble backgrounds, especially from mid-western, northern rust belt and southern USA. And these regions are usually known as being part of the bible belt, with pro-guns attitude, farmers or working class, traditional or cultured, and staying away from California, New York and Florida, due to their belief of atheist or sinful people living in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Wall street and Palm beach, Miami. But the irony is that Trump, to whom these people supported to win the presidency, has always been a part of that sinful Hollywood, New York and Florida lifestyle. People like Trump as rightly said by,

“I’ve dealt with guys like Donald Trump my whole life, who would look down on us because we didn’t have a lot of money or your parents didn’t go to college. Guys who think they’re better than you. Guys who inherit everything they’ve ever gotten in their life and squander it.”

Joe Biden

have always looked down upon these people. But just to prove to Barack Obama ( who had apparently mocked Donald to run for the president, after Trump had falsely accused Obama of being born outside the USA) that he can win, and thereby hit back the insult, he ran for president. Ofcourse, he had the added advantage that running for presidency will get him the attention and fame, and thereby dollars. That’s why he always told he will run for president since the late 1980’s, but never took it seriously, only until his BIG Ego got hurt in 2011 by Obama and other democrats, and that’s when he took it pretty seriously. Why people supported him is altogether a different ballgame, and it will probably take a book to elaborate on that. But the fact that he had marketed his brand and gained the support for all these years since early 1990’s business failure, came handy for Trump. And then what happened on Nov 8th, 2016 is history.

Finally, in this pursuit to understand the Trumpian psychology, the book by Mary Trump, his niece, is exceptionally helpful. Even though I haven’t read the book, but based on reviews and articles, Donald Trump is not only a narcissist but also suffers from anti-social and dependent personality disorder. This answers why Trump is so greedy for being the center of attention. His lack of trust in anyone is due to his antisocial personality disorder which resulted due to his isolation from New York business circles. Trump saw his brother die of suicide, and this made him fearful of his own death, if he fails. And this fear led to him becoming greedy and selfish. He became devoid of morals and principles. For him, nothing is good if it doesnt let him win. That’s why, he believed that the election was being stolen, because people like Trump cannot accept defeat. For them, accepting defeat is equivalent to committing suicide. And that’s why we see why Trump remained in denial of his defeat, and never conceded in person to Joe Biden. 

People like Trump suffer from lack of empathy and love for others, and that’s why when thousands of Americans were dying due to Covid-19, or even were thrown out of the USA for being just immigrants, he did not care. Because his heart does not have any soft corner, and is just as hard as rock. His dependent personality disorder makes him dependent on his family only, and that’s why we saw why his closest advisors had been his beloved daughter, and son-in-law only. His reckless attitude, his utter lack of concern for laws, and value system made him fire several people in his own cabinet. Even though he showed that he cared for his supporters, or even for the military, but in reality, all he cared for was his popularity. Because, he very well knew that he would get the unwavering support from these poor people who had never seen the likes of wealth and fame that he had achieved. In other words, he used them for making his brand stronger. But unfortunately, after 4 years, it seems that not only has the brand become weaker, but also it has been labeled as a symbol of racism, narcissism and ultra-right wing conservatism.

So, before concluding this post, my main purpose to write on this topic is to understand what conditions make people like Trump live on this planet. And by knowing this, the good side of humanity will make sure never ever such mentally sick, narcissist, and morally depraved people ever come to power in any part of the world again in future. Else, the world knows what happened in the USA after 2016.

© Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.Copyright © 2021 AbhikNotes – Powered by WordPress.com

Reagan’s America, and Modi’s India! Part 1

I am an avid reader of history. I love history. One of the most important reason is that it helps me to understand the common links between past, present and to some extent future as well. Many historians will debate on this, but as I am not an academic or historian, so I will keep this restricted to a general overview of the similarities between different periods of time.

India and America, the former being the world’s largest democracy and the latter being the world’s oldest democracy. Both these countries have shared many other similarities, besides the form of government. Both had freed themselves from the clutches of British imperialism, however at different times in history. America is known as a country of immigrants (atleast until Trump and its followers denied it under the false notion of being a White Man’s land) and ‘Melting Pot’, while India specializes in its ‘Unity in Diversity’ and also known as ‘Bowl of Salad’ on a similar note. America has the statue of liberty, while India just erected the statue of unity, the world’s highest statue. America started hollywood, while India started its own bollywood. Indians have digested American burgers, pizzas and coke, while Americans have imbibed the Indian Yoga, meditation and spirituality. Thats why, many historians have linked both these countries as being natural allies.

Going further, its interesting to study some similar events in both these countries. Infact. I would say India has always looked upon USA as a country to be worth followed. Most Indians have a positive image of USA. This might be because of its immense wealth, opportunities, technology or even for achieving the ‘American Dream’. But unlike England or Australia, which carry the guilt of British colonialism, United States does not have any such baggage when it comes to relations with India. Infact, Pandit Nehru had envisioned India to be a beacon of democracy, unity and diversity just like USA. Even though he and his Nehru-Gandhi family channeled India towards Soviet socialistic model until 1990’s, but the USA before 1947 was always admired by the Indian intellectuals and political elite. That’s why, we see many of India’s top physicist, nuclear scientists, politicians studied in USA before coming back to serve India.

It was only after the WW2 from 1947 until the end of cold war, that USA earned its notoriety for being a bully, and masquerading human rights with its hidden banner of neo-colonialism. After the fall of colonial powers, England and France in 1945, India and the rest of the world saw how USA continued the colonial legacy by imposing its own set of rules to impose democracy or dictatorship as needed, unfair trade practices and waged violent coups, and wars. Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Chile, Iraq, Afghanistan and many more have seen the dark side of American superpower. And this policy continues to date with some exceptions and change of policies.

But amidst all this, there was a time when USA also had its own set of problems. If Americans reading this article would recollect the swinging 1960’s and 70’s decades, they would agree with me. Except with the only pleasant surprise of 1969 Moon landing, everything else shocked the nation. Starting with the JFK assassination in 1963, followed by assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr and Bobby Kennedy in 1968, Vietnam war and the hippie movement, student protests against war in Vietnam, and thereby closure of many university campuses, Nixon’s shocking comeback in 1969, which further lead to its own set of events such as Watergate scandal and impeachment of Nixon in 1974, Energy crisis due to Israel-Ara war which triggered an oil embargo from the Arab nations in 1973, government corruption, hyperinflation, defeat of USA in Vietnam war by 1975, weak Ford and Carter presidency which caused economic recession and events like Iran hostage crisis in 1979 till 1981. The killing of John Lennon, the champion of hippie movement and Beatles founder, in Dec 1980 can be marked as an end of this swinging decades after which Reagan entered this arena as the President of USA in 1981.

The era from 1981 onwards which officially lasted till 1988 until his term end, but the effect of which lasted for several years to come. It became known as the ‘Reagan era’ or in economic sphere, as ‘Reaganomics’. Ronald Reagan who was the popular republican governor of California won the Presidency with the message to make America great. But unlike Trump’s false promise, he did take actions to restore the lost pride of America. His presidency ushered in wave of economic reforms such as financialization of America, deindustrialization of rust belt, tax cuts, heavy military spending, anti-gay/LGBTQ rights, the ‘Christian-i-zation’ of America by expanding conservative church influence, aggressive foreign policy against Soviet Union, stars wars and the onset of Sci-Fi era, and laid the foundation of winning the cold war by defeating Soviet Union at its own game in Afghanistan and military technology.

As Barack Obama interpreted how Reagan changed the nation’s trajectory:

I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think that people . . . he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

Barack Obama

His presidency led to a conservative America, which was white people dominant. Infact, Reagan’s presidency and victory in cold war can be compared to FDR’s presidency and victory in WW2. Just that the latter was republican while the former was democrat. But just as FDR pulled USA out of the clutches of the Great Depression, similarly Reagan did that during the 1980’s. Reagan electrified America with a renewed energy and enthusiasm, and that’s why we see the movies, TV shows, commercials, music during that era all bustling with a pride of being an American. The Wall street went all high due to the financialization of American business. MBA’s became the most sought out degree, and business/management became the trend over manufacturing which led to the collapse of rust belt. Also, silicon valley started becoming famous with its innovative startups like Apple, Microsoft, HP, Zerox Palo Alto and Oracle dominating the Bay area. Hollywood rode itself on this American ride by making movies which were more patriotic, historic or Sci-Fi such as Indiana Jones, Terminator, ET, Stars Wars, Top Gun, Delta Force, Back to the Future, Full Metal Jacket, Raging Bull, Rambo, Aliens and many more.

Reagan presidency achieved the goal of rebuilding America to beat the Soviets who had challenged them in technology, space race, economy, military and foreign affairs. Thus, Reagan restored the pride of Americans back on the world stage. Here’s the famous Reagan-Bush campaign ad in 1984 which depicts the new change he had brought in America.

But on the flip side, it was this Reagan era which led to the fall of American manufacturing subsequently. It started during 1980’s and continued during the 1990’s and 2000’s until the Great Recession, when later it was realized by the industry. Traditional manufacturing companies like GE went into GE Capital, and this financialization of America turned out to be one of the factors for 2008 sub-prime crisis. The Reagan era policies also led to the rise of China in the manufacturing sector, which led to the emergence of China as an economic power. Also, the Reagan era led to the support of Taliban in Afghanistan as well as providing enormous economic aid to Pakistan, which led to ousting of Soviets from Afghanistan. But this turned out to be just a pyrrhic victory as the same Talibans and Pakistani ISI which were heavily funded with American tax payers money, and weapons from military-industrial complex led to the 9/11 and two Iraq wars. War for oil became the hidden policy from Reagan era onwards which was later vehemently persued by Bush senior in the Iraq vs Kuwait war (1991) and Bush junior in the war against terror, again in Iraq and Afghanistan (2002 to 2007)

Modi’s India to be covered in part 2. Until then, stay tuned..

© Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Abhishek Karadkar and abhiknotes.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Copyright © 2021 AbhikNotes – Powered by WordPress.com

Welcome 2021!

Never before has the world so eagerly awaited for a new year to commence!

Today, while writing this post on Dec 31st, 2020, I am contemplating all the events that have happened in 2020. And there is no denial of the fact that the world got changed in 2020. It looks like after Steve Job’s legendary launch of Iphone in 2007 which changed the world, Covid-19 became the next thing which turned our life upside down. And today, we all are eagerly awaiting for 2021 to usher in. We are sincerely praying that 2021 turns out to be a better year,which will restore peace, happiness and stability back in our life. I do hope the same!

But at the same time, as Gurudev Ravishankar said in his talk today, that this pandemic showed the other side of life. We all crave for good, and happy times. We forget the difficulties and problems in life when everything is stable, and under our control. But this pandemic showed us how things can go out of human control rapidly. This year showed us how important and short life is. It made us realize the simple joys of life such as staying with family, having a stable job, and even going out for a walk. The world saw how difficult it is to live under lockdown. We all usually read or watch movies of the soldiers and freedom fighters who suffered enormous hardships in fighting against the enemy, be it against the Nazis in Europe, or against British rule in India. Only when we all underwent the hardships of living under lockdown, we came to value the importance of true freedom. Until the pandemic occurred, we all had taken the freedom imparted to us lightly, but now we atleast have got a glimpse of life without freedom. That is why, people have even started thinking about the cruelty to deprive poor animals of their freedom by keeping them in zoos and amusement parks for our entertainment!

Having suffered the dark side of life after pandemic, we have started realizing how few things we really need to live a good life. We understood that we can live without eating outside or even buying expensive clothes or gadgets. Because these fancy clothes, makeup or gadgets won’t save our life, but our good health, good food, calm mind and having loved ones staying together will save us. Due to this pandemic having engulfed the whole mother earth, never in history did it happen that we all (humans) became united. Until 2020, we had always biased each other, and made every attempt to separate each others by building either physical walls ( be it Berlin Wall or Trump’s wall), or virtual walls ( made of racism, casteism, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation bias etc). But 2020 made us realize that events like pandemic does not differentiate between us on any artificial grounds. So, in a way, we can also say that 2020 brought humanity together, atleast for fighting against pandemic!

Besides, in 2020, many of us saw how beautiful this earth is! This is because one of the sideeffects of pandemic turned out to be fresh air, with zero air pollution. For ex: This led to viewing of Himalayas from hundreds of miles in India, which was not seen due to high pollution in air for the last several decades. Hence, even though 2020 was a dreaded year for most of us, however this year turned out to be very special for nature observers and climate watchers, due to huge change in climate and nature pattern which had been severely altered for all these years due to human activity.

Himalayas visible from India as nature 'heals' during coronavirus shutdown  - National | Globalnews.ca
Ref

Similarly, due to no traffic and thereby zero sound pollution, it made wild animals curious to sneek in the cities to find out where did 7 billion people disappear? Here are some pictures which captured this once in a century nature’s phenomenon.

A civet cat has been spotted roaming on the streets of Kozhikode in the State of Kerala, India on 27 March, 2020.
Ref
A kangaroo hops through empty streets during the lockdown restrictions in Adelaide, Australia, April 19, 2020. South Australia Police/via REUTERS
Kangaroo running on the streets in Australia
A fox is seen in Downing Street, London, April 29, 2020.  
 REUTERS/Toby Melville
A fox seen walking on the streets in London https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/nature-reclaims-public-spaces-during-loc-idUSRTX7EJ1H

Hence, finally, as I complete this post, 2020 ended and 2021 has begun. Many of us are praying for 2021 to bring happiness and stability in life. Indeed, 2020 was a rough year, which will never be forgotten by my generation. Historians love to find patterns in historic events, and I being a history buff, consider 2020 to be a year which changed our way of living, just like the historic years of 1989 ( when Berlin Wall fell which marked the beginning of the end of communism), or 1945 ( when WW2 was won after the fall of Nazi and Imperial Japanese). As US President elect Joe Biden said in his victory speech, “This is a time to heal in America”. I feel this is a time to heal for the entire world. May 2021 give us enough room for us to heal, come together for humanity, collaborate for just causes, break the barriers of racism, gender bias etc, and work towards achieving global peace. I know this might sound grandiose, but atleast we can start taking one step ahead….

I am ending this post with this realization, that afterall, we did won(successfully survive) in 2020, and have entered a new year, with new hopes and new surprises as well……

International Men’s Day!

Why International Men’s Day needs to be accepted by the society!

The day of Nov 19th, is declared as International Men’s Day! Unlike Women’s day, this day is not much known or celebrated either. Even Google ignores this day by not making doodles which it regularly makes for celebrating women’s day. To be honest, I was also not aware of this day until I read a LinkedIn post from a female connection!

International Men's Day 2020 Quotes & Wishes: Check This Year's Theme

The first question which came in my mind is that why is there a need to celebrate Men’s day? Just because the tradition to celebrate women’s day exists? Well, historically, we see that women have undergone generations of inequality, injustice and impartiality as compared to men. That’s why as per https://www.internationalwomensday.com/About ,March 8th is the day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Men on the other side, has always dominated the world in all spheres of life, be it scientific, political, social or economic. The world has honored and revered men from all backgrounds, religions, culture in all parts of the world, at all times. Infact if we checkout the list of 100 most influential people of all time, we find only two women in the entire list, which are Queen Isabella ( Rank 65), and Queen Elizabeth I ( Rank 94). It is said that behind every successful man, there is women. She could be his mother, or wife, or sister. No man can ever be successful without the women’s support. But unfortunately, the world has always treated men far superior than women, and hence, the list stands as a proof.

Ofcourse, this is no way means that men in the list are not great or influential. What I am trying to convey is that history has always biased between men and women ( maybe because that history is mostly written by men!), and hence, the need to celebrate women’s day garnered the credit to honor the unsung heroines of the world. But then why men’ day needs to be celebrated?

This is because, the world has changed a lot in last few centuries, especially in the last 100 or so years. Due to scientific revolutions and advancement in communication technologies, the world is closer and connected than ever before. Thanks to spread of common education curriculum, democracy & voting rights, trade & commerce across the world, and acceptance of law and order required for a civilization to function, the world is no longer fighting wars to grab lands, resources, or even enslave people ( atleast not like Mongol invaders or British imperialists, though Taliban and few fringe elements do exist in the world) which used to happen before.

All this has led to a more civilized world, which has brought in more equality between men and women. Atleast the law says to treat men and women as equal. Thus, we see more women being educated & working along side men in business, military, politics and even in space! And I think this is one of the greatest achievement in human social history ( however late it might be)

Today we see women’s problems being recognized and accepted openly in most parts of the world. Be it the taboo associated with menstruation, or opposition to abortion, or even cases of domestic violence, sexual exploitation & marital rape. All this is being given attention and justice in today’s world. The society has accepted women’s importance as the other equal half, and this has been the greatest success of celebrating women’s day.

But at the same time, the world is also becoming more aware of the problems of men. Just as history saw women as weak, emotional and inferior for centuries, in the same way, men were always viewed from the prism of masculinity, bravery, machoism, unemotional, and dominant. The fact that men can also be emotional, and face stress or mental issues was never accepted by the world. Men were molded by the society to become stiff, aggressive, to never cry, never give up, never show emotions, stay dominant over women, earn more & be more educated than women. This was the way the world functioned for centuries. Scholars and intellectuals propounded this theory to compare it with evolution, and the way our ancestors lived, where men used to hunt and gather food, while women used to be at home to cook and raise children. ( there are some backward people like Taliban or ISIS who still believe in this theory)

But, as the world has changed enormously in the last few centuries, this concept no longer holds true. Times have changed, and even though men continue to dominate the world in most spheres of life, but the stress, anxiety, and work pressure they have to undergo to perform and stay at the top is excruciating. For example, we see that if a women voluntarily decides not to work & become a housewife, it is easily accepted by the society. But men unfortunately do not have that luxury. Men are never accepted to take gaps in education or work. Infact, going further, men are even not accepted to work under a women ( this might be due to peer pressure or male ego), but this stress to dominate, affects mental health enormously. And to make matter worse, men are not even expected to express their emotions, concerns in front of others ( especially in front of women as this is considered to be inferior and servile for a man’s macho status)

That’s why we see men’s health being severely affected, which results in some severe health issues like cardiac attack, high blood pressure etc. The below statistics shows the severity of this mindset.

Happy International Men's Day! 2019 Theme and All you You Need to Know -  WorthvieW
source

Hence, International Men’s Day is celebrated to show this other side of male personality. Even though physically or through evolution, men are stronger than women, or are more evolved to work in strenuous physical activities such as farming, construction, or fighting wars etc. But that does not mean they are emotional stronger than women as well. Infact, women are better at managing their stress, mental health and work pressure than men. This might be because women express their concerns and issues more easily with other women or even with husband/father. But men are known to never express their concerns or emotions to anyone.

Hence, this day should get more accepted by the world to create awareness about men’s mental health. The emphasis on male machoism, or ego should be discarded. Men should not feel a shame to work under women, and neither should they take stress to stay dominant at the top of the social ladder. In order to make men and women truely equal with each other, it is necessary to accept the fact that after all, men are also humans! Just like a mother, wife or sister plays a vital role in man’s life, so does a father, husband or brother in a woman’s life! The ground needs to be leveled and so Men’s day needs to get the same support as Women’s day!

Geo-political Games!

2020 will always be remembered in history as a year which changed the geo-political game of the world. Covid-19 has not only changed the way we look at the world, but also transformed the relations between different countries in the world.

Before 1991, the world was roughly divided into three parts. The first world consisted of United States with its allied nations such as UK, Canada, France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, Israel, Pacific oceania (Aus-N.Z), Iran( separated after Islamic revolution in 1979) and S.Korea. They formed the capitalist & democratic bloc with various organizations linked to each other such as NATO, Five Eyes etc.

The second world were lead by former USSR/Soviet Union with its satellite countries ( known as Warsaw pact), and other nations like China ( split after 1970), East Germany, N.Korea, Vietnam, Cuba and Afghanistan. They formed the communist bloc with socialist government.

The third world was also known as the Non-Aligned movement (NAM), and while they were not officially part of any group, but still more or less remained close to Soviet Union, due to their history of being colonized by the first world countries ( primarily UK and France),and hence guided by their common struggle against colonization (Africa) or economic imperialism ( in case of South America where USA controlled the economy of these countries). They were India, Egypt, Middle eastern countries including Palestine, few South American nations, and Africa. They were either democratic or ruled by monarchy or military dictatorship.

And everything changed after 1991. The former Soviet Union got dissolved and its satellite countries got closer to the West. Russia lost the superpower status. The third world countries had to align towards United States for economic support. The world became unipolar, with USA being the sole superpower. The 1990’s years were some of the finest years for USA and the West. The world thought that all the conflict in the world had ended, and experts like Francis Fukuyama called the time as the “The end of History”.

But things changed after 9/11. United States became involved in Afghanistan and Iraq ( due to Bush family’s past history with Saddam Hussein), and this involvement changed the entire geo-political scene. Meanwhile, Russia which had seen some of the toughest years during 1990’s decade under drunkard Boris Yeltsin started seeing change under Vladimir Putin. China since Nixon’s visit in 1972 had drifted away from former Soviet Union and under Deng Xiaopeng’s leadership started trading and manufacturing for USA and the rest of the world. It quietly watched the collapse of Soviet Union and America’s involvement after 9/11. Meanwhile, it kept itself busy by increasing its manufacturing share and making its deep pockets deeper. But it also made sure its technology is developed, either by copying or stealing from USA.

And then the next pivotal event happened, which is the Great recession of 2007, and then the election of Barack Obama, America’s first African-American President in 2008. This sent an alarming signal to the world that things were slowly changing in United States, and its stand as a self-declared, undisputed superpower and world’s policeman role no longer stood strong. That is why Putin in Munich conference, 2007 famously remarked about the world changing towards being multi-polar. And during 2008 Beijing Olympics, China displayed its strength by competing with USA and showing the world, that the sleeping dragon had awaken.

The next few years until 2016 were some of peak years for international liberal order. United States became more liberal than ever, and the American public became tired of America’s over-involvement in the world affairs. This marked a new period during 2010’s decade when other powers in the world started to rise up, particularly Russia and China. Russia annexed Crimea, and started yielding its influence in Ukraine. China started becoming more aggressive in the South China sea, and its ambitions flourished with the launch of Belt and Road Initiative, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and surrounding India with ‘String of Pearls’ strategy.

For India, however, the years since 1984 until Modi’s election in 2014 were some of the toughest years in its history. Indira Gandhi Assassination, Khalistan movement and anti-Sikh riots in 1984, Indian peace keeping force to resolve Sri-Lanka conflict and the subsequent assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, Shah-Bano verdict, Hindu-Muslim resentment, fall of Babri Masjid and 1993 Bombay riots, rigged Kashmir elections in 1987, expulsion of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990 followed by Kashmir terrorism for the whole 1990’s decade, Kargil War in 1999, then Godhra Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002, various terrorist attacks during 2000’s decade such as Parliament attack in 2001 and Mumbai blasts in 2003, 2006 and the perilous 26/11 attacks in 2008. In addition to this, there were many corruption scandals in the UPA 2 government, and due to which the mass agitation happened in 2011. India suffered immensely for 30 years, and the only good events which happened during these 30 years were the liberalization of Indian economy by Manmohan Singh and Narsimha Rao in 1991, Pokhran nuclear bomb tests in 1998 and the fact that India survived and did not get shattered or split up like former Soviet Union. This was because of the strong and deep roots of democracy, belief in the idea of India, secularism and brotherhood amongst the diverse yet united people of India.

2014 marked the seminal year in the history of India. Narendra Modi got elected with majority votes, and thus the struggle of India finally halted. The later 6 years have seen tremendous changes. With a strong foreign policy, India conducted surgical strikes, twice!. With many policies like Make in India, Swachh Bharat, demonetization, GST, banning Triple Talaq, resolving long standing Kashmir issue with the removal of article 370, and Citizenship Amendment Act, India has finally made a comeback, however belated it may be. To challenge China’s aggression against String of Pearls, India has initiated ‘Necklace of Diamonds’ strategy. Also, India has become more closer to United States, Germany, Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE to boost its trade and strengthen bi-lateral relations.

Just as 2014 marked the year of change for India, similarly 2016 marked the year of change for United States, when the USA and the whole world was shaken with the Brexit and unexpected election of Donald Trump. With Brexit and Trump’s surprising victory, the globalization based liberal order started getting on backfoot, and the more conservative, nationalistic driven approach started becoming mainstream. Trump changed the way the world looked towards USA. He reversed many decisions taken by Obama and prior administrations such as Iran Nuclear deal, Paris Climate Agreement, and pulled USA out of many organizations such as WHO, TPP, UNESCO, United Nations Human Rights council, and threatened to quit from WTO and NATO as well. This is a complete reversal of the superpower role played by USA since the victory in WW2 in 1945. No President has done so much changes during the first term, and this has caused troubles and resentment not only to the liberal order but also to the deep state which exists inside USA establishment.

Finally, the most recent event which years later will be compared similar to 1939 or 1991 is the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which actually spread in early 2020 from Wuhan, China to the entire world. This pandemic (however the origin might be, whether accidentally escaped from lab or engineered one) has crippled the world economy. USA is the worst affected country in the world, with about 170000 deaths as of Aug 2020. European nations like Italy, Spain and Germany also suffered enormously in the early phase of the pandemic, and now, India, Brazil, Mexico are seeing the worst effects of this pandemic.

The pandemic changed the world view towards China. Until the pandemic, China transitioned itself from a poor, backyard communist country back in 1970’s to an economically developed, state controlled capitalist yet politically communist, ‘factory of the world’. But today, it is seen as a nation which not only poses significant threat to the United States superpower status but also is considered to harbor aggressive ambitions to spread its influence over the world, just like USA and former Soviet Union did after 1945. That is why, we see after the pandemic, China suddenly became more aggressive towards India regarding its border issue, and has yielded control on WHO as well. It is rapidly expanding its assistance to African and European countries amidst the pandemic, and looking at its history of capturing key resources in other countries by its ‘debt-trap diplomacy‘, it plans to do more so in coming future.

Today, the geo-political game has become more complicated yet interesting as never before. The world before 1991 was into three blocs, and from 1991 to 2007-08, it was only USA, the defacto superpower. But since 2008 Great Recession in USA and especially with Donald Trump’s election in 2016, the geo-politics started becoming multi-polar. And after almost 4 years of Trump Presidency, we see in 2020, the world is no longer looking towards USA as the superpower.

In the last 12 years after 2008, many events besides Trump and Brexit have also influenced the world affairs. The Arab Spring, killing of Bin Laden & start of Syrian Civil War in 2011 which lasted for the whole decade, election of Putin again in 2012 ( who continues to rule Russia as a new Tzar), Edward Snowden, Wikileaks and the whistleblowing of US spy program in 2013, Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, the US-China trade war and killing of Iranian major general of Quds force Qasem Soleimani by US drone strike in 2020. All these events have altered the geo-politics on a large scale. Today, to counter the US and Western influence over the world, a bloc of group of nations have allied together ( some openly while other discreetly). They include Russia, China, Iran, N.Korea, Turkey and Syria.

The history of Russia with US has always been a game of tug of war to exert their own control over the world. Russia under Putin has emerged strong and has positioned itself a powerful leader in the Eurasian region. With abundance of Oil and advanced military technology, it remains a game changer for the events happening in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. It is widely considered that Syria was actively supported by Russia, and this resulted in the Syrian victory in the civil war. Russia had seen its worst years under US controlled Yeltsin and billionaire oligarchs, and so today Russia does not trust the West. It looks like the 1990’s debacle with Russia was the repetition of Treaty of Versailles, and even though Putin wont start any world war like Hitler did, but the Russian mistrust of western democracy and predatory capitalism has positioned them to support Putin and a strong yet isolated Russia.

China on the other side is becoming like the next Soviet Union. With its consistent belief in communist ideology among the top political party cadre, and a burning aspiration to make China strong, and to never again face humiliation from the western countries and Japanese, China has risen up to make itself an aggressive nation. Even though it is true that China did face a lot of humiliation and persecution for almost a hundred years until 1949, and even after that, for another 30 years or so, the Chinese suffered hardships during Mao’s rule. But after 1979, China has reversed its fortune and made a stunning comeback with a strong economy. The western world silently supported China when it embraced capitalism, and they hoped that eventually China would accept democracy as well. But this never happened. Just like Russia follows a managed democracy, so does China follows a managed capitalistic model. But what makes China aggressive like former Soviet Union was against USA, are the stronghold of Chinese Communist party over economy, people, and its spread of China led institutions such as BRI and AIIB, which pose a threat to USA and western led institutions. Also, China fares worst when it come to humans rights and is known for spying and stealing from US, just like Soviet Union did. China’s support for terrorist nations like N.Korea worries the world, and it is because of China that these two nations have nuclear bombs. Further, China has supported Iranian regime, and this poses a threat for Israel, Saudi Arabia and US. Finally, the recent Covid-19 spread from China and its futile attempt to hide it from the world, have exacerbated the rift between China and the rest of the western world.

Iran, is another country, whose ideology and leadership makes the geo-politics more complicated then ever. Considered one of the best friend of USA until 1979, when the Islamic revolution happened, today, Iran continues to remain on the enemy list of USA. This is also because of the inter-dependencies of the middle east politics. The middle east as we today, was never united in history. The British and the French made attempts to unite this region on the grounds of religion. Later, the formation of the state of Israel gave another boost for unity of the Arabs. But Iranians are not Arabs, they are Persians, historically. And due to the practice of Shia Islam, the Sunni countries have never accepted Iran and its adherents/kafirs. Even among Sunni Arabs, there are many spheres of influence. But mainly they are three, which are Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Egypt. All these three nations compete to yield their influence over the region. Once upon a time, it was the Ottoman Turks who ruled through their Ottoman Caliphate, centered in Istanbul. But after the fall of Ottoman empire after WW1, Turkey became secular under its ruler Kemal Attaturk. But today, there has been a marked reversal in the Turkish policies. Turkey under Erdogan have championed itself as the new Caliphate and leader of Islam. That is why the Church turned Mosque turned museum Hagia Sophia and Chora Church is turned back to Mosque.

Egypt which had been influential during the British rule and due to Suez Canal, now does not yield much power, as it did back during its war against Israel. And after the discovery of oil and gas in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi royal family have become one of the richest in the world. But unlike Egypt and Iran, Saudi’s have not waged any war against Israel and due to its opposition to Iran, it continues to support Israel against Iran. Iraq under Saddam Hussein had become a trouble for middle east and Israel, which was duly taken care of by US, Israel with the covert support of Saudi and Iran as well (Iran and Iraq were enemies on grounds of religion). Hence, today in the middle east we see a Shia belt from Iran, Yemen, Syria to Lebanon ( with support of Hezobollah), which is against Saudi and its allies such as UAE, Israel, Bahrain, Egypt etc. And to counter Saudi influence, Turkey have started its own campaign to take back the caliphate it had lost to Saudis. The Syrian Civil War re-aligned the relations between middle east countries, and Syria with the support of Iran and Russia, won against the alliance which comprised of Saudi Arabia, USA, Israel, Turkey.

Thus, the world has become more complicated than ever. To understand middle east geo-politics itself is like finding a needle in the haystack. But just as the European affairs back in 19th and 20th century resulted in two catastrophic world wars, similarly this Asian conflict which covers from Russia, Syria, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, Iran, Saudi Arabia has the potential to evolve from being an Asian conflict to a world conflict. More to cover in next post. Stay tuned!

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The seven most Iconic legends of modern India

India is blessed with many heroes, martyrs, freedom fighters, spiritual masters, leaders and patriots. To name out only a few of the legends will be very unfair for the whole history of India and the immense contribution of all the men and women. But this list of 7 icons defines India in a true sense, without them India would not have been what it is today. They have not only devoted their whole life to the service of nation but they also stand unique among all by their path followed, their love for the nation, without getting labeled by any political or religious views. They were perfect professionals in their field of contribution and even their opponents admired them for their honesty, sincerity and dedication. I think these 7 icons stand tall in the history and making of modern India.

  1. The Tata’s (Jamshedji, J R D and Ratan)
  2. Rabindranath Tagore (Thakur)
  3. Swami Vivekananda
  4. Mahatma Gandhi
  5. Babasaheb Ambedkar
  6. Sam Manekshaw
  7. A P J Abdul Kalam

The Tata family has been among the finest industrial families in India. Jamshedji, JRD and Ratan Tata, all have been the true architects of modern India. Without their exemplary service and dedication to build some of the finest institutions, India would never have been the one which is today. They not only brought India on the world map in industries and business through Tata & Sons group of companies, but also revolutionized India’s industrial revolution. When Jamshedji Tata got introduced to steel, he immediately decided to setup a steel factory in India to make India self-reliant. Similar story goes regarding Hotels, when after being insulted by British for the lack of world class hotel in India, he setup the Taj hotel in Mumbai. On similar front, JRD ventured into Aviation ( today known as Air India), chemicals, auto-industry and many more. And the legacy of J R D was carried ahead by Ratan Tata, and his vision to empower India, and venturing into new projects such as Tata Nano to make a affordable car for middle class Indians has made Tata a household name. Also, Tata’s have been leaders in philanthropy as well, with most recently, Ratan Tata donated 500 crores of rupees to fight against Covid-19.

India Today: Jamshedji, J R D and Ratan Tata

One interesting fact to note is inspite of being the oldest industrial powerhouse of India, Today, Tata’s are not the richest family, but Ambani’s are. And because of this, it is famously said Ambani’s are true businessmen, while Tata’s are true industrialists. Tata’s never cared about making money, but cared about creating wealth for the nation. Tata’s have mentored so many industrialists and entrepreneurs such as Narayana Murthy, Azim Premji and so on, who are successfully carrying this legacy ahead in the form of Wipro, Infosys etc.

Besides, industries, Tata’s took the noble initiative in establishing world class institutes such as Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Tata institute of Social Sciences(TISS), Indian Institute of Science(IISc), National Center for Performing Arts, Tata Memorial Hospital, The Energy and Research Institute(TERI) etc. These institutions have shaped the minds of millions of Indians, and have progressed India towards self-reliance.

J R D Tata

Swami Vivekananda was a well-known spiritual personality of India. He not only introduced the Indian spirituality to the west for the first time in 1892, but also re-ignited the hidden patriotism and energy within Indians to rise up and build up the country again. The current prime minister, Narendra Modi is a follower of Swami Vivekananda, and with his Ramakrishna mission started a journey of the spread of universal brotherhood, spirituality, Ayurveda, Yoga and meditation to all parts of the world. Some of the famous organizations which followed Vivekananda’s footsteps include Sri Sri’s Art of Living, SadhGuru’s Isha Foundation, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental meditation, Swami Prabhupada’s ISKCON, Yogananada Paramhansa’s “The Autbiography of a Yogi” and spreading the kriya yoga taught by Mahavatar Babaji, S N Goenka’s Vipassanna meditation and Neem Karoli Baba’s influence on Beatles, Steve Jobs, Julia Roberts and Mark Zuckerburg. This image of India being the spiritual holyland emerged after the historic visit of Swami Vivekananda to United States.

Also, it is said that Swami Vivekananda had met Jamshedji Tata on a ship to Japan, and they had discussed about the future of India. It isn’t a surprise that Vivekananda’s presence tremendously influenced Jamshedji’s life and his future contributions to the country.

The Better India: Swami Vivekananda and Jamshedji Tata

Rabindranath Tagore( just like Swami Vivekananda, both came from Bengal) will always be remembered as the poet and writer who envisioned the idea of India. He received the Nobel prize for literature in 1913, and was the first Indian to receive the prize. What makes him one of the seven iconic personality is the love and devotion to the motherland. Rabindra Sangeet has achieved the versatile recognition all over the world, and his poems conveyed the need for sacrifice and dedication to free the country from foreign rule. Even today, it is equally applicable, when we see Indians moving abroad to USA for better opportunities, resulting in brain drain, and on the other side, the huge influx of cheap Chinese goods are destroying the small businesses and livelihood of millions of fellow Indians. I remember this Tagore’s poem after seeing the current situation of India and Indians..

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Mahatma Gandhi is another icon of India, without which the book about India will never get finished. Revered as the “Father of India” and known for his non-violence movement against the British, “Satyagraha”, and his insistence on local goods “Swadeshi” & Hindu-Muslim unity, his contributions led to India becoming independent in 1947. Historians and some self-recognized experts debate on Gandhi’s involvement in India’s independence, and how several problems which India still suffers today such as India-Pakistan conflict, legacy of Nehru and his family rule over India, secularism etc have been linked to Gandhi. We might need another post to elaborate on them, but whatever people might think, Gandhi did create the India we have today, and based on the current world scenario, its the best we have got. The roots of secularism, however might be shaken today, but it still is deep enough and have strengthened the very foundations of modern India.

India achieved freedom by non-violent means, and no country in the world had done this before. Looking at the terror and war stricken world today, Indians were indeed very fortunate to have been led by a spiritual leader, who believed in non-violence and truth. Also, Gandhi and Tagore were very good friends, and often interacted with each other. They both visited each other’s Ashram ( Tagore’s Shantiniketan and Gandhi’s Sabarmati and Wardha ashram), and shared the common idea of the unity and freedom struggle of India. J R D Tata also was tremendously influenced by Gandhi and believed in the self-reliance (Swadeshi) idea for a post-independence India. Gandhi was against communism, and so was J R D Tata ( though the reasons were different, for Gandhi it was the communism’s lack of belief in God, while for Tata was the unsuitability of communism for an Indian economy)

Brain Pickings: Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi

I haven’t included Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel in this list (not to avoid a political debate, but to remain apolitical, and because of the huge influence of Gandhi on Nehru and Patel). Barring few things like military, foreign affairs etc, Nehru truely believed and followed the Gandhian way to build a free India. Insistence on self-reliancy, secularism, education, farming, healthcare etc were somewhat influenced by Gandhian ideals, and Patel united India on grounds of Gandhi’s secularism.

Babasaheb Ambedkar is the next icon of modern day India. Known as the chief architect of the Constitution of India, his ascendency from an untouchable community to become one of the nation’s prominent lawyer, jurist and economist is no less than a miracle. He was the most educated lawyer in India at that time. He inspired millions of Indians ( especially from the backward classes) and his role model has enabled them to destroy the prison of casteism, religious hatred and climb the ladder of success. Though his policy of reservation has raised frequent debates in the society, but his life, message and actions have indeed strengthened the foundations of secularism and unified India. Ambedkar and his team’s vision to embrace democracy has been one of the best decisions ever taken, and even though the democracy is not yet the most perfect form in India today, but it was indeed a visionary decision to accept this for a complex and diverse country like India.I cannot imagine how any other form of government would have impacted the country. Dr.Ambedkar even today, remains a hope and guiding light for many Indians, with his message that hard work and fighting against injustice leads to success. After all, all the Warkari community, Buddha, Basaveshwara, Kabir, and even the French and American revolution have proclaimed the same principles of universal brotherhood, tolerance and equality. This is the best gift India has received from Dr.Ambedkar to destroy the age old archaic theories which promoted casteism and created a rift between communities which had weakened India, and due to which India had become a British colony and a poor nation. Let we stay united together, drop all the caste barriers and accept the “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” principle.

Pinterest: Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar

Sam Manekshaw is another legend in the Indian history. His military prowess, dedicated service to the nation, discipline and way of life have influenced us enormously. He is well known for leading India to win the 1971 war against Pakistan, and thereby creating the state of Bangladesh. He not only rejuvenated the morale of Indian forces after the 1962 debacle with China, but also proudly raised the Indian flag in the world, by demonstrating an example of how a military should win the war and how to treat an enemy. I am personally greatly enamoured by Sam Manekshaw’s personality and myself being from a defense background, I can certainly say that Indian military has been one of the finest and secular forces in the world. That’s why, he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal of India. He was the military architect of India, and remains an inspiration for all Indians ( me included)

Defense Lover: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

A P J Abdul Kalam is the most recent icon to have served the nation with his love, devotion and dedication. Popularly known as the “Missile Man of India”, he was the chief of DRDO during the successful nuclear tests in Pokhran, 1998. If it was not Dr.Kalam, then we would not have the ISRO and DRDO as we have today. He developed these institutions into one of the finest and best in the world. Later, during his Presidency, he is so far the best President and most liked by all. His success exemplifies the secular power of India. His contribution stands as a testament for a middle class, humble person to rise up and attain the highest position.

Dr.A P J Abdul Kalam

Thus, these seven icons of India are what represents India. Though there are many other legends as well, and they have devoted their life for the service of nation as well, but these 7 icons are the true spirit of India. They were and are not being viewed through the narrow prism of politics, ideology or religion. All of them were born before India became free, and with few exceptions, many lived after India became independent. They knew the essence of India, and understood about the future of India as well. Even during the troubled times when the whole world was lost into World Wars, Great Depression, or got entangled into communism, these leaders did not drift away from their path. They did not support any foreign theory like communism, or capitalism. But thought only what was best for India. All of them had excellent education, many went abroad for higher studies, yet all came back to India to serve the motherland. It would not have been difficult for Gandhi, or Ambedkar or Kalam, to get settled abroad in England or America, for better opportunity or money (In fact, for Dr.Ambedkar , that would have been the best chance to escape the tyranny of the upper caste people in India). But they did not do that. They came back, struggled, fought against the system and finally succeeded. This conveys a strong message for our generations who want to move out of India at the very first chance, just for dollars or because of being fed up by politics or reservations in jobs. Of course its completely fine to go abroad for higher studies and get some experience but I feel the time has come to return back to India and re-build India once again. India needs good people and its become very vital to free India from the clutches of cheap Chinese goods, and internal dirty politics.

As the current situation has entailed many Indians abroad to return back to their country, I thought this post would be helpful to raise the awareness about our country’s past, and to realize the hidden potential within us. May this article guide us to cross the bridge of inequality, to rise the ladder of success, to remove the dust of just serving foreign companies for few dollars or pounds from our mind, and motivate us to start our own venture and adventure to promote this wonderful Indian tradition, knowledge, culture we have endured from our ancestors. Lets say no to Chinese goods, and make and buy in India. Lets #Make locally & Think Globally

As Tagore wrote in his poem, …let my country awake…