Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Colorado & Manesar - Signs of 2012?

Putting the pen down now, during the supposed-to-be-dooms-year is exciting, at least to writers. It is still July, five months from D day and already a set of horrible news has given a good launchpad for the things to follow. Click every "50 new Tweets" button and it will uncover at least one mishap/tragic/horrible event. Wait a sec, did I mention mishap? Or should I say inhumane?

Let's start from January. The news of asteroid's near missing of earth made me ponder once over the whole 2012 concept. And NASA's asteroid hunting mission's kick-off date (somewhere in 2017) wasn't helping either and made my stomach twist. However, after a mountain of research and re-assurances I was convinced that Nostradamus and Aztecs were wrong. Thereafter, my calendar was set as usual. Days were once again filled with the daily chores, indulgences, ogling, boss-fights, documentation, debugging and career milestones. A lot to accomplish. I completed the whole IPL T20 course and partial EPL & CL course too. Though a few minor speed bumps, like Japan earthquake and tremors where I live made me wonder over those reassurances, I figured that mother Earth, who toiled for billions of years to make air, soil, water and a fantastic ecosystem, can't be that cruel to cause a 2012. It had to be an alien force. 

One may mention global warming to complicate the argument, but then it's not a catastrophe. It's too gradual a deterioration process to make a selfish guy like me worry. Only to clear global warming out of my fear factors, I'd say it is still an ultra-debatable theory. Yes, this year was the hottest ever which is a concern to some extent; yes there are a few more glaciers melting than ever, but I'm sure that we'll soon develop an effective technology like carbon sequestration to counter the extra carbon dioxide. Statesmen like Al Gore,  master of exaggeration (see him ascending over that electric stair in this video) may infuse a sense of urgency in your hearts while running for presidential elections. If they did, then please read Michael Crichton's State of Fear to dilute that urgency.

That said, other issues such as Iran-Israel impending nuclear fight, hardly shook my feet. Instead, they amused me. The trio of US, Israel and Iran (alongwith a few Islamic nations) is in a state of stable equilibrium. Or I should say, they are in a love triangle. Iran has oil and money and on semi religious, semi-political grounds loves to invest in power and control across borders. Israel, we all know is like the 300 spartans group that goes out of its own borders and terrifies a 100 times bigger a country like Iran. And US is US. It finds a way to beautifully seep into a tug-of-war situation with camouflaged needs. So the situation is - US continues to get cheaper oil from Islamic countries through two-faced negotiations & assurances; Iran's political & army commanders continue to give their public-arousal-wings a flutter and Israel gets extra-protein flexed muscles through enhanced military research, spending & related businesses. Everyone loves the other. So, the third world war or even a mini third world war remains out of picture. India & China, Obama's about-to-be-concluding Afghan mission, global economic stutter and near-salvaged Euro crisis are not even worth mentioning. The world seemed as smooth as does Google's new Jelly Bean OS on my Nexus S. Just then, a few evenings back, the following events happened and gave my stomach another twist.

maruti manesar
I was sipping a cup of green tea and was simultaneously trying to push up some Indian twitter trends just when I heard about a one-of-a-kind labour unrest incident in Manesar manufacturing plant of Maruti Suzuki, India's leading car manufacturer. Reportedly, a group of workers of the shop floor took a barbaric course to "handle-the-whatever-issue" and wrecked havoc upon the managers present at the plant, destroyed cars & equipments and set ablaze a portion of the plant. In the process, given the nature & discipline of the business in context- not a coal mine, not a rail-road construction, not a building construction in a crowded city whereby civil issues may prevail, no, not even close- shockingly injuring more than 80, and even more shockingly & unfortunately killing one general manager. Gulp! This whole event was indigestible and caught the whole nation by awe. Howsoever be the business scenario & local administration, whatever be the trigger point, whatever be the cause of unrest, the mode was just not humane. Plus, such an act was unprecedented in such a business scenario. 2012? I'd exclude the Great Railroad upheaval of 1877, which saw a loss of $10m of property and a 100 lives, because that happened ages ago-during Industrial revolution, during extreme circumstances of a long depression, and also because the genes of discipline in mass-production/manufacturing had just started to take shape then. One may stop and surmise here - Has capitalism churned us so much that no more juice is left? Is it the time to read Karl Marx's theories and follow socialism, which by the way has its own bag-full of shortcoming and problems. 

James Holmes in court
Two days later, just when I began to muster normality in thoughts, a news channel flashed "Shootout in Colorado:10 killed and 40 injured". Are you kidding me? Getting into the details of it was even more kidding. An orange-haired, young & innocent looking psychic/ psycho /psychopath (one of these three, which one I'm not sure), does a "joker" at a movie theatre during a Friday night premier of The Dark Knight Rises. Aurora, Colorado that ranks the 9th safest city in US saw its statistical repute getting rock-bottomed in just a minute. What was done, was done. What happened next? Internet journalism fraternity were quick to jump into the chronic debate of "Guns kill people or people kill people?". Some started debating "do movies kill people?". The US Govt. even went ahead to ban batman costumes! Some are busy in analysing- how did James Holmes manage a 2 bullets to 1 hit ratio when state police averages 4 bullets to 1 hit in such a scenario. Well, all these arguments are beside the point. Who comes at the base of the fault-chain is what they must think over. The psycho, the guns, the gun manufacturers, the costumes, the local administration, the cinema's security personnel, the society or the government? Psyche is a result of many factors, a major factor is the society and its attitude towards one and all. The best resource to understand this is "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes". It happens to cover a case in which an orange haired guy, owing to how UK's society treats orange haired community, made an attitude of defence and retaliation, closely a manner of proving oneself. I don't know what James Holmes had to prove (that he is a batman is just a superficial statement), but I know that he had to prove something basic, very basic. Just to add, if it makes any sense, US's big daddy nature is supported by a lot of daddies, and a lot of daddies makes a lot of naughty sons.

These two completely distinct incidents intersect at only one question : Who is killing whom and why? Numerous other questions arise too, which needs to be properly addressed by you and me. The mortality rate of world is 107 deaths per minute. Causes may be natural or accidental or murderous. Earthquakes, wars, diseases etc. contributes a lot. But the share of causes based on human disconnect (exactly what joker tried to take advantage of in The Dark Knight) may trigger it tremendously. But that was just a movie, and that came in 2008. Bad joke!