2008 Was A Turbulent Yet Historic Year
Surrey, Vancouver, Dec. 28, 2008
Another year has just gone by. In a sense, it has been a rather
turbulent yet historic year in many ways. Events triggered during
2008 are likely to have a huge impact locally, nationally and
internationally for a long time to come.
Barack Obama’s election to the highest elected office, in
the only super power of the world, was naturally one of the biggest,
if not the biggest, news across the globe. His election brought
a sense of hope and optimism not only to Americans but people
all over the world. It is amazing how a first term senator, unknown
to more than half of Americans only two years ago, managed to
accomplish so much in such a short period of time.
Obama had all of the odds stacked against him. Son of an African
father and an American mother, he has surprised a lot of political
pundits. His message of change and hope proved to be a hit with
the voters who were getting tired of the Bush administration.
People’s expectations from Obama have been raised very high.
It is going to be a huge challenge for the incoming president.
Let’s see if he will be able to deliver.
The worldwide economic meltdown has been the other major development
to hit everyone. This again, is a great challenge to the world
leadership including Canada. Loss of hundreds of thousands of
jobs is a scary possibility. In times like these, every country
needs a stable government at the helm. However, if the events
of the last few weeks in Ottawa are any indication we are in for
some extremely turbulent times. Our politicians need to rise above
petty partisanship and focus their energy on addressing the economy
rather than playing politics. The economic problems coupled with
worldwide threats of terrorism are some of the crucial issues
facing mankind in the New Year.
Terrorism has reared its ugly head again. This time, these fanatics
struck at the commercial capital of India –Mumbai. For 60
hours, this beautiful city was under siege. Two luxurious hotels,
couple of hospitals, a famous railway station and a few other
landmarks were the targets of these twisted minds. The events
of November 26,2008 have been dubbed as India’s 9/11. To
their credit, the citizens of this great city have bounced back
and the things are getting back to normal. Around 200 innocent
lives been lost and a few hundred more have been seriously injured.
The whole world has condemned this cowardly act in the strongest
possible terms. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the victims
of this senseless carnage. Unfortunately, this tragedy has again
brought two neighbours –India and Pakistan- to the brink
For the past several years, relations between India and Pakistan
were getting better. However, this heinous act of terrorism has
caused a lot of tension between these two nuclear powers. It is
easy to understand India’s anger and frustration. Reports
indicate that the plot to inflict so much damage to one of India’s
major commercial centers was hatched and launched from Pakistani
territory. Pakistani officials deny this. Only time will tell
as to how this whole scenario unfolded. Rather than saber rattling,
now is the time for cooler heads to prevail.
It is rather unfortunate that a number of terrorist organizations
have created such a scare around the globe. No country or city
appears to be safe any more.
Terrorism has spread like a cancer. It is not one country or
one region’s problem any more. It is every law-abiding citizen’s
problem now. Those who perpetrate terrorism must be dealt with
Their training camps and related infrastructure must be put out
of commission. Also, the people who promote terrorism and poison
young minds must be dealt with firmly and effectively. The whole
world community must fight against terrorism with all of the resources
at its disposal.
This unfortunate tragedy offers India, Pakistan and other countries
an excellent opportunity to work to-gether in rooting out this
evil. Let’s hope and pray that tragedies like this will
never happen again.
Hopefully, the New Year will usher an era of peace, harmony and
goodwill throughout the world.