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Looking Ahead

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Should not the world’s nations be learning from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the fallout it has had on the rest of the world? After the Covid crisis, which underlined like nothing else the desperate need for global cooperation against existential challenges, one would have thought leaders would work to further consolidate the solidarity that had been developed. The recent extreme weather events in almost all parts of the globe have shown how much of a challenge climate change is going to be for humanity. Even the developed countries that believed their infrastructure and wealth would overcome any difficulties that may arise have been taught a severe lesson.

Yet, despite all this, there are nations that believe enmity with others over territorial and other disputes requires speedier resolution at the cost of more important things.

Pakistan’s obsession with Kashmir has meant it is unable to obtain assistance during crises such as the ongoing floods from the country most capable of providing it – India. In fact, even its continuing economic troubles would not even exist were it to adopt the kind of pro-India approach that has benefited Bangladesh. The same goes for China, whose current leader’s dreams to make a Mao or Deng Xiaoping like mark has provoked a strong reaction from the very nations most economically compatible to Chinese economic growth, including India. And Putin’s ongoing hubris is there for all to see.

Quite obviously, at the heart of these issues is a fundamental problem – the lack of democracy in ‘trouble-making’ nations like China and Russia. So effectively is opposition quelled in these countries that there is no check against the megalomania of the leaders. Their clout even extends outside their lands through bribes and threats, with little being said against them. Instead, in a thriving democracy like India, where there are as many aspiring PMs as there are states, the democratically elected leader is projected as a dictator. Political rivalries are one thing, but these should not get in the way of strengthening the leadership’s hands in dealing with the abovementioned existence-threatening problems. There is simply too much at stake, short-sighted leadership will not do.