By Hugh and colleen Gantzer
The term Blue Chakra is apt.. It captures the great importance of our oceanic heritage: in fact it goes much further because it draws the world’s attention to our vast untapped resource: the continent-linking waters that wash the shores of the great land-mass of the earth. It also makes the significant point that our spinning globe should not be called THE EARTH , but THE OCEAN. We have capitalised THE to emphasise the oneness of this world’s enveloping expanse. Which deserves much greater attention. For the present, however, we have a narrower focus. We wish to concentrate on the hype being devoted to the , so-called G-20.
The 20 nations getting together for this much-touted exercise under the Presidentship of India are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkiye, the US, UK and the European Union. But the European Union is not one country. It consists of the independent nations of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonias, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. So the G 20 should really be called the G 43.
The reason why we cannot presume that the, so-called, European Union speaks with one voice is because it does not do so, in spite all the valiant efforts of Its headquarters in Brussels. France, for instance, is so strictly secular that it permitted an educationist to criticise a very revered religious leader which resulted in bloodshed. On the other hand, its neighbour, Italy, is so determinedly religious that it treats as a sovereign state an enclave run by priests and nuns: the Vatican. The contradictions within the G 20 are even greater. The USA is in armed conflict with Russia in the Ukraine, Britain accuses France of being lax in permitting refugees to cross the Channel and land in Britain. In other words is there any point in presuming that India’s Presidentship of the, so-called G 20 will lead to a new era of regional bonhomie?
Then there is our own reluctance to accept reality. Instead of acknowledging the existence of our slums we build walls and erect screens to conceal them from the eyes of the G 20 Sherpas and their superiors. Our netas are well aware of the reach of the media, particularly the social media. The film Slumdog Millionaire was an International success. Shouldn’t we have celebrated the gumption and enterprise of our slum dwellers? Our netas revel in flaunting their bullet proof luxury cars and hordes of high-paid security personnel forming human shields around them. Do these Beloveds of the Masses really need protection from those who adore them?. We have never aspired to create a Co-Prosperity Sphere as the Japanese Empire tried to do in World War II. We do not call ourselves a Melting Pot as the USA loves to do. Our myriad ethnic communities retain their individuality, a fact heightened by the endogamy of the Caste System. In other words our unique strength is our entrenched Diversity. The most versatile naturally evolved organ is the human hand, It has five fingers, all of unequal length including a reversible thumb. If we cut off these diverse fingers, we get a hoof. No hoofed creature can achieve the manual dexterity that we humans have to give us the technological achievements like, for example, a Bullet Train or an Air Force One. So why are we trying, so desperately, to reduce our magnificent Polyglot, Multi-ethnic, Myriad Faith people into one Homogeneous mush like a human Khichidi? Incidentally, Netas, do you really believe that the Chinese have created the world’s Largest Navy to dominate the trade routes of the world? They no longer need to use their PLA to hold the world in thrall. Their economic power has already achieved that without the death of a single Ham.
The empire of Xi seeks to conquer Inner Space. In the Off-shore waters of the oceans of the world, and the dark depths lie the greatest untapped resources of our blue world. Salami slicing of our Himalayan heights is a diversionary game and the world is falling for it!
(Hugh & Colleen Gantzer hold the National Lifetime
Achievement Award for Tourism among other National and International awards. Their credits include over 52 halfhour documentaries on national TV under their joint names, 26 published books in 6 genres, and over 1,500 firstperson articles, about every Indian state, UT and 34 other countries. Hugh was a
Commander in the Indian Navy and the Judge Advocate,
Southern Naval Command. Colleen is the only travel writer who was a member of the Travel Agents Association of India.)