The times, they are a-changin'
2020 has been a hell of a year – who would have thought, say, 6 months ago, that we would be battling a pandemic for the better part of the year, that the Olympic Games would get cancelled, and that our country’s sovereignty would be challenged by our very own neighbourhood bully, China?
We are now talking about a "new normal", a life with all of us wearing masks, carrying sanitisers in our pockets/bags, venturing out of our houses, with utmost caution. The COVID-19 pandemic has been making us feel like mere mortals being put to an ‘Endurance Test’ of sorts by the Lords up there.
This is probably also the only time in our lives that we are sitting at home for the longest time ever. While this honestly sounded quite lucrative in the beginning, it now almost feels like we’re under house arrest.
We are all on the verge of losing our patience, and our sanity of course! The Government has been trying its level best to pacify the public by announcing economic relief packages for sustenance in the next 4-5 months. All in all, these last few months have been quite tough for us on all fronts.
And then when we thought we’d seen it all, there were reports of earthquakes happening all around the world – right from Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Delhi NCR in India, to Puerto Rico, the Hawaii Islands, California, and Mexico.
There were a few locust swarm outbreaks in East Africa and in the northern parts of India. China would’ve loved having them for a meal or two. Why? Because, a famous Chinese man had once said, “We eat everything that moves!”
We also witnessed the Australian wildfires, forest fires in Uttarakhand, the Amazon forest fires in Brazil. Nature’s fury was here to stay.
In the US, George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a policeman. What followed was a country-wide protest against racial killings in a deeply polarised political environment.
Back home, in May, tensions were soaring as Indian and Chinese troops clashed at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). On June 15, we lost 20 of our soldiers in Galwan Valley, Ladakh. The casualties on the Chinese side were around 40. The atmosphere was almost war-like, and we were all absolutely aghast at the Chinese.
China’s state machinery started resorting to propaganda and tried to threaten our sovereignty, along with daily posts on social media on how they were moving troops and equipment to the border. All those videos they posted were obviously fake, thanks to their poor understanding of geography and terrain.
They’ve underestimated India for long and were taken aback to see India taking an aggressive stand against the incursion. We gave them a bloody nose, and that was totally unexpected. Historically Indians have never been the aggressors, we’ve been quite reactive in our actions and our policies as well.
We lost to China in 1962, which cost us thousands of lives and many square kilometres of land. What happened then was unfortunate (this calls for a separate blog post), but we had learnt our lessons, and damn well, to rattle the Chinese 58 years later.
Phew! I guess, that’s enough for now. We still have 6 months of 2020 to go, and a lot to look forward to. And, as Bob Dylan’s song goes –
The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'