December 31, 2013 By KC Saleem

New Year Promises

new year cover1 (1)The year 2013 has just gone by and while I am writing this, there are fireworks colorfully greeting the year 2014. To look back, we have had many things to be pessimistic about the next year. The yawning gap between the rich and poor; a bleeding Middle East and the Zionist hubris; no end to our anxieties about climate change and to our greedy emissions of poisonous gases; intolerance and xenophobia; economic slowdowns which affect the poor as well as the rich; unbridled desire for power masking all democratic set-ups and “values”; the Arab Spring derailed and appropriated….

Definitely we will miss many talented, gifted personalities – Nelson Mandela, who taught us that pluralism is not Utopia; Dorris Lessing, whose words had the magical power of evoking our sense of ourselves; Augusto Odone, whose search for cure for his son’s disease – adapted for the movie Lorenzo’s Oil – rekindled the hopes of parenthood in a world where street children are threateningly on the rise; Gamal al-Banna, who read the divine scripture with the hopes for liberation; Hugo Chavez, who dreamed and made us dream about a different world order, to name a few.

The most tragic losses are of those, especially women and children, in Rabia Adawiya Square, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan as well as all those landscapes where violence as political means took the toll of thousands of lives.

The specter of violence, greed, hegemony and hatred haunts us despite many milestones we reached, despite many MoUs and summits, despite our pride in the advancement of technology, despite many alternative ways and forums which might help us empower the disenfranchised sections in the society-women, poor, minorities etc – and redefine democracy….

The year 2014 will be bright and full of promises, only if we are able to bust our ego and lend our love to others; if we can bank on the plusses and commit ourselves to the reduction of minuses. Interactive believes in the free flow of discourses and debates to achieve it. Not only in the year to come but forever….

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