Monday, July 24, 2006

An anniversary and " The countdown"

I started this blogging journey just a year back. It was really a different experiment. though it was not the first time I was writing something, it’s a childhood habbit. One striking similarity between that writing and this writing is that both were an open source essays! Yes my childhood diary which i still carry with me was corrected by one of my teacher! Although he had only academic interests but still is was accessible by any one around me. This one is no way different; I tried to write different things in different moods. The 40 posts I have are different, so lets start repeating it. My first post was a few lines on one of my favourite book "we the living" and today i want to write few lines about a book from my another favourite author Amitav Ghosh.

...........This is one of Amitav Ghosh's books which I think was not' read by many readers, like they read "Shadow lines", "Dancing in Cambodia...” or "Hungry tide...” The book I am talking about here is "Countdown". Amitav Ghosh wrote about many countries and civilizations and I found the anthropologists view is evident everywhere. I was curious how he would have described the relationship between India and Pakistan where emotions flow like river both for hatred and friendship, but there is surely a neutral view and Ghosh represents this in an outstanding fashion. This article is written just after India and Pakistan have carried out their respective nuclear tests. This book was an outcome of Authors travel in both the countries after the explosion. He interviewed many people both in India as well as in Pakistan. He begins the essay by describing the political scenario in India as well as in Pakistan. In India BJP was in power and this was for the first time when a not so secular govt. was in power, whereas in Pakistan, Nawaj sharif was planning to get away with the conventional law and implementing religious laws, in this changing environment these test carried lot of significance in the subcontinent. Although Ghosh never hid his views against the nuclear tests still he never showed any bias towards his views. There were couple of interviews around which the article grew, were excellent. One is with Mr. George Fernandez, then defense minister of India and Asma Zahangir the noted human right activist from Pakistan. The political and social background of these two persons actually was very helpful in understanding the views they expresses Amitav Ghosh is really good at that. Both of these celebrities expressed a common concern about the deterioration of the values and death of the ideas followed by these two countries. It came to me with a little surprise that the view towards nuclear weapon is very different in India and Pakistan. In India people see nuclear weapon as a symbol of strength which will never be used whereas in Pakistan there is a real anticipation of a nuclear war. This is how Ghosh had envisaged attitude towards nuclear weapon, but when I read the news today that Pakistan is piling up 20 times more nuclear war heads per yr., its sounded like Amitav Ghosh was quite right in understanding the pulse of both the views. The last part of the book is something I never thought author will address: the devastation that will follow a nuclear attack on Mumbai or Delhi, a chill passes through your spine when you imagine the devastation foreseen by the scholars . It has been beautifully explained with all scientific support. This book is as good as the other creation by Amitav Gosh. Salute to him.


Guru said...

Dear Santa,
Nice to see you in and around blogsphere. Take a look at this page, sometime when you have some time.
It is an mp3 file of a panel discussion involving Amitav Ghosh, Amardeep Singh and Vijay Seshadri.
Might interest you.

Santonu said...

Thanx guru for the link. i hope i will become more active soon.