What is happening to our world? Is it falling apart? Only 20 years ago we celebrated globalization. We were immersed in colorful dreams of the world as a global village. I too celebrated the development and drew attention to the Indian view of treating the world as our family (Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam). However, the world seems to be disintegrating in less than a quarter of a century. Do we hold our progress responsible for it? Distances have shrunk, communication is instant, smart living is fast replacing human effort, test tubes have substituted the womb, cloning is a reality, we have conquered hunger & disease largely, we have captured all the knowledge in a single DVD. At the beginning, religion acted as the bonding material for people to become community. It was the sole purpose of living. Wars were fought- won or lost- in the name of religion and for or against religion. As the world attained advancement, political ideology began to replace religion. Ideology could not sustain longer than religion. Economics fought to trounce it in order to reach the top. Industrialization gave early advantage to the technology owning countries, who sought newer markets for their products. As they found the new way of domination in economic colonization, conflicts among the industrialized countries assumed threatening proportions and led to World War-I, exposing the weakness of economic colonization in the form of The Great Depression. There was no peace among the powerful countries, which soon resulted in World War-II. That hardly was any solution to the real problem, which was the search for newer economic colonies or markets. As competition grew, it put pressure on trade prospects, further shrinking the markets. Another instrument called globalization was devised to solve this problem, but it turned out to be a double edged sword. Knowledge cannot remain for long the sole possession of a few. Globalization led to poor countries becoming industrialized economic super powers like China and India. The global economic development surprisingly led to the birth of terrorism as a counter to civilized modern liberal society. It surpassed the barbarity and violence of the Medieval Age by using human bombs to constantly challenge the might of the atomic powers and their atom bombs. The plight of the terrorism affected countries like India, which practiced a policy of no aggression and peaceful co-existence were ignored by the super powers until 9/11. America declared the war on terrorism only after 9/11. By that time it had already extended its operations globally , demonstrating its influence by carrying out indiscriminate “terror attacks” select in Europe, American Embassies and tourist spots visited by people from the west. Security costs and falling exports affected the American economy leading to the Meltdown of 2008. The world economy has been tottering since then. It has further been jolted by the slowdown in the Chinese economy this year. A new threat of European migration from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries has put to hard test all claims to human rights. The worried Christian countries have expressed fears that soon the Muslim refugees will turn in to a majority rendering them a minority in their own country! Suddenly the market has not only disappeared but also threatens to create chaos and anarchy in Europe. This may end up as a well thought out strategy of terrorism to capture new territories through humane means without fighting any war! The question is: what does this world stand for? Surely it is neither religion nor politics nor economics. The soup of all these elements can be seen in ISIS territory. What is happening there is not religious war, even though it is sought to be justified in the name of Islam. It is not capitalism v/s communism also. It is not to fight poverty in the region. It is no ancient, medieval or modern form of war or peace. Nobody knows exactly what it is and how to face the challenge it poses. Isn’t it baffling?
Consider the nature of all that we see around us. How has it emerged? Modernity restrains us in calling it Creation and religion has been propagating it as an act of God. Our modern thinkers display a rare level of confidence in changing the world and to make it a happier living for all of us. Their plans somehow missed the entry of the ISIS in this 21st Century, when the world was engaged on projects like colonizing the Moon and the Mars. The world has moved from arms race to arms limitation strategy when the ISIS makes a dangerous entry like the bolt from the blue. Security becomes the prime concern of the world. Considerations of security have impacted the march of the human race. The world spends more money, time and energy on security related issues today than on research & development. The world unity to achieve the millennium development goals stands challenged by the disintegrating effect of ISIS, more for its backward looking religious fundamentalism than the violence it has let loose. Will it disintegrate the world? Will the global village fall apart and restore the old composition of nations, societies and communities based on race, religion, creed, cast, clan, language, region or gender? Is there an invisible cycle of change in this narration? Is it only a story of growth & decay? The prosperity to poverty and poverty to prosperity cycle hints at that cycle. Wealth is known to constantly move from one owner to the other. It can be a person or a nation. Empires emerged and disappeared. All those born so far died without leaving statistics of the total number of the dead l Epochs have gone by. Universes have been born and disappeared. We are witness to cycles of seasons, day & night, birth & death. We are aware of all this change occurring constantly. That gives us energy to improve living standards. Under the spell of our achievements, we tend to become oblivious of happening change. The cycle goes on and on and on. Was this the famed Indian concept of zero (Shunyabad)? Life is a point in the very large all encompassing zero (meaning a circle); so our world, and our universes too. If the life of the universe is taken to be 100000 years, the life of our world may be less than 10000 years and the individual life only 100 years! The motion may be slow or fast but the movement is unstoppable. The rise and fall of our world appears to be in exact proportion to each other: slow to slow and fast to fast. As the globalization part is over, it is time back to localization. Disintegration or falling apart looks to be a natural corollary, as nothing holds our world together- neither religion nor ideology nor pure economics! But it will emerge again as a beautiful world as always. The good, better, best or bad, worse, worst cycle will go on. We are content to call it Satyug, Treta, Dvapar and Kaliyug cycle. The world is living in the middle of Kaliyug and hence experiencing all the pain of astounding progression and bewildering regression, stupendous prosperity and horrible misery, overflowing granaries and mass hunger, superb healthcare and debilitating disease, superpower status and alarming midgets.