PAKISTAN’S DEMOCRACY IS AUTONOMOUS

The struggling democracy in Pakistan which marked the second consecutive transfer of power thru recent ballot is, in reality, more secure and solid than believed otherwise because of its built-in autonomous features.

In 2010 Pakistan parliament, to enhance the country’s democratic choice has given its four provinces more local powers in tackling their regional issues. In areas of education, healthcare, agriculture, and many other local matters affecting the daily lives of people, Pakistan’s central government does not dictate or interfere in formulating provincial policies and governance.

In its autonomous structure for its provinces lies the democratic strength of Pakistan.

-By Promod Puri

WHEN DEMOCRACY COLLAPSES

Judiciary, election commission, media, and statistics are the four pillars of democracy which keep it authoritative, functional, dynamic, and accountable. If any or all these institutions are damaged, corrupted, compromised or abused, democracy becomes meaningless or even collapses.

The case under observation is democracy in India.

-Promod Puri

IMRAN KHAN, PAKISTAN, INDIA AND KASHMIR

Popular cricketer of yesteryears and a determined political activist to crack the status quo of two-party domination is now the prime minister-elect of Pakistan.

The country looks forward to an era of peace and prosperity as promised by Imran Khan for its impoverished people.

While Pakistan seems to be poised for an effective change, neighboring India is keenly watching the politics and leadership developments which can impact the relationship between the two ever combating countries.

In his victory speech July 26, Imran Khan said, “If India’s leadership is ready, we are ready to improve ties with India. If you step forward one step, we will take two steps forward.

“I think it will be very good for all of us if we have good relations with India. We need to have trade ties, and the more we will trade, both countries will benefit.

“The unfortunate truth is that Kashmir is a core issue, and the situation in Kashmir, and what the people of Kashmir have seen in the last 30 years …. they have really suffered.

“Pakistan and India’s leadership should sit at a table and try to fix this problem. It’s not going anywhere. I say this with conviction, this will be the most important thing for the subcontinent, for both countries to have a friendship.”

At this early stage of his leadership, we can trust Imran khan’s sentiments for a cordial relationship with India as both the countries share an emotional bond of being one family who split 71 years ago.

Flip the coin, and on one side India and Pakistan seem to be combating with each other forever. On the other side, they are sharing the same bread of common roots, common cultures, languages, and traditions.

Underneath the love and hate relationship between the two neighbors lies the natural and historical bonding between the peoples of the two countries.

Historically, culturally, and even emotionally they are together as one people. Their heritage is the same and will remain the same forever.

-By Promod Puri

 

 

 

LIVING IN THE PRESENT

By Promod Puri

This brief article is inspired by widely acclaimed Vancouver-based spiritual writer Eckhart Tolle’s “Power of Now.” It is not an attempt to give motivational advice. But coming up with an idea, in line with the basic theme of the “Power of Now” in realizing, accepting, capturing and enjoying every moment happening just now.

Experience the past, fly over the future, but stay in the present. Moments matter in this stay. These moments come and go in the time flash of now.

In an endeavor to dwell in the now, the present moment, let us get into the R.A.C.E.

The letter ‘R’ stands for recognition which is the first approach in this focus to acknowledge how important is the present moment.

‘A’ stands for acceptance. Once the present moment is realized, acceptance makes sense. It does not matter how pleasant, good, bad or ugly, easy or difficult the present offers in its outlook and outcome, it needs to be accepted.

‘C’ stands for capturing of the present moment to have a real grip for its effective handling.

And finally ‘E’ stands for enjoyment. In whatever shape or form a situation is presented or emerges after its recognition, acceptance, and containment it must be enjoyed as well with grace.

Climbing a tough hill is an experiment in R.A.C.E. Where every step of the hike is a moment. Here the climber recognizes (R) and accepts (A) that to accomplish his or her feat the only choice is to go up. Each moment is captured (C) without letting in other thoughts and finally enjoying (E) every step of the challenge to cover the climb.

It is an experience in concentration or meditation in action when the climbing movements and the climber become one entity. It is like during a dance performance when dance and the dancer become one.

And that is where the joy of living in the present, where we merge with the moment, finds its relevancy and pleasure.

promodpuri.com

TIME TO ABANDON GDP

GDP, annual gross domestic product, is the sum of all the goods and services produced by a nation. It numerically indicates the economic growth of a country. But GDP numbers can be manipulated, especially in controlled socialist regimes and by so-called democratic governments across the globe.

Besides vulnerable of being corrupted by the deceiving governments, GDP is a flawed measurement to present the true picture of a nation. After all, the economy is not the only valuable indicator of how a nation is doing. There are equally other factors such as inequality, well-being, happiness, and environment, which are important as well for the overall development of a nation.

For that reason, GDP is now considered an outdated measurement which needs to be replaced by UN-supported indicators which include other factors besides the economy. These factors also include poverty, wealth inequality, public debt, etc. Also, to be considered the value of services provided by social media and the digital goods and services like Wikipedia.

GDP needs not be a single number.

by Promod Puri

DRINKING WITHOUT STRAWS

The big environmental cheering is that Starbucks plans to discard the use of plastic straws globally by 2020.

Perhaps, the time-frame of two years is needed so the customers can learn or simply de-habituate themselves to enjoy Starbucks cold beverages without straws.

Straws for drinking purposes are certainly a big environmental wastage. They are part of the eight million plastic tons of new plastic entering our oceans every year and stays there. If the trend continues, it is estimated that in 32 years from now oceans will contain more plastic than fish.

Drinking thru a straw has never been a habit nor fascination for me. I always considered it an elite usage, which is not natural and a pure wastage because of its one-time use only.

Drinking without a straw has its own pleasure. Straw delays the taste. Perhaps Starbucks has realized it too.

-by Promod Puri

Time To End Cricket Hype With Football

(Looking at the growing worldwide popularity of the game of football, this article is about the importance of the sport, especially for the poor and developing nations).

Cricket has been a national obsession in most of the developing and Third World countries.

It is about time that the game should be dropped from the status of being the most popular sport. Rather football, aka soccer, must be promoted as such.

Despite generating millions of fans in countries like Afghanistan to Zimbabwe along with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, etc., from a crop of only a few hundred cricketers, that a needed exit from its elevated prestige is worth for the survival and flourishing of other sports.

Over the past half of century, cricket has so much dominated the sports scene in South Asia, parts of Africa and Europe, the Middle East, and Caribbean Islands, that most other equally worthy sports have been discriminatorily relegated to lower grades.

Cricket is an elite sport. It has acquired its status symbol among the middle and rich people. It is an expensive outdoor indulgence. A vast majority of poor youths can only enviously enjoy watching it (only on TV). But they can not actively participate in this “gentleman’s game.”

Compared to that the “common man’s game” of football is an all-inclusive sporting event. It is undoubtedly the most popular of all world sports. It costs only a few bucks to buy a football. In cricket, the total cost for all the equipment, bats, balls, wickets, and protective gear runs into thousands.

Not only that, in cricket of all the 22 players comprising the two opposing teams, just three players, two batsmen, and a bowler, actively play the game at a given time. The rest of the 10 players supporting the bowler are fielders. They come into action only when the ball is delivered in the direction of any of them. Still, the nine players from the batting side are sitting idle waiting for their turns to bat which may not come at all for some or most of the players. The players are in the game, but not playing!

And many times, the stretched out the game just drags on. The thrill of either playing or watching the game is taken over by yawns, even brief naps too. Perhaps patience and boredom are essentials in the cricket regime.

Now, let us compare it with the strenuous game of football. One ball and that is it. Cheap and very much affordable. And all the players, 22 of them, are involved together in the vitality of the game. They are running, jumping, hitting, and bouncing in an action-packed and meditative focus on the ball. Full value for both the players and spectators.

The downgrading of cricket from its elite status will help the game of football to cover more ground involving every economic class of youths for their much-needed physical activities.

In Britain after all, where the game originated and exported to its colonial domains, cricket is gradually receding in popularity. It is being replaced by the more lucrative sport of football.

It is about time to end the cricket hype. It has gone too far. And let the football kicks in.

By Promod Puri
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