IntroductionThe world is now more complicated than ever before. Technology has emerged as one major weapon that could change entire industries. Alongside technology, the concern over the destruction to the environment has meant that the developed nations happily import products made in not at all safe or polluting environments. The emergence of power blocks controlling oil is another development.
Be that as it may, the Five Eternal Truths that seem to be affecting each of us in one way or the other, pertains to a) The Rich will continue to exploit the poor b) The Destructive Global environment and climatic changes c) Rapid erosion in the value of money worldwide d) The systematic destruction of agriculture and e) Co-existence of the Good and Bad.
The rich will continue to exploit the poorThis is a fact of life and it is not specific to India. The richest and the most powerful nation in the world, the USA, will continue to exploit the poor all over the world. It deliberately arms dictators and when they refuse to play ball, they become sworn enemies. Entire nations are destroyed through armed action. Saddam Hussein was a classic example. He was actively supported by the USA until he became its bitter enemy. He was eliminated but the country called Iraq was never the same. In the name of rebuilding the country, the USA bagged all the contracts.
A similar situation happened in Afghanistan and the Taliban was thrown out. The entire building of the new nation is now done by Americans. The USA economy is built around private manufacturers of various types of war machinery. The more the world is troubled by civil trouble or through the oppression of dictators, the merrier for the USA. Its support to many dictators in Africa is well known.
Quite apart from the wars, we do have so many trade talks that the rich nations try to swing to their advantage. Globalization has meant arm twisting of the poorer nations to allow foreign capital and control of several industries. While the new technology is welcome, the damage that the technology could do to the local business can be considerable. For example, the reach of Amazon.com in the past three years is so big., The local traders are feeling threatened. There is no way to stop this new development. Ola and Uber will continue to make deep inroads even in the smaller towns. Of course, the contract labor will always be paid fairly low wages and they will be left in the lurch. Cost-cutting is the name of the game.
The destructive Global environment and climatic changesThe environmentalists are up in arms against excessive exploitation of all natural resources, worldwide. The rich nations continue to pollute the environment with a massive amount of industrialization from which there is no escape.
In the past decade, in India, we have seen either drought of a severe nature or massive floods. The destruction of anything that is natural is so overwhelming. Even within our own country, in the name of building new roads and highways, hundreds of acres of fertile lands and all forms of natural resources including good lakes are being destroyed. This can have a disastrous effect on the ecology of entire regions. With our population bound to exceed that of China in the years ahead, we can ill afford the massive destruction of our environment.
Politics with use of water is a big problem in India. States think that it is their birthright to claim the entire water resources in their State, even when the river is an inter-state river. Similarly, the real estate sharks are so keen to invade small lakes and ponds everywhere in the big cities. The encroachment is so huge.
It is sheer exploitation of man by man. The only way in which we can live far better lives is to retreat to the smaller and better cities or to the towns where there is no water problem and where we can rent out independent houses at a fraction of the cost. The villages some twenty kilometers away from the nearest town are the best choices. We can have the best of both worlds in such places, as the land and water will obviously be unpolluted and the nearest city which is just thirty kilometers away from the metro city or big city would have good medical facilities to take care of an emergency. Examples are Pollachi and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. Tenali in Andhra Pradesh is another example. Thrisur and Kollam in Kerala are other examples. When we are part of the rat race in cities like Mumbai it is still wise to live in rather unpolluted environments than in the heart of the city. In this city, commuting is not such a big issue, as there are so many fast trains. We should use our discretion in treating very small aliments through proven home remedies. For example, the common cold can be easily cured with tulsi herb. One has to just add a few leaves to water, boil it and filter it and take it. If necessary a little jaggery can be added. There are hundreds of such cure and these are explained in various languages through Youtube videos.
Pollution of air, water, and land will continue like never before. We need to take all precautions and be careful. Even in an emergency, it is unwise, for instance, to travel with infants as young as just seven months old. The chance of catching an infection is always there. This is totally avoidable. One can go on listing the things that we should not do. We need to be very careful with whatever we do, as the environment is never ever going to change.
Rapid erosion in the value of money worldwideThe trick, given the emerging scenario of jobs worldwide, is to qualify oneself to the maximum. If there is any chance of going abroad to do further studies in what is called Artificial Intelligence, any mechanical engineer needs to grab the opportunity. A doctorate in any subject will be the bare minimum to just enter the teaching profession.
The stress on qualifications is simple. The regular, permanent jobs are very rare now. The era of contract jobs is on. It is called "Fixed Term Employment". Only the name has changed. The crux of the scheme is simple: one will work in the job only for a maximum of 36 months. Obviously, the capitalists are very happy, as this fits into their wider scheme of "hire and fire". In most cases, only the employer has the sweet will to even extend the contract to the second year. This is already happening everywhere.
In such a situation, with the most rapid climb in inflation, the choices for the common man is even less. The rich or the dual income families can be happy. The rest of the gang is on a rather weak wicket. The real wages are falling every single day. Even those on contract, should cut down on all wants and save money so that they can sail through different times. Not every employer is sold on the contract scheme. The chemical and pharmaceutical industries of Mumbai, one is told, do take people only on regular roles. Only casual labor, without any skill, is used for very routine jobs like loading and unloading. One has to figure out these jobs and migrate to such cities where the regular jobs are there. This is all the more true of mechanical engineers with maintenance experience and the accounts and finance professionals. Their nature of the job does not change much across industries. They will be readily accepted as their learning curve in any new environment is often less than two weeks.
The trick is to find out avenues to maximize potential to earn. Even housewives can do their bit, without even moving out of their homes. The catering services that pool services of housewives are so common in the metro cities. The ladies get to earn as much as Rs.25,000 per month. All such avenues should be explored. Savings through a good Mutual Fund in a balanced fund is advisable. Not only is the income not taxable, but the capital gains become taxable only if it exceeds one lakh. This provision is enough to be exploited as a loophole. We should just withdraw the amount when the capital gains reach 85,000 or so. We need to become street smart in terms of savings.
The inflation that becomes applicable to every single item that we buy for consumption is a fact of life. This will result in a drop in real wages. We just have to live with this reality.
The systematic destruction of agricultureThe farmers are under stress. They do not get an adequate return on their investment. Overuse of nitrogenous fertilizers has totally spoiled the soil in many parts of the country. The water problem is real. The summer months are a real hell for the farmers.
The Central and State Governments do not seem to be bothered a bit about the distress of farmers. Loans worth hundreds of thousands of rupees of industrialists are sought to be written off. It is quietly called "debt restructuring". Hundreds of acres of fertile land are appropriated for building huge cities. Amaravathi, the new capital of AP is one such. One really does not understand what will happen if we keep on destroying nature and the environment and rich agriculture, the way we have done thus far. The wisest men who have managed agriculture through native intelligence are now sought to be pushed into some corner or the other. The rural invasion is on. Huge industries are coming up on thousands of acres of fertile land. In the next twenty years, we may have to import rice and wheat if the current initiatives of the Corporate houses are not put an end to.
We just cannot neglect agriculture. However, we can only watch the systematic destruction of agriculture everywhere in the country.
Co-existence of the Good and BadThere is still a big hope. Even when we see several unhealthy trends, the good people are also very active. The Corporate Houses are also doing their bit in every State. There are massive movements that suggest that the rural population is also into training in various trades. The service sector is booming.
People have begun to learn to survive without the Government. Not with its support. The trends in enrolment in Government schools in States like AP, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala is a really good sign. People are now studying and becoming more skilled. Religious practices and spirituality are alive too. When a calamity strikes, the common man is always there to help. He reaches the affected much faster than the Government. These are the very good signs of co-existence of the Good and the Bad.
Hundreds of trusts are doing splendid work in taking care of the old, the very poor, of orphans and so on. The volunteers who turn up for so many good causes is still very high. We can rest assured that God will appear in some form or the other to at least keep the good going.
This is a big hope indeed.
ConclusionThe Eternal Truths are good food for thought. It will enlighten us and lead us to some direction in life. Though we cannot escape from any of these, the last one is something that we can all be happy about. If we also do our bit, the world will be a much safer and better place to live in.
We should indeed do out a bit.