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July 26, 2009

Hidden Agenda !!!

Visit to Crossword -Ahmedabad while working in Philips was an monthly ritual after pay-day. Always on a lookout for socio-econo-political comentaries with a bias towards history especially relating to those exotic sounding regions of the world that seemed mired in endless conflict - Latin America , Eastern Europe and Jerusalam . On one such occasion I chanced upon a book with a rather ominous title 'Hidden Agenda' .

Written by an world renowed, (but largely unknown in India) Australian journalist -John Pilger( . The book chronicles how vested US business & political interest under the guise of "national security interests" ensured that puppet regimes were instated in many countires at the cost of true democracy & thousands of innocent lives. Each country is a case study in itself - Nicaragua, Bolivia, Guatemala list goes on.

Hidden Agenda had a dramatic effect on my way of thinking & analyzing.. it made me look at an issue from several different vantage points than the one most commonly viewed. It showed that there was nothing black or white , everything was a shade of grey,, including the US foreign policy .

So it was quite a delight when over the weekend I located & viewed an documentary 'War on democracy' made by John on the internet at (It truly made my sunday) The documentary is an extension of his book 'Hidden Agenda' and its central theme is around Venezuela & its highly controversial leader -Hugo Chavez. Without revealing the plot it highlights the challenges that an country faces in its march towards progress and prosperity .. should there policies be right-wing ( pro-big-business/bourgeoisie-and therefore pro-US) or left-wing (pro common-man/proleteriat, and therefore in nature -anti US). The documentary changed my opinion of what is happening in Venezuela - a country divided from within (Would strongly recommend watching that documentary even if you are apolitical person )

It also made me reflect about India , because we seemed to have found the middle path, between left & right wing. A country where business leaders - Ambanis, Tatas, Birlas are not hated but revered. Where a BMW and a bullock cart coexist amicably. We had some dark chapters in the past 20 years - Mandal commission , Gujarat riots and the politically manufactured crises in Singur (against the Tata nano project). But for a country as vast & complex as ours I would consider them as isolated incidents.
And so it is that watching' war on democracy' made me feel proud of our own democracy .. India

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