By Samir Shukla
Humans have an instinctive need to mark the passage of time, where our calendars stabilize and tabulate our lives, give a sense of things that need to be done. Schedules, celebrations, disappointments, memories good and bad, beginnings and ends, among myriad other things, are tagged to specific days and years, even exact moments of days.
We need these time markers, lest we amble through the forests and deserts of life in a blend of days and nights intermingled without any sense of their purpose.
This of course makes us singularly unique species on this planet. All other life forms simply need instinctive actions for survival. Winters, summers, rains, droughts, food supplies and a place to curl away for rest until another day or night are instinctively inbuilt in their genes. Surviving and reproducing are their only pursuits.
We think we are time tamers.
Here we are once again. The swirls of time have handed us another year. This one begins as does every year with a highly marked and celebrated day, New Year’s Day.
Different cultures and religions around the world mark a new year with their own days sprinkled through the year, depending on their traditions and religious markers. In the meantime, through conquests and colonization, the first day of January has won the global battle as the universally accepted turn of the yearly counts.
Human ambitions are illuminated, softened, abandoned, renewed, smacked into reality by the tick tock of time. The first day of a new year often awakens a sense of purpose and realignment in many people. The proverbial resolutions. For others it’s just another day, another year.
In this incoming new year, the two most consequential democracies of the 21st century plow forward with their achievements, stumbles, dreams, and their evolution, to sail the waters into the future. Both United States and India will hold massive elections in 2024, this newly minted year. The world’s most important and essential democracies will work to hold fair and transparent elections, an exercise where even the most common, unsung citizens can make their voices heard. No other countries come close to this endeavor.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard cynics and blowhards complain about elections, and elites, and the downtrodden and the seemingly downfall of democracies for years.
Ignore these self-defeating negatives. Participation in the electoral process is the most citizen thing one can do.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is contesting to win his 3rd term. President Joe Biden of course is also running for reelection.
Several Republican candidates are sparring to win the nomination from presumptive nominee Donald Trump. That is a big presumption. Anything can happen as the year progresses.
Bring it on. Clasp hands instead of making fists. Plow deep. Another year is here. Grab shovels and bricks, not to build buildings, but construct consensus and commonalities. Plowing deep is for growing, not just digging holes. This possible building of consensus and sunny dispositions is in our hands, unwrapped and ready to roll.