Good wishes and blessings are being showered on Prime Minister Narendra Damodar Modi on his stepping into his 70th birthday on September 17. This daily also joins in with the rest in praying for the good health, strength and sound mind of the PM. 70 is a milestone, definitely. But there are so many feisty national and world leaders at that stage of life that it supports the saying that ‘age is just a number.’
The PM has had a long innings as a politician and he has made an indelible mark as a leader in the politics of this country. But it is in his 70th year that he is faced with far more serious challenges than any he has faced before in his long and interesting career. In fact, the global and national problems confronting him now are bigger than any faced by any leader in the history of this country.
Most of these issues confronting the nation are man or human made or self made, including the COVID 19 virus sweeping the world in a global pandemic. Ironically this virus which is bringing down the world to its knees economically, including India, was allegedly made in China in a laboratory in Wuhan province as part of a long term research program to create weapons for biological warfare. How it spread in India like the wild fires consuming the dry forests of California in the USA is a story to tell. Today reached the top of the chart of countries with the virus talking a horrendous toll of one lakh deaths a day. And it is still expected to climb. All measures to contain it do not seem to have worked as the projections are that the death rates will go much higher.
This problem alone and its impact in itself could occupy a whole government for years, but there are many other hangovers of self-inflicted wounds in our polity which is dragging the country down into the doldrums. One of them was demonetization. Another is the sustained pursuit of crony capitalism that is chewing off the vitals of our social and ecological future which in turn is displacing and pauperizing whole swathes of marginalized populations, in particular the tribes and ethnic communities from their ancestral spaces. Imposing one religion and culture over another is also likely to cause disaffection among different communities and destroy the pluricultural character of our nation.
Incidentally, surfing through the net to find out what is said about the significance of the number, 70, it is quite a coincidence that it speaks directly to the equation we are enmeshed in currently. One site on numerology was particularly visionary in its insight as it sermonized that “number 70 is a number of introspection and inner wisdom. It has seemingly infinite potential. The energy the number 70 represents is perceptive and astute. It’s able to analyze problems to find viable solutions. Acquiring ever more knowledge of self is the intent of the number 70 energy.” This seems to be a perfect discourse for the occasion and one hopes that at 70 and beyond our honourable PM will become a head leading the whole nation into a better future.