Friday, December 26, 2008

Of Christmas messages

Lots of people share messages during Christmas. Most of them are simple - Merry Christmas, Ho Ho Ho, whatever. But the message that many people wait for and look forward to hearing are the messages by world leaders.

This year too, leaders sent out messages. These were global messages, to be seen by the world as such. While the general mood underlying the messages was all to do with the economic downturn and how one must brace oneself for the worst, there were the sweeping messages (Pope) pointed messages (Canadian PM) and the doubted-intent messages ( Iranian President).

Perplexed? This post is my take on the messages along with some thoughts on the same... So here goes....

The Pope's message in a summary is here (courtesy - API). He has pointed out the key issues facing different nations of the world and has urged peace and solidarity amongst all people. Yup! the Pope has to show oneness with the world and tell people across the world - how to live. So the speech fits that theme.

Along similar lines, the Queen spoke from the Music Room of the Buckingham palace. In sharp contrast to the messages in the past, this year the message was more guarded, and clearly more concerned about the global economic fallout. She mirrored the sentiments of her subjects, when she said that occurrences across the world could have a serious impact back home, which it was. Her speech in a gist - here.

The Canadian PM, however, wanted to literally 'thank his blessings' (he could be ousted next month!!!), by urging all fellow Canadians to do the same. The Canadian dollar is still strong today as compared to the US Dollar. But the auto companies closing operations and laying off people is slowly becoming a reality in Canada as well, since Ontario houses the North American factories of these firms. Again the tone is one of guarded caution, albeit with a little positive touch. The gist is here.

The outgoing American President and the President-elect wished everyone a merry Christmas, while remembering their soldiers who were out fighting in alien lands! Why did you send them sir? Iraq? Ahem. Less said the better.

And finally, the Iranian President. In spite of loads of searching, I couldn't find all of the text of the said address. But the one quote that is spreading all over the universe is this - "If Christ were on earth today, undoubtedly he would hoist the banner of justice and love for humanity to oppose warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over," Ahmadinejad said, according to the English translation of the Farsi-language speech.

Commentary on blogs on the Iranian address point out that this address is hypocritical, eyewash, playing to the gallery and what not! The presumption - that the 'warmongers' and bullies, refer to US and the 'Western World'. I don't really say that Iran is totally a benign nation - for that matter, no one in this world can be called innocuous. But if people are reading between the lines and making presumptions of assumed innuendos - I remembered the Slovenian proverb 'Speak the truth, but leave immediately after'. I also remembered what my teacher once said, " The deepest insecurity or point of guilt is that which tends to be covered up and aggressively defended.....

In summary - the themes were all similar - economy and terrorism. Some were general, as expected, while some, were pointed and some others - well, I don't know.... Merry Christmas everyone....

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