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The 2010 snowball quotient!
Nostradamus had apparently prophetically predicted a nuclear attack in New York in the year 2010. Well, we are not going that far but we deduce six fundamental issues that will continue to grab eyeballs in media and persistently pose challenges before policy makers – those that will add to the 2010 snowball quotient!

We totally sympathise with Nostradamus, even though quite a few of his predictions have been as close to reality as US is to Venezuela! It is terribly nerve racking and mentally exhausting to predict the future with so much as a reasonable degree of certainty. As times change and newer trends emerge, the world only seems to grow in complexity. Indeed, in 2010, the world could well have a new set of challenges to confront, providing media with new piquant news to broadcast and analyze. But at the IIPM Think Tank, we are unanimous (well, almost!) on the prediction that certain fundamental issues will remain a challenge before policy makers and will continue to dominate the headlines even in the year 2010; irrespective of our aversion to them. Issues like terror atrocities and their perilous impact, human rights violations and the hue and cry associated with them, migration and violence, crime on the roads and domestic violence, disputes for water and last, but certainly not the least; global warming, which will continue to be discussed and debated in ‘mini-Copenhagens’ around the world. Interestingly, the Austin, Texas-based Global Language Monitor has found from its research that the top terms/phrases of the present decade on Internet and media are climate change, 9/11 or War on Terror, Tsunami, refugees/migration, and swine flu.

These issues will remain fundamental to the world even in this year because the severity of their impact is unfortunately quite global in nature. A few statistics will reveal more. There are 56.5 million deaths worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO); 60% of the death toll is because of diseases which are direct or indirect implications of global warming, migration et al. Climate change is to blame for some 150,000 deaths each year; which is estimated to reach 300,000 by 2030, according to the UN health agency. Horrifyingly, domestic violence claims the lives of two women per hour. One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute. Thousands die and millions suffer from terror attacks and atrocities.
And then, media and technology have colluded and made the world much smaller. Local issues take precious little time to grab global attention; especially when we have governments like the one in China to filter news. Still, the globalisation of media has served to remind nations that issues that keep them together are far greater in number than issues that set them apart.

As our think tank was pondering over how these pressing problems were getting tougher to cope with, the first few days of 2010 have supported our fears. The world saw media reporting and broadcasting terror attacks in Pakistan and recently in Kabul, where Taliban has let loose a squad of suicide bombers. A child has been severely beaten, almost to death in a remote school of Maharasthra as more students of Indian origin are brutalised by some Australians. Every day, the media and the intellectual community are blaming global warming for unbearable heat in summer and brazen cold in winter or sudden droughts and floods. Global warming has such an epic fear factor that noted actor Danny Glover managed to blame it for the devastating Haiti earthquake. As all this happens, an accused of Indian origin in a Pakistani prison seeks Obama’s help for his rights. Indeed, there’s a lot in this world that needs to, but hardly changes.

By:- Akram Hoque

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