Climate change activist Greta Thunberg
Climate change activist Greta Thunberg waves from the Malizia II boat in Plymouth, England. Image Credit: AP
Shyam A. Krishna

The tumult and tragedies of 2019 are troubling. Such things can’t last long. Which is why I expect 2020 to be a better year.

Some events of the past year shook me. Some also held out hope.

Look around you. There’s unrest. The young are restless. They are marching everywhere in protest. In Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Hong Kong, and even in my homeland India, people have taken to the streets. The reasons may vary, but the underlying emotion is hope. Hope of a change for the better.

For a country wallowing in uncertainty, Lebanon gives me hope. People, fed up with the antics of politicians, are in no mood to accept quick fixes. So there has to be a feasible solution. And that solution includes an end to corruption and better governance. All the countries in turmoil in the region could use that antidote.

The same cannot be said of Syria and Yemen, where civil wars have been raging endlessly.

Look over to India. It is burning. That troubles me the most. I am yet to come to terms with the series of baffling decisions that roiled the country. I always took pride in the country’s secular fabric. It always amazed me how a people of disparate religions, languages, customs and traditions united under the tricolor.

What happened to that harmony? People lash out when their citizenship comes under a cloud. That’s what tore India asunder. But I am sure India will survive.

The rapes in India is another huge worry. The #MeToo movement round the world is still lingering. Which only means the world is still not safe enough for women. That worries me. Particularly when I am about to send my teenage daughter out into the world, to find her feet.

Greta Thunberg had no such worries while sailing the Atlantic to address the United Nations. The Swedish teenager, who became the poster girl for climate activism, embodies the fears and aspirations of all children. After the Madrid summit disaster. I hope world leaders will reach a consensus to rein in global warming. Or else, Earth will become a wasteland.

Hope springs eternal. I hope 2020 is better than 2019.