The Multidimensional USA

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 25 Jun 2018

Dr Ravi P Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

The history of USA begins from the rebellion against the British in 1775 which culminated in the declaration of full independence of 13 states on July 4, 1776. The armed conflict was led by George Washington who subsequently became the first President of the new nation. Gradually over the next decades the country expanded in all directions at the expense of other colonial powers — mainly France and Spain.

Today the USA consists of 50 States with Alaska (bought from Russia) and Hawaii respectively becoming the 49th and 50th States of this country. While USA was expanding geographically, it was also becoming the leading country economically, industrially and militarily.

During the Holocaust and the WW II, many scientists, artists and other eminent personalities emigrated to USA. Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi were the leading scientists who subsequently helped the country to produce atomic bombs — the first two that were dropped in 1945 over Hiroshima and Nagasaki effectively bringing the war to come to a close in the eastern sector.

Apart from its economic, industrial power, USA has become the leading academic and scientific nation of the world. Several Nobel prizes in Economics and other disciplines have gone to Americans. The science of computers including the production of desk top computers, laptops, notepads etc have been innovations largely of Americans with the help of many scientists and engineers from many countries including India who worked in American institutions and universities.

It has a vibrant space program NASA and many scientists and engineers from different countries add to its excellence proof of which was the American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin setting foot on the moon for the first time in history, in July 1969. I was a doctoral student of Physics in USA at that time and I remember wondering at that incredible achievement.

The terminology of computers is largely American— WWW — World Wide Web, Internet, cloud computing, download, upload, soft copy, software, e-learning, e-books, digitization and countless other terms. Facebook, Apple etc have also evolved from their initiatives. Another area in which USA is active is in the modification of the English language especially the spellings of many words.

Not surprisingly, with its booming economy, the US Dollar is accepted currency all over the world.

Again Hollywood films have a worldwide audience; not surprisingly the large and popular Hindi film industry is called Bollywood — B for Bombay (now known as Mumbai).

With the domination of America in so many areas virtually unchallenged, it is no surprise that social media, the newspapers and the television are full of American news or events. Who is contesting for the American presidency is news months before the date of elections, and after the result is out there is no end to who the new President is and what are his policies and so on. In the last election that was won by Donald Trump beating the largely popular Hillary Clinton who would have become the first woman President if she had won the election, Trump and Trumpisms became news breaking events.

What Trump does or what he says is news that is circulated all over the world. His decision to drop out of the climate change commitments that had been made by his predecessor Obama in Paris in December 2014, became a matter of controversy. Similarly, his threats of bombing North Korea to the Stone Age , was reported and largely condemned by a vast section of the media. After his summit meetings with the N Korean President in Singapore, Trump is back with aplomb in the world news.

So much so that his wife — the US First Lady, Melanie Trump also enjoys news and video popularity. The latest is the jacket worn by the First Lady with the following words emblazoned ‘I Really Don’t Care. Do You?’

To be honest, I also do not care what type of jacket she wears and what words are written on it. But who cares. The newspapers and the social media care for what the President and the First Lady do or say, not for what skeptics may say.

What has recently happened in the border of USA with Mexico and where a large number of children from Honduras had been separated from their parents, is a shameful decision taken by President Trump. Fortunately, he has revoked his decision so children will not be separated but immigration ban will continue.

With its multidimensional character in politics, economy, films, science and technology and so many other areas, USA and its presidency will always be in the news. Let us hope that its character will be directed more towards creating a peaceful and equitable world for the peoples of the world.

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Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University.  ravipbhatia@gmail.com

 

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 25 Jun 2018.

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