Alexander the Great is one of the heroes of
the childhood days. Our staple diet of childhood curiosities had him as a
constant figure - in our history textbooks, in story books, on television and on
And we especially loved him in India with
his larger than life act that began with his largesse after he won the battle
with King Porus. We loved him because Alexander was driven to act so by honesty
and heroics of King Porus.
And our childhood had this image of Greece
- as we saw Alexander the Great.
History was not a subject during formative
years in college, so there was not much development on this front, about any
country's history fuelling imaginations of a lore, but Greece, whenever it was
mentioned in passing references, during cultural engagements, was seen as a
country producing people like Alexander the Great who created one of the
largest empires of the ancient world and he just 30 after he had done so.
Growing up had more realistic thoughts of
the country in changing times - in the contemporary age. Greece was a developed
country. But it was always a small, sidelined country in Europe that didn't
matter much for geopolitical affairs in a globalized world.
And its global outreach was still shadowed
by its historical legacy - a legacy of being the cradle of the Western
Civilization - Alexander the Great and his overreaching empire, Greek
philosophy (and Western philosophy), literature, cultural influence, literature
and yes, the Olympics.
To sum up, Greece has had a grand history,
like few in the world - through ages. And among many things, we can be sure of
once element - the character of its people. A history like the history Greece
has requires 'dignity' as the underlying support of the character of the nation
and that directly corresponds to the character of the people.
And dignity has in-built sub-character of
logical defiance when it comes to the questions of self-respect.
That was on display this July 5 when Greece
vehemently rejected the bailout conditions during a nationwide referendum. The
government there has already defaulted on its international debts with the IMF
deadline passing on June 30. The lenders posed strict austerity measures for
the Eurozone country to finance its further requirements.
Well, its citizens collectively said 'no'.
There are various possible repercussions of
it - for Greece, for people of Greece, for Germany, for Euro, for Eurozone, for
European Union, for European Central Bank, for Europe - and for global economy.
And they are being debated intensely - in
Europe - and throughout the world.
With words and hashtags like #Oxi and its
different mood-specific variants, #GreeceReferendum, #GreeceCrisis, Greece Referendum,
Greece Crisis, Grexit and so on.