By Mrinal Chatterjee
As the New Year inches closer, and a festive spirit envelops the otherwise sombre mood of the nation, my wife asks me: Is the world going to end on 2012? I do not know whether she tells in jest or with seriousness; in eager anticipation or mortal fear. Her face does not give away her real feelings.
It is true that many have predicted so. Many have even given the exact date in which the world will come to an end: 21 December 2012. They say the Mayan calendar ends on that day. According to prophecy the fifth sun of the fifth world of the Mayan calendar moves into ascension on December 21, 2012. This date represents a gateway of planetary development that will open humanity to new ways of living and a new world of opportunity. Nobody really knows how the world is going to end. From the Bible predictions of the rapture and the Antichrist, to Nostradamus's prediction of the Planet Comet, to a local astrologer predicting the rise of sea level- there are scores of theories. A film titled 2012 predicting the apocalypse was released last year and did good business. A book titled 2012 is also selling briskly.
However, there is no guarantee that the world will end. Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring in 2012. Professional Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture. Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the proposed events as pseudoscience, stating that they are contradicted by simple astronomical observations.
Rajnikant fans are sure that the world is not coming to an end on 2012. The season they say is simple. Rajni has bought a lap top, and the warranty is upto 2014. Therefore the world can never end before 2014.
Probably assured by Rajni, the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives, highlighting the contribution of cooperatives to socio-economic development, in particular recognizing their impact on poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration. Year 2012 has also been designated as the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. Summer Olympics begins in London in July 27. London will become the first city in history to host the Olympic Games three times and I want to be there. I do not want to take any chances. Who knows, if the world does indeed end, then Iíll regret not watching the Olympics even once.