REMINISCING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

The run up to the Victory in Europe day saw The BBC and RT go into a nostalgic mode , reminiscing the great sacrifices the British and the Russians did to save the world from evil during the second world war . The self congratulatory tone was hard to miss , but what was more evident was the insecurity of two powers who were slowly getting relegated to the second tier in global affairs. The British cannot be blamed for their anxiety , the United Kingdom is on the verge of collapse with Scotland trying hard to ascertain independence and the United Germany has reemerged as the supreme power in Europe , a position which the British held till the early 2000s. Russia on the other hand is contracting faster than many experts have expected , From the world power it once was Russia is now another Saudi Arabia ( read: a mere energy supplier) with power dwindling even at its backyard (Ukraine) . In such a context all that is left for these countries are the bloated assumption of self worth drawn from history.

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British were the greatest losers in the post war world , Its empire fell apart , the expenses incurred during the war through the various agreements it made with the US like the Cash And Carry agreement and the Lend and lease agreement had made it bankrupt . This huge debt was consolidated after the war as the Anglo American loan which the British paid till 2006 . The greatest humiliation was yet to come in the 90s , when the British were made an American satellite state , with real power being wielded from Washington. 2010s saw Britain fade away completely from the global political scene with the rise of Asia and Latin America . The soft power they once had over the former colonies also dissipated when they started to outgrow their ex colonial masters and assert themselves. But the British are not willing to accept their worthlessness as of yet . Take the commonwealth summit for example , it is held biennially with huge fanfare ( especially in the British Media) with the British Prime minister in all his paternalistic glory heading the British contingent . Sadly most of the member states have stopped taking it seriously . Even the blood brothers Australia and Canada try avoiding this toothless body . From an Indian view point the depth to which the British have fallen could be gauged by the fact that no Indian Prime Minister has visited Britain since 2006 , But the current British Prime Minister was here three times in his past tenure.

Soviet Union was never a power except in the military sense , so when the USSR collapsed Russia inherited a broken economy . The Yeltsin years saw corruption at its extreme and the rise of oligarchs and when president Putin came to power Russia was nothing but a failed state . Thanks to his efforts the economy stabilized and started to grow . Instead of pumping money back into the economy he tried to use these petro dollars to fuel Russia’s military ambitions in the former soviet states . With the fall in oil prices Russia which never tried to diversify its economy collapsed . Instead of rolling back its military spending , Russia started a proxy war in Ukraine which today is eating a large chunk of the Russian exchequer . Another problem that is unique to Russia is that of its falling population . it is expected that Russia could hit the 100 million mark soon and could even fall further . Out of the two Russia is the one with greatest ego and hence the most dangerous . This could be due to the denial prevalent among the Kremlin elite about its fall just in a matter of two decades. Though India still considers Russia an all weather friend , its military spending on Russian Armour is falling and this was evident when prime minister Modi signed the rafale deal with France to replace the aging Russian MiGs.

The European powers are finding it hard to digest their fall from grace in the 21st century , some go the racist way , others the pacifist way , but they never try to understand their limitations and that is the tragedy of the post world war world.

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