India should be better off resolving its domestic concerns rather than make an enemy out of China to serve the war-waging US agenda
|Prime Minister Narendra Modi with US National Security Adviser HR McMaster. (AFP photo)|
India, US reaffirm strategic partnership
Indrani Bagchi|TNN Apr 19, 2017, 04:45 IST
· McMaster's trip marks the first visit by a top official of the Trump administration to India
· India was granted the Major Defence Partner status by the previous Barack Obama Administration in December last year
NEW DELHI: The United States and India reaffirmed a strategic partnership that involves not only a growing defence relationship but also shared perspectives of the region.
Rounding off his first regional visit, US NSA, HR McMaster held talks with prime minister聽Narendra Modi, NSA,聽Ajit Doval聽and foreign secretary聽S Jaishankar. According to the PMO, the two sides "exchanged views on how both countries can work together to effectively address the challenge of terrorism and to advance regional peace, security and stability." A statement by the US embassy said the US reaffirmed India's status as "major defence partner". "The two sides discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including their shared interest in increasing defense and counterterrorism cooperation. The visit was a part of regional consultations that included stops in Kabul and Islamabad." … for more, go to https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/us-reaffirms-major-defence-partner-status-for-india/articleshow/58242327.cms
India should be better off resolving its domestic concerns rather than make an enemy out of China to serve the war-waging US agenda
KUALA LUMPUR (April 2018): Now that India has made it crystal clear about working with the US to demonise China in defence and economy (Read this for context: https://ilovemalaysiachinasilkroad.blogspot.my/2018/03/india-us-key-ally-in-asia-goes.html - India, US' key ally in Asia, goes aggressive with China) it is perhaps timely to look into India current domestic nightmare.
There are 31 million Indian youths looking for jobs, and come May, a fresh batch of job-seekers will flood the market for employment.
Shouldn’t India’s Narendra Modi-led BJP government be giving top priority to resolving unemployment instead of throwing the country’s wealth to aid neighbouring countries so as to counter China’s trillion-dollar Belt Road Initiatives (BRI)-related development and trade?
That is now for Indian nationals to decide their fate.
And while we are on this topic of India vs China in trade, defence and influence in Asia, there is this recent article titled “India should have annexed Bangladesh: Assam BJP MLA”
I Love Malaysia-China Silk Road wishes to thank Peter Gurevich Koslov for sharing the article in Facebook.
His comment was this:
Peter Gurevich Koslov shared a link.
Western media will not talk about this.They are only talking of China and SCS and Crimea bloody hypocrites"
Very interesting read indeed on India. Read on for an update on India’s domestic and global socio-economic and political agenda:
"Modi’s India is facing an acute jobs crisis. And no one is talking about it
There are 31 million youths looking for jobs. Come May, a fresh batch of job-seekers will join the market.
On the morning of March 20, I switched on my television only to find distressing shots of hundreds of students sitting on rail tracksdemanding jobs from the government.
The students forced to resort to this extreme form of protest after a meeting with railways minister Piyush Goyal resulted in zero progress. It was not out of choice that these students decided to inconvenience commuters for close to three hours that morning, it was sheer desperation.
This week nearly 3,500 youths from across Maharashtra tried to march to the Vidhan Sabha in order to meet chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. They were stopped midway but due to the public pressure, Fadnavis was forced to meet them. Among the protesters were many youths from the rural belts who were demanding that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act be implemented effectively across the state.
In February, job-seekers from across Maharashtra protested against the government for not conducting the Maharashtra Public Service Commission exams for the past two years and for not filling almost 45,000 vacant posts. This is just a glimpse of the real and bigger picture. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) says about 31 million jobless Indians are currently looking for work.
It is a crisis that is becoming more severe with each passing day. The figures are worrying to say the least. The unemployment rate by the end of January stood at 6.1 per cent, the highest in the last 15 months. What's worse is that the rate is growing steadily in rural areas. The unemployment rate in rural India stands at 5.65 per cent up from 4.11 in March 2017. In Maharashtra, the unemployment rate has reached 3.7 per cent.
The plight of the 35,000-plus farmers who marched demanding a loan waiver among other things is being witnessed by the youngsters in their homes and many are unwilling to face the same hardships. First, it is the weather that plays havoc on their hard work. Even if they manage to fight the weather gods and get a good crop, there is a lackadaisical procurement policy of the government that plays havoc. Hundreds of tur dal and chana dal cultivators, who have had a bumper crop haven't managed to sell their crop because the government hasn't got its act together.
So a section of rural youth is looking for the jobs promised by the Narendra Modi-led BJP government, and coming back with the same question - Where are the jobs?
I read a report in a national daily recently that said 129 engineers, 23 lawyers, a chartered accountant and 393 postgraduates were among 12,453 applicants who were interviewed for 18 peon posts in the Rajasthan secretariat. Imagine the number who must have applied. This is alarming.
When the BJP government came into power in 2014, they emphasised that employment generation would be one of its biggest missions promising to create over 250 million jobs over a period of 10 years. The promise was to create 2.5 crore jobs every year. But the reality couldn't be further from truth. Only 4.16 lakh jobs have been created in 2017. Also, 1.55 lakh and 2.31 lakh jobs were created in the years 2015 and 2016, respectively. The rift between the desired job creation rate and the unemployment rate is ever increasing. This raises serious questions over the future of the youth, which looks bleak.
Enough has been written on how demonetisation ruined our small and medium enterprises and put hundreds out of jobs. My concern is that the current government seems to be ignoring what is staring them in the face.
It is not just the 31 million who are jobless, but come May and a fresh batch of graduates will join the job market. And optimistic estimates say only 6,00,000 jobs will be created in 2018. Only. Now just imagine what awaits the rest.
Why Opposition has no chance of beating Modi in 2019
The CPI(M) has pooh-poohed the idea of Opposition unity
ASHOK K SINGH
Notwithstanding BJP’s recent by-election setbacks and the rebelling NDA allies, dire predictions about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2019 fate seem to be completely wrong.
Setback in few constituencies in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and disaffection among some allies are wrongly being extrapolated with perception to predict the end of Modi raj next year.
Four years after he won a stunning victory, the Modi wave has dissipated, he is weakened. Still, he stands tall against the Opposition leaders who fancy to challenge him.
The CPI(M), which is viscerally opposed to Modi and his ideology, has painted a realistic picture of the situation. In a frank and forthright editorial in party journal, People’s Democracy, the CPI(M) has admitted that Opposition parties are woefully divided to put up a serious challenge to Modi.
The CPI(M) party mouthpiece has advanced three convincing arguments. One, it was warned Opposition parties that an UPA 3 against Modi will not succeed in 2019.
"The Congress won’t succeed with another UPA experiment as it has lost all credibility and the best way to defeat the BJP in the next Lok Sabha election will be to pool in all anti-BJP votes state-wise," the CPI(M) has said.
The People’s Democracy editorial, which reflects CPI(M)’s official position, suggests that party general secretary Sitaram Yechury has effectively been sidelined. Yechury, who has been advocating the need for CPI(M) to join hands with the Congress to fight the BJP, appears to have been chastened after Tripura’s crushing defeat.
Two, the CPI(M) argues that regional parties such as TDP, TRS and BJD are not prepared to unite under the Congress’ leadership. The CPI(M) itself, it says, will not forge anti-BJP unity with the Congress. The reference obviously is to Kerala, where CPI(M) is in direct contest with the Congress.
The logic is straightforward. Regional parties will not join hands with the Congress in alliance or seat adjustments in all those states where the Congress is their main adversary.
Although the CPI(M) hasn’t mentioned the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC, the West Bengal leader has no love lost for the Congress. TMC’s main rival in West Bengal is the CPI(M). But the Congress-Left unity can be a headache for Banerjee.
Thirdly, the CPI(M) has also pooh-poohed the idea of a federal front mooted by TRS leader K Chandrashekhar Rao to confront the BJP. Banerjee is keen on promoting a federal front against the BJP, of which the Congress will not be a partner.
Banerjee doesn’t hide her antipathy towards the Congress. That’s why she skipped the dinner called by Sonia Gandhi for Opposition leaders of 19 parties to discuss the need for uniting against Modi in 2019.
According to the CPI(M), formation of federal front will end up dividing the anti-BJP votes because some parties such the RJD and the DMK are with the Congress.
In a nutshell, one of the main anti-BJP parties and driver of anti-Modi unity has ruled out the feasibility of pre-poll alliance among Opposition parties. That is demoralising for the Opposition leaders who discovered spring in their steps after the BJP’s defeat in by-elections.
The formula for taking on Modi, the CPI(M) suggests, is state-wise unity. It cites the example of SP-BSP tie-ups in Gorakhpur and Phulpur as a model to beat the BJP.
It says, “The UP by-election provides important lessons for the future in terms of election tactics to defeat the BJP. If the BJP loses the bulk of the seats in UP, it cannot come anywhere near a majority in the Lok Sabha.”
However, the CPM’s own logic that local contradictions between parties come in the way of forging unity against Modi will prevent Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati from presenting a smooth, tension-free united front in UP.
Political strategists and commenters too are presenting the two by-elections as a model to be replicated in Uttar Pradesh’s 80 seats. They forget that the SP and the BSP have sharp caste and class contradictions that won’t let them enter into problem-free rainbow coalition. The SP’s Yadav-led OBC followers and BSP’s Dalits are in conflicts with each other in most of the villages where they are present in substantial numbers.
It’s the same problem between the JD(U) and the RJD. Although they formed a mahagathbandhan or a grand alliance to defeat the BJP in Bihar, their unity didn’t last long. Modi and Shah had the last laugh.
Most election analysts point to the combined vote share of the SP and the BSP and say that the two parties together would have won 50 out of 80 seats, leaving only 30 for the BJP. That’s a hypothetical situation.
India would have had coalition governments in perpetuity had all Opposition parties got united against the ruling party of the day since the time of Indira Gandhi. With dim prospects of unity among disparate Opposition parties, as outlined by CPI(M), Modi and Shah look to be in comfortable situation to win the 2019 race.
The Congress will present formidable challenge to BJP in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh - total 65 seats - where the two parties are in direct contests and where the BJP will face anti-incumbency. But to compensate, the BJP will have Modi as its lead campaigner who stands taller than any Congress leader.
Besides disunity, local contradictions and large size egos of their leaders - Mamata and Mayawati, to name just two - Opposition parties have to contend with two factors they don’t possess.
One, they have to face a Machiavellian tactician in Modi, the only leader with a pan-India mass appeal who can swing voters in his favour. Two, the great electoral machine of the BJP led by Amit Shah with over 8 crore RSS workers behind him.
Opposition has no chance.
India should have annexed Bangladesh: Assam BJP MLA
TNN | Updated: Mar 20, 2018, 12:51 IST
"Even as the erstwhile East Pakistan was liberated, a mistake committed by (then Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi and the then Congressgovernment was not merging the newly-created Bangladesh with India. In fact, creation of Bangladesh was itself a great mistake. But that mistake could have been offset had Bangladesh been made a part of India," Dev told a local news channel in Nagaon on Monday.
When contacted by ToI, Dev stood by his statements. Attributing the "change" in the state's demographic profile to the "migration" of Muslims from the neighbouring country, Dev said such a situation would not have arisen had Bangladesh never been created.
50 years ago today, Indira Gandhi got the Indian Air Force to bomb its own people
The attempt to quell an uprising left deep scars on the collective memory of Mizoram, and led to an insurgency that lasted 20 years.
|Representational picture. Natesh Ramaswamy|
March 5 marks the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Aizawl – the first air raid by the Indian Air Force on civilian territory within the country. This is as good a time as any to go beyond just questioning the morality of the bombing, or the complexities that led to it. It’s time to understand its legacy.
The story began in 1961, when the Mizo Hills were a part of the state of Assam. The Mizo National Front formed on October 28 that year, and asserted its right to self-determination. The group initially adopted a non-violent approach to secure its political objective. However, following intense internal pressure after human rights violations by security forces in the area, the Mizo National Front took up arms.
The battle begins
On February 28, 1966, the fighting volunteers of the Mizo National Front launched Operation Jericho to throw out Indian forces stationed in Mizoram – launching simultaneous attacks on Assam Rifles garrisons in Aizawl and Lunglei. The next day, the Mizo National Front declared independence from India.
Operation Jericho shocked the security forces stationed in the Mizo Hills – the insurgents swiftly managed to capture significant installations including the government treasury in Aizawl, and Army installations in Champhai and Lunglei districts.
The central government led by Indira Gandhi may have been taken by surprise, but the reprisal was swift. On March 5, four fighter jets of the Indian Air Force – French-built Dassault Ouragan fighters (nicknamed Toofanis), and British Hunters – were deployed to bomb Aizawl. Taking off from Tezpur, Kumbigram and Jorhat in Assam, the planes first used machine guns to fire at the town. They returned the next day to drop incendiary bombs. The strafing of Aizawl and other areas continued till March 13 even as the town’s panicked civilian population fled to the hills. The rebels were forced to retreat into the jungles of Myanmar and Bangladesh, which was then East Pakistan.
Recounting his memories of that day, Thangsanga, a veteran member of the Mizo National Front, said the bombing took them by surprise. “Our little town was suddenly encircled by four screaming jet fighters,” he said. “Suddenly, bullets rained and bombs were dropped. Burning buildings collapsed and there was dust and chaos everywhere. They hit the heart of Mizoram, but not the Mizo spirit”.
No one had imagined that the Union government would bomb its own territory. “It took us by surprise that the government had the courage to deploy jet fighters to bomb Aizawl that it dared not fly inside China or Pakistan,” said Remruata, a village council member. “Well, charity begins at home.”
The bombing caused colossal destruction with some reports saying Aizawl town had caught fire. Fortunately, only 13 civilians were killed.
The establishment – including the government and the armed forces – kept mum or even flatly denied that Aizawl had been bombed. Details only emerged decades later when several writers and former insurgents emerged with their accounts of the day the people in Aizwal saw planes shoot fire.
A March 9, 1966, report by the now-defunct Kolkata-daily, the Hindustan Standard, quoted Prime Minister Indira Gandhi as saying that the fighter jets had been sent in to airdrop men and supplies, not bombs. But the question was, why would anyone deploy fighter jets to drop rations?
Since 2008, Mizoram has observed March 5 as Zoram Ni or Zoram Day. The idea is to revive the idea of self-determination and instil the importance of sacrifice among the younger generation. “Self-determination is our birthright,” said Malsawma, a member of the Zo-Reunification Organisation or ZORO. “We cannot allow our land and peoples to be divided in India, Bangladesh and Burma [Myanmar] in the name of democracy, a republic or anything else. Our resolution remains that we are united as one people in our own land. Not the Britishers’ land, not Indian land, but in Zo-land”.
Zamawia, another ZORO member, said he strongly believed that the Mizos right to self-determination was unquestionably attached to Zo nationalism.
The bombing helped strengthen Zo nationalism said Zarzosanga, a Mizo scholar. “The bombing of Aizawl did not deter or detach the heart of Zo nationalism,” he said. “Instead it makes Zo nationalism more evident and alive and outside the interest and understanding of Indian nationalism. The bomb actually othered the Mizos from India and Indians. The blunder made by the government of India with its decision to bomb Aizawl was an affirmation and acknowledgment of Mizo nationalism."
Marked as the ‘other’
The bombing may have managed to crush the Mizo uprising but it also helped usher in two more decades of insurgency. Following the bombing, the Union government implemented what it termed the “regrouping of villages” in which thousands of Mizos deep in the hills and hamlets of what is now Mizoram were forcefully displaced – their homes and villages burned – and relocated in centres along an arterial highway under armed guard ostensibly so that the Indian state could keep an eye on them.
Though the state of Mizoram was formed in 1987 after the Union government and the Mizo National Front signed the Mizoram Peace Accord, today, Zo nationalism – an ideological formulation of Zo peoples fragmented by the process of decolonisation and spread across India, Myanmar and Bangladesh – continues to assert itself.
“The horror of that day still haunts every Mizo,” said Lalremruata, a progressive member of the Zo-Reunification Organisation. “But the positive aspect is that it inspires us to secure Zo nationalism, which is already crossing national boundaries”.
For the Mizos, Aizawl is the heart of their identity and belonging. During the fight for Indian Independence, Mizos had been left on the periphery. The bombing of Aizawl to secure the Indian nation state further paralysed the Mizos from sharing in the notion of Indian nationalism. The excessive action simply helped to cement the feeling of otherness within the Mizos vis-à-vis the rest of India.
Was that the only option available to the Union government at the time? Whatever the answer, it was clearly the military and political weapon used to assert mainland India’s dominance over the Mizos. - Scroll.in"
|Fig. 1: Construction site of the Koodankulam, India Nuclear Power Plant (Source:Wikimedia Commons)|
U.S. India Nuclear Deal
March 9, 2017
Submitted as coursework for PH241, Stanford University, Winter 2017
On July 18 2005, U.S. President George Bush and India Prime Minister Manmohan issued a joint statement laying the ground for boundaries of nuclear trade between the U.S. and India.  This joint statement agreement was the start of a fundamental change of the U.S. and India relations, especially pertaining to nuclear technology and weaponry. For three decades, the U.S. isolated India in refusing nuclear cooperation due to India's history with nuclear tests.  India first established their Atomic Energy Commission in 1948.  Today, their biggest nuclear power plant is located in Kudankulam as seen in Fig 1. Currently Units 1 and 2 are working, but they started construction on Units 3 and 4 at the beginning of 2017. When India first began their nuclear venture, they turned to the United Kingdom for the design and enriched uranium fuel for its first nuclear reactor, Apsara.  Canada also supplied India with their CIRUS reactor, with help from the U.S. from providing heavy water. Some of the technology provided by multiple countries combined together to contribute to the production and separating of the plutonium used in India's 1974 nuclear weapons test.  Due to this test and India's refusal to be a part of the Non-proliferation Treaty, they have been kept outside the trade of nuclear materials until 2005.  Apart from their nuclear weapons test and refusal to be a part of the NPT, the U.S. decided to go ahead with the deal because India has never sought to undermine the non-proliferation regime by spreading nuclear weapons, material, or technology; they just disagree with the creation of two classes of states- nuclear and non- nuclear … for more, go to http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph241/kennedy-g1/