Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Will I&B ministry make Smriti get back her aggressive launchpad? Plus, Parliament Highlights


A Trinamool Congress leader when asked to comment on Smriti Irani being given the I&B portfolio, rather mockingly said, "Team Modi will be back in aggressive mood and the charge of the sound brigade is with Television's best known daughter-in-law".

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Close on the heels Smriti Irani was given the additional portfolio of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting - one vital question that is being asked in the political circle and in the corridors of Parliament has been whether the television actress-tuned-neta has found back her launchpad for a big political career.
In the years to come, Ms Irani, who was shunted out from the Ministry of Human Resource Development in July 2016, would be effortlessly remembered for her stunning rise in politics in 2014 - when she was fielded to take on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi from the prestigious parliamentary constituency Amethi and later made the country's Human Resource Development ministry. 
There was a mild fall last year - and now probably - there is yet another rise as the Information Minister also becomes the automatic choice as the chief spokesman of the Union government.

Others dismiss these hyperbole queries - and say the additional charge of Information and Broadcasting Ministry assigned to the Textiles Minister today after M Venkaiah Naidu had to quit following his selection as BJP's pick for Vice President's post - would be only a temporary phenomenon. 
Known for having good working relation with Prime Minister Modi, Ms Irani made news as HRD Minister in her two-year stint chiefly for her rhetoric against the student unions and political detractors whom she more often called "secular commentariat".

Slammed and mocked for her educational qualification, she has been often accused by the Left, Trinamool Congress and others for alleged 'radicalisation' of ‘Hinduizing’ of India’s school and college curricula.
Sporting an impression of an extra-ordinary middle class woman - a 'bahu (role of a daughter-in-law she played in a soap opera), Ms Irani ensured that her "rightist" kind of remarks could make her crusade look anti-Left liberals. 
Her speech in Lok Sabha on February 24, 2016 on the controversies in JNU and on alleged suicide by a student in Hyderabad University was even lauded by Prime Minister Modi. 

The big tribute to her speech came from Mr Modi when he had tweeted ‘Satyemeva Jayete’ along with the video of Smriti’s speech. Prior to that, Mr Modi had tweeted ‘Satyemeva Jayete’ was on December 26, 2013 when a Ahmedabad court gave him a clean chit in Gulbarg Society case of 2002 mayhem.
However, when he undertook the reshuffle of the ministry in July 2016, Ms Irani was shifted to a low-profile portfolio of Textiles and she was replaced by a more amiable Prakash Javadekar. 



PM Modi and Rahul -- both -- working to bring an end to Congress: BJP lawmaker

July 19 : The BJP member Virendra Singh sparked off a major row in the Lok Sabha when he said both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi were dutifully fulfilling the "wishes" of Mahatma Gandhi as both were working to bury the Congress party into the pages of history.

"Yeh dono Congress ke visarjan ke liye kaam kar rahen haen (Both these leaders are working to finish Congress)," said Mr Singh, the lawmaker from Bhadoi in eastern UP.
The senior BJP MP made the remarks while participating in the debate on agrarian situation in the country. He said soon after country's Independence, Mahatma Gandhi had recommended that the Congress party should be discontinued.
As expected, his remarks were strongly countered by the Congress members like Jyotiraditya Scindia and KC Venugopal with both requesting the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to expunge the BJP member's controversial comments. Ms Mahajan, however, said, "I will look into the text of the debate".
Mr Scindia said some remarks from Virendra Singh were "personal" in nature and thus should be expunged. 
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Friday, July 14, 2017

Modi set for last laugh in Prez polls: Indian masses have typically voted for candidates of own caste

 

 In more ways than one, the Indian electorate is responsible for the caste issues that dominate their politics. Despite the talks about electing meritorious candidates, the masses have always typically voted for a candidate of their own caste. The political classes have danced to this tune and been careful not to disturb the caste-obsessed Indian psyche.

The July 17 presidential election in the world's largest democracy is widely acknowledged to be an issue of caste. Both the government and opposition's nominations pitch a Dalit against a Dalit. It is a move that many have interpreted as political, and lacking altruistic motives to support India's socially oppressed classes. The caste system is referenced as far back as the ancient scripts, which identify the Brahmins — priestly people, the Kshatriyas — rulers, administrators and warriors, the Vaishyas — artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers, and Shudras — the laboring classes. Those not within this caste system are known as Dalit, the Sanskrit term that means trampled upon to denote the former untouchable castes within Hindu society.Several laws and social initiatives to protect and improve the socioeconomic conditions of the lower-caste populations have been implemented since India gained independence in 1947. Despite this, caste politicking has more than simply survived; it has strengthened. Caste management has become a fundamental and fascinating aspect of political governance in the country: "votebank politics" as they put it. In the initial decades after independence, upper-caste Brahmin Hindus and business communities dominated the political decisions irrespective of party affiliations. Even in the communist parties, upper-caste leaders had their say. But the last few decades saw lower castes and tribal people, who form some 25 percent of the population, emerging as politically decisive power brokers with their leaders making assertions and defying upper-caste diktats.

This has culminated in a recent surge for political parties, vying against one another, to present themselves as pro-Dalit and support the rights and privileges of the most oppressed class whose grandparents were once considered untouchable.

The "Dalit verses Dalit" contest in the presidential election could easily be interpreted as part and parcel of this political game. But rather, this is something that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed upon Indians. It started with the BJP's decision to field Ram Nath Kovind, a former low-profile Dalit parliamentarian and serving governor of Bihar state in eastern India, as its presidential candidate. 

Days after Kovind's candidature was announced, the opposition coalition of Congress and other parties that include the Communists, named their candidate Meira Kumar, a 72-year-old Dalit. She is a former diplomat and a former speaker of the lower house of parliament.
Meira Kumar's "caste identity" as a Dalit is more explicit because her father, the Late Jagjivan Ram, was the former defense minister of India in the 1970s and known for his humble social background.

In fact, that has reduced the political scrap of the 2017 presidential elections down to a "Dalit brother" against a "Dalit sister". Ironically, this pitching is neither about helping socially poor castes nor about fighting a political opposition. It is part of a "new generation politics" in India that Modi leads where the parliament lacks any serious opposition.

At the moment, Indian politics revolves around Modi with two streams of political thought — the pro-Modi and anti-Modi schools of politics. Modi knows he is the games master of Indian politics, the face of the BJP and enjoys asserting himself in that position. In practical terms, that means the BJP is Modi, and vice versa.
He could have negotiated with opposition parties to elect a consensus candidate for this mostly ceremonial role of president. Although party officials hinted at such a move early on, the BJP suddenly, and surprisingly, announced Kovind's name. It demonstrated the BJP's confidence in its supremacy, but it also projected the BJP as a party that is now more considerate of the Dalit cause. But more than anything else, it challenged opposition parties either to oppose Modi or meekly support him in his game. Treated with such disdain, they could hardly support him, and they jointly nominated a Dalit woman, one of the best they could find.

The political message from the opposition camp, which includes the parties on the Left, is: "we oppose Kovind because we fight Modi"...The refrain is: "the opposition is against Modi and not against Kovind nor the Dalit people". Their leaders continue to make that clear at every opportunity.
 

Numbers wise, the BJP nominee is far ahead with around 63 percent of the vote share from the electoral college. The electoral college comprises all members of both the houses of parliament and the elected legislators from the 29 state assemblies. With support from several regional parties, Kovind is set to win. The opposition, although certain to fail, nominated a candidate just to wriggle out of the ignominy Modi had thrust upon them. As prime minister, Modi "could have played a statesman-like game" to have a president selected by consensus. "But he is not quite a political reformist," the Communist Party of India leader, D. Raja, told me. But Modi, as opposition leaders say, had his own political compulsions to present the BJP as a pro-Dalit party. Dalits have in the past given their support to smaller and regional parties and leaders. Until recently, the BJP was always seen as the party of upper-caste Hindus, an image Modi wanted to change.

The recurring attacks on Dalit people in the name of "cow protectionism" by certain Hindu groups in recent months have also negatively impacted the party. Such incidents have increased since extremist Hindu groups, who wanted to assert their upper-caste Hindu hegemony, advanced their cause in the wake of the BJP's 2014 national election victory. This further damaged the party's image among Dalit people.
Modi himself belongs to a lower caste, though not a Dalit. In the complicated caste hierarchy, his caste comes a step or two above Dalit groups. However, whenever the opportunity arises to appease Dalit groups, he parades his humble lineages to attract Dalit sympathy.

On the contrary, although Congress had several Dalit people in its ranks, no one came to the leadership position that Modi enjoys now. Political history will prove that Meira's father, a Congress man, could not become prime minister because of his caste background. 


Although Dalit groups supported Congress up to three decades ago, no Dalit leader could climb the political ladder above a certain rung. They have abandoned Congress in recent years to join regional parties. Hence, it is essential for Congress to win back the Dalit groups and, at the same time, to oppose Modi.
Neither do the Communists want to be seen opposing Dalits. Their rank and file is the working class, mostly Dalits. 

It has become convenient for them to join the Congress to support the candidature of Meira for political considerations.

However, the opposition is fractured and sadly lags behind the BJP. They named Meira "as a reaction" to the BJP's Dalit nominee, said Saud K. Kavitha, a parliamentarian from the Telangana Rashtra Samithi party in the southern state of Telangana. Having already decided to back Kovind, she added, "We do not approve of this. They could have discussed it earlier."

For his part, Modi plays the game exuding confidence and with a proper plan at hand. He aims to use the presidential polls to achieve yet another political milestone. If, and when he achieves it, he will be able to denounce his political detractors who have attacked him for being pro-Hindu and the party of the upper castes.

He will have delivered the country's second Dalit president after Kocheril Raman Narayanan who was the tenth President of India from 1997 to 2002.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Blindness has caught up with Congress, Sickular gang: Key to Future lies in the Womb of Time

Fasting is not about diet or burning calories; but burning pride and false ego and complete surrender to Madhava, The Almighty

Bhagavad Geeta 

I often hate the inertia amongst the Indian public. Worse part is the intellectual inertia – the stagnancy - of the intellectuals. This can be also called a status-quoist syndrome. Sab chalta hae......”Na janne ho...” in Nagamese.....In recent past the compartmentalised politics has led us to two clubs – anti-Modi and the Narendra Modi bhakts. The prisms have brought in glaucoma -- a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight.

In the process we are unable to see what we ought to see. Worse, the blindness has caught up with the Congress party !! The ‘genius’ Vice President met Chinese envoy, - first denied and then confirmed – and in jocularly stance flayed Modi regime for sending three ministers to China. And even showed classical intellectualism  and questioned the rationale behind Modi’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

And hence some mistakes could occur in the strategic and our national security system. Having said so – we must closely examine the gap today ‘India’s interest’ – that exists between the incumbent Government of India and Indian liberals – the aristocracy of a mixed cocktail of communists, socialists and dynasts. One may add the Lutyen’s ‘liberal’ or self-seeking journos also. 

India’s China policy is under closer scrutiny of the left-liberals with the inclination to believe that Narendra Modi is messing up things. But on global context – much better analyses would suggest there is need to examine the recent political and diplomatic games of Beijing as well as Islamabad. China needs a strong and firm cheque move and here comes the significance of tri-lateral ties between India, Japan and the United States. Apparently Israel is keen to join the bandwagon. So more the merrier!

But before endorsing Modi’s a few diplomatic triumphs – there is need to understand the deeper goals of China vis-a-vis its tie up with Islamabad and its push for CPEC or OBOR.

Rather it is imperative to focus on what are the implications for Pakistan and its geo-strategy once these projects fructify. 
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"CPEC is a part of China's OBOR initiative to expand its influence in the world and Pakistan is just the geographical space used by Beijing to reach the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. But in the process, Beijing blueprint will ensure complete control over Pakistan,” says Columbia and Karachi university political economist S Akbar Zaidi.

Skeptics may dismiss these contentions with the refrain being - This is 21st century and political economy has seen a paradigm shift. Pakistan's identity has been established and yes, like America, China can have more influence on Pakistan! So be it. If America could be maneuvered by Pakistani politicians and army – the same yardstick would apply to China also.

But From Indian point of view -- what is essential to appreciate is that all strategies and international cooperation should be well framed in order to deal with China. I have said this earlier quoting a former foreign secretary Lalit Mansingh that China respects the position of ‘strength’. Hence Modi’s muscle-flexing and firmer grip in handshakes do give some message.

Ever since 2014 - with China,  Modi did not seem to be bogged down by any bitterness of the past. However, during his Japan visit, Modi walked an extra mile when without naming Beijing he made a veiled attack on ‘expansionist” designs of the 18th century. The reference to “encroachment” and “entry into the seas” were largely interpreted as an reference to spat with China – Japan is involved in the SenkakuIslands.

 Modi maintained that spirit when in early 2017 – the government gave enough indication to China vis-a-vis the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.  The assertiveness had its purpose. The Modi government was not apologetic about India’s decades old relation with the Tibetan spiritual leader the Dali Lama.
But India’s liberals are not comfortable about the happenings. 
Anything good about Modi – even if it is crucially important and in national interest make them furious. 


While there are international media cherishing about Modi-Netanyahu new axis --- liberals were busy with lynching incidents!

For them – entire India seems to be turning into a big Gujarat. The 2002 dichotomy is not yet over.
BUT THESE ARE AGAIN GLOOMY DAYS FOR SICKULAR INDIA.

THERE IS A SENSE OF DEPRESSION THAT MODI HAS LAUNCHED A FEW WAVE OF REPRESSION. WESTERN-FUNDED NGOS ARE IN SOME KIND OF A TROUBLE..

Sadly again for them, in 2015 – February (in Delhi) and later in October in Bihar, as Modi-Shah duo was electorally humbled, it was dreamily possible to imagine that Modi might find things turn from bad to worse. UP elections changed the game. These days, few think Modi is ‘weak’ politically and also in overseas – this realisation now make Rahul commit a few mistakes here and there. He called Modi a ‘weak’ PM !! – He rushed to Chinese envoy and then crafted a flip-flop. 

Indian opposition is demoralised. Talented are looking here and there! They discuss – why the ‘sickular’ revolution fail? West Bengal is burning.
The best of journos - TV anchors and NRIs may soon turn jobless. Honest guys are being raided. 
Sickular’s darling – 'post-2013 Nitish Kumar' – may now turn a ‘communal’ agent any day! Future roadmap? The answer lies in the womb of time.


Ends 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Gopalkrishna Gandhi – A former ‘Textbook’ Guv: Also a Candid orator

If family legacy is anything to cheer about, Gopalkrishna Gandhi has the best. His paternal grandfather was Mahatma Gandhi and maternal grandfather was C. Rajagopalachari. 

Yet this suave and a former IAS officer and ex-diplomat is probably known best for his own distinct abilities and statesman like approach. Born on April 22, 1946, he joined IAS in 1968 and served in Tamil Nadu state till 1985. Thereafter, he remained Secretary to Vice-President of India (1985 - 1987) and Joint Secretary to President of India (1987 - 1992) under R Venkataraman -- who incidentally was also among the respected few to be easily called 'a text book President.

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His tenure as the 22nd Governor of West Bengal was one of the much talked about time vis-a-vis the gubernatorial positions in the last decade.
But the usual charge of being partisan did not struck him. Gopal Gandhi remained above board.
Even his critics would not hesitate to call him a ‘text book Governor’. It is tribute to his acceptability in the non-BJP camp that despite certain differences between him and the then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya -led Left regime in West Bengal, the communists today unhesitatingly backed the united opposition move to make him the candidate for Vice President’s post. “We want someone as a candidate who can run the Rajya Sabha with dignity as well as protect constitutional norms,” said Marxit leader Sitaram Yechury.

Appointed as Governor in December 2004 by the UPA dispensation – which was banking on the Left support – Gandhi allegedly soon became a “preferred man” in the Raj Bhavan for Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress. Often small differences between him and then Chief Minister Bhattarcharya made headlines – and also gave much needed political fodder to Mamata’s arsenal. Actually, Gandhi’s stint as the first citizen of West Bengal coincided with the gradual decline of the Left hold in the state polity. 

Later in a book ‘Phire Dekha (The Bygone years)’ Bhattacharya made veiled attack on Gandhi for opposing the then Left regime’s industrialisation programme. 
"Who did he (Gopalkrishna Gandhi) want to satisfy?" Bhattacharjee asked. 
"People in this state will remember Gopalkrishna Gandhi as long as the state bleeds for want of industry," wrote Bhattacharjee pouring out his feeling on Gandhi’s role during height of Singur and Nandigram controversies.
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"I was astonished with the Governor's public statement. He was aware of the fact that people and policemen were being killed there. The government sent police to restore law and order. Who did he want to satisfy?" the former Chief Minister wrote.


However, on a different plane, it ought to be said that Gopalkrishna Gandhi not only enjoyed good rapport with the fellow comrades of former Chief Minister Buddhadeb - Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechury. He had also ventilated his admiration - for instance for Pakash Karat. 
"Listening to Prakash giving me a succinct account of the Marxist movements in Kerala for the re-distribution of land to help the landless and agricultural labour was more than an education; it was a revelation...,” – he had written in 2015.

Even the Left leaders have always maintained a tone of appreciation for Gandhi. Notwithstanding some functional differences for Buddhadeb, the communists knew that in effect Gandhi’s stint as the Governor in West Bengal - a known Left citadel for three decades - coincided with the period when the Indian electorate threw up a fractured mandate – a Congress-led UPA supported by the Left and at the same time in reference to Singur and Nandigram – Bengal politics was undergoing through turbulent days.
People in the fields were turning against long time benefactors the Left and CPI-M and a gradual shift was taking place towards Mamata Banerjee.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Challenging the leftist power base in India: The saffron surge


The BJP, with its hardcore pro-Hindu philosophy, is in a perpetual state of conflict with the Communist Party of India (Marxists) and Christian groups in Tripura. How the BJP performs in Tripura is a litmus test of how it can perform in other Indian states where it is not in power. Tripura has been ruled by a communist government since 199Os. The BJP party strategists know this well. Tripura is not like the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, where pro-Hindu issues such as the banning of beef, cow vigilantism, were under the political spotlight. 

In Tripura, they need to tackle more pressing issues like unemployment, women empowerment, and industrialization.Voters in Tripura are essentially pro-left. Many possess an intellectual affinity to Marxism and the communists have wielded power long and often in the state.

"The BJP leaders need to break the umbilical cord between the voters and pro-Marxist intellectualism," a BJP official told me. 

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is clearly pursuing an ambitious and aggressive quest for power in the hilly, northeastern Indian state of Tripura that is bordered on three sides by Bangladesh. Despite growing acceptability for the pro-Hindu outfit in the state, which is home to substantial Christian and tribal populations, the party's expansion plans face multiple challenges ahead of the legislative assembly elections in 2018. Nearly 80 percent of the state's 3.7 million people are Bengali-speaking Hindus, mostly migrated from Bangladesh. Tribals, once a majority in what is Tripura, now comprise less than a third of the state's population. Most Christians are tribals.

In Tripura, where Marxist leader Manik Sarkar has held onto power for the last two decades, the BJP strategists understand that even upper-caste Hindus do not necessarily relate to the "Brahminical appeal" put forward by their party. More than 60 percent of the country's population now lives in states either ruled directly by the BJP or in an alliance with regional parties.Hence there has to be a change of strategy.

Bengali voters in Tripura will never entirely reject the "power of Marxism" as intellectual food for thought or as the foundations of their political reasoning. In the past, it would have been unthinkable for an opposition challenger to the incumbent Marxists or leftists to gain sufficient support in the region.

However, rural workers, such as Sapna Das, the BJP women leader in Tripura, said: "There is a gradual change and many young voters are readily rejecting the left's ideology."

Drawing confidence from this, BJP leaders have designed a few electoral strategies that aim to capture the minds of voters in areas heavily populated with Bengalis, particularly in areas where the pro-Hindu slant would find easier acceptance.Ashirwad Dey, an educationist in Tripura said: "The idea is to capture the Bengali mindset, especially among those whose forefathers had to leave Bangladesh during partition in 1947 and later in 1971 [during the Bangladesh war of liberation]."

Due to the extensive numbers that fled Bangladesh (formerly Eastern Pakistan), today's population of the Bengali Hindu community in Tripura is significant.The BJP is aware of its challenges and inherent weaknesses. 

BJP leaders claim the party is trying to sell Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "developmental card", even among tribal and Christian sections."The overdose of the Marxist regime in Tripura has weakened religious affinities. This applies to both Hindus and Christians. Today, this is, ironically, helping the BJP's cause," one BJP leader said. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Jingoism has no place in today's world: Modi's Diplomatic Triumph talks of New Reality

The photograph of both the Prime Ministers -- Narendra Modi and Benjamin Netanyahu -- with folded trousers and chit-chat in ankle deep Mediterranean Sea water and a toast to life with desalinated water made waves in the social networking sites and mainstream media. "Netanyahu and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi brought a whole new definition to "chilling out" after wading in the Mediterranean Sea," reported CNN. 

One such snap was also autographed by Benjamin Netanyahu, who wrote: "To Prime Minister Narendra Modi with deepest friendship on your historic visit". 


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Does this reflect change in Indian foreign policy? Certainly, opinions can be divided. But most striking aspect of this 'let us agree to disagree' came from Rahul Gandhi -- when he rather hurriedly tweeted that his political bete noire Modi was being a "weak Prime Minister" because he did not raise the visa row issue with the American President Donald Trump. Well, it was expected visa row would be raised. Similarly, on the other side -- many expected Trump will raise the issue of supposed violent atmosphere against minorities - including Christians - in India. So going by the 'intelligent theory' of an "inborn PM-material" even Trump could be weak!

One need not emphasise that diplomacy may not be the way - the Congress party or Rahul Gandhi's full-timer advisers look at. Both sides may handle uncomfortable issues though back channels.
The desperation is palpable. The Congress party, India's sickular gang and politically correct liberals as also the part-time politcian Rahul Gandhi may be huffing and puffing but these practitioners of holier than though theories desperate to make a mark is only realising that Namo remains invincible as now as the average Indian voters may be still pro-Namo and his way of politics.

The Congress party has been making noise about China angle too -- as the border tension could embarrass the Modi-led dispensation. 1962 harakiri is a thing of past because all that happened under the virtuous Pt Nehru -- who legitimised a variety of politics -- that says "family loyalists" need not be wrong at all.

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Over the last three years Narendra Modi has pursued different brand of politics and that different yardstick has been extended to foreign policy paradigm also. The status-quoists may be upset while likes of Rahul Gandhi and 'uncles' like Manishankar Aiyar may find it difficult to stomach that an 'under estimated' has able to struck such good rapport with world leaders.

Firstly, in terms of India's relations with China -- the misplacement in the trust and well established norms of international diplomacy is actually only a Pt Nehru-era legacy. It would certainly require some time and extra sagacity to find a resolution. Moreover, China remains a globally-known difficult customer to deal with. The Modi-regime is trying different games to deal with different challenges. Whether these would give results or not - the answer lies in the womb of time. But Modi bashing class is getting desperate by the day.

But to trust players like former diplomats Lalit Mansingh and a few others -- so far Modi's message to China has been mixed. And rightly so ! With all efforts for friendship -- the 'jhoola' as analysed by Kapil Sibal -- Modi regime has also tried to keep Beijing guessing as time and again it has given renewed and added emphasis to the Tibetan Spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

"China respects strength. It does not worry much about good mannerism and humility,"

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Blogger with Lalit Mansingh
                                                   
Stating that India has stoutly and rightly defended its stand during the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, former Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh has said that "China respects strength".
Interacting with me on the sidelines of a function wherein the Dalai Lama received the prestigious M L Sondhi Prize for International Politics for the year 2016, he has said: "Such gestures of assertiveness (on Dalai Lama's Arunachal visit) is a rare display of firmness and sovereign rights by the Indian government with regards to China. Otherwise, we are used to timidity and playing things safe".
The word 'timidity' actually represents the politics of the leftists -- whose patriotism reached a new set of norms in 1962. Is Rahul Gandhi listening?

Now, the Hamburg indications - from the sidelines of G20 Summit was that - Chinese president Xi Jinping also realises it well that 2017 is different from 1962. Perhaps more correct statement would be Pt Nehru and Narendra Modi are of different stocks. Image does not matter to Narendra Modi as much it bothered India's first Prime Minister. Hence, Modi's firmness seems to be working up to a satisfactory level. 

Moreover, China knows it well that Xinjiang is in the throes of a 'slow-burning insurgency' by the Muslim Uighur minority against the Communist state. China's internal problems are of deep concern, many many not realise. 


In the recent weeks -- starting from the US visit and then Israel sojourn and also the G20 Summit - Prime Minister's diplomatic adventurism has fetched some dividends. But these are still only early indications and still -- too less. But a sound foundation is being laid.
Israelis name a flower after 'Modi'
                                               
Even from unusual corner -- appreciation to Modi's Israel trip has come. A Naga politician - Thomas Ngullie has said that -- very few world leaders get the treatment outside his country as Modi was shown the respect in Israel. Does it imply that some Christian sections were also impressed with the kind of bonhomie Modi has able to establish with a Jewish nation?

Modi struck a good personal rapport with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and both shared quality time -- both formal and informal. "We have been waiting for you for last 70 years," Prime Minister Netanyahu has said on July 4 while welcoming Mr Modi -- as a jovial Indian Prime Minister walked into the arms of a beaming Netanyahu -- who making a departure from protocol was at the Tel Aviv Airport to receive him. During their interactions and formal bilateral talks, both the leaders vowed to take the Indo-Israel relationship to new heights. Bth sides signed seven MoUs including a crucial one on agriculture and water. 


On the other hand, Modi critics both in India and in Pakistan must realise that China's friendship may not always help Islamabad either.

Even the CPEC and OBOR may not help Pakistan big way.

"Pakistani citizens also have no way to know what CPEC will cost them. Neither government has been clear about what projects are part of the plan. Costing has been completely opaque. China sets the price, contracts the work out to Chinese companies, and saddles Pakistan with the loans. Given the ongoing security threats on Chinese nationals in Pakistan, Islamabad is raising a CPEC Protection Force, the costs of which will be passed on to Pakistani citizens," says C Christine Fair in 'Foreign Policy'. 

(ends)

Friday, July 7, 2017

PM Modi wishes good luck to Prez Xi, China wishes "bigger success" to India

This can be also jokingly called ..... an apology from 'weak' Prime Minister Namo --- as Rahul Gandhi claimed coming out of 'Italian-nanny' slumber !!

Hamburg, Jul 7 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi today appreciated "momentum in BRICS" under the Chairmanship of China, and for his part, Chinese President Xi Jinping appreciated India's strong resolve against terrorism and lauded India's success in economic and social development.

"President Xi appreciated India's strong resolve against terrorism and the momentum in BRICS introduced under India's Chairmanship and through the outcomes of the Goa Summit in 2016. He also appreciated India's success in economic and social development and wished India even bigger success," an official statement from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said.

The leaders of the five BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa held an "informal meeting" on the sidelines of G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. 

"This was in run up to the forthcoming 9th BRICS Summit in September in Xiamen, China. President Xi of China said he looked forward to welcoming the BRICS leaders," the statement said. 

Pleasantries Amid Tenssions
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Prime Minister Modi in his address mentioned that BRICS has been a "strong voice and needs to show leadership" on terrorism and global economy. 
Prime Minister appreciated "momentum in BRICS" under the Chairmanship of President Xi and extended full cooperation and best wishes for the BRICS Xiamen Summit.
Concluding the meeting immediately after Mr Modi's remarks, President Xi appreciated India's strong resolve against terrorism and also "wished India even bigger success" in economic field, the MEA said.
In his address, Mr Modi  "called for expeditious action to establish BRICS rating agency and stated that cooperation on development of Africa should be a priority". He also called for greater people-to-people exchanges.
Mr Modi stressed that G20 should collectively oppose terrorism financing, franchises, safe havens, support and sponsors. 
Referring to reforms in India, including the recent introduction of GST, the Prime Minister described it as "the biggest reform" in India during past seven decades. "This will create a unified market of 1.3 billion people," Mr Modi said.
The Prime Minister said it was necessary to work together for sustained global economic recovery. 
He advocated collective voice against the practices of protectionism, especially in the spheres of trade and movement of knowledge and professionals. 
He reiterated India's commitment to implement Paris Agreement in "letter and spirit" and described its implementation globally as essential to fight climate change.