The RIC Equation

The Indian Minister for External Affairs Mrs Sushma Swaraj hosted the foreign ministers from Russia and China on a joint visit to India. While many observers find it to be not worthy of any substance as they warn India to not to rely on the Chinese diplomacy, there is a wider perspective this Russia-India-China trilateral has to offer to Indians.

While Russians have distanced themselves from any direct association with the Pakistanis, China has remained the only all-weather ally, while at the same time China has asked Pakistan to reign in the various terrorists that make Pakistan bite bullets at every international forum.

The RIC is a group of the most powerful nations of Asia and one of the most powerful nations apart from the US led European bloc in the UN. This grouping on a joint statement at New Delhi fastened the beliefs that all these nations believe in countering terrorism at the bud. This means a lot to the trouble that has been fomenting in Pakistan, which is unrestrained and is actually detrimental to its own health.

The Indian side has not been able to reach any consensus with the Chinese on Jaish-e-Mohammad, and they have not even pressed for any such consensus with the Chinese, yet there is a wide consensus relating to Taliban, Lashkar-e-Toiba, al-Qaida, ISIS and a few more infiltrators.

The Russians, Chinese and Indians co-operating to counter terrorism offers  another dimension to the void which the Asian powers had created over creating a progressive stand on the American NATO which has been creating unstable equations in the Asia minor and elsewhere.

While the world is being marred by polarisation, an Indian partnership with the Russians and Chinese offers the ability to negotiate and deal with all outcomes of polarised world where India will witness the success of the non-aligned stand taken by it since long.

The fears that China may move in an ill productive manner to rope in all the developing nations to corner India are also ill-founded when China and Russians have accepted the Indian hospitality and have asked India to partner with China to share a mutual growth story, which is not narrated by the hegemonic America led Euro bloc.

The Russia-India-China is not a trickery as long as it serves a common purpose at the UN as well and creates a strong partnership. None but the idealists would expect a sudden change in the plans of the Chinese, yet the Chinese who have been abiding by the international law at all times, must be given a benefit of doubt once.

The program also offers scope for Xi Jinping’s ideas to involve all the political ideologies of the globe to formulate a common minimum program for enhanced mutual co-operation and trust.

This will not trick the world but provide a suitable alternative to India to promote its leadership in the UN, while the world struggles to get square with the Brexit and a weakening US.

 

Communists in Nepal: Indian Diplomacy Needs a Shift

With the Nepalese people throwing a verdict in favour of the Communist alliance in Kathmandu’s first ever polls after the new Constitution came into force, there is an all new wind in the Nepalese people who have shunned the long serving India favouring politicians.

The Congress has long supported the Nepali Congress and bred leaders like Deuba, and Sushila Koirala. The Indian government had always maintained a deep relationship not only with the people of Nepal but with the erstwhile royal family and then the pro-democracy leaders.

The Ruling family had always played the China card with India when it suspected the Indian diplomacy to be one of isolationism. The going was rough but never turned to extremes. India enforced a blockade which was perceived by the people from the hilly areas of Nepal as a move to force the rights of the Madhesis. The Madhesis are the people who have origins in India  and have settled in Nepal. There were protests all across Nepal when the Madhesis sought more rights from the Constitution, which was an outcome of the Nepali elitist.

This made the BJP government at the helm of affairs in India to block all civil supplies to Nepal. The trade between India and Nepal has been one exceeding all boundaries set by international trade. Thus the Nepalese people had to express their aggression towards a friend who came forward first to extend relief aid in the aftermath of the disaster in Nepal in 2015. PM Modi who is a ardent bhakta of Lord Shiva also visited the Pasupati Nath temple and offered gifts at the temple.

This diplomacy was seen to have forging a deep tie with the new democracy and dismantling the dragon, yet the dragon rose into dominance during the blockade when KP Oli of the CPN-UML forged a deal with the Chinese.

The deal is centered around petroleum and other civil supplies. India turned its back on him and made him face exile and got the NC in power in Nepal. Now, the India backed Nepali Congress and Rashtriya Janta Party have failed to perform in the direct elections, the Communists will seek to forge deeper and pragmatic ties to counter the Indian influence.

India on its part will have to engage the Nepalese people from a cultural perspective first and then accommodate the needs of the Nepalese government. This will help building consensus among the two ideologically distinct political organizations, and will yield in positive outcomes to balance the Chinese.

KP Oli, may never be able to put the will of the Nepali people at bay by putting his personal interests first. This may work to the advantage of India, which believes in neighbours first. The Indian diplomacy has to take care of the long relationship which both the nations share, otherwise the outcomes will be too obvious.

The balance thus created may also help India in dealing with other developing neighbours who have been swayed by the Chinese economic narrative, as it remains a necessity, while India has been negligent of its own goals.

 

The Jerusalem Jugglery

The Trump administration has declared to move the US embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. This breaks the long sustained stand of the US that supported the claims of the Palestinians over the sacred land.

The diplomatic shift in the US has reared apprehensions in the west Asian region that US is pushing ahead its oil diplomacy in a concerted move to put the region in a different position from its past. Donald Trump and Jared Kushner, have supported the clean up efforts of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Salman. The clean up followed by Prince Salman is projected to increase the formidability of the unstable Arabian Kingdom, which will promote itself to create a new pole.

The US policy in the western Asia has been based around the oil diplomacy for over the years. The Iranian rise has been a threat to create a strong pole in the OPEC community. The US has always condemned the rise of Iran amid fears that the Muslim world may move towards a stable and unified outlook that will harm the future of the oil diplomacy of the US.

The US also sustained the Palestininan cause so far to create a balance in the field of Israeli dominance in the region. In the shifting western politics, the US is seeing Israel as a trusted ally to create a direct and a reliable base in the middle east that also acts as a counter to the Northern African region.

The Northern African region is seeing the rise of Turkey and Egypt that have cemented their ties while the Russians seem to be playing the good host to the improving relations. The US is seeking to curb its expenses and fortifying its position in the global politics has called for seeking Israel’s support to follow the charter of moving forward with its oil diplomacy, and consolidating its frail economy.

The move taken by the US has had wide repercussions with Saudi officials and Palestinian officials condemning the move, while there is a speculation that Jared Kuhsner has assured Prince Salman and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas deep and favourable engagement with the two for backing Israel.

The Russians have not given any comment, while Benjamin Netanyahu has asked other world powers to follow the lead of the US and has urged the global fraternity to support its claim over the sacred land.

A strong Israel backed by Arabia and Palestine will counter Russia backed Iran and Syria, who are the largest economic powers, while Qatar will also align with the Russians in today’s time.

The Indians will have to look for a balanced stand, as supporting any cause that may mean detrimental to the world equations. The Indian stand has been to support the claims of Palestine and has tried to promote development that has been sponsored by Israel. This will lead to a stable oil market, and the Indians will benefit from the OPEC prices which shall remain stable if the better part of the global fraternity supports a stable middle east.

"Let There Be Light"- Light Pollution is Real

Light pollution is not a myth, and the observatories may see no space!!

There a loud movement against pollution. People identify pollution with smoke in the air, effluent discharge in the water bodies, soil pollution by solid waste, noise pollution by high decibel sounds. There is no idea doing the minds of people that there might be something equally dangerous as the other forms of pollution, originating from a very necessary pillar of human life.

When Edison invented the bulb he must have never thought that his invention, the bulb might assume much significance as a pollutant in the later years of the civilisation. It is the same bulb, that produces the same light that Jesus wanted to bring to the world.

Today, apart from the other forms of pollution, there is a very prominent threat to the flora and fauna from the ever persistent and increasing cover of light. Researchers have found that there is a very prominent disruption in the circadian cycles of organisms in the plant and animal kingdom due to excessive increase in the lightning on the earth’s surface.

There have been many researches conducted by horticulturists who have further affirmed that due to artificial light the plant have never been able to live in complete darkness. NASA’s hubble has shown the hue of the halogen bulbs and the yellow bulbs across the globe for years. This has been changed to blue hue from the LED bulbs. The blue hue has a tendency to spread to good distances, and has shown a geometric rise in the density in the years that have passed. The International Space Station has affirmed the hue on the earth in its images, and the observatories all over the globe have reported disturbances caused due to presence of hue in the earth’s atmosphere.

The rise in lighting hue has been seen all over, with developing countries increasing the penetration of electricity while developed countries moving to heavy lighting. The artificial lighting has reduced clarity of the night skies, and has shown abrupt sleep, health issues in humans, and animals. Prolonged exposure to artificial light has also proved harmful for plants.

These are indicating towards an increased rate of problems caused by excessive use of artificial lights in the years to come. There is a need to spread awareness about the impact of excessive artificial lighting. The artificial lights being used in domestic settlements must be used in a regulated manner. The citizens must be discouraged from exposing themselves to prolonged hours of artificial light. The street lighting must be reduced to provide sufficient lights, which will reduce hue in the skies and put the balance of the circadian cycles over a period of time.

The disruption in the circadian cycles and blinding the earth’s surface due to light have potential risks which may also catalyse photo chemical reactions in the atmosphere as there are always good amount pollutants in the air.

The awareness will need to be complemented by government’s assistance to use smart lighting tools to provide a fair amount of artificial lighting. The environment today deserves our attention like children deserves when they show signs of diseases.

The light pollution, if continued will create a dense hue which will cause complete invisibility in the night, and we may need to use sunglasses in the nights as well.

 

Redefining the Bhartiya Nari

The social progress in our country is evident as we have many aspects of our society that are evolving. Our Prime Minister says that it is the century of India, and India is awakening to its destiny. Yet, India is marred with its own shackles that prevent it from proceeding ahead.

This is not about any thing that is out-of-place in the recent times, when there is a flurry of incidents of violence being reported against women in India. It has been also an experience how passionate may things become when it comes redrawing the image of the Bhartiya Naari through movies, or literature.

This is the same lot of people who went rallying on the streets when the government wanted to ban porn sites, and here they are abusing women in the first place and then defining the new normal for the Bhartiya Nari.

A girl from Kerala, who fell in love with a gentle man from another community, who has given a fair consent to adopt his religion, she has been dragged to the Court by her father, that too in a litigation which is defective in jurisdiction; it is about Hadiya/ Akhila, the woman who is being trapped in the process defining the Bhartiya Nari. The Bhartiya Nari of today may get education, earn fame, and name, but may not make her own choices relating to many aspects of her life. She has to remain a puppet in the hands of her family and the society.

Another Bhartiya Nari to have faced the storm of Bhartiya Nari, is the late queen Padmavati, which is being seen as a threat to the existence of a community in India. Yes, none of the Chief Ministers, activists did ever get a chance to watch the movie but they don’t want their heroine, Padmavati to be portrayed as a paramour a Muslim, and rather the community would want her to end her life even in the 21st century.

The same Bhartiya Nari which is needed the roll call of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ is the one that faces the wrath of carnal instincts of man, and the panchayats decide that they must not be allowed to wear jeans and use smartphones! That is the same Bhartiya Nari which is being raped irrespective of her age.

Why doesn’t the law, the activists and politicians take care of all those rights of women which need actual freedom for them? Why is the Supreme Court not putting up the issue whether the High Court had the jurisdiction to annul a marriage, also why is the society so overtly protective about the freedom of women, while they don’t oppose the stifling of the person of that same Bhartiya Nari?

All leaders intend to define the Bhartiya Nari in some form or the other, yet they don’t endow them with the basic freedom to express themselves as individuals, when there is a need to give more freedoms and voice to women.

The Bhartiya Nari must be brave in today’s time to stand up to her dignity, ideals and choices, progress ahead the way she decides. The narrow perspectives that still persist, like a man having polygamous marriages, must be a taboo, the leaders must safeguard the Bhartiya Nari there, why is it that we will not shield them, there as well.

The Bhartiya Nari must be free to express herself and make the Bhartiya Purusha feel that they seriously need to introspect while they transgress upon the oppressed Bhartiya Nari of the earlier and

What is the definition of a Human with no freedom to express, because there exists a gender bias!

modern-day, in a spree of their misogynistic rage.

Dealing With The Abuse of Dowry Laws: An Initiative for the SC

The Supreme Court has culled from various sources and has decided to do away with or implement with some changes a procedure given out by Justice(s) UU Lalit and Ashok Bhushan, whereby they clipped the police of their powers to immediately arrest the accused in a case of 498A- IPC.

In the aforesaid judgement, the Court also laid down the foundations of a fact-finding committee which had three members, and all of them males, to inquire whether the allegations of torture are corrector not.

The Amicus Curiae, Ms Indu Malhotra appointed by the Court has said that there is no need of such a committee which defies the purpose of such a law, as the dowry laws grant immediate relief to the victim in cases of dowry related violence.

Thus there is a wide issue that here demands attention of the Court as well as our law makers. The sudden change that the Dowry Protection laws did bring in the society has led to a reduction in dowry related violence, yet there is the human nature that assumes more significance and changes things for people.

The Dowry laws were put in place at a time when the incidents of death and dowry related violence were on the rise and had caught considerable attention. The menace had been so rampant that even the cinema took to the cause.

Now over the years there is more awareness and the literacy rate among women have considerably gone up, in the wake of such commendable situations, the Dowry laws have also assumed the role of a purely legal weapon to extort money from the husband and his family. There have been incidents where many husbands have been held in detention only to discharged later due to lack of evidence. There are occasions recorded across India where the woman and her family use the legal machinery to their advantage and threaten the family of the husband to meet their demands when the marriage is at the point of no recovery.

The abuse of the law that was meant to protect the rights of the women, has thus assumed the role of a tool for harassment, and while not acknowledging this amicus curiae said that a fact-finding committee does a disservice to the aim of the law.

It must be borne in mind that law may not confer special privileges to one gender while not providing for a mechanism to resist the abuse of the privilege by the members of the same gender against the other.

The Court may not completely do away with the policy being laid down in the judgement. If the CJI, Dipak Misra feels that it is a transgression of the judicial mandate, then they may move a request with a detailed report, as to why the in the opinion of the Judiciary there needs to be a change in the dowry related laws while in motion.

This is a matter that needs attention as the stigma of dissolution of marriage and the stigma of spending sometime in a jail produces unhealthy experiences for citizens. The law must only come to the aid of those aggrieved and must protect the innocent. It is therefore the task of the judiciary to take up hurdles faced by the law in motion, and a mechanism to ascertain the veracity of every complaint pertaining to dowry related cases may be a good move in the same direction.

 

Unveiling the Vyapam Scam

The Vyavasaik Pariksha Mandal, popularly known as the Vyapam in Madhya Pradesh, is a self financed autonomous institution that conducts various recruitment exams for jobs, medical courses, engineering and other professional courses.

The institution had been tainted with the rigging of exams being conducted for entry into the medical courses and various other jobs under the state government. This scam was unearthed by a journalist of a local hindi newspaper in Devas district. This revelation was not the first occasion when irregularities had come to light. In 2005, 2009, and 2011, there were several reports lodged with various police stations across the state to look into the matter of faulty merit list and scrutiny results declared by Vyapam. This mater was probed and there was no evidence traced to an organised cartel running the fair.

The state machinery was not set into motion despite repeated reports in the media alleging irregularities and the complaints. A committee though was set up in 2009 to look into the alleged irregularities in the medical exams, the outcome of the inquiry came in the year 2011, where it was revealed that there were several ‘Munna Bhais’ and impersonation was routine.

It was the first time the government was also told that there may be some officials involved in the scam. The government responded by assuring students who were proved to have been using fraudulent means to be rusticated from the respective courses. Yet this just remained the tip of the iceberg.

In 2013 when a racket of over 50 people being involved in the PMT exam that year was unearthed by the MP STF, there came information about the following recruitment exams being rigged as well; which were Pre-PG, Food Inspector Selection Test, Milk Federation test, Subedar-Sub Inspector and Platoon Commander Selection Test and Police Constable Recruitment Test, in the year 2012.

The Vyapam scam further was given another cool off when the state government handed over a thorough investigation into the scam to the STF. The STF and the media utilised the cool off and no report was made until in 2015 a journalist was found murdered who had credible information about the Vyapam scam.

The Vyapam scam further saw deaths of government officials and police inspectors also. There has not yet been any solid action on the part of the authorities. Today, the case is being dealt over by the CBI, yet the proceedings are going at a snail’s speed.

Further the ex-Minister for Education with the Government of MP, Laxmikant Sharma was the key man who resigned following incrimination charges. The minister was the top most officer of the government in-charge for the Vyapam, and he disclosed names of several other officers.

The blame games have continued and the whole incident has put the reign of Shivraj Singh Chouhan in MP in deep waters. Shivraj Singh on his part as not taken any moral responsibility and has claimed that he is not involved in the high-profile scam, yet the number of deaths that ensued in the aftermath of the disclosure and threats to whistleblowers that came to light indicate a different picture.

The case needs to be independently monitored by an opposition led fact-finding committee of the MP Vidhan Sabha, and must have on board investigative journalists to ensure transparency. The CBI must put the issue at its priority and give results as the time is running by, lest there will be another incident of justice delayed-justice denied.