The downtrend of Congress party can be traced back to one single event when Bofors scam rocked the nation. The perception about the Congress party subsequently is built around the corruption thereafter. Amateur, inexperienced and perhaps innocent late Rajiv Gandhi was crucified by powerful cartel of middlemen facilitating destruction of India’s oldest political party. Consequently, wrong man died and middlemen flourished. Till today, Congress has reluctantly defended itself despite of the established fact that late Rajiv Gandhi was fooled by his associates to bring about his political death during his lifetime. Later, Gandhi family handpicked middlemen namely Ahmed Patel, V George became leaders and party junked PV Narsimha Rao, ND Tiwari, Pranab Mukherjee, Buta Singh, GK Moopanar, K Karunakaran, JB Panaik, SM Krishna, HR Bharadwaj, Shukla Brothers, Jagan Reddy, Mamta Banerjee in their life time. The middlemen take over pushed crony capitalism: Anil Ambani, Hinduja’s, Dhoot’s, BR Raju, Vijay Mallaya, GVK Reddy and many more became rock stars of corporate world, together they milked the public sector banks with impunity to bring the India’s growth story to a grinding halt.
The government of the day and the pro-active courts must reopen investigation of the BOFORS SCAM with a focus on exposing middlemen rather than the past ruling establishment primarily because bofors scam triggered birth to a new class of “dalals” in India and they gained tremendous control over the crucial institutions, establishing India as one of the most corrupt country in the world. Though we are fortunate to have fiscally clean Prime Ministers in the last few decades yet the corruption is rampant in the country at every level. So, where it went wrong? The answer is simple, the country is held hostage at the mercy of middlemen operating in politics, bureaucracy, corporate, legal and media domain. The country is bleeding from corruption and the current sufferings of the desperate poor masses are synonymous of this system failure.
Today, sanctity of the four pillars of democracy is in deep crisis because the process that started with the Bofors scandal has vitiated our democracy and spawned so many subsequent frauds and scams. One can't help wondering as to how many subsequent cases of corruption would have been avoided had the Bofors scam not provided a veritable template to the Kalmadis and Rajas that followed. The pride of 1.3 billion countrymen, our defence forces and their valour, demand a just and definitive denouement to this protracted murky saga of treachery to the nation. It is high time that CBI intervened in Ajay Agrawal’s petition in Bofors case pending before the Supreme Court with complete details of documents in the box given by Swedish Police in 1997 to reinvestigate the case and bring guilty to books. India must eradicate and punish “Dalals” from the system to leap bound herself at the global level and lead the new world order. The onus is on the present Narendra Modi government and hyper active Supreme Court of the country to order reinvestigation in the case without any political overtone and present correct facts to undo the damage done by middlemen by giving them exemplary punishment for breaking the backbone of the vital institutions of this glorious country. It will act as a strong deterrent to the operating middlemen community and certainly, it will clean the toxic system.
(The writer is Prashant Tewari Editor in Chief, Twitter: prashanttewar11 FB:firstname.lastname@example.org)
The chaos and confusing, allegations and counter allegations, social media war are the new order of the day. On every contentious issue, we are on roads to settle the grievance. The redressal mechanism through the courts have become weak and our country is under seize for entire year. Farmer's protest in India's national capital has created headlines globally. But why the farmers are protesting, what is controversial in the contentious Farm Bills is hardly known to majority of the people.
The farmers are protesting against two Farm Bills that the Rajya Sabha recently passed: (1) the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020, and (2) the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020. The two bills had already cleared the lower house – the Lok Sabha. When they were introduced in the Rajya Sabha, there was ruckus and finally, the Bill was passed through a voice vote. It is noteworthy to mention that NDA ally Akali Dal has quit the government in protest of the passing of the bills in the parliament.
This Bill allows the farmers to sell their produce outside the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) regulated markets. The APMCs are government-controlled marketing yards or mandis. So, the farmers clearly have more choice on who they want to sell. This Bill makes provisions for the setting up of a framework for contract farming. The farmer and an ordained buyer can strike a deal before the production happens. The farmers of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana are angry fearing that the Minimum Support Price (MSP) guarantee that was their safety net since the Green Revolution of the 1960s kicked in, maybe snatched away from under the pretext of giving the farmers more playing ground and better platforms. Farmers fear the two recent bills as they feel these agriculture reform processes will kill the government procurement process as well as the MSP. And why do we see most protesters from Punjab and Haryana? That is because they are the biggest beneficiaries of this safety net.
Farmer leaders have clearly stated that the agitation would continue till the farm laws are repealed. The entire confusion is fueled by the exit of NDA partner Akali Dal from the government in protest of the passing of the Farm bills 2020 without enacting the MSP clause in the final draft of the farm bills 2020. It is fair to suggest that Narendra Modi led government being in absolute majority is ignoring the sentiments of its allies since their absence has no impact in the lower house of the parliament for the government survival. But as rightly suggested by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh that anti national forces are looking for an opportunity to penetrate in any popular controversial issue to destabilize the country. Failed Khalistan push by overseas forces may trigger confusion in the minds of the sulking farmer community of Punjab to misguide them on the pretext of ethic religious divide hence the government of the day must remain vigilant and the requisite concessions should be extended to farming community to defuse the unnecessary bitterness and heart break between the government and its people. The government is lacking in communication skill set hence on every contentious issue, strikes and lockdowns are setting in. Lastly, the uncalled international intervention by certain groups and foreign leaders in an internal matter of the country is highly deplorable and it must be condemned in strongest words.
(The writer is the Editor-in Chief of The Opinion Express Group)
It has taken almost fifty-eight years since 1962 to settle the India China relationship at comfortable level but Covid 19 pandemic has forced confused President Xi Jinping to pick up fight with almost entire world including India by making the borders hot since March 2020. India has no option but to react with aggression to safeguard its national interest. India, following ‘One China’ policy, does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan but India is having commercial, economic and cultural ties with Taiwan. While nearly 23 countries have formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan, several countries have opened offices in Taipei. These countries, which include the United States, western European, Japan, Australia and many others, follow ‘One China’ policy. However, the current hawkish Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen of DPP is pushing for nationalistic agenda. The Taiwanese know fully well the might of China. Yet, they are constantly looking for expanding their room for maneuver. US support is vital to Taiwan and supplies arms to Taiwan while maintaining a ‘One China’ policy: India has a unique diplomatic tool to push for renewed ties with Taiwan since China is continuously pushing armed insurgency in North East, J&K via Pakistan, arming Maoist rebellion against in several states via Nepal, endorsing terror by saving Masoor Azhar in United Nation.
The assertions of sovereignty by China over South China Sea and US’ pivot to Asia policy have led to rise of tensions in the region. The Taiwanese, taking note of India’s growing influence in regional and global affairs, want to engage with it in the hope that their room for maneuver vis-à-vis China will increase. Keenly watching the development of India’s ‘look east’ policy, they want to understand how India defines and protects its interests in Asia. India, which has a delicate and sensitive relationship with China, is naturally careful in dealing with Taiwan. India has sought to enhance functional linkages with Tai-wan without offending China. The bilateral trade between India and Taiwan crossed $15 billion in 2019-20. A joint study has been launched to explore the possibility of a free-trade agreement between the two sides. India has interests in Asia, particularly, the South China Sea. The Indian integration with ASEAN, South Korea and Japan is deepening. Given large complementarities between India and Taiwan, the latter can be good economic partner for India. India’s software skills and Taiwan’s hardware capabilities can be combined in joint-ventures. Taiwanese companies can invest in Indian infrastructure. Further, Taiwan, which boasts of some high-quality universities, think-thanks, and academic institutes, can be a good source for Indian institutions for academic exchanges. Presently, nearly 1000 Indian students are studying in Taiwanese science and engineering universities.
India is a large country following independent policies. India can pursue a functional relationship with Taiwan without deviating from its ‘One China’ policy, however, if China plays deceptive games at border, trade and foreign policy: Taiwan and Tibet should be raked up by India at international forums to expose China’s expansionist regime. But India must have a consistent foreign policy in respect of Taiwan in alignment with the democratic nations of the world so that Taiwan can react to Chinese hostility with conviction. When China can defy the world and promote all weather friends Pakistan and North Korea then India should act independently to frame its foreign policy.
—Prashant Tewari, Editor-in-Chief
Corruption is so rampant in India that it has more or less become a way of life, an accepted evil, this is despite of the best efforts of Prime Minister Modi and his clean image. Now the mega political scams are restricted but the crony capitalist have continued their practice unabated leading to a slowdown in technological advancement, a lack of competition which could even border on collusion, and higher prices for consumers.
While we must give the present government some credit for its implementation of the GST, we cannot ignore the fact that shadow economies lead to an unorganized workforce, wherein workers face problems regarding salaries, job security, contract agreements, working conditions, etc. An informal workforce hampers the growth of manufacturing firms through lower degrees of productivity. It should not be surprising that India is a country which largely consists of an informal workforce, and the continuation of such which will have an effect on both the quantitative and qualitative aspects of growth in the long run.
The present government was clear with its agenda when it came into power six years ago, and to some extent the intention to rid society of corruption could be seen, namely through the two main economic reforms that the government introduced (demonetisation and GST). The reality of the situation however reflects the plain and simple fact that either nothing has changed or it has merely gotten worse. The PNB scam is a clear indication of this, and of course the situation has been reflected in the Transparency International’s global corruption index. A lower ranking for India compared to previous years is certainly a black mark on the BJP government’s report card. Bofors Scam, Spectrum Scam, CWG Scam, Fodder Scam, FCI Scam, Coal Scam, Aircel Maxis Scam, National Herald Scam, Banking Scams of Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, Vijay Mallya, Sandesarabrothers have largely gone in sleep mode. Congress or BJP, fraudsters have mastered the art to over-power the system.
All wings of the democracy are infected by corruption virus. Legislative, Executive, Judiciary and Media are overpowered by corporate money power. Today, Lok Sabha elections are heavily funded by corporate money hence the irrespective of the outcome, they decide the leadership issue. The prime posting in the key government positions for bureaucrats are decided by third party in consultation with the ruling elites to secure their interest. In the recent times, appointment of Judges in the higher judiciary is pushed by vested interest groups to safeguard their interest and lastly, the national media is completely controlled by select big pocket corporate houses directly or indirectly to set up narrative that suits the interest of their business. The essence of democracy is crushed by the vested interest lobbies and the common man on the street is left off-guard to secure his basic rights guaranteed in the constitution. It is conclusively said that unless the nexus between the money and governance is smashed, common citizen of the country will be treated as the consumer by the so-called ruling elites and their super bosses and the dream of establishing an ideal democracy will remain an illusion.
—Prashant Tewari, Editor-in-Chief
Who wants Khalistan? The native Indian Sikh community in Punjab has absolutely no interest even to discuss the subject in their routine life. Sikh Diaspora attached with the main land has no interest in the issue. But some disgruntle anti national set of people prompted by the foreign funding are running a futile campaign to instigate the subject with no support from credible places. Sikh community in India is the most progressive and prosperous com- munity of the country. Independent India with majority 80% Hindu population size has showered tremendous love and respect to 2% Sikh community in every sphere of life. It can be a unique case study model anywhere in the world wherein the overwhelming population majority has voluntarily offered respect and position to the almost dismal population size group. Sikh community has completely justified the faith and they have reciprocated the gesture with full commitment in every sector that it has been represented.
But the tragedy of Sikhs is that they have not found a leader worthy of carrying forward the legacy of their illustrious Gurus since Maharaja Ranjit Singh The first work of Guru Nanak who is invariably referred to as the founder of Sikhism, maintained, propounded original teachings, established a new religion and gathered round himself a following drawn from both Hindu and Muslim. This continued for about a century till Guru Hargobind, the sixth guru whose period occupies most of the first half of seventeen century adopted the doctarine of ‘miripiri’ and resorted to an arm rebellion against the attempts made by Mu- ghals to interfere and curb the religious rights of non muslims in India. He accordingly responded `to the Mughal threat of violent repression by arming his followers though nothing basic had, however, been changed. The tenth Guru Gobind Singh having observed the growing hostility of Mughal authorities reached a momentous decision to form a structured group of fighters to be named as Khalsa having military discipline
To watch video | Part 1 | English : Khalistan Referendum 2020 - A failed Pakistani propaganda
To watch video | Part 1 | Hindi : Khalistan Referendum 2020 - A failed Pakistani propaganda
The present self proclaimed leaders of the Sikh community are illiterate and anti national. They have no intellect to understand the historical prospective and the current geo political games. We are still trying to get over the fall-out from the lack of vision and leadership of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, now another “visionary”, Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, has appeared from America. He now wishes to lead the Sikhs by carrying forward the legacy of Bhindranwale. No one has divided Sikhs more than Bhindrawala and also poisoned the minds of our youth who have limited understanding of our faith and history but feel angry due to the attack on the Golden Temple.
And we in India must stop blaming Pakistan for fuelling the insurgency in the recent times. Rather the blame must go squarely to the ignorant Sikh groups who have either no access to their own history or they are blinded by the power of foreign money to destabilize their own motherland. No one has supported operation blue star in totality but the rebel community elements must realise that the issue is permanently dead, just to keep raking up the issue repeatedly and playing to the opponent gallery has discredited the entire community. India has given Sikh President, Prime Minster, Army Chief, top bureaucrats and prominent business men and surely it makes the Sikh community most respected group of the country but any activity against the strategic interest of the country used by any religious or ethnic group must be permanently eliminated. The new offensive defensive policy of the nation must send shivers to the militants and terror groups representing any section of the society. And permanent elimination will be scripted if the larger interest of the country is hurt by any insane action conducted by them directly or under the influence of the foreign forces against India.
Tax reforms were a long-standing demand by the salaried class. Will PM Modi’s measures go far enough?
Income tax-paying citizens of our country have often argued that they are the most ignored lot of voters by the political classes despite them “paying” the most to the Government. While there is a feeling of sympathy for them, one has to understand that while the incidence of income tax payers is low in our country, almost every Indian contributes to nation-building through indirect taxation. That said, the income tax system in India has become unduly complex over the years with all sorts of exemptions and cess payments as well as innovative ways for individuals and companies to escape paying up. The beginning of the reform process came in the form of simpler slabs, announced by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during this year’s budget, while the existing slabs with exemptions remained. This could be seen as a start for the simplification of the tax code although the impact, particularly on charitable donations, remains to be seen.
In essence, the reforms announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday, that will impact personal income taxpayers, are relatively simple. However, increased digitisation will have a dramatic impact on the way disputes and issues are handled. Fewer “informal” ways of dealing with the taxpayers, with all communication digitised, will lead to fewer discrepancies and most importantly, reduced corruption. There is an overwhelming sense in India, despite punitive action taken over the past few years, that the taxman is a corrupt rent-seeker. These reforms might not do much for the taxpayer for now, but if implemented well, could help rehabilitate the image of the much-maligned taxman. Much work remains to be done to improve the methods of tax collection. Thousands of loopholes remain. In particular, the rich have taken advantage of them for years, including the infamous “farming income” being non-taxable. These gaps need to be plugged. Everyone should be made to pay their fair share of tax. If they do so, the nation will only benefit and the Government will not be seen as always attacking the honest salaried worker’s wallet with its money-grubbing hands. The reforms might be mainly some lip service but if they can spark a change, that would be a positive step.
Courtesy: Editorial-The Pioneer
Imran Khan releases arbitrary map absorbing Kashmir, possibly at China’s behest. But there won’t be takers
Everybody knows that Pakistan never misses an opportunity to internationalise the Kashmir issue but the “cry wolf” screams make for such a tired and wasted diplomatic move that they don’t make news at all. Yet it could not have let the anniversary of the abrogation of Article 370 go past without making some noise. So it released a new map of Pakistan, incorporating Kashmir, parts of Ladakh and Junagadh in Gujarat in a naked display of its territorial ambitions and highly wishful thinking. India has rightly called the vacuous and unilateral declaration, that is not backed by any credible reasoning, support groups, historical reasoning or legal validity, as a “political absurdity.” Worse, the challenge to our globally accepted sovereignty came from none other than Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, who cited the endorsement of his Cabinet, the Opposition and an unnamed Kashmiri leadership as the rationale for the new map. But it was what Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that shows this cartographic offensive to be a part of a larger pattern and not just Pakistan’s independent move. “The new map shows Kashmir shares a clear border with China,” he said, a clear indication that like Nepal, this attempt to redraw boundaries was made at China’s behest and underlines our eastern neighbour’s desire for strategic contiguity in the region than Pakistan’s any real concern for Kashmir. While India is firm on Chinese withdrawal from eastern Ladakh that seems to have driven a wedge in their greater plan to control the Karakoram by squeezing us with salami-slicing, Pakistan’s map claims are clearly intended to warn us of a two-front offensive. With the Chinese reluctant to pull back from claimed spurs and ridgelines in Ladakh, India is looking at a long haul of vigil and alertness this winter. China just wants to exhaust our capacities at the heights by opening up a second flashpoint. Just last month, Pakistan had moved almost 20,000 soldiers to the Line of Control (LoC) to match Chinese deployment on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Strangely it hadn’t positioned such troops even after the Balakot air strikes. The simultaneous build-up along the border and Pakistan’s renewed push on infiltration are clearly intended to stretch our resources thin and wear us out so that both could manage some territorial grabs in the process. If recent reports are to be believed, then the Chinese are no longer shadow-boxing. Just like in Nepal, their officials have had a series of meetings with Pakistani ones on Gilgit-Baltistan. China is also encouraging Pakistan to revive the defunct terrorist network of Al-Badr that was once active in Kashmir. Debt-trapped by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with its economy in the doldrums and heavily dependent on borrowings and bailouts, Pakistan is but a pawn in China’s gameplan. The hyperbolic claims of Imran Khan are less spontaneous and more in alignment with the grandiloquent declarations of the Chinese dream.
Of course, Khan is also looking at extracting some home advantages with this move. He wants his constituents to know that he has not lost the leadership of the Kashmir cause although his repeated attempts to raise the change in its status at several international fora have not got any traction over the last year. At China’s insistence, the UN held a closed-door meeting on Article 370 last August but stopped short of censuring India and described Kashmir an internal issue within India’s constitutional space. At one time, he himself had conceded ground, saying he wasn’t being able to turn the tide of international opinion because India was a “large market.” So he needed to show he still means business. Second, by involving Turkey in its criticism of India, Khan wants to stake his claim to leadership of a neo-Islamic axis involving Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia. This is evident from the Pakistan Government’s information campaign, encouraging both China and Turkey to issue anti-India statements and tweets. It is trying to get Kashmir under the banner of pan-Islamism. Most significantly, the US is now more an ally of India to humour it. So it is now left to Pakistan to devise its own exportable Kashmir strategy. This is one of the reasons why the Government must make efforts for a civil integration of Kashmir lest the perceived alienation becomes a fertile ground for Pakistan to implement a new separatist agenda. Already the Kashmiri youth, who have been more interactive with mainstream discourse because of pursuing higher education and jobs across the country, are sensing a conspiracy to keep them out with continued curfews and internet bans. There must be political engagement with people’s representatives as confinement is only making them martyrs before locals when they could be used as assets to push governance. The ground situation will be chaotic or negative but one has to work through it rather than risk Pakistan whipping up its agenda at our expense. If indeed the Government wants to publicise normalcy, then it should take a step forward, no matter what the risks. Or else the political economy of Kashmir could just drift away.
Courtesy: EDITORIAL-The Pioneer
On August 5, 2020, five hundred years of struggle for reclamation of Janmabhoomi of the most revered historical figure and seventh incarnation of Bhagwan Vishnu will come to an end. The construction of the grand temple at Ayodhya must become a transformative event for Indian political discourse. It should be looked as the central place of cultural identity for millions of Hindus as Vatican is for Christians and Mecca is for Muslims. It should be the spiritual guiding place for the nation in the years to follow and subsequently it should be delinked from the politics. From now on, Indians must learn to treat religion as a personal affair of an individual and should never be brought up to score political points or to gain electoral victories. The hate for each other was growing louder day by day on the issue of Ram Mandir. A common Hindu feeling was that why Muslims stayed here in India if they wanted a mosque when we had given them a Pakistan? And the Muslims always feel insecure because they got Pakistan, Hindus think they are overstaying here. Both the feelings were not there originally, but the appeasement politics brought it in.
The political landscape of India has been shaped by the tussle between two competing and mutually antagonistic grand ideas: composite nationalism and cultural nationalism. Initially, the dominant idea of Indian nationalism was the one the Congress championed. India’s composite culture, shaped by influences from different cultures over the centuries, was its leitmotif. The BJP, its predecessor Jana Sangh, and their parent the RSS, rejected the idea of composite nationalism as a ploy by the post-Independence ruling elite to hide out of sight the impulses that had resulted in Partition. Indian nationalism, the Sangh argued, was a continuous stream flowing for thousands of years, based on the Hindu culture of South Asia. In this understanding, concepts such as composite culture appeared as an attempt to deny Hindu cultural nationalism its rightful place.
Lastly it is a matter of great pride for the millions of Hindus worldwide that Ram Temple is emerging from the pale shadow of the past slavery. For over 70 years the Ayodhya Mandir issue was a bone of contention for all parties versus BJP. BJP was always accused of polarizing the Hindu in the name of Mandir, Article 370, and Common Civil Code etc. Now that the BJP is in power for a successive term led by brilliant team of Narendra Modi and his man’s Friday Amit Shah, the controversial Article 370 has been abrogated. Ram Mandir is being reconstructed. The CAA has been enacted. Only issue pending as per its manifesto is the Uniform Civil Code. Narendra Modi made it perfectly acceptable to be ‘Hindu and Proud’ in mainstream political discourse. I am sure it is a non-issue for Lutyens Delhi elites but trust me; it will touch the heart of millions of Indians living in rural India for ages.
The Goldman Sach report in 2007/8 predicted the Chinese economy will be almost the same size as the US economy by 2025, with Indian economy the fourth largest after Japan. By 2050, they projected the largest economy in the world will be China, which will be almost twice the size of US economy, with Indian economy almost following the US economy at number two or at par with it. The new century dawned round two decades was forced to accept overwhelming American power, after the dismantling of soviet era. The overwhelming military superiority enjoyed by the United States and its economic might has established a uni-polar world order.
Military and political power rests on the economic strength of any country. American present superpower status is a product of its rapid economic growth between 1870 and 1950 and the fact that during the second half of the twentieth century it was the world’s largest and often most dynamic economy. Today, it enjoys 22% of the world’s total nominal GDP share with a population of less than 5% of the world’s population. However the financial crisis of 2008 marked the end of American international domination and the emergence of China. The United States has lost considerable ground as a major manufacturer and as a large exporter of manufactured goods having steadily ceded that position to East Asia and especially China. Gradually, American domination in institutions likes IMF, World Bank, WHO has declined significantly.
Although we are witnessing the Chinese rise as a growing super power that is the bearer and driver of the new world, its tentacles having stretched across East Asia, Central Asia, South Asia, Latin America and Africa yet it is authoritarian state with a dictator in command having an imperial ambition to expand its influence globally. President Xi Jinping is highly insecure within CCP. He is an aristocrat as well as poor man’s poster boy in a confused Chinese system wherein officially it proclaims itself to be a communist state but de-facto it is a capitalist state. Xi has installed himself as the commander of PLA, he has become President till eternity, he has wiped out dissenters from the country, he has purged several PLA commanders on the charges of corruption, and he has jailed potential rivals in the garb of fight against corruption. His plan for global domination resulted in PRC pushing for trillion dollar ONE BELT ONE ROAD initiative to connect China with rest of the world. Xi Jinping use PLA as a tool to frame his foreign policy. He has opened confrontation with all his neighbors namely Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan, South Korea, India and the his list includes bordering Russia and Kazakistan, he claims ownership over the south China sea that is fiercely disputed by Brunei, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia & Taiwan. Xi Jinping lust for power is driving him crazy in the most difficult times that humanity has faced due to the Chinese manufactured and exported corona virus.
It is a serious reason to worry for 1.3 billion Indian. Already, we were facing economic downtrend since last three years, the GDP growth rate is gradually slipping towards 5% mark and Covid 19 has destroyed the large section of economy permanently. Xi Jinping has taken Chinese virus as an opportunity to attack its neighbors to distract world’s attention from the pandemic. Now it is India’s turn to return the gesture to China. This crisis offers tremendous long term strategic advantage for policy makers to deal with Chinese threat permanently. India must immediately recognize Tibet and Taiwan as sovereign countries and allow them to run official embassies in India and vice versa, this will open floodgate for several countries to follow the footsteps of India in shaking up Chinese hege- mony globally. Secondly, India must supplying subsidized arms and military technology to Vietnam and Philippines to create multiple fronts for China and its PLA in response to what China is doing by arming Pakistan to be used for India in a proxy war. Thirdly, India should take a lead in Indo pacific command with USA, Japan, and Australia to choke Chinese trade route; it will hurt PRC and its ambition to be a global economic leader. Fourth, India must use weapon and army on regular basis when it is spending billions of dollars on armed forces and weapon procurement. The country like Pakistan, Nepal and others must be fearful of the consequences, if they plan to go against the interest of India. Lastly, restrict Chinese import of non essential goods by imposing tariff and focus our attention in building formidable self reliant economy with a target of $10 trillion by 2030 to face hostile China, this threat is permanent and China should be treated as permanent adversary even when the times are good.
Editor-in-Chief Prashant Tewari: Connect at twitter / FB # prashanttewari11
The Covid-19 has exposed Chinese design to capture the world by its sheer power of manufacturing and its control over the global supply chain. The world has realized that over dependence on China will have disastrous effect on the economies, and it is leading to empowering a totalitarian state that has no value system. The ruling CCP is threatening India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan and off course Tibet is engulfed in dragon basket. President Xi Jinping desire to make China a super power has thrown the world in a strange paradox. China is on the verge of setting a cold war with USA and the various countries have to decide the way they want to be party to this ultimate divide. India is inching closure to USA in the last few decades and this is the reason why China has launched to military threat to mitigate this possibility.
On the military front, the three sectors where India and China have recurrence of disputes are in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh. The Arunachal sector is largely dormant despite China’s claim to the entire State. The Sikkim sector is strategic as any Chinese road and infrastructure development in its proximity can threaten the narrow Siliguri Corridor which is the gateway from India to the seven States of North-East India. It is in the Ladakh sector that the geostrategic implications of the face-off and incursions assume significance. The Chinese have made an immense investment of $62 billion in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Recent assertions by India on its right to Gilgit-Baltistan through which the CPEC passes on its way to the Karakoram Pass in the Shaksgam valley (illegally conceded by Pakistan to China) have obviously rocked the boat. Unlike Doklam, where the Chinese movement was restricted to the single track which they were trying to develop along a narrow valley, in Ladakh the LAC is open and rugged. There are various “disputed areas” and “areas of differing perceptions” from the DBO in the north to Fukche in the south. Its centrality to the entire LAC in Ladakh and proximity to the Spanggur Gap and Chushul make the south bank of the lake a secure flank for large-scale moves by the Chinese. Hence, it holds operational importance to both armies. The western Ladakh region of DBO provides a buffer against Chinese direct access to Shaksgam valley and the Siachen heights. India therefore, must hold on to DBO.
The Modi government decision to broadcast weather reports of Gilgit-Baltistan on Indian news channels and the preconditions set for Foreign Direct Investment in segments of the Indian economy have definitely upped the ante for the Chinese. India is a huge market for the Chinese manufactured goods and India hardly exports to China. China would hate to lose the large lucrative Indian market when the USA is pushing for tariff and barriers for the Chinese imports. India must put the trade upfront in the negotiations with Chinese government rather than the military and diplomatic options, Chinese are smart business people to understand the cost of loosing Indian market. Finally, Narendra Modi must reshape the cabinet; the minister’s lacks global experience and political authority to drive large country ahead. Narendra Modi has proved himself a decisive mass leader by winning two successive Lok Sabha elections, his deputy has proved himself an articulate political strategist and task master in home ministry but the rest? Either they are not given space to work or they are incompetent. PM is not getting required support from the cabinet to govern India effectively and the country is suffering. Recent events namely Delhi riots, Shaheenbagh drama, Tablighi Jamaat show, Covid-19 crisis, Chinese adventure has shown that team Modi-Shah is over burden with work and they need extra competent hands to handle the crisis driver country.
Editor-in-Chief Prashant Tewari: Connect at twitter / FB # prashanttewari11 email: email@example.com
Tablighi Jamaat and its leader Maulana Saad with his global masters had serious issues with CAA, NRC, Triple Talaq, Babri Masjid court verdict etc. in India and they unleashed frustration during the national crisis of COVID 19. The community is still hanging on to the political matters with a focus on discrediting Narendra Modi government at any cost while the entire nation is combating the national health emergency. The country must take the threat of the Tablighis as an eye opener for future planning that must include the complete ban on Tablighi Jaamat in India, seizers of entire assets base of Tablighi Jamaat, identify ancillary units of Tablighi Jamaat so that they can be stopped in operating under different names, punish the traitors of COVID 19, immediately amend Article 25(1) so that the money and preachers from outside the country can be restricted in their operations ( it is a national security threat ), set up expert committee to re-examine provisions under Article 25-30 in the Indian constitution and give additional power to the police in IPC & CRPC to identity and book the anti national culprits. It is important that Deoband, Barelvi, Salafi ideologies managing the network of mosque in India must be brought under government supervision and control as the temples of India are supervised under Religious endowment Act 1873.
On economic front, we have a battle royal ahead of us to capitalize on the flight of firms from China. Despite the doom and gloom scenario in the country right now due to the lockdown, the fact re- mains that the current Corona crisis has provided an opportunity, too, for India. But for the country to take advantage of this spell, it would require major initiatives and that too, at a fast pace. Covid-19 has provided the much-needed elbow room to the political leadership to push for transformation, more particularly land and labour reforms.
If a Communist China can serve the economic interests of the capitalist West, then India is even better positioned to do that. The world order is expected to change and diplomacy will play a key role in establishing India as an alternative, low-cost manufacturing destination. For this to happen, first and foremost, Indian manufacturers must start thinking globally. In 2017, Deloitte research identified five countries, which it dubbed the MITI-V (Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam) as an alternative to China in which India was positioned at top. We have our advantage in terms of a young population, cheap labour, domestic consumer market, rising income levels and so on, but this will remain in theory only till the time policy interventions grab the eyeballs of investors. Time holds a great value here and the government must take immediate pro-active measures to avail once in a lifetime opportunity to make INDIA GREAT AGAIN.
Prashant Tewari – Writer is Editor of Opinion Express and regular columnist to The Pioneer. twitter@prashanttewari11