WHY DO OUR NEIGHBOURS HATE US?

The political history teaches us that when a country dominates a region geographically , demographically and economically , the region becomes its backyard. Hence when The United States came up with the Monroe Doctrine in 1823 , no one was surprised . But when a country of India’s size declared a foreign policy based on equality and non interference at the time of independence a few eye brows rose . Nehruvian concept of a free and equitable world order was a revolutionary concept , according to which India would assist its neighbors with all its means in solving their problems without interfering in their internal affairs. Nehru’s vision got its first set back in the war of 1962 and by the time of his death our foreign policy was in disarray. Today if we look around us , we have more enemies than friends in our neighborhood.

so what went wrong? The failure of 1962 and the unprovoked war of 1965 made us realize the futility of an egalitarian foreign policy and the need for self preservation made us assert our stature as the regional power . Pakistan has always seen us as an existential threat , hence it tried to exploit the weakness shown by us during the war of 1962 by invading Indian territory in 1965 making us suspicious of that country’s motive ever since . Hence when the rebellion broke out in the East it was natural for India to support the Mukthi Bahini . The war of 1971 broke whatever trust pakistan had , turning it into our eternal foe . As far as Sri Lanka is concerned we never had a clear policy , we always saw Colombo through a lens that was placed at Chennai . Once we realised our folly we tried to rectify it , but the damage was already done . Bangladesh was supposed to be our friend thanks to our involvement in its birth but with the rise of ziaur Rehman and the Bangladesh National Party we were not able to cope up with the changing scenario and due to our poor judgement we lost an ally . The error in judgement was also the main problem in our relationship with Nepal , which sadly still continues with the madhesi fiasco.

Our failure could largely be attributed to the lack of clear foreign policy doctrine. Once the Nehru doctrine was thrown out we never tried to frame a new one . A country specific approach is one of the steps to rectify our current situation. Using the same yard stick for every country was the biggest mistake as far as our relations with the SAARC countries were concerned. China signing the CPEC  with Pakistan must not be equated with Sri Lanka signing a treaty with China or Nepal planning a Railway line across the Himalayas . Sri Lanka is recouping after a bitter civil war and it needs investments from across the globe , Hence that factor must be taken into consideration while evaluating the Sino-Lankan relation and its effects vis a vis  India.

Next is to evaluate the political situation in a country thoroughly before interfering or lending support to different groups. India’s policy with respect to President Nasheed of Maldives was such an issue . Tit for Tat cannot yield any results , Pakistan supporting separatists in Kashmir must not make us support the balochi cause . A stable Pakistan is more of India’s necessity than of Pakistan itself. A better judgement could help avert many of such crises.

Lastly we must have a better perspective management system. The cause for every ill in any of these countries is often directed towards us . This has much to do with how those people perceive India . This requires more cultural interactions , but sadly it is one sided with Indian culture being imposed on them , which they see as aggression . A better cultural understanding of our neighbours could go a long way in alleviating suspicions and mistrusts.

VALLUVANAD FLYING HIGH

Though I am a bit late in posting the good news , the Angadipuram Railway over bridge is now a reality . I still remember those days when a train on the Shornur – Nilambur line used to bring chaos to NH 213 (Palakkad – Kozhikode ) with traffic jams at times extending till Perinthalmanna . But now we have a four lane road and an overbridge to ease the congestion . The person to be thanked is the Perinthalmanna MLA Mr.Manjalamkuzhi Ali for his sheer determination in making the project a reality.

Angadipuram_Junction-Perithelmanna
THEN
Thrissur_1_Regi_KI_2766438e
NOW

The other infrastructural projects that need immediate attention in Valluvanad are :

  1. A bye pass road and a new bridge over kunthi puzha at Mannarkad.
  2. Roads to bye pass the congestion at Ottapalam and Pattambi on the Palakkad – Guruvayur road and a railway overbridge at vadanamkurussi.
  3. More buses between Mannarkad and shornur , which is the gateway to the region.
  4. A new bridge over Bharatapuzha at Pattambi.
  5. Revitalisation of Bharatapuzha station at Shornur so that the region could acess trains passing through the link line togather with the modernisation of Shornur Railway Station.
  6. Ksrtc depots at ottapalam and pattambi with sub depots at cherpulassery and shornur.

Let us hope that with the defense park at Ottapalam and the Angadipuram overbridge  valluvanad would leap forward into a brighter future.

REMINISCING THE SECOND WORLD WAR

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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

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

BHARATMALA , SAGARMALA AND CHABAHAR

According to IMF, India will be the fastest growing major economy next year . This will not only raise our International clout but also make us more vulnerable to the changes taking place in our volatile neighborhood. Our biggest neighbor China is facing the biggest economic crisis since its meteoric rise in the 80s and is expected to slow down to sub 7% levels for the first time next year. Though western experts expect a dystopic future , in reality the Chinese one party system could be stretched to its limits . There could be ruthless oppression in Tibet as the communist party would be needing scape goats to tide over the situation , which could easily spill over into India  .Pakistan on the other hand is fighting a civil war with a hydra headed Taliban , which ironically have sympathizers within the government apparatus. A failing state is more dangerous , as it could do anything to take maximum causalities with it as it sinks , which in Pakistan’s case is us.Hence  The proxy war and a porous border are bound to frustrate us more and more in the coming years . Bangladesh , a regional success story is in midst of a showdown between two women , who are in no way in the mood to relent. Nepal and Myanmar are in transition while Bhutan and Sri Lanka are on a path of self discovery. Being the only “bright spot” in the region we must be prepared to face the worst.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bharat mala and Sagar mala are two ambitious projects proposed by the the new central government aimed at enhancing the infrastructure along our land and water boundaries .

The Bharat Mala project plans to build a 14,000 Km long highway along our land border extending from Gujarat to Mizoram on a fast track basis . This is of strategic importance especially along the border with China , which will reduce the chances of a 1962 fiasco from being repeated. It is a known fact that the Chinese are also enhancing the infrastructure along the other side of the border and in many ways this initiative could act as a deterrent for the Chinese. The project is expected to be completed by 2020.

Sagar Mala on the other hand aims at improving the infrastructure along the coast , with ports developed along the modern lines and improved connectivity between them.The modes of communication would include roads, railways, inland waterways and coastal routes. Both these projects aims at garlanding India (Mala) along its peripheries not only acting as arteries for economic growth , but also as a shield to protect us .

CHABAHAR

Yesterday (6 may 2015) Minister for road transport and highways Mr Nithin Gadkari signed an MoU with Iran to develop the southeastern Iranian port of Chabahar for $ 85 million . This project is  expected to increase Indian access to the resource rich central Asia Bye passing Pakistan. Ironically , China is developing the Gwadar port in pakistan , which is 72 km east of chabahar , aimed at turning  it into a naval base in the distant future . With these ports becoming operational in years to come their effect on regional dynamics is something to look forward to.

footnote : With two more ports in its neighborhood it would be interesting to find how Dubai , which is basically the gateway to Iran will fare in years to come.

ROAD TRANSPORT AND SAFETY BILL , 2014

The Road Transport And Safety Bill , 2014 proposes to provide a framework for safer, faster,cost effective and inclusive movement of passengers and freight in the country . The bill aims at reducing road accident related fatalities by 5 lakhs , increase GDP by 4% on account of increased infrastructural efficiency and provide nearly one million employment owing to liberalization of the transport sector.

FEATURES

1.Setting up of MOTOR VEHICLE REGULATION AND ROAD SAFETY AUTHORITY OF INDIA , which would be a legally empowered agency , answerable to the parliament , whose main aim will be to set rules and regulations for both motor vehicles and road safety . The bill also makes this authority responsible for financing various road safety programs which would be implemented to increase awareness among the public.

2.promotion of innovation and adoption of these new technologies in a time bound manner , with time provided to the industry in migrating to the newer system.

3.Improved vehicle design to reduce fatalities and provisions to provide genuine spare parts at affordable prices.

4.simplification of procedural bottlenecks involved in the application and issue of Driver’s License .  The procedure is to be made more transparent with single window clearance being envisaged.

5 . Biometric Driver’s Licenses to be issued , with minimal chances of duplication.

6. Introduction of automated Driving test , with involvement of the private sector.

7.unified vehicle registration system , which could help transfer of vehicles across the state , without evasion of taxes.

8.private sector participation in vehicle fitness certification process.

9.integration of all stake holders – manufacturer , owner ,transport authority ,insurer, enforcement authority under a single umbrella.

10.Enforcement of modern safety technologies including electronic surveillance , with special emphasis on vulnerable road users like school children and women.

11. The bill also proposes the setting up of an accident fund for immediate relief of the victims.

12.setting up of NATIONAL ROAD TRANSPORT AND MULTIMODAL COORDINATION AUTHORITY , aimed at providing an integrated transport system with multimodal hubs for providing easier movement of people and goods across various modes of transport.

13 . promotion of public transport systems , with two tier permits – inter state and national permits.

14. Goods transport and National Freight Policy aimed at developing freight networks and address bottlenecks faced by the trucking industry by simplification of permits and clearance procedures.

15.INCREASED PENALTIES FOR TRAFFIC RELATED OFFENSES , with graded penalty point system and identification of repeat offenders.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Why is there an opposition to this bill?

1.The bill proposes world class traffic rules on congested Indian roads.

2.The bill proposes to increase the participation of private players in public transport system , which many feel will affect the State Road Transport Corporations. This notion is mainly due to the fact that the bill don’t differentiate between stage carriage permits and contract carriage permits.

3.Heavy penalties would shrink the profitability of trucking industry.

4.The bill excludes pedestrian casualties from its ambit.

5. outsourcing of the licensing process to the private sector.

6. Integration of all the stakeholders into a single system will make the owners use genuine spare parts from authorized dealers , resulting in closure of smaller over the corner mechanics.

IS KYASANUR FOREST DISEASE THE NEXT H1N1?

Kyasanur forest disease or monkey fever is a zoonotic infection commonly seen along the western Ghat region of India , with mortality rate ranging from 4 to 15 % . Though the virus was isolated in 1957 , it was post the wayanad outbreak in 2013 that widespread human causalities were reported . As of April 2015 cases have been reported in Kerala , Karnataka and Goa with higher mortality rates than previously assumed . The rapid spread of the disease over the last two years must have raised alarm among the higher echelons of power , but sadly it is rarely given the due importance . If not addressed immediately it could be the Indian Ebola in the making , as the virus could mutate and start causing human to human transmission .

TRANSMISSION

– monkeys and small mammals like rodents are the main hosts of the disease , and the disease is transmitted through ticks(insect) or when humans come in contact with infected animals.

– infections commonly occur during the clearing of forests for cultivation , when the tick fauna changes dramatically and become infectious . hence it is the forest dwellers and farmers who are the first to get infected.

– Human to Human transmission is rare ( but chances of mutant strains could not be ruled out).

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

– fever, headache, severe muscle pain,cough, dehydration, gastrointestinal symptoms and bleeding problems.

– The second wave of symptoms at the beginning of the third week include fever and signs of encephalitis.

TREATMENT

There are no specific treatment for the disease , the available treatment is supportive in nature.

PREVENTION

prevention methods include use of insect repellents and protective clothing . No specific vaccination is available.

THE HINDU AND ITS POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER aka DENIAL

This blog have always been critical of the recent far leftist turn of the only “true” national news paper – THE HINDU . Since the last article almost a year back ,  the newspaper is still on the path of self destruction , to make the matter worse it has now started publishing pure speculations and false stories as front page news . Here are some of the picks from the last 3 months –

1 . YES WE DID LIE.

This was the most embarrassing moment for the paper in years , when it misconstrued the front page news to favor its leftist agenda.

2 SARASWATI AND THE OSTRICH

Here are two articles questioning the existence of the river saraswati , one of them by a leading leftist historian.

Here is what new age historians have to say in their books on the issue ( Prof Upinder Singh)

Here is another contradictory evidence , this time from the UPSC , where it called Harrapan civilization , the Indus Saraswati civilization . This question paper is from the 2013 mains exam ( when UPA was in power , hence no question of  saffronisation )

3 . THE FANATICS ATTACK TV STATION

The attack on a news channel by fringe elements in Tamil Nadu made it to the front page . This is a channel that was never heard before and its viewership base hardly existed . Paranoia best describes this article.

4 CHINA IS THE BEST

It is OK for china to spread its culture , but the moment we plan such an endeavor , its Hindu nationalism.

5 THE LAND WITHOUT BEEF 

This could be true , but the source mentioned is irrelevant ( BJP cow protection cell??) , hence a big front page headline is sensationalistic at the best . This is the same newspaper which once mocked Times Of India for its journalistic policies with some quirky ads on YouTube.

6 THE LAND ORDINANCE FLIP FLOPS

This ran for weeks with “sources” giving “exclusive” bytes , with some even going to the extent that the newspaper reported once that the government was planning to let the ordinance lapse.

7 THE MODI GOVERNMENT IS CASH STRAPPED

This article sourced from Reuters have many loopholes , which the newspaper never double checked . Here the Hindu lost its credibility to appease its leftist leanings.

 8 BENGAL CIVIC POLLS – BJP COULD WAS PATHETIC AS IT JUST INCREASE ITS TALLY FROM 3 TO 7 (+233%), BUT LEFT MARGINALLY LOST FROM 25 TO 5 (-80%)

 

The newspaper seems to have never come to terms with the results of the last general elections . Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common after great tragedies , and denial is one of its symptoms . But one year is a long time especially for a newspaper of its stature.

PERUMAL MURUGAN IS A COWARD

Perumal Murugan, the writer is dead. As he is no God, he is not going to resurrect himself. He also has no faith in rebirth. An ordinary teacher, he will live as P. Murugan. Leave him alone,

since January 13th 2015 this Facebook post has generated considerable debate in the Indian media , The controversy over his novel Madhorubhagan, first published in December 2010 ,and his subsequent decision to quit writing is often portrayed as the brutal attack on freedom of speech guaranteed by our constitution by right wing groups . In the intellectual circles he is often equated with the victims of Charlie Hebdo massacre that took place in Paris on January 7th 2015 . .Comparing him with those brave souls who stood by their views till the end is nothing short of a crime , The magazine have stood by the cartoon of prophet Mohammed it published in 2006 and 2012 in face of all opposition including the attacks of 2011 . Though most of its editorial board were killed in the 2015 attack , it still fights the intolerant society that finds it hard to interpret its message . Perumal Murugan on the other hand quit writing at the slightest of provocations . According to him “a writer cannot function under threat or fear ”  and that was the reason of him writing his own obituary as a writer . This is nothing short of cowardice , as we are entitled to freedom of speech , so is our moral responsibility stand by it .He should have shown the courage to fight the communal forces conspiring against him and must have taken up the issue at the national stage . The biggest mistake he did was to attend the “peace meeting ” on the 12th of January with his caste and religious groups , rather than boycotting it .His unconditional apology thereafter was the greatest shame to the Indian constitution than what he is blaming others for . Post Independence , the constituent assembly was a battle field , the Hindu right opposed the Hindu Code Bill with all its strength both inside and outside the house , but our founding fathers never gave in , which in turn brought the religion out of its coffin.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Humanity has a general tendency to oppose dissenting voices as soon as they here them , it will take time for them to debate and finally to understand . A true writer is one who not only creates works like  Madhorubhagam but also stands by it .We would find it hard to understand the practices prevalent in the past like the one at  Sri Arthanareeshwarar Temple , Tiruchengode , but it is for people like Perumal Murugan to present it to us . For example , the new generation among  Nair caste of Kerala are often ignorant about the practice of sambadham which was prevalent till a few decades back. If told about the polyandrous nature of their women in the past ,the first reaction would be the similar to what Mr Murugan received .But it will never alter the reality . A writer must be the brave conscience of the society , that is why Mr Perumal Murugan’s following affidavit at the Madras high court shows his cowardice.

I published my own obituary in my Facebook account. Whether others believe in the death of Perumal Murugan as a writer or not, I believe in it. A writer cannot function under threat or fear,

LAND ACQUISITION ACT

Today (17/3/2015) as i write this article (5:50 PM)  , the joint opposition led by Mrs Sonia Gandhi is making its way to the parliament house from Raisina hill  . This rare show of opposition unity is a part of the ongoing campaign against the amendments to The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 ,made by the NDA government through an ordinance in December 2014. To understand the issue  , let us analyze the various land acquisition bills so far.

1.Land Acquisition Act, 1894

The Land Acquisition Act of 1894 came into effect on March 1st 1894 . After independence the law was extended to the rest of India excluding the state of Jammu And Kashmir .The highlights of the bill are:

  • The act is divided into 8 parts , each relating to various procedures involved .
  • Part 2 deals with acquisition which include  preliminary notification in the official gazette by the district Collector , Hearing of objection , Declaration of land for public purposes (after objections are taken into account) , marking out and measuring of land and the final allocation of land .
  • In cases of urgency the collector can acquire the land without any of the following procedures after just 15 days of notification . In case of unforeseen emergency the period can be as short as 48 hours. The quantum of compensation in these cases would be determined by the collector himself.
  • Part 3 explains the reference to the court if compensation was found in adequate .
  • The quantum of compensation depends on – market value and the damage sustained by the owner. But these are to be neglected in urgency .
  • part 5 deals with the payment of compensation.
  • part 7 deals with acquisition of land for companies , which must be public sector enterprises or co operative bodies where the government holding is over 51% of share.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2 .The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

This act which came into effect on January 1 , 2014 , was aimed at giving a humane , participative , informed and transparent face to the procedure of land acquisition. The highlights are:

    • It applies to public sector undertakings , infrastructure projects ,public private partnerships and private companies under taking public projects  .
    • For private companies consent of 80% of the affected families is required for acquisition while public private partnerships requires consent of at least 70% of the families.
    • The act is divided into 13 chapters,
    • chapter 2 explains the determination of social impact and public purpose . A social impact assessment study is to be undertaken in consultation with the local government ( panchayats and municipalities ) , which must be made available to the public . The authority responsible for the social impact assessment study must also prepare a social impact management plan to address the impact of the project.
    • The social impact assessment report will be evaluated by an independent multidisciplinary expert group , whose recommendations will be made available to the public.
    • chapter 3 restricts the acquisition of irrigated multi cropped land to safeguard food security.
    • chapter 4 speaks about the notification and acquisition along with the preparation of rehabilitation and resettlement scheme . It also explains the determination of the quantum of compensation along with the guidelines to adjust it to the market value.
    • chapter 5 deals with the rehabilitation and resettlement awards for the affected families , including mandatory employment to the members of such families.special provisions are provided for the SCs and STs .
    • In cases of urgency the collector can acquire the land without any of the following procedures after just 30days of notification . In case of unforeseen emergency the period can be as short as 48 hours.
    • chapter 6 explains the manner and procedure of rehabilitation and resettlement under a commissioner for the purpose.
    • chapter 7 says about the constitution of Monitoring Committees For Rehabilitation and Resettlement at the state and national level.
    • chapter 8 deals with the setting up Land Acquisition , Rehabilitation and Resettlement Authority.
    • chapter 10 explains the payment procedure.
    • If the land acquired remains unutilised for 5 years it would be returned back to the family or to the land bank of appropriate government.
    • The provisions of this Bill shall not apply to acquisitions under 13 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc.

3 The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition,Rehabilitation and Resettlement(Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.

  • The provisions of the Bill was extended to apply to acquisitions under 13 existing legislations including the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, the Atomic Energy Act, 1962, the Railways Act, 1989, etc.
  • Exemption from social impact assessment , consent and food security provisions for the process of land acquisition for strategic and development activities such as national security or defence of India including preparation for defence and defence production; rural infrastructure including electrification; affordable housing and housing for poor; industrial corridors; infrastructure
    and social infrastructure projects including projects under public private partnership where the ownership of the land continues to vest with the Government .
  • In order to ensure better health and educational facilities in the country, it is proposed to include private hospitals and private educational institutions in the definition of ‘public purpose’.

The amendment is being criticized for taking away the social impact assessment , consent and food security provisions . But the government stands by its decision as it believes these provisions would make the acquisition process faster , without loosing its pro poor appeal. The 2013 act is one of the finest pieces of legislation ever made in the field of land acquisition anywhere in the world , hence it is up to the current government to keep the true essence of that legislation in whatever decision it takes

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑