Ours is the Present – Priti Jain

Ours is the Present – Priti Jain

History holds the charm to recrudescent the long forgotten events in our lives. It is that part of our previous lives that proffers us our present. The whole world is witness to the foundation, our past lays in establishing our existent lives. World politics today is that art of living which heavily feeds on historical manure. Pakistan and India share the most inglorious anterior relations that have not yet healed with time. Constant fits of mistrust have straitjacketed the various attempts at coming to terms with each other. The recent visit of the Indian External Affairs Minister, Mr. S M Krishna has supposedly brought some relief to the long-awaited liberalization of visa norms between the two nations. The leading authorities have finally walked the talks by sidelining their military and political tensions. The easing of these rules will greatly benefit not only the business class but also the common man of the two lands. Adding new categories of group tourism visa, pilgrim visa, extending the 3 cities rule to 5 cities and multiple one-year and two-year visits for businessmen and senior citizens respectively will boost the social and economic front tremendously. The cross-border marriages that had been the worst hit and marred will witness an end to their ordeals. They had always blamed the socially insensitive natures of governmental politics in being unbeknownst to their incessant plights. Now hopefully they’ll be thankful to their respective governments.  The move to shift to a negative list of imported goods will open up the gates for better bi-lateral economic relations, incentivizing cross-border trading. The latent economic ties will thus receive the much needed momentum. The traditional economists of the world were of the opinion that the supply of money in the market is the prerogative of the monetary authorities. But the modern thinkers begged to differ and pitched for banks and the public having an equal hand in stirring the money supply. To increase the monetary supply between the nations the banks thus play a promising role. A keen interest shown by the richest man in Pakistan and chairman of the MCB Bank, Mian Mohammad Mansha is a step towards the same. Dialogues between the Commerce Ministries...

Walmart for India – Rati Parker

Walmart for India – Rati Parker

 “Indian Mission to Mars by the end of 2013”…. Is the grandiose declaration of our Coal-tainted PM, on the 65thIndependence Day of our beleaguered, scam ridden country! India has successfully completed it’s Moon Mission started by Atal Bhiari Vajpayee in 2003, three years ago in 2009, with the startling discovery of the possibility of water on the Moon.Indian PSLVs are being hired by France and Japan to launch their satellites into orbit…. ISRO’s 100th mission was accomplished successfully just a fortnight ago.  And not the least, India plans to have an Indian on the moon by 2020!  BUT…..  Cold Chain?…. impossible. We need the Walmarts and Tescos of the world to come and do that for us! Connectivity, supply chain, price discovery for the farmer and consumer, increasing sku’s ….. surely ROCKET Science!  Amul is one such “rocket” company… completely indigenous!  Am I to understand that that the Walmarts and Tescos are first going to set up power generation capabilities? ( I’m not even talking Coal Blocks here!). How else are they going to fulfill their power requirements in our power deficient country?… or is that a tradeoff for the stupid Aam Aadmi… lesser power… but hey! Walmart!…… The cold chain, ofcourse will work on… love and sunshine?  The Walmart concept is cheap stuff miles and miles outside the city ( where real estate is dirt cheap)…. In the US the miles are covered within minutes…. Try going any place out of Delhi/ Jaipur/Hyderabad! Maybe Walmart will also “create” roads and clear out the traffic so that u and I can reach their behemoths, in good time ( ofcourse only if we have been able to afford to tank up with fuel!)… Or maybe they are planning to “create” settlements around their huge monstrosities so that we can all move there and shop at Walmart!  Our Ambani Bhais, Mittal Bhais and Biyanis are all probably acutely aware of all the pitfalls. What else explains the fact that inspite of DEEEP pockets they will not invest in this sector?… they are busy pouring their billions in Africa, Europe n UK! As a lay person, as I see it, Bharti will sell out to Walmart (remember Thumbs up?),...

The Way We Were – Maj. General Raj Mehta

The Way We Were – Maj. General Raj Mehta

Some defence affairs commentators find the Indian Defence Establishment in disarray; the Indian Armed Forces out of kilter  “The problem is that we discuss so much, so brilliantly and from so many angles, that we are left with little clarity at the end…of what we need to do, how and in which time frame, besides little stomach for execution”  – Narayana Murthy, Mentor Infosys, on national TV, 13 November 2010.  “E tu, Brute?” Latin phrase immortalized by Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (1599). The quotation is widely used in Western culture to signify the utmost betrayal. —– “The Way We Were” is the poignant title of a  bitter-sweet Hollywood love story of the heady seventies, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford that ends up recalling happier days; the way we were, before angst, bitterness and  mistrust ruin a budding relationship. The Indian defence establishment; its armed forces; Army leading, has been plummeted from the dizzy heights of national euphoria in the seventies to its current, routine castigation by just about anyone across profession, rank, experience, or credentials to criticize constructively. The  media; printed, TV, new media is such that readers/viewers fed on  a barrage of sometimes poorly researched and needlessly hyped, opinionated statements by some arm-chair defence analysts/strategists may start believing that the defence establishment; in particular the Army, once the most respected of Government Institutions, is in terminal decline. What calumny.  The defence forces have so far borne this self-inflicted hurt (we trustingly invite these commentators to educate us only to have them brutalize us later) phlegmatically and generously.  It is, however, in context of this frequent denouement of the military that this article examines the bitter-sweet opinions and reflections expressed in recent times by some at times sanctimonious writers/demagogues who occupy  hitherto unchallenged  intellectual space related to defence matters – policy, strategy, doctrine, structure, manning, threat analysis et al. ON NUCLEAR WAR-FIGHTING Recent comments have expressed angst about the induction into the PMO of a retired senior Infantry officer who had headed the Strategic Forces Command (SFC). The carping is about his being a “generalist” whose grasp of nuclear related strategic matters is “not known” to the defence community. The speculation is that he...

Tunnel for “Great Escape” on International Border of India & Pakistan – Vimal Mohan

Tunnel for “Great Escape” on International Border of India & Pakistan – Vimal Mohan

Revival of Militancy in Punjab On 31st July, 2012, news on a popular channel took me back to my school days when I saw a movie ,”The Great Escape”. It was one of the best war movies I have seen. It is a story of Prisoners of War escaping from a POW camp. Allied troops as prisoners in German Camp who make an underground tunnel without conventional digging tools and they managed to escape from the camp. Soldiers make suitable dresses for themselves to disguise themselves as locals and the use of German Language were the essential issues to learn and remember while executing the escape. After the escape; how to communicate and where to meet (RV) rendezvous were the main issues after the escape had been successful. How to get the rest of prisoners out from the camp safe and sound was an issue of national importance. When I heard the issue of making tunnel in Amritsar Sector on Punjab Border in 1983, Khalistan Movement was in full swing. Very few people knew about the seriousness of this issue. Our Senior Intelligence officers who had been out rightly rejecting the inputs of , “Training of Sikh Cadres” in Pakistan by ISI to avenge defeat in 1971; were in a state of shock when the balloon went up. These tunnels were made to smuggle arms in to India. Places were chosen very intelligently by high ISI planners. They took several factors in to account following: – 1-      Suitable terrain, i.e. area providing cover from observation Posts 2-      Area devoid of Gujjars/ shepherd boys. 3-      Selection of suitable post commanders on Indian side (BSF) 4-      Trapping of local double cross agents 5-      Deception plans 6-      Use of Bangladesh Nationals as shields for diversionary border crossing missions. 7-      Planned encounters on borders. 8-      Disinformation. 9-      Deliberate inadvertent crossings etc. There was one senior officer from IPS cadre who had strong objections in Punjab operations that had in fact done lot of damage in affecting minds of Sikh soldiers, who could have helped in getting intelligence of local areas and limited Trans Border inputs. Villagers were by and large under strong influence of militant outfits like BABBAR...

Paradoxes of a Indo – Iran Relations – Alok Bansal and Kamal Kapoor

Paradoxes of a Indo – Iran Relations – Alok Bansal and Kamal Kapoor

As India’s relations with US are moving on the fast track and the two largest democracies which were in the opposite camps during the Cold War come together, Iran remains the major stumbling block on the smooth progress of Indo-US relations.  One of the most challenging tasks for the Indian policy makers today, is to balance their continuing interaction with Iran and growing convergence with the US.  As Iran inches its way towards acquiring nuclear weapons, there is constant pressure from visiting American diplomats on India to reduce its trade with Iran.  On the other hand many in New Delhi claim that India and Iran share centuries old civilizational links.  However, India has also had similar links with China, and Pakistan was once its part, sharing a common history, culture and language, but none of these linkages ever stopped China or Pakistan from going to war with India.  Moreover Iran provided material assistance to Pakistan in its wars with India both in 1965 and 1971.  So the real compulsions that prevent India from snapping its links with Iran must be different. It is not that India supports Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons and has categorically asked Iran to fulfill its obligations under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT).  However, as the US is dependent on Pakistan for its access to Afghanistan and Central Asia, so is India on Iran for access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.  The US cannot visualise accessing Afghanistan and Central Asia through Iran, similarly, India this juncture cannot access this region through either Pakistan or China. Iran’s geostrategic location, which links West Asia, Caucasus, Central Asia and South Asia with one another, also provides India the shortest access to the energy resources of the Caspian Basin and the Caucasus. In the past, the US strategic interests in Pakistan forced it to look the other way as AQ Khan and his network smuggled in nuclear technology using dubious means.  It not only condoned proliferation to Pakistan, but also from Pakistan, going to the extent of  sacrificing a US counter proliferation official, Richard Barlow, to cover up Pakistan’s misdemeanour.  Similarly, India, despite realizing that Iran’s nuclear weapons pose a grave threat to regional...

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On TwitterVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Google PlusCheck Our Feed