December 30, 2012

Doctors targeted in Balochistan .

Dr. Deen Mohammad Baloch and Dr. Akbar Marri are among dozens of doctors who are missing or have been killed. The Pakistan Medical Association reports that at least 26 doctors have been killed in Balochistan in recent times and as many as 17 have been kidnapped.

Khuzdar, Mastung, Quetta or Jaffarabad – doctors are not safe anywhere as they are allegedly being targeted by the security forces and spy agencies.

"Nowadays the young doctors, they are mostly influenced and support Baloch Doctors’ Forum. Leadership of BDF, they are young doctors and especially they have political opinion. And nowadays, the issue of Nationalism is rising in Balochistan, so the Baloch Doctors’ Forum is also working like a pillar. So the government and intelligence agencies mainly targeting the intellectual class of Baloch society." said Dr. ALI AKBAR MENGAL, BALOCH NATIONALIST

Instead of taking action against criminals and providing protection to doctors, the Balochistan government has acted against several doctors by suspending them from their jobs.

The doctors in the region have been on strike for months against kidnappings and targeted killings.

Operation theatres and outpatient departments in state hospitals remain closed due to the strike."We want to convey to the government that the hospitals will not function, including emergency services. Till our demands are met, we stand firm on our decision."

Attack on doctors in Balochistan is a strategy of Pakistani agencies to target Baloch `intellectuals’ in the region.The Baloch are fighting for an end to colonial rule imposed by Pakistan and are seeking independence.

"Baloch are also human beings. If they ask any justice as like other nation including Kosovo, Israel and Palestine. Nowadays, in a real situation, Balochistan is worse then Palestine as many dead bodies are recovering from every corner of Balochistan and it is a media black out region. " said DR SULTAN TAREEN,PRESIDENT, PAKISTAN MEDIACAL ASSOCIATION, BALOCHISTAN

BALOCHISTAN: Pak army operations entered sixth day

The Baloch National Movement (BNM) said in a statement on Sunday that Pakistan military offensive in Mashkay, Balochistan has entered its sixth day. A spokesman for the party said that after killing dozens of innocent Baloch the Pakistan military has laid siege to the entire area, setting check-posts at all entry and exit points. "Due to the blockade of routes, the people wounded during heavy bombardment by gunship helicopters are being deprived of medical aid, leaving them to die", the spokesman said.

 The statement claimed that the so-called "kill and dump" Operation is going on unabated, as the mutilated body of BSO activist, Hassan Langov, was found dumped on Saturday. While condemning the as assassination of Hassan Langov, the BNM appealed to international human rights bodies to take notice of human rights abuses in Balochsitan. The spokesman claimed that Balochsitan was suffering from human rights crisis more serious than those in Uganda, Darfur and Congo, but the civilized world has opted for a criminal silence despite the fact that the secular and liberal Baloch are fighting an extremist state which is a serious danger to global peace.

It's no longer a secret that Pakistan is harboring terrorists at home and exporting them all over the world to black mail regional and international powers. Still the world has preferred to remain silent.The BNM spokesman said they had the support of the Baloch nation and they would continue their struggle even if the whole world remains indifferent towards their flight.



The next step in the case relating to the brutal gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old  girl in New Delhi, who has  passed away, is the investigation and prosecution  of the six accused in quick time to ensure that justice is done to the Braveheart, whom the shocked nation looks upon as its daughter. Justice means their conviction and sentencing to the severest sentence possible under the existing laws.

2.The Government has done well to designate a Special Prosecutor to ensure the successful prosecution of the accused. For this purpose, the proposed Special Prosecutor should be given whatever manpower, resources, and expertise that he might require for a successful  prosecution.

3.It would be unwise to be self-complacent thinking that since the accused have already confessed, getting them convicted should be no problem.There is every possibility of the accused retracting their confession as public memory and anger fades.It would be necessary to strengthen the other evidencethat the police are able to collect to supplement the confessions.

4.Now that the girl is dead, the most important piece of evidence, inter alia, will be her dying declaration recorded before a magistrate  in a New Delhi hospital and the medical findings of the doctors whotreated her in New Delhi and Singapore. The Special Prosecutor and his staff should see that an iron-clad case is made out of such evidence which will withstand attempts that might be made by the lawyers of the accused to question their acceptability before the court.

5.The Special Prosecutor, his staff and the Police should not let themselves be taken by surprise by any attempts by the lawyers of the accused to question the reliability of the evidence.

6. An equally urgent measure will be to strengthen physical security for women in public transport and in public places that are used by rapists  to commit their crime. The Government has already announced certain measures such as verification of the character and antecedents of the staff of public transport and removal of the coloured windows of the buses.

7.While necessary, these measures alone would not be adequate.It is equally important to order that all public transport plying anywhere in Delhi between 7 PM and 7 AM would have a Constable and making the staff of the transport and  their owners liable for criminal action if they ply a transport during these hours without a constable.All public places unfriendly and risky to women should be identified and static guards should be posted at all  such places during these hours.

8. The number of additional constables and supervisory staff that would be required for this purpose should be estimated and a special sanction issued by the MHA for the recruitment and training of the additional staff needed for preventing crime against women.

9.The police regulations, manuals, operating procedures and training syllabi having a bearing on the prevention, investigation and prosecution of crime against women should be reviewed and updated in order to make them more women-focussed. There should be a separate training capsule on crime against women with a separate  examination for joining the police at any level---from constables up to IPS officers.

10. A list of offences against women, which should be treated as heinous offences, needs to be drawn up and incorporated in the police regulations and manuals.All heinous offences against women should be liable to mandatory supervision by senior police officers of the rank of at least a Superintendent of Police.

11.It should be made obligatory for Station House Officers to record an FIR and start the investigation in respect of all crimes against women ---whether heinous or not so.There  shouldbe a computerized data base of all crimes against women indicating the stage of investigation and prosecution in respect of each case.

12. Separate divisions on crime against women should be created in the office of the Commissioner of Police and in the office of the Secretary, Internal Security, of the MHA, and these should serve as the nodal points for monitoring all action against crime against women.Crime against women should be treated as seriously as terrorism with special squads for investigation and prosecution and special courts for trial.

13.The need for early implementation of the police reforms recommended by a committee set up by the Morarji Desai Government and subsequent bodies such as the National Security Advisory Board and the Special Task Force headed by ShriNaresh Chandra has been stressed by many. The implementation of the recommendations at the pan-Indian level has been tardy due to resistance from different State Governments and political parties. The delay in implementation at the pan-Indian level is likely to continue.

14. The Government should, therefore, separate the recommendations relating to the Delhi police from those relating to other States and set up a fast-track implementation mechanism.The Delhi Police cannot be compared to the police of other metropolitan cities. In addition to tasks relating to crime control and law and order, the Delhi Police performs important and sensitive tasks of a unique nature relating to VIP security, including security of visiting foreign VIPS, and diplomatic security.

15.While there should be no problem in transferring to the supervision of the Delhi State Government the tasks relating to crime control and law and order, the MHA has to have a say in the supervision of matters relating to VIP security and diplomatic security. If this is also transferred in toto to the State Government, problems of co-ordination and command and control  could arise if different parties come to power in the Centre and the Delhi State.

16. Delhi, therefore, needs a separate policing architecture with the State Government having primacy of supervision in respect of crime and law and order and the MHA in respect of VIP and diplomatic security.All Governments which were in power in the Centre were opposed to changing the status quo in which the MHA has total control.The possibility of an alternate architecture with dual supervision had never been examined. The time has come for examining this.

17. The recent incidents of violence in New Delhi  in the wake of the gang-rape incident highlighted the lack of sophistication in crowd control by the Delhi Police.Public were shocked by the crude manner in which the police officers, including the women police, handled women protesters. They used the same high-handed techniques against men as well as women. There is a need for a total revision of our crowd control techniques relating to men and women, in order to make them more sophisticated.  (30-12-12)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-Mail: . Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )


December 29, 2012

Japan's PM seeks security ties with Australia, India

Posted: 29 December 2012 1349 hrs

Shinzo Abe. (AFP/Yoshikazu TSUNO)

TOKYO: Japan's hawkish new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to expand the Japan-US security partnership to Australia and India as it faces a bitter territorial row with China, a newspaper reported Saturday.

"The Japan-US alliance is the cornerstone," Abe, sworn in as prime minister on Wednesday, said in an interview with the mass-circulation Yomiuri Shimbun.

"It's good to expand it to security co-operation among Japan, the United States and India. (Co-operation) among Japan, the United States and Australia will also contribute to stability in the region," Abe said.

"It is important to regain the region's power balance," he added without elaborating.

Abe won conservative support in national polls earlier this month with forthright pronouncements on the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, vowing not to budge on Japan's claim to them.

China also lays claim to the island chain, which it calls the Diaoyu.

Beijing has sent ships into the islands' waters many times since Tokyo nationalised the chain in September, with analysts saying China intends to prove it can come and go as it pleases.

December 28, 2012

TWEETS on Amanat's sad ending

Subramanian Swamy @Swamy39

Nirbhaya by her plight, resolve, ultimately by death has emerged as our national tipping point.Either we go down to Rwanda or to renaissance

Maybe we ought not to be celebrating the New Year. Nothing to cheer about

 We should request the Hotel associations n student unions not to celebrate new year by dancing n drinking... 

Time for an all-party,all-age procession of mourning & grief.Our daughter shd be given a State funeral

pple have a right to mourn the death of their daughter & demonstrate peacefully & in dignity.But avoid violent confrontation



Both Mrs.Hillary Clinton, the outgoing US Secretary of State, and Mr.John Kerry, her successor-designate already officially nominated  by President Barack Obama, are public servants of style and substance who had distinguished themselves as Senators for their knowledge of the world and expertise.

2.Ms.Condoleezza Rice, who was Secretary of State  during the second term of Mr.George Bush, and Mrs. Clinton were different from the traditional cold war style of Secretaries of State that one had seen before them. They realized that they had to operate in a world that had changed and that continued to change after the end of the Cold War and that the old style of policy-making, execution and projection that served the US well during the days of the Cold War, would no longer serve it well.

3. They diluted the elitist tradition that dominated the functioning  and thinking of the US State Department before them. Public diplomacy and greater policy maker-people interaction became their defining characteristics. They discarded the traditional aloofness of US foreign policy makers and encouraged their staff in the State Department to do so too.

4.Mrs.Clinton was the most out-going and transparent Secretary of State that the US has had who never hesitated to speak her mind out whether to China or Pakistan or other countries. She could be blunt without being unpleasant in her interactions with her counterparts from other countries. One had a glimpse of her quintessential style of public diplomacy during her town hall interactions with selected members of the civil society in  Kolkata earlier this year moderated by Barkha Dutt of NDTV.

5. Mr.Kerry is as knowledgeable as Ms. Rice and Mrs. Clinton and his expertise in moulding policies is considerable. But in a commentary on Mr.Kerry after he was nominated by Mr.Obama, the BBC described  him as "deliberate and strategic" in thinking, but secretive in style. A commentary by the "Christian Science Monitor" drew attention to Mr.Kerry's past reputation of elitist aloofness.

6.Many commentators feel that public or people-to-people diplomacy of the kind in which Mrs.Clinton excelled as we saw in Kolkatta does not come naturally to Mr.Kerry. It is said that Mrs.Clinton was an excellent team manager in running the State Department. One has misgivings whether Mr.Kerry would be an equally good and warm team manager.

7. In fact, Mr.Kerry was not Mr.Obama's first choice as Secretary of State to succeed Mrs.Clinton. His first choice reportedly was Ms.Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to the UN, who would have  been in the mould of Mrs.Clinton, but Ms.Rice's controversial statements regarding the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi in September, which came in for criticism from some Republican Senators, made it doubtful whether she would be confirmed by the Senate. Mr.Kerry should have a smooth sailing in the Senate because of his experience as a Senator and as the Chairman of the Senate Foreign relations Committee.

8.While the style of Mr.Kerry  could be different from that of Mrs.Clinton, in substance one is unlikely to see any changes in  foreign policy except in nuances in relation to China and Pakistan. The broad features of foreign policy are largely decided  by the President  on the basis of inputs and advice from the Secretary of State, the Defence Secretary, the National Security Adviser and the Director of the CIA.

9.One has to wait to see whom Mr.Obama nominates to the posts of Defence Secretary and Director, CIA, before assessing  what could be the totality of the impact of the team as a whole on the foreign policy during the second term of Mr.Obama. Three constants in respect of China have to be kept in view: Firstly, during 2012, the US replaced the European Union as the largest buyer of Chinese goods. The economic dependence between the two countries would rule out any adversarial relationship of a permanent nature. Secondly, the strong support in the Congress for Japan's sovereignty claims in the East China Sea and for continued supply of military equipment to Taiwan would keep alive the trust deficit between the two countries despite the flourishing bilateral trade. Thirdly, the US could press ahead with its policy of strengthening its Asian presence through continued support to some ASEAN countries on the question of their rights in the South China Sea and further diversify its growing ties with Myanmar, which would be, in long term, to the detriment of China.

10. Mrs.Clinton vigorously pursued and projected the policy of enhanced presence in the Asia-Pacific region to counter Chinese activism and to reassure the ASEAN countries and Japan. The projection and execution of this policy by Mr.Kerry to protect the interests of the US and its allies would avoid the rough edges of Mrs.Clinton without changing the overall US objectives in the region.

11.The continued importance of India during Mr.Obama's first term was partly the result of Mr.Obama's own conviction on the role that India could and should play as an emerging Asian power on par with China and partly the outcome of the energy and enthusiasm imparted by her to the growing strategic multi-dimensional relationship between the US and India. This is a policy constant that will continue under Mr.Kerry.

12. Mr.Obama continues to attach importance to pursuing a tough counter-terrorism policy in the Af-Pak region partly to prevent any more threats to the US homeland from terrorists based in this region and partly to maintain stability in Afghanistan despite the thinning out of the US presence in Afghanistan.

13. While vis-à-vis China, Mr.Kerry will enjoy some latitude in the way the policy as laid down by Mr.Obama is projected and executed , Mr.Obama is expected to continue in the driving seat in respect of the Af_Pak region. At the same time, one has to remember that Mr.Kerry has greater sensitivity to the strategic interests and concerns of Pakistan in the Afghanistan region than Mrs.Clinton and pays heed to the perceptions of the Pakistan Army. He might try to moderate  the consequences of Mr.Obama's present tough policy towards Pakistan in order to soften Pakistani perceptions towards the US.

14.It remains to be seen  whether Mr.Kerry would play a more active role in identifying and executing policy options in respect of Syria and Iran. There was an impression that Mrs.Clinton, who has future political ambitions of her own, avoided  too activist a role in West Asia and the Gulf lest any policy mishap come in the way of her future political interests.

15. Many believe that Mr.Obama would want Mr.Kerry to show greater activism in West Asia and the Gulf than Mrs. Clinton did---particularly in Syria. Those who had seen Mr.Kerry's policy flip-flops in relation to the regime change policy of Mr.Bush in Iraq----he first supported it in the Senate, and then marked his distance from the policy of Mr.Bush--- wonder whether Mr.Kerry would have the stomach for a vigorous regime change policy in Syria. ( 28-12-12)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre for China Studies. E-Mail  .Twitter: @SORBONNE75)



Victim of gang rape in India dies at hospital in Singapore

Singapore: The 23-year-old medical student whose savage gang-rape on a moving bus in Delhi triggered outrage and protests through India died in a hospital in Singapore at 4.45 local time (2.15 India time).

Her parents were by her side. Amanat's body has been taken in a police van to the Singapore general hospital; after formalities, her body and the girl's parents will be flown back to India today for last rites.

"She was courageous in fighting for her life for so long against the odds but the trauma to her body was too severe for her to overcome," a statement by the Mount Elizabeth hospital said.  

"Despite all efforts by a team of eight specialists in Mount Elizabeth Hospital to keep her stable, her condition continued to deteriorate over these two days. She had suffered from severe organ failure following serious injuries to her body and brain," said the statement by Kelvin Loh, CEO of the hospital. 

For 13 days, the student fought for her life, with a grit that astounded her doctors. 

She endured three major surgeries, brain injury and a cardiac arrest at a Delhi hospital before experts decided to move her in an air ambulance to Singapore, where she was treated at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital. 

After the monstrous attack on her on December 16, a grid of anger and grief fastened cities across India. 

Demonstrators marched every day, demanding a swift trial for the six men arrested for the heinous attack, as well as stricter anti-rape laws and more safety for women. 

In messages that she scribbled for her family while on life support systems, she reportedly asked if the six men who had damaged her so badly that her intestines had to be removed had been caught and punished.

Their trial is likely to begin on January 3; the government has promised daily hearings to ensure a verdict is delivered quickly.

Days before she was flown to Singapore, she shared the details of her attack with two different judges. Her testimony was not video-taped but will be used in the trial.

On December 16, the student and a male friend boarded a bus after watching a film when they were attacked by six men who took turns to rape her. They also beat the couple with an iron rod.

The bus kept circling a 31-kilometre stretch in South Delhi, its tinted windows concealing the savagery within as it rolled unstopped through a series of police checkpoints.

Almost an hour later, the couple was thrown from the bus, battered and bleeding; a passer-by phoned the police for help.

With Delhi as the epicentre, the protests scaled up quickly. 

Last weekend, the police clashed with thousands of demonstrators in Delhi. An injured constable collapsed; he died in hospital on December 25.

The government has promised to amend criminal laws to include the death penalty for extreme cases of sexual assault.

In Delhi, five fast-track courts will start functioning in January with daily hearings for all rape cases. A burst of measures to make public transport safer at night for women are being debuted.

The 23-year-old had persuaded her parents to sell their small piece of land in Uttar Pradesh so she could move to Delhi to study medicine. Since then, they said recently, their meals are very often rotis with namak (bread with salt). Their two sons are studying. 

Their daughter became India's Daughter

Stars, stripes and chakras: The future of US-India defence ties

by Manohar Thyagaraj
TWO weeks ago, the US Senate passed an amendment to the National Defence Authorisation Act for 2013, asking the Pentagon to report on an approach for "normalising" the US defence trade and relationship with India, including discussions of co-production and co-development of defence systems.

Seen in isolation, this is a statement of intent by Capitol Hill, in particular spearheaded by Senators Mark Warner and John Cornyn, to provide some ballast on the defence relationship. In fact, this mirrors a quietly ongoing coalescence of the US government's notorious interagency process on the very same issue.

This coming-together, a revolution of sorts in Washington's India orientation, has been sparked by the Carter initiative — led by Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, with Indian NSA Shivshankar Menon as his interlocutor. When taken together with the interest shown by Capitol Hill, the US now has a superstructure in place to look holistically at issues surrounding defence ties with Delhi, including India's long-expressed concerns about technology release.

The November 6 election results conferred the blessing of continuity on President Obama's "Asian pivot". While the re-balancing of US strategic priorities in Asia will be happening regardless, India has a chance to shape this debate.

There is not yet a uniform understanding in Washington as to what military capabilities India might need assistance from the US in developing. This is the kind of discussion that the interagency coalescence encouraged by the Carter initiative is intended to bolster. India could table a discussion on areas it deems national priorities, and has a forum to raise specific export control cases.

From India's perspective, what it might want to request from the US in terms of co-development possibilities or technical assistance would depend on an in-depth assessment of the out-of-area contingency operations it anticipates conducting on its own or jointly with other countries over the long-term (20-25 years).
The immediate future of the defence relationship will be measured along two fronts: first — the health of the defence trade, which includes not just Indian procurements of US defence equipment, but also co-production and co-development as long-term goals.

Here, India has been looking to the US as a supplier to its defence modernisation, with $8 billion worth of contracts being signed since 2008, and the positive experience of the delivery of the C130J aircraft ahead of schedule and under budget. The US is in line to be awarded additional contracts for M-777 Howitzers, Apache helicopters and Chinook helicopters. Follow-on orders are in the offing for C-130Js, P-8I maritime patrol aircraft and C-17 heavy airlift aircraft.

With the security of the sea-lines of communication in the Asia-Pacific being of such mutual concern, future programmes could include the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and, if MTCR (Missile Technology Control Regime) issues are resolved, possibly Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS).

On the co-development side, many options appear to be open, and the direction taken will depend on where India wants to put its money, what system or platform branches of military service on either side will buy into, and what the export market for it would be.

The second front for measuring defence relations is the broad ambit of capacity building. This would include technical training and joint exercises. At the moment, the discussion gates appear to be open on technical training in many areas in which India expresses its interest. For instance, in the training of Landing Signal Officers (LSOs) for the Vikramaditya and subsequent aircraft carriers in the Indian Navy. Both countries conduct regular joint exercises, which is anticipated to continue apace.

Capacity building is a function of the quality of service-service interaction, for which regular exchanges of officers are vital. Services in both countries could also discuss regional contingencies in which they might be required to jointly operate, and without putting in place a priori arrangements that are politically charged, work on tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) in case called on to do so.

As the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) recently identified, one area that is a good candidate for discussion on capacity building is humanitarian assistance/ disaster relief, feeding off the successful instance of both navies working together during the tsunami relief effort in 2004-2005.

The ongoing challenge for both governments is to define what exactly this "strategic relationship" is in form and function, in which context a defence relationship will mature. A historically mercurial relationship has settled into a pattern, where both Washington and New Delhi now largely understand the in principle intersection of grand national interests across many fronts, but recognize that the de facto reality cannot always reflect this. What disagreements there are can mostly be managed as being those between friends.

For India, the point to be noted is that the new superstructure offers promise to deal in a regularised manner with the issues it has historically complained about the most in regards to technology denial. It must educate its own internal constituencies to this effect, failing which it runs the risk of slowing down real collaborative possibilities.
There are still skeptics in both capitals — those bruised by past battles over non-proliferation, export control, nuclear issues, or just simple inertia — who think that nothing will ever change in either the US attitude towards India, or India's attitude towards the US.

To them, a US-India defence relationship is the Teumessian fox from Greek mythology, the animal that can never be caught. The god Cephalus used the hound who caught everything he hunted — Laelaps — to try and catch the fox. The optimists on US-India defence ties have bet on the hound. It might just take him a while.
The writer is a Visiting Fellow at Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi.

Remembering Ramanujan: India Celebrates Its Famous Mathematical Son

India, home of the number zero, ends a yearlong math party in unique fashion

By Evelyn Lamb

December 22, 2012, marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of legendary Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan. An intuitive mathematical genius, Ramanujan's discoveries have influenced several areas of mathematics, but he is probably most famous for his contributions to number theory and infinite series, among them fascinating formulas ( pdf ) that can be used to calculate digits of pi in unusual ways.

Last December Prime Minister Manmohan Singh declared 2012 to be a National Mathematics Year in India in honor of Ramanujan's quasiquicentennial. Ramanujan's story is dramatic and somewhat larger than life. It is even the subject of an opera by Indian-German composer Sandeep Bhagwati, a novel and two plays . Largely self-taught, he dropped out of college, took a job as a clerk in Madras and attracted the attention of British mathematician G. H. Hardy through written correspondence in 1913. Although Ramanujan's mother believed that as a Brahmin (the highest class in the Indian caste system, which was in place at the time) he should not travel overseas, Ramanujan, aged 27, went to England in 1914 and spent the ensuing war years working with Hardy and other mathematicians  at the University of Cambridge. He grew quite ill in England, and in 1919 he returned to India where he died in 1920. Since his death at age 32 mathematicians have analyzed his notebooks ( pdf ), which are full of formulas but light on justification. Most of the formulas have turned out to be correct, and researchers continue to learn from his work while trying to understand and prove them.

India's mathematical heritage extends far beyond Ramanujan's time. The nation is considered home of the concept of zero. Babylonians had used a space as a placeholder (similar to the role of "0" in the number 101), but this space could not stand alone or at the end of a number. (In our number system, as in theirs, this could be problematic; imagine trying to tell the difference between the numbers 1 and 10 by context alone.) In India, however, zero was treated as a number like any other. India is also the home of our decimal numeral system.

Indian government and mathematical societies pursued several projects to celebrate their year of mathematics, from enrichment programs for students and teachers to the "Mathematical Panorama Lectures" that occurred around the country. This series of 20 short lecture courses, which will continue into 2013, brings prominent mathematicians from different fields to Indian universities to deliver five or six lectures. M. S. Raghunathan, president of the Ramanujan Mathematical Society and chair of the organizing committee for the National Mathematics Year, wrote in an e-mail that he hopes the lectures will facilitate an infusion of Indian talent into fields that lack it right now.

Indeed, a primary purpose of the year of mathematics is to reinvigorate mathematical education in India. In his speech announcing the event, Prime Minister Singh said that although India has produced many distinguished mathematicians, "for a country of our size, the number of competent mathematicians that we have is badly inadequate." He mentioned concerns about the rigidity of India's academic system, which some believe might squelch rather than nurture mathematical curiosity and achievement. "A genius like Ramanujan would shine bright even in the most adverse of circumstances, but we should be geared to encourage and nurture good talent which may not be of the same caliber as that of Ramanujan," he said. Singh also mentioned the need to prevent attrition of mathematically interested people. "There is a general perception in our society that the pursuit of mathematics does not lead to attractive career opportunities," he said. "This perception must change." Lectures for undergraduates, camps for motivated youngsters and educational programs designed to acquaint teachers with new topics and pedagogical ideas have all been part of the attempt to nurture mathematical interest at all levels.

Two longer-term projects begun this year could help as well: a documentary on the history of Indian mathematics and a mathematics museum in Chennai. Raghunathan hopes that the documentary will be available in 2014 and the museum will open its doors in 2015.

This yearlong fete is culminating in "The Legacy of Srinivasa Ramanujan," a conference at the University of Delhi from December 17 to 22. Included are technical lectures on mathematics influenced by Ramanujan's work, public presentations on Ramanujan's notebooks, dance performances and a film about Ramanujan's life. The annual SASTRA Ramanujan Prize, which recognizes a mathematician age 32 or younger who works in a field influenced by Ramanujan, will be awarded as well. The awardee this year is Zhiwei Yun of Stanford University, whose work lies at the intersection of geometric representation theory, algebraic geometry and number theory.

BNC strongly condemn the ongoing Pakistani military aggression against the Baloch people in Balochistan.

Dec. 26, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C- Balochistan National Congress (BNC) strongly condemn the ongoing Pakistani military aggression against the defenseless Baloch people in Balochistan and reiterates its call for international intervention and action to stop the killing of innocent Baloch citizens in their own homeland Balochistan by Pakistani foreign occupying forces.

Balochistan, an Independent state, was forcefully occupied by Pakistani army in 1948, when Balochistan's ruler Khan Kalat unilaterally signed the so called document of accession against Baloch will and mandate. Since then Baloch people are fighting to restore their sovereignty over their homeland Balochistan. 

According to the latest news, Pakistani Army has launched a massive operation in the hometown of Baloch leader Dr. Allah Nazar in Balochistan killing 12 people, including six women and four children on Wednesday.

Hundreds of military personnel supported by gunship helicopters are taking part in the operation in Mashkay area in Balochistan, targeting the Baloch guerrilla commander's Dr. Allah Nazar's house and nearby settlements. Some of  those killed were identified as Khuda Bux, Ali Jan, Jamil, Mehnaz and Kher Bibi.

"This is a part of the ongoing Baloch killing and genocide and we asked the the International community to not close their eyes over these crimes against humanity and barbaric acts of Pakistani State terrorism unleashed against the Baloch people", said Dr. Wahid Baloch, the President of BNC of Washington D.C Chapter. 

"International intervention is long overdue in Balochistan and it must be carried out without any further delay to save the lives of the Baloch people in their own homeland Balochistan", he wrote in an urgent appeal letter on Behalf of BNC, faxed to UN Secretary General in New York and US State Dept in Washington, D.C.


December 26, 2012

Russia-India Strategic Partnership 2012: Contextual Imperatives for Enhancement

Paper No. 5340                                       Dated 26-Dec-2012

By Dr. Subhash Kapila

"India is one of our strategic privileged partner…..and speaking from the point of view of geographical representation……India is number one". -------President Putin, December 2004

"The Declaration of Strategic Partnership between India and Russia signed in October 2000 became a truly historic step. The developments of the first decade of the 21st Century confirmed that it was a particularly significant and timely step."------President Putin December 23, 2012

President Putin's visit to New Delhi for the Annual Summit on December 22, 2012 provides the appropriate moment for a review of the contextual strategic imperatives for enhancement of this vital relationship. Moreso, when in recent times some hairline cracks seem to have crept-in on both sides in terms of future perspectives on this strategic partnership.

The Indian policy establishment flush with the heady excitement of the decade-old US-India Strategic Partnership, though still evolving, perceptively seems to be overlooking the time-tested and six decades of strategic value- added Russia-India Strategic Partnership.

President Putin was not only the architect of Russia's strategic resurgence in the first decade of the 21st Century but also the architect of the reclamation of the Russia-India Strategic Partnership which had drifted during the 1990s under President Yeltsin, under American pressures.

To set the contextual perspectives right, it needs to be pointed out that the Russian Constitution amended in 2008 provides for two terms of six years each. This means that President Putin can be in office till 2024. This should be significant for India in that it provides extended continuity in Russian policies under the stewardship of President Putin who in the first decade of his Century invested strongly in building the Russia-India Strategic Partnership.

Russia and President Putin cannot however be taken for granted by the Indian policy establishment as recent developments indicated. As a riposte to India's overzealous strategic ardour for the United States, Russia indulged in political signalling to India of opening up politically to Pakistan. This included a couple of high-level Russian visits to Islamabad in 2012 and a visit by President Putin, later cancelled.

President Putin's December visit to India came after eight weeks of postponement, seemingly as a result of Russian unhappiness with India on the Sistema telecom dispute, Russian nuclear plants liability issues and India overlooking the Russian fighter in the finalisation of its MRCA deal.

Contextually, in 2012, Russia and India can ill-afford to let resolvable minor differences overshadow the overall value of the Russia-India Strategic Partnership. The rapidly evolving geopolitical and geostrategic contours in Asia Pacific throw up strategic challenges and uncertainties for both Russia and India. The leadership in both Russia and India need to put their heads together and work out convergent initiatives to overcome them.

Strategic challenges for both Russia and India arise from China's unrestrained military aggressiveness and brinkmanship over maritime sovereignty issues in South East Asia and East Asia and escalation of tensions in the unsettled border regions of the India-China Occupied Tibet borders. The United States strategic pivot to Asia Pacific generates its own strategic dynamics and newer alignments in Asia which Russia can ill-ignore as the second leading global power, or which India can ill-ignore by standing as a passive spectator, as China generates military turbulence on India's borders and India's contiguous regions.

Russia has commenced its own 'strategic pivot' to Asia in response to the United States strategic moves, and possibly also as a long-range reading of China's military assertiveness. For any strategic pivot to Asia Pacific by Russia it cannot depend on China to further its national interests as there are inherent strategic contradictions in their respective national aspirations.

Russia's strategic pivot to Asia Pacific can be furthered only by countries which have had a long history of strategic partnerships with Russia. In this direction, Russia would need countries like India and Vietnam, both regional powers of note. India is an emerging global player of consequence and could add strategic weight to Russian initiatives in Asia Pacific and also on the global stage.

To be noted for strategic analysis is the reality that Russia, China and Vietnam share borders with China with a common history of China contesting these borders.

India too has discovered that its evolving strategic partnership with the United States has not provided the strategic insurance that India sought when it initially changed its strategic directions in relation to its two military adversaries, China and Pakistan, both figuring markedly in its threat perceptions.

India today stands piquantly placed in 2012 strategically. Its choices are basically two and these are whether to bow strategically to reclaim the original flavour of its historical Russia-India Strategic Partnership and its enhancement or keep plodding towards the strategically unrequited US-India Strategic Partnership

The global and Asian security environment in 2012 does not brook 'strategic equidistance' from both leading global powers, a favourite euphuism of the Indian policy establishment for strategic vacillation and making hard choices.

The Russia-India Strategic Partnership suitably enhanced offers greater strategic dividends to India in terms of strategic perspectives. In this connection, this Author's Concluding Observations in SAAG paper No 3732 dated 25 March 2010 bear repetition: "Russia is not carrying any 'Pakistan Baggage' in its policy approaches in South Asia and towards India. The Russia-India Strategic Partnership is better placed to serve India's national security interests. To some Indians it may be devoid of glamorous embellishments but then in the end-game in strategically and politically turbulent times for India, a strategic partnership requires the assured stability of a strongly and deeply embedded 'sheet anchor'. The Russia-India Strategic Partnership carries that distinction which stands historically validated"

India recently lived through turbulent times and in 2012 strategic perspectives ahead portend that much more strategic turbulence awaits India in the years ahead. India's strategic choices therefore should be obvious.

Ominous signals

Dec 25, 2012:

The Obama administration has more ominous signals coming from Afghanistan. The latest in the series of worrying signals is Monday's incident in Kabul in which one Afghan police woman shot and killed a US security advisor. There have been over 60 reported incidents of personnel from the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) killed in what is called "insider" firing by their Afghan security personnel.

It is by now widely known that the "insider" acts are the handiwork of pro-Taliban elements within the Afghan national security forces, including the national police force, trained by the ISAF. The Taliban infiltration of the Afghan national forces raises serious questions about the security of Afghanstan after 2014. The international community, including India, has invested heavily in the war-torn country with the objective of promoting peace, stability, and development. Peace and stability in the country are also vital for security of the South, Central, and West Asian regions. There is little doubt that the Taliban, which ruled the country for five years until the US military action removed it from Kabul in November 2001, has little use for the efforts of the international community in Afghanistan.

From time to time, there have been moves to engage the Taliban (the so-called moderates among them, at least) to promote a national political reconciliation. The US-backed Hamid Karzai government in Kabul seems to make continuing efforts to negotiate with the dreaded outfit. It appears that President Karzai's persistence is dictated more by a sense of insecurity on his regime's part rather than a serious initiative to bring it to build a stable and peaceful Afghanistan. That is not going to help anyone, except the Taliban. It is also doubtful if Taliban leaders would ever play a constructive role in view of the knowledge that the US has announced a broad schedule for withdrawal of its troops from the country. Indeed, if the Taliban is assured of the presence of its sympathisers in large numbers in the national security forces armed and trained by the US and its allies, it will just bide its time to strike. The Obama administration will have to seriously review its exit schedule seriously, if its primary objective is to ensure a stable Afghanistan before American troops make the final exit.

Rape Metrics: A Global Comparison

I am all for a ban on tinted windows in all vehicles, if any one can guarantee even a minor reduction in rape cases.


Assuming parity in definition, India on a population that is 400% larger has a rape incident ratio which are 24% of US. | Graphic source -; Hindustan Times e-Paper dated 2012-12-23 accessed at 17-29-59.

Assuming parity in definition, India on a population that is 400% larger has a rape incident ratio which are 24% of US. | Graphic source –; Hindustan Times e-Paper dated 2012-12-23 accessed at 17-29-59.

rotesters andactivistas have semi-successfully projected the Delhi gang-rape case as representative of India, Indian society and Indian governance – as detailed in the previous post.

Fog & Noise

In the din of protests and clamour, on the Delhi gang-rape case, facts and data havebecome less than important.

There is wide availability of data in public domain – and across countries.

Cross country comparisons will quickly dispel claims that these protesters and activistas are making.

Indian rape metrics are skewed by the definition - where consenting teenage marriage is defined as rape. Per Capita rape cases across the world  |  Graphic - on Dec 21, 2012, 02.47AM IST

Indian rape metrics are skewed by the definition – where consenting teenage marriage is defined as rape. Per Capita rape cases across the world | Graphic – on Dec 21, 2012, 02.47AM IST

The five major factors are: -

  1. Definition
  2. Incidence
  3. Investigation
  4. Prosecution
  5. Conviction


Under a liberal-progressive overload, Indian laws that cover rape have been overwhelmed by illogical laws.

In the 70s and the 80s, under World Bank, IMF guidance, and the pressure from AID-India consortium of Western nations to curb population 'explosion', child marriage were 'discouraged'.

To further stigmatize child marriage, sex between consenting female below 18, is now classified as rape.

If a girl below 18 has sex, in marriage or otherwise, in the eyes of Indian law, is rape.

Under-age marriages and attempts to marry have inflated rape statistics in India.

Similar inflation in rape statistics has occurred in Sweden for instance – with an accompanying reduction in conviction.

Break up of rape incidents across India  |  Graphic - in NEW DELHI, October 28, 2011

Break up of rape incidents across India | Graphic – in NEW DELHI, October 28, 2011


The National Crime Records Bureau has estimated more than 90% of 'rape' cases involve neighbours, relatives, and known people.

Many of these cases are prima facie, cases of opportunistic withdrawal of consent.

Long-term marital relationships in India are forged under community and parental supervision and intervention.

In cases, parental and societal pressure is enough for a female to withdraw consent – opening doors to criminal registration and prosecution.

At times, the withdrawal of consent is also a means of gaining financial benefit.

Police, Police – Everywhere

With investigation is the question of prevention.

Empty demands have been made for better police patrolling, CCTV cameras, more supervision and vigilance. As can be seen, India has low or lower rape-incidents than most of the world.

Do these activistas want to turn India into a Police State? Into a society riven by gender conflict!

Do they want replace a concerned citizenry with a domineering police force? Instead of citizen vigilance, these activistas want us to believe that the police can do a better job.

Graphic courtesy -

Graphic courtesy –

There are increasing demands for CCTV installations. The West and China are now practically surveillance societies – where, with facial recognition software, police officials will be able keep most of the people under surveillance.

Is that what these protesters andactivistas want? Have all these CCTV cameras in the West stopped rape in those countries? Are rape incidents lesser in those surveillance societies?

As the data in the graphic shows, this is neither true – nor logical. If a few rapes are committed in moving vehicles, will we stop vehicles from moving? Or men from moving? Or women from moving around!

Demands for ban on tinted glass windows in Delhi is another demand. Delhi which faces searing heat for 5 months in a summer – needs tinted glasses. Do we want millions of Delhi commuters to steam in higher temperatures to gain psychological comfort?

Forget about elimination of rape – or even a major reduction.

I am all for a ban on tinted windows in all vehicles, if any one can guarantee even a minor reduction in rape cases.

Conviction levels in rape cases varies between 20% to 50% globally. Few exceptions apart. Rape convictions in India are at a higher ratio than general criminal convictions which are at  17%(TBC).. Defines as the number of convictions as a percentage of the total number of completed prosecutions that year.  |  Graphic & caption source -

Conviction levels in rape cases varies between 20% to 50% globally. Few exceptions apart. Rape convictions in India are at a higher ratio than general criminal convictions which are at 17%(TBC).. Defines as the number of convictions as a percentage of the total number of completed prosecutions that year. | Graphic & caption source –

Exaggerate! Overheat

This exaggeration in reaction can be seen in the recent media coverage of rape in Haryana.

Attempting to tar traditionalkhap panchayats, the media ran a villification campaign on rape in Haryana – whereas there were otherstates in India with higheroccurrence – and lower conviction ratios.

Many of these protests have been organized by NGOs– many funded by sources that are suspect.

Why did the US pay attention to one rape in New Delhi.

From China’s ‘peaceful rise’ to ‘peaceful development’: The rhetoric and more

Paper No. 5336                                         Dated 25-Dec-2012

Guest Column by Dr. B R Deepak

In the wake of China’s mammoth economic growth that catapulted China as the second largest economy of the world in 2010, and the military expenditure corresponding to its economy, everyone including the Chinese is talking about China’s rise and its emergence as a challenger to the unipolar world.

Chinese think tanks and government alike on their part have been looking for their own answers in the best Confucian tradition where the rectification of names is attached great importance.  They came up with the concept of “Peaceful Rise of China” (Zhongguo de heping jueqi 中国的和平崛起) during the 1990s. However, the term became a fad after it was used by Zheng Bijian, the former Vice Principal of the Central Party School in November 2003 during the Boao Forum for Asia, and later by the outgoing Chinese President Hu Jintao in a speech on the occasion of the 110th birth anniversary of Mao Zedong in December 2003. Hu Jintao (2003) had remarked that adherence to the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics is adherence to the “developmental road of peaceful rise.” Following this, the term was used by Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting, and a speech at the Harvard University during his visit to the United States. Wen had tried to justify China’s rise and reassure the world when he said (Guo 2004: 2 in preface), “the developmental road China has taken is different from that taken by some major powers, and China’s developmental road is the road of peaceful rise.”

The jargon emphasizes the emergence of China as a “soft power” implying that China’s rise is not a threat to its neighbors and the world as a whole, and that China seeks to avoid conflict. According to Duan Bingren (2004:2-3 preface), the road of peaceful rise is a major innovation of China’s developmental strategic thought. Duan asserts that “the developmental road, China has sought, is a unique road seeking peace and mutual benefits; this not only will harmonize the international order, but will also enable China to uphold its independence, social system and choice of life style. The developmental road of peaceful rise, seeks harmony with others, partnership with China’s neighbors, and friendly coexistence with other countries on the basis of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Economically, it seeks integration with the globalization, and naturally seeks China’s new role in global development equations, thus becoming a constructive and responsible player in the international economic activities. Politically, the notion would enable China to actively and constructively participate in the international affairs, be a challenger rather than a moot spectator to the events and aspire for a democratic, peaceful and multi-polar world.” Therefore, the peaceful rise of China is an antidote to “hegemony”, “hot war”, “cold war”, “China threat”, “disintegration of China” etc. theories and notions; it is a promise to the world that the rise of China is peaceful.”  

However, the lexicon ran into rough weather as the think tanks in China tried to debate the pros and cons of the term. Many felt that the word “rise” would put its neighbors at unease, while others argued that it is premature to talk about the rise, as China largely remains a developing country. In the backdrop of such a debate, China changed the term ‘rise’ to ‘development’ when it published a white paper entitled “China’s peaceful development” in the beginning of 2006. Nevertheless, the terminology is still being widely used in government as well as academic circles across China.

The debate apart, the crux is whether the “rise” or “development” of China is going to be a smooth sail? If not what could be the dangers or challenges China would face? While contemplating on these questions, Xin Xiangyang (2004:2-3, preface II) posits that China would face four major external challenges: 1) Trade and commerce (challenges from world markets, world energy resources, and trade protectionism); 2) National security (traditional security threat, number of variables in its surrounding security environment, as well as non-traditional security issues); 3) External political challenges (disintegration and westernization of China, the penetration of Non Government Organizations (NGOs) in China, international terrorism and the increasingly large number of international criminal activities); 4) The US containment of China. Besides, Xin also outlines the following four internal challenges: 1) Population; 2) Resources and energy; 3) Environmental degradation; and 4) Social imbalance.

It has been widely speculated by the analysts that the priority of the fifth generation leadership under Xi Jinping would keep a low key profile as far as China’s foreign policy is concerned, and concentrate more on the internal challenges, especially the challenge of social imbalance. The challenge has manifested itself in China in various shapes and forms. Whether it is the question of food security, rural urban divide, peasant’s protests, the issue of rural education or migrant laborers, each and every issue is related to peasants, agriculture and the countryside, and is capable of derailing China rise or peaceful development.  Therefore, economic development, deepening of reforms and opening up is going to remain the top priority of the new leadership. It not only would help China to overcome the social imbalances but also equip it to deal with the external challenges in a better way.

Contrarily, it appears that of late China has shown signs of discarding the time tested strategy of Deng Xaoping as is well explained by his maxim “hide your strength, bide your time.’ Ever since the middle of the first decade of this century, especially the successful convocation of the Olympic Games in 2008, China started to take maximalist positions vis-à-vis conflicts with the neighboring countries, be it the Diaoyu/Senkaku row with Japan in the East China Sea, or with Vietnam, Philippines and other smaller disputing countries in the South China Sea, or its dispute with South Asian neighbors.  As China has started to define South China Sea as an area of core interest in addition to Taiwan and Tibet, it has taken the disputes to new stages by way of sending unmanned surveillance plane over disputed Diaoyu; standoff with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal; Chinese fishing vessels cutting the cables of Vietnamese Oil & Gas Group seismic ship in Vietnam controlled waters; announcing new rules for the region that authorize its police in the southern province of Hainan to board and seize foreign ships in the South China Sea; raising threats of conflict by establishing Sansha on Yongxing Island in the southernmost province of Hainan; threats to disrupt ONGC Videsh exploration in South China Sea and reiterating China’s ‘indisputable sovereignty’ in the region; initiating a new passport design containing a map claiming the South China Sea and disputed areas along the Sino-Indian border; and even flexing economic muscle against the smaller neighbors in the region by banning their exports on flimsy grounds.

Besides, since China’s economy has grown with a neck breaking speed all these years, its military spending has also increased manifolds. For example a decade back, it only spent around 20 billion USD on defense, the same has increased around five times in recent years. Last year when the US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates met Hu Jintao in Beijing, China showcased its new fighter jet, the J-20 in Chengdu, Sichuan. China has also showcased its own drones that resemble the US Predator and Global Hawk. The US suspects Iran for giving China access to the US drone that was shot down by Iran within its territory. If people’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) has showcased its new assets, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has also commissioned its first aircraft carrier, Liaoning earlier in September this year. Two months later China landed J-15 on the Liaoning. Analysts believe that the aircraft carrier will allow Beijing to help project its military might in territorial disputes. China has also aggressively furthered its space program. Since 2007, China twice shot down its dysfunctional satellites with anti-satellite missiles thus displaying its capabilities to destroy spy satellites and space-based missile defense system of other countries, especially the US. These gestures from China has not only sent shockwaves to its neighbors, but has also challenged the US power projections. 


It is in this context that the US ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalancing’ toward Asia should be seen. It is also in the light of above that smaller neighbors of China are increasingly looking at the US for countervailing China. Even countries like Philippines and Vietnam that have suffered the aggression from Japanese and the US are willing to forge closer ties with these countries. It is for the very reason that ASEAN countries are taking common and united position on the disputes in South China Sea, but they are equally aware of the fact that even if united it is still impossible to confront China.

Therefore, even if China frantically defends it ‘rise’ or ‘development’ as peaceful, the ‘China threat’ has once again raised its head to the discomfort of every party.  The situation may be changed to better once Xi Jinping takes charge of the party and military, as in recent pronouncements we have seen him showing difference. For example, in his interaction with foreign experts in China on December 5th, he seems to have reiterated the essence of China’s peaceful development. He said China will not seek hegemony or expansionism and continue to open to the outside world. He also pronounced that China’s peaceful development does not seek selfish interests, and benefits by harming others, it seeks mutual benefits. Again between December 7 and 11, 2012 while touring southern China, he reiterated that ‘reforms and opening up is unstoppable.’ I believe this doesn’t prove to be a mere rhetoric as has been the case in recent times. China being a developing country still needs Deng’s wisdom as regards the disputes relating to sovereignty. China has resorted to military means to solve its disputes or exert sovereignty several times, if that happens again, the long-term goals of China, especially attaining the level of a moderately developed country by the middle of this century would be seriously subverted, and the fruits of being a beneficiary of globalization lost for a few reefs and rocks here and there.


Duan Binren (2004). “破解世界性、世纪性课题” (Topic of this century and of worldwide importance). Guo Wanchao (2004). 中国崛起:一个东方大国的成长之路 (The Rise of China: Developmental Path of an Oriental Nation) Jiangxi People’s Publishing House, Nanchang.
Guo Wanchao (2004). 中国崛起:一个东方大国的成长之路 (The Rise of China: Developmental Path of an Oriental Nation) Jiangxi People’s Publishing House, Nanchang.
Hu Jintao (2003). “胡锦涛在纪念毛泽东同志诞辰110周年座谈会 上的讲话” (Hu Jintao's Speech at the 110th birth anniversary of Mao Zedong” in Liberation Daily, December 27, 2003.
Xin Xiangyang (2004). “大视野中的中国崛起” (Grand vision of China’s Rise). Guo Wanchao (2004). 中国崛起:一个东方大国的成长之路 (The Rise of China: Developmental Path of an Oriental Nation) Jiangxi People’s Publishing House, Nanchang.
(Dr. B R Deepak is Professor of Chinese and China Studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. The views expressed are his own. He could be reached at