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


HILLARY CLINTON & JOHN KERRY---STYLE & SUBSTANCE


B.RAMAN


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  seventyone2@gmail.com  .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.

Balochistan National Congress (BNC) strongly condemn the ongoing Pakistani military aggression against the innocent defenseless 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.

                                                   #####



Related Links:
Twelve people including women, children killed in Pak Army operation in Balochistan
Frontier Corps launch operation in restive province

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


http://quicktake.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/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.

P

Assuming parity in definition, India on a population that is 400% larger has a rape incident ratio which are 24% of US. | Graphic source - hindustantimes.com; 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 – hindustantimes.com; 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 - timesofindia.com 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 – timesofindia.com on Dec 21, 2012, 02.47AM IST

The five major factors are: -

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

Definition

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 - thehindu.com in NEW DELHI, October 28, 2011

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

Incidence

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 - intoday.in

Graphic courtesy – intoday.in

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 - thehindu.com

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 – thehindu.com

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.

References:

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 bdeepak@mail.jnu.ac.in)

Is Delhi’s Brutal Gang Rape Outrage the Tunisian Moment!

India Gate becomes Cairo's Tehrir Square
 
The judicial system in India did not deliver justice but has become a tool for litigation by the rich and powerful to thwart and delay justice; Supreme Court Justice Singhvi
 
"Indian police has become the armed militia of the political party in power," a retired Delhi police chief 
Rule of law is a Semitic contribution to human civilization. The 'Eye for an eye 'custom was codified as part of the Hammurabi Code, which formed the basis of law in Semite lands. If an eye is not taken for an eye aka guilty not punished then lawlessness will take over .This Semite tribal thesis later became the core of Judaic, Christian and Islamic civilizations .In Europe it was further refined. 

Rule of Law or equality of all before the law evolved further in Europe following the Reformation and the Renaissance.
 
In India, caste based Dharma rules .The political class are now the high castes and above the Rule of law. 
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Meade

 "The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed" -Steve Biko

 Tunisian Moment;

Tarek al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26 year old Tunisian street fruit vendor, set himself on fire on 17 December, 2010, in protest at the confiscation of his wares and the harassment and humiliation he was inflicted on by a woman municipal official and her aides. This act of helplessness against arbitrary power became a catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution and led to wider  uprisings in the Arab world with continuous demonstrations , sit ins and riots first throughout Tunisia ,in protest against social and political ills in the country and then in other Arab states like Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria ,.
 
Of course US led West has tried to manipulate peoples' uprising against Washington supported dictator -puppets in the Middle East to their advantage with huge funds from rich oil oligarchies of Saudi Arabia and Qatar , afraid of the fire of revolts reaching and igniting at home .NATO and GCC have openly intervened in Libya ,against UNSC resolution , creating havoc and destruction as the West did in Iraq , destroying Libya's loosely knit tribal domains .Short of direct intervention they are doing the same in Syria but have been fiercely opposed by Iran and Russia. Over 40,000 Syrians have died in the continuing civil war.
 
Further breakup of the historic state of Syria will lead to change of borders in West Asia and the region, arbitrarily carved by Britain and France after WWI.
 
Massive demonstrations in Delhi
 
Can the spontaneous people's massive demonstrations , especially in Delhi in front of the President's Residence after  the rape of the 23 year old Delhi girl , who is in critical condition in a New Delhi hospital ignite a peoples revolt in India .There is little doubt that barring exceptions the ruling political elite, as many activists like Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal have said, is very corrupt , brazen and full of men charged with serious cases of murders, rapine and corruption sitting in legislatures , ministries and other centres of power .
 
Since half a century they have dillydallied without enacting an Ombudsman in spite of Parliament's solemn promise to Activist Anna Hazare in 2011. The politicians have sat through fasts and agitations by Anna Hazare, Kejriwal and Baba Ramdeo, who have run out of steam, as the politicians thought they would.
 
But the demonstrations mostly by young people of capital Delhi which have assumed massive proportions since Saturday morning are quite different.
 
By Sunday ,23 December, the demonstrators had been joined by Baba Ramdeo , Kejriwal supporters and Gen VK Singh .
 
On 22 December, the assurances given by Home Minister Shinde at a media conference and meetings by some students with Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have not singed the anger and the frustrations of the suffering public.
 
A news reports;
 
Delhi rape: People on the streets, and netas in hiding
by Akshaya Mishra 
 
 
Extracts
"There's anger on the streets. A 23-year-old has been brutally attacked and raped. She is fighting for her life in a hospital. India's young are asking one simple question: why? They are demanding a clear answer and they want promises that will convince them that they will be safe in the country. It's a protest not loaded political motives; it's an expression of overwhelming frustration. Yet, no political leader has the courage to come out and face them. ---
 
--Leaders are incapable of finding any solution to the problem. They are either incompetent or indifferent. There are three policemen for every VIP in Delhi and one for more than 700 hundred of ordinary people. The ratio of policemen to one lakh population in India stands at roughly 130. In other countries the people-police ratio is much higher. According to United Nations guidelines, it should be at least 220. The country is thus short of six lakh policemen.
 
But that is only part of the story. The available policemen are mostly busy protecting VIPs, mostly politicians, making passport verifications, managing rallies and helping other government authorities do their job. There is only a handful left to serve the ordinary people. The police are understaffed, overworked and demoralized. But they also represent the might of the state, and thus make for easy targets for public wrath whenever there's trouble. Any call for better law and order should start at reforming the police force.
 
In the entire discourse so far, the emphasis on punishment is disportionately heavy. 'Hang them', 'castrate them', 'put them in jail quickly' have been the rough and ready remedies on offer. These go with the current public mood. No one is in disagreement that rapists should get the toughest of punishments but it hardly qualifies as any solution to the original problem. Any action makes little sense when physical and psychological damage is already done to the victim. Moreover, people committing the heinous act of this kind hardly think of the consequences at that very moment.
The best idea is to shift attention to prevention. And when it is about prevention, it has to be mostly about efficient policing. It requires quality, which is not possible without adequate manpower and proper training. Why hasn't one heard any expert talking about new recruitment to the police force? Why is the government not being challenged for sitting on reform proposals? Why are our police so weak at investigating cases?
 
The anger at the police might look justified in the heat of the moment but in the final analysis it makes little sense. The protesters must demand that the politicians start reforming the police first.
 
They can present Rahul Gandhi and other leaders with a charter of actionable demands. The call for harsher punishment to victims can wait.
 
The collective frustration must yield something that is beneficial to it."
 
Lack of respect and equality for women begins from male political leadership, which refused to pass a law to reserve even third seats in the parliament for women.
 
There are innumerable examples of political leaders, even ministers committing rape. Because of their power most escape punishment.
 
Political Leaders Attitude to women
 
Cong MP and Reality TV participant Sanjay Nirupam's disgraceful attack on Smriti Irani
 
If Smriti is a thumkewali, what does this make him?
 
He joins illustrious Parliamentarians in the misogynists' hall of shame. So, dear neta, as you outrage over crimes against women, reflect on how you treat them
 
'Some women wearing lipstick and powder have taken to the streets
in Mumbai and are abusing politicians and spreading dissatisfaction
- Muqtar Abbas Naqvi, BJP, over the outrage after 26/11.

'Wah kya girlfriend hai! Have you ever seen a Rs 50-crore girlfriend?
- Narendra Modi, BJP, on Shashi Tharoor'S wife

'Listen carefully sister, this is a serious matter, not a filmy subject
- Sushil Kumar Shinde, Congress, to Jaya Bachchan who was debating on Assam

'Only women from affluent classes can get ahead, but remember you rural women will never get a chance because you are not that attractive.
- Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP, at a public rally opposing women's reservation

Rule of Law in India!
 
Revolutions of the people by the people and for the people are not and cannot be planned in details. They happen when its time has come .It needs a spark, say a suicide in Tunisia .It can take unexpected turns and twists .It may not succeed and can be even aborted .It can be high jacked as happened in Romania, when in 1989 it was taken over by old sidelined communists and finally, mafias owing loyalty to the West are now ruling .A poll 5 years ago showed the much maligned by the West Nicolai Ceausescu as the most important leader in Romanian history. Globalization and neo liberalism has heaped misery on the masses .As it has all over the world including India.
 
In Iran, Mullahs hijacked the revolution in 1979 in spite of Ayatollah Khomeini and remains incomplete .In Algiers, the freedom fighters after seven years of bloody struggle for independence in 1962 just ended up replacing the ruling French elite. The usurping elite were and remain challenged by the angry masses with religious moorings under young radical leadership. As a student of history of revolutions around the world, it is my firm belief that to avoid massive bloodshed which will put the fear of God in the heart of the totally corrupt, insensitive and brazen ruling elite across the whole political spectrum, a lasting and fundamental change must come about quickly whether it is Lokpal Bill or electoral, educational and other reforms. 
Look at the Egyptian revolution ,still underway  but the old ruling elite of military fat cats minus a few prominent exploiters like Mubarak family and close cronies ,remains in place .Muslim Brotherhood , an exclusive power group is taking over power much against the aspirations of secular and other groups who had led the revolution against President Hosni Mubarak .

 This I had written when the Egyptian revolt began in February, 2011.

 "Egypt might join France, Russia, Turkey, China and Iran, and emerge as a modern nation from the crucible of a bloody revolution. The people of Hindustan, are unlikely to do so, where the regime is no less corrupt, but where corruption is decentralized and almost 'legitimized '. Seventy percent of the poor who live on less than a dollar have been conditioned by Brahmanical dharma that it is their Karma for sins in past lives.

 "The political architecture after Mubarak is not easy to predict but democracy as defined and not as practiced say even in USA and India might not come about any time soon .The Egyptian armed forces are well entrenched since 1952 and remain powerful as in Iran, Turkey, Pakistan , China and military-industry complex in USA.

Evolution of the Equality before Law or the Rule of law

An eye for an eye – Hammurabi
Rule of law is a Semitic contribution to human civilization. The 'Eye for an eye 'custom was codified as part of the Hammurabi Code, which formed the basis of law in Semite lands. If eye is not taken for an eye aka guilty not punished then lawlessness will take over .This Semite tribal thesis later became the core of Judaic, Christian and Islamic civilizations .In Europe it was further refined.

 Rule of Law or equality of all before the law evolved further in Europe following the Reformation and the Renaissance.

 Thus the current rule of law as acknowledged and accepted is basically a European construct on Hammurabi Code ,which evolved over a long period through revolutions and evolutions, along with the concept of a modern state and the nation .It emerged after centuries of wars among the Popes ,Holy Emperors and kings and other religious leaders and barons .And finally ; common people rose and fought for equality for all citizens and rule of law .A King was guillotined in France , Czar assassinated in Russia ,Ottoman Caliph fled Turkey , as did Chiang Kai Sheik in China and the Shah-in-Shah  from Iran and some others  elsewhere too.
 
During modern era the concept of duties of a citizen and of the ruler was further evolved and was codified in Europe helped by development of political, economic, social and ethical thought .It is only then that the concept of a nation and equality before law emerged and slowly took hold. These were then transmitted to colonies in America, Asia and Africa and implemented and accepted with different levels of success
 
India has not gone through any such metamorphosis yet. Nor is it likely any time soon .So do not hold your breath .Yes, there are revolts and rebellions in north East ,in Kashmir and in increasingly large swathes of areas where rights of tribals have been usurped ,reducing them to misery .So they are now coming under Maoist influence and sway.
 Hindu outlook and Rule of law & Removal of Corruption in India.

 Just passing a strong Lokpal Act will not solve the problem of corruption or inequality in India .The problems are deep rooted, religious and civilisational.

 Poet AK Ramanujam said that Indians don't seem to have a sense of absolute .They place everything in some context or the other. And, depending on the context, what the rest of the world would regard as being wrong in the absolute sense becomes quite all right in India.

 All this is supported even by our epics , Ramayana and Mahabharata .Like the trickery by the great  noble and transparent  warrior of Ramayana , Lord Rama in killing his opponent Bali while hiding behind a tree or in the Mahabharata war ,the apostle of truth Pandava Yudhister  proclaiming the death of Aswathama (elephant) for military gains are all lauded , accepted and readily employed in daily life , specially by the new political leadership which has emerged from the grass roots from the villages and small towns and are not versed in western concept of  the rule of law . 
Thus Indians in general have little sense or respect for rule of law. Their concept is very flexible. Show me the man and I will show you the law depending on the situation. There is almost total unanimity in applying rules and laws contextually for personal gains and advantage. 

Thus India/Hindustan is not a nation in the European sense and even in many other ways .Identity is still caste based not only in India but to quite some extent even in Pakistan and Bangladesh too . Among the followers of Islam, supposedly an egalitarian religion, the caste has been replaced by Ashraffs (migrants from Arabia, central Asia, Iran and Afghanistan) and high caste converts, mostly Rajputs and Jats, who are considered superior to converts from lower castes and untouchables .The caste malady exists among Sikhs too as manifested by recurrent resistance by low caste Sikhs against Jat Sikh domination in religious and political institutions. Christians in Kerala have separate caste based churches. Even in the most highly educated state in India, politics remains caste and religion based. Thus education is no panacea.
 
Let me give a few examples .When I made my first call in Cairo in 1962 on my first ambassador Azim Hussien ICS , on my telling him that I am a Rajput , he could not contain himself and smiled and blurted  ,'You know ,I am a Rathore Rajput' .Son of Fazli Hussein , pre-partition chief minister of  Punjab , who ruled the state in coalition with Jat leader Chhotu Ram , Azim Hussein was otherwise very reserved ,taciturn and aloof. While posted in Ankara (1992-96) I visited Bucharest and was invited for dinner by Ambassador Julio Ribeiro, a former police chief of Maharashtra and Punjab. Even before I had a few sips of the whisky, he said,'you know I am a Chitpavan Brahmin'.
 
A retired Indian Ambassador Surrender Kumar wrote a piece for  Tribune, Chandigarh about the antics of Indian parliamentarians of all castes and parties about caste based census  .He then narrated from personal experience how Indians were not satisfied unless they found out his caste , when he encountered them. These included high caste top civil servants, diplomats and politicians, who were or rose to become vice-presidents and presidents of India. 
Upward movement in India's caste system? 

Eminent Indian sociologist M.N.Srinivas, propounded the theory of Sanskritisation as the process by which castes placed lower in the caste hierarchy seek upward mobility, based on an ethnographical study of the Coorg Community of south Karnataka, India.

Srinivas defined Sanskritisation as a process by which "a 'low' Hindu caste, or tribal or other group, changes its customs, ritual ideology, and way of life in the direction of a high and frequently 'twice-born' caste. Generally such changes are followed by a claim to a higher position in the caste hierarchy than that traditionally conceded to the claimant class by the local community..."

One clear example of Sanskritisation is the acceptance, imitating the practice of twice-born castes, of vegetarianism by people belonging to the so-called low castes, who are traditionally not averse to non-vegetarian food. 

Looked from another angle , Sanskritisation is but (cultural) 'colonization' of society that entails the imposition of a set of beliefs, social structures and practices (Brahmanism) upon the Hindu society, allowing it to take root progressively and in a top-down (NOT bottom-up) manner by first inducting the upper / ruling classes of the native population. 

The British colonialism could be called Anglicization, defining it as a process by which the natives of India sought upward mobility by emulating the ways and manners of the British lords who chose to spend some time in India as part of their global mission to 'spread civilization' (and, incidentally, economic restructuring aka looting their subjects )
We will not discuss Hindu beliefs and relevance or importance of the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and all that goes by the name of Hindu scriptures, and therefore in avatars and rebirth, the varnashram dharma or varna-vyavastha either in the sense in which it is explained in Hindu dharma shastras like Manusmriti or in the so-called Vedic sense and the Hindu taboo of not eating beef or the idol-worship and other such controversial matters.

High caste Imperialism
Thus we can also say that while imperialists divided the subject races to rule over them, Brahmins, since time immemorial have divided the Hindu society, to rule over them as the highest rule making caste. They gave religious sanction and fear of hell and uncounted births as non humans and other untold tortures and miseries, if the non Brahmins wavered from the caste based Dharma and obligations, mostly for the benefit of the higher castes at the cost of those lower down.
In this Brahmin ordained apartheid like systemic cancer since millennia there has not been much weakening since 1947 or even in the equality of the sexes guaranteed by the Constitution. The women in real life remain relegated to the bottom by the religiously enforced grading led by Brahmin fraternity, warriors and nominally ruling caste of Kshatriyas, the trading and agriculture community of Vaishyas and even the Dalits (who in the countryside still remain untouchables). While for political reasons the reservations in Assemblies and for jobs have distributed benefits unevenly to Dalits and Tribes the Muslims have now ended as the new untouchables as brought out in the prevailing discriminations against them by various studies and reports. Even rich and respectable Muslims are refused flats by Hindu dominated building societies.

Female is the last on the rung of ladder in Indian society.
 
But the situation of women in India remains unenviable .A girl child is still given food the last in the family , so it is with her education ,with female foetusicide ,bride burning for dowry or maltreatment of widows and rapes galore with little or too late punishment . A few years ago, Shankaracharya of Puri declared that women have no right to learn Sanskrit the language of Hindu Shashtras or read Vedas. A Shankaracharya , mostly a Brahmin ,tries to be like an Ayatollah Khomeini ,a jurist –consult in Shia Iran, to maintain Brahminical control over Hindu society and has been used to deny education to non-Brahmins and women. Brahmins, about five percent of India's population including obscurantist cranks and charlatans continue to rule the spiritual life and flourish all over India, with many of them named Ananda (bliss) spreading swamis, preachers and priests on religious TV channels. Some have been charged with, molestation, rapes and other crimes somewhat like Catholic priests all over the world. 
 K.Gajendra Singh ,23 December 2012 .Mayur Vihar, Delhi