December 30, 2017

AAPI Launches Healthcare Clinic in Kolkata during Global Healthcare Summit 2017


AAPI Launches Healthcare Clinic in Kolkata during Global Healthcare Summit 2017

GHS packed with CMEs, award ceremony, gala, fashion and cultural shows

 

(Kolkata, WB, India: December 30th, 2017) The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Madhyamgram Metropolitan lunched a healthcare clinic offering medical care to the much need people of the region at the Prajapati Bhavan, Basunagar, Madhyamgram in the outskirts of Kolkata on December 29th, 2017, during the 11th annual Global Healthcare Summit which is underway at the historic City of Joy, Kolkata in West Bengal, India from December 28th to 31st.

Over 30 physicians of Indian origin, who are attending the GHS at the JW Marriott in Kolkata, led by Dr. Gautam Samadder, President of AAPI and Dr. Madhu Aggarwal, Chairwoman of the AAPI Charitable Foundation attended the free one day healthcare clinic at the suburban center, and treated over 200 patients during the day long clinic.

“This is the first ever clinic sponsored by AAPI in the state of West Bengal and this is the 15th across the nation,” Dr. Samadder told during a welcome reception organized by the local Rotary Club in honor of the physicians who had travelled early in the morning on a bus to serve the much needed patients at the clinic. “AAPI provides financial assistance and medical care by AAPI members to the people of this historic city,” he added.

“The new initiative with the Rotary Club will enable hundreds of visiting physicians from the US to come and devote their time and talents at the clinic in the coming moenths and years, whenever someone from the US visits the state for vacation or other business related trips to India,” Dr. Aggarwal said.

The local organizers, including the Rotary Club leaders assured AAPI members of their fullest cooperation and collaboration in their efforts to offer the much needed medical care to the people of this region by welcoming the physicians and enabling their mission to provide medical care to the local community.

GHS 2017 is attended by the over 1000 leading experts from several countries, and focusses on sharing best practices, developing efficient and cost effective solutions for India. The Honorable Shri Venkiah Naidu, the Vice President of India, will be the Chief Guest at the Closing Ceremony of the Summit on December 30th, 2017.

The Conference is being organized in partnership with the ministry of overseas Indian affairs and ministry of health and family welfare, along with collaboration with over 15 professional associations from all over the world.

The GHS 2017 features some of the biggest names in the healthcare industry, especially at the 6th annual CEO leadership forum with leaders from across the globe planned for December 30th. GHS 2017 is being attended by over 100 opinion leaders and expert speakers from many countries across the globe to present cutting edge scientific findings as these relate to clinical practice, representing major Centers of Excellence, Institutions, and Professional Associations are represented by the invited chairs and speakers.

The Global Healthcare Summit being heled here was packed with CMEs all day, which is a major objective of the Summit. The theme chosen for the GHS this year is Healthcare, Career and Commerce, with the focus on Women’s Healthcare, including high priority areas such as Cardiology, Maternal & Child Health, Diabetes, Oncology, Surgery, Mental Health, HIT, Allergy, Immunology & Lung Health, Gastroenterology, Transplant and impact of comorbidities.

Choreographed and designed by famous fashion designer, Nachiket Barve, AAPI members and leaders catwalked on the podium showcasing their talents, exquisite taste for the finest clothing and attire, proving yet again the Indian American physicians are not only famous for their brilliant healthcare, but alos could be leaders in the fashion world.

The final session of the three days long first responders training program ended on 28th with 50 more police/para medics personnel representing Kolkata Police, West Bengal Police, Kolkata Traffic Police, Police Training School, and Criminal Investigation Department, West Bengal.  Concluded here at the KPC Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata on the sidelines of the GHS. In collaboration with the American University of Antigua (AUA) College of Medicine, and the American Heart Association, AAPI was successful in imparting the much required training to over 150 people in the past three days. The lead trainers of the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT) Training Center, bringing it to the forefront of both international and national discussions and initiatives were recognized during the gala.  

Offering Trainings to First Responders, a CEO Forum by a galaxy of CEOs from around the world, inauguration of AAPI-sponsored clinic, CMEs, cultural events, Dinner Cruise on the Ganges, interactive roundtables, clinical practice workshops, scientific poster/research session and meet-the-expert sessions, Women’s Forum by internally acclaimed successful worm from India, a special session on Public-Private Partnership featuring AAPI Healthcare Charitable showcase & innovation, and Town Hall sessions resulting in a White Paper on helping create policies benefitting the people of India, are only some of the major highlights of the Healthcare Summit, Dr. Ashok Jain, Chair of AAPI BOT, said.

Dr. Naresh Parekh, President-Elect of AAPI, said, “Many of the physicians who are attending this convention have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospital staff. The GHS offers an opportunity to meet directly with these physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services,” he said.

During a press conference attended by the media at the Hotel, members of the leading print and electronic media interacted with AAPI leaders, including Dr. Samadder, President of AAPI, Dr. Sampat Shivangi, chair of AAPI’s Legislative Committee, Anwar Feroz, AAPI’s Statagic Adviser, and Dr. Chandan K Sen, Chairman, AAPI Global Healthcare Summit – Kolkata.

“This GHS promises to be one with the greatest impact and significant contributions towards harnessing the power of international Indian diaspora to bring the most innovative, efficient, cost effective healthcare solutions to India,” described Dr. Gautam Samadder, President of AAPI.  “AAPI has capped the voluminous achievements of the past 34 years with a clear vision to move forward taking this noble organization to newer heights.”

According to Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, Secretary of AAPI, the scientific program of GHS 2017 was developed by leading experts with the contributions of a stellar Scientific Advisory Board and International Scientific Committee, while the event featuring plenary sessions, interactive round-tables, clinical practice workshops, and meet the expert sessions.

The day long events came to a close with a sumptuous dinner and  a live music concert by popular Bollywood singer Usha Uthup, who kept the audience spell bound for over two hours with her melodious singing and live interaction with the audience.   

Coming from a nation that has given much to the world, today physicians of Indian origin have become a powerful influence in medicine across the world - from North America and Great Britain to East Africa, Malaysia, and Singapore. Nowhere is their authority more keenly felt than in the United States, where Indians make up the largest non-Caucasian segment of the American medical community. The overrepresentation of Indians in the field of medicine is striking – in practical terms, one out of seven doctors in the United States is of Indian Heritage. They provide medical care to over 40 million of US population.

 

The growing clout of the physicians of Indian origin in the United States is seen everywhere as several physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. Indian doctors have carved a comfortable niche in the American medical community and have earned a name for themselves with their hard work, dedication, compassion, and amazing skills and talents.

 

Representing the voice of the over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin, leaders of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic organization of physicians, come together today to felicitate Shri Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India on his maiden visit to the greatest democratic nation in the world.

 

AAPI has been strategically engaged in working with the Union and State Governments of India for the past ten years and has collaborated with more than 35 professional medical associations, pharmaceutical and medical device companies to address the health care challenges of a rapidly developing India. “It is the passion, willingness and staunch loyalty towards the former motherland that draws several AAPI members to join this effort & by working with experts in India, AAPI is able to bring solutions that are India centric & takes us closer to our lofty vision of making quality healthcare affordable & accessible to all people of India,” said Dr. Gautam Samadder.

“With the changing trends and statistics in healthcare, both in India and US, we are refocusing our mission and vision, AAPI would like to make a positive meaningful impact on the healthcare delivery system both in the US and in India,” Dr. Samadder said. For more information on Global Health Summit, please visit www.aapiusa.org

 

 Captions

1.      AAPI sponsored free healthcare clinic being launched i at the Prajapati Bhavan, Basunagar, Madhyamgram in the outskirts of Kolkata on December 29th

2.      Dr. Gautam Samadder being felicitated by Rotary Club president for initiating the AAPI sponsored clinic in the state of West Bengal

3.      Fashion parade led by Dr. Samadder and choreographed by fashion designer from Mumbai, Nachiketa Barve

4.      AAPI leaders and guests on the podium during the gala on December 29th

5.      Usha Utup ‘s mesmerizing performance at the GHS 2017

 

 

 

 

Ajay Ghosh

AAPI Media Coordinator

(203) 583-6750

December 28, 2017

‘There isn’t going to be a war between India and China today’, says Bertil Lintner


‘There isn’t going to be a war between India and China today’, says Bertil Lintner

The Hindu

Suhasini Haidar

DECEMBER 27, 2017 00:02 IST

UPDATED: DECEMBER 27, 2017 08:09 IST

MORE-IN

interview

The scholar of India-China relations on the contours of the ‘new Cold War’ in Asia, and Beijing’s vision for the Indian Ocean

Swedish journalist and strategic analyst Bertil Lintner has spent most of his career in Asia, writing about India and China and mapping the increasingly contested region the two countries share. His book, ‘China’s India War: Collision Course on the Roof of the World’, has just been published. Here he speaks about the challenge to India from China in South Asia, his research on the 1962 war, and why he thinks there will not be another India-China war, even as India firms its counter-alliance in the Indo-Pacific. Excerpts

Your latest book on the 1962 war challenges the idea that India triggered it, and its title “China’s India War” counters Neville Maxwell’s account called “India’s China War”.

You can say that all the books on the 1962 war fall into [different] categories. The first by Indian military officers who served during the war, and they are essentially military histories about how the battles were fought and so on. But they don’t give the geopolitical context. The second is the category of scholarly books on the border dispute. Now here it is important to remember the difference in political culture between India and China. India has a strong legalistic approach, with courts and laws being very important. China, on the other hand, dismisses all treaties that it doesn’t like by calling them ‘unequal treaties’ which were imposed on China when China was weak. But even in more modern days, when China is strong, these treaties mean nothing.

ALSO READ

Myth and reality in India-China relations

 

Recently, the Chinese foreign ministry said that the treaty with Britain over Hong Kong was now history, or that the international court ruling on the South China Sea favouring the Philippines was just an unfair judgment. And as I point out in the book, while India was preparing White Papers and documentation and maps and copies of treaties on the boundary, China was preparing for war.

As early as 1959, you say in the book…

Yes, and the reason that people like Maxwell and others thought it was India’s forward policy that provoked the war was because China was a very closed society in those days. People were not even aware at the time that tens of millions of people had died in a famine in China as a result of the Great Leap Forward, and there was a crisis within the Communist Party. Mao Zedong was at his least popular moment in 1949 and Mao needed to unite the party and the country behind himself. India was a convenient enemy because the Dalai Lama had been given refuge here in 1959. The other reason was that in the 1950s, India under Jawaharlal Nehru had become the main voice for newly independent countries in Asia and Africa. India initiated the Non-Aligned Movement, gave the language of Panchsheel. Now at the time, the West’s three-world theory saw the Western Bloc, the Eastern Bloc, and the global South (underdeveloped world). The Chinese view of the world was the superpowers, the lesser powers, and the poor countries (Third World). China wanted to become the leader of the revolutionary forces in the Third World and had to dethrone India from that position. After the war, Mao became strong enough to begin the cultural war, and Nehru, who died a broken man two years later, was no longer able to lead India as a spokesman of the Third World and Asia.

You’ve written about the roles of the Soviet Union and the U.S. as key to the outcome in 1962. In a war-like situation between India and China today, what position would the U.S. and Russia take?

Well, first of all, I don’t think there is going to be a war between India and China today. Trade is too important. I think what we’re seeing today is a new Cold War in Asia, an informal alliance between India and Japan [versus China]. The United States is a bit unpredictable under Donald Trump, but it had under Barack Obama embarked on a pivot to Asia, with the rise of China as the main concern. For the first time, since the 15th century and Admiral Zheng He, the Chinese are now in the Indian Ocean. China didn’t even have a proper navy until recently. So now when it talks of One Belt One Road, and the ancient maritime trade routes, it must be remembered it’s not so ancient. In the Indian Ocean, you have India, which considers it its own lake, as it were. But also in the Indian Ocean is the U.S.’s most important base, Diego Garcia. And the French control 2.5 million acres of land in the Indian Ocean. This is why these alliances are growing.

To come back to the land boundary, you have said that the Doklam stand-off this year was not about China’s designs on India, but aimed to drive a wedge between India and Bhutan. Why do you say that?

Bhutan is China’s only neighbour that doesn’t have diplomatic ties with it. Relations are maintained through these boundary talks, which have been going on for more than two decades. Bhutan has been under Indian influence, but it is now asserting itself as a sovereign power. Why did China even need the road in Doklam? Maybe the plan was to get Indian troops out of Haa (Bhutan’s Haa Valley) and get them more directly involved in this conflict, which would embarrass many Bhutanese. You can see the statements from Bhutan at the time, which were very cautious, and many Bhutanese think that India overreacted and wanted to show its control over Bhutan. China is on a charm offensive there (in Bhutan). They’re sending acrobats there, circus performers, football teams, tourists, scholarships for students. Clearly China wants to extend its influence to all its neighbours, and that includes Bhutan.

What does this mean for India-China relations in the future, especially the resolution of the boundary question?

I think the Indian Ocean is going to become the biggest challenge in the near future. I find it hard to believe they will fight another war in the Himalayas. China has in the past suggested a swap between Arunachal/South Tibet and Aksai Chin. On paper that sounds reasonable, but we don’t know how serious the Chinese are. Also, if China were to accept the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the border, it could control any dissidence within. In India, which is a democracy, the government couldn’t just go ahead with that solution… it would be political suicide. So this package is a non-starter. But in the larger picture, China doesn’t care if the boundary remains unresolved. They are not looking for a solution, they are looking for a strategic advantage. Where there is a conflict of interest building up is in the Indian Ocean. And the joint naval exercises with Australia and other countries is important. While visiting the Andaman Islands recently, I was told that the U.S. navy was visiting Port Blair. Now we know that they are not there to learn to rescue shipwrecks and play cricket.

Do you see the newly convened “Quad”, of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S., building up as a military alliance?

Yes, I think so. It is almost inevitable. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but it will come. It has to do with the rise of China, and with economic power will come political power and then military power, which you need to protect your interests.

In your previous book, ‘Great Game East’, you dealt with China’s inroads in the Indian subcontinent, from Myanmar to the Maldives. The Maldives has recently concluded a free trade agreement with China, and is growing much closer to Beijing in all respects. The question is, how can India counter China’s obvious advantage in terms of money power?

Well so far, India has been an observer, and not done that much really. The same thing is happening in the Seychelles. China is paying enormous attention to the country, of less than 100,000 people. India’s eastern border with Myanmar is so much more important, for example. But India spends an inordinate time on its western border (with Pakistan). Myanmar is China’s corridor to the Indian Ocean. What India can do to counter it is to pay more attention.

Do you think India’s position on the Belt and Road Initiative, which every neighbour except Bhutan has joined, will be effective or counter-productive?

I think on the Belt and Road Initiative, India should have made its opposition to it much earlier, and articulated its concerns better, because they were lost on most outside observers.

Will the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) change the politics of the region?

So far, I don’t think the CPEC has been much of a success. Pakistan is not a stable country, and China will have to deal more and more with its internal dynamics. Plus, the CPEC connects to Xinjiang, away from China’s economic centres, unlike, say, Myanmar that connects to China’s eastern economic zones and ports. Over the past year, given the problems in Rakhine state, China is even looking for a third route into the Indian Ocean to bypass the choke-point at the Strait of Malacca. Here China is pushing the idea of the Kra Canal (from Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea). So for China what is important is the goal, not so much the routes to it.

Moving to the east, is China’s control in Myanmar inevitable, or is there something India can do?

India has three main problems on its boundary with Myanmar compared to China. The first is infrastructure. On Myanmar’s northern border, China has super-highways, an airport not far from the border. Kunming has been upgraded to a huge international airport. On the Indian side, infrastructure is still a major problem. It’s better than 10 years ago perhaps, but not comparable to what already exists on the Chinese side.

ALSO READ

On the line: on India-China boundary talks

 

The other problem is red-tape and bureaucracy, and it seems that the Chinese Communist Party are better capitalists than India, a democracy, is. There are still many trade restrictions on the Indian side and several checkpoints. An integrated checkpoint, which is being planned by India, will help. The third problem is from underground rebel groups operating on the Indian side, which can carry out attacks and extort money all along the border. Anyone with a gun can demand anything. But I can say with certainty that people of Myanmar would like to do much more trade with India, because the dependence on China is so massive, it is worrying for everyone, including their military

‘There isn’t going to be a war between India and China today’, says Bertil Lintner


‘There isn’t going to be a war between India and China today’, says Bertil Lintner

The Hindu

Suhasini Haidar

DECEMBER 27, 2017 00:02 IST

UPDATED: DECEMBER 27, 2017 08:09 IST

MORE-IN

interview

The scholar of India-China relations on the contours of the ‘new Cold War’ in Asia, and Beijing’s vision for the Indian Ocean

Swedish journalist and strategic analyst Bertil Lintner has spent most of his career in Asia, writing about India and China and mapping the increasingly contested region the two countries share. His book, ‘China’s India War: Collision Course on the Roof of the World’, has just been published. Here he speaks about the challenge to India from China in South Asia, his research on the 1962 war, and why he thinks there will not be another India-China war, even as India firms its counter-alliance in the Indo-Pacific. Excerpts

Your latest book on the 1962 war challenges the idea that India triggered it, and its title “China’s India War” counters Neville Maxwell’s account called “India’s China War”.

You can say that all the books on the 1962 war fall into [different] categories. The first by Indian military officers who served during the war, and they are essentially military histories about how the battles were fought and so on. But they don’t give the geopolitical context. The second is the category of scholarly books on the border dispute. Now here it is important to remember the difference in political culture between India and China. India has a strong legalistic approach, with courts and laws being very important. China, on the other hand, dismisses all treaties that it doesn’t like by calling them ‘unequal treaties’ which were imposed on China when China was weak. But even in more modern days, when China is strong, these treaties mean nothing.

ALSO READ

Myth and reality in India-China relations

 

Recently, the Chinese foreign ministry said that the treaty with Britain over Hong Kong was now history, or that the international court ruling on the South China Sea favouring the Philippines was just an unfair judgment. And as I point out in the book, while India was preparing White Papers and documentation and maps and copies of treaties on the boundary, China was preparing for war.

As early as 1959, you say in the book…

Yes, and the reason that people like Maxwell and others thought it was India’s forward policy that provoked the war was because China was a very closed society in those days. People were not even aware at the time that tens of millions of people had died in a famine in China as a result of the Great Leap Forward, and there was a crisis within the Communist Party. Mao Zedong was at his least popular moment in 1949 and Mao needed to unite the party and the country behind himself. India was a convenient enemy because the Dalai Lama had been given refuge here in 1959. The other reason was that in the 1950s, India under Jawaharlal Nehru had become the main voice for newly independent countries in Asia and Africa. India initiated the Non-Aligned Movement, gave the language of Panchsheel. Now at the time, the West’s three-world theory saw the Western Bloc, the Eastern Bloc, and the global South (underdeveloped world). The Chinese view of the world was the superpowers, the lesser powers, and the poor countries (Third World). China wanted to become the leader of the revolutionary forces in the Third World and had to dethrone India from that position. After the war, Mao became strong enough to begin the cultural war, and Nehru, who died a broken man two years later, was no longer able to lead India as a spokesman of the Third World and Asia.

You’ve written about the roles of the Soviet Union and the U.S. as key to the outcome in 1962. In a war-like situation between India and China today, what position would the U.S. and Russia take?

Well, first of all, I don’t think there is going to be a war between India and China today. Trade is too important. I think what we’re seeing today is a new Cold War in Asia, an informal alliance between India and Japan [versus China]. The United States is a bit unpredictable under Donald Trump, but it had under Barack Obama embarked on a pivot to Asia, with the rise of China as the main concern. For the first time, since the 15th century and Admiral Zheng He, the Chinese are now in the Indian Ocean. China didn’t even have a proper navy until recently. So now when it talks of One Belt One Road, and the ancient maritime trade routes, it must be remembered it’s not so ancient. In the Indian Ocean, you have India, which considers it its own lake, as it were. But also in the Indian Ocean is the U.S.’s most important base, Diego Garcia. And the French control 2.5 million acres of land in the Indian Ocean. This is why these alliances are growing.

To come back to the land boundary, you have said that the Doklam stand-off this year was not about China’s designs on India, but aimed to drive a wedge between India and Bhutan. Why do you say that?

Bhutan is China’s only neighbour that doesn’t have diplomatic ties with it. Relations are maintained through these boundary talks, which have been going on for more than two decades. Bhutan has been under Indian influence, but it is now asserting itself as a sovereign power. Why did China even need the road in Doklam? Maybe the plan was to get Indian troops out of Haa (Bhutan’s Haa Valley) and get them more directly involved in this conflict, which would embarrass many Bhutanese. You can see the statements from Bhutan at the time, which were very cautious, and many Bhutanese think that India overreacted and wanted to show its control over Bhutan. China is on a charm offensive there (in Bhutan). They’re sending acrobats there, circus performers, football teams, tourists, scholarships for students. Clearly China wants to extend its influence to all its neighbours, and that includes Bhutan.

What does this mean for India-China relations in the future, especially the resolution of the boundary question?

I think the Indian Ocean is going to become the biggest challenge in the near future. I find it hard to believe they will fight another war in the Himalayas. China has in the past suggested a swap between Arunachal/South Tibet and Aksai Chin. On paper that sounds reasonable, but we don’t know how serious the Chinese are. Also, if China were to accept the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as the border, it could control any dissidence within. In India, which is a democracy, the government couldn’t just go ahead with that solution… it would be political suicide. So this package is a non-starter. But in the larger picture, China doesn’t care if the boundary remains unresolved. They are not looking for a solution, they are looking for a strategic advantage. Where there is a conflict of interest building up is in the Indian Ocean. And the joint naval exercises with Australia and other countries is important. While visiting the Andaman Islands recently, I was told that the U.S. navy was visiting Port Blair. Now we know that they are not there to learn to rescue shipwrecks and play cricket.

Do you see the newly convened “Quad”, of India, Australia, Japan and the U.S., building up as a military alliance?

Yes, I think so. It is almost inevitable. Nobody really wants to talk about it, but it will come. It has to do with the rise of China, and with economic power will come political power and then military power, which you need to protect your interests.

In your previous book, ‘Great Game East’, you dealt with China’s inroads in the Indian subcontinent, from Myanmar to the Maldives. The Maldives has recently concluded a free trade agreement with China, and is growing much closer to Beijing in all respects. The question is, how can India counter China’s obvious advantage in terms of money power?

Well so far, India has been an observer, and not done that much really. The same thing is happening in the Seychelles. China is paying enormous attention to the country, of less than 100,000 people. India’s eastern border with Myanmar is so much more important, for example. But India spends an inordinate time on its western border (with Pakistan). Myanmar is China’s corridor to the Indian Ocean. What India can do to counter it is to pay more attention.

Do you think India’s position on the Belt and Road Initiative, which every neighbour except Bhutan has joined, will be effective or counter-productive?

I think on the Belt and Road Initiative, India should have made its opposition to it much earlier, and articulated its concerns better, because they were lost on most outside observers.

Will the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) change the politics of the region?

So far, I don’t think the CPEC has been much of a success. Pakistan is not a stable country, and China will have to deal more and more with its internal dynamics. Plus, the CPEC connects to Xinjiang, away from China’s economic centres, unlike, say, Myanmar that connects to China’s eastern economic zones and ports. Over the past year, given the problems in Rakhine state, China is even looking for a third route into the Indian Ocean to bypass the choke-point at the Strait of Malacca. Here China is pushing the idea of the Kra Canal (from Gulf of Thailand to the Andaman Sea). So for China what is important is the goal, not so much the routes to it.

Moving to the east, is China’s control in Myanmar inevitable, or is there something India can do?

India has three main problems on its boundary with Myanmar compared to China. The first is infrastructure. On Myanmar’s northern border, China has super-highways, an airport not far from the border. Kunming has been upgraded to a huge international airport. On the Indian side, infrastructure is still a major problem. It’s better than 10 years ago perhaps, but not comparable to what already exists on the Chinese side.

ALSO READ

On the line: on India-China boundary talks

 

The other problem is red-tape and bureaucracy, and it seems that the Chinese Communist Party are better capitalists than India, a democracy, is. There are still many trade restrictions on the Indian side and several checkpoints. An integrated checkpoint, which is being planned by India, will help. The third problem is from underground rebel groups operating on the Indian side, which can carry out attacks and extort money all along the border. Anyone with a gun can demand anything. But I can say with certainty that people of Myanmar would like to do much more trade with India, because the dependence on China is so massive, it is worrying for everyone, including their military

One million people need to read this article & read it again


~ Maria Wirth

One million people need to read this article & read it again:

Though I have lived in India for a long time, there are still issues here that I find hard to understand. For example, why do so many educated Indians become agitated when India is referred to as a Hindu country? The majority of Indians are Hindus. India is special because of its ancient Hindu tradition. Westerners are drawn to India because of Hinduism. Why then is there this resistance by many Indians to acknowledge the Hindu roots of their country? Why do some people even give the impression that an India which valued those roots would be dangerous? Don’t they know better?

This attitude is strange for two reasons. First, those educated Indians seem to have a problem only with “Hindu” India, but not with “Muslim” or “Christian” countries. Germany, for example, is a secular country, and only 59 percent of the population are registered with the two big Christian churches (Protestant and Catholic). Nevertheless, the country is bracketed under “Christian countries” and no one objects. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, stressed recently the Christian roots of Germany and urged the population “to go back to Christian values.” In 2012 she postponed her trip to the G-8 summit to make a public address on Katholikentag, “Catholics Day.” Two major political parties carry Christian in their name, including Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

Germans are not agitated that Germany is called a Christian country, though I actually would understand if they were. After all, the history of the Church is appalling. The so-called success story of Christianity depended greatly on tyranny. “Convert or die” were the options given—not only some five hundred years ago to the indigenous population in America, but also in Germany, 1,200 years ago, when the emperor Karl the Great ordered the death sentence for refusal of baptism in his newly conquered realms. This provoked his advisor Alkuin to comment: “One can force them to baptism, but how to force them to believe?”

Those times, when one’s life was in danger for dissenting with the dogmas of Christianity, are thankfully over. Today many in the West do dissent and are leaving the Church in a steady stream. They are disgusted with the less-than-holy behavior of Church officials and they also can’t believe in the dogmas, for example that “Jesus is the only way” and that God sends all those who don’t accept this to hell.

The second reason why I can’t understand the resistance to associate India with Hinduism is that Hinduism is in a different category from the Abrahamic religions. Its history, compared to Christianity and Islam, was undoubtedly the least violent as it spread in ancient times by convincing arguments and not by force. It is not a belief system that demands blind acceptance of dogmas and the suspension of one’s intelligence. On the contrary, Hinduism encourages using one’s intelligence to the hilt. It is an enquiry into truth based on a refined character and intellect. It comprises a huge body of ancient literature, not only regarding dharma and philosophy, but also regarding music, architecture, dance, science, astronomy, economics, politics, etc. If Germany or any other Western country had this kind of literary treasure, it would be so proud and highlight its greatness on every occasion. When I discovered the Upanishads, for example, I was stunned. Here was expressed in clear terms what I intuitively had felt to be true, but could not have expressed clearly. Brahman is not partial; it is the invisible, indivisible essence in everything. Everyone gets again and again a chance to discover the ultimate truth and is free to choose his way back to it. Helpful hints are given but not imposed.

In my early days in India I thought every Indian knew and valued his tradition. Slowly I realized I was wrong. The British colonial masters had been successful in not only weaning away many of the elite from their ancient tradition but even making them despise it. It helped that the British-educated class could no longer read the original Sanskrit texts and believed what the British told them. This lack of knowledge and the brainwashing by the British education may be the reason why many so-called “modern” Indians are against anything Hindu. They don’t realize the difference between Western religions that have to be believed (or at least professed) blindly, and which discourage, if not forbid, their adherents to think on their own, and the multi-layered Hindu Dharma which gives freedom and encourages using one’s intelligence.

Many of the Indian educated class do not realize that those who dream of imposing Christianity or Islam on this vast country will applaud them for denigrating Hindu Dharma, because this creates a vacuum where Western ideas can easier gain a foothold. At the same time, many Westerners, including staunch Christians, know the value of Hindu culture and surreptitiously appropriate insights from the vast Indian knowledge system, drop the original Hindu source and present it either as their own or make it look as if these insights had already been known in the West. As the West appropriates valuable and exclusive Hindu assets, what it leaves behind is deemed inferior. Unwittingly, these Indians are helping what Rajiv Malhotra of Infinity Foundation calls the digestion of Dharma civilization into Western universalism. That which is being digested, a deer for example, in this case Hindu Dharma, disappears whereas the digester (a tiger) becomes stronger.

If only missionaries denigrated Hindu Dharma, it would not be so bad, as they clearly have an agenda which discerning Indians would detect. But sadly, Indians with Hindu names assist them because they wrongly believe Hinduism is inferior to Western religions. They belittle everything Hindu instead of getting thorough knowledge. As a rule, they know little about their tradition except what the British have told them, i.e., that the major features are the caste system and idol worship. They don’t realize that India would gain, not lose, if it solidly backed its profound and all-inclusive Hindu tradition. The Dalai Lama said some time ago that, as a youth in Lhasa, he had been deeply impressed by the richness of Indian thought. “India has great potential to help the world,” he added.

When will the Westernized Indian elite realize it?

One million people need to read this article & read it again


~ Maria Wirth

One million people need to read this article & read it again:

Though I have lived in India for a long time, there are still issues here that I find hard to understand. For example, why do so many educated Indians become agitated when India is referred to as a Hindu country? The majority of Indians are Hindus. India is special because of its ancient Hindu tradition. Westerners are drawn to India because of Hinduism. Why then is there this resistance by many Indians to acknowledge the Hindu roots of their country? Why do some people even give the impression that an India which valued those roots would be dangerous? Don’t they know better?

This attitude is strange for two reasons. First, those educated Indians seem to have a problem only with “Hindu” India, but not with “Muslim” or “Christian” countries. Germany, for example, is a secular country, and only 59 percent of the population are registered with the two big Christian churches (Protestant and Catholic). Nevertheless, the country is bracketed under “Christian countries” and no one objects. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, stressed recently the Christian roots of Germany and urged the population “to go back to Christian values.” In 2012 she postponed her trip to the G-8 summit to make a public address on Katholikentag, “Catholics Day.” Two major political parties carry Christian in their name, including Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

Germans are not agitated that Germany is called a Christian country, though I actually would understand if they were. After all, the history of the Church is appalling. The so-called success story of Christianity depended greatly on tyranny. “Convert or die” were the options given—not only some five hundred years ago to the indigenous population in America, but also in Germany, 1,200 years ago, when the emperor Karl the Great ordered the death sentence for refusal of baptism in his newly conquered realms. This provoked his advisor Alkuin to comment: “One can force them to baptism, but how to force them to believe?”

Those times, when one’s life was in danger for dissenting with the dogmas of Christianity, are thankfully over. Today many in the West do dissent and are leaving the Church in a steady stream. They are disgusted with the less-than-holy behavior of Church officials and they also can’t believe in the dogmas, for example that “Jesus is the only way” and that God sends all those who don’t accept this to hell.

The second reason why I can’t understand the resistance to associate India with Hinduism is that Hinduism is in a different category from the Abrahamic religions. Its history, compared to Christianity and Islam, was undoubtedly the least violent as it spread in ancient times by convincing arguments and not by force. It is not a belief system that demands blind acceptance of dogmas and the suspension of one’s intelligence. On the contrary, Hinduism encourages using one’s intelligence to the hilt. It is an enquiry into truth based on a refined character and intellect. It comprises a huge body of ancient literature, not only regarding dharma and philosophy, but also regarding music, architecture, dance, science, astronomy, economics, politics, etc. If Germany or any other Western country had this kind of literary treasure, it would be so proud and highlight its greatness on every occasion. When I discovered the Upanishads, for example, I was stunned. Here was expressed in clear terms what I intuitively had felt to be true, but could not have expressed clearly. Brahman is not partial; it is the invisible, indivisible essence in everything. Everyone gets again and again a chance to discover the ultimate truth and is free to choose his way back to it. Helpful hints are given but not imposed.

In my early days in India I thought every Indian knew and valued his tradition. Slowly I realized I was wrong. The British colonial masters had been successful in not only weaning away many of the elite from their ancient tradition but even making them despise it. It helped that the British-educated class could no longer read the original Sanskrit texts and believed what the British told them. This lack of knowledge and the brainwashing by the British education may be the reason why many so-called “modern” Indians are against anything Hindu. They don’t realize the difference between Western religions that have to be believed (or at least professed) blindly, and which discourage, if not forbid, their adherents to think on their own, and the multi-layered Hindu Dharma which gives freedom and encourages using one’s intelligence.

Many of the Indian educated class do not realize that those who dream of imposing Christianity or Islam on this vast country will applaud them for denigrating Hindu Dharma, because this creates a vacuum where Western ideas can easier gain a foothold. At the same time, many Westerners, including staunch Christians, know the value of Hindu culture and surreptitiously appropriate insights from the vast Indian knowledge system, drop the original Hindu source and present it either as their own or make it look as if these insights had already been known in the West. As the West appropriates valuable and exclusive Hindu assets, what it leaves behind is deemed inferior. Unwittingly, these Indians are helping what Rajiv Malhotra of Infinity Foundation calls the digestion of Dharma civilization into Western universalism. That which is being digested, a deer for example, in this case Hindu Dharma, disappears whereas the digester (a tiger) becomes stronger.

If only missionaries denigrated Hindu Dharma, it would not be so bad, as they clearly have an agenda which discerning Indians would detect. But sadly, Indians with Hindu names assist them because they wrongly believe Hinduism is inferior to Western religions. They belittle everything Hindu instead of getting thorough knowledge. As a rule, they know little about their tradition except what the British have told them, i.e., that the major features are the caste system and idol worship. They don’t realize that India would gain, not lose, if it solidly backed its profound and all-inclusive Hindu tradition. The Dalai Lama said some time ago that, as a youth in Lhasa, he had been deeply impressed by the richness of Indian thought. “India has great potential to help the world,” he added.

When will the Westernized Indian elite realize it?

The Chinese road to dusty debt

http://m.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/the-chinese-road-to-dusty-debt/article10003542.ece

Updated: December 27, 2017 19:24 IST | G Parthasarathy

Hambantota port: Too big a burden to bear | RK Radhakrishnan

While Sri Lanka and Pakistan are in over their heads, Myanmar and Indonesia offer some resistance to ‘aid’ from Beijing

China’s much touted ‘silk roads’ and ‘maritime silk routes’ trace their origin to its trade across Central Asia and the Indian Ocean. Interestingly, silk constituted a relatively small portion of Chinese trade, though it gave an exotic content to what was primarily commercial activity in which China was the principal beneficiary.

The maritime silk route across the Indian Ocean was first set during the course of seven expeditions between 1404 and 1433 by a Chinese naval fleet headed by Admiral Zheng He, a Mongolian Muslim eunuch appointed by Ming emperor Yongle. During the course of expeditions to Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Calicut, Zheng brought back kings and princes to ‘Kowtow’ (genuflect) before the Ming emperor.

Exploitative actions

Indonesia has ensured that it responds cautiously to Chinese inducements and avoids getting closely drawn into a Chinese embrace. Beijing, however, seems to have drawn Sri Lanka into its web, taking advantage of the island’s economic vulnerabilities. After visiting Calicut in 1406, Zheng returned to Sri Lanka in 1411 with a large army to take revenge for an earlier perceived insult. Parts of the island were plundered and the Sri Lankan king, Vira Alakeswara, was taken back to Nanjing, together with the holy ‘tooth relic’ of the Buddha; the king was replaced by a ‘malleable’ ruler. While the humiliated king was returned to his people a few years later, the tooth relic was returned six centuries later, in 1960, by Prime Minister Chou en Lai, as a gesture of “goodwill”, Chinese style. Chinese trade was historically as exploitative as trade by the British East India Company.

Today, Colombo is full of hoardings of China’s “magnanimity”, manifested in its “assistance” in infrastructure, industrial and construction projects. Beyond the Galle Main Road in Colombo is the $1.4-billion Port City Project to be filled with Chinese built, owned, or managed luxury apartments, golf course, theme park, hotels and office buildings. All these will soon become part of Sri Lanka’s mounting official debt burden. This will accentuate the already unbearable debt burden Colombo has accumulated from earlier Chinese “aid”. The main instruments of this “aid” and plunder of natural resources are the China Communications Construction Company and its subsidiary, the China Harbour Engineering Company. The World Bank has blacklisted both these companies across the world because of their corrupt practices, including bribery. The only well-executed and profitable Chinese-built project in Sri Lanka is the container terminal in Colombo.

Apart from this, Chinese projects located in President Mahinda Rajapakse’s constituency, Hambantota, have imposed an unsustainable debt burden on Sri Lanka. Given the western aversion for his regime and Indian doubts about the project’s viability, Rajapakse welcomed Chinese “assistance” to develop his constituency. He sought and obtained Chinese “support” to heavily finance projects ranging from the Hambantota port, to a power plant, an airport, an industrial park, a cricket stadium and a sports complex. All these investments have proved uneconomical. Hardly any ships visit Hambantota , barely one aircraft lands in the airport daily, and the sports facilities remained unutilised, even as locals were outraged by the proposed construction of an industrial park. Sri Lanka has been spending 90 per cent of government revenues to service debts.

Pressure tactics

Unable to repay its debts, Sri Lanka has been forced to convert Chinese investments into equity in Hambantota, giving the Chinese partial ownership of the port. Following discreet Indian expressions of concern, Sri Lanka has retained operational control of Hambantota port, ensuring that Chinese submarines and warships do not freely berth there.

Some pre-emptive action has also been taken to ensure that the eastern port of Trincomalee does not become the next port of interest for Chinese strategic ambitions, thanks to the timely initiative of Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. The Indian Oil Corporation has established a business presence in Sri Lanka for progressive involvement in the use of Trincomalee for import and processing of petroleum products. It is imperative to build on this, by constructing a modern petroleum tefinery, on equitable terms, in Trincomalee.

China’s belt and road initiative in Myanmar is primarily concentrated on developing the Bay of Bengal port of Kyaukpyu ,and connecting the port to neighbouring Yunnan province by oil and gas pipelines, and road and rail networks. But Myanmar is wary of over-dependence on China because of, amongst other reasons, environmentally damaging energy projects and its yearning for access to precious metals and stones. Myanmar may, however, find it difficult to resist the pressure unless India, Japan, South Korea, the US, the EU and neighbouring Asean countries make a coordinated effort to strengthen economic relations with it. A similar approach would be needed regarding China’s approach to construction projects in Nepal and Bangladesh.

China’s ‘all- weather friend’ Pakistan is also facing problems in implementing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Despite high-level meetings, important projects like the Diamer-Bhasha Dam located in Gilgit-Baltistan, in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, are stalled, because of disagreement on the financial terms set by the Chinese.

There are also differences on implementing railway projects based out of Peshawar and Karachi, apart from a series of road projects. Moreover, there is very little transfer of technology and know-how, and minimal local participation in Chinese construction projects. Beijing has, after all, to utilise its vast surplus labour force and construction machinery and materials abroad, as its unprecedented domestic construction projects at home are completed.

Pakistan’s dilemma

More and more questions are being raised in Pakistan about where the resources will come from to repay the over $50-billion debt the that will accrue from CPEC projects, where local participation is minimal. Moreover, Pakistan will soon be unable to credibly claim that it exercises its sovereignty in places like the Gwadar port, which is all set to become a Chinese-run military base, close to the strategic Straits of Hormuz.

Writing in Dawn newspaper, columnist Khurram Hussein perceptively observes: “In reality, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is about allowing Chinese enterprises to assume dominant positions in all dynamic sectors of Pakistan’s economy, as well as a ‘strategic’ direction that is often hinted at, but never fleshed out.”

The writer is a former High Commissioner to Pakistan


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December 26, 2017

Ten Basic Facts about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Ten Basic Facts about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

HuffPost and Times of Israel

By David Harris, AJC CEO

December 25, 2017

In all the discussion about this decades-long conflict and the quest for a solution, some basic facts are too often missing, neglected, downplayed, or skewed.

Not only does this do a disservice to history, but it also contributes to prolonging the conflict by perpetuating false assumptions and mistaken notions.

Consider:

Fact #1: There could have been a two-state solution as early as 1947. That’s precisely what the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) proposed, recognizing the presence of two peoples – and two nationalisms – in a territory governed temporarily by the United Kingdom. And the UN General Assembly decisively endorsed the UNSCOP proposal. The Jewish side pragmatically accepted the plan, but the Arab world categorically rejected it.

Fact #2: When Israel declared independence on May 14, 1948, it extended the hand of friendship to its Arab neighbors, as clearly evidenced by its founding documents and statements. That offer, too, was spurned. Instead, five Arab armies declared war on the fledgling Jewish state, seeking its total destruction. Despite vastly outnumbering the Jews and possessing superior military arsenals, they failed in their quest.

Fact #3: Until 1967, the eastern part of Jerusalem and the entire West Bank were in the hands of Jordan, not Israel. Had the Arab world wished, an independent Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem, could have been established at any time. Not only did this not happen, but there is no record of it ever having been discussed. To the contrary, Jordan annexed the territory, seeking full and permanent control. It proceeded to treat Jerusalem as a backwater, while denying Jews any access to Jewish holy sites in the Old City and destroying the synagogues there. Meanwhile, Gaza was under Egyptian military rule. Again, there was no talk of sovereignty for the Palestinians there, either.

Fact #4: In May 1967, the Egyptian and Syrian governments repeatedly threatened to annihilate Israel, as these countries demanded that UN peacekeeping forces be withdrawn from the region. Moreover, Israeli shipping lanes to its southern port of Eilat were blocked, and Arab troops were deployed to front-line positions. The Six-Day War was the outcome, a war that Israel won. Coming into possession of the Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, and eastern Jerusalem, Israel extended feelers to its Arab neighbors, via third parties, seeking a “land for peace” formula. The Arab response came back on September 1, 1967, from Khartoum, Sudan, where the Arab League nations were meeting. The message was unmistakable: “No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel.” Yet another opportunity to end the conflict had come and gone.

Fact #5: In November 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat broke with the Arab rejectionist consensus. He traveled to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem to meet with Israeli leaders and address Israel’s parliament and speak of peace. Two years later, underscoring the lengths to which Israel was prepared to go to end the conflict, a deal was reached, in which Israel – led, notably, by a right-wing government– yielded the vast Sinai Peninsula, with its strategic depth, oil deposits, settlements, and air bases, in exchange for the promise of a new era in relations with the Arab world’s leading country. In 1981, Sadat was slain by the Muslim Brotherhood for his alleged perfidy, but his legacy of peace with Israel, thankfully, has endured.

Fact #6: In September 1993, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) reached an agreement, known as the Oslo Accords, offering hope for peace on that front as well, but eight months later, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat confirmed the suspicions of many that he was not honest, when he was caught on tape in a Johannesburg mosque asserting that this agreement was nothing more than a temporary truce until final victory.

Fact #7: In 1994, Jordan’s King Hussein, following in the footsteps of Egyptian President Sadat, reached an agreement with Israel, again demonstrating Israel’s readiness for peace – and willingness to make territorial sacrifices when sincere Arab leaders come forward.

Fact #8: In 2000-1, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, leading a left-of-center government and supported by the Clinton administration, offered a groundbreaking two-state arrangement to Arafat, including a bold compromise on Jerusalem. Not only did the Palestinian leader reject the offer, but he shockingly told Clinton that Jews had never had any historical connection to Jerusalem, gave no counter-offer, and triggered a new wave of Palestinian violence that led to more than 1,000 Israeli fatalities (proportionately equivalent to 40,000 Americans).

Fact #9: In 2008, three years after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unilaterally withdrew all Israeli soldiers and settlers from Gaza, only to see Hamas seize control and destroy another chance for coexistence, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert went even further than Barak in extending an olive branch to the Palestinian Authority. He offered a still more generous two-state proposal, but got no formal response from Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor. A Palestinian negotiator subsequently acknowledged in the media that the Israeli plan would have given his side the equivalent of 100 percent of the disputed lands under discussion.

Fact #10: At the request of the Obama administration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to a ten-month freeze on settlement-building in 2010, as a good-faith gesture to lure the Palestinians back to the table. Regrettably, it failed. The Palestinians didn’t show up. Instead, they have continued to this day their strategy of incitement; attempts to bypass Israel – and face-to-face talks – by going to international organizations instead; denial of the age-old Jewish link to Jerusalem and, by extension, the region; and lifetime financial support for captured terrorists and the families of suicide bombers.

Isn’t it high time to draw some obvious conclusions from these facts, recognize the many lost opportunities to reach a settlement because of a consistent “no” from one side, and call on the Palestinians to start saying “yes” for a change?

December 25, 2017

Congress moles in BJP?


We received this message from Social media.

〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰〰
It appears some vested interests led by some Cong Moles in our BJP party are spreading disinformation in Media and Social Media against Dr Swamy !

They are led by #SHAKUNI / Jai Italy gang and want to create misunderstandings !

Dr Swamy has always been all for PM Narendra Bhai & wants BJP to rule for more decades to implement all our Hindutva Agenda and for Economic Reforms.

Expressing some factual opinion and views are not being anti-PM or BJP but it suits paid vested interests to create these hurdles and paint Dr Swamy in poor light so that their nefarious activities can go on unnoticed.

*Please be vigilant and express your views on the Social Media against the vested interests led by  #SHAKUNI*