Insight Mahiprasad

Monday, October 26, 2009

To chain the Dragon, tighten the links effectively

Somehow the People's Republic of China looks down upon India, since its inception, and keeps frightening its neighbour quite often. Surprisingly, its relations with other smaller neighbours have not been acidic, except for Taiwan and South Korea. Though India is no match with China in terms of economic and military power, yet the dragon pushes out its hot smoke often from its red eyes and jowl. In the past, Pundit Nehru could not see through the inner minds of Mao Tse Dong and Chu en Lai, neither do any of our political leaders after him. Nehru was amazed to find Chinese soldiers invading the line of control in 1962, though he had given the red carpet welcome to the Chinese Premier only a couple of weeks earlier. Ever, the Chinese leaders have never shown any relaxation to India, which they extend to others, even if it seems immoral. On receiving a part of Kashmir as a souvenir from Pakistan, China never feels reprehensible. Rather, on a few occasions, it has shamelessly wanted to broker on Indo-Pak dialogue. During the Bangladesh war, China could not stick to the principle of supporting the cause in favour of the oppressed, and ironically, stood behind Pakistan. In recent years, China's nuclear policies towards North Korea and Pakistan and its support to the military junta of Myanmar have unearthed its obnoxious state of mind. During the last few weeks, China's daring approach towards India's border in the North East signifies its unholy demand, which needs to be ploughed sooner than later.

Of late, India's approach to the higher ups in the United States in reviewing sanctions, have cut the ice in favour of Myanmar, and India's Myanmar link has bolstered its strength around. The former foreign secretary of India, Shiv Shankar Menon had been a key player in bringing Myanmar close to the South Block and this incredible incident occurred when the generals were under the clutches of Beijing. This incident has invariably preached us that there are ways one can triumph out of the darkness, if intentions are clear.

Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Mongolia, Myanmar, North Korea, Vietnam are all under the good books of China. It seems China wishes to surround us by making good relations with our neighbours. Sooner or later, when it feels like invading India, it would have friends in the region supporting them. But every government has its plus and minuses and they would falter at times. We need to grab the opportunities. Right now, we may also creep into those nations which are bordering China, enhance our relations and make them realize that we too can play the game. To force China to sit on the table and not behaving hegemonic, India must introduce their militarist relations with Taiwan and South Korea, give enough aid to Mongolia, Myanmar and Nepal, and share regular informations about its neighbour with Japan, Russia and Afghanistan. For that to happen, we may appoint a Task Force consisting of able former officers of the foreign and military services, answerable to the Cabinet frequently.

To chain the Dragon, we need to tighten the links effectively.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Relishing the Real Ongoing IPL Matches

These days the real IPL matches are in full swing. Do not miss them. These matches are so vibrant in nature, that you would surely forget any other premier matches played with such panache anywhere in the world. No, it's no joke and neither these are related to cricket whatsoever. This is the Indian Price League, played upon in all the turfs of India, organized by the business association of India and co-hosted by our "aam admi sarkar", the UPA government.

To enjoy these matches, one need not rush towards the stadium or settle oneself before the TV screen but needs to move around in the market every day. Here prices of the commodity are taking giant strides. The commodities that were looking so sleepy a few days back, shaking up suddenly, then drawing the attention of the buyers. Few do crash, but they too shake off to rise again. Honestly there is no respite for the consumer. They are like the spectators in the stadium. They can not do anything whether Sehwag pulls a long off six or ducks on the first ball. Let's be specific. Onion was Rs.12 a Kg last week. Suddenly, giving no one a chance, it jumped to Rs.30 in a retail store. Potatoes which were Rs.5 a Kg during last winter, it's now rolling between Rs. 25 to Rs.30 a Kg. But strangely, tomatoes took a backward leap to fall from Rs.30 to Rs.10 now within a fortnight. Who does not know about the bitterness of the present day sugar? Beware, the rice is rising. Almost all the prices of the spices have bloated enough to ridicule the common bloke. Name anything from sweets to flowers, clothings to medicines, fish or meat or eggs-everything seems to be in the spirit of high competition. This Indian Price League is one tournament, unlike any other, which is providing butterflies in the stomach along with hypertensions amongst the spectators 24x7. Enjoy the festivities.

Recalling one incident of 1953 from my grandmother when one paise fare of State Buses were increased in West Bengal. To protest the price rise, the people of the State had lit fifty buses and six trams in one day. Contrary to this, we do not see any murmur amongst the opposition parties when prices of every commodity are skyrocketing high. They are involved with more important subjects like terrorism, naxalism, statuism (Mayawati), beautification of Delhi and corruption in general. Let the prices take its course, people have so many other things to concentrate on. There are Commonwealth Games, Champions League, Border Conflicts, Big Boss Show and so many other things to worry about. This is the crust of Manmohaneconomics, where small things of life are insignificant. Think Big and Talk Big, there is no place for moaning, in this cruel world.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to Contain the Dragon?

Not long ago when most of our fellow Indians were obsessed with the thought that India was at par with China. Even our military bosses kept the morale of our soldiers by pronouncing that they could give hard knocks to their big neighbour, if situation so arose. But of late, there is a paradigm shift in the perception. The Dragons are way ahead of us in almost every field, and so our experts feel a bit uncomfortable while exaggerating the might of the People's Republic of China. It is true that, even if not regularly, China does not miss a chance to exhibit its power to the world. Be it the Beijing Olympic's extravaganza or its military showcase during its 60th year of commemoration.

During the past sixty years, it has been noticed that China's foreign policy seemed superior in nature in comparison to India. Though Nehru was considered as a great diplomat, who discovered the principle of Panchsheel and the slogan of Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai, yet we were thrashed hopelessly by the Chinese in the Sino-India War of 1962. What went wrong with our policy? If we go deeply into the labyrinth, we find Dalai Lama was one of the reasons behind the war. Today, his movement in and around India, is causing bitterness amongst the two giant neighbours. Are we facing another war, again due to the intricacies involving Dalai Lama? Even US President Barrack Obama passed up a meeting with the Tibetan leader in Washington this week to avoid any controversy in Beijing next month. Most nations today understand the might of China, and keep distance of from any controversy. Be it US, UK, or Russia. India too should learn from them.

As of today, India's relations to its neighbours cannot be termed as neighbour-like. Not only Pakistan, our relations are strained with China and Bangladesh. Our one time buddy Nepal has slipped away, and no one really knows as to when we would put the Himalayan Kingdom in the brackets of China and Bangladesh. We have practically no relation with Burma, once a good ally of India. The terrorism caused by LTTE and our policy have made Sri Lanka jittery towards us. Finally we are left with two tiny nations, Bhutan and Maldives, whom we may call with pride as our friends. Often we are accused of hegemony by our neighbours. Comparing to this, China may claim better relations with its neighbours. Except Taiwan, no one dares to look at China with hostility.

The time has come when we should interpret the lacunas of our foreign policies thoroughly. It seems the cream of our civil services, the IFS, are not good enough to handle the foreign relations involving neighbours. It's a highly paying job, but nothing substantial has been earned through them over the years. We need a thorough professional people at the helm who may assure us a decent relationship growing between us and our neighbours.

At present, we cannot dare take on China either militarily or economically. Both ways they are the superpower. We are left with only friendship and go along with them, to sustain in this new world order. Highly trained professionals who are blessed with extra intelligence, overly smart and outright raconteur are required, who by using their acumen, may subside our neighbours esp. the China. It is too late to over power them, but containing them to our terms, will not be a lesser work. It is for sure, that we may no longer trust our so called IFS officers to carry on with their routine file work and expect that the world is sleeping. Can we ignore what Kautilya said two thousand years ago," We can change our friends, but not the neighbours."

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