Besides Business, ASEAN Countries Can Learn From India Regional Integration

The recent Republic Day celebrations where ten ASEAN leaders were Guests of Honour,saw the MEA say such statements like “India has such a positive role in the Indo-Pacific region,” and “India is a very important component of peace, stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.”

The Prime Minister himself said, “Indians have always looked East to see the nurturing sunrise and the light of opportunities. Now, as before, the East, or the Indo-Pacific region, will be indispensable to India's future and our common destiny.”

What was left unsaid however or rather implied was that the ASEAN countries also have a lot to learn from India in coordinating with each other in terms of regional interaction and cooperation in mutual topics like science and defence.

Cs Thapa

Gorkhas: Time To Reconcile

The Gorkha community in India is deeply hurt by the chain of events that have occurred in the last couple of months. Gorkha civil society made umpteen sacrifices and gave all out support for the cause of Gorkhaland. The people of Darjeeling in addition to other forms of deprivations also suffered from food shortages; in addition of other hardships during the 105 days peaceful agitation. The common man feels his sacrifices have gone in vain at the hands of all political classes.

The hurt is even sharper as the Gorkhas feel let down by one of their own taking up the mantle of governance, instead of the much hyped demand of Gorkhaland. There is also a leadership vacuum which has been the bane of the community, thus the community feels silently enraged and let down. It’s easy to write it’s a time to reconcile but how is the question?

The literalmeaning of the word reconcile means “to find a way in which two situations or beliefs are opposed to each other can agree”. Gorkha civil society is divided by various issues but stands united for the cause of Gorkhaland. Thus the path of Gorkhaland and the goal is set, the modalities however differ, and the differentness is being exploited by both, the state and the centre. One of the first issues that civil society needs to address is provide help to those who have suffered from the after effects of the agitation.

Sidharth Mishra

One Nation-One Election: Need For Discussion On Larger Forum

One of the main driving forces behind the promulgation of the Anti-Defection Law by the Rajiv Gandhi government in the 1980s was the brute majority enjoyed by the Congress party in the Lok Sabha. It had won more than 400 seats in the 1985 General Elections thanks to the sympathy wave which followed assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

The Congress strategists loyal to Rajiv Gandhi at that point of time had advised for bringing such law which would keep the folk together lest the old school veterans carry out a coup against the reformist agenda of the ‘young’ Prime Minister. The law has withstood the trial of time and survived to end the politics of “Aya Rams, Gaya Ram”, which had come to make mockery of people’s mandate.

Three decades later, another government led by a Prime Minister belonging to another party is now pushing for another major electoral reform – simultaneous holding of the elections of the Parliament and the State assemblies. The move comes as for the first time since Rajiv Gandhi’s term, we have a Prime Minister whose party enjoys absolute majority in the house and is also undisputed leader of his party.


Can India Afford Two Main Battle Tanks

The Indian Army suddenly allowed senior anchor Vishnu Som to visit an Arjun tank regiment, and present the same on a television program. In his blog Som wrote, “The new Defence Minister NirmalaSitharaman visited 43 Armoured Regiment to get a firsthand look at the Arjun tank. A month later, she visited the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment in Chennai where the tank was developed - signals which some say are an indicator that the Arjun Main Battle Tanks best days are yet to come”. Arjun after all fits into the government initiative of “Make in India”.  The author does not wish to go into the Arjun versus the T-90 debate which is as old as it can be.

Nations the world over have a single Main Battle Tank (MBT), Israel Merkava (65tons), France Leclerc (57 tons), America M1A1 Abrams (54tons), Germany Leopard (62 tons), Russia T -90 (46 tons),  India T- 90 and Arjun (58 tons), China Type-98/99, Pakistan-  AlKhalid/MBT2000, based on the Chinese Type 90-II, with combined technologies from several Soviet and Western tanks. . Can India afford the luxury of design and development, managing production lines, logistics, combat bridging, inventory control, spare part management, and inter operability training of crews for two types of tanks.  In ten years time the Future Main Battle Tank possibly named Karan will be around the corner, how many production lines will India run on 1.65% of GDP on defence? Or is it simply a case of confusion working in such a manner that the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing?

Siddheshwar Shukla1

Me! Lord, The Editor Biased In Assignment Allocation; Is Democracy In Danger?

Me! Lord. I am a reporter from the journalistic fraternity you had called to vent your anguish against the injustice meted out to you from the senior most member of your fraternity – the Chief Justice of India. Have you ever imagined how much injustice we journalists face from the senior most member of our journalistic fraternity – the editor? In the press conference, you expressed your anguish and proclaimed ‘democracy is in danger’? Please read this to asses a reporter’s agony and suggest the type of conference, if any, we should call to express our agony.

Me! Lord. As you four were venting out your grievances before media, the reporter inside me wanted to weep. Whatever, injustice you claimed to have faced in work distribution I am sure it was just a minuscule of the discrimination, humiliation and hostile behavior a reporter faces in his career from his editor on a daily basis irrespective of his/her gender. A reporter can’t give next date on any assignment in his journalist career. We have to gather process and present the information in the form of a consumable report item on day to day basis.