The United States of America is, once again, not managing its relations with India well. Gains made during George W. Bush’s presidency in building strategic trust between the two countries are being steadily frittered away by wrong steps taken by the Obama Administration, which seems to have taken its eyes off the India ball.
As the situation in Ukraine deteriorates, foreign powers are getting overtly involved. Russian forces are already deployed in the Crimea, and there is the live danger that they will also enter eastern Ukraine. It is important to try and understand what the issues and stakes are. What follows is an attempt at doing so.
At the recently concluded World Book Fair in Delhi, the National Book Trust (NBT) organized a ‘North East Quiz’ among the school children visiting the annual exhibition. According to Mr Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee, former Director of NBT, none could qualify and win the four books on Arunachal Pradesh which were kept as prizes.
China's proposition of a maritime Silk Route connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans is part of its propaganda drive to convince the world about its peaceful rise.
Its actions do not match its protestations, but that does not deter China from proclaiming that its rise will be free from clashes, unlike in the past when rising powers challenged existing hegemonies.
China uses the Silk Route memory to serve its interests, ambitions and image in several ways.
In all the recent cases pertaining to high level corruption, whether be it the 2 G Spectrum allocation, the Commonwealth Games, the allocation of coal blocks, the appointment of a member of the Railway Board, etc., one common theme has been that decisions have been taken arbitrarily, contrary to rules and in violation of good administrative practices.
The performance of the outgoing UPA-II government in managing India’s multiple external and internal security threats and challenges was often sub-optimal and given to knee jerk reactions. For example, the management of border violations on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and cease-fire violations on the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan was marked by the lack of inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination. Long-term defence planning did not get the attention it needs. The defence budget fell to its lowest level since the 1962 debacle.
“Never start a paper with the first person singular” was the advice that my English teacher gave me in the first standard in my school in Lahore, St. Anthony’s High School. On 10th February 2014, Barkha Dutt interviewed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal before a studio audience, which was broadcast, probably live, on the NDTV 24x7 channel. What one saw and heard was deeply disturbing.
US diplomacy is a cynical mixture of principle and expediency. The world’s foremost power needs to project internationally that its policies are based on certain high principles so that its global hegemony is not seen as resting on raw power alone but has a moral basis. Hence its crusade for democracy, rule of law, human rights and individual enterprise, on which rests its “soft power”. Juggling moral posturing and hard-headed pursuit of national interest often lands the US into contradictions from which opportunism is the only way out.
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi’s interview to Times Now is certainly the most talked about interview broadcast by an Indian television channel in recent times, but the general consensus appears to be that Gandhi botched up the best opportunity that came his way to relate to millions of voters in the run-up to the Lok Sabha poll, which is due in May.