Director's pick - Issue XV
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Dear Readers,

The new Presidential dispensation in the United States and apprehensions that has generated in the domestic as well as at the international scene have been the most engaging matter during the past fortnight. Obviously, banning of refugees, imposition of visa restrictions and indications of major commercial and diplomatic policy shifts have brought widespread consternation in the international arena, just as certain fiscal and administrative rebootings have affected the domestic scene. The result is that a sense of foreboding has struck America’s friends, allies, neighbours and competitors. A reckonable part of the American society too has found much to protest against what it considers immoral highhandedness that would smear the pristine American dispensation. Following that, there are some signs of softening in the new administration’s assertive measures, for the optimists - foreign and domestic - to hopefully count upon. An equilibrium would definitely settle soon enough, the idea of America is too large to turn into a global torment.

The other notable feature of the past fortnight relates to Islamist terrorism. Here there are news good and bad. Thus while Pakistan curtails the activities of the terror ideologue, Hafiz Saeed, and his cohorts, the act is proving to be a farce – Jamaat-ud-Dawa has resurfaced as ‘Tehreek-e-Azaadi Kashmir’! Meanwhile, in a new diabolic mode, Pakistan sponsored terrorists have struck against the Indian Railways, printing of fake new currency notes has commenced, and Kashmir Valley is kept on the boil. Conversely, the Indian security forces are getting enough information to eliminate terrorists in Kashmir and catch saboteurs elsewhere. The concerns do not end here. As the Daesh terrorists flee, there is the threat of their emergence in the Sub-Continent. Meanwhile, on one flank, in Myanmar the Rakhine trouble is gaining ground, while at the other flank, Taliban finds support from China and Russia; Pakistan, of course, being the common instigator. Here too, there is hope when this triumvirate of Taliban endorsers found no option but to invite Afghanistan and India to join the parlays.

Elections are in the air. More about it the next time. But what remains worrisome is that one State of the Union remains ‘blockaded’ by another, wringing misery upon the citizens and hampering the election process. This, while the might of the State stands nonplussed.

This fortnight we have brought some interesting pieces on our website, as listed below, which I enjoin you to read through. I am sure these would foster new understandings.

Happy reading,


General N C Vij
Director, Vivekananda International Foundation
New Delhi

Event Report

Conference on ‘Security along the Silk Road'

Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), in collaboration with Near East and South Asia (NESA) Center, USA, had organized a two day Conference on ‘Security along the Silk Road’ on December 15-16, 2016.. Read more...

Articles:

Clean Up of the Political and Electoral System must get High Priority

Dr A Surya Prakash, Distinguished Fellow, VIF

The Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi’s view that the time has come to discuss the issue of political funding is a logical corollary to the major campaign he has launched against corruption and black money and in this effort he has a strong ally in the Election Commission of India.Read more...

Reversing Trend of India’s Arms Trade

Lt Gen Anil Ahuja, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM & BAR

The recent news of India’s proposed export of Akash Air Defense missiles to Vietnam, and the assertion of Shri Manohar Parrikar, the Raksha Mantri, of raising India’s defense exports six fold to US $ 2 billion1 in the next two years or so Read more...

Need to Reform Funding of Political Parties

Rajesh Singh

One of the good fallouts of the Union Government’s demonetisation drive has been a renewed demand for reforms in the funding of political parties. After all, since demonetisation is supposed to tackle black money and the role of black money in politics is an open secretRead more...