Connect with us


Russia and United States Making India Their Number One Priority



INS Vikramaditya undergoing sea trials in Russia, read more.

Right after the independence when India was going to be the world’s largest democracy, India made a decision that no foreign power would be able to decide India’s future or its policies. This led India to become a founding member of NAM (Non Alignment Movement). It is the largest group of nations in the world after UN. One of the major policy of the group was to not to join either U.S. led western bloc or Soviet Union led eastern bloc during cold war era. Although Cold war and Soviet Union do not exist now, but the NAM still exists with the same policies.

When India’s arc rival Pakistan signed security pact with United States, India’s relations with Soviet Union became sweeter for obvious reasons including arts and culture and India’s growing military needs. Although, India never joined Soviet Union’s security pact formally, west had observed India’s slight alignment towards the socialist republic resulting into complex relations with western powers.
Today conditions are way much different. While India still enjoys the company of its all weather friend Russia, United States too has discovered that partnership with India has a great economic and strategic potentials in 21st century. At this, India has two options to keep its non alignment policy intact; either do business with both of them, or don’t do business with any of them. Latter sounds a bit non productive in this globalized world.
Earlier, Russia enjoyed the monopoly of supplying arms to India, now it has to compete with almost all other major arm exporters like France, Britain and the United States. Raising concerns in Russia over India’s increasing alignment towards west. Realizing that India was cozying with the United States and Pakistan’s relations with the U.S. were souring. Russian president Vladimir Putin scheduled a visit to Pakistan risking relationship with India, which was later cancelled at the last moment. It was last year only when a report made clear that India was still the number one user of Russian arms.

Russia Making India its First Priority

russia india

One of the reasons why Russia is pitching towards making India an important partner is India’s location at the centre of Indian Ocean. Last year America announced that it is shifting its focus towards Asia Pacific from the middle east. This means a large presence of Indian and Russian navy in the region would be required to neutralize any attempt by America to influence the geopolitic stance of the island nations.

Seeing India cozying with America, Russia tried to approach Pakistan in search of a new potential partner in the South Asia. However, Russia probably decided to stay with India and push even more to win India’s heart by competition. The reason behind this is that unlike in Soviet era, when Indo-Soviet relationship was mere a buy and sell relationship. Today, India and Russia have successfully identified areas of cooperation and 50-50 partnership, whether it is space research or military and civil development.
It is difficult to find a partner as scientifically advanced and economically sound like India. India has been funding a lot of Russian scientific projects with a huge amount of capital; something which Russia cannot expect from Pakistan or any other country in the region. Indian scientists have also been involved in development and manufacturing of world’s fastest cruise missile, Brahmos and Indo-Russian Fifth Gen Fighter Aircraft. Russia and India have also been exploring cooperation in space and have partnered in India’s second mission to the moon which has been delayed till 2016.
Another country with which Russia can have such kind of relations is China. China has economy larger than India and is ahead of India in many areas whether it is scientific papers published per year, or space race or military. Russia emphasized a lot on Sino Russian relationships and their future as forming a big powerful region. Russia promoted Chinese education and language in the country and urged people to learn it. Russian media time to time lauded China how it is taking on west in the economic system which is mainly dominated by the western countries.
However, Russia is now late to form any such alliance with China. China with its fast growing economy is currently on its best time and gives it the confidence of moving ahead independently. Those Chinese who had been living in east Russian cities like Vladivostok and Khabarovsk are also moving to their homeland seeing more opportunities and better living across the border. Young Chinese premiers now consider Soviet Union a history. Earlier China considered Soviet Union a great power and avoided messing with it. Today China places border claims and shows some Russian territories as its on their maps. [Tell us your Opinion]

Culturally, Russia and China have been far from each other, whereas Indian culture has been close and familiar to Russians since the Soviet times. Soviet Union promoted Indian movies in the country as it was the only big film industry after Hollywood, which was banned. Indian movies also had good teachings and family values which was encouraged in USSR. [Read more: Influence of Bollywood in Former Soviet Union; Why India and Russia Need to Target Bollywood Diplomacy and Business]

Considering everything, India deserves to be Russia’s top priority. Russia simply cannot afford to let it lose India to the western powers who are aggressively hailing and praising India and forming ventures and partnerships.

United States Making India its First Priority

obama india
Photo: Reuters
Last year in 2012, U.S. Defence Secretary Lionel Panetta made a visit to India hoping that Indian defence establishment could be taken granted to prepare for strategy of re-balance in Asia Pacific that many believes is aimed at China’s rise in the region.
Recently India has started looking towards U.S. for its defence needs leaving its old and trusted ally behind. India cleared its biggest ever defence deal with US in June, 2011, signing the $4.1 billion worth contract for 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft. One of the reason why India has to look towards west was delay in delivery of arms and weapons and their parts by Russia, especially the delay in the delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.
In the global slowdown of economy, U.S. is looking for new markets and economic partners. This is why U.S. had urged India to bring reforms such as FDI in retail and airline business which will help big brands in America like Walmart earn more profit by tapping a consumer market of the billions of Indians. India’s share in the world’s software/services market is third after U.S.A and Japan in which U.S.A accounts for a share of 51.63% in India’s total export of Software / Services.
Although officially not accepted yet, U.S. considers rise of China alarming and sees it as a potential rival. U.S has tried to engage with China on a lot of issues and had also managed to bring China to its side during Cold War, but as the rise of dragon began, America lost it from its grip. India, which is a democracy having a good proliferation record and which has shown signs of peace and friendship with almost every country in the world, looks reliable and responsible in a sense that it can lead the world neutrally. This was one of the reasons why the U.S. has recently stared pitching for India’s permanent seat in UN Security Council.
Leon Panetta, US Defense Secretary, said, “Today, we have growing economic, social and diplomatic ties that benefit both [India and the U.S.] of our nations, but for this relationship to truly provide security for this region and for the world, we will need to deepen our defense and security cooperation. This is why I have come to India.”
After a great mistrust between the two countries during the cold war, today both the nations understand each other’s interest. Recently United States’ regional interests in South Asia have somewhat started matching with India. Its souring relations with Pakistan, creating a Taliban free Afghanistan, and checking China’s alarming growth has all been directly or indirectly in India’s interest. The only place where India and U.S.collide is Iran. India wants to continue trade and support Iran and use its territories and ports for trade with Afghanistan, thus bypassing Pakistan. Whereas, U.S and the western world is making business opportunity with Iran even more difficult.

Who Among United States or Russia Will Win the Race?

The question is very interesting, but its answer is obvious, no one! India has been following the policy of non alignment since the day of independence. Even though the real meaning of non alignment lost after the collapse of Soviet Union, India believes in having its own space when it comes to making policies or decisions.

If India accepts the alliance of any country, the first strong reaction will come from China, who considers any move by India aimed at itself, whether it is increasing cooperation with Japan or Taiwan. China and India both are aware of each others rise and the amount of tough competition they are going to face. However, both of them try to ignore it and play it down to avoid any escalated tensions.
Another reason why India will not accept U.S proposal is that U.S has a bad history of dumping and going against their own allies whether it is Iraq, Afghan militants, or Pakistan. India will definitely pose a risk to America’s dominant position in the world as China does now. Therefore, U.S would try not to let India reach that place; just like how it did with Japan and South Korea.
If India becomes strategic ally of the U.S it will unnecessarily make all the U.S enemies as its enemies. India is surrounded by the countries who do not like the U.S; be it China, Pakistan, Myanmar or the Middle East. Tensions across India will increase and it will have to fight decades long wars initiated by the U.S. India has not used its military properly for past 40 years after the war of liberation of Bangladesh in 1971 and in future also it doesn’t wish to; Kargil in 1999 was a confined military operation.
Russia on the other hand has won India’s trust several times, but India will still not venture into any such strategic alliance which can impact India’s business with the western world. A large part of India’s economy is based on trade with America and Europe whether it is software or food or minerals. India’s alliance with Russia can give a negative impact to the U.S which will gradually look for alternatives that can bring the whole growth story of India to a halt.
Word “alliance” doesn’t suit the present conditions in the world. It was popular earlier when the world was divided into two blocs, today it is not the case. Today the world is multi-polar, although other poles are not as strong as the U.S. In this growing world, it will be best for India to take help and support from both Russia and the U.S and continue on its growing path keeping its non alignment policy intact.
Please share and join the discussion on facebook by clicking the “Like” below.
Visit The World Reporter for discussion on this post. Or you may like to know what others are saying on this topic.

Sanskar Shrivastava is the founder of international students' journal, The World Reporter. Passionate about dynamic occurrence in geopolitics, Sanskar has been studying and analyzing geopolitcal events from early life. At present, Sanskar is a student at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture and will be moving to Duke University.

Continue Reading


Government Changing Syllabus to Include Sikh History in India



The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and the President of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Moon Jae-in jointly inaugurating the Samsung manufacturing plant, World’s Largest Mobile Factory, in Noida, Uttar Pradesh on July 09, 2018. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath (in saffron), the Minister of State for Culture (I/C) and Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and other dignitaries are also seen.

Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, most populous state in India, has announced inclusion of Sikh history in the state syllabus. Students of all schools under UP State Board will see the new chapters. The announcement came when Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath (BJP) was observing Sahibzada Diwas.

Why do we Observe Sahibzada Diwas?

Sahibzada Diwas marks the martyrdom of four ‘sahibzada’ (or sons) of Guru Gobind Singh (10th Sikh Guru) and his mother Mata Gujri. In the year 1705, Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had ordered torturing of youngest sons of Guru Gobind Singh aged 5 and 8. He later executed the little sons by burying them alive into a wall. The reason for this act was that they refused to convert to Islam. Soon after this event Guru Gobind Singh’s mother, Mata Gujri also martyred her life under Aurangzeb’s captivity. The cause of her death is still unclear. Guru Gobind Singh’s other two sons martyred their life in the Battle of Chamkaur Sahib. Thus the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh had lost his whole family by 27th December. This is an important event in the Sikh history in India and UP Government is finally keen on observing Sahibzada Diwas every year.

Why UP Government is Changing the Syllabus?

Soon after the independence of India in 1947, the school education came under tight grip of far left and communists. Most of the Indian history in the recent past has been written by Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib. They have close ties with left wing ideology and Irfan Habib has delcared himself as Marxist. They wrote history text books by either phasing out sections of Indian history or diluting certain events. The motivation to soft alter the history has been to propagate left-wing/communist ideology. Historian Koenraad Elst once highlighted that Romila Thapar is comfortable neither in Sanskrit nor in Farsi language. The knowledge of these two languages is a must to understand India’s history.

In the recent years, various public opinions have gained momentum to rewrite Indian text books to include more content on Indian rulers and native ideas. Currently, Indian text books mainly teaches about foreign rulers of India such as Mughals and British.

With this announcement of inclusion of Sikh history in history text books, the government is bringing historical facts in mainstream.

27th December as Real Children’s Day

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has also reached out to the Education Minister to declare Sahibzada Diwas as Children’s day. He further added that “The history of Sikh gurus will be a part of the syllabus. Apart from this, we should observe December 27 every year as Sahibzada Diwas in all schools. Today is the day to pay gratitude to the sons of the Guru and mother who martyred their lives for the motherland, country and religion.” Yogi Adityanath also said that “No society can move ahead if it forgets history. The Sikh society is known for its hard work. The Sikh gurus sacrificed their lives to defend the Hindu religion. The country will always remember this.”

Yogi Adityanath added that learning about the sacrifices by Sikh Gurus would inspire future generations to dedicate themselves into nation-building. He emphasized that we should make future generations realize that India and Indian culture was safe because of sacrifices of Sikhs.

What Should We Do On Sahibzada Diwas?

Sahibzada Diwas should be an important day for every Indian regardless of their region, culture or religion. On this day, we are in the Holiday mood as it falls right between Christmas and New Year’s eve. However, we should remember that a Guru and his entire family sacrificed their life for the well being of India and the idea of India.

On this day we can fast, do sewa (service), visit a nearby Gurudwara and sleep on the floor at night.

Continue Reading


Nepal Hindu Rashtra: Time to Wrap Up Communism?



nepal hindu rashtra

Nepal abolished the Constitutional Monarchy in May 2008 and declared itself as a Federal Democratic Republic. There was a new hope in Nepal as it was becoming world’s newest democracy even though it had dissolved the Hindu Rashtra. However, the democracy in Nepal immediately got into the tight grips of leftists and communists backed by China. It has been almost 12 years since monarchy was abolished in Nepal. Interestingly, the Himalayan country has already seen 11 Prime Ministers in this period. Thus, leaving the Nepalese people still yearning for good and stable governance.

Re-establish Hindu Rashtra

As the political instability is growing in Nepal, people are demonstrating concerns about the future of the country. In fact, Nepalese citizens are unhappy with frequent interference by China and India influencing its unstable communist regime. More voices are now growing in support of reinstating the Monarchy and declaring Nepal as world’s only Hindu Rashtra (which by default offers full religious freedom to other religious minorities as per Hindutva concept of Sarva Dharma Sama Bhavaall paths lead to one).

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Kamal Thapa said that if political parties do not recognize the seriousness of reinstating the monarchy, then the country will head for a period of darkness. “Recently, we’ve had high-ranking officials from India and China come to Nepal to try and solve problems within the ruling party,” he said. “We cannot let others dictate what we want to do.”

Communist Party All Set to Suppress Protests, By Force

Kamal Thapa has firmly demanded an all party meet to discuss reinstating of monarchy. Throughout the month of December, 2020 Nepal has seen anti communism protests across the country in support of reinstating the monarchy and Hindu Rashtra. Most importantly, the demand has become a nationwide mass people’s movement. So much so that the communist regime had to send a directive to 77 districts in 7 provinces. The directive suggests suppressing the protests by force. Nevertheless, Rashtriya Prajatantra Party and other royalist groups have ignored this threat from the communist regime. Protester groups have pledged to strengthen the protest in the coming weeks.

Role of China – Hope for Communism in Nepal

China’s ambassador to Nepal is known to have very close relationship with Nepalese Communist regime. In fact, She has been super effective in tilting Nepal’s posture towards its ideological partner, China. One of her greatest achievements in 2020 was artificially manufacturing a border conflict between Nepal and India. Consequently, souring relations between the two Hindu majority nations. In addition, she managed to silence Nepal’s communist government after China took one of Nepal’s border villages under its control. However, recent political turmoil in Nepal and a renewed demand for reinstating of Hindu Monarchy is showing that the situation is now out of Chinese hands

Role of India

Year 2020, was not a good year for India and Nepal relations. India was busy in controlling domestic Covid cases. On the other hand, China had launched an invasive campaign into Indian territory. In addition, India is always busy with Pakistan on its western borders. However, the surprise came to India when China was almost successful in creating a new border tension between India and Nepal.

Those who do not know about Indian government should note that the current ruling party in India finds itself ideologically opposite to communism. This further creates differences between the two countries.

Communist party in Nepal has blamed India for supporting the ongoing anti communism protests in Nepal. However, former advisor to Nepal’s PM has suggested there is no proof that India is fueling pro Monarchy, anti communism demand in Nepal.

Nevertheless, There are certain influencers in India who have, in their personal capacity, expressed support for reinstating the Hindu monarchy. Yogi Adityanath, who is the Chief Minister of an Indian state bordering Nepal, said in 2015 that Nepal should declare itself a Hindu Monarchy. Readers should note that in 2015 Yogi Adityanath was not the Chief Minister yet. However, today he is not only popular in south of Nepal, his popularity is growing in Nepal as well.

Will The World See the first Hindu Rashtra?

It is difficult to answer this question at this moment. However, Nepalese communist government could not resolve the political instability and in December 2020 Nepalese government dissolved the parliament. Nepal will see next elections in April – May 2021. Hopefully, the world will see Nepal’s 12th Prime Minister in 13 years or may be a Hindu King? Royalists and protester groups have expressed confidence in winning next elections. We have our eyes on Nepal for updates.

Continue Reading


Humanity Endures During Coronavirus Pandemic




Photo by Press Information Bureau, Government of India

The world changed exponentially since the pandemic broke out. We changed too. Emotions are running high. We have learnt to take one day at a time and have stopped expecting changes to happen overnight.

“COVID19 is menacing the whole of humanity – and so the whole of humanity must fight back”
A clarion call from United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is a call to unity and solidarity. Already plagued by natural/manmade disasters and wars, many countries seem to bite the dust for want of resources in the fight against the virus. Warning each other against complacency is appreciable but never a blame game to cover up a dysfunctional response. Not all update themselves on the governments, new economic policies and R&D on Covid vaccine. Many we come across seem to be making wise individual choices. No matter how badly the tiers of government fail us, there will always be thousands of people working to make things better. Besides, finding reasons and faults on policies for the spread doesn’t help. A virulent strain of flu had managed to spread within a few months to the remotest corners of the world infecting half a billion people – more than a quarter of the human species in 1918 long before the current age of globalization.

Separating, alienating and forswearing the endless moments of contact that knit society together thrust us into frightening new realities. The good is still there. Social distancing is nothing but taking a step back to literally give breathing space to others. Going by news & views, we understand that amid concerns of rising numbers of positive cases in frustrating circumstances, acts of kindness and solidarity are burgeoning. Yes, it’s been extremely sad and sobering to watch this all unfold, but watching people share resources and supporting one another in every conceivable way has made us feel more connected to our local communities. Whether singing a song together out on balconies, getting groceries for the elderly or calling a friend to alleviate anxiety and fear, each one I know play a part and take comfort in a sense of togetherness. We are steadily aware of our limitations yet don’t hesitate to free our wells of compassion. Do we think twice and thrice to make an online contribution to save the lives of people we don’t know and will never know!

Sadly, it has taken an invisible virus to help us belive once again that we are strongest only when we have the welfare of others in our mind. Halfway through quarantine and self-isolation a phone call, a kind word, an opportunity to reach out, a breeze, bird calls, one good news and loss of a loved one, we are hit with the necessary humility and awe we ought to feel and appreciate just how beautiful our world is and precious life is.

Post pandemic recovery will be better and bigger if life goes on with this beautiful idea, of humility, inwardness – as an ethical relationship, for the sake of others. For better or for worse, we have learnt that one can’t be an island unto himself. Lives are intertwined and are bound together. We, humans produce more rubbish than any other species. The growth in the human population is part of the explanation, but cannot account for all of the extra rubbish, a result of haste and greed both which almost skinned humans of humanity.

Unity among countries must ensure that all countries are equipped to trace, isolate and treat people infected by COVID-19. Only a global effort can avoid the collapse of any country’s medical system. Sanctions that affect health care should never be imposed. Development in one part of the world should not rob another country of it’s resources. Humanity gains the upper hand over invisible predators through the sharing of reliable scientific information, global solidarity, vaccinations, antibiotics, improved hygiene and a much better medical infrastructure. Today,it doesn’t take too much to figure out that global sharing and caring is the best defense. The Jing Si aphorism, “Good actions require everyone’s cooperation. So let’s not cling to personal biases” holds good for all times.

Stories of good samaritans are aplenty. To know humanity is still alive and kicking and is at it’s best when united assures us that we’ll come out of this “abnormal” time with a new normal. In their own unique ways, humans respond to protect life and health and ensure respect for fellow beings. ‘single-nucleotide polymorphisms’ are no joke. From handing over meals, survial kits, medicines, home made masks to calling on an old couple across the street, everything is humanity in action and it is the power of this humanity – humane behaviour towards other humans – that we seek to celebrate, improve and increase, especially during crucial times. Remember “A person with a generous heart and compassion for all beings leads the most blessed life”.

With thousands of migrant workers taking it on their chin, vehicles filled with food and ration along highways reach the needy and stranded and canteens serve free food. Rays of sunshine! We see through hypocrisy and deceptions, hear excuses for inefficiency, inadequacy and inflexibility and within the tumult and uncertainty we are doing much, much better in life than we thought we can. Quietly. Kindly. Gently. Being able to spare a part of us to help someone live is worth being thankful for. ” Giving with an expectation for return brings misery”. May we give generously, but don’t guilt ourselves if we can’t. If we have nothing left to spare, let’s go slow and kind.

The world is being taught a lesson, the harder way. This lesson is not about rich and powerful versus poor and powerless but about leadership that treasure the common wealth and common good, above private greed and profit and above protecting the privileges of a handful elites.

None of us are actually going anywhere. Might as well stay. The conclusion we draw from this crisis is that all humans matter equally, that we need to give a hand, raise one another, flourish or perish together- no matter what our limitations are, we’re capable of a great deal. This virus backlash is nothing short of a fleeting lesson to all leaders about how sane, humane societies should function all the time. Those who regard themselves as wonderfully favored of leadership, power and pelf are called to do great things. Anything that constantly arise to cause conflicts or disunion must be questioned, criticized, denounced and judged.

Be it a forced contemplation of our mortality or a sudden urge of self denial or an awareness of the passage of time and life, this screeching halt is proof that humans are designed to be more productive when connected, even in isolation. So, not all hope is lost. The time has come when we must know for ourselves why we believe in humanity as we do.

“Do something good for somebody today; the people who are trying to make the world worst aren’t taking days off.”

Gestures to honor humanity are varied, aplenty. A flypast in India is a cruel joke on the already tumbling down economy and on the selfless humanitarians who spare nothing to reach out. We can only wish the trail of showered petals, if showered will guide the departing victims of COVID19. Flying past/over ground realities is a highly irresponsible act of governments. Also, a misuse and mismanagement of meagre resources.

Was it a premonition that urged saint Thiruvalluvar, celebrated Tamil poet and philosopher to get on with kural 578 which when translated into English goes as

” The world is theirs (Kings) who are able to show kindness, without injury to their affairs, (administration of Justice).

Continue Reading