The tsunami of change was all-pervasive to engulf most of the nation states. Liberalisation, free trade, WTO, TPP, NAFTA,EFTA, EU, the information revolution et al came together and broke the historically defined geographical barriers. Isolationism became a hated and much maligned term in international trade, commerce and strategic considerations. There arose new hope of transnational job opportunities cutting across organisations and authorities.
New Delhi, Sep 5, Slamming demonetisation as a major factor responsible for the current deceleration in the economy, former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram says the government was "clueless" about the causative factors on why the GDP was declining and unless these are addressed the Indian economy would be stuck at six per cent growth.
Accustomed as we are to shrill hyperbole in India's public discourse, the description of the tense Himalayan face-off as the "incident at Doklam" and its denouement as "expeditious disengagement of border personnel" by the Ministry of External Affairs came across as refreshing examples of phlegmatic understatement. The diplomatic finesse shown by India stood in stark contrast to the Chinese spokesperson's gauche declaration that India had "pulled back all the trespassing personnel and equipment".
Self-proclaimed godmen and a coterie of sycophants to back them and validate their claims have always been ubiquitous in India. This phenomenon is not problematic in itself until the sycophancy is followed to the point of absurdity as seen in the series of events in the wake of the brave court verdict last week against the Dera Sacha Sauda head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
This is a true story. I am revisiting it with a purpose: So that it collides head on with the nation's 70th anniversary celebrations. Absolute, undiluted joy on this occasion would require total amnesia of that which accompanied independence: Partition. With some of us, these celebrations will always be tempered with Keats' great dictum:
It reflects on the delicate diplomacy involved that the principal issue in the China-India standoff at Doklam is being mentioned only in muted tones. The problem is the undemarcated boundary between China and Bhutan. This demarcation would require Bhutan and China to settle the matter. The two doing a pirouette is not a good sight for India, which has a special bond with Bhutan sanctified in a treaty signed in 1949. Clause 2 of the treaty amended in 2007 (on which later) stated that Thimpu would be "guided by the advice of the government of India in its external relations".
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House did not receive a large amount of press coverage in the United States. The most notable quote came during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden when President Trump proclaimed: "I am proud to announce to the media, to the American people, that Prime Minister Modi and I are world leaders in social media."