Monday, October 24, 2016

Is India getting pulled in China centric arms race?


In the recent past, India has accelerated defence assets acquisition. Latest media reports suggest that India has agreed to purchase its second Akula Class nuclear submarine at a cost of $ 2 bn from Russia, in a deal that was signed on the sidelines of the recently concluded BRICS summit in Goa. This will be India’s third nuclear submarine with INS Chakra and the new INS Arihant. This comes on the heels of the recently signed deal with France for 36 Rafael fighter jets. Obviously, these assets go well beyond any threat perception emanating from Pakistan.

While, this may sound alarm bells in Pakistan, but under the prevailing geopolitical and regional security circumstances, India is forced to acquire these expensive armaments and it is not alone in this frantic defence assets acquisition race. Analysis of the larger geopolitical power game emerging in South Asia and South East Asia reveal that the entire region is becoming prey to a wild arms race, where India, China and Pakistan - the three nuclear neighbours are suspicious of each other and caught in a vicious circle of outdoing each other.
The growing military presence of China in the Indian Ocean under the excuse of securing its own Sea Lanes of Communications and thereby, trade, which is seen by Indian analysts as a String of Pearls to bind India, gives a clear picture of how China is playing its outsized ambition of becoming a ‘great power’. It is also China’s counter-strategy to balance America’s Pivot to the East.

India’s defence preparedness, on the other hand, is aimed at protecting her economic interests and countering military threats from the Red army. It is, however, perceived as a threat by Pakistan which boosts her arsenal with help from the Chinese. Pakistan has traditionally relied on American support to satiate her defence needs, but Beijing has taken over Washington in defence supplies to Islamabad. Every time India acted aggressively, China has diplomatically stood with Pakistan. However Beijing has never come to Pakistan’s rescue during its military conflicts with India. It has, however, lethally armed Rawalpindi over the years.

In the post-surgical strike scenario, if China starts to worry about India’s more muscular approach threatening her multi-billion dollar investment in China-Pakistan-Economic-Corridor (CPEC), Beijing may not hesitate to offer Islamabad tangible military help. China has not only shed her aloof posture, but has become active on the international platform giving tough competition to the established Western economic and military powers.

According to media reports, Pakistan imports about 63% of its armaments from China. According to research carried out by Stockholm based research institute SIPRI, Pakistan consumes about 35% of China’s arms supplies followed by Bangladesh at 20%, making Beijing the world’s third largest arms supplier. In August earlier this year, China agreed to supply Pakistan eight diesel electric submarines at a cost of $5 bn. These submarines are likely to have capabilities to fire nuclear missiles. This trend is dangerous not only from the conventional war point of view but more importantly because the three nuclear countries are adjacent to each other with the first two having colluded against India.

Pakistan is China’s pawn to keep a check on India’s western flank and simultaneously prepare to choke New Delhi on its eastern front. India’s arms acquisition is justified for two reasons, one, its Air Force and Navy are short of technology and required number of equipment and two, China’s gigantic military build-up.

There has been a meteoric increase in China’s defence spending. According to defence consultancy HIS Jane’s report published earlier this year, because of heightened tensions in the South China Sea, China has accelerated its defence preparedness. Beijing’s annual defence budget is $146 bn and is expected to rise by 5% annually crossing $233 bn by 2020. In contrast, India’s defence budget is meagre $51 bn. However, the Modi government has plans to spend Rs. 50,000 – 60,000 in the current fiscal on new defence deals.

India has enough capabilities to thwart any misadventure from Pakistan and keep China at bay, but looking at China’s mammoth investment to match the American military power, Beijing has raised the stakes for everyone in the region – especially for India.

The situation emerging in South and South East Asia with China and India as key players, is akin to the Cold War arms scenario between the US and USSR. It is for New Delhi to choose whether it wants to become a strong economic power making it a credible military force, or a lethal military power with a weak economy. India certainly cannot afford to be another Soviet Union.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

JNU Row: Is it time for Chanakya's rebirth?

As the standoff between the JNU students and the Modi government continues, it should be amply made clear that the sloganeering by student mobs on the university campus and at the press club by Prof. S A R Gilani – making a martyr out of Afzal Guru, demanding destruction and division of India was in no way an expression of dissent. It was just short of being anti-national. By acting against rebel students, neither the BJP is proving its nationalism, as claimed by many, nor are the students by quoting the constitutional rights able to justify their hateful slogans. The government action may appear harsh, but was necessary, as for too long many groups have been harbouring and expressing these sentiments.

No doubt the right to dissent will have to be safeguarded from the politics of opportunism of Congress, AAP, the Left and the BJP too, but the opposition should have acted maturely before it sent emissaries like Rahul Gandhi and Sitaram Yetury to show solidarity towards the students who were part of alleged anti-national sloganeering. However, the opposition seem to have realised that its support to the protesting students was unnecessary, as a result of which, no politicians have come out in support of students from Jadavpur University and Aligarh Muslim University who have shown solidarity with the JNU students and their awful rant.

University campuses where students and professors are suppose to have intellectual intercourse and develop theories and ideas to make the society a better place for citizens, have unfortunately turned into a place for those who are against the government administration and in many cases against the upper class. Politicisation of Rohith Wemula’s death and JNU protest is the finest example of this. In May 2014, security authorities had arrested Delhi University Prof. Saibaba for his alleged Naxal links and recruiting JNU student for his so called revolutionary activities in Chhatisgarh. The student was associated with the Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), the same group which is currently in the news for anti- India and pro-Pakistan sloganeering. S A R Geelani, the former professor of the Delhi University, who was narrowly acquitted by the Supreme Court for his alleged role in the 2001 Parliament attack case had arranged an ghaibana janaza — funeral prayers in absentia for terrorist Afzal Guru – a week after the latter’s hanging in 2013. This was shameful.

Over the years these elements have gained strength only because past central administrations never invoked the legal system to deal with them. The left wing student group celebrated the killing of 76 CRPF security personnel in 2010 in Dantewada. The then Congress government did not act. Embarrassment at its best. Now, when the government has decided to deal with the miscreants – this awful lot is not only dividing the society on political lines, but painting all those who favour legal action with the same brush of ‘Bhakts’, Khakhi chaddis and ultra-nationalists. Their anger is justified as for the first time a government has decided to act firmly against them.

One should realize that the Sangh Parivar’s Hindu majoritarian nationalism is a mirage, Congress’ minority appeasement has miserably failed and has created more problems than it has provided solutions. And, the world has witnessed the ugly fall of Leftist ideology the world over. But would these groups who ask for Azadi give a clarification on their definition of freedom and nationalism? It is not about the so called (original) nationalists (the Congress), ultra-nationalists (BJP) and anti-nationals, nor is it between the students and the government. It is for the Indian society to think that what kind of ideas we allow the university campuses to harbor and propagate.

It was King Dhananda who did not allow Guru Chanakya to build university in Patliputra and subverted free flow of ideas. Later, Chanakya was forced to fight the might of the Nanda dynasty with his knowledge and army of students. Today, fortunately, no professor has the capabilities and nationalistic vision that of Chanakya. Even if by mistake, Chanakya is referred to in the present context, a section of the society would out rightly reject it saying, India is still ruled by the Brahminical ideals. But in reality, Jai Bheem is politically more lucrative than what Babasaheb preached and what he gave us through his contribution to the Constitution. More than the protection of liberal ideas and their demand for uncontrolled freedom of speech, it is about the safety of national interest – especially from within the country. During the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, Chanakya fought for the unification of smaller states as all smaller states lacked political unity and consciousness. Today it is about various political philosophies, which are at loggerheads, including upper caste – lower caste divide.

The Hindu dharma has clearly made a distinction between Shashtra (knowledge) and shastra (weapon). The protection of Shashtra (here understand as democratic ideals) is possible only by allowing free exchange of ideas and vibrant role of the universities. But the JNU and press club incidents have forced the government to invoke shastra (here understand as law). Chanakya gave weapons to his students as Dhanananda was blind to the military march of Alexander towards India. In contrast to this, Prof. Geelani and Prof. Saiaba have invoked anti-national feelings among students over crucial security issues like Kashmir and Maoism. How can any state tolerate such activities? Has the time come for Chanakya’s rebirth? The answer depends on our so called intellectuals who either believe in anti-administration rant or just return awards. An intellectual does neither. He is just busy building a strong nation.

My Goddess Saraswati still has a Vina (an Indian classical musical instrument – a symbol peace) and a book (a symbol of knowledge) in her hands. Don’t force her to become Mahishasur Mardini.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Modi Foreign Policy: Statecraft or Salesmanship?

He rubbed shoulders with global leaders, invited international business tycoons to ‘make in India’ and prompted the Indian diaspora that time will soon arrive to pay back to their mother land (Aachhey Din Aayengey). During 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi left no stone unturned on the diplomatic, military and economic front. One may call it ‘speed dating’ foreign policy, but for once – New Delhi has laid the foundation stone for the revival of India’s presence not only in the SAARC region, but also reached out to the satellite states in South East Asia, Far East and Central Asia, sending clear signals to China and Pakistan that New Delhi will not allow military and economic encirclement of its national frontiers.

Modi-critics lambasted his frequent foreign trips, but 2015 played a vital role in bridging the gulf between India’s capabilities, realities in the immediate neighbourhood and the global opportunities. His hectic schedule covering over 30 countries has been an indication enough that the PM was not on holiday. From his first visit to the Himalayan country Bhutan to smallest island Fiji to economic powers USA and Japan and now Afghanistan – Modi set the correct foreign policy priorities certainly aimed at catapulting India to a global power in the coming years. For the first time Indian foreign policy has started to free itself from the clutches of the Non-Alignment Movement of Pt. Nehru when India acted without any specific agenda to the NDA and UPA years of Pakistan- specific diplomacy.

Often mocked as the NRI Prime Minister, Modi’s critics forget that India’s crucial geographic location serves both as a security challenge and an economic corridor to the Central Asia via Afghanistan and sea lanes connecting Straight of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Straight of Malacca in South East Asia via Hambantota in Sri Lanka have the potential not only to bring trade to Indian shores, but can control China’s crucial oil, gas and trade supplies.

Below I discuss that why the PM Modi chose to travel the world.

Pakistan: The Problem In Perpetuity

Away from the media glare – the increasing bonhomie between PM Narendra Modi and Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif has raised many eyebrows. Meeting between the two leaders at Ufa in Russia, talks on the sidelines of in Paris climate meet, secret meet between two NSAs in Bangkok and now Modi’s air dropping into Lahore is a diplomatic masterstroke to break the ice between the two sides. Certainly, Modi is delivering diplomatic bouncers. Pakistan army has always clipped the powers of the country’s PM, but Modi’s repeated outreach to Nawaz Sharif has worked to increase the latter’s image and value in Islamabad’s political corridors, especially in the eyes of the army. His Pakistan policy appears to go beyond the regular game of talking cross border terror and increasing cultural exchange. For once, his critics are quiet.

With Afghanistan getting back on its feet, Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) oil pipeline, China’s increasing presence in Central Asia and China-Pakistan economic corridor – for India the economic and military security stakes are very high.

Originating in Turkmenistan, the pipeline will run alongside the Herat-Kandahar highway, moving on to Quetta and Multan in Pakistan and finally ending in Punjab in India. But the success of the project depends on security assurance, which is yet to be provided by the Taliban in Afghanistan and trust deficit between Indian and Pakistan. To convince Taliban for its support and assure security for the pipeline’s safe entry into India, New Delhi needs Islamabad on its side. If Nawaz Sharif doesn’t seize the opportunity provided by Modi, Pakistan will lag behind in economic development, Afghanistan will further get grind in poverty and for New Delhi, China will strengthen its economic and security grip on the region. There is no doubt that for Islamabad, friendship with Beijing is more important than her own future and Afghanistan’s security. But for New Delhi, Afghanistan’s security is of prime importance as it acts as a base to control Pakistan and it also is an access point to the energy-rich Central Asia, where China is expanding its footprint.

China – In The Jaws Of The Dragon:

The China-Pakistan axis is not new, but the economic corridor between the two countries, which is planned to run through PoK is primarily aimed at allowing Beijing an access to Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean – allowing PLA to strengthen its encirclement of India. Linking Gwadar port with the Karakoram highway will have severe military security implications for India. Pakistan is not only a Chinese pawn, but will be a base of power projection for the Chinese.

A brief look at the history tells us that China has always filled the gaps in India’s immediate neighbourrhood and satellite states. Considering PoK’s strategic location as a connecting point of South, West and Central Asia, China’s move has implications for limiting India’s outreach to the critical Eurasian region. India always looked at the world through Pakistan, but missed out the crucial security points. Footprints in Central Asia and Mongolia will allow India access to China’s backyard.

Barack Obama entered office at a particularly difficult time. America was busy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and economic crisis followed soon. Taking advantage of the same, China expanded its reach in the Asia Pacific region. Losing ground in East Asia and South East Asia to Beijing’s economic and military power was never an option for Washington. New Delhi has never openly supported the American Pivot, but has quietly embraced it. Former PM Manmohan Singh’s ‘Look East’ policy did not deliver any results as the UPA-II was a dysfunctional government. But the Modi administration with the makeover of the ‘Look East’ to ‘Act East’ has worked quickly to join the geographically strategic dots that have historic animosity with China. Though the ultimate goal will be to militarily balance Beijing, the work has begun with economic efforts. India by engaging with Japan has become part of the same equation.

Domestic Audience:
Whether it is developed or developing nation, foreign policy rarely appears in the domestic politics of the country. What matters is, how big is the government wallet. During Bihar polls, the PM did open a big piggy bank, but animosity between Modi and Nitish Kumar was at the centre of the electoral battle, to which the Dadri incident and the ‘award waapsi’ campaign played the catalyst BJP’s defeat.

However, Modi’s surprise stopover in Lahore has gone a long way in rebuilding confidence between the two sides and detox domestic environment. It has sent a clear message to the minority community about the changing approach of the government. Keeping in mind the realities in the neighbourhood, Modi has scored a political masterstroke to woo the minority community and keep the Sangh Parivar away from the centre’s Pakistan policy.

The foundation for India’s dynamic foreign policy has been laid. Now is the time for the PM to give more importance to domestic issues. After two electoral debacles – Delhi and Bihar – if Modi wants to revive the BJP, his foreign policy efforts will need to bring in the investment promised by foreign leaders. Fortunately, political ‘vyabhichar’ (corruption) has not infected his government so far, but there is no guarantor for politicians in India.

The real test for Modi’s foreign policy begins now.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


If there is one mistake the West loves to repeat time and again is associating every act of terrorism with religion. Immediately after the ISIS terrorists brought Paris to its knees, almost every Western newspaper and news channels was filled with discussion on how one particular religion is terrorising the world with its violent acts. The media continues to discuss how Islam is directly related to terrorism. On the other hand, while Indian Prime Minister was on a state visit to England, The Guardian newspaper chose to link the entire Hindu faith with the Taliban. This is atrocious. Is this the freedom of expression the West practices? And, who will take the moral responsibility for further antagonising the extremist forces? However, one need not be surprised because the Western media’s fascination with Islam is not new.

The cultural fissure caused by the West’s verbal violence is no less than the bloodbath practiced by ISIS. A military action could well control the violent forces to a particular geographic area, but the irresponsible usage of words is spoiling the environment in all the societies across the globe. After every terror attack the media associates a religion to the act and the later – feeling ashamed of the acts carried out in the name of religion starts giving explanations on how their faith is peaceful and terror has no relation to it.

The West seems to enjoy pressing the wrong nerves at the wrong time. The Italian newspaper ‘Libero’ chose to splash words ‘Bastardi Islamici’ (Islamic Bastards) across eight columns on the front page. And now, France is ready with a movie ‘Made In France’ on terrorism, which may very well incite religious feelings. At the height of the America’s war in Afghanistan and invasion of Iraq, ex-American president George W Bush chose to use the word ‘crusade’ and invoked religious feelings of both the Christians and Muslims world over, reminding them of the past where the two civilizations fought seven battles.

While no religion is free from the violent episodes, what right the media and the contributing authors have to associate the entire faith with violent forces like Taliban? In 2011, when Anders Breivik slaughtered 69 innocents in Norway, the Western press conveniently picked words from his ‘A European Declaration of Independence’, to prove that Breivik has no connection with Christianity. Suddenly terrorism had no religion.

So far the debate on terrorism has been seen only through the prism of religion, but it would be pertinent to address the issue only as ‘criminality and psychopathism’. And, the Western fascination of looking at the problems through the barrel of the gun and Islam’s world view through ‘the book’ needs to change soon. No doubt the solution to ISIS lies in military operations, but answers to larger questions are outside of the military doctrine and words of god.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The (In)tolerance Myth

When was the last time India practiced intolerance? During the Dadri murder or during the Babri demolition, during Indira Gandhi’s draconian emergency years or Sikh massacre of 1984 or during Congress’ glorious corrupt years? The list is too long. And when was the last time India practiced tolerance? Did it begin with the Vedic age and end with Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent independence movement? No, tolerance has been ingrained in Indian culture, which finds its roots in Bharatiya Sanskriti (culture) and Hindustani Tehzeeb (Culture). It is the India of today that has turned a blind eye to its glorious past and choses to cherry pick certain events that are politically correct. If the so called intellectuals had chosen to speak in time and politicians had acted before time, the socio-economic picture of the country would have far too different. But it was more important to glorify the cruel Mughal rule and British Raj in the schools than establishing schools in remote areas of the country and create research facilities at university level that could have stopped Indian youth from running away to the West for better education and employment opportunities. But it was more important to not put the history in the right perspective, rectify the politically correct mistakes.

Bhartiya society was so deeply immersed in the idea of peace and universal brotherhood that it could not see the military advance of Alexander. Chanakya – the first Indian political realist shaped the country’s foreign and military policy, and gave birth to the concept of Akhanda Bharat (One Bharat). Surprisingly, while PM Narendra Modi is trying to weave-in India’s neighbourhood, the satellite states and the international community, his critics are calling him the NRI prime minister.

Babur – the first Mughal invader in 1526 plundered Bharat’s cultural and religious wealth (first Muslim ruler was Mohammad Bin Qasim who invaded India in 8th century), and started the process of transforming Bharat into Hindustan. Later, the British Raj further plundered India’s Hindustani culture (also known as Ganga-Jamna Tehzeeb) for over 250 years, transforming Hindustan into India. The result – Bharat that spread from the hills of Hindu Kush in Afghanistan to Indonesia shrunk steadily and became Hidustan and today what we have is India, which has several unresolved border disputes and numerous social issues. It was a game of imperial politics for the Mughals and the British, something which the (scattered) Hindu rulers of the day couldn’t resist due to their lack of collective approach to foreign and military policy. It was foolishness on our part to have excessively practiced peace and universal brotherhood and not have a strong standing army. Religious tolerance was practiced to the extreme level, military & diplomatic foolishness had no boundaries, because of which this country has paid a heavy price for it. Neither extreme level of tolerance nor foolishness has any scope in Indian society.

How many Indian historians have countered the British version of Indian history that depicted India in a bad light? Remember, Max Muller - a German scholar - advised the British to enslave India with western education. How many Bollywood personalities have questioned the Western depiction of India as the country of slums and superstitions? Where were these artists when Charlie Hebdo portrayed Prophet Mohammad with a bomb in his turban and M F Hussain painted Hindu gods and goddesses nude? And why the intellectuals have kept quiet on Islam’s constant comparison with terrorism and when Congress leader P Chidambaram coined the word Hindu terror?

The so called ‘tolerance brigade’ argues that Hindu saints eat beef during the Vedic age, but have we not progressed and become more civilised than before? If eating beef is one’s choice, then respecting the religious feelings is also their duty. If the incident like Dadri has brought bad name to Hinduism and to India, then it is the intellectuals – the other fringe – who at a right time started shooting at the Modi government and fell silent immediately after the final phase of elections in Bihar was over. The intellectuals exceptionally did well in spreading a message of ‘intolerance’, but have miserably failed to suggest a concrete solution for making India tolerant. It was verbal violence. Violent exceptions are the realities of every society. But violence in the name of religion and colonisation through economic oppression has never been part of Hindu society. It is nearly impossible to cite an example where Bharat, Hindustan or India waged military invasion to expand territory and carried out conversion to increase its population. But the recent verbal rant of the saffron clad sanyasis (hermit) is in no way a call to protect the Hindu culture. They might think that they are doing service to the Hindu society, but unknowingly they are damaging image of the Hindu religion, which has survived the wrath of Islamic invasion and conversions by the Christian missionaries. But for the benefit of the Indian society, these sanyasis and mullahs will have to keep quiet and introspect what is wrong with their society. And the intellectuals will have to make constructive contribution than mere verbal violence. And finally, the political leaders will need to speak and act at a right time. Remember, the fault lines on both the sides.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

If army fails, China will open new flanks: General Shankar Roychowdhury


After 21 days and 19 km of intrusion by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) into Indian territory, New Delhi has failed both diplomatically and militarily to push the Chinese back on the other side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Gen. (Retd) Shankar RoychowdhuryFormer Chief of Army Staff, in a candid interview with me, says the stand-off may lead to a 1962 war-like scenario.

Q. The third flag meeting between the two sides have failed to generate any result. Today is the 20th day of the stand-off. How do you see the situation developing?
ANS: The situation will not develop further. We have a very articulate Foreign Minister who has been making tremendously conciliatory statements. The major issue is that the Chinese have come across a line that India feels is the boundary. They have not just come across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), but have established them selves. This is a major variation. To move them back India will have to undertake a multi-pronged strategy. One arm of that will definitely be diplomacy. The second arm has to be an appropriate military build-up to contain and isolate whatever has come across otherwise New Delhi will not be able to get the right message across to the Chinese.
Nothing much will come out of this unless the government builds up its nerves and some kind of pressure is applied, otherwise we should reconcile that the Chinese will stay where they are and even militarily build-up further in the area.
Q. The government seems to have reduced the gravity of the situation by saying that it’s an ‘acne on the beautiful face’ and ‘a localised issue’. Do you agree with this?
ANS: I do not agree with the government on this at all, at all, at all, reason being: In 1996 India and China had a treaty and there were eight points of differences on the perception of border. Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) is just one of them. If India feels that it’s a localised issue and our response is ineffective the Chinese who are attempting to establish themselves under the new regime both on the ground and on the high sea may take a chance in other areas of dispute. Response in one area may further aggravate the situation in other areas as well.
Our Foreign Minister has time and again gone out of his way and has said that we do not want any trouble. If you do not want any trouble please keep quiet. Do not keep talking.
Since India is militarily weaker and unable to influence Chinese decision making from a position of strength, our esteemed and sometimes excessively civil foreign minister should not endlessly dwell on our supposedly common background as ‘two ancient civilisations’.
Q. This is not the first incident. There are reports of over 600 incursions in past few years. This time it is very serious as they have come in about 19 km inside Indian territory and this may give rise to Kargil-like situation?
ANS: What I am more worried about is not Kargil, but a 1962 like situation of Tawang and Thag La. Many seem to be not remembering their history and those who do remember says let us not do war mongering.
India, in 1962 went forward and claimed the Thag La ridge thinking that the Chinese will not react. But it was a complete failure of Indian intelligence. And this was the basic failure in Indian thinking that Chinese will not react regardless of what we do. India tried and establish its self beyond Thag La and the Chinese came rolling down on India.
So we should keep ourselves prepared and balanced. Keeping ourselves prepared to contesting and contending this creeping by the Chinese in the disputed areas should be our considered strategy.
 And this is something that is not being taken into account.
Q. India has started building military infrastructure in the disputed area. The are feeling a little provoked. Do you think New Delhi has taken a right step to develop military facilities at forward posts?
ANS: India should have started building military infrastructure decades back. What we are doing is too little, too late. And when we get some kind of pin prick from somewhere we scramble and try to contain it and then we get ourselves into all sorts of trouble. India must retain its balance, but very seriously develop border infrastructure which has not been adequately developed, specifically in the case of Daulat Beg Oldie.
Also, the Chinese should not feel provoked. We are within our side of the border. Chine has been developing military infrastructure on their side. India has taken a non-confrontational line and will continue to develop the required infrastructure. The Chinese do not hesitate in doing what they feel right.
Q. Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid will be visiting China on 9th May. Should he visit China at all?
ANS: In my personal opinion. NO. He has avoided saying that this issue of DBO will come up in his meeting with the Chinese counterpart. The emphasis is on cultivating good neighbourly relations between the two. Nothing wrong with that, but at the same time India must work on what is in the best interest of the country.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Modi wants world at Sardar Patel's feet


Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi wants the world to be at the feet of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – the man who united India in its immediate years of post-independent years by annexing several princely states.
Addressing a business gathering organised by Indian Merchant Chambers in Mumbai, Modi said, Gujarat will soon be building a ‘Statue of Unity’ of Sardar Patel and I want the entire world to bow down to him.”
The statue will be 182 meters (597 feet) tall i.e. double the size of ‘Statue of Liberty’ (93 meters) in New York and statue of Shivaji (94.183 meters) to be built in Mumbai off the Arabian Sea.
On the current social and economic situation in the country, Modi said, “For the first time the Indian society is screaming in anger not only at Jantan Mantar, but wherever it can find a stage to voice its anger…The country is sinking…we need to change circumstances to bring change in the country.”
Taking a jibe at the Congress, Modi said, “For over 45 years you took the country in the wrong direction, then you correct your mistakes and call it reforms. The country needs policy-driven institutions and not Modi.”