Weekly Update: Gasbag Gunboat Diplomacy, Hijab Row & Yogi’s Maya

With pop guns blazing from her mouth and a dance of eyebrows that mimicked Clint Eastwood in A Few Dollars More, Liz Truss, Britain’s Foreign Secretary (Foreign Minister), went to meet the savvy, experienced Foreign Minister of Russia, Sergei Lavrov to tell him ‘Clear out or….’

The amused Lavrov waited for the ‘or…’. It turned out the gunboat waiting outside Kremlin was threat of economic sanctions and the prophecy of a dangerous war that Britain won’t get involved in but will sell weapons in.

One of the most experienced diplomats in the world, Lavrov made comic of Britain’s diplomatic initiative and said it was like a mute talking to the deaf and called her style, ‘shouting slogans from the tribunes’. The British Foreign Minister thought he was calling her ‘mute’ and immediately retorted that she was certainly not mute in the talks making herself look even more silly.

But that was not the only banana slip. During the talks Lavrov asked her a ‘trick question’ whether she recognised Russia’s sovereignty over regions of Voronehz and Rostov. ‘Never’ said Clint Liz Truss Eastwood making lip contortions as if spitting tobacco on the floor just as Clint does on screen. Liz, who had done as much homework as her Boss, Boris of Global Britain does before a meeting, thought Voronehz was Donbass. She probably didn’t know where Donbass was either.

By this time Lavrov probably felt like a University professor asked to do an oral viva of a student who had less knowledge than a nursery child but attempting a degree exam. It was the British Ambassador who quietly reminded Liz Truss that Voronehz and Rostov were Russian regions just as Midlands and Hertfordshire are in Britain.

During colonialism, the British had perfected a unique form of diplomacy called gunboat diplomacy. There would be a few ships with cannons loaded and pointing towards the Chief’s house while the British representative would engage in ‘diplomatic negotiations’. It went like this:

Brit Diplomat: ‘Chief, we want your land to dig gold and we will give you these shiny plastic beads in return.’

Chief: ‘Not acceptable.’

British Diplomat: ‘Ok that boat there will make our opening diplomatic statement.’

The cannons fired killing half the village and the Chief.

This particular type of British diplomacy worked well during colonialism. Now everyone has big cannons and the Russians some hundred times more than British Army. But habits die hard. The British Foreign Office still sticks to the old and tried methods. So its minister went to the Bear’s den to tell Lavrov, ‘Clear off or….’

Imagine Lavrov’s disbelief! In a war between Britain and Russia, the British Island will be frazzled within 15 minutes out of sight, making the channel crossing a long journey between France and America without any recognisable land mass in between.

The British Foreign Minister, Liz Truss, hoping to oust Boris the Boss, came back to Britain thinking she had put Lavrov in his place with her gunboat diplomacy and looking tough and determined. To the many old Brits, this playacting reminds of old days and they love it, even if it is only drama now. She will get their votes.

As for the sanctions, the Russians know that the threat of freezing their ‘slush money’ is non-starter. Britain owns 90% of ex pirate Islands now used for ‘keeping safe illicit money or money away from the taxman.’ The arrangement works in secrecy. If the Government freezes funds of one person, the whole edifice will start to come apart exposing British Oligarchs as well. Not a chance that British impose real sanctions.

Karnataka Going French

It was just the French who were afraid of women’s clothing and brought in the full force of the law against little girls wearing hijab. Now it is the brave men of Karnataka, the Hindu Rashtra soldiers, who feel their identity, masculinity and Trishul power draining existentially when they see an 8 year old girl with a Hijab over her head.

It seems romantic revivalism of the Kshatriya soldier has had the same effect on the men of Karnataka as the French revolution did on the French.

Both have huddled in numbers and passed laws banning the threatening and dangerous piece of cotton or polyester clothing over the head of young women. Imagine little girls saying, ‘Mummy, why is that man going pale and trembling when he looks at my hijab?’

The police, the Government officers and the teachers have forced little girls to ‘TAKE OFF THAT HEAD SCARF’, called hijab. The men can feel safe in Karnataka. Onward march the soldiers of Krishna, now that they have removed the most powerful defence equipment that was hampering their progress in what ever they think they are progressing to.

Only problem, when is a hijab not a form of chunni. dupatta or vice versa. Women have been covering their heads in South Asia since time immemorial. Even Sita covered her head. Will all young girls in Karnataka be subjected to naked heads! No more chunni! That is what the French did.

It is quite a sight to see a French Foreign Legion trained soldier reduced to a weeping, melting body of tissue when he sees a schoolgirl with a hijab. So it was understandable the French had to ban head covering. It is a quirk of French cultural genes as no one else in the world was inflicted with this fear psychosis of the hijab. Now it seems the genetic mutation has reached Karnataka. It would have been better to ban Air France.

Can ‘flyover superman’ Modi ji come to the rescue?

Moksha Elections Continue

It was a belief held in ancient times that this world is ‘maya’, an illusion. Moksha is when the soul leaves the body and joins the great ‘Brahma’. That belief sustained Hindus for thousands of years. Hindus survived alien occupations, wars, and oppressive regimes knowing that all that takes ‘form as matter’ is ‘maya’. Yoga and meditation were geared towards that.

Now Yogi Adityanath, perhaps having done enough yoga and not seeing any Mokshastan in sight has decided that it will be Hindustan that will be made into Moksha basti. The concept of Maya itself has become illusion and reality is to make first UP, then Hindustan, free of Muslims. So his tirades against Indian Muslims continue and an underlying theme of elections in UP.

One will no longer have to persevere through Yoga, Simran, Samadhi, Dhyan. People can just go to the voting booth, put Yogi ji in power again and Moksha will be in sight. And its all thanks to the genius of the British.

The power of British invention of democracy is extraordinary. Seems Westminster style democracy panth beats all other Indian panths and can achieve moksha in mayaland too.

Weekly Update: Biden Weaponises McDonald’s; UP Double Engine Slow Start; Punjab Politics Gets Crowdier

As Russia surrounds Ukraine with over 150,000 troops, heavy weapons, missiles on standby and jets revving up, Ukraine’s ally, the United States of America has sent a threatening message to Putin. ‘We will withdraw McDonalds!’ or something like that. Biden has threatened sanctions that will be the mother of all trade sanctions according to him. ‘Ya have seen nothn yet.’ So Biden retorted in barely audible decibels as if he didn’t mean it. If he does mean it then it must mean pulling back even McDonalds from Russia along with a few other things, such as helicopters and car parts.

The US imports a lot of oil and some platinum and bit of vodka from Russia among other things. Biden says he will stop importing these. Can this war be averted by threatening to stop McDonalds or similar things? Trade between Russia and USA is not eye popping anyway. In 2019 it was a mere $10.9 Billion exports to Russia whereas Russia exported $24 Billion of stuff to USA.

Russia already has huge foreign exchange reserves twice that of USA! It has 30% of world’s natural resources. And most of its trade is to neighbouring countries such as China, Ukraine, Poland, Kazakhstan etc. If it takes over large part of Ukraine, then that trade will be part of its domestic economy.

It’s difficult to see Putin having nightmares over United States threat on sanctions. Out of $551 Billion Russian annual exports, a loss of $24 billion seems miniscule. Ukraine will have to fight its own war. As usual, USA eternal friendship is finitely tied to its interests. Just as it ditched the Afghan democratic government which was relying on USA to protect it against Taliban, it is likely to dump Ukraine’s Zelensky when Putin sends the first tanks into Ukraine.

Sanctions will also mean that USA will force its allies such as EU and Britain to stop trading with Russia. The EU is a different story. As a block, EU is Russia’s largest trading partner exporting some $107 Billion worth goods to EU and importing about $88 Billion worth goods from EU. Sanctions will hit Russia and Putin may have to think hard.

But not so hard. A lot of import by EU is petroleum which is $75 billion worth, about 70% of imports. Rest is mainly minerals. It is difficult to see how EU is going to replace this amount of oil and gas. Germany has understandably long been reluctant to impose sanction on Russia as it relies heavily on petroleum from Russia.

If EU imposes sanctions, the price of oil will sky rocket, throwing many EU economies into possible recession. Just recovering from Covid lockdowns, the impact on European countries will be devastating as they import petroleum products from elsewhere. It will hit rest of world too.

Wily old Global Britain has already said it will not send forces if Russia attacks Ukraine. Little Englanders know they don’t stand a chance if Russia nukes Britain in anger and the current Brexit economy of Global Britain can’t afford another war, especially if Big Uncle Sam doesn’t relish sending any forces to aid Ukraine.

Putin has of course calculated all this. From his position, Ukraine has been a thorn in its security. Ukraine wants to join EU thus aiding its expansion to the borders of Russia. Ukraine could also give United States military bases. Russia has already compared this to the Cuba crises that faced USA in 1962 when the Soviet was planning to install missiles in Cuba on the doorsteps of United States.

Trouble with the West is that it has demonised Russia under Putin in its media and made a number of threatening statements warning Putin not to advance into Ukraine. This rhetoric could get in the way of finding a peaceful solution to the standoff between Russia and Ukraine although they, the West, have also been saying that sending forces against Russia is out of the question!

It should dawn on Ukraine that it is in the same position as the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan which fell to the Taliban and has become the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan when USA decided it had enough of the friendship with Afghan democracy.

Although high level meetings to avoid war are between Putin and Biden, it will ultimately be up to Ukraine to either accept its fate peacefully or under force. Putin is neither bluffing nor eager for war. His terms for avoiding war are on the table. If Ukraine understands its position, it will let the West know that it will not join EU and will not invite US to set up bases in Ukraine. If not, then Putin is likely to unleash his forces and colossal firepower and take a significant part of Ukraine.

Unless of course Putin decides that he cannot do without a Big Mc in which case Biden’s threat of sanctions as retaliation for any war on Ukraine might just miraculously work. On the other hand, capitalist McDonalds may decide that it doesn’t want to forego profits in Russia and may call its burgers ‘Putin Burgers’ to get around sanctions. These wars are becoming multifaceted and complicated these days.

Double Engine But Slow To Start

Scurrying to save the BJP in Uttar Pradesh (UP) after retreat from farmers, PM Modiji has been trying his persuasive powers to win voters back to BJP. Farmer leader Tikait has dented the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the state with the largest number of MPs in the Centre. Currently, UP is under BJP ruled by the monk Yogi Adityanath with a mixture of anti-Muslim rhetoric and Hindu revivalism.

‘Double engine Government’ said Modiji, is good for UP and everybody. By double engine he means, BJP government in UP and BJP government at the national level. Modiji laid the foundation of a ₹36,250 crore Ganga Expressway which will be the longest in the state. One stone has been laid. When it will have the last stone is another matter. Characteristically he even threw in a soundbite. UP + Yogi = UPYOGI. Only in Hindi it is flattering.

Not impressed, Bahujan Samaj Party leader, Shrimati Mayawati said, “Now near election the double engine government, meaning after 10 years, the Ganga Expressway has been announced and that also in two phases” Laelo ji double engine.

Equally unimpressed, the Samajwadi Party leader, Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, “Hathras’ daughter, Lakhimpur farmers, Gorakhpur traders, unsafe women, unemployed youth, daily and backwards all are saying the present government is ‘unupyogi (useless)’ than up-yogi.”

Punjab’s Politics Gets Crowdier

Already with more political parties than districts in Punjab, the over-crowded political space of Punjab has been joined by yet another new party. Fresh from their victory, a group of farm leaders under Gurnam Singh Charuni, has announced the setting up of Sanyukt Sangharsh Party. Their agenda, ‘To clean Punjab politics!’

There are many things Punjabis can do, including forcing one of the most powerful political parties in modern India to take back laws. But cleaning Punjab politics is a task that even God may shy from attempting. Nevertheless, Gurnam Singh is going to take on this more than Herculean task by fighting all Vidhan Sabha seats and bringing in Left ideology. MSP for all, fresh from Kisan Morcha.

Maybe the impossible might be achieved, politics will become cleaner and Punjabis will stop migrating to Canada at the creak of an open door and find jobs at home instead. There are more IELT classes than jobs in Punjab these days. These could be replaced by more job opportunities. Singhu border comes to Punjab.

Indian Army Is People's Fauz, Not Modi Ji Ki Sena

Indian Army Is People’s Fauj, Not Modi Ji Ki Sena

Time has come for a public outcry in support of no politicisation of the armed forces

Prime Ministers will come and go but Indian Army will remain the final bastion of this nation. Our defence forces have a long track record of being apolitical and are respected worldwide for their professionalism. Indian Army is the army of its people and has always acted to save its citizens from external aggression and internal disturbances or insurgencies. 

Insurgency in Punjab was controlled largely due to the fact that Indian Army under their Chief General Bipin Chandra Joshi had cleared all rural areas of militants and had left the populated urban areas to the Punjab Police. The Chief had decided that the army would not take any credit but would continue to provide area security and actionable intelligence to the state police, allow it to take the credit and re-establish its credibility. That is the mettle Indian Army is made of and the politicians of all hue and cry must adhere to the opening sentence of the code of conduct laid down by election commission that clearly states that politicisation of the army should not be resorted to.

The fire brand Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath in an election rally has remarked that Indian Army is Modi Ji Ki Sena. It is a well-known fact that this CM also had an army of his own. Indian Army is an instrument of the state and does not belong to any political party in or out of power. The credit for giving a political clearance for operating across the Line of Control should rightly go to PM Modi. Again, the credit of placing all instruments of intelligence gathering or monitoring the movement of inimical forces as also tracing the moment of own troops in territory controlled by the enemy must go to the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

The credit of planning and coordinating operations goes to the Director General Military Operations acting in behalf of Army Chief and the Northern Army Commander. The Corps Commander was responsible for coordinating and provision of all resources at his call to support the operation. The actual credit of launching the surgical strikes across the enemy lines goes to the Commanding Officer, the team commanders and the troops of Special Forces who went across and risked their lives and the pilots of Indian Air Force and their base commanders. If the PM, NSA, the then Army Chief or the Army Commander take credit for launching surgical strikes, then they are far from the truth. Unfortunately, for this nation, they are all taking credit, time and again, to gain votes or favours for plum appointments within and outside the country.

Number of movies and web shows like Uri and certain others have misguided the nation in showing that the operational and tactical wisdom flowed down from the PM and the NSA. The PM and NSA have had no formal training in military matters and are not well equipped to lay down operational plans. Such operations had been done earlier also but in a covert manner to impose your will on the erring opponent. The difference is that this time it was made public and the surgical strikes are being milked time and again to score browning point against political opponents. It is but natural that when corned in this issue, the opposition starts doubting the veracity of the claims and starts asking proof of these operations. Both the ruling party and the opposition have done ample harm to the credibility of our armed forces as also the confidentiality of the operational plans.

The time has come when there needs to be a public outcry in support of no politicisation of the armed forces. When you talk to the common man on the street he has a lot of respect for the armed forces. The best way to build nationalism is to have conscription wherein every abled man and woman does military training for a specific period. USA and some European nations have had conscription from time to time. Israel and some of its Arab neighbours still have conscription. It will be argued that India, because of its burgeoning population, cannot afford to have conscription. Shall we then lay it down as a legislation that all individuals aspiring for government jobs and public life must have a compulsory two years military training? That will cover all future politicians and bureaucrats.

Very systematically, the bureaucrats and the politicians over the last seven decades have been bringing down the status of the premier institution of defence forces, in successive pay commissions. The biggest user of the pay commission, the defence forces never have had a representative in the pay commission. The Ministry of Defence has not been integrated with services Headquarters like in all modern democratic nations and behaves like a higher Headquarters without having any practical knowledge of matters military. No modernisation has taken place either in the ten years of UPA government or in the last five years. The civil military relations in the county are at its lowest ebb under the present government. Although in principal, this government has given One Rank One Pay in the beginning of their tenure, the bureaucracy has successfully insulated the politicians from the services and have ensured in holding the government from completing its promises. The rapid changes of Defence Ministers who have been political light weights shows that the PMO has little time for ensuring true national security except for resorting to rhetoric and pushing agendas in the name of national security. This must change with the new government in office this summer otherwise we will get a rap on our knuckles again like 1962.

]]>

Yogi govt under attack over Unnao rape case

UP में अपनी बेटी के लिए न्याय की गुहार कर रहे एक पिता पर हुई बर्बरता ने मानवता को शर्मसार कर दिया है। आशा है कि प्रधानमंत्रीजी भाजपा शासन में महिलाओं पर हो रहे अत्याचार, कानून तंत्र की विफलता और बढ़ती अराजकता के लिए भी जल्द ही उपवास रखेंगे। pic.twitter.com/MsXOW0QbPW

— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) April 11, 2018 She further told media persons that no one was bigger that Amit Shah in the party and that being the reason, she thought it proper to inform him about the disgrace coming to the party due to such incidents. “This is a big failure of the UP government as we fought for the respect and honour of women, but it is all at stake to save an influential person (Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger),” she said. Earlier in New Delhi, the Congress demanded that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath must resign immediately for protecting Unnao BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar and his accomplices for their alleged role in gangraping a 17-year-old girl and the custodial death of her father. It also demanded that Jammu and Kashmir government order a CBI enquiry into the Kathua rape and murder case and thast the accused should be arrested soon. “Beti Bachao” under Modi government should be renamed as ‘BJP se Beti Bachao’. Modiji’s (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) favourite slogan of ‘Bahut Hua Naari Par Vaar’ is now a cruel joke on the women of India,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala. In a related development, the Supreme Court agreed to hear next week a petition seeking a CBI probe into the alleged gang rape by the Unnao BJP legislator and others and the death of her father in police custody. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud fixed the date of hearing after advocate Manohar Lal Sharma mentioned the matter. The petition sought the court’s direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe the alleged kidnapping and rape of the girl in July 2017 by Unnao MLA Kuldeep Singh Senger and others and custodial death of her father on April 9. (IANS)]]>