The US has mounted a massive diplomatic offensive against belligerent China, with the Biden administration’s several key diplomats and ministers visiting various nations in Asia with the agenda of countering the Dragon. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is visiting India 27-28 July to meet External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. He will also call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources say China’s aggression and ways to counter it will top the agenda to be taken up during these meetings. Pakistan’s terror financing will also be part of the agenda of discussion. Top MEA sources told The Daily Guardian that India and the US will discuss the ways to step up pressure on Pakistan to stop terror funding. Rapid surge of Taliban will also figure during the talks between Blinken and Jaishankar.
Blinken’s visit to India is a key part of the larger US’ diplomatic mission against Chinese aggressive behaviour. But the US is in a big action mode diplomatically. Blinken’s deputy Wendy Sherman is in China “representing the interests of the US and its allies during talks with Beijing’s top diplomats”. Sources say Shermon has gone to China with a tough message from President Joe Biden, “The US will act to defend its interests”. Sherman is scheduled to meet Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Tianjin on July 26. As part of the US’ diplomatic mission, US Deputy Secretary of State Sherman has already visited Japan, South Korea and Mongolia, obviously with China as top agenda. Sources said that with China in mind Blinken’s deputy reaffirmed “the US commitment to working with allies and partners to promote peace, security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and to upholding the international rule-based order.” According to sources, the Biden administration wants to send out a clear message to all the countries which are facing problems due to China’s belligerent behaviour that the US is always with them in their efforts to counter the Dragon.
In another significant visit as part of this diplomatic agenda, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin will be in Singapore, Vietnam and Philippines next week with Chinese aggression in South China Sea becoming a major election issue in Manila. As a result of the Biden administration’s diplomatic campaign, European countries have joined the US in imposing sanctions on the Chinese over the treatment of UiAghars in Xinjiang province and joined the US along with other allies and NATO last week to call out China on hacking.
Modi and Joe Biden are expected to meet later in the year at an in-person summit of the leaders of the Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) involving Australia, Japan, India and the US, which is likely after October. The Biden administration has also started preparation for the same. Blinken’s visit to India is important from that point of view as well. Blinken and Jaishankar will also discuss the agenda for the Quad meet, with China and Indo-Pacific being the main topic. The MEA said, “Secretary Blinken’s visit is an opportunity to continue the high-level bilateral dialogue and bolster the India-US global strategic partnership. Both sides will review the robust and multifaceted India-US bilateral relations, and potential for consolidating them further.” The state department said Blinken will hold discussions on “a wide range of issues including continued cooperation on Covid-19 response efforts, Indo-Pacific engagement, shared regional security interests, shared democratic values, and addressing the climate crisis”.
Officials say that Afghanistan will also be a key topic of discussion as US withdrawal of troops, which will be wrapped soon, could be followed by the Taliban’s return to power. India has watched with concern as the Taliban have rapidly expanded areas under their control, raising fears of the return of their brutal and regressive policies and practices.
Sources said that dates are also being finalised for the next 2+2 dialogue between the foreign and defence ministers of India and US. It will be hosted by the US this year. The last one was held in New Delhi last October, with then secretaries of state and defence Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper travelling to India.
The Daily Guardian is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@thedailyguardian) and stay updated with the latest headlines.
For the latest news Download The Daily Guardian App.
Understanding the act of giving and receiving care
One seldom rises at the hour of prayer, thinking, let me be neglectful to the elderly parent, relative or in-law living under my roof, today. But somewhere between shrugging into a starched shirt and biting into your morning toast, the brain goes into overdrive; it separates into neat little boxes, what must be done now, what must be done next week and what must be delegated.
Most likely, the elderly are tucked away in the last box, to be opened at a later date with reluctant fingers.
When I grow up I want to fold myself into a comma awaiting forever, the end of my sentence. Says no one ever but, if you are forced into caregiving or even if you make the choice to be a caregiver, there are many days you feel that way, like life in suspension, unsaved by poetic flourishes.
Your duties like the ticking clock are circular, unchanging. Yet, the attendant responsibilities and psychological ramifications of care make you want to curl up in a ball and whimper. You need help:
Is this the rest of my life? When the thought makes you want to breathe into a paper bag – remind yourself that it is not. This phase will play itself out. For now, your job is to put one foot in front of another and not let your mind leap into a past romanticised with memory or a future tricky and fog-shaped. Dispense that medicine. Change that diaper. Feed that mouth and wipe those lips. That is what matters now, and it matters immensely. It allows a person to live out this last stage of their life with a few breaths of grace.
SELF-CARE IS NOT BEING SELFISH
The elderly are fragile. They break easily. You cannot handle them with a shaky hand or a disturbed mind. So, don’t minimise your problems and do take care of your health.
Annika, in my book The Slow Disappearing, admits:
“There are times when I have a headache or it burns when I pee or I have a cold I cannot shake, and I’m fully aware how petty that is, for what is a cold when one is losing words or losing one’s foothold on one’s surroundings? And that is when I detest the sound of her phlegmy cough, the overdrawn drama, the canned revelry of game shows on television, and her passive-aggressive silences.”
Seek advice from your doctor if you are unwell, allow your kindly neighbour to pamper you, look into community resources available for the elderly – a day trip to the temple with their peers, arranged by a Senior Citizen Welfare group can be wonderful for their spirits and yours. Take that time to slip away to the mountains, if not physically – by way of a song, a walk in the park, a steamy read.
FORGET SOCIAL MEDIA
Forget social media or at least look at the kaleidoscopic shapes of social media objectively. Facebook is a moment shaken out of time. It’s a touch of instant glamour, like that new shade of burgundy lipstick you bought for special occasions. Don’t let it fill you with envy or resentment.
Life is messy. Other people are not floating in a rosy parallel, above-the-grime world unexposed to disinfectants and deranged rants. Every image you see is someone auditioning for an imagined life.
SEE AND TOUCH
In this day of over-verbalisation, platitudes are worn thin with overuse. We love you, we care about you, we hope you are well… is all very well. But know that if you wash and brush the hair of the ones under your care; if you clip their toe-nails; if you really look into their storied eyes, and see them for who they are – the murtis of hope, compassion, forgiveness, and despair and countless other stories – you will become their Tulsidas and their Tagore. Your touch will heal.
And when you realise that the opaque membrane between youth and ageing is thinning daily, you will know empathy – that care-shaped emoji at the end of the sentence.
GIVE AND TAKE
As a child, you might have read the story of The Giving Tree. How it shelters and nurtures a boy, with every portion of its being – The trunk, the branches, the fruit, the leaves – à votre service, up until the end, when it shrivels to a stump. The tree gives. The child takes.
I like to akin the elderly to the forest trees: sheltering, nurturing until they shrivel to unrecognisable stumps. Perhaps we can change the ending to that story: The tree gives. The child gives back.
Poonam Chawla is the author of The Slow Disappearing.
PM MODI’S INITIATIVES THAT PAVED A WAY FOR TRANSFORMED INDIA
In the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country has made several giant leaps that have brought a complete transformation in almost all the areas of governance and public policy.
Change seems a smaller word when we compare today’s India with that of 2014. In the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the country has made several giant leaps that have brought a complete transformation in almost all the areas of governance and public policy from women empowerment to infrastructure to defence to health and sanitation to agriculture to the economy to foreign policy and promotion of indigenous culture among others. Central Vista Project is all set to transform the national capital city by 2024.
In his able leadership, India has achieved several firsts at the national level as well as at the global level. The word impossible is not in his dictionary. But driven with this spirit, he has made so many achievements in such a short period and still adding to the list year by year that it has become impossible to include them in a single article. When we count on merit, several achievements come at number one which is again an impossible task. But for the sake of presentation, we need to start from a point.
MANAGING COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Though the Covid-19 has been the most devastating pandemic ever for mankind, there had been pandemics earlier as well. But in those pandemics, the role of India was limited to just a receiver of funds, medicines, doctors etc. from WHO and other friendly countries. In this pandemic, India emerged as a donor. While the top leaders of the developed countries had abandoned the idea of global culture, which they along with their intellectuals used to claim as their own, and declared several preferential policies for their citizens aka voters including a ban on exports; India made a world record of providing vaccines to several poor countries in Africa and also exported vaccines to Arab nations. During the Covid-19 crisis with over 45 lakh evacuations, India ranked first in the world. This number is about three times of total evacuations made by the next four countries put together.
Nobody can forget the words of appreciation by the UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres on 21 February 2021, who extended his ‘personal gratitude’ to India for offering 2 lakh doses of vaccine for UN peacekeepers and helping 150 countries with medical equipment. The onset of the second wave again compelled India to focus at home. Here too the country has set many records under the world’s biggest free vaccine drive including a record 2.5 crore Covid-19 jabs on the 71st birthday of Modiji on 17 September 2021. This transformation is waiting for another milestone during PM’s visit to the US to participate in Quad Leaders’ Summit in which the US President Joe Biden will reportedly request for vaccines.
Most recently, the government has announced a permanent commission for women in the Armed Forces. This is not a standalone decision taken under pressure of any intellectual campaign or advocacy but a product of sustained efforts since 2014. Who can forget the first all-women contingent march on Rajpath during the 66th Republic Day parade in 2015, Tania Shergil as the first woman parade adjutant for Republic Day Parade in 2020, an all-women crew of Mt Swarna Krishan in March 2021 and many more? Not only in the Armed Forces, schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP), the law on Triple Talaq, implementing 33% reservation for women in police, etc. will always be remembered as landmarks in the history of women empowerment. The Ujjawala Yojana has not only saved women from smokes thereby improving their health but also saved their time which they invest in productive works to increase their income. These schemes have transformed the lives of women from bottom to top.
SANITATION AND DRINKING WATER
India was infamous for open defecation on railway lines. Besides, railway stations were also filthy and dirty. Nobody has imagined improving this situation and we all had accepted it as part of their bad luck. Under Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM), the government ensured the construction of over 100 million toilets in rural India and over 7 million in urban areas. So far, 711 districts, 6,971 blocks, 2.6 lakh Gram Panchayats, and over 6 lakh villages have been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF).
Furthermore, new targets have been set to make all urban local bodies across the country ODF+ and ODF++ certified by 2024. Besides the numbers, the importance of SBM in transforming India could be assessed with the fact that women and girls in villages have named these toilets ‘izzatghar’. Of course, these services require regular maintenance but this scheme has transformed thinking from ‘nothing can be done’ to ‘nothing is impossible’.
From fighting terrorism within the boundaries, India’s defence has been transformed to fighting terrorism wherever they hide including across the border. The Surgical Strike, Air Strike in Pakistan aka Terroristan has forced Pakistan to shift its terror camps to its bordering areas along with Afghanistan.
Transparency in defence procurement and ensuring world-class defence equipment, gadgets, and fighters for Armed Forces such as Rafale and Apache Helicopters, have boosted the morale of our forces. This was due to this increased morale, even China was forced to withdraw from our borders after the Galwan valley clash. The new National War Memorial will continue to remind us of our brave soldiers. Revocation of Article 370 from Kashmir has facilitated security management in J&K. For retired defence personnel, the Modi government have implemented ‘one rank one pension’ scheme which was pending for decades. Besides, scientists have also made several advancements in missiles and other equipment. The contribution of space science to the defence needs of the country has also been remarkable.
Indian has joined the group of a few countries which have crop insurance policies. Several previous problems that had been the cause of violent agitations throughout the country like the purchase of Urea and other fertilisers, irrigation, low rates for land acquisition have become a matter of history. The government is now giving four times of circle rates as compensation for the acquired land. As early as 2009, several farmers were killed in Greater Noida, Pune, and other parts of India demanding adequate compensation for their acquired land. The recent three farm laws have enabled the farmers to sell their crops directly to consumers, that is, people living in societies and colonies of the cities. Selling vegetables, grains, fruits etc. by farmers in colonies and societies is illegal as per existing rules and if they do it, they do it by paying bribes or commission to police and food inspectors. Presently, farmers are bound to sell their farm products in Mandis to wholesalers who then sell them to retailers. The diversification and innovations in crop patterns is another dimension of transformation in the country. Besides, Kisan Express trains have ensured access of farmers in Mandis across the country. According to recent data, around 2,110 tonnes of onions have been transported by Kisan trains in this season.
Before 2014, India was considered parallel to and just an adversary of Pakistan. Today, we have left this rouge neighbour far away in global diplomacy. The opinion of India matters on almost all the international and global issues of strategic, economical, and environmental issues. The UN chief had formally recognised India as a ‘global leader’ in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. There was a time when India used to look at Pakistan for dialogues but the situation has reversed. We have progressed without SAARC. Besides establishing International Solar Alliance, forums like BIMSTEC and QUAD are being revived and strengthened.
Various aspects of Indic cultures were being ignored since independence. Besides starting the International Day of Yoga in 2015, PM Modi has been hosting foreign guests in different cities of the countries such as Varanasi, Chennai, and Ahmedabad to showcase the plurality of Indian culture. Furthermore, National Education Policy has been framed to transform education and also to inculcate pride among Indians in the achievements of their ancestors. Several historic places and archaeological sites have been revived. The construction of the Shri Ram Janambhumi Temple have started in Ayodhya.
CONCERNS AND WAY AHEAD
What was considered next to impossible seven years back is now a reality. Of course, this has increased the expectations of various civil society organisations, voluntary associations, interest groups, and also the people at large, which is quite reasonable. This is because expectations are reposed in from performers and achievers but never from laggards. But the most appalling fact is that some wolf minded politicians are playing with these new expectations of people. Some of them have been full-time politicians, public representatives and contested elections. They seem to have been sent on deputation to fuel the agitation of farmers and other protestors, wherever possible, in the interest of their political masters. Some of them have been exposed while others are still hiding under the wolf coat and misusing the democratic rights of citizens as bunkers. Now it’s our responsibility to ignite critical thinking among people so that they could expose these wolves on their own.
Having said this, under the leadership of our beloved Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the most popular and most efficient, we all are committed to re-establishing India as Vishwa Guru.
Before 2014, India was considered just an adversary of Pakistan. Today, we have left this rouge neighbour far away in global diplomacy. The opinion of India matters on almost all the international and global issues of strategic, economical, and environmental issues.
Himachal High Court inaugurates e-module that facilitates advocates’ certification work
Justice Ravi Malimath, the Acting Chief Justice, High Court of Himachal Pradesh, on Wednesday, virtually inaugurated the “Online Certified Copy Module of District Judiciary”. Judges of the H.P. High Court, Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, Justice Sureshwar Thakur, Justice Vivek Singh Thakur, Justice Ajay Mohan Goel, Justice Sandeep Sharma, Justice Chander Bhusan Barowalia,Justice Anoop Chitkara, Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, and Justice Satyen Vaidya also graced the occasion with their presense.
This module has been specifically designed for District Judiciary to facilitate the work of the Advocates and is one step ahead in today’s advancement in the digitized world.
Earlier, Advocates were applying for the certified copies manually, but now the Advocates, who have been registered in the CIS, would be able to apply for the certified copies, through this module.
This module has been tested in every district of the State and it has yielded successful results.
The inauguration was attended virtually by all the District and Sessions Judges in the State, all other Judicial Officers stationed at District Headquarters and Presidents and other office bearers of all the District Bar Associations.
FLIGHT SERVICES TO SHIMLA AIRPORT TO START FROM JANUARY 2022: SURESH KASHYAP
On Wednesday, state BJP chief and Shimla Lok Sabha MP Suresh Kashyap said that Air India will start flight operations on Shimla Airport from January 2022.
After a meeting of the Shimla Airport Advisory Committee, the minister said that flight services to Shimla Airport will start in the month of January 2022 and Alliance Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, will also start new flights to Shimla.
He said that the road from Tutu to airport will be recarpetted, as the road is not in good condition and the administration with the help of airport authority will install street lights to illuminate the road.
He said the approach to the airport is quite narrow so a wider alternate route to the airport should also be searched, for this will add to the advantage of the airport.
He said that a lot of routes were taken by an operator in the name of heritage but they have not started operations yet. The operator shall be requested to begin the operations soon or opt out, he added.
He further said that in coming times Pawan Hans will also start operations to Baddi and other parts of Himachal. Pawan Hans will also slash down rates for the same, the MP added.
A proposal has been made for the extension of the air strip by 300 metres and the process to acquire the land in underway, said the minister, adding that soon the supreme court will give the decision in favour for the same.
He also said that taxi counters will be set up and rates of the taxis will be fixed to facilitate the passangers coming to the airport.
He further added that all demands generated through the meeting will be taken up to the centre and the state government for speedy progress of work.
HIMACHAL CM LAYS FOUNDATION STONE OF PROJECTS WORTH RS 7.02 CR IN SHIMLA
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur laid foundation stones of developmental projects worth Rs. 7.02 crore at Kawar in Rohru Assembly Constituency, the interior area of Shimla district on Wednesday during his one day tour of this area.
Addressing the largely attended public meeting at Kwar, Chief Minister also announced opening of HPSEB Sub Division at Dodra Kwar, Jal Shakti Junior Engineer Section at Dodra, and announced Rs. 20 lakh for Jiskun road, Rs. 15 lakh each for five panchayats of the area for carrying out developmental works in their respective areas. He announced opening of SMS Office at Kwar, and Rs. 10 lakh each for six newly created gram panchayats of Rohru Assembly Constituency for construction of new panchayat bhawans, Rs. 15000 each for 17 mahila mandals of the area from his discretionary fund. He said that matter regarding setting up BSNL and Airtel towers would be taken up with concerned authorities to ensure better signal connectivity in the area.
Jai Ram Thakur said that efforts would be made to bring people of Dodra Kwar area under OBC category and all formalities regarding this would be completed at the earliest. He said that all vacant posts of the different departments including SDM in the area would be filled up on priority basis. He said that Chanshal area would be developed under Nai Raahein Nai Manzilein Scheme for Ski and winter sports destinations. He said that this would give new fillip for tourism activities thereby increasing the economy of the people of the area.
Chief Minister said that efforts would be made to get forest clearance at the earliest from the concerned authorities for construction of three kilometers of road of Himachal side for Gosango, Harli khud, Sewa Dogri to Dhaula road to facilitate the people of Dodra Kwar area which would provide all weather connectivity in Dodra Kwar area. He said that Himachal Pradesh Government would also take up matter regarding providing funds to Uttrakhand Government for construction of this road. He said that Jiskun-Jakha road would also be completed at the earliest.
Chief Minister directed for accelerating the pace of upgradation work of Larot-Dodra Kwar road at the earliest to facilitate the people of the area. He said that any laxity in this matter would be viewed seriously and stern action would be taken against the erring officers and if any contractor was found guilty that would be blacklisted. He also asked the concerned authorities to complete the construction work of buildings of Government Senior Secondary Schools Kwar and Dodra at the earliest to facilitate the students of the area.
Jai Ram Thakur also brought 2500 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for people of Dodra Kwar area from Shimla with him. Students of Dodra Kwar also met the Chief Minister and urged him to open the schools at the earliest.
PUNJAB’S POLITICAL CHAOS LIKELY TO TRICKLE DOWN TO HARYANA CONGRESS, SAY ANALYSTS
CHANDIGARH: Haryana’s neighbouring state Punjab continues to witness political fluctuations for a long time now, and amidst the chaos, Charanjeet Singh Channi, a congress leader has been appointed new Chief Minister of the state after the removal of Captain Amrinder Singh. In wake of the ongoing scenario, political experts are of the opinion that Congress high command is most likely to come with huge changes in Haryana soon. Everyone is familiar with the fact that the Congress stalwart and the leader of opposition, Bhupender Singh Hooda is not in the good books of the party high command these days, particularly with Rahul Gandhi. New political developments clearly indicate that on the line of Punjab, Hooda may meet new fate in terms of political career. Although, nothing can be said exactly in the politics but the changing scenario continues to depict a lot.
Hooda and Kumari Seleja, the Congress state president of Haryana are not in good terms after his son Deepender Singh Hooda was appointed Member of Parliament ( Rajya Sabha). Seleja was the strongest claimant for the same but failed to make it as Hooda faction emerged strong and succeeded in getting the seat. Further, the party legislators supporting Hooda met the party high command in Delhi and demanded Seleja’s resignation from the post saying that she continues to take one-sided decisions and ther are being neglected continuously But contrary to their expectations, the party president rejected their demand which annoyed the Hooda faction. Thus, speculations continue to surface that the Hooda is upset and not in good terms with the party high command as well as the Seleja. Following the ongoing scenario, everyone seems agree to some extent that the Congress party may come up with some changes in Haryana.
The party high command’s recent decisions depict that it would not come under pressure of any party leader, be it two-times CM Bhupender Singh Hooda or Captain Amrinder Singh, former CM of Punjab. It is pertinent to mention that most of the party legislators in the state are supporting Hooda which strengthens his position in the party. While rejecting Hooda faction’s demand by the party, high command shows Seleja’s strong bonding with the senior leaders and the Gandhi family.
It is learnt that in wake of the new strategy of the party high command, Hooda faction is mulling over every possible plan to strengthen its position and for political survival.
Opinion11 months ago
South Block’s mistakes will now be corrected by Army
Sports1 year ago
When a bodybuilder breaks Shoaib’s record
News1 year ago
PM Modi must take governance back from babus
Spiritually Speaking1 year ago
Spiritual beings having a human experience
News1 year ago
Chinese general ordered attack on Indian troops: US intel report
Sports1 year ago
West Indies avoid follow-on, England increase lead to 219
Legally Speaking1 year ago
Law relating to grant, rejection and cancellation of bail
Royally Speaking1 year ago
The young royal dedicated to the heritage of Jaipur