As the number of Covid-19 patients in Maharashtra, especially in Mumbai, continues to rise, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has launched a new campaign called “Volunteer for Corona Free Mumbai” in the city and has appealed to youth to dedicate at least one week to this initiative against the deadly virus. In this campaign, the volunteers will not go to their homes and instead work for one week for the cause.
During this period, the organisation will arrange their stay, food, etc. The RSS says that in view of the seriousness of the pandemic, the necessary training of the volunteers has been arranged under the supervision of experts. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits have also been arranged for them.
The required age group of volunteers for this campaign is between 20 and 45 years as this group carries higher immunity levels. Individuals with health problems such as diabetes, asthma, etc, will not be allowed to participate. Sangh’s Mumbai unit has issued an online form as well for this. If the campaign becomes successful, the RSS has plans to implement this in other parts of the country as well.
Apart from Mumbai, the RSS has also started another campaign in Pune — “Aarogya Raksha Seva Abhiyan”. Under this campaign, 1,016 swayamsevaks of the Sangh have screened more than 1 lakh people since 27 April 2020. The screening was done in Pune’s most affected areas, i.e. 168 hotspots. “This is probably for the first time in the country where volunteers are doing door-todoor screenings with the administration. The volunteers under this campaign work from 9 am to 1 pm every day, fully equipped with PPE kits and face masks.
They are accompanied by a member of the health department team. They go to every society, talk to residents, screen them and note their travel history and if anyone is found suspicious, he/she is sent to the hospital,” said Narendra Thakur, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Prachar Pramukh of the RSS.
He also added that in this campaign, symptoms of corona have been found in more than 1,900 citizens. Three hundred doctors are also a part of this campaign. The RSS is also going to start the next phase of the campaign named “TeenTeen-Teen” in Pune. In this, 3 doctors for 3 days in a week will go to 3 areas and will conduct training and investigation work. Hundreds of volunteers will be deployed to help them.
India slams Pakistan over its move to hold elections in disputed Gilgit-Baltistan
India has come heavily down on Pakistan for its decision to conduct elections in the disputed Gilgit-Baltistan region. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has reiterated India’s stand that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of so-called Gilgit and Baltistan, are its territories and Islamabad has no locus standi on the illegally and forcibly occupied areas.
According to sources, Pakistan’s decision to hold elections in disputed G-B is also influenced by China. Amid the ongoing tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China, Beijing is keen to foment trouble for New Delhi on the other front. “The Dragon is adding fuel to the fire by instigating Pakistan to provoke India on one issue or the other. It wants to fish in troubled water,” says an official.
“However, India is cautious and capable enough as well to deal with both Pakistan and China simultaneously,” says the official. According to MEA sources, even the US is convinced that “Pakistan’s move to hold elections in the disputed region smacks of China’s conspiracy.” Sources told The Daily Guardian that President Donald Trump will come out with a reaction suggesting it and slamming Pakistan over its connivance with China.” Indian and US officials have exchanged views on this issue recently, sources said.
Pakistan has announced that the election for the Legislative Assembly of GilgitBaltistan will be held on 15 November. Islamabad wants to make the disputed region its fifth province by holding elections. “India will protest tooth and nail on all the forums,” said officials.
Meanwhile, India on Tuesday slammed Pakistan for its decision to conduct elections in the so-called Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. India also raised the issue of human rights violations in Pakistan occupied territories for over seven decades. India came out with a much stronger reaction asking Pakistan to “immediately vacate all Indian territories under its illegal occupation.”
“We have seen reports regarding the announcement of elections to the so-called Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly to be held on 15 November 2020. The Government of India has conveyed its strong protest to the Government of Pakistan and reiterated that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of socalled Gilgit and Baltistan are an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947. The Government of Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it,” the MEA statement said.
“The Government of India has also completely rejected the recent actions such as the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan (Elections and Caretaker Government) Amendment Order 2020” and continued attempts by the Pakistan establishment to bring material changes in areas under its illegal and forcible occupation. Action such as these can neither hide the illegal occupation of parts of Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh by Pakistan nor the grave human rights violations, exploitation and denial of freedom to the people residing in Pakistan occupied territories for the past seven decades. These are cosmetic exercises intended to camouflage its illegal occupation. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” the statement further read.
There have been massive heated verbal exchanges between India and Pakistan over the past few weeks on the issue of Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan even tried to raise it at the United Nations where India gave it a befitting reply as well. Sources said that since Pakistan is adamant on holding polls in Gilgit-Baltistan, India will be countering it with a better, comprehensive and much sharper strategy. “Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to hold polls there has not gone down well with many in his own country, with scores of people in G-B, who have suffered a lot due to the acts of human violations by Pakistan’s forces, protesting,” a diplomat said. “Let’s see whether Imran Khan is able to hold the elections or not,” he added.
When China talks of peace, India must prepare for war
Before waging a war, Dragon often invokes peace. It used the same tactic to convince Nehru to send food for the invading PLA troops in Tibet who, as new evidences suggest, used their presence there to prepare for the 1962 war against India.
The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future. —Theodore Roosevelt
Nothing explains this better than the SinoIndian relations. If one wants to know what is happening at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, and why it’s happening, one just has to go back to the 1950s and the early 1960s—and it may feel like déjà vu. One may be confused whether it’s 2020 or the heady days of the 1950s, except that “Hindi-Chini, Bhai-Bhai” has now been turned into “Hindi-Chini, Bye-Bye”. But apart from that, the entire Chinese modus operandi on the Ladakh front, as seen today, would be a photocopy of the decade leading to the 1962 war—when, while the Chinese political class led by the suave and sophisticated Zhou Enlai would talk of peace and brotherhood, the military wing would be busy encroaching into Indian territories!
Interestingly, in these uncertain times, when India is not only dealing with a Chinese-origin virus but is also face-to-face with PLA soldiers at the LAC, Claude Arpi, one of the foremost authorities on China and Tibet, is out with the last of his four-volume book on the India-Tibet relations (1947- 1962), The End of an Era: India Exits Tibet.
Going through this book, and the three before it, it becomes obvious that India lost the “Roof of the World”, less due to the Chinese betrayal, and more because of the monumental failure of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to see the writing on the wall. It was “a stab from the front”, as M.J. Akbar would write in his biography on Nehru.
Till 15 December 1950, the day Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel died, there was some sort of curb on Nehru’s ideological obsession. For, Patel could comprehend the real face of the Dragon. He had written a letter to Nehru on 7 November 1950, detailing the threats which China’s invasion of Tibet posed to India. Arpi tells us that Patel’s “prophetic” letter was actually a draft sent by Sir Girija Shankar Bajpai, an eminent civil servant and diplomat. A month after the entry of the Chinese forces in Tibet, Patel sent Bajpai’s note under his own signature to Nehru. But the then Prime Minister chose to ignore it, and instead, was guided by the likes of K.M Panikkar and V.K. Krishna Menon, who would often question the efficacy of a strong army. This mindset alone explains why, at the time of the Chinese aggression, India’s gun factories were apparently producing coffee!
But once Patel wasn’t around, there was no one to put a leash on Nehru’s esoteric internationalism, often overlapped with obsessively moralistic and ideological overtones. The then PM pushed his ‘Hindi-Chini, Bhai-Bhai’ policy with a vengeance. So much so that he approved the supply of rice for the invading PLA troops in Tibet when the latter were busy rampaging and decimating the Tibetan way of life and culture in the early 1950s. “Without Delhi’s active support, the Chinese troops would not have been able to survive in Tibet,” writes Arpi.
This “rice diplomacy” continued for over four years, till the first truck reached Lhasa from the Chinese side in the mid-1950s. One wonders what would have happened had India not sent rice. Would the PLA have consolidated its hold over Tibet so easily? Instead of confronting China over its forceful annexation of Tibet, which replaced a peaceful neighbour for India with an aggressive, imperialist one, Nehru felicitated the same by providing food for the invading troops.
Arpi, in his latest book, extensively quotes Apa B. Pant, India’s Political Officer (PO) in Lhasa in the late 1950s. Pant had left an extensive record of his stay there, saying how “with each visit, my first impressions have been confirmed that Tibet is a country forcibly, with the might of military strength, ‘occupied’ by the Chinese”. Pant noted that roads were being constructed very rapidly: “The Lhasa-Tsinghai [Qinghai] highway going to the northern parts of Tibet is nearly 35 feet wide and extremely well constructed.” Comparing his previous trip from Yatung to Gyantse a year earlier, which then took nearly eleven hours to complete 145 miles as the road was extremely bad, he wrote that “the same journey could be accomplished in less than seven hours”. The PO’s conclusion was that he had no doubt whatsoever that “before the road on our side is completed, the road on the Tibetan side would be ready”.
Arpi also quotes Pant to show how Tibetans looked up to India, and especially to “Chogyal Nehru” to rescue Tibet and its culture from Chinese aggression. “It is a well-known fact now that the people of Tibet consider India as the only country which can and will help their plight and the Prime Minister, [known in Tibet] as the Chogyal Nehru—Dharma Raja Nehru—would protect religion not only in Tibet but in the whole outside world.” For Pant, the hopes of the Tibetans were centred on India: “Everybody feels that a great miracle will be performed by India and Nehru.”
Sadly, it never happened, primarily because Chogyal Nehru had other plans. But as later events suggest, and as revealed by Arpi, Mao’s China used the Tibet experience to prepare for an armed assault against India in 1962. Arpi writes about a forthcoming book, Suppressing Rebellion in Tibet and the China-India Border War, by Chinese-born scholar Jianglin Li. He quotes Matthew Akester, Jianglin’s colleague who wrote a summary of his findings, as saying: “No doubt the 1962 border war was a big defeat for India. In the decades since, numerous books and articles have been published dealing with its cause, process and result… I would like to present a few historical details from Chinese sources that may have gone unnoticed. These concern the eastern sector of the conflict, on which some documentary sources are available.”
Akester quotes from Jianglin’s forthcoming book, in which she demonstrates how the PLA used the operations against “rebels” on the Tibetan plateau between 1957 and 1962 to prepare for the war with India. Though the Chinese “official” history of the war affirms that the PLA was unprepared, Jianglin Li discovered that it was not exactly the case. So, all in all, Nehru’s India provided rice to Mao’s men to prepare for a war that they would later wage on India itself!
The book also reveals how the Government of India chose to first ignore—and then hide from people as well as the Parliament—China’s intrusion into India’s Aksai Chin area, even making a road there as early as 1954- 55. In early 1958, five months after the “official” opening, Subimal Dutt, the Indian Foreign Secretary, wrote to Nehru: “There seemed little doubt that the newly constructed 1,200 kilometre road connecting Gartok in Western Tibet with Yeh [Yecheng] in Sinkiang passes through Aksai Chin.” Dutt suggested sending a reconnoitring party “in the coming spring” to find out if the road had really been built on Indian territory. The next day, Nehru agreed, but added: “I do not think it is desirable to have air reconnaissance. In fact, I do not see what good this can do us. Even a land reconnaissance will not perhaps be very helpful… I think it would be better to do this rather informally.”
So, China blatantly occupied and built a road on Indian territory, and the Prime Minister wanted to take up the issue informally! Incidentally, a year later, Nehru hid the truth in the Parliament when it first came up on 22 April 1959 during a discussion on Chinese maps displaying Indian territory as China’s. Braj Raj Singh, an MP, queried: “May I know whether the Government’s attention has been drawn to the news item published in several papers alleging that the Chinese have claimed some 30,000 sq km of our territory and they have also disputed the McMahon line?” This was clearly related to the Aksai Chin as well as the eastern sector. Nehru’s answer was misleading, to say the least: “I would suggest to Hon. Members not to pay much attention to news items emanating sometimes from Hong Kong and sometimes from other odd places. We have had no such claim directly or indirectly made on us.”
It was only in August 1959 that Nehru dropped the bombshell in the Parliament: that the ‘Tibet-Sinkiang highway’ had been built through Indian territory.
Arpi also brings up the issue of India’s superior air power in 1962 vis-à-vis China. He quotes the Dalai Lama’s memoirs, Freedom in Exile, narrating his last days in Tibet: “From Lhuntse Dzong, we passed to the small village of Jhora and from there to the Karpo pass, the last before the border. Just as we were nearing the highest point of the track we received a bad shock. Out of nowhere, an aeroplane appeared and flew directly overhead. It passed quickly—too quickly for anyone to be able to see what markings it had—but not so fast that the people on board could have missed spotting us. This was not a good sign. If it was Chinese, as it probably was, there was a good chance that they now knew where we were. With this information they could return to attack us from the air, against which we had no protection. Whatever the identity of the aircraft, it was a forceful reminder that I was not safe anywhere in Tibet. Any misgivings I had about going into exile vanished with this realisation: India was our only hope.”
The author then says that it could well have been an Indian airplane from Squadron 106, as mentioned to him by Wing Commander ‘Jaggi’ Nath. “It is worth mentioning here after meeting Wing Commander Jaggi Nath, we realised that the Indian Air Force had been extensively flying over Tibet between 1959 and 1962.” Among other things, the two-time Maha Vir Chakra awardee said: “If we had sent a few airplanes (into Tibet), we could have wiped the Chinese out… They did not believe me that there was no Chinese air force.”
Arpi further writes, “Today, it is clear that there was no PLA Air Force worth its name and that the Chinese planes did not have the capacity to fly over Southern Tibet, one can only deduce that the plane seen by the Dalai Lama and his party was a Canberra of the 106 Squadron of the Indian Air Force.”
While detailing the flight of the Dalai Lama, the author also exposes China’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh. He writes, “If Arunachal had always been ‘Chinese territory’, as Beijing pretends today, why did the PLA’s troops stationed in Lhoka and Kongpo areas of ‘Southern Tibet’ not follow the Dalai Lama when he crossed the Indian border in Khenzimane/Chuthangmu, north of Tawang on March 31, 1959. The Chinese troops should have done so, if the Tawang and Bomdila districts belonged to China! But they did not! Why? Simply, because, at that time, China did not consider NEFA, today Arunachal Pradesh, as part of its territory.”
The book ends on a tragic note with India getting humiliated in 1962. But one of the most poignant portions of the book lies here: the fate of the prisoners of war (PoWs). Very few people know that more than 3,900 PoWs faced harrowing treatment at the hands of the Chinese. Read the book to find out how our political leaders left them as cannon fodder in front of the PLA troops, and yet, those bravehearts didn’t give in.
They first fought the Chinese on the battlefront, and later, suffered unfathomable torture in their custody—but refused to give in. The End of an Era is a stark reminder of the fact that when China talks of peace, India should better prepare for war. The Dragon did the same in 1962. It is doing the same in 2020. The difference is that there’s no Nehru in India now. And it’s not the India of 1962.
TRS chief asks leaders to gird up their loins for Hyderabad municipal polls
TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao asked party leaders to gear up for MLC polls.
He held a meeting with party MLAs and corporators in Hyderabad and warned some of them to change their attitude or face music.
KTR said, “The municipal polls for GHMC to be held in 2 months advance. 15 corporators need to change themselves. Get ready for the polls. If the local leaders have any problems, they should be brought into the notice of local MLAs. Due to TRS, one lakh crore rupees were invested in Hyderabad. During the Covid-19 too, the welfare activities of the government did not stop.”
On the other hand, Congress leaders in Telangana have decided to carry out a padayatra in all the 150 wards of Greater Hyderabad to try and reach the doorsteps of every voter and explain to them the work done by the party for developing Hyderabad into a global city.
In a core-committee meeting, All Indian Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary in-charge in the state, Manickam Tagore, asked the party leaders to get in the field and connect with people. He said “This is the only way for the party to stop TRS from misusing government machinery and unleashing police force to suppress the voices of opposition,” Congress has also decided to come out with a ward-wise manifesto for each of the 150-wards in addition to a city-level manifesto. The ruling TRS has urged the Telangana State Election Commission (TSEC) to use ballot boxes for the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) polls. TRS General Secretary M Srinivas Reddy submitted a representation on the same to TSEC Commissioner C Parthasarathi.
BJP KISAN MORCHA CHIEF HOLDS RALLY TO DISPEL DOUBTS OVER FARM LAWS
National president of the BJP Kisan Morcha and MP Raj Kumar Chahar said, “New farm laws are in favour of farmers and will increase their income, but Congress and some other parties are misleading the farmers on the issue.”
Talking to The Daily Guardian after attending a tractor rally organised by the Chandigarh unit of BJP in support of the farm laws here, he said that these laws were meant to empower farmers and Prime Minister Narender Modi had continuously taken the steps to increase the income of farmers. Neither the mandi system nor the MSP would be affected by these bills, he added. He said that the Prime Minister had clearly said that the MSP would continue.
At the same time, he said that the Congress never did anything in the interest of the farmers and now that laws had been made for the benefit of farmers, Congress was opposing them, because it does not want their welfare.
He also condemned the burning of a tractor near India Gate by “some youth Congress leaders” of Punjab and termed it as an insult to farmers. Chahar said, “I am a farmer and understand the pain of the farmers.
By burning the tractor, Congress has insulted the farmers.” On the issue of SAD breaking ties with BJP, Chahar said that the alliance was 24 years old and it was not that bills came in one night. For 3-4 months, the Prime Minister and Union Agriculture Minister were working in this regard.
PUNJAB CM ASSURES FARMERS OF INTENSIFYING FIGHT AGAINST FARM LAWS
Extending his government’s full support to the agitating farmers, Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh assured of all possible legal and other steps to fight the new farm laws, including a special session of the Vidhan Sabha to discuss and decide the way forward.
Chairing a meeting with representatives of 31 farmer unions to take their views on the matter, the CM said he would be discussing the issue with his legal team to finalise the next steps, including challenging the farm laws in the Supreme Court.
Besides farmer representatives, AICC general secretary in-charge of Punjab, Harish Rawat attended the meeting, along with Ministers Sukhjinder Randhawa, Gurpreet Singh Kangar and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLA Rana Gurjit Singh, PPCC president Sunil Jakhar and Advocate General Atul Nanda. “We will take all possible steps to counter the Union Government’s assault on the state’s federal and Constitutional rights, and will fight for the interests of the farmers,” Captain Amarinder assured the farmer representatives. If the legal experts advise amendment to the state laws to fight the central laws, a special Assembly session will be immediately called to do so, he said.
He made it clear that the government had no qualms about convening an Assembly session if that was the best course in the circumstances. However, he trashed SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s demand for the session saying that where were the Akalis in the last session and why Sukhbir did not support the other parties at the all-party meet.
Andhra DGP asks Naidu to prove YSRCP hand behind deteriorating law & order
After former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu shot a letter to DGP Gautam Sawang pointing out deterioration in the law and order situation in the state, the top cop has now asked him to prove the ruling YSRCP’s role in the situation. This exchange of words has led to a battle between the state police and the opposition. Naidu is also the leader of opposition.
In fact, TDP supremo Chandrababu Naidu had written a letter to DGP, talking about the deteriorating law and order situation in the state. Naidu had also alleged that political influence is being used in cases against his party’s leaders.
Reacting to Naidu›s letter in which he linked an attack on Chittoor Judge Ramakrishna›s brother Ramachandra to the ruling YSRCP leaders, the DGP said that no ruling party leaders were involved in the attack.
What has come to the chagrin of Naidu’s party leaders, the DGP named TDP leader Pratap Reddy for the attack. The DGP has also objected to Naidu›s letter being released to the media.
“The investigation has proved that the victim suffered minor injuries due to a physical scuffle that he entered into, in a drunken state with the accused. Therefore, your allegation is far from the truth,” the police chief has said in his reply to Naidu.
Gautam Sawang has also asked the former chief minister to present the evidence to prove the ruling YSRCP’s involvement.
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