NAXAL VIOLENCE: BIGGEST KILLER OF OUR SECURITY FORCES

The article originally appeared on India Today.
Here it is bit extended to reflect further developments.

Another ghastly Naxal attack on our security forces has left 26 Central Reserve Police Force personnel (CRPF) killed. This is a developing news story and the toll may go up as 11 soldiers are critically ill and seven are missing. Details about the group of Naxals that killed are still sketchy. It is the worst Naxal attack on the CRPF since June 29, 2010, when a Maoist ambush had killed 26 CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Narayanpur district.

According to the eyewitness accounts of the injured soldiers, a group of around 300 Naxals, organized in different teams, ambushed a road opening party of the CRPF in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district, that comes in the South Bastar region, among the worst Naxal affected areas. According to the injured soldiers, the group of 90 CRPF soldiers did respond to the indiscriminate firing by the terrorists, claiming to kill many of them but details are yet to come.

Left-wing extremism (LWE) or Maoist terrorism or Naxal violence, in fact, has been the biggest killer of our security forces if we go by the data of the past decade.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), a data driven website on terrorism in South Asia, since 2004, 3912 security forces personnel have martyred in India in different theatres of conflict, in Jammu & Kashmir, in our North-Eastern part of the country and in the Naxal corridors of India.

The portal has maintained records of the Naxal violence since 2005 and according to the data available here, 1885 security forces personnel have lost their lives in Naxal attacks. The data on the site is updated till April 16 this year. So, today’s death toll makes it 1911 lives lost in the Left-wing extremism in India.

That casualty count is much higher than even the most debated theatre of conflict in India – Jammu & Kashmir. In the same period, since 2004, according to the SATP, 1369 security forces personnel lost their lives in Jammu & Kashmir, a significantly higher numbers, but much lower when we see it in comparison with the 1911 lives lost in the Maoist violence in the same period.

The North-East of India comprising seven sister states, i.e., Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura and Sikkim, is the third major theatre of conflict where the fatality rate of our forces is quite high. The SATP data since 2004 shows that till now, 609 soldiers have lost their lives in the North-East terrorist violence.

MAOISTS DEADLIEST IN INDIA

A 2016 report by the US Department of State found the outlawed CPI(Maoist) the deadliest terror outfit of India, joining the deadliest terror outfits of the world in terms of violence they perpetrate. Its violence was ranked fourth after the Taliban, the Islamic State and Nigeria’s Boko Haram. According to the report, the Maoist violence had killed 176 people in 2015 in 343 terror incidents.

©SantoshChaubey

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INDIA STRIKES BACK

September 29 morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan’s cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world.

Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out surgical strikes on six terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India, like a responsible member of the world community, has owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

Ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders are in a state of shock. And it initially reflected in their state of mind, speaking in different and incoherent voices. After the surgical strike, they initially didn’t know what to do and what to say. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they admitted the surgical strikes. In fact, many from the Pakistan’s political establishment said things on these lines.

But how these versions changed with Pakistani army’s diktat shows the chaos India’s move caused – with foolishness and boorishness defining the thinking process of Pakistan’s ruling elite.

Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay – to save its face) the surgical strikes move by India, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister had said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

But the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology – they are finding hard to respond – going for silly bravados like ‘we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness’ – or the silly Pakistani media propaganda that show the Pakistani army has captured or killed so many Indian soldiers or has blown this many Indian outposts across the LoC.

How sham now it all looks. How hollow it sounds.

Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing midnight road sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threats against India, including nuclear threats. The eastern border (LoC) was specifically on their radar.

Yet India struck back, and at will. It went deep into the Pakistan controlled territory and destroyed terror camps, not one or two but six, and the whole operation lasted for around four hours. And in spite of all the tall claims of Pakistan of being in a war-ready state, it could not do anything. Pakistan could not beat even the bush properly to push its propaganda aimed at saving its face.

surgicalstrike1

©SantoshChaubey

Featured Image Courtesy: AGD-PI, Indian Army’s Twitter page 

A BOLD, NEW INDIA: SURGICAL STRIKES AFTER INDIA’S KASHMIR ADMISSION AND KASHMIR ASSERTION AT UNGA

SURGICAL STRIKES

This morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan’s cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world. Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out many surgical strikes on terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India has fully owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

And ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders look shocked. Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threat against India, including nuclear threats. But now they don’t know what to do and what to say. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they admit the surgical strikes.

And now see the foolishness and chaos inside Pakistan on it. Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay – to save its face) the surgical strikes, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

Well, the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology – they are finding hard to respond – going for silly bravados like ‘we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness’.

Yes, it’s the same India that was here all these years, especially in this Century, but with a bold new face that speaks its mind, based on its requirements, irrespective of what the police-masters of the world say. And it began with India’s diplomatic offensive against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack.

SUSHMA SWARAJ’S UNGA WARNING

Even if it was not a masterpiece, Sushma Swaraj sure dealt a body-blow to the blabbering of Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders and officials. While her speech was eagerly awaited after Nawaz Sharif’s pathetic show on September 21 in UNGA where he churned out falsities after falsities about India and Kashmir for 8 minutes during his address of 19 minutes, Sushma’s was a balances, well-drafted reply that again showed the world community why Pakistan should not be trusted.

Sushma’s UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stood apart – that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future – something that reflected in the midnight surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India’s credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, back home, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma’s speech had this admission during her United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight – that is Pakistan sponsored. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It was a bold move and fearless expression of a global power.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj’s speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. We Indians know it.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, made it very clear that it is now India’s position that is now going to matter – a position that reflected in the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian forces across the LoC to avenge the Uri attack to act on intel to prevent further terror strikes.

A BOLD PERSPECTIVE IN DIPLOMACY

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, along with India’s boycott of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad and today’s surgical strike will prove a milestone in India’s diplomacy. India was not alone and it got support of other countries that saw the SAARC Summit cancelled that was to be hosted by Pakistan – and the consensus was that with Pakistan’s terror record, it was not possible to hold peacetime summits in that country. This well can be the very first visible signs of Pakistan’s diplomatic isolation.

At UNGA, Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly – including its diplomacy. And Sushma’s bold UNGA speech was the beginning.

And then came this surgical strike that has told the world that India has fully arrived on the world stage now. India never needed permission from any world power to respond to cowardly terror attacks inside its territory. And now it is walking the talk. We needed to go beyond Pakistan. We needed to shed our Pakistan obsession. And with this surgical strike, we just have showed that.

India had started with a non-aligned foreign policy but it could seldom act independently on foreign policy matters. There was always this or that global power pressure and there were only a handful of instances like Indira Gandhi’s decision to send Indian forces to liberate Bangladesh in 1971 or to carry out nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998, when India acted on its own, firmly shutting down those interfering voices.

And like this surgical strike that was beyond anyone’s imagination, in India, in Pakistan and across the world – until it happened this night. Like a front-league global power, India needed to show something now, beyond its economic advances, that could tell the world community this India is not the India of yesteryears – that it was well prepared not only to defend its territory but also to strike back in case of proxy wars or terror attacks – like all the global powers do.

To back India’s might, it has what it needs. Even if dragged by many problems including poverty, illiteracy and disparity, India is undoubtedly now major global power – in economy, in military and in space. And if India is a global power, it should exude confidence and authority and should command respect. Yes, nothing comes for free, especially in the realpolitik of geopolitics that is propelled by selfish motives. And India knows what it has – the largest middle class of the world. India is projected to have the largest middle class in some years. Middle class is the main consumer of marketing forces and therefore is its pivot. So this market will be dear for companies from across the world, including India’s traditional opponent China. No one can ignore it.

©SantoshChaubey

TERROR ATTACKS LIKE URI SAY WHY AFSPA IS NOT CHUTZPAH!

Vishal Bhardwaj’s movie Haider, which had Kashmir’s unrest as its backdrop, was in many controversies due to its plot and plot elements. One of the main contentious points raised in the film that in turn raised eyebrows was showing AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) in an extreme negative shade comparing it to the Hebrew expression Chutzpah (impudence, audacity, insolence). The film portrays as if AFSPA is the main culprit in making Kashmiris’ lives a living hell.

AFSPA is a special act passed by the Indian Parliament to give special rights to the Indian Armed Forces deployed in disturbed areas and is in force in the North-East states and Jammu & Kashmir. AFSPA has been in controversies as it is alleged that the armed forces misuse the special powers given under the act and indulge in acts of human rights violation and barbarism. Even the Supreme Court has shown displeasure on reports of human rights violations in the name of AFSPA and has asked the government that why ‘those’ disturbed areas are still ‘disturbed’ even if AFSPA is in force for over decades now.

AFSPA is Chutzpah for such controversies. But terror strikes like Uri tells us why the armed forces vehemently oppose any attempt to remove or dilute AFSPA from Kashmir.

And figures support it.

Early morning today, terrorists attacked an army installation in Uri in J&K. The cowardly attack that targeted sleeping soldiers left 17 dead. According to the SATP data (South Asia Terrorism Portal), 61 Indian soldiers have been killed in terror strike this year alone while the figure for terrorists stands at 115 – that means we are losing one soldier for every two terrorists killed. And our soldiers are sacrificing their lives in saving those Kashmiris who call AFSPA Chutzpah or use other derogatory words, or wave the Pakistani flag or hurl abuses at India. No matter how big a terror strike is, we never hear tough, strong words against Pakistan from J&K leaders and political parties – be it today’s Uri attack or 2002’s Kaluchak massacre which had left 36 people killed including the security forces personnel or the countless other terror strikes in the state which have killed thousands of Indian soldiers.

It is being circulated on Pakistan’s social media platforms that India’s itself has carried out this attack to divert the global attention from the ongoing unrest in Kashmir and to present itself as a victim in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The UNGA is in session and the Annual General Debate is slated to begin on September 20. It is also being propagandized that since Kashmir has heavy presence of armed forces due to the ongoing phase of unrest, it is impossible for foreign terrorists to reach any army camp inside Kashmir to carry out attack. Tomorrow, Pakistan will sing the same chorus.

But the Indian Army’s insistence on AFSPA lies in these very elements.

And the core of these elements is the local support that terrorism enjoys in Kashmir. A section of the kashmiri population, that scavenges on the Pakistani propaganda, and though survives on the Indian soil and its support, shamelessly sings the Pakistani tune. J&K separatists and terrorists like Syed Salahuddin are well known but what about them who remain anonymous and get mixed the general population? Indian Armed Forces are present in almost every part of the Valley but they do not know from where the next attack would come or which house has sheltered terrorists. Crowds of thousands in funerals of terrorists prove the local support and you are always in two minds when it comes to trust the next fellow. Due to the heightened security apparatus, cross-border infiltration has seen a remarkable decline, yet, if the ongoing phase of unrest is in its 74th day, its shows it is fuelled by some local base.

India Army and other security forces have to act in these adverse, dilemma-ridden circumstances where its enemy can pop up from any house or any corner of the street. And if the armed forces demand AFSPA to tackle this, this is completely logical. And about the misuse of AFSPA – our apex court has already taken cognizance of it. Yes, AFSPA can be removed or diluted from the North-Eastern states as barring few instances, most have been relatively peaceful, and a simple armed forces presence now can handle the situation. But removing AFSPA from the Kashmir of the day will not serve any purpose. It, in fact, can destabilize the situation even more when you don’t know who your enemy is. Yes, but we should seriously act on the concerns raised on misuses and abuses of AFSPA and should see what changes this decades old act needs to make it in sync with the times now. Some action has been taken and some punishments have been delivered in some cases of human rights violations in Kashmir, but we need to set example by taking stringent measures and exemplary punishments.

Life may not have room for ‘trials and errors’ but nation building policies solely depend on them.

©SantoshChaubey

UNITED PROVINCES LEGISLATIVE/ELECTORAL HISTORY (UTTAR PRADESH TILL 1950) – I

UTTAR PRADESH ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2017

UNITED PROVINCES LEGISLATIVE-ELECTORAL HISTORY (UTTAR PRADESH TILL 1950)-1

UNITED PROVINCES LEGISLATIVE/ELECTORAL HISTORY
(UTTAR PRADESH TILL 1950)

Background image: Wikipedia – The United Provinces Map

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIA CAN’T DO WITHOUT SUBSIDIES – AND IT WANTS TO TAX PROVIDENT FUND!

We are a nation where the urban poverty line is Rs. 47 a day while we think that the rural folks can survive at Rs. 32 a day and we arrived at this wisdom in 2014. When we had done so, we had graduated from the poverty lines of Rs. 27 in rural areas and Rs. 33 in urban areas. This is when you can’t arrange even a modest one time meal in Rs. 32.

This directly says the proportion of real poor, in qualitative terms, based on the average living conditions today, would be much higher that the projected figure of around 30% or less. When you go assessing this poverty mess keeping in mind ‘what should be and what is’, you see this is another equal India within India (or Bharat of the perennial India Vs Bharat debate).

Some 75% of Indians are without any health insurance cover. Majority cannot afford medicines for a sustained treatment regime, let alone the costly surgical processes. The attitude of doctors and support staff in the government run hospitals is even worse than scavengers. Finding good people there tougher than even finding God. People who can afford and can access, try to ignore the government run health facilities. And it across India including the metro cities.

Officially, India’s literacy rate is around 75%. But again, if we see qualitatively, it is the same old story of an equal sized Bharat within India. Our primary school system is languishing with deep holes and leakage in the ambitious Universal Elementary Education programme. Our higher education probably produces the maximum proportion of inept professionals and higher education graduates.

Our economy is consistently witnessing a falling gross savings to GDP ratio – from 34.6% in 2011-12 – to – 31.3% in 2015-16. One way to look at it would that people don’t have wealth in that proportion to save – something that is, naturally, very random and without substance. Or it means people are saving less.

But that doesn’t mean the government should use to a stick to discipline people – like the proponents of the EPF tax proposal including Finance Minister Arun Jaitely said – as a report the Economic Times put forward – “The government had justified the move by saying that it was meant to steer private sector employees towards a pensioned retirement by discouraging lump sum withdrawals, especially for, as experience suggests, conspicuous consumption.”

The finger is being pointed at it rightly – that who is the government to discipline us with our personal preference. Yes, it is good for us when we save more – but then, on a macro scale, it is good for the nation’s economic health as well. But, in the name of that, taxing a man’s life’s savings can never be justified especially when you give people dreams save taxes and build a corpus by investing in the Provident Fund scheme.

And from where this thought of ‘disciplining’ the salaried taxpayer came? When you have such ridiculous poverty lines, when you have millions poor to feed, when you have millions poor to heal, when you have millions poor to educate?

India and Bharat cannot become synonymous until we address these existential questions. Subsidy is now addressed as a ‘burden’ in the lingo being used by the economists but this ‘burden’ is lifeline for India’s millions poor who find it hard even to earn Rs. 47 or Rs. 32 a day.

The government is duty-bound to serve them first – with honesty – with integrity – with consistency. Taxing the middle class with another ‘tax burden’ would not serve any purpose here.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIAN NAVY: WELL, NO BALANCE HERE..(II)

Continuing from where I left in my last write-up on digital footprints of the Indian Navy (its website and social media extensions), let’s see how the social media extensions of the Indian Navy fare.

And we can say they continue, even extend the poor show by the Indian Navy on this front.

While two of the claimed official websites (www.joinindiannavy.gov.in and http://www.nausena-bharti.nic.in) are silent on the social media extensions of the Indian Navy, the other one, that looks in a sort of ‘abandoned state’, does give away three buttons – tucked on the extreme right of the webpage – for Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.

Let’s first go for the Twitter page:

Indian Navy-2

The Twitter handle of the Indian Navy is @INDIANNAVY1 that is not verified. The page says it has 4638 followers while it is following 55 Twitter accounts. That is simply not done for an organization of the scale of the Indian Navy.

But what leaves us squirming is the content on the page – just one tweet dating back to August 3, 2012 the month the account was created. It seems after creating the account, the Indian Navy thought to dump it – but in that case they, ideally, should have removed it from their website. Okay, it is not on some of their ‘official websites’ but then it is also on their ‘official website’.

Now about its Facebook page. Here is the screenshot of http://www.facebook.com/IndianNavy.

Indian Navy-4

As far as I could go, I saw the first post done on March 8, 2009, so it has some history – before this page, too, was dumped in July 2012 – a month before the Indian Navy’s Twitter handle was created and dumped. Its most recent post goes back to July 16, 2012.

A cursory look at the page’s timeline tells it indeed served as the official Facebook page though the page now says that it is a ‘community page about Indian Navy’. Interestingly, on its ‘about page’, it still says that it is the ‘official Facebook page of the Indian Navy’. And likewise, it has many entries that kill its aesthetics – like it redirects us to the Indian Navy’s website through a wrong link (www.nausenabharti.nic.in) – that never opens.

Find here the screenshot.

Indian Navy-5

And about the Google Plus extension – well, there isn’t any official Google Plus page of the Indian Navy. Instead, the link redirects us a Google Plus news feed about content related to the Indian Navy.

Indian Navy-12

True, the organization that cannot maintain a Twitter handle or a Facebook page cannot be expected to create a Google Plus page – even if ‘Digital India’ is expects them all to do so.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

INDIAN NAVY: WELL, NO BALANCE HERE..(I)

It was a random pick during a search online for something else when I came across this – different websites of the Indian Navy – and its social media extensions – most notably the Twitter handle and the Facebook page – the presence of which looks totally absent-minded – if I have the liberty to use the term.

Now, when you key in ‘Indian Navy’ on Google search page – the first link that the page returns is with – http://www.joinindiannavy.gov.in. Since it is a ‘gov.in’ domain name, we should have no doubt that it is an official page.

Screenshot of the webpage is:

Indian Navy-7

The website here doesn’t show any link to the social media extensions of the Indian Navy.

The second link is about its Twitter handle but clicking on it redirects to a Twitter search page is. Its screen grab is here:

Indian Navy-8

The third link redirects us to an NIC site – http://www.indiannavy.nic.in. Since it is again a government of India owned domain name (nic.in – National Informatics Centre), we have no reasons to doubt even here. Here is its screenshot:

Indian Navy-3

Here, in the screenshot of this website, on this link (www.indiannavy.nic.in), we can see links to social media extensions (Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus). But clicking on them takes us to another sorry story that will come next.

Here it is about the ‘official websites of the Indian Navy’.

The fourth link is about the Wikipedia page on the Indian Navy. Then there are some links on news stories on the Indian Navy.

The fifth, sixth, seventh and eight links are again ‘nic.in’ links – so the officials ones only. The fifth link – http://www.nausena-bharti.nic.in/forthcomingOfficer.php – says it is the official website on career and opportunities in the Indian Navy (but poorly written here – Official Website Indian Navy Career and Opportunity). The other links follow the suit. So, you can say it is the ‘career and opportunity’ extension of the website of the Indian Navy.

Its screenshot is:

Indian Navy-9

Now here is the first catch.

When you simply try to open – http://www.nausena-bharti.nic.in – you are redirected to the webpage on http://www.joinindiannavy.gov.in. Here is the screen grab.

Indian Navy-6

And the absurdities don’t end here. In fact, they aggravate on digging further.

Postscript:

The screenshots of the Google Search page with search phase – Indian Navy.

Indian Navy-10 Indian Navy-11

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

SMART ‘SMART CITY’ LIST?

The ‘smart city’ list is out.

And by names (of the cities) it involves, it seems the whole process to select the first 20 has been done meticulously and smartly.

Or that seems so?

Well, to go with the verity of the process that went into making of this report, we can say that two big, electorally important states, going to polls this year and the next, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, have not got any of their cities shortlisted.

Or it can be like, BJP has nothing much to lose or gain in West Bengal, where it is politically non-existent, so it can safely be placed in ‘politically motivated’ category and by the time the UP assembly polls come, in the first half of the next year, the state, where BJP and its allies won 73 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014, and where it failed to perform in every subsequent poll and bypoll, the party may announce to shortlist all UP cities (from the names sent) in one go next January (in 2016) to score the pre-election mileage.

But that goes with one imperative – how Varanasi is developed further – how the city looks by that time – because, so far, during the first 20 months of the Narendra Modi government and during the first 20 months of Varanasi being the parliamentary constituency of India’s prime minister, the city has failed to move on development parameters.

In fact, those who come from Varanasi can tell you nothing has changed so far – when we compare Varanasi of pre and post Narendra Modi era. The city doesn’t need WiFi at its ghats. It needs cleaner ghats and the Ganga. It needs a cleaner city. It needs uninterrupted 24/7 power supply. It needs a sewage system that is efficient and covers the whole city. It needs a governance system that can coexist with its ancient tradition and cultural flow. It needs modern civic infrastructure based on the real estate development in the city. The city desperately needs a traffic system that could take care of its perennial problem. The city needs dirt free, dust free and garbage free roads. The city needs dedicated superfast trains like Shatabdi or Duronto. The city needs a larger, better airport.

Well, nothing is happening on that front. It is good that Varanasi would be developed as the twin city of Kyoto – the Japanese temple city that is a model the world over.

But given the state of affairs the things are in, the first and the immediate imperative is – Varanasi needs its basic civic amenities first.

Narendra Modi’s candidature did some positives to Varanasi – liking causing a multi-fold jump in its real estate prices – like putting the city again on global heritage map.

But, on the ground, in terms of developments that the city desperately needs, nothing has been done – and people have started raising questions.

Anyway, this write-up is not about Varanasi. I wrote about Varanasi to present logic for one of the arguments here – that BJP didn’t name any UP city now to time it according to the UP assembly polls.

The Ministry of Urban Development says it followed a scientific process to shortlist cities out of 97 entries it got – with answers and responses on a set of questions/parameters.

The states that have got representation are – Odisha, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, Assam and Punjab – 12 states.

Three of them, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam are going to polls this year and except Assam, BJP has no great chances.

Waiting for another year to make announcement about UP cities is an unforeseen risk, especially in the context of the facts/logic mentioned above, that the party would not like to take.

BJP may have performed miserably in Bihar polls (Bihar has no city in the list) this year but then it also did so in Delhi. Similar logic can be given for other states like Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and so on.

So, the argument that the list is politically motivated doesn’t hold much ground.

But we must be watchful to see what really happens to these ‘smart cities’ – to see whether the concept is smart enough – let’s see what this US$ 7.5 Billion can do?

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

ODD-EVEN: FIRST GENUINE STEP BY AAP GOVERNMENT (EVEN IF WITH GLITCHES)

I miss it or I don’t miss it – it doesn’t matter. What matters is – that it is for larger good – and so should be appreciated and accepted wholeheartedly.

It is the first initiative taken by the almost one year old Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi – a government that has been a sheer letdown since its inaugural in February 2014 – a step that can be said genuine and with vision – even if with glitches.

What applies to the logic of India’s stand at COP21 and other world environment summits applies to this step as well – that irrespective of ‘who, what and where’, we all are going to be the victims – be it the ruling class or the voting class in this largest democracy of the world – that, though falters regularly, is robustly functional – and is the on the way to become a mature democracy experiments like AAP tell.

A mature democracy – and we can say we have behaved in a matured manner by accepting what the city state government had proposed – leaving our vehicles on alternate days and using public transportation or practices like car-pooling or bike-riding.

Now, whenever (if) global warming happens, it would affect all countries, especially geographically big countries like India irrespective of the fact that it is basically the developed countries including the US who are the chief culprits in bringing us to this crisis situation.

And the same logic applies here as well. If pollution is affecting lives of people here, it will never discriminate in choosing its victims. Pollution will be ruthlessly objective, secular, impartial, unbiased, and whatever not when it comes to reducing life spans.

The odd-even traffic rotation scheme introduced in Delhi is a much needed (and delayed) effort to make Delhi’s (and NCR’s) air liveable again.

Yes, NCR’s – and it cannot succeed unless any plan to curb pollution in Delhi is extended effectively to its NCR areas – Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Faridabad and so on. Delhi cannot prevent the foul air with vehicular pollution and construction dust of NCR mixing with breeze flowing in Delhi colonies.

And Delhi cannot achieve this onerous task if its government (the AAP government) continues behaving erratically – with a good initiative – like exempting multitudes of vehicles with this or that excuse – an extension of the VIP culture that has percolated deep in our lives.

If pollution is ruthlessly objective in choosing its victims, we need to be ruthlessly objective in opting for the ways to deny it those fangs.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/