Wednesday, October 5th, 2022 00:25:30

The Trust Question

Updated: October 4, 2014 4:15 pm

Several protocols were overlooked while welcoming the Chinese President Xi and his wife in Ahmedabad. Narendra Modi had flown from Delhi to receive them at the entrance of the hotel they were to stay. Apart from many firsts like a VVIP dignitary not beginning his visit from Delhi, the two Xi and Modi spent the day visiting Gandhi Ashram and a private dinner on the banks of Sabarmati. Another Firtst.

The civic reception hosted for the President was of special importance for it marked the end of six-decade era of no public welcome to any Chinese leader. Agreements for various ventures were signed, which in money terms come to 100 billion dollars. But while their Head of State enjoyed the Indian hospitality, and signed agreements for closer trade ties, the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) had raised temperatures at two borders. This led to discussions on various channels as to how much India can trust Chinese. Some were very critical of the cordial conduct and warmth in welcoming the President. The suspicion is well-founded. History deepens the suspicion. But global compulsions and basics of international relation and geo-politics, all have radically changed.

The top priority of all developed nations is trade. Economic power has replaced colonial or political power. Likewise both Modi and the Chinese have emphasised bi-lateral trade. India looked at $100-billion aide to help in infrastructure rather than nearly 55-year-old border dispute.

Japan, which too has border dispute with China and also ownership claim over an island, has 1,200 Japanese firms operating within China. The cold war between China and the US is near breaking point, yet Beijing earns maximum foreign exchange from American trading. The critics harping on trust deficit should first suggest alternative for raising $100 billion for infrastructure in the country. Such investments and allying cities in fact bring countries closer and are all steps that narrow differences and increase not only contacts at the governmental level but also at the people’s level.

The problem is that armchair critics have no in-depth understanding of international relations and how to improve them. A Sri Lankan diplomat, observing the whole round of meetings and summits and state visits taking place around Asia all month, described them as a “complex tapestry of relations” that is being woven in the region ever since India’s new prime minister was elected.

“India has been abuzz with activity throughout the month so far, talking, building and positioning its assets and relationships in a complex multi-player game that is all but set to make India a major figure in the theatre of Great Power rivalry.”

Pakistan Turns Green With Jealousy

China has been an all-weather friend of Pakistan. It has helped in its nuclear build-up, provided missiles and has stationed troops in PoK near India border. The incursion by its troops in Chumur region of Ladakh while President Xi was in India would not have been possible if Pakistan did not allow the Chinese into PoK.

In contrast, the festering border dispute and suspicion of each other’s motives animates much of India’s relationship with China. Yet President Xi came, broke protocol and apart from signing agreements for railways and infrastructure totalliong $100 billion, nearly 25 deals between private companies were signed. Like according to a deal with Indigo, a Chinese company will give 50 aircraft.

Let’s now see what Pakistan has been busy doing for last month: indulging in political bickering, listening to scathing speeches with little purpose, and making hardly any attempt at a solution. Imran has been demanding Nawaz Sharif’s resignation. But he is sitting pretty. The administration is at a standstill. The Army has ‘advised’ restraint to Sharif, meaning he is now at the mercy of the Army. No wonder a Pak TV channel transmitted a programme which would make an Indian proud. The host chronicled Modi’s visit to Tokyo and highlighted the aid of $35 billion given to India. Then he mentioned the scheduled visit of President Xi, while repeating again and again that he was not coming to Pakistan.

Then he predicted that agreements worth $100 billion would be signed. One wonders how he knew the exact figure. He went on to mention Modi’s US visit where “red carpet welcome awaits” and President Obama would host two meals for him, the Pak TV host mentioned with awe. He read out a long list of CEO’s of major US multi-nationals who would be meeting Modi. Then again in an awed tone he informed that lakhs would be gathering at Madison Square—the venue for the world-renowned celebrities—to hear Modi. Even Pakistanis have been invited.

He concluded his over 20-minute monologue with the mention that President Putin would also be visiting India. Why this kind of publicity? No Indian channel televises such programmes. Was it jealousy that prompted the Pak channel or it wanted Pak rulers and even the Army feel ashamed? Its message was, “As globalisation draws to a close and a new world dominated by regional trading blocs begins to take shape before our eyes, we still remain busy in scuffles and speeches and point-scoring.” Critics in India could ponder over this.

Did The Face Of A Model Win Abvp Candidate In Dusu?

A women’s magazine with huge circulation internationally had once listed 10 problems which beautiful women have to contend with. Their pretty faces might act like a passport for smooth entry and sure welcome at any social do, but the same pretty face attracts the anti-social elements. This is a woman’s first problem. The moment she steps out of her house, whistles, cat calls or even crude comments greet her.

One youngish MP of the ruling party who too has a very pretty face—and to top it all is unmarried—does not have to suffer comments or whistles, but some senior journalists and even a few veteran MPs say that they feel outraged at the way quite a few stare at her in the Central Hall.

That reminds one of the statement of Mulayam Singh Yadav during the disruption by his party to prevent debate on provisions of the Women’s Reservation Bill. He said that, one, only women from affluent backgrounds would get easily chosen then, two, her faces painted with rouge and lipstick would induce catcalls, the wolf whistles, even crude remarks violating the dignity of Parliament.

The reservation Bill is still pending. But thousands of Delhi University students who voted for ABVP candidate Kanika Shekhawat in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections were shocked when they realised that the face of the candidate—which they saw in posters and they voted for and the one who got elected were not the same. Reports are that In the run up to the elections, posters carrying Shekhawat’s name urging students to vote for her were pasted across the city on flyovers, subways and metro pillars, especially near off campus colleges in east and west Delhi. The photo on the posters, however, is that of Indian model and VJ Nauheed the Cyrusi.

Students who voted to make Shekhawat DUSU secretary said they felt “cheated”. “These leaders don’t usually visit off campus colleges, so the only way we know them is through posters,” said Rahul Mehra, a student from a west Delhi college.

“Maybe she didn’t think she is photogenic enough. All is fair in war and elections, I guess,” said Swati Sinha, another student. Women generally stick together.

Shekhawat, however, expressed ignorance; she said, she had nothing to do with the posters, and blamed her rival party, the National Student Union of India (NSUI), for the “conspiracy”. “ It has come to my notice that there are some posters of mine bearing images of Nauheed Cyrusi. I am sure this was done by the NSUI so that they could get my nomination cancelled. I have filed a complaint regarding this in the police headquarters. The fact that I have won is a tight slap on their faces,” Shekhawat said.

The NSUI denied the charges. “It is not the culture of the party to unnecessarily target candidates. ABVP has indulged in all kinds of malpractices in this election season, and they should own up if their wrongdoing has been noted,” said Roji M John, NSUI national president.

“A graduate in political science from Miranda College, Shekhawat is studying MA in Political Science in ARSD college, south campus. Shekhawat, who comes from Rajasthan, has been with the ABVP for the past three years, and won the election by stressing women-centric issues within the university.

“My focus will be to work on issues of women security and empowerment in the university. “

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