Thursday, September 29, 2016


A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

The attack on the Indian Army Base at URI in Kashmir on the night of 25th- 26 September 2016 was a blatant violation of the international border and an aggressive act of provocation. India was shocked and this came at the heels of the attack on Pathankot Army Base and a marked escalation in terrorist related violence in Kashmir. The fact is that Kashmir is careening out of control and with the killing of Byrhan Wani the youth in the valley seem to be completely alienated. It will be quite a challenge to bring the youth, if not to the mainstrean, at least to lower the hostility they bear toward India. Professor Rattan Lal Hangloo who gave a Lecture in Pondicherry University stated clearly that the Government of India had ignored infrastructure and its development in Kashmir since Independence and that was one of the main reasons contributing to the problem. Further he stated that as the Cold War receded, the Pakistani establishment started directing the demobilized jehadis towards Kashmir and the growing Islamic terrorism in Pakistan created a climate conducive for militancy. He seemed to agree with Narendra Modi's call for the liberation of Baluchistan and India taking a lead in raising the "atrocities" perpetrated by the Pakistani Army before the court of global opinion.

The attack was meticulously planned. Satellite imagery of the entire area was obtained and the topography studied with the help of local guides. The soldiers from the Special Operations Unit were made aware of the lay of the land and the launch pads for terrorist activity across the lice of control were identified: Bhimber, Hotspring, Kel and Kepa sectors were the main targets. Around 12:30 the paratroopers were ari dropped over the area and they launched attacks with laser guided missiles on the terrorist training camps. Seven camps were totally destroyed and it is believed that 38 terrorists were killed. The entire operation was over in a couple of hours and the unit returned to base.

What will the the fallout. The strikes were aimed at the domestic audience which was baying for blood and Narendra Modi has shown himself before the people of India that he is decisive aan will not be taken in by nuclear blackmail. He shored up domestic support and obviously like Obama's raid on Bin Laden which gave him the second term, this strike will have an impact on the upcoming elections. All the major powers of the world, including China did not utter a word against the strike as they are all aware of the fact thta Pakistan has become notorious for the export of violence. This mid night attack signals a decisive change in the Rules of Engagement.

India has said quite clearly that it is willing to discard the frail framework of SAARC and deal with its neighbors on bilateral terms.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kiran Bedi launches the Swachch Pakwada in Pondicherry University

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

Kiran Bedi, VC and Chief Secretary
The Lt Governor returned to Pondicherry University on the afternoon of September 26thwith the Chief Secretary of the state in tow. This time the agenda was to work out the modalities of the Swachch Pakwada and the strategies through which the student community can be linked to the overall Government achene to create awareness about ODF. After reviewing the minutes of the earlier meeting the Lt Governor Dr Kiran Bedi quickly got down to business. She is delivering the Convocation Address in Pondicherry University on October 4th and has decided to use the occasion to speak of the hazards of OD in Pondicherry. In Kalapet, there is a slum near the beach called Thidir Nagar and here the residents use the beach as one large open air toilet.Changing the habits of people is not easy and it would require all the skills of an energetic Lt Governor and a whole army of students to change the entrenched mind set.

The Lt Governor has created an large number of BGOs and her association with India Against Corruption which had our revered Baba Ramdev as its leading light in recent history. She insisted on the creation of a Whatts App group with the Dean School of Communication as the Administrator. We had given the telephone numbers of all the participants and we hope that a reasonable number will join the group. The students of Pondicherry University will be provided transport by the Government and taken to the place where they will work.

The idea is good and I hope that it succeeds.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Kiran Bedi and her Mission to make Pondicherry Clean

A look at the world of politics, statecraft, diplomacy and books

Dr Kiran Bedi the Lt Gov of Pondicherry, Dr Anisa Basheer Khan, VC Pondicherry University

Dr Kiran Bedi, the Lt. Governor of Pondicherry came to Pondicherry University with her officers in tow: the Director of Higher Education, Dr Reddy and the Director of Local Administration, Mr Mansur. Both were well prepared and spoke of the need to get involved in the Swachch Bharat Campaign. Kiran Bedi was, as usual, full of energy.  She spoke of her mission to make Pondicherry free from ODF by the next calendar year and she is devoting all her energies visiting places, meeting people and exhorting them to build toilets for themselves and their families. Our great Prime Minister, Shri Narendar Modi spoke of this in his first Independence Day Address from the ramparts of the Red Fort. The previous Lt Governor was totally oblivious to this important charge and we are happy that cleanliness is receiving due attention.

Dr Kiran Bedi spoke about her desire to make this the theme of the Convocation Address which she will deliver on October 4th 2016. She requested the Faculty and Students to get involved and the result was overwhelming. She acknowledged the contribution of each member without the patronizing gestures we had come to associate with Congress appointees. She said that liquor shops will be required to have toilet facilities and directed her officers to act on the suggestion immediately. It was great to see a proactive administrator.

The assembled Faculty and Staff all pledged their support to make Pondicherry clean. The strategy to translate this vision into a reality would perhaps involve the use of students to provide the outreach to the Administration. The Vice Chancellor promised to amend the rules and make it possible for students to get credit for their participation in the Campaign.

I hope that this mission succeeds.