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123
CHANDIGARH | SUNDAY | 25 OCTOBER 2020 REFLECTIONS 17

The farmers enter the fray Secular business


in our country
I
T was the early 1960s and I spent MSP was ensured by the Centre, and Can a compensation of a lakh or two engaged in cultural activities and
two years in my ancestral village this brought in more money into the be enough to replace a working educational adventures. Now, com- ‘investigative’ agencies look,
in Punjab, two searing summers pockets of farmers, but it went out in farmer and a family member? Who is ing to the last bastion of rural India or those TV aficionados. You
and two bone-chilling winters — the shape of expenditure on pesti- going to run his farm (if any has been — the farming class. Distressed as put Farooq Abdullah and his
all without electricity and its cides, fertilisers, electricity, water, left after trying to pay off his debt)? they were, the final death blow is son in jail for over a year, and
attendant conveniences. Life for the diesel and new farm machinery. The Who is going to feed and educate his sought to be delivered in the agricul- when he talks of the Gupkar
typical farming household started farmer was never good at bookkeep- children, what about medical aid? tural reforms announced lately. Declaration, you call him in to
THE INWARD EYE before daybreak around 3 am in ing and his accountant and ATM was Today we have trains called ‘Cancer Leaving aside other issues, why not answer charges regarding a
summers. I would hear the tinkling the ‘arhtiya’. The ‘arhtiya’ advanced Special’ and till recently ambu- have the MSP till a better alternative MUSINGS & MALEDICTIONS scandal about cricket. Let us
GURBACHAN JAGAT of the bells as the farmers would money for everything from mar- lances carried pictures of a political is found? Why cannot the FCI pro- be fair, it was a scandal, but
KEKI DARUWALLA
start moving out with their ploughs riages to farm inputs. The farmer chieftain (what a shame). It has been cure grains as earlier? Why let the why rake it up now? You dis-
Distressed as they and oxen in order to finish the day’s made good his dues when the crops false promises all the way from gov- oligarchs loose to prey on the farm- pense with Article 370 and the

S
ploughing before the sun came up. came in. It was a system that worked, ernments of all hues. I heard a CM in ers? Was there a demand from the O now it is official, sec- state of Jammu and Kashmir
were, the final death An acre was the maximum you could maybe a bit unfairly at times. It is one 1979 telling the farmers that special farmers for these reforms and did ular is a dirty word. I itself. Not a whimper from
blow is sought to plough with oxen and irrigate i.e. if of life’s biggest ironies that the flights would take off from Amritsar they agitate for them? Did any state will consult a lawyer if I Jammu, have you noticed?
you were fortunate enough to own a farmer is the only producer who does carrying vegetables to the Middle government request for these could file a defamation You get the mosque where you
be delivered in the Persian wheel. Otherwise you put in not set the price of his produce — the East, which would bring thousands reforms? How has the Centre decid- suit if someone has the temer- want, and the temple where
agricultural reforms. the seed and looked up to the sky for
rain. It is pertinent to mention that
government does it for him or the
buying agencies. Even if the MSP is
of crores to Punjab. The flight of fan-
tasy is yet to take off.
ed suo motu that this would benefit
the farmers? They now say that the
ity to call me secular. Since the
Maharashtra Governor, Shri
you want. Then you tinker
with citizenship. You are play-
Why not have MSP farming was still being done in the laid down, the buying agency raises Industrialisation did not take place MSP will stay, if so, why not put it in Bhagat Singh Koshyari, ing with air, water, earth and
old organic way minus the commer- many objections about the quality in Punjab as it was considered a bor- the Act? Your mala fides are clear showed considerable hoshiari fire of the state and polity, the
till a better alternative cial fertilisers, pesticides and all the and hustles on it. der state and thereby it was not because you have a history of broken by evincing surprise at his state as you want it, the polity
is found? Why let the overheads that come with modern The increased expenditure on encouraged by the Centre; the result promises. Why put the farmers at the Chief Minister turning ‘secu- as envisaged in your mani-
agriculture. In addition to the inputs, the non-payment of MSP in was that tertiary industry did not mercy of the oligarch who will swal- lar’, the tone and tenor of the festos. The loyalty of the pow-
oligarchs loose to prey ploughing, fodder had to be fetched, most cases, the small landholdings come into play, resulting in negligible low up his land without a hiccup? word has changed. The first ers-that-be is towards the
on farmers? Was there cattle taken for grazing, water had to
be brought, etc. All in all, it was a
and the changed social scene all con-
tributed to lay the debt trap. A farm-
lateral or vertical growth of the
farmer. Having achieved food securi-
How is the farmer of 2-5 acres of land
going to fight these multi-billion-
tinkering came from Shri Lal
Krishan Advani, who added
manifesto, the law book
becomes irrelevant.
a demand from hard but simple life, with joys and ing community traditionally used to ty, the Centre’s interest reduced and aires? They will not be able to do so, the prefix by calling it ‘pseu- The executive follows the
sorrows which were shared by all. a barter system was forced to change the next level of growth which should but rest assured that they are not do secular’. The trouble is we line. Akhlaque Ahmad is
farmers for these There was hardly any money and to a cash-based economy and given have been encouraged and brought prepared to give up their land. start by misusing words spe- killed by a mob because meat
reforms? How has the consumerism was unheard of, the the fallacy of having more money — about in the shape of agro industry Because, that is the turban on their cific to alien shores, practices (suspected beef) is found in his
old barter system took care of the which was already owed to debtors was largely ignored. One answer that heads, that is his pride, he’s not and a history of close to a refrigerator. The attention of
Centre decided suo basic needs. The village was indeed and suppliers. Furthermore, the the people found on their own was going to commit suicide on a mass 1,000 years behind them. We the police is to find out
motu that this would one big extended family. But time,
science and greed were conspiring to
farming community was faced with
a new social pressure of increased
immigration to foreign lands. Lakhs
of young men and women have left.
scale. He will fight back — how, I do
not know. The ‘ann daata’ of yester-
could start from Thomas
Becket — 12th century. There
whether it is beef or lamb, not
towards arresting the killers.
benefit farmers? change all this, to disturb this tran- lifestyle consumption. The situation Our manpower was our biggest asset day who turned this land into the couldn’t be a better example Take another case. On Decem-
quil balance. continued to worsen as the landhold- and ‘natural resource’; our loss has granary bowl of this country and of state versus the church ber 3, 2018, a mob protesting
India, at the time, was deficient in ings dwindled and the cost of work- been the gain of foreign countries. brought us out of being a food- than this, five knights come cow slaughter in Bulandshahr
foodgrains, requiring regular imports ing on depleted land (over-worked Even traders in small towns are sell- dependent nation is not going to be and kill the Archbishop of killed Inspector Subodh
which a poor country could ill-afford. farm lands get depleted of nutrients ing off and leaving as their fortunes reduced to carrying a begging bowl. Canterbury, Thomas Becket, Singh. Journalist Jyoti Pun-
Governments both at the Centre and and require greater use of fertilisers; were tied to those of the farmers. The As I reflect on the time gone by, I do in his cathedral. Look at the wani drew attention to the fact
the state brought in a transformative also, intensive farming needs more affluent class is also insecure and as hope that this will not be the farm- playwrights the event has that the National Security Act
change, new technologies came in — in terms of pesticides) increased. Not a first step has started sending chil- ers’ swansong. I leave you with Oliv- drawn, from Jean Anouilh to was invoked against three
and with a vengeance in the shape of in a single case has the increase in dren abroad; while earlier they went er Goldsmith’s words: ‘Ill fares the TS Eliot. Our secularism has Muslims suspected of cow
the Green Revolution in Punjab and MSP kept up with the increase in after graduation, they are now leav- land, to hastening ills a prey, where very little history to fall back slaughter during that time,
Haryana. Modern agriculture was input costs. ing after school. wealth accumulates and men decay: upon, the Constituent Assem- ‘but the arrest of Singh’s
introduced, which brought with it Simplicity left the village and the The past few years have broken the Princes and lords may flourish, or bly and later Shah Bano. And killers is happening at a
new seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, coming of the panchayat system back of the MSMEs, the may fade; A breath can make them, our secularism, such as it is, leisurely pace’. The Shiv Sena
tubewells were bored and canal sys- brought in factionalism. I started ‘kiryanawala’ and the labourer. as a breath has made; But a bold had nothing to do with the played a big part in the riots in
tems improved. The innovative and with the 1960s and I do not remem- These blows came in the form of peasantry, their country’s pride, separation of state from the Mumbai after the demolition
hardworking farmer of this region ber a single case of farmer suicide demonetisation, faulty implementa- when once destroyed can never be church. We just meant the of the Babri mosque, but no
took up this challenge and answered even though there was not much tion of GST, lockdown (labourers supplied.’ goody-goody principle that all action was taken. The long
the then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri’s money, but now they’re in thou- became migrants), with its resultant — The writer is ex-chairman are equal before law, whatev- arm of the law gets cramps.
call of ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’. As a sands. Debt, lifestyles and breakup unemployment and falling GDP. The of UPSC, former Manipur er our belief or unbelief is, Secularism, as the term has
result, wheat and rice yields went up. of the social fabric has led to this. economy is in freefall but we are Governor and served as J&K DGP and no one has the right to come down to us historically,
rape and kill our Hathras has many facets to it. It faces
daughter, whether Thakur or off against what is ecclesiasti-

Sir Geoffrey Boycott, the motormouth


Brahmin. We smuggled secu- cal. It has nothing to do with
larism into the Constitution the kingdom of God. It is the
in 1976, during the Emer- opposite of what is sectarian or
gency. It meant equality communal. It has evolved out
before law, equal rights for cit- of freethinking, with no hang-

G
EOFF BOYCOTT, the crick- Three years ago, on the question bears no resemblance to the power izens. We ignored parallel nar- ups regarding the hereafter,
eter-commentator from of not being knighted by the British and pace of men’s cricket”. ratives from the Jana Sangh, no ridiculous thoughts per-
England, is fit to be nomi- Queen until then, Boycott said: Boycott was saying that since as it grew over the years, taining to heaven and hell or
nated as an ambassador “Mine’s been turned down twice. women cricketers such as Guha or about the attack on Shah 70-odd houris lining up to wel-
for propagation of sexism and I’d better black me face.” His target Lisa Sthalekar did not strike the Bano, and how Rajiv Gandhi come the latest jihadi martyr.
racism in cricket and society. Sex- were West Indian cricketers, 11 of ball with a man’s power, they lacked and his government got It is neither a votary of cru-
ism and bigotry bedevil Indian whom had been knighted for serv- the credentials to provide expert frightened and withdrew sades or jihad. Secularism is a
GOOD SPORT sport and society too; many who ices to cricket until then — inciden- opinion. The joke was on Boycott — abjectly. And there was freethinker’s exercise of men-
ROHIT MAHAJAN practise them here soften their tally, England’s count of knighted his own batting was marked by always Shri Advani’s com- tal abilities as he or she views
words, couch them under terms cricketers, too, was 11 at that point. lack of power, as Sthalekar pointed ment about “appeasement” to the world, our existence in our
such as ‘talent’ and ‘quality’. A Boycott, thus, promptly brought out. By his own paramenters, hav- minorities. Advani, as much polities, how we govern or mis-
critique of Boycott’s views is out the race card. A public outcry ing last played top-level cricket as Savarkar, remains the de govern ourselves. Secularism
As a commentator, he important because those Geoffrey Boycott turned 80 just days ago. followed, and Boycott issued an nearly 39 years ago, he’s unquali- facto ideologue of the current is also arraigned against any
is either too honest or entrenched in positions of privi- apology. Before that, once on air, he fied to comment on today’s cricket. state, philosopher, direction privilege, especially the
lege in our own country think like woman of colour. referred to Zimbabwe’s pace Boycott was convicted for physical- finder, mechanic and coiner assumed privileges of any
too stupid to attempt him, even if they dare not publicly Woman and colour — these are bowler Mpumelelo Mbangwa in ly attacking his then girlfriend in of slogans rolled into one. community, majority or
to hide ugly opinions utter the words he does.
Boycott’s career is full of unaccept-
two attributes that act as a red rag
for Boycott. He reacted true to type,
racist terms. This is the reality of
the man dearly loved by some Indi-
1998, handed a three-month sus-
pended prison sentence and fined
Once you play with words
and concepts that give mean-
minority. We just have to dig a
little into our past to find out
— his is a career able comments and actions, followed saying: “They have sacrificed qual- an fans for his goofy pronunciation, £5,000. Last year, Boycott was finally ing to words, you can play with that the Indian dharma, which
by apologies. He is 80, yet he contin- ity for equality. It is now all about dismissive insults (‘rubbish bats- knighted. This attracted a chorus of law. The laws are yours and is the Hindu dharma, places
full of unacceptable ues to spout nonsense. His views political correctness, about gender man!’) and for naming Sourav Gan- protests, especially from women’s the agencies are yours to play more weight on our duties
comments and demonstrate how the privileged few and race.” Clearly, by bringing up guly ‘Prince’. rights groups. Reacting to criticism around with. You question than our rights. Finally, it is
refuse to allow the ‘outsiders’ in by gender and race, Boycott was by a women’s charity boss, Boycott Rhea and then put her in jail about equality, not privilege.
actions, followed continually harping on the dilution of attacking Guha — even though Gender issue commented: ‘I don’t give a toss for a month. Saffron politi- Let’s end with a good word
by apologies quality and absence of talent.
On his 80th birthday recently, Boy-
he’s been replaced by Cook and
Anderson, not Guha!
Now, his affinity for the woman com-
mentator. In June, he declared:
about her, love. It’s 25 years ago, so
you can take your political nature
cians from Bihar thought this
was the right cause to take up.
about the Brits. The East
India Company took a dim
cott criticised the BBC for “sacrific- “There is room for women commen- and do whatever you want with it.” Then the doctors poured cold view of the missionaries. “By
ing quality for equality”, following Race to stupidity tating, fronting as presenters and Boycott, a great cricketer, was water on your delusions and the regulations of 1793, the
being removed as a commentator for Boycott isn’t a wise old man. His reporting. Many are excellent.. But disliked for his selfish batting. not a word about Sushant Governor-General promised
the broadcaster after a 14-year stint. sexism and racism are founded in as an expert summariser in men’s His off-field persona is equally Singh Rajput has been uttered to preserve the laws of the
The new panel had three cricketers north England’s Yorkshire, where cricket, you need to have been out in unattractive. He represents ideas by Nitish Kumar or his BJP Shastras and the Koran, and
— two white men, Alastair Cook and cricketers of colour complain of the middle.” He added that “as good that belong to the past, and there cohorts during election rallies. to protect Indians in the free
James Anderson, and Isa Guha, a racism to this day. as the women are at their game, it he must be sent back. How foolish those three exercise of their religion.”

Between one home and another, the pandemic lays it bare


M
Y tears began to flow early as perched on opposite walls and there is a I show her a wad of surgical masks we Azeemul’s young sons have just returned has lived through a nightmare that refuses
we set off on our first trip steady drizzle of harsingar flowers from an have brought for everyone here. She after a futile visit to Gujarat, where they had to end. The finance company’s representa-
together as a family since the over-grown creeper above me. There are takes a few for her son, who is trying to gone to find work. These boys have grown tives came to this home in the village to
Covid-19 pandemic was jamun, guava, custard apple, lemon and earn an income as a masseuse till his up in the years that I have been visiting this intimidate his wife for recovery of the loan.
declared in 2020. A family of five, we live in mango trees. Children from the extended barber shop by the railway station home as my own. They are bright and Shagufta has begun to spin thread for blan-
a suburb of Delhi and regularly visit my family are using a long bamboo stick with begins to get customers again. strong, they are graduates, yet they are kets to earn a basic sustenance.
father-in-law, who lives in a village in east a woven basket on its top edge to catch The private school in the village unable to clear entrance tests for the railway As we reassure her that we will look at
IMMORTAL FOR A MOMENT Uttar Pradesh. Papa is in his nineties, and fruit from the upper branches of the lemon remains closed. Teachers’ salaries have or police jobs they hope to get. They are the loan papers and negotiate with recov-
often stays with us in the city. This year, our tree. Invariably, the fruit falls to the ground been stopped as parents are unable to defeated by the poor quality of education ery agents on her behalf, our daughters
NATASHA BADHWAR
children and I had not met him even once. and the children tease each other as the pay fees or afford mobile phones for and training they have access to. and Wasim’s two children check each
As we cruised on the highway towards stick passes from hand to hand. In this online classes. Some teachers in the vil- My husband is routinely frustrated by other out. They are growing up in the
We live in a time Varanasi, our children played the soulful moment, this could be a slice of heaven. lage school come from Kerala. the multiple social, cultural and systemic same time and same place, yet their real-
songs of the film, Masaan. The music, the Islam Bo, an elderly woman from the We are a country of internal migrants. barriers that come in the way when he ities are a world apart from each other.
when individuals long drive and recent memories of this village, updates me on how the commu- The husbands of most women I meet tries to plan solutions in the community. Our children’s experiences are buffered
across economic and highway being a witness to mass migra- nity has coped with lockdown and pan- here work in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata “Meet people where they are,” I remind by privilege, Shagufta’s children are vul-
tion of dispossessed workers walking demic for the past seven months. and the Gulf countries. him. “The onus is on us to understand the nerable due to the lack of it.
political divides need home despite hunger and police threats — “You go from home to home, Islam Bo, “In Mumbai, I live in a small kholi and context of people before we try to influ- Oppressive systems ultimately destroy
to find the agency all of it mixed up to release unexpressed do you wear a mask?” I ask her. In sell handkerchiefs on the footpath in town ence the course of their lives. They know all players, regardless of their roles within
grief, fears and anxieties. My eyes began to response, she makes a gesture of brush- area. It’s a decent life,” shares Azeemul their possibilities better than us.” them. We live in a time when individuals
within ourselves to well up, and I didn’t discourage myself ing off my question. one afternoon when he has come to chat We meet Shagufta, our neighbour, in her across economic and political divides need
challenge the from having a good cry.
As I type this column, I am sitting in an
“There is no corona here,” she says. “I
keep a gamchha and wrap it around my
with my husband and me. “Sometimes, I
go to the sea beach and feel free of all pain
home. Shagufta’s husband, Wasim, has
been an Uber driver in Delhi before he was
to find the agency within ourselves to chal-
lenge the structure that subjugates us.
structure that open area called a hatha in our village face when I see policemen. They are the and worries. I don’t know if I will go back. left stranded by the lockdown. Unable to — The writer is an author
home. The morning light is dappled, birds only people I fear when I go out to graze I fear the police and the state. The pan- sustain his survival in the city, pay EMIs and filmmaker
subjugates us are chirping, a cat and a monkey are my goats.” demic has disrupted everything.” due on his car or send money home, Wasim natasha.badhwar@gmail.com
4 EDIT DELHI SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER 2020

Discovering a river in Thar Desert were able to document different phases


of river activity.
tion in the Thar Desert, across South
Asia and beyond" says Blinkhorn,
Increased relevance of
"We immediately saw evidence for a
substantial and very active river system
adding "This suggests landscape in
which the earliest members of our own Vedas in the modern era
S ituated at the threshold of the South
Asian monsoon, the Thar Desert is
an important region for understanding
Anna University, and the Indian Insti-
tute of Science, Education and Re-
search (IISER) Kolkata document evi-
from the bottom of the fluvial deposits,
which gradually decreased in power
through time" explained Achyuthan.
species, Homo sapiens, first encoun-
tered the monsoons and crossed the
Thar Desert may have been very differ-
TEJ SINGH KARDAM

how past environmental change im-


pacted patterns of human migration
and adaptation to new habitats. Recent
dence for river activity in the central
Thar Desert. This evidence indicates a
river flowed with phases of activity dat-
"Standing in the middle of the desert,
the question we had to answer was
'How old was this river?'. The age of this
ent to the landscape we can see today."
Yet the potential importance of 'lost'
rivers for earlier inhabitants of the Thar
I ndia is the largest democracy in the world. We are a secular country
which is a host of number of religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christi-
anity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. The major population of the
research highlighting the role of the ing to approx. 172,140,95 and 78 thou- river flowing in the middle of the desert Desert have been overlooked. country follow Hinduism which is about 80 per cent.
Thar Desert in human prehistory has sand years ago, nearby to Bikaner, is of particular interest. The river was "The Thar Desert has a rich prehis- Our culture is a heritage of social norms, ethnical values, traditional
indicated that humans spread east- which is over 200 km away from the flowing at its strongest during a phase tory, and we've been uncovering a wide customs, belief systems and artefacts etc. India's languages, religions,
wards into the region starting from 114 nearest modern river. of weak monsoonal activity in the re- range of evidence showing how Stone dances, music, architecture, food and customs differ from place to place
thousand years ago during a phase of The presence of a river running gion, and may have been a life-line to Age populations not only survived but within the country. Therefore, our country is epitome of “Unity in Di-
enhanced monsoonal rainfall, when the through the central Thar Desert would human populations enabling them to thrived in these semi-arid landscapes," versity.” India has ancient Vedic culture which was based on Sanatan
desert was transformed into lush grass- have offered a lifeline to Palaeolithic inhabit the Thar Desert. The timeframe says Jimbob Blinkhorn of MPISHH. Dharma, also known as Vedic religion.
lands. However, more recent phases of populations, and potentially an impor- over which this river was active also "We know how important rivers can be In due course of time the Vedic religion merged with local traditions
sand dune activity have obscured these tant corridor for migrations. Indus civ- overlaps with significant changes in hu- to living in this region, but we have little resulting in emergence of Hinduism. Sanatan dharma is the oldest re-
ancient landscapes inhabited by earlier ilization flourished here. A deep deposit man behaviour in the region, which detail on what river systems were like ligion in the world, which is based on the collection of spiritual laws
human populations. of river sands and gravels was studied have been linked with the earliest ex- during key periods of prehistory." The discovered by Rishis thousands of years ago and is prehistoric and ab-
In a new study published in Quater- by the team, which had been exposed pansions of Homo sapiens from Africa discovery is important for us to under- solute in nature.
nary Science Reviews, researchers from by quarrying activity near the village of into India. stand the lives and longevity of rivers. Sanatan dharma signifies duties performed in one's spiritual identity
The Max Planck Institute for the Sci- Nal, just outside of Bikaner. By studying "This river flowed at a critical time Let us not destroy their course with our and are thus same for everyone, irrespective of sect, caste or class. It
ence of Human History (MPI-SHH), the different deposits, the researchers frame for understanding human evolu- greed for land or by misuse. consists of virtues such as honesty, refrain from injuring living beings,
purity, goodwill, mercy, patience and generosity. As a matter of fact,
SanatanDharma is transcendental which is beyond our temporary belief
system.
BJP’S POLI‘TRICKS’ The first canonical text of Hinduism, the Rigveda was composed in
between 1500- 1200 BCE and the subsequent three Vedas in between
1200-1000 BCE which were on the concept of Sanatan Dharma.

Of hollow promises, humiliating bonhomie


Hindu Dharma is built on the foundation of self-realisation, eman-
cipation with the objective of enlightenment. The term Hindu is derived
from “Sindh” a river in the north. The Muslim rulers especially the Per-
sians called the people living around
the river Sindh as Sindhu which means
ing dispensation, former Con- Hindu, which was only a few centuries
IN MY OPINION gress president Rahul Gandhi ago. Consequently, in the beginning of
in a tweet said: “Government of 19th century Hinduism became in ex-
India just announced India’s istence to be understood and practiced
Covid access strategy. Kindly as religion by Indians.
refer to the state-wise election The Hindu dharma is guided by
schedule to know when you will Karma a person undertakes. It is a
get it, along with a hoard of false mystical religion which teaches the
promises.” The general opinion followers to experience the truth
V RAMU SARMA is that the statement of the within by way of Karma, Bhakti, Gyan and feelingof oneness withGod.
Union Finance Minister Sanatan Dharma professes eternal or absolute set of duties or reli-

A
ny party that comes to amounts to violation of election giously ordained practices incumbent upon Hindus as established in
power takes oath in the code. our canonical texts, while few may be relevant today but many of them
name of the Constitution This announcement has also have become irrelevant in the era of Science and Technology or may
which says that the government come as a big shock to other become so in due course of time.
is by the people, of the people States. The BJP has always been I am quoting here a few practices from our canonical texts which
and for the people. But all that harping on the slogan of coop- have been enlisted there in, which are irrelevant:
remains mostly confined to the erative federalism which trans- "A no bhadhra kratavo yantu visvatah." translates to:"Let noble
pages of the Constitution. What lated in Hindi says, “Sub ka thoughts come to us from any direction. "This actually is the essence of
comes as a grave concern is the Saath Sub ka Vikas.” So far it the Vedas.'Ekam satt viprah bahudha vedanti’ translates to: The Vedas
presence of opportunistic poli- was being thought that by the teach us to pursue truth, to accept nothing but the truth, which is one,
tics - both among national and time the vaccine was ready, the in another way.That truth or satt is synonymous with being and be-
regional parties. Centre and States would iden- coming, with life and living in all its manifestations. In present time at
Let’s take the example of en- tify who should receive it on a personal, family, general public and political levels, is it followed?
suing Bihar elections. Union Fi- priority basis. Finance Minis- Vedas exhort us to live together in spirit of love and harmony (AV.3.30-
nance Minister Nirmala ter’s statement makes one won- 4), aimed at our collective happiness (RV 5.60). Do we live with love
Sitharaman, while releasing the der if the BJP really wants to and maintain communal harmony at states and national levels? Let us
manifesto said, “The NDA gov- adopt a new policy of competi- for the residuary State should ernment had constructed the an impression that they were not be greedy… (YV. XL. 1.2). Do we adhere to it ? Let the wealthier
ernment in Bihar has set an ex- tive federalism. It is also not be located in Amravati. The capital city, such a problem the best of friends. But it is person be generous. Except a few philanthropists, are the wealthier
ample in the fight against novel clear whether the Centre would then government went in for would not have arisen. The ba- shocking to see how Trump has people generous? One who eats alone verily eats nothing but a sin (RV.
coronavirus. It is our promise negotiate the cost of the vaccine land pooling of 33,000 acres sic question the BJP should an- been criticising India. During X. 117,5-6) Is it relevant now? Let us be kind and considerate to brothers,
that when a vaccine for Covid- with all suppliers, procure it and Prime Minister Narendra swer is can a capital city be con- his first presidential debate on friends, neighbours and even strangers. (RV V. 85.7)To what extent it
19 is available after clearance and then ask the States to pur- Modi laid the very first founda- structed in five years? Was coronavirus data, Trump said, is relevant?
from ICMR, every Bihar resi- chase and supply it to the peo- tion stone after the BJP came Gandhinagar in Gujarat ready “You don’t know how many A few more essence of Vedas are:
dent will be given free vaccina- ple at the rates fixed by the Cen- to power at Centre. He even in five years? How many years people died in India. They don’t 1. Share what you have physical, mental, moral or spiritual with all.
tion.” First thing, the Centre tre. It is being speculated that took holy water from river Ya- had it taken for Chhattisgarh to give you a straight count.” On 2. Melt all illusory differences .
should make it clear what is its the Centre would identify cer- muna and soil from the prem- have a proper capital though Friday, defending his decision 3. Remove all barriers that separate man to man. We can check where
policy for administering the tain categories of people to ises of Parliament House and there were no controversies as to pull out of Paris accord, he we stand about their relevance?
vaccine? Will the government whom it should be adminis- assured the people that “Modi in case of Andhra Pradesh? The again referred to India and said, There is mention of Aranyakas in Vedas. As is mentioned, Aranakyas
give it free as in case of polio or tered free of cost. Babu jodi,” would see that a BJP may have felt offended “Look at China, how filthy it is. were mainly meant for Vanprashtha Ashram after 75 years and perform-
smallpox vaccine or will it fix a Another question is, by when capital, which would be much with the kind of campaign the Look at Russia. Look at India. ing other rituals hence need to be protected. Do we follow it.?
price? From the statement of the vaccine will be available. bigger and beautiful, would be TDP had launched against them The air is filthy.” On the other hand we have mercilessly destroyed the forests through-
the Union Finance Minister, it Union Health Minister Harsh constructed in Amaravati. during the elections, but then The reactions to these com- out the country, for illegal smuggling of timber, poaching and illegally
appears that the government Vardhan had said the vaccine The bonhomie between the why punish the people? Parties ments that coming from cer- occupying the forest lands by the people. In addition unmindfully di-
will fix a price for the vaccine. would be available by Decem- two parties ended and both be- can always fight against each tain quarters are shocking. On verting virgin forest areas for non-forestry purposes by the governments.
Another issue that arises ber or January 2021. Was this came bitter enemies. With the other and try to decimate each one hand, we keep on saying There is mention in Atharvaveda about diseases. It is a known fact that
from her statement is what pa- also a strategic announcement change of government, the YS- other politically. But since the that we will not allow anyone two thirds of the known human infectious diseases are shared with ani-
rameters had the BJP adopted keeping in view the elections in RCP has come up with a new Constitution says that a govern- to point a finger at us and will mals. Deforestation results in the emergence of infectious diseases.
to conclude that Bihar had set Bihar or is the Centre certain proposal to have three capitals ment is by the people, of the not allow anyone to belittle us. In addition, we know the role of Forests in carbon sequestration. By
an example in putting up a fight that by December or January in the name of decentralisation. people and for the people, is it But the reaction to Trump’s checking deforestation and mitigating emissions of green house gases,
against coronavirus? Is Bihar the vaccine would be available. This sparked agitation in the not their responsibility to see abusive language by some in- we can limit rising sea levels, intense drought, destructive storms, floods
the only State which had set an This doubt arises as experts in- villages under Amaravati as that no injustice is done and a tellectuals is surprising. Some and other catastrophic effects. Are we able to do?
example in the fight against cluding those from CCMB say farmers had given their fertile solution is found to the prob- tweets have already appeared Rigveda's last hymn voices, the human aspiration to march together
coronavirus? What about other that the vaccine is still at trial lands to the State government lem. saying. “Our air is filthy. Every in common concert; 'Sangachchadvam'; to think, meet and talk in unison
States? Have they not done well stage and it will take another and now their future would be The issue of capital in AP also year about 15 of the 20 cities to arrive at a true concurrence of hearts and minds,'Samchittam',
in handling the situation? If the one year before it is made avail- in jeopardy if the concept of raises another question. Can with the filthiest air in the 'Samanah'; in order to formulate policies conducive to common man.
Centre had released a State able. three capitals is implemented. capital be changed with the world are in India. We’ve also Are we really able to follow it at village, block, tehsil, district, state
wise status report on handling If what the scientists say is This kicked up a lot of political change of a government once in done little to address this, ex- and national levels where in common man's welfare is taken into con-
of coronavirus, then one would true, it means that vaccine issue dust and got embroiled in legal five years and will the Centre cept pass the buck around. No sideration in true spirit.? In addition, there may be number of issues
know which State stands where. is being used to garner votes by complications. Those who remain a mute spectator? point being outraged when which are irrelevant in present day situation.
The Finance Minister’s state- the BJP. This is rather a dis- parted with their farmlands When the BJP came to power Donald Trump speaks that It is a matter of concern, being part of the religion, looking at the fate
ment makes it very clear that turbing trend which at least is have been looking towards the in 2014, it promised that poli- truth. Our air is an awful global of the 'Noble Principles' of our canonical texts. The main reason could
the national party which had not expected from the saffron Centre for a solution. But the tics would be restricted only for embarrassment.” It now re- be lack of awareness in the society.
won the hearts of people for the party. BJP now says it has no respon- the period of elections and after mains to be seen how the BJP It would be advisable, on the pattern of Sanskrit where in the Gov-
second time in 2019 general Let’s take another example sibility since it is a State matter. that it would be good gover- which calls itself as Bharat Ki ernment of India has planned to introduce this language in all the
elections is resorting to wrong where the BJP promised some- What one wonders is how the nance and would ensure that Atmagaurav ki Prateek react to Kendriya Vidyalayas across the country, to introduce these noble prin-
practices just for the sake of thing and now says it has no centre can abdicate its respon- there was true federalism. Why the way Trump has been abus- ciples of our canonical texts initially in the academics. This will help to
votes. Her statement clearly role to play. In Andhra Pradesh, sibility. When a crisis arises in is the saffron party slipping on ing and accusing us. Fruits of infuse those values in the minds of young generations. If they start in-
implies that people in Bihar will a resolution was unanimously a State, the Centre needs to play this issue? Can it not rise above friendship does not mean that culcating the habit of following those values/principles in their day to
get free vaccine while those in passed by all parties including the role of an elder person and opportunistic politics? any country can take the liberty day lives, it will improve the standard of morality and truthfulness among
other parts of the country will the BJP which was part of the resolve the issue. But here it At the international level, we of calling us filthy. Result of en- the family, community, society and nation as a whole in the generations
have to pay for it. State government and YSRCP comes up with a funny argu- have seen how Narendra Modi mity does not mean that the to come.
Taking a pot-shot at the rul- agreeing that the new capital ment that if the previous gov- and US President Trump gave people should suffer. (The writer is a retired IFS officer. The views expressed are personal.)

BJP’s poll promise is that the rest of India has to wait till As- the country free of cost but pitiably the present Modi gov- cine is at near sight, let alone completely ready in the
LETTERS sembly elections to receive the vaccine. Significantly, Modi
carefully and tactfully skirted this poll promise in his Bihar
ernment promises free vaccine only to a particular state
that is going to polls shortly (October 23 ). The move is
midst of pandemic is unfair. Instead, the political parties
should promise the people about their ideas on dwindling
rallies. nothing but blackmailing the people of Bihar to vote for economy, loss of jobs, migrant issues and myriad of other
A vote for vaccine? The vaccine-for-vote formula exposes BJP’s flawed mental the BJP alliance. It is a shame that Modi government problems. Because at this stage and scenario promising
make-up and its contempt for the impoverished multitudes. wants to encash the fears of people, when majority of them moon is more rationale than promising vaccine to all,

T he BJP has sunk to a new low with its poll promise of free
vaccine against Covid-19 for the people of Bihar (“BJP
manifesto promises free Covid vaccine; Oppn hits back”, Oc-
The majority of voters in Bihar as elsewhere may be poor, but
they are not without self-respect and intelligence to see
through the link drawn by BJP between a life-saving phar-
lost livelihood due to virus.
Kshirasagara Balaji Rao, Hyderabad
which is not yet ready.
D V G Sankararao, Nellimarla

tober 23). It is nauseating that ‘a party with a difference’ is maceutical intervention and the exercise of their enfranchise-
dangling the non-existent vaccine for Covid-19 in front of the ment. Clearly, BJP’s think tanks who conceived the gimmicky III V
voters to woo them. The electorate are sought to be dehu-
manised when they are asked to barter votes for vaccines. It
is sheer moral bankruptcy to attempt to make political capital
idea of free distribution of Covid-19 vaccine on election-eve
were bereft of an understanding of the value of human dig-
nity.
P oll campaign in Bihar reached its nadir with the an-
nouncement of a free shot of Covid vaccine to the elec-
torate. Why not announce free treatment in a corporate
P romising freebies, goodies, cash rewards has become
an accepted way of fighting elections everywhere. By
promising a vaccine free of cost to the voters in Bihar, the
out of a pandemic that has discombobulated our lives. Obviously the offer of free vaccine was made in a forlorn hospital and also special space in a crematorium if one BJP has apparently gained an edge over their opponents
While it is true that there is nothing novel about political attempt to cancel out the Bihar government’s mishandling dies along with a bunch of mourners The last promise that who have left with no choice except crying foul. In a sense
parties coming up with very many freebies in their election of the Covid-19 pandemic and in particular, its utter and un- is left is asking people to sit at home and their salaries re- the BJP is right in its stand as Bihar is one of the poorest
manifestos, the offer of free vaccine as a poll promise by a po- conscionable indifference to the plight of migrant workers. mitted to their bank accounts. All this is to grab power by states and most people cannot afford to buy a life saving
litical party in the vain hope of inveigling itself into the voters’ Meanwhile, we hope that the report that the Union govern- hook or crook. This is the height of hoodwinking elec- vaccine.
affections is a blatant breach of the basic decencies of civilized ment has set aside Rs.50000 crore for nationwide vaccination torate. Therefore the question of morals in using the Covid-19
society. We thought everyone would have access to the vaccine is true. For the vaccination programme to succeed, it should DSP Rao, Kakinada pandemic for political mileage doesn't hold water because
as and when it was developed and made available as an ex- be a collective national endeavour and not a partisan political our netas strongly believe that all is fair in love,war,and
tension of the right to life and as a matter of right and not as exertion. IV politics. It is hoped that one day someone would come up
a favour or as a poll freebie. The country belongs to the people;
the government is only tasked to manage its affairs.
We expected Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his capacity
G David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
N o doubt, poll promises have no face value anywhere
on earth. Still BJP promising every Bihari a free vac-
cine for corona if being voted to power is a bit unpalatable.
with a vaccine that would immunise people from falling
prey to election baits.
Matam Somasekhar Prasad, Hyderabad
as the country’s helmsman to assure the nation in one of his II It can be comparable only to promise by POTUS that every
televised addresses that his government would ensure free
universal vaccination against Covid-19. The implication of G overnments in the past took responsibility to combat
pandemics and supplied vaccination gracefully across
American citizen would get vaccinated by coming April.
Anyway such promises of unrealistic nature, where no vac-
thehansreader@gmail.com
THE AVENUE MAIL
COMMENT Jamshedpur, Sunday, October 25, 2020
6

Coronavirus gives fragile Change the chorus and sing the song differently
Rohtang Pass recovery time
By Vishal Gulati
ruler without any factual
data at hand, the desired
political mileage is
doubtful. Because the intent
of such actions tacitly
exhibit the hidden envy.

T
he Coronavirus-induced lockdowns have cleaned up the fragile Rohtang Pass with Politics is not only 'poly -
the piles of trash almost vanished and nature making a comeback in the cold, rugged tricks' but also 'policy
and rocky mountains of the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas -- the origin of one of ticking.' All the opposition
North India's major rivers, the Beas. Also the vehicular pollution plummeting to levels forgets the second part, and
unseen in the living memory. "What a pleasant surprise to see no littering of trash in hills en they are playing the role of
route to the Rohtang Pass," remarked Nikita Pandey, a tourist from Delhi. algebraic opposition.
"We should be thankful to Covid-induced lockdowns that gave nature a recovery time to Whatever ruling party is
regain its glory," she told IANS, while pointing towards spots where non-biodegradable By SK Nag proposing has been
waste was normally dumped carelessly along the banks of the glacial-fed Beas river near opposed without having to

T
Marhi, en route to the Rohtang Pass from Manali. he days are not so analyze the merit in the
The Rohtang Pass is located at an altitude of 13,050 feet and 52 km from tourist resort simple as earlier in proposal. Governance in a
Manali in Himachal Pradesh. Her friend Gauri Vaidya said in her past visits, the ninth this political life. Public country like India is taking
time in as many years, she felt angry to see the stunning amount of waste like beer and speaking has been difficult, the whole ministerial
liquor bottles and food sachets dumped haphazardly in the mountains. unlike the past, due to the energy to fight opposition
"This visit is memorable to see nature blooming again amid pine forests and gurgling presence of social media. non-cooperation. Pandemic
streams," she added. The picturesque Rohtang Pass, which remains under snow even Without making a well- time governance should
during the onset of summer, is a major attraction for both domestic and foreign tourists. rehearsed statement in has become common, in the political cloud, included a bigger horizon. have been more friendly
According to the state tourism department, more than 1,00,000 tourists visit the Rohtang public, the outcome will be which the citizenry of India failing which the fall is The readers are no longer a rather than full of hostility.
Pass every year and tourism, including skiing, trekking and paragliding, is a key source of disastrous. Trolling on don't want. It has stopped inevitable. There is no one limited group. In today's Country's politics are
income for the local people. For more than five months from December, the pass remains social media nowadays, a creating any ripple in their size fits all political context, those days of immaturely taken outside
cut off from the rest of the country due to heavy snowfall. good validation platform. favour. The country behaviour nowadays. The information asymmetry is a the country and comment
After nearly six months of sealing borders, the state government on September 15 threw Contemplating this currently during the so-called political prowess myth now. Popularity is a on various confidential
open its borders for free movement of people and goods. paradigm shift, political pandemic situation needs will be very fragile if the short-lived attribute that matters diluting the
"In the last one or two weeks, the trend of tourists is picking up in Manali and its nearby leaders should have conducive opposition public life is not disciplined disallowed the political country's security and
areas. Compared to thousands of tourists that normally descend here daily ahead of Diwali, changed their mindset long fitting to the world largest and transparent to the innate to manipulate the safety that are neither in
now tourists, mainly from the northern states, are thronging that too on weekends," an ago. But they have failed to democratic governance citizenry of India. population mindset. And good taste nor advisable.
official of the state Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corp. told IANS here. accept the change in structure. Indirect Though social media such dated beliefs are no Indian economy needs a
Travel agent Naresh Thakur said the tourists from Manali now prefer to travel towards the electorate behaviour. manifestation of political sometimes overpower other longer helpful. So political stable government where
Lahaul Valley via the newly opened Atal Tunnel, beneath the Rohtang Pass, rather than Influencing the larger frustration of disintegrated media due to its digital leaders should learn to all party unanimous policy
taking the long, treacherous route of the pass. crowd with incorrect and disgruntled opposition speed and reach with behave and speak. A little support is very much
"Snow is the only attraction for the tourists and the mighty Rohtang Pass is the only narratives is a thing of the due to many regional telecom infra's help, still more homework is required needed. Without the
destination near Manali that remains marooned in snow cover till end of May. In this season, past. The masses do not parties' existence, the other forms of media play a before subscribing to their consonance of all, the
Rohtang slopes are totally bereft of snow cover, so they are not on their preferred list," he welcome anything which is concept of charismatic vital role. With the opinion in the public progress is compromised.
added. Government officials said the Rohtang Pass normally closes for the traffic every year not relevant or factually leadership theory is gone. availability of more domain. People believe in The timely action on policy
in December owing to snowfall. "This time the Rohtang Pass remained closed for the correct. The momentary Opposition should smartphones, digital traffic political accountability and is an imperative which any
tourists for a longer duration i.e. from December to mid of September. Firstly due to and impulsive change their chorus to sing concentration is increasing the responsibility of good developing country must
snapping of road links by snow and then due to coronavirus lockdowns. This has given manifestation of any sly the song differently. every day, helping spread governance. Innate political not forget. Therefore
enough time for nature to revive," an official said. Trekking along the Rohtang Pass is political speech soon be Because understandably, political awareness among might and wit is a key without getting into
another adventure pursuit, the backbone of the state's economy, from June to September. trolled on social media the Indian political system different class citizens in political strength that can "Onida" politics (Other's
Excessive emission of carbon monoxide from the vehicles and huge quantities of trash rejecting the expressions is fast changing its the social pyramid. navigate a government with envy & Ruler's pride), we
left behind by tourists on the Rohtang Pass are taking a heavy toll on the snow cover, says incompatible with the landscape in an Gone are the days of more success. More and must embrace politics of
the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), a Nagpur-based current context or useless. evolutionary changing preaching by the local more heuristic statements development and
institute that has carried out studies on the impact of pollution on the local ecology. Therefore, public life paradigm of Gen X, Y, Z, leaders to influence a lot or spreading lies may not cooperation known to be a
Besides tourist vehicles, a major component of the traffic is also the defence vehicles, with behaviour has been tougher and so on so forth. With the and help harvesting sensitize the target audience new normal politics.
the forces taking supplies to strategic points through the Rohtang Pass. if the leaders' 360-degree hyperactive involvement of popularity without any in the right direction; it (SK Nag is Chartered
The deteriorating ecology of Rohtang, meaning "piles of dead bodies" in Persian, has also perspectives are not digital media (social validation by the masses. portrays an irresponsible Engineer, Energy Expert
caught the attention of the National Green Tribunal (NGT). With its direction, the government transparent or ahead of media), the political Their (local leaders) views brand image of the person and industry mentor. The
has checked unregulated plying of vehicles by imposing an environmental cess on each of time. dimension has changed the were endorsed with a leap speaking randomly. views expressed are
the 1,300 vehicles permitted every day to cross the Rohtang Pass, besides construction of A low hanging strategy of
eco-friendly toilets and installation of garbage collection bins en route.According to a journal definition of public life of faith and conviction to Opposition role in personal opinion of the
over glorifying ruling govt over the years. So the take this country forward. democratic politics has a author. He can be
of the Asiatic Society, Lieutenants A. Broome and A. Cunningham trekked to the Rohtang trivial mistakes on the
Pass on July 7, 1839, to trace the sources of the Punjab's rivers. political etiquette and The limitation of media formidable role to play, reached at
pretext of reaping political deliverables. Nimbleness is outreach has gone, and the which is grossly absent. saibal.iim@gmail.com )
(Vishal Gulati can be contacted at vishal.g@ians.in) mileage by the opposition needed to remain relevant target audience reach has Ridiculing the incumbent

Why did Trump criticize India? Only India and China insulated from
By Lalit Garg
wealth erosion due to Covid-19 countries were only during the rule
of Modi and Trump. This friendship

T
h e filled both the countries with new
president energy and aura. Narendra Modi By Sanjeev Sharma
i a l and Trump have tried to shape a

I
election in lasting bilateral relationship. But are ndia and China are the
America has the relations between America and only two major
reached a very India still not very comfortable in countries that remain
interesting point. terms of political compatibility and insulated from the erosion
On November 3, the general public strategic culture? What does of wealth due to the Covid-
of America will vote to elect the Trump's criticism of India mean? 19 pandemic.
new president. There is a direct Apparently, after Trump's attack, Wealth per adult in India
competition between President Democrats are now standing in stood at $17,300 at the end
Donald Trump and his rival Joe favour of India as a whole, saying of 2019 after a year of
Biden. The role of American that Trump will not respect the moderate growth and was
residents of Indian origin is also vitality, beauty and diversity of our $17,420 at end-June 2020,
important in these elections, yet too, but his particular emphasis on the US from the Coronavirus, South Asian community. showing some growth
Donald Trump's criticism of India India has gone wrong to many Trump said, "It's not my fault, it's People of Indian origin are despite the pandemic.
once again is not only disgusting, people. Criticizing India through not even Biden's fault, it's China's expected to balance between the Wealth growth is expected
contradictory but purely politically Trump in this way can also go fault that came to America." In this elections taking place in the US and to be strong through the
motivated. Even if this criticism is against him in American politics. way, the criticism of Russia and the emerging issues, India should remainder of 2020 and
due to pressure on the corona This was the last round of direct China from the mouth of Trump is officially avoid active and decisive 2021, as per the Credit
epidemic and the growing presidential debates in the US and it understandable, but keeping India participation in American politics, it Suisse Global Wealth year, Rohner wrote. With an adjustment for
environmental crises, is the is not only unfair but also shameful together is also diplomatic and is clear that this latest criticism of Report 2020. Lower economic growth survey underreporting,
criticism or discussion of India to criticize India by name and try to practically wrong and a sign of Trump will be of Indian origin. "While average wealth in for some time and changes average debt was $1,080 at
justified in the absence of accurate shamelessly defend its political immaturity. Trump has People have an adverse effect on India rose by only 0.7 per in corporate and consumer the end of 2019, which is
response to such questions related environmental policies. done his job recklessly. They do not him; they will walk away from the cent in the first half of behaviour will result not just 6 per cent of gross
to the people of our country? Such The question is, was this a fair care that their country has moved trump even if he does not want to. 2020, we estimate that the only in lost output, but also assets. "Thus, although
statements and criticisms are opportunity for Trump to criticize towards increasing strategic In such an environment, Indian full rise for 2020 will be 5 in redundant facilities as indebtedness is a severe
indicative of political immaturity, India in this way? Has Trump partnership with India and as such, experts must emphasize how much per cent-6 per cent and well as sectoral changes problem for many poor
but also reflect the blind thinking of realized that the majority of Indian- targeting India as criticism can lead India or which country has 2021 will see growth of that may restrain household people in India, overall
Trump. This kind of lighting is American voters are likely to vote to a rift between unfair and growing contributed to climate change. about 9 per cent," it said. wealth accumulation for household debt is relatively
needed to woo the voters, not such for Democrat candidate Joe Biden? friendship in every way. Environmental pollution and "The most adversely- many years. "Thus our low," it said.
blinds. 'Light' a very simple but This method of opposing politics in Indo-US relations stand on the climate change is not the problem of affected region was Latin authors believe that The Covid-19 pandemic
somewhat infidel kind of thing. She its favour seems to be damaging for threshold of a new adventure era, any one country, it is an emerging America, where currency household wealth will, at affected India with some
strips everyone off one day or the Trump. Its immediate effect has Trump and Modi have made burning problem of the world, and devaluations reinforced best, recover slowly from delay, as in much of the
other. Surely those who want to been seen by Trump himself in his extensive efforts for this, why at all countries need to make efforts to reductions in gross the pandemic throughout developing world. While
keep him imprisoned in veils. country. His anti-India statement such a time, Trump's disrespectful solve it. domestic product (GDP) to 2021," Rohner said. daily cases and deaths hit
Everyone is naked in politics and has not only been termed as criticism of India? The satisfactory This is the right time for India, result in a 12.8 per cent "Without the pandemic, peaks in March or April in
everything is justified in politics, misleading, but it has also been bilateral relationship between the even if the criticism of Trump has decline in total wealth in our experts' best estimate of many high-income
which was also highlighted by considered as disappointing and two countries was seen to emerge as passed for us, but in the context of US dollar terms. The global wealth per adult countries, this did not occur
Donald Trump in the ongoing war unfortunate. Although India is an unexpected strategic necessity these burning problems, India pandemic eradicated the would have risen from in India, which saw a rising
campaign in America. "Look at among the polluted countries, India due to Modi's visionary thinking. It should consider its efforts and expected growth in North $77,309 at the start of the incidence of infections and
China, how dirty it is," cites Donald may also have a role in the countries began in September-October of become more practical. Our America and caused losses year to $78,376 at end- deaths through June and
Trump, who criticized India. Look responsible for climate change, but 2008, when the foundation of a counting in the polluted countries of in every other region, June. Instead, the pandemic beyond.
at Russia, look at India, they are the current governance of the US is complex strategic-defence the world is a matter of concern for except China and India. has caused average wealth Wealth inequality
very dirty, the air is dirty. "It is no less guilty in the matters of relationship related to the nuclear us, there is also a barrier on our Among the major global to drop to $76,984," the remains quite high in India,
surprising that such a discussion of climate change, environment and issue was laid, and its credit goes to growing world image, so we should economies, the United report said. the report notes. There is
India is needless. It is well known pollution. Therefore, the policy of the political resolve of the then US be ready to remove our country Kingdom has seen the most The report notes that over considerable poverty
that Trump has described India and blaming others for covering up their President George W. Bush and from the list of these polluted notable relative erosion of the last two decades, India's reflected in the fact that 73
Indians as his friend or companion shortcomings cannot go anywhere. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. countries. For its rapid wealth," Urs Rohner, wealth has grown per cent of the adult
on many occasions. The Prime So when it comes to countries This has given India a unique place development, it has become Chairman of the Board of impressively, despite a population had wealth
Minister of India, Narendra Modi responsible for climate change, in the international nuclear necessary to treat the rising Directors Credit Suisse setback in 2008 due to the below $10,000 at the end of
has organized a big event for Trump's remarks do not stand up. community, and that too while we pollution at war level. Whether the Group, in the introduction global financial crisis and 2019. At the other extreme,
Indians settled in America so that The fact is that America is largely were away from the Nuclear Non- air is dirty or traffic pollution, of the report. some currency fluctuations. a small fraction of the
Trump gets the support of Indians. responsible for climate change, but Proliferation Treaty. climate change or increasing natural The report said that total Annual growth of wealth population (2.3 per cent of
The friendship between Modi and it is blaming others for their This marked a significant change exploitation - how long will we household wealth in the per adult averaged 9.7 per adults) had a net worth over
Trump has also increased, with the responsibility under the leadership in the bilateral relations between the continue to give the world a chance world dropped by $17.5 cent over 2000-19, using $100,000. The country has
relationship between India and the of Trump. The devastation that the two countries, as earlier the to criticize? There is such a mist or trillion between January current exchange rates, and 907,000 adults in the top 1
United States having a vision of most developed country saw in the relationship between these two big fog around us that we do not know and March. 12.1 per cent with constant per cent of global wealth
mutual interest, Trump is assuming Corona epidemic has also become a democracies was often described as if morning is going to happen or From March onward, exchange rates. holders, which is a 1.8 per
that he will get more votes of big question on the governance tense. Even though 25 years ago, night? stock markets have Household wealth in cent share. "By our
Americans of Indian origin in there, when Donald Trump has Bill Clinton and Narasimha Rao (Lalit Garg is a Journalist, rebounded and house prices India is dominated by estimates, 4,600 adults have
America, but still, should they have accepted that New York is turning began to bring flexibility in the columnist, writer and member of have soared, and the data property and other real wealth over $ 50 million,"
condemned India in terms of into a ghost town. People cannot unusual relationship between Rajbhasha samiti, Ministry of available for Q2 2020 assets, although financial Credit Suisse said.
pollution or environment? stop the country, because of this, the America and India, the mutual Home Affairs. He can be suggests that household assets have grown over (Sanjeev Sharma can
Of course, he has wrapped people of the country will start interest agreement, closeness and reached at wealth is roughly back to time, now forming 22 per be reached at
Russia and China with India in this committing suicide. On deaths in friendly relations between these two lalitgarg11@gmail.com) the level at the end of last cent of gross assets. Sanjeev.s@ians.in)
THE SIKH TIMES EDITORIAL New Delhi, Sunday, 25 October, 2020 6

Fasting for Navratri? Here


are some healthy and safe
Time has come for an Indo-Pacific Concord of regional
ways in which you can democracies with a maritime security charter
lose weight Navies are, indeed, fortunate in that, unlike
armies and air forces, they have many roles to
play, even in peacetime. This was driven
bridges with Beijing. At the same time, in order
to rein in China’s hegemonic urges, there is need
for affected nations to come together to show
home by Soviet Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, their solidarity and determination in a common
many years ago, when he said, cause. In this context, there is need to create a
“Demonstrative actions by the fleet, in many
cases, have made it possible to achieve
Using the Quad and Malabar templates, a broad-based “Indo-Pacific Concord”, of like-
minded regional democracies, not as an “Asian
political ends without resorting to armed
action, by merely putting pressure… Thus,
shore-based secretariat can be established in a NATO” but as an organisation with a maritime
security charter, which has no offensive or
the navy has always been an instrument of central location like Port Blair, in the provocative connotations.Using the Quad and
policy and an important aid to diplomacy in Malabar templates, a shore-based secretariat
peacetime.” This unique attribute of navies Andaman Islands, which would schedule and can be established in a central location like Port
enables their use in support of foreign policy Blair, in the Andaman Islands, which would
objectives, to deliver messages of conduct periodic multinational naval exercises. schedule and conduct periodic multinational
reassurance to friends and of deterrence or naval exercises. The exercises could be
coercion to adversaries. structured to hone the skills of participating
While it is important to enjoy the The fact that it has taken a border confrontation in navies in specialisations like humanitarian
festivities this season, it is also the Himalayas to bring focus on India’s maritime assistance and disaster relief, countering non-
important to not take health for granted. domain clearly indicates that the salience of traditional threats, undertaking search-and-
Many people fast during the Navratri maritime power is not yet understood in India. rescue operations and establishing networked
The stark reality is that given the huge economic, maritime domain awareness. The Concord
time, and if you are one of them and are military and technological asymmetry between could also designate forces to uphold
also on a diet, here are some ways you China and India, and the active China-Pakistan maritime security or “good order at
can safely combine the two, and have nexus, the best that India can hope for is a sea”.Returning to the current context of Quad,
fun celebrating the festival. stalemate on its northern and western fronts. there are muted expressions of satisfaction in
Attention has, therefore, been focused on the New Delhi on two counts — the prospect of
Online fitness trainer and sports maritime domain, where it is believed that India Australia belatedly joining the Quad and of
nutritionist Diksha Chhabra shares may have some cards to play. India signing the BECA (Basic Exchange and
valuable inputs on how you can lose This is the lens through which one must see the Cooperation Agreement) with the US. These
weight in a healthy manner this year. progressive evolution of Exercise “Malabar”, are expected to reinforce the Quad and
Read on.* Make paneer a part of your from a bilateral event involving just the Indian While Malabar is the code name given to a naval exercise, enhance its credibility, but there are reasons
daily diet. It is a rich source of protein and US navies, to a tri-lateral that embraced Japan in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue or Quad has its roots for India to be circumspect in both cases.
and is completely acceptable when you 2015, and now to a four-cornered naval drill that will also in the Core Group of four senior diplomats representing While Australia’s admission to the Quad is to be welcomed,
include Australia. Apart from its geo-political the US, India, Japan and Australia, formed to coordinate memories are still alive of its past political ambivalence
are fasting, too* Using kuttu flour significance for the Indo-Pacific, this development poses relief efforts after the Great Asian Tsunami of December towards India, its trenchant criticism of our naval
(buckwheat) while fasting can help. two conundrums. Firstly, given the same composition, 26, 2004. Hailing it as “a new style of diplomacy”, its US expansion and its vociferous condemnation of the 1998
Use it to make rotis, dosas, or even what is the distinction, now, between “Malabar” and the member, Marc Grossman, says “…it was an organisation nuclear tests. Nor should one overlook Beijing’s recent
pancakes, instead of consuming it in the “Quad”? Secondly, if Malabar 1992, was emblematic of that never met… never issued a communiqué, never influence on Australia’s foreign policy, which prompted
form of puris, pakodas or paranthas. India’s emergence from its chrysalis of non-alignment, created a secretariat, and took as one of its successes, its its flip-flops over the sale of uranium to India as well as its
does Malabar 2020 mark the release of Australia from own demise.” peremptory withdrawal from the Quad in 2008.The
* If you use sabudana as a replacement China’s thralldom?China’s extreme concern about The present Quad has obviously retained this tradition and signing of BECA, last of the four “foundational
for rice, you can continue doing so, but Malabar as well as the Quad arises from the suspicion that its members have neither created a charter nor invested it agreements”, after more than two decades of negotiations,
instead of frying it, sauté it with very they are precursors to “containment” — America’s Cold with any substance, leading China to describe it as a would eliminate a source of frustration in the Indo-US
less ghee or oil if you are making a War geopolitical strategy which eventually brought about “headline grabbing idea which will dissipate like sea- defence relationship and enhance interoperability
khichdi. You can also quinoa, which is a the collapse of the USSR. China’s intimidatory conduct foam”. The Quad is 16 years old now, and Malabar 28. between the respective militaries. However, there is need
has aroused trepidation amongst Quad members, and Both have served a useful purpose, and a reappraisal of the to pay heed to valid concerns, regarding the possible
good source of complex carbs and is marked caginess has been evident in their actions and compromise of information impinging on India’s security
very much acceptable when you are roles and relationship of the Quad-Malabar concepts is,
articulations. For India, which faces a massive Chinese therefore, overdue. Since it is India which faces a “clear and whether these agreements will barter away the last
fasting. Make a pulao of quinoa and military mobilisation on its borders, accompanied by and present danger”, it should boldly take the initiative to vestiges of India’s strategic autonomy.
enjoy it with your vegetable curries. blatant territorial claims, the time for ambivalence is over. do so.Given China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative To conclude, Indians, given our history, should never lose
* For breakfast, you can prepare a While preparing to fight its own battles with and its predicted trajectory as an economic and military sight of the truism in international relations, that it is the
determination, it is time for India to seek external superpower, it is clear that no nation would like to burn its unerring pursuit of national interests that guides the
sabudana or a makhana kheer with no balancing — best done via the maritime domain. actions and policies of every nation.
or low sugar. Best would be to make it
with stevia — it is sweet and
completely harmless when it comes to
dieting.Ensure that curd and/or
Taking on the Centre: On States rejecting farm laws
Punjab’s efforts to enact State Punjab argues that the central transactions that take place Concurrent List, which concerns
buttermilk is a part of your daily diet. amendments to override the Acts would cause “grave outside markets functioning trade and commerce in, and
The weather is still warm and fluid effects of the Centre’s new detriment and prejudice” to under APMCs.A key issue raised production, supply and
intake is important. You can also have �States agriculture laws epitomise the
difficulties in managing the
agricultural communities. The
Bills cite an agriculture census
b y P u n j a b ’s p r o p o s e d
amendments is whether they are
distribution of, “foodstuffs”. By
stretching the entry’s meaning to
coconut water and lemonade so as to
keep yourself hydrated. They act as
aggrieved conflict between liberalising the of 2015-16 to argue that 86.2% legally valid and where they include agriculture, Parliament
fillers when you are fasting and dieting by central farm sector and protecting the
small and marginal farmer from
of farmers own less than five
acres — a majority of them less
stand in the teeth of the Centre’s
legislation. States can indeed
has managed to pass laws in the
domain of the States. In these
at the same time.* While many of us farm laws the agonies of the transition. The than two acres — and that with amend central laws enacted circumstances, States aggrieved
believe having a bowl of fruits is the issue also flags the limited or no access to multiple under the Concurrent List, by the farm sector laws will either
best way to lose weight while fasting, it are consequences of not having a markets, they would be subject to the condition that have to go the Punjab way to adopt
is not so. Instead of having all the fruits, adopting wide and informed debate before
i n t r o d u c i n g f a r- r e a c h i n g
handicapped while negotiating
fair price contracts with private
provisions repugnant to the
parliamentary Acts will have to
Bills that would require
presidential assent, as Rajasthan
stick with one or two a day — both changes. Punjab has been the players. Making efforts to buy get the President’s assent, has decided to do, or challenge the
especially low-sugar fruits like orange, hub of the opposition to the farm produce at less than the without which they do not come validity of the central laws in the
sweet lime, apple, kiwi, as well as legislative Centre’s legislative exercise to MSP or harassing farmers in a into force. The Punjab Bills note Supreme Court, as Chhattisgarh is
watermelon, to name a few.* and legal change the basics of trade and bid to persuade them to enter into that agriculture is under the said to be considering. Whatever
Additionally, instead of fruits, focus commerce in agriculture. The such contracts have been sought legislative domain on the States, the outcome, clear from the
more on vegetables. Have them as measures Akali Dal, the main opposition
in the State, eventually withdrew
to be made punishable offences,
with a jail term of at least three
as the subject falls under the
State List in the Seventh
groundswell of opposition across
the country is that a cavalier and
curries or even as snacks. Eat nuts — its Cabinet minister and later years. The Bills also seek to Schedule. The Centre has centralised approach to issues that
almonds, walnuts, makhanas, etc. walked out of the NDA overturn the Centre’s move to enacted its farm sector Bills by affect millions of farmers ill-
government at the Centre. remove the fee on trade and invoking Entry 33(b) in the serves a diverse country.

Lockdowns don’t work. It remains a mystery


as to why the world entered one
It is now slightly more than 300 days since COVID-19 and controls around the world. These are not effectiveness” (emphasis added). Yet, for
exploded on an unsuspecting and unprepared world. statistics about even partial success; rather, COVID-19, NPIs were recommended in bundles
The second wave is upon us and we are again faced indicators of massive failure. by WHO and other experts.
with Lenin’s existential but practical question: “What The world has gone through many pandemics As is universally acknowledged, the WHO is the
is to be done?” The previous time around, in mid- since the Spanish Flu of 1918. In the six apex body for advice and guidance for health
March, epidemiological experts advised whoever was month October 1957-March 1958 period, problems. It houses leading epidemiological
willing to listen, and the world did listen with rapt excess deaths in the US numbered 62,000. In experts and before COVID, they were advocating
attention, that schools, businesses, etc. should close the three-month February-April period in policies reminiscent of earlier confrontations with
shop and the virus will be contained. 1963, excess deaths numbered 57,000. In viruses.Given this history, it remains a mystery as
January 22 was the first unnatural experiment — these two instances, excess deaths were 36 to why the world entered into a lockdown. In my
Wuhan, China entered into a lockdown. On March 10, and 30 per cent higher than “normal”. In the paper, I report the result of various studies on the
Italy went into a lockdown, and, over the next month, US, at the peak of the crisis March-May, effectiveness of lockdowns; except for a few, most
the world followed.On the advice of experts, the world excess deaths were 1,22,300 and COVID-19 of these studies report that the lockdowns were
confronted the virus in an unprecedented manner — deaths around 9,50,00. Expected deaths transmission.” (Public Health and Medical highly successful in saving hundreds of thousands
closures of schools and workplaces and lockdowns —around 6,60,000, so excess deaths about 18 per cent. Responses.., p. 7, emphasis added)More evidence of lives. Since the average death rate from COVID is
became commonplace. The effectiveness, or lack Eighteen per cent too many deaths, but what did the against the unexpected and unprecedented world and 2.5 per cent, these results imply that somewhere
thereof, of lockdowns in containing the spread of the US do to confront the nearly double excess death crisis WHO response to the crisis in 2020 is provided in this between 10 to 20 million less infections resulted from
virus is examined in a detailed paper entitled, in both 1957-58 and 1963?It did absolutely nothing. It 91-page 2019 WHO report entitled “Non- this unnatural experiment.Examination of the
“Lockdowns vs. COVID19: Covid Wins”, a is worth quoting a paper by David Henderson and his pharmaceutical public health measures for mitigating contradiction between the observed reality of 40
preliminary version of which is available on my colleagues, published in 2009 — Public Health and the risk and impact of epidemic and pandemic million cases, and the experimental reality of
website ssbhalla.org. Herewith, some highlights about Medical Responses to the 1957-58 Influenza influenza”. The word “lockdown” (one form of a non- lockdown research, is the purpose of my above-
the lockdown crisis that deserve mention.WHO Epidemic. The late Dr Henderson had a major pharmaceutical intervention or NPI) does not appear mentioned paper. We replicate the variety of tests
director Tedros Adhanom said as early as March 11 responsibility for setting up the CDC influenza in this report. Nor does the WHO report even available in the literature and add the following
that history does not have a precedent for controlling a surveillance programme in the US: His stature as an recommend masks (a favourite 2020 NPI) in case of an important test of lockdowns — a before-and-after
pandemic. Yet, lockdowns were recommended. By authority was similar to Anthony Fauci today. The epidemic, though it does advocate their use for comparison for over 150 countries, and for one, two,
end March, 170 countries had closed their borders, 140 paper explicitly rejects even partial lockdowns and symptomatic individuals.On the effect of NPIs, the and three months from the date of lockdowns. No
countries had several WHO containment measures, as states:“The 1957-58 pandemic was such a rapidly report stated: “The evidence base on the effectiveness matter what the test, the dominant result is that not
compiled by OxGRT (border closures, restrictions on spreading disease that it became quickly apparent to of NPIs in community settings is limited, and the only lockdowns were not effective, but that, in a large
gatherings, etc) in place, and there were 8,81,000 US health officials that efforts to stop or slow its overall quality of evidence was very low for most majority of cases, lockdowns were counter-productive
COVID-19 cases and 43,000 deaths. With lockdowns, spread were futile. Thus, no efforts were made to interventions. There have been a number of high- i.e. led to more infections, and deaths, than would have
cases were expected to reach their terminal level, quarantine individuals or groups, and a deliberate quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs) been the case with no lockdowns. My analysis stops in
perhaps, 10 times higher at 8.8 million? Today, cases decision was made not to cancel or postpone large demonstrating that personal protective measures such end-July and, therefore, ignores the post-July second
are 40 times, and deaths 24 times higher. This has meetings such as conferences, church gatherings, or as hand hygiene and face masks have, at best, a small wave of infections. If these data are included, the fate
occurred during the most intense period of lockdowns athletic events for the purpose of reducing effect on influenza transmission, although higher of lockdowns would be a lot worse.
compliance in a severe pandemic might improve
2
From
AHMEDABAD SUNDAY 25/10/2020
Editorial Charitable body to
Editor’s give free artificial
limbs to
Desk differently-abled
Jaipur,
Narayan Seva
Sansthan, which runs
charitable hospitals in
the country for the dif-
ferently-abled, particu-

Heat from larly polio-affected and


those affected by birth,
has launched a cam-

Washington paign to offer free arti-


ficial limbs to the
needy in different
states. The campaign, in
Despite contrasting views of fossil- its second phase, will
fuel use in US, both Trump and Biden begin with the mea-
surement and distribu-
are a challenge to Delhi’s climate People listening Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and RJD leader Tejaswai Yadav at an election rally at Inter College Ground, Hisua, in Nawada tion camps in Gujarat,
Uttar Pradesh,
change standpoint. District (Bihar).
Maharashtra, Andhra
Pradesh, New Delhi,

IT Dept issues guidelines for filing tax returns


The more restrained debate on Thursday night (Fri-
day morning India time), in contrast to the rude and and Rajasthan.
contentious first one, between President Donald Trump On Sunday, these
and his challenger, Jo Biden, may not move the needle camps will be held in
too much in the US presidential election campaign — New Delhi, unlisted equity shares at any brought forward loss or loss amount exceeding Rs one includes Income under the Jaipur and Delhi where
millions have already voted and most seem to have The Income Tax Depart- time during the previous to be carried forward under crore in one or more current head“Profits or Gains of Busi- a team of specialists
made up their minds. Although the race has tightened ment has issued a lengthy year; (c) has any asset (in- the head ‘Income from accounts; b) Incurred expen- ness or Profession”. will evaluate those af-
in the last few days, Biden still holds a relatively com- instruction manual running cluding financial interest in house property’; (b) loss un- diture of an amount or ag- Capital gains arising fected by polio or
fortable lead. But the debate is of interest to the rest of into hundreds of pages for any entity) located outside der the head ‘Income from gregate of amount exceed- from sale/transfer of differ- those who lost lower
the world, for its focus, though limited, was on foreign filling up the tax returns for India; (d) has signing author- other sources’; (c) any claim ing Rs 2 lakh for travel to a ent types of capital assets limbs due to diabetes,
policy. The arguments generated some heat but did assessment year 2020-21. ity in any account located of relief under section 90 foreign country for yourself have been segregated. In accidents etc. Sansthan
not shed much light on where the next administration’s The Income Tax Depart- outside India; or (e) has in- and/or section 91; (d) any or any other person; c) In- case of Long Term/Short President Prashant
policies might be headed. But there was one excep- ment has issued a detailed come from any source out- claim of deduction under curred expenditure of Term Capital Gain arising on Agarwal said: “We are
tion — climate change, on which the two leaders of- step by step reckoner for fil- side India. section 57, other than de- amount or aggregate of sale of Immovable property, scheduling the ‘mea-
fered radically different approaches to addressing the ing tax returns to be submit- This return form also duction under clause (iia) amount exceeding Rs 1 lakh i.e, A1 and B1 where capital surement and distribu-
challenges of global warming. Trump’s comments on ted under different heads. cannot be used by gains are required to be tion camps’ in seven
India’s “filthy air” came with reference to the 2015 These instructions are an individual who computed separately for states to help and em-
Paris Accord that sought to limit global temperature guidelines to help the tax- has any income of each property, and Schedule power the underprivi-
rise to below two degrees centigrade. Trump, who payers for filling the particu- the following na- CG - Capital Gains Capital leged and destitute.
walked out of the accord, has said is unfair to the US lars in Income-tax Return ture during the gains arising from sale/trans- During these trying
and that he is not willing to pay the costs of mitigation Form-1 for the Assessment previous year:- (a) fer of different types of capi- times, we are helping
while countries such as India, China and Russia con- Year 2020-21 relating to the Profits and gains tal assets have been segre- them resume their
tinue to pollute. Biden and the Democrats, in contrast, Financial Year 2019-2020. from business and gated. lives’ routine by provid-
promise to re-join the pact — they believe climate This Return Form is to be professions; (b) In case of long term capi- ing them hearing aids,
change is the single most important threat to human- used by an individual who is Capital gains; (c) tal gains (LTCG) arising on limbs, crutches, tri-
ity and needs to be addressed urgently. In the last four a resident other than not or- Income from sale of equity shares in a cycles, and wheelchairs
years, Trump has gutted most of the regulations on dinarily resident, whose to- more than one company or unit of equity and to bring the differ-
fossil fuel use, instituted over the last two decades, in tal income for the Assess- house property. oriented fund or unit of busi- ently-abled individuals
the name of economic growth and job creation. The ment Year 2020-21 does not In addition, this ness trust on which STT is into the mainstream.”
Democrats say the phasing out of fossil fuels will help exceed Rs 50 lakh and who form should not be paid, computation of capital As a part of the
America transition to a green economy, which will cre- has income under the fol- used if Income un- gains should be made as per safety measures during
ate jobs as well as save the planet. This debate has lowing heads: (a) Income der the head other item No. B4 or item No. B7. COVID-19, the NSS shall
significant implications for India. If he returns to power, from Salary/ Pension; or (b) sources which is of Separate computation follow the norms of so-
Trump will continue to demand that India take a greater Income from One House following nature: (i) win- thereof (relating to family on consumption of electric- of capital gains should be cial distancing and wear-
share of the burden of mitigating climate change. The Property; or (c) Interest in- nings from lottery; (ii) activ- pension); or (e) any claim of ity. made for each scrip or units ing of masks, which will
Democrats are likely to arrive at the same conclusion come and/ or family pension ity of owning and maintain- credit of tax deducted at As per the instructions of mutual fund sold during be followed by senior
through a different route — by imposing environmen- taxable under other sources. ing race horses; (iii) income source in the hands of any for filling out Form ITR-2, this the year as per Schedule prosthetics and ortho-
tal standards on trade issues as well as developmental Further, in a case where taxable at special rates un- other person. Return Form is to be used 112A and 115AD(1)(b)(iii) paedic specialists assist-
lending. The Narendra Modi government has taken a the income of another per- der section 115BBDA or This will be an annexure- by an individual or a Hindu proviso. ing in the camps across
positive approach to mitigating climate change and son like spouse, minor child, section 115BBE; Income to less Return Form No docu- Undivided Family (HUF) The net capital gains aris- seven states. Recently,
expanding India’s investment in renewable energy. etc. is to be clubbed with the be apportioned in accor- ment (including TDS certifi- who is not eligible to file ing on sale of individual the Sansthan distrib-
However, Delhi’s reluctance to abandon coal will come income of the assessee, this dance with provisions of sec- cate) should be attached to Form ITR-1 (Sahaj) and who scrips should be aggregated uted 100 free artificial
under pressure from the Democrats. Meanwhile, an- Return Form can be used tion 5A; or (f) Agricultural in- this Return Form. All such is not having any income and will be auto populated. limbs among the un-
ticipating pressure from a Biden presidency on climate only if the income being come in excess of ?5,000. documents enclosed with under the head “Profits or Thereafter, tax shall be derprivileged people.
change, China is offering serious negotiations. In India, clubbed falls into the above Further, this return form this Return Form will be de- gains of business or profes- charged at a flat rate of 10 The NSS has also of-
the government is yet to take international ramifica- income categories. also cannot be used by an tached and returned to the sion”. per cent in Schedule SI on fered assistance in dur-
tions of the air pollution challenge seriously. Delhi may This Return Form should individual who has any person filing the return. This Return Form should the aggregate LTCG, as re- ing pandemic through
have to take a fresh look at its energy-mix, and pre- not be used by an individual claims of loss/deductions/ The tax filers have to not be used by an individual duced by Rs 1 lakh, for the free food distribution in
pare for a new round of international political battles who — (a) is a Director in a relief/tax credit, etc. of the mandatorily report deposit whose total income for the purpose of tax computation. different rural and ur-
on limiting global warming. company; (b) has held any following nature: (a) any of amount or aggregates of Assessment Year 2020-21 - IANS ban areas.

Pakistan political crisis could impact CPEC, economic growth Indian startups, SME’s most vulnerable to cyberattacks: Report
Mahua Venkatesh projects, and thereby dent Action Task Force (FATF) has has been in a critical state dia when it comes to the cybersecurity risks. They Talking about the find-
its economic revival pro- also ruled against taking and this will further dent By IANSlife interrupt the functioning of ings and report, Vineet
New Delhi, cyberattacks.
The current civil war- cess. Pakistan off the ‘grey list’ the situation, including the New Delhi, an organization and com- Kumar, Founder and Presi-
While digital transfor- The eBook is being
like situation in Pakistan may Opposition parties in the and gave Islamabad time execution of CPEC. The launched in joint collabo- promise the confidentiality, dent, CyberPeace Founda-
deal a blow to the execu- country led a joint rally pro- till February 2021 to com- CPEC has been slowing mation has been a great ration with the United Na- integrity, and availability tions, said: “On one hand
tion of the ongoing China testing against Prime Min- ply with its 27-point action down for various reasons boon for SME’s and startups tions Global Compact Net- (CIA) of valuable informa- India is the third largest
Pakistan Economic Corridor ister Imran Khan’s “puppet” plan. and the existing crisis will in 2020 as more businesses work (UNGCNI), Autobot tion assets. However, the startup nation in the world
(CPEC), a collection of government and the Army. The move will further have its own implications come online, it has also Infosec and The Institution cybersecurity risks them- while on the other hand
mega infrastructure Besides, the Financial impact its already battered on the projects,” Raghavan opened up opportunities of Electronics and Telecom- selves stretch across a majority of Indian startups
economy, even as the said. for cybercriminals to target munication Engineers broad spectrum. and SMEs routinely disre-
spread of the coronavirus According to the US In- weak or non-existent (IETE). It reveals key findings As per the findings, the gard cybersecurity.The chal-
pandemic was contained. stitute of Peace, “political cybersecurity infrastructure of cybersecurity vulner- most common forms of lenge is exacerbated by
Khan has repeatedly upheaval, a violent insur- which smaller businesses abilities in the Indian cybersecurity challenges SMEs who may not have the
highlighted the need to gency fed by the war in Af- tend to generally have in startup & SME ecosystem faced by startups are: knowledge or understand-
complete the $60-billion ghanistan, and the inability India. and also recommends best Negligence by employ- ing of cybersecurity. I think
CPEC saying that it would of successive governments As per findings in the practices to avoid the ees: The most common startups and SMEs are par-
push socio-economic de- to carry out reforms are to recent handbook titled same. forms of employee negli- ticularly lax in terms of en-
velopment. blame for this decline”. “Cybersecurity for SMEs & When it comes to the gence which lead to suring #cybersecurity, they
Pakistan’s GDP growth “Today, a polarized po- Startups” by CyberPeace most common challenges cyberattacks including data only take it seriously after
crashed to below 1 per cent litical environment and Foundation (CPF), startups faced by organizations, one breaches are accidental the breach has happened,
in 2019. This year, the elite intrigue among civil- and SMEs remain the most of the most critical ones is loss of the device contain- which is very irresponsible.
country’s growth could ian, judicial, and military in- vulnerable segment in In- ing confidential data, leav- With the launch of the
even witness a contraction. stitutions has made sustain- ing the workstation unpro- eBook, we hope to address
Former Indian envoy to
Pakistan, T.C.A. Raghavan
told IndiaNarrative.com
able economic growth and
reforms that much more
unlikely.”
How hand hygiene is tected or unattended, shar-
ing confidential informa-
tion such as passwords via
the problem and create
more awareness for bud-
ding startups and SMEs who
that the current political tur-
moil is likely to continue“for
It further said that the
global outbreak of the going beyond basics paper notes and remote
working using an unse-
are building businesses
online.”
Launching the eBook
some time”. coronavirus pandemic has By Anshul Agrawal edge and innovation to cured or public network
“It is true that the coun- further made it challenging. New Delhi, develop a strong commit- connection. on CyberSecurity for SMEs
try is currently heading to- Pakistan’s headline infla- Medical authorities ment with buyers. Brands Employee Mobility: and Start-ups, Lt. General
wards a political crisis and it tion in September stood as have made themselves have a chance to convey With COVID19 prompting (Dr.) Rajesh Pant, PVSM,
seems that it will continue 9 per cent. clear: washing our hands constant affirmation and a startups & SMEs to institute AVSM, VSM, National Cyber
for some time,” he said, “The current political thoroughly and frequently sentiment of association. work from home policies, Security Coordinator
adding that political turmoil turmoil will definitely dent with soap, or using a hand Since the use of hand- the potential for (NCSC), Prime Minister’s
would invariably impact the country’s the economy. sanitiser in absence of wash has increased cyberattacks has increased Office mentioned:“To know
economic growth though For any economy to grow, soap and water, is one of multifold, the customer is manifold. Most employees how to defend yourselves
not immediately. political stability is critical the most effective ways looking at a cost-effective tend to use personal unse- or your organization, it is
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar addressing the important to understand
gathering during an election rally in Sasaram. “Pakistan’s economy and there seems. to stop the spread of product and bigger pack cured devices to do work
coronavirus (COVID-19). size. Also, since touching which results in data how the attacks happen
With brands seeing a soap has become a ta- breach. IoT devices used by and what methodology do
consumers’ behaviour and boo, hand wash bottles employees are often unse- cyber predators use to harm
Prognostic tests can help avoid over treatment & chemo their buying habits
change, and the buyer
with push pumps has be-
come a basic minimum re-
cured which results in the
maximum number of data
organizations. October is
considered as
therapy; but over 60% of patients diagnosed late perspective and practices
evolving, innovating in
quirement. Zed Black, a
homegrown manufac-
breaches.
Most common types of
‘CyberSecurity Month’ and
seeing that everyone across
the nation is taking initiative
Ahmedabad, treatment. However, de- reduced breastfeeding are nostic test may help some this space has been a turer of incense sticks, is cyberattacks faced by
layed diagnosis remains a also contributory factors women diagnose early- trend. Customers know also innovating while pro- startups & SME’s are and coming up with this
Advanced treatments moting the ‘Vocal for Lo- Ransomware, Cyptojacking, eBook is very relevant and I
and new age prognostic major challenge that pre- along with use of hormone stage disease and enable what they want to buy, es-
vents a majority of patients replacement therapy,” their doctors decide pecially at the point of sale cal’ movement. Phishing, Password target- compliment everyone for
tests are helping breast can- ing attacks & APT attacks. this.”
cer patients live longer with from accessing timely treat- added Dr Chirag Desai. whether the cancer is likely and a brand plays a very
better quality of life. How- ment and these advanced Early detection of breast to return and whether che- important role here. We
ever, over 60% of breast can- prognostic tools. Over 60% cancer has many benefits. motherapy will benefit the have seen a dramatic para-
cer cases are still diagnosed of patients are still diag- Patients diagnosed with patient. Based on these test digm shift of consumers
in late stages resulting in a nosed in stages 3 and 4 stage 1 or 2 breast cancer results, low- towards health and hy-
large number of prevent- when the disease has can undergo breast con- risk patients have the giene. Life before COVID-
able deaths and unneces- reached advanced stage,” serving surgery (BCS) and opportunity to avoid che- 19 spun around going to
sary aggressive treatment in said Dr. Chirag Desai, Medi- save the psychological dis- motherapy, based on very work, markets, shopping
many patients. cal Oncologist, Vedanta In- tress of undergoing mas- small chances of the can- centres, restaurants, cafes,
As we observe Breast stitute of Medical Sciences tectomy. With greater evo- cer returning. Indigenously movies and schools. All ac-
Cancer Awareness Month, and CIMS, Ahmedabad. lution in breast cancer developed CanAssist Breast tivities are now happening
Oncologists are underlining Dr Desai also points to treatment, Oncologists is one such prognostic test in the confines of our
the need to increase early the trend of increasing dis- have also grown more se- that gives low or high risk homes. To cope with such
stage diagnosis and make ease prevalence in women lective in giving chemo- stratification with a high de- times the brands need to
prognostic tests such as under 50 years of age, un- therapy to patients. Con- gree of accuracy. Avoiding constantly innovate not
CanAssist Breast available like 20 years back when al- duction hormone receptor chemotherapy and aggres- only with product but also
to a larger number of pa- most all patients were in testing along with prognos- sive treatment not only im- with the ways of market-
tients. their 50s. tic tests to identify risk of proves quality of life but also ing.
“Advanced diagnostic “In recent years we disease relapse, doctors to- saves cost of treatment. With more than ever
and treatment tools have have witnessed breast can- day successfully identify These tests need to be changing buying habits
given us the ability to save cer affecting an increasing patients who can be made available to a larger and media consumption,
and prolong the lives of a number of women under treated effectively without number of patients,” said Dr it is important for market-
large number of breast can- 50 years of age. The disease chemotherapy. Chirag Desai. ers to comprehend the
cer patients today. Prognos- surge is particularly worry- “Early stage breast can- Educating women developing and emerging
tic tests such as CanAssist ing in urban areas where cer patients are recom- about early detection and patterns and envision cus-
Breast can help early stage unhealthy diet, sedentary mended the use of prog- establishing the practice of tomer needs. Advertisers
patients identify their risk of lifestyles, smoking and nostic tests to direct the use annual screenings is the and brands will have to Justice for Walayar Kids Forum members staging a dharna in front of Kerala
disease relapse and avoid drinking are common. of chemotherapy. A recur- need of the hour. rely on real-time knowl- Secretariat demanding justice for the Walayar sisters who were allegedly raped
chemotherapy and over- Higher age of childbirth and rence prediction or prog- and murdered, in Thiruvananthapuram.
EDIT
THE ASIAN AGE | SUNDAY | 25 OCTOBER 2020 | NEW DELHI
pg 5

Subhani LETTERS
CRISIS FOR IMRAN
Pakistan’s politics is on
25 OCTOBER 2020 the boil. Eleven
Opposition parties have
come together to call
for an ouster of the
Kushalrani Gulab Imran Khan goverment.
Amid massive wheat
Off the beaten track and sugar shortages,
rising prices and failing
law and order, public
unhappiness over the

A woke Navratri, and performance of the


government is high.
And now, Nawaz Sharif,

a happy Dussehra! who is in exile in


London, has done the
unthinkable. In a

A
s a responsible citizen aiming to be a non-participant in the pan- speech delivered
demic (I suffer absolutely no FOMO or fear of missing out, partic- remotely to tens and
ularly when it comes to Covid-19, thank you very much), you will
not be surprised to learn that I have set not so much as the tip of a
thousands of people in
toe anywhere near a puja pandal this Navratri / Durga Puja. a rally, he accused the
To be fair to the SARS-CoV-2 virus — which has had bad press since the Army chief and the ISI
moment it was born and needs to be shown by us woke people that cir- chief of “rigging elec-
cumstances of birth alone is no reason to be cast out of society — I also
have not been near any puja pandal in the last 30 years if not longer, tions”. Will this result in
further souring of rela-

Will the BJP use Nitish


because I am the Indian version of Scrooge. From the moment we hit
August every year, which, depending on what the lunar calendars are up tions between the Army
to at the time, marks the beginning of the festive season, you hear me bah,
humbugging all over the place, with emphasis on the ‘bah’. and Imran Khan? It is
I do not enjoy crowds. I especially do not enjoy crowds in a hot and sweaty wait-and-watch time.
climate punctuated by distinctly uncooling monsoon showers that set my Shovanlal Chakraborty

to get own CM in Patna?


sinuses aflame and cause me to sneeze like a machine gun on speed. I do Kolkata
not enjoy amplified aartis by priests so besura that even Cacofonix the
bard would be dashing about with gags and ropes to tie them to trees while
Asterix and Obelix stuff their ears with broccoli and tuck into roast boar.
I do not enjoy the ‘talent shows’ organised by cooperative housing societies
in which uncles attempt stand-up comedy so bad that the YouTube shows
ARBITER OF THE HOUSE
look good in comparison, aunties explore their inner item girl and give the village than on the are notoriously hard to AS THE WAR ON Covid-19 rages
themselves displaced vertebrae for life and children run even more amuck uncaring roads of the big call. The media, except in on, governments have another foe
than they normally do, only this time on a cities. Mr Kumar’s self- the past few days, and the at their gates; onion selling at Rs
stage with amplifiers.
Finally, I absolutely do not enjoy my
Anand K. Sahay serving statements are
being recalled at election
opinion polls, missed this,
though it was out there,
100/kg. The vegetable seldom
sticks to price discipline and as
eardrums being shattered day after day time. large as a football. often plays havoc, political as well
by the techno-Bollywood remixes that our
gods and goddesses are apparently fond
Far & Near With the aim of building
a strong caste support
So gobsmacked is the
ruling alliance that the
as economic. Onion prices were
regarded as the decisive factor in
of, according to puja and dandiya organ- base of the poorest sec- BJP is now promising the the 1998 state elections in Delhi
isers, with Sheila ki jawani at No. 1 on the tions in his favour, Mr Covid vaccine free (only) and Rajasthan, and in bringing
pandal charts, Lungi dance at No. 2 and Kumar’s self-serving for Bihar, such is the des- down the central government in

T
Chammak challo at No. 3, all at ear-split- here are two these point to the Nitish administrative decisions peration. In the event of 1980. The Bihar elections could
ting volume. somewhat relat- government’s casual dis- divided and sub-divided an anti-climax, it is the thus be jeopardised for the govern-
So I was delighted when I read the rules ed perspectives regard of the suffering of big chunks of the OBCs EVM factor that is likely ment in power. This staple ingredi-
for Navratri in Mumbai this year. Keep it to keep in mind some of the poorest peo- and the SCs into super- to be blamed, and people ent of every meal which is season-
low key, urged the state government. Do with regard to ple that there are in the fine strips till they could are watching keenly. The al in output cannot delight the
not do anything that involves mass gath- the coming Bihar country. This can be seen not be sliced up any fur- political timbre and mak- farmer and the consumer at the
erings; there will be no garba and no Assembly elections, in leaders of the ruling ther and gave them some eup of Bihar is different same time. It will remain the mer-
dandiya; discuss viruses and dengue- where the first votes are alliance speaking without benefits in the early part from next-door Uttar ciless arbiter of the house, domes-
bearing mosquitoes whenever it appears to be cast on Wednesday, pause about roads of his tenure to secure Pradesh, although both tic or legislative.
that a crowd is gathering — that will send October 28. These have repaired or built more their undying loyalty. are Hindi-speaking. Bihar R. Narayanan
everyone home. been largely overlooked than 10 years ago, and However, if the wildly can be volatile across the Navi Mumbai
Meanwhile, in Kolkata, the high court in the media and in the their breathlessly recall- cheering, pressing, board. This is where
demanded barricades outside the pandals Finally, I absolutely do facile opinion polls, ing the serious uptick in crowds at the poll rallies Jayaprakash Narayan’s
and a maximum of only 45 people inside at
any point depending on the size of the
not enjoy my eardrums
being shattered day after
which appear to have
partly relied on the 2015
crime that was relevant
two decades ago, before
of young RJD leader
Tejashwi Yadav, the CM
all-encompassing move-
ment was bred, and also
QUESTION OF LOVE
pandal, thus ensuring that 90 per cent of day by the techno- polling data on caste the new generation of vot- candidate of the Communists of every THIS REFERS TO the editorial,
the population of the city would push and arithmetic as if this was ers was born. Mahagathbandhan — the hue. “Pope and family values” (Oct. 24).
shove their way to the barricade, thus
Bollywood remixes that the sacred gayatri mantra Parroting pre-history is alliance of the RJD, The second factor to Pope Francis has become the first
maintaining what we might now name our gods and goddesses itself, besides strongly part of an untidy and Congress, and all shades watch out for, mentioned pontiff to endorse same-sex civil
‘antisocial distance’ just to add another are apparently fond of, hinting that the pre- scarcely convincing of the Left in Bihar, above -- relating to JD(U) unions. For India, with a sizable
virus-related phrase to the Oxford English according to puja and sumed magic of Prime strategm of the JD(U) and which are ranged against leader and CM Nitish Christian population, the Pope’s
Dictionary. dandiya organisers, with Minister Narendra Modi BJP to hide policy fail- the ruling NDA — are any Kumar’s unravelling -- is words will send out a much-needed
“Aha,” said my Scrooge, rubbing its Sheila ki jawani at No. 1 could safely take the rul- ures and executive inac- indication, then attempts the ambition nursed in message and blunt the edge of prej-
hands with glee as it read these rules in ing alliance home. tion, and meant to help to chisel the caste arith- the BJP’s bosom to have udice for many. For that alone, it is
the newspapers. “Maybe I’ll get through on the pandal charts As we’ll see below, at them smoothly glide over metic may prove to be of its own chief minister in immensely welcome. Let us open
this year with my eardrums and sanity least some crystal-gazers the wretchedness they little avail for the chief Bihar for the first time, our arms of friendship towards our
intact.” may be rather hoping that have presided over for minister. even if as part of an LGBTQIA brethren. It must be
And so far, dear reader, this whole puja season I have not had to use my it will be just one part of most of their 15 years in And the reason for this alliance. Other than remembered that their choice of
ear plugs at all. Instead, there is a blessed silence every day — or at least the NDA — namely the office — in other words, to is plain enough. Mr Punjab and J&K (now, sexual partners is at its core just a
what passes for silence in urban India with its daily aural mix of shatter- BJP — that will reach the trick voters. Yadav speaks only of the alas, only a UT), Bihar is matter of love.
ing power drills, blaring car horns, screaming food processors, piercing dry shores, no matter Does the trick work? crushing burden of unem- the only state in North Sankar Paul
pressure cooker whistles and the occasional cawing crow. what the overt optics. Among some sections, yes ployment, which has India where there has Chakdaha, West Bengal
And I have to admit it: I am bored witless. The first consideration — defined in the main by made even the upper never been a CM from the
Where are the social media posts about divine bhog that I look forward to stares us in the face, class. The bulk of these castes reel, as he promis- BJP. That is Bihar’s
every year with my tongue hanging out? Bhog is not permitted, say the
state governments. It might contain a certain virus.
though we have been
oblivious. It is quite sim-
are the state’s upper caste
and upper crust, not that
es a million jobs on
arrival (as CM -- replacing
uniqueness among the
Hindi-speaking states.
DASAIN CARNIVALS
How will I know if Sheila ki jawani is still No. 1 on the pandal charts 10 ply the fact that the fail- anyone’s vote can still be Mr Kumar). It is this If this is understood, DUSSEHRA IS actually the festival
years after it first released or if Chammak challo has finally climbed to the ure of the three-time chief thought of as being which makes the senti- then the side-court play — of the Kshatriyas. But all Hindus
top, pulling the lungi down and revealing its underwear and banian, all minister Nitish Kumar’s immutable. ment for “badlao” the Chirag Paswan phe- observe this festival with great joy.
modesty damned? government in coping But ordinary folk have (change) in Bihar palpa- nomenon and the rushing Traditionally, in Indian culture,
How can I perfect my sneer at the residents of my cooperative housing with the dreaded Covid-19 not forgotten the humilia- ble, although elections of key RSS people to get Dussehra was always celebrated
society when it’s time for them to display their untalents on Navratri pandemic, besides the tion and the hurt caused the election nomination with carnivals and folk dances,
nights? (Note for grammar Nazis: if you can unfriend people on social mass return home of the by the CM urging them of Mr Paswan’s LJP, oth- where the whole community
media, you can certainly display an untalent.) I usually get a refresher poor from the country’s not to come trudging Ordinary folk have erwise no great shakes as mixed together, met and mingled.
course during the festive season, but not this year. major cities regarded by back to the state though, not forgotten the a political force — does But because of external influences
I feel so bereft without everything I hate about Navratri and the pujas, Bihar’s massive pool of with the national lock- not remain obscure. It is and invasions over the past 200
that I might actually do the unthinkable today: 30 years or more after I told the labour force as the down suddenly
humiliation and not clear how it will pan years, we have lost that charming
my parents that if I was old enough to vote, I was old enough to stop par- nation’s employment cap- announced by the Prime the hurt caused by out, but one thing is clear tradition.
ticipating in the annual family pandal hop, I might just step out of the itals in the absence of any Minister in March, it was the CM urging — Mr Kumar may get to Jubel D’Cruz
house and visit a puja pandal. Since it’s the last day of the puja, I doubt if worthwhile prospects at clear that they had no them not to come rue that he let the BJP Mumbai
there will be a crowd. home, and the recent money to pay rents in trudging back to ride the waves stepping
And with a little bit of luck, I will not be hit by an unseasonable monsoon floods that played havoc metropolitan cities and the state after the on his shoulders even as
shower, find my sinuses inflamed, sneeze like machine gun on speed, and with people’s already no money to eat. They he fooled himself that he
be arrested for spreading a certain virus. wretched lives, are stark also calculated that, if the national lockdown stood for secular politics
truths that frame the real disease took them, it was was suddenly and secular values while Every Monday the best letter of
Kushalrani Gulab is a freelance editor and writer who dreams of being a narrative for this election. better to die in their announced by the canoodling with the BJP- the week wins `500. Email:
sanyasi by the sea Without ambiguity unpretentious homes in Prime Minister RSS. asianage.letters@gmail.com.
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7+( 5(7851
2)'(/+,
blanket of haze has been shrouding smog during 2019, the contribution of stubble
602* appointed former judge, Justice Lokur as one man

A the National Capital for some days


now: the smog season is back. The
AQI has crossed 300, pushing air
quality to ‘very poor’ level, which was
last witnessed in February. NASA images show
clusters of fire in Punjab and Haryana, as the
post-harvest paddy stubble burning has started in
burning was variable, only peaking at 44% once.
However, it will be pertinent to quote
Supreme Court mandated agency, Environment
Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority
(EPCA) on the issue, “even if it is not the only
cause of pollution in the region, there is no doubt
that the transportation of pollutants from burning
committee to monitor stubble burning in Delhi,
and its neighbourhood, and report to SC directly
in 15 days.

13D9?>2I5@3135>DB1<7?F5B>=5>D1>4
>59782?EB9>7CD1D5C
EPCA is monitoring the implementation of
CD5@CD1;5>2I
45<897?F5B>=5>D
O

O
Campaign called ‘Yuddh Pradhushan ke
Viruddh’
Green War Room for monitoring,
the farms. fields is the tipping point that makes winter’s the SC approved Action Plan, by the Centre and enforcement compliance, complaint
Last year towards October end, the Delhi already unhealthy air quality into a public health the States. It also suggests other measures to the redressal
Government had to declare a ‘public health emer- emergency.” States like setting up control room, obtaining O Green Mobile app for launching com-
gency’ for nine days, as Delhi experienced its undertakings from big construction projects and plaints
longest period of hazardous air pollution. This 31C5?6CDE22<52EB>9>7 red and orange category industries on pollution.
O Spraying PUSA decomposer for free in
year, as the world battles a pandemic, the smog The whole issue of stubble burning is based in Central Government is experimenting with PUSA
situation can wreak a havoc on the public health. structural fault in the Indian agriculture system, decomposer in farms in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana fields for composting of stubble
The health experts warn that smog can increase which promotes wheat and rice crops through and UP. It is also funding Smog Towers, in-situ O Smog towers to come up in Connaught
the time the virus can stay in the environment, assured MSP — even though India is the second stubble management machines, farmer awareness Place and Anand Vihar in few months
increasing the infection rate. The increased num- largest producer of rice and wheat in the world, campaigns and has set off 50 teams of Central O Strict anti-dust policy for construction
ber of Covid cases in Delhi and Mumbai are and a foodgrain surplus state. This is creating Pollution Control Board for monitoring the situa- and demolition sites
already being linked to the higher pollution level many ecological problems for Delhi’s neighbours tion in Delhi and its neighbourhood.
O Smog guns for hotspots
of these cities. Pollution also affects immunity and — the erstwhile Green Revolution states, Punjab, The steps taken by Punjab, Haryana and UP
lungs, thus placing the Delhi residents at higher Haryana and Western UP — like alarming rate of as reported to EPCA, mentioned in its last O Transplantation policy for projects
Corona susceptibility and fatality risk. ground water depletion due to excessive water month’s report are: making in-situ stubble man- O Campaign ‘Red light on, Gaddi off ’
intensive crop of paddy and stubble burning. The agement machines available to farmers at highly O E-vehicle policy — by 2024, 25% new
G81DµC2589>4D8545<89C=?7/ use of combined harvesters for paddy which is subsidised rates through purchase by farmer vehicles be electric
The trough like topography of North India common in these states, leaves behind a nine-inch directly, or on rental through village panchayats
and meteorological conditions set by winter sea- stubble in the farm. Moved by the Government and Farmer Producer Organisations by setting up
son makes the pollution linger over it, creating the assured economic returns, farmers in these states Custom Hire Centres. A mobile app is also being
condition for Delhi smog. With the onset of the sow wheat after paddy harvesting — the time launched for creating awareness in the farmers
winter season, weather condition becomes con- duration between the two is a month or less; not about the scheme. Ex-Situ management steps are
ducive to pollution, as cold settles air closer to the enough for the stubble to decompose naturally, also being taken for converting stubble into bio-
surface (inversion), wind speed drops and mois- thus stubble burning, the cheapest option, is energy and power plants are being set up for the
ture goes up — so the pollution is not dispersed. resorted to. purpose.
Diwali firecrackers and stubble burning which Not just is the stubble burning polluting, it is Despite of these steps by the Central
also occur in the months of October-November, equally harmful for the soil itself, which loses Government and the States, farmers especially of
become contributory factors to the smog, as they most essential nutrients like organic carbon, C74;>=6C4A< Punjab and Haryana are complaining about not
add on to Delhi’s pre-existing air pollution. As nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur with B>;DC8>=C>C74 receiving any help from the Governments, thus
around this time the wind direction also changes the burning of the stubble. The heat destroys the being forced to burn the stubble. Hence, the
to north-westerly, the stubble burning pollution is beneficial microflora and fauna from the soil and ?A>1;4<;84B8=2A>? implementation of these schemes seems to be
carried towards Delhi from its neighbouring hardens it; thus affecting physical, chemical and 38E4AB85820C8>=)0 rather thin on the ground, also its being reported
states. biological attributes of soil making it less fertile <>E4C>F0A3B;4BB that the action against stubble fires has not been

3?>DB92ED9?>?6CDE22<52EB>9>7
and vulnerable to weed and drought.
The long term solution to the problem lies in
F0C4A8=C4=B8E4 as widespread this year, as before.

D?45<89C=?7 crop diversification: a move towards less water 2A>?B;8:4 D?G1B4C1C=?76B5545<89


As the Government of Delhi, Punjab and at intensive crops like soyabeans, pulses, corn — B>H0140=B?D;B4B Delhi needs 65% reduction in PM 2.5 to meet G81DµC7B1@
Centre, squabble over the contribution of stubble which are harvested by hand or can be harvesting 2>A=¯F78270A4 the desirable national standard. The strategy for 7B1454B5C@?>C5
burning to Delhi’s smog — while the Punjab CM
cited the findings of IISER, to state that stubble
mechanically earlier on, providing sufficient win-
dow for the residue to decompose before the next
70AE4BC431H70=3 that has to be comprehensive and multi-pronged.
First, adopting crop diversification, proper imple- 13D9?>@<1>
burning is not responsible for most of the Delhi’s sowing. For the time being, the in-situ and ex-situ >A20=1470AE4BC8=6 mentation of in-situ and ex-situ residue manage- O Comes into effect in Delhi and its
pollution — a look at other studies on the matter sustainable management techniques for crop <4270=820;;H40A;84A ment policies by States, creating a market for crop neighbouring towns based on the
is merited. residue are an alternative. >=?A>E838=6 residue, setting up crop residue collection system severity of pollution
A recent study undertaken by IIT Kanpur and
Delhi Pollution Control Board links contribution CE@B5=53?EBD9>13D9?>
BD558284=CF8=3>F based on municipal solid waste collection system
— thus giving alternative options to farmers to
O Put in effect from October 15, by
of PM 2.5 as 38% to road dust, 20% to vehicular The Supreme Court (SC) has been quite 5>AC74A4B83D4C> opt out of stubble burning.
EPCA as AQI turned ‘very poor’
emission, 11% to industries etc; with stubble proactive on the issue of air pollution in Delhi; 342><?>B4145>A4 Second, to fix Delhi’s broken public transport O Banning of electricity generators apart
from essential and emergency services,
burning merely adding on to the current load. closely monitoring the situation since last year, C74=4GCB>F8=65>A infrastructure. There has been four-fold increase
was ordered under it
Council of Energy, Environment and Water, a when it criticised Punjab, Haryana and UP in vehicles in Delhi between 2000-2018. The pan-
Delhi based think tank, which also arrives at simi- Governments for failing to control stubble burn- C74C8<4148=6C748= demic has further aggravated this trend, pushing O Other measures include increasing bus
lar figures, agrees that local sources and ing. In February, SC directed Central and Delhi B8CD0=34GB8CD up the purchase and plying of private vehicles on and metro services and raising the
unfavourable meteorological conditions are the Government to take strong measure for stopping BDBC08=01;4 the road. Number of public buses in Delhi need to parking fee
main factors behind Delhi’s air pollution woes; stubble burning; and approved an action plan on <0=064<4=C be ramped up, while creating smooth connectivity O Steps when situation turns ‘severe’: clo-
with transportation and road dusts as the biggest the matter, based on the affidavit of Ministry of with the metro. Emission testing, which is only
culprits. Massive Earth Foundation, another think Agriculture — which included steps like setting C427=8@D4B5>A2A>? 25%, must be pushed up. More incentives on e-
sure of brick kilns, water sprinkling,
tank, also undertook a research to find the impact up smog towers, smog guns in Delhi, and imple- A4B83D40A40= vehicles like waiver of road fee and low interest
frequent mechanised cleaning of roads,
maximisation of power from natural
of stubble burning, thermal power plants, Diwali menting other in-situ and ex-situ stubble manage- 0;C4A=0C8E4 loans must be provided. Third, controlling the
gas
crackers and broken transportation of the air pol- ment techniques which will be funded by Central road dust by intensive roadside plantation of big
lution; and found vehicular traffic as the biggest Government and implemented by the State crown trees, planting grass on the sideways and O ‘Emergency situation’ measures:
culprit, which has shifted base line of air pollution Governments of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Delhi. improved solid waste management. odd/even scheme, banning construc-
in India from a desirable 60 AQI to unhealthy In September, the SC had rebuked the Delhi and The writer is a public policy analyst, tion activity and entry of trucks in
200. Central Government for delay in setting up of the and a lawyer, an alumnus of National Delhi
According to Government’s analysis of Delhi Smog Towers in Delhi. A few days back SC Law University, Jodhpur
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twined doses of confetti and the novel coronavirus which has Democratic presumptive can-
minitiarised Star-Spangled taken a heavy toll on the world’s didate, made an issue out of the
Banner with the poignant Bald sole surviving superpower. Covid outbreak in the US
Eagle in the background. It is US elections in the past wherein, he cannily, forecasted
all symptomatic of the oeuvre were carried out in the grand that President Donald Trump
of symbolism, American old rail road and big business would postpone the elections in
homeland’s verve and the patri- era of the United States through the light of the ravaging impact
otic and the MAGA phenom- whistle-stop tours carried on by of the pandemic which was
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contended aloud in the Fox TV States of California and American homeland. In sum-
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Administration should pro- strengthened as they are swing stable but happening world
vide masks and other para- States going by the nomencla- comity of States chaperoned by
phernalia to the American cit- ture of the American elec- the American dreamers and the
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the Administration should not sented in the televised debate Jazzera has reported that Biden unimaginative to ratchet up the Supreme Court nominee, Amy 2020 to cast their ballots for the turbulent and testy 2020. With
be relegated to the backburn- when being riled for the case of is winning with the lot of support of the single women Coney Barrett, on October 12, man who will serve as US the pandemic becoming a larg-
er in the light of hyperbole.” Peter Floyd in Charlottesville. undecided voters while Joe which Hillary too had attempt- making clear that an outbreak president for the following four er reality, it can be argued that
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Biden utilised to beat the sumptive candidate, Hillary amid all kinds of voters. This So it’s a known and tried strat- with the election schedule.” delegates who will vote at White House in the light of
incumbent with was the alle- Clinton, was leading till late in might be early days but the US egy which did not work the Thus, the Opposition attempts national conventions to deter- calling the novel coronavirus as
gation that the question of the US elections but the white President has returned to the way of the Democrats in 2016 to ratchet up all possible per- mine which candidates appear a flu and a mild malady,
removing the race factor from collared vote along with the White House in the wake of his and is a fashionable tenet of mutations and combinations on those ballots.” The President Trump might still
the sensitivities list of the US ecclesiastical support base of testing positive for coronavirus referring to fake concerns of lift and commissions and com- Democrats are also creating the romp home with the backing of
Marines was a blunder which the WASP majority let him sail which might be what the doc- and liberals for spawning polit- missions indulged in by the wily canard that President the global coalition of the
the presidential seat of power through with the flailing Star- tors ordered for the electoral ical gains in the American American President in the Donald Trump is a Teflon Quad comity of nations and the
which the White House has Spangled Banner. Will it be the fortunes of President Donald political firmament. Al Jazzera 2020 election trail. President and if Joe Biden does global churn against China.
indulged in. Thus in a manner same fate of the US elections in Trump. The Democrats are reports, “The US Senate As part of the process part not come through as the victor
the debate brought out contra- line with what transpired in the uselessly cranking up the fact Judiciar y Committee of the US elections in 2020, the then the grand American (The writer teaches at
dictory aspects of US presi- 2016 contest with Hillary that single mothers have been announced that it would open American Embassy has to nation would crack up badly International Relations and
dential elections but the chutz- Clinton? This happens to be a hard hit by the novel coron- a confirmation hearing for inform that, “Americans will go and inimitably. International Organisations,
pah attached with the elec- million dollar question. Al avirus retrenchment in an President Donald Trump’s to the polls on November 3, In the contemporary times, IIPA, New Delhi)

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+DUGWDVNDKHDGIRUFKDULVPDWLF-DFLQGD
he recently concluded New country. She even renounced wearing a Maori cloak, known
T Zealand parliamentary
election has once again brought
the Church of Jesus Christ
Latter-day Saints in her early
as “Korowai”, while meeting her
monarch Queen Elizabeth-II in
back Jacinda Ardern to power. twenties as the Church’s views April 2018.
The election was scheduled for on gay rights clashed with Jacinda’s popular slogan
September, but because of the hers. Thus, she is in favour of “be strong, be kind” has
Covid-19 pandemic, it was equal rights for the LGBTs. worked magic in this election.
0cPcX\TfWT] postponed by a month. Since “Jacinda Mania” has final- And she has become the third
the introduction of the MMR ly worked. She has been award- woman Prime Minister of the
aXVWcfX]V_PacXTbWPeT in the 1996, the Labour Party ed an outright majority, with an country. She has driven a pos-
PUXT[SSPhPa^d]ScWT has become the first ever party approval rating of 55 per cent. itive message across.
f^a[S9PRX]SP0aSTa] to form Government on its The election was set behind an Considering her age, unlike the
own, winning 64 seats out of extraordinary background other Opposition leaders, she
WPb[TScWTRT]caT[TUc total 120 in the House of accompanying three pronged has long and bright future in
;PQ^da?Pachc^P Representatives. Looking at crises — the first being a terror New Zealand’s politics. But
WXbc^aXReXRc^ah the results: Labour Party 64 attack, second the natural dis- the critics and global political
seats (49.1%), National Party 35 aster, and third the global pan- experts say that the absolute
2^]bXSTaX]VWTa seats (26.8%), ACT demic of Covid-19. She has majority could be a problem for
fX]]X]VU^a\d[P^U (Association of Consumers been able to handle all the three her, even as top Opposition
and Taxpayers) 10 seats (8%), issues much better than any leaders like Judith Collins of
R^\_a^\XbTP]S Greens 10 seats (7.6%), NZ other leader of the country. Her the National Party has accept-
R^]bT]bdbcWT First (2.7%), but no seat, Maori unequivocal stand not to ed her defeat and she has
PQb^[dcT\PY^aXch Party 1 seat (1%) and others got defend the white man accused vowed to play the role of a
7.7 % (no seat), it is clear that of the terror attack in the robust Opposition figure in
\XVWc_a^eTP the centre-Left Labour has Chirstchurch area that killed 50 Parliament.
RWP[[T]VTU^aWTaPb recorded a landslide victory. and wounded more than fifty in Much more than this, peo-
bWT]TTSbc^cPZT With this thumping victo- mid-March 2019 earned her ple have also voted on two crit-
ry, Ardern has spread the mes- admiration of the people. ical referendums; the first being
P[^]VcWT_^[Pa sage of stability and certainty to The mass shooter Brenton the legalisation of euthanasia
^__^bXcTVa^d_b)cWT the people of New Zealand. Tarrant, an Australian white and the second, for using
Jacinda’s foray into politics man driven by anti-immigrant cannabis. The first will offer ter-
PUU[dT]c\XSS[TR[Pbb is an interesting story. With her and anti-Muslim sentiments, minally ill patients to go for
P]ScWT_^^a father being a police officer and was temporarily based in the assisted dying. It is a binding
mother a school cook, Jacinda country before the incident vote and if more than 50 per
had a ground experience of took place. In fact, an unsigned =TfITP[P]S?aX\T<X]XbcTa9PRX]SP0aSTa]XbR^]VaPcd[PcTSQhWTa_Pac]Ta2[PaZT6PhU^aSU^[[^fX]VWTaeXRc^ahb_TTRWc^;PQ^da?Pach\T\QTabPcP]TeT]cX]0dRZ[P]S cent voters say yes, this will be
poverty that her country was manifesto before the carnage ^]>Rc^QTa & 0? implemented soon. The second
facing. When she was 17, she on the Twitter and 8chan, an is related to the recreational use
was an active Labour Party online messaging platform Bay of Plenty, on December 9, Third, unlike many other its best. But the best part of the grab power at Wellington with of cannabis making legal. This
worker. After completing her which has been used by anony- 2019, it shocked the nation as countries, the Covid-19 han- Government was that it called a coalition Government with is not a binding vote which
degree in Communication mous accounts to share Covid-19 was already grip- dling was too early and fol- on its entire population to the New Zealand First Party implies that even if more than
Studies in Politics and Public extremist messages and cheer ping the world around the lowed by extremely hard fight the menace as a “team of and the Greens Party, although 50 per cent people say yes,
Relations, she started working on mass shooters, was posted same time. This was probably actions by the Jacinda five million” to protect their she was able to score only sec- cannabis can’t be made legal on
for Helen Clarke, the then in Tarrant’s name. The attack the worst case scenario for the Government. Its success in families, friends and all the ond highest number of votes. the basis of this referendum.
Prime Minister of the country. threatened the country, par- islanders that killed more than controlling the virus has been neighboring nations. And But the country’s unique pro- The Jacinda Government has to
She also had the experience of ticularly the Muslim commu- 17 people. Jacinda joined a widely described as “crushing Jacinda has earned rare repu- portional representation sys- bring a fresh Bill to legalise this.
working in the UK Cabinet nity. Throughout the entire nation-wide mourning on this the curve”. The island nation’s tation and fame by taking such tem had helped her to form the And finally when the results of
Office when Tony Blair was the crisis, Jacinda stuck to her incident. The fact is that the Covid strategy was based on preventing measures to save Government with these two both these referendums are
<0:70=BB08:80 Prime Minister of the UK. By stand that the white gunman White Island is a summit of a speedy testing, contact tracing her people from this health coalition partners. Very soon, expected on October 30, the
2008, she was back to her was a terrorist and emphasised complex submarine volcano. and isolation, while adhering to havoc. she was branded as an anti- decisions delivered by the vot-
country from London and that he did not represent the As the island is regularly visit- strict public health guidance Her charisma is well appre- Trump liberal icon at a time ers will make a lot for the entire
became an MP of the Labour people of New Zealand. ed by tourists, the Government norms across the country. ciated. On record, she has when the international com- nation and especially for the
Party. One of her most con- Second, when a volcanic was extremely careful in taking Indeed, the country benefitted become a Labour leader just munity witnessed a wave of widely popular Jacinda.
troversial political moves was eruption rocked the White the best of the post-volcanic from being a high income and seven weeks before the 2017 rightist nationalist leaders
an attempt to introduce a Bill Island or Whakaari, a small disaster management mea- an island nation with an parliamentary election that around the world. Again she (The writer is an expert on
to support gay rights in her volcanic Isle in New Zealand’s sures. advanced health care system at gave her a rare opportunity to came into prominence for international affairs)
OPINION CHANDIGARH, SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2020
06

Exam score vs college


admittance – A dilemma in that platform.
As the education system-
Delhi it needs to be affili-
atedto an already saturated
lihood gives us the art of
living, trains our mind
The investment to improve
infrastructure and faculty
evolvedto the current level, system. On the contrary, the to think on logical basis, as also decentralisation of
the criteria for recruitment number of students apply- makes us to understand the universities should be
Dr. Pawan Suri
also changed accordingly. ing for admission has mark- conflicts and guides us for a the priority of both the state

I
In Gurukul different sec- edly increased and Delhi progressive growth. As right and central government so
ndia has been the tions of society were pro- University receives more to education is a fundamen- that the students from all
hub of learning and vided education according than 3 lakh applications tal right, education system categories are able to get
education. One of to their jobs - Kshtriyas per year for mere 55,000 must provide equal oppor- quality education which
the oldest and the were trained for war skills, seats available leading to tunities to each and every includes not only theoreti-
famous education Vaishyas for business skills impossible cut-offs for individual. The problem at cal marks but also critical
system that was being and Shudras for different admissions. Another fac- hand needs to be addressed thinking and problem solv-
practised in ancient times works related to house- tor that contributes to the and reforms at different lev- ing skills.
was a Residential School- hold activities. The above high cut-off is that there els are required to provide a Give a man a fish and
ing System known as the concept has disappeared is no first come, first serve level playing field to all. The you feed him for one day,
Gurukul system. This was and the modern system of basis as per the admission admission process needs Teach him how to catch
a teacher centric education education brought to India rulebook and whosoever to be rectified and evalua- fish and you feed him for
system wherein the people in the year 1835 by Lord makes it to cut-off is to be tion of students should be a lifetime…. Focus on the
were taught verbally as per Macauley is based upon a in marks obtained by stu- tual knowledge and doesn’t accommodated even if it through skill based tests Skill and not Textual Based
the skill required for their ranking system to which Education is a journey dents, the universities and account for non-academic means increasing the num- rather than the theoretical Education to make it a Life-
development. The main more fuel is added by the that along with the live- colleges have also changed performances or creativ- ber of seats. The cut-offs, marks. The students should time Learning.
focus was not only on es- over ambitious parents lihood gives us the art the yardstick for admission ity that encourage practi- therefore, can be seen as also restrain themselves
sential teachings but also who weigh the knowledge of living, trains our mind and ironically have brought cal and logical thinking. battle between the increas- from being in the rat race of (Writer is a Chief Cardi-
on other activities that of their wards by academ- to think on logical basis, high cut offs for recruit- This change in admission ing trend of marks and lim- number generating robots ologist, SGL SuperSpecial-
helped in the personality ic performances only.The ment. With India’s top uni- yardstick has led to an un- ited number of seats in the designed to score 100%, ity Hospital Jalandhar,
makes us to understand
development, confidence, students have sharpened versities reaching impossi- precedented levels of stress college. broaden their horizons and Punjab. He can be con-
intellect, mindfulness and their skills and are putting conflicts and guides bly high admission cut-off among the students with Education is a journey look beyond universities to tacted at psuricardio@
sense of discipline.The In- in their best efforts to be us for a progressive percentages of 100% for un- a profound effect on their that along with the live- explore worthy alternatives. gmail.com)
dian education system has in the rat race and surpass growth. As right to edu- dergraduate courses, the In- mental and psychological
evolved to a great extent their peers. There was a cation is a fundamental dian educational system has health.
from thisold teacher centric time when a student scoring right, education system started resembling a very To understand the reason
gurukul days to the today’s above 75% was considered must provide equal challenging scenario where for such high cut-offs one
computer age of teaching to be brilliant and now even opportunities to each everyone advocates the sur- needs to understand the
and e- learning. The digi- a student scoring 90% is and every individual. vival of the fittest, which in present education system
tal learning has made the considered to be of an aver- The problem at hand Indian scenario translates as a whole. The number of
education system learner age intelligence. The higher needs to be addressed to the marks scored by the colleges per lakh population
centric and has converted percentage seems to be due students. Not only this but is as low as 25 on national
and reforms at different
teachers into facilitators to the leniency in correction Delhi university has a rider average and majority of
who provide all possible of answer sheets in addition levels are required to that if any student wants to these lack funds, infrastruc-
resources. Whether the sys- to the change in examina- provide a level playing change subjects or stream ture and faculty. The Delhi
tem is teacher or student tion pattern that includes field to all then there will be a dock of University Act was made in
centric, one thing that re- more number of objective 2 to 2.5 percent meaning 1922 and not a single new
mains essentially common type questions. The cent whether it depicts an actual thereby that these students college has been affiliatedin
between the two scenarios percent marks in theoreti- understanding of the sub- need to score above 100 last 30 years. There are al-
is theneed of platform and cal subjects, otherwise not ject remains all the more percent which is practi- ready 91 colleges affiliated
necessary qualificationsre- possible practically, has doubtful. cally illogical. The cut-off to Delhi University and if
quired for the recruitment become a new normal and In parallel to the increase is designed to cater to tex- a new college is opened in

Pakistan political crisis could COVID-19 gives fragile Rohtang


impact CPEC, economic growth Pass recovery time
MAHUA VENKATESH forms that much more un- VISHAL GULATI adventure pursuit, the

T T
likely.” It further said that backbone of the state’s
he current civil the global outbreak of the he Coronavi- economy, from June to
war-like situa- coronavirus pandemic has rus-induced September.
tion in Paki- further made it challenging. lockdowns Excessive emission of
stan may deal Pakistan’s headline infla- have cleaned carbon monoxide from the
a blow to the tion in September stood up the fragile vehicles and huge quanti-
execution of the ongoing as 9 per cent. “The current Rohtang Pass with the ties of trash left behind by
China Pakistan Economic political turmoil will defi- piles of trash almost van- tourists on the Rohtang
Corridor (CPEC), a collec- nitely dent the country’s the ished and nature making Pass are taking a heavy
tion of mega infrastruc- economy. For any economy a comeback in the cold, toll on the snow cover, says
ture projects, and thereby to grow, political stability rugged and rocky moun- the National Environmen-
dent its economic revival is critical and there seems tains of the Pir Panjal tal Engineering Research
process. to be no solution in sight,” range of the Himalayas -- Institute (NEERI), a Nag-
Opposition parties in the Shakti Sinha, director at the origin of one of North and gurgling streams,” she Pradesh Tourism Devel- pur-based institute that
country led a joint rally pro- the Atal Bihari Vajpayee India’s major rivers, the added. opment Corp. told IANS has carried out studies on
testing against Prime Min- tered economy, even as the try’s growth could even wit- Institute of Policy Research Beas. Also the vehicular The picturesque here. the impact of pollution on
ister Imran Khan’s “puppet” spread of the coronavirus ness a contraction. Former and International Studies. pollution plummeting to Rohtang Pass, which re- Travel agent Naresh the local ecology.
government and the Army. pandemic was contained. Indian envoy to Pakistan, Some signs of revival be- levels unseen in the living mains under snow even Thakur said the tourists Besides tourist vehicles,
Besides, the Financial Action Khan has repeatedly T.C.A. Raghavan told In- fore corona pandemic memory. “What a pleasant during the onset of sum- from Manali now prefer to a major component of the
Task Force (FATF) has also highlighted the need to diaNarrative.com that the When Khan took charge surprise to see no littering mer, is a major attraction travel towards the Lahaul traffic is also the defence
ruled against taking Pakistan complete the $60-billion current political turmoil is as the 22nd Prime Min- of trash in hills en route for both domestic and for- Valley via the newly opened vehicles, with the forces
off the ‘grey list’ and gave CPEC saying that it would likely to continue “for some ister on August 18, 2018, to the Rohtang Pass,” re- eign tourists. Atal Tunnel, beneath the taking supplies to stra-
Islamabad time till Febru- push socio-economic de- time”. “It is true that the Pakistan’s economy was marked Nikita Pandey, a According to the state Rohtang Pass, rather than tegic points through the
ary 2021 to comply with its velopment. country is currently head- in a shambles with mul- tourist from Delhi. tourism department, more taking the long, treacherous Rohtang Pass.
27-point action plan. Pakistan’s GDP growth ing towards a political cri- tiple macroeconomic chal- “We should be thank- than 1,00,000 tourists route of the pass. “Snow is The deteriorating ecol-
The move will further crashed to below 1 per cent sis and it seems that it will lenges -- widening current ful to Covid-induced visit the Rohtang Pass the only attraction for the ogy of Rohtang, meaning
impact its already bat- in 2019. This year, the coun- continue for some time,” he account and fiscal deficits, lockdowns that gave na- every year and tourism, tourists and the mighty “piles of dead bodies” in
said, adding that political dwindling foreign exchange ture a recovery time to including skiing, trekking Rohtang Pass is the only Persian, has also caught
turmoil would invariably reserves and unemploy- regain its glory,” she told and paragliding, is a key destination near Manali the attention of the Na-
SPIRITUAL WORLD impact economic growth ment among others. IANS, while pointing to- source of income for the that remains marooned in tional Green Tribunal
though not immediately. However, after the initial wards spots where non- local people. snow cover till end of May. (NGT).
“Pakistan’s economy has turmoil, the Khan govern- biodegradable waste was For more than five In this season, Rohtang With its direction, the
been in a critical state and ment’s focus on the economy normally dumped care- months from December, slopes are totally bereft of government has checked
this will further dent the had started to show results. lessly along the banks of the pass remains cut off snow cover, so they are not unregulated plying of ve-
situation, including the ex- In January this year, Khan at the glacial-fed Beas river from the rest of the country on their preferred list,” he hicles by imposing an en-
ecution of CPEC. The CPEC the World Economic Forum near Marhi, en route to the due to heavy snowfall. added. vironmental cess on each
has been slowing down for said that Pakistan would see Rohtang Pass from Manali. After nearly six months Government officials of the 1,300 vehicles per-
various reasons and the ex- healthy growth in the year The Rohtang Pass is of sealing borders, the state said the Rohtang Pass nor- mitted every day to cross
isting crisis will have its own 2020. located at an altitude of government on September mally closes for the traffic the Rohtang Pass, besides
implications on the projects,” At that time, some signs 13,050 feet and 52 km 15 threw open its borders every year in December construction of eco-friend-
Raghavan said. According of economic progress were from tourist resort Manali for free movement of peo- owing to snowfall. ly toilets and installation
to the US Institute of Peace, beginning to show. Khan in Himachal Pradesh. ple and goods. “This time the Rohtang of garbage collection bins
“political upheaval, a violent had managed to reduce the Her friend Gauri Vaidya “In the last one or two Pass remained closed for en route.
insurgency fed by the war current account deficit, the said in her past visits, the weeks, the trend of tour- the tourists for a longer According to a journal of
in Afghanistan, and the in- difference between inflow ninth this time in as many ists is picking up in Manali duration i.e. from Decem- the Asiatic Society, Lieu-
ability of successive govern- and outflow of foreign cur- years, she felt angry to see and its nearby areas. ber to mid of September. tenants A. Broome and A.
ments to carry out reforms rencies, gap and foreign the stunning amount of Compared to thousands Firstly due to snapping Cunningham trekked to
are to blame for this decline”. direct investments had waste like beer and liquor of tourists that normally of road links by snow and the Rohtang Pass on July
DISCLAIMER : The opinions expressed in the articles published “Today, a polarized polit- begun to flow in. bottles and food sachets descend here daily ahead then due to coronavirus 7, 1839, to trace the sources
in these columns are the personal opinions of the authors. ical environment and elite dumped haphazardly in of Diwali, now tourists, lockdowns. This has given of the Punjab’s rivers.
The facts and opinions appearing in the articles do not reflect intrigue among civilian, ju- (This content is being the mountains. mainly from the northern enough time for nature
the views of Bright Punjab Express and Bright Punjab Express dicial, and military institu- carried under an arrange- “This visit is memorable states, are thronging that to revive,” an official said. (Vishal Gulati can be
does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. tions has made sustainable ment with indianarrative. to see nature blooming too on weekends,” an of- Trekking along the contacted at vishal.g@
economic growth and re- com) again amid pine forests ficial of the state Himachal Rohtang Pass is another ians.in)
NEW DELHI | SUNDAY, 25 OCTOBER, 2020| millenniumpost
10 | mp

New Institutional Economics

Exploring
property
rights AUTHOR
An in-depth look at one of the core concepts in the NIE+ framework — property rights —
In England, following the Glorious Revolution of
1688, the power to affect property rights was
divided between the Crown and the Parliament

and discussing the many empirical and theoretical approaches to defining it


and technology change, there is a con- on property rights, the naive theory of Gary Libecap in a study of the evolu- l The rulers making property rights do
tradiction between the existing structure property rights attempts to model and tion of mineral rights law in 19th century so in a manner that they can’t be changed
(including property rights structure and explain the emergence of property rights US found that the law evolved to reduce by future rulers. The rulers agree to cir-
ownership of means of production) and without including social and political the uncertainty of ownership. Moreover, cumscribe their own power in the inter-
KRISHNA GUPTA the new arrangements. This is resolved institutions in the analysis (Eggertsson, the main mover of the change in the law est of predictability and efficiency, which
only through class struggle. 1990). Demsetz (1967), who proposed was the demand side or the mine owners, in turn leads to better revenues for the

I
In the neoclassical model where the this naive theory stated that: rather than the supply side or the legis- sovereign.
n the last article, we had a detailed exchange is costless and there is full and “Property rights develop to internalise lators and the lawmakers. The change l Grant of property rights and main-
discussion on transaction costs and complete information and economic externalities when the gains of in the mineral rights law also suited the tenance of such rights is a function of
the challenges faced by researchers actors are rational, property rights are internalization become larger than the State Government of Nevada since it led the institutional structure. For example,
in measuring these costs. Continu- exogenous. In other words, it is assumed costs of internalization.... the emergence to efficiency gains through the reduction in a communist country like the erst-
ing with our analysis of the various build- that property rights are already well of new private or state-owned property in uncertainty of ownership. In short, while USSR or China, property rights are
ing blocks of NIE+, in this article, we will defined and all that is needed is to attain rights will be in response to changes in the law was a response to the changes granted and maintained at the behest of
have an in-depth discussion on the con- allocative efficiency of (other) resources. technology and relative prices.” in the economic value of the mines. As the state. On the other hand, in a dem-
cept of property rights. We will look at the Here, the term ‘property rights’ has a vari- Demsetz and other members of the the value of the mines rose, there was ocratic set-up, property rights are pro-
theoretical and empirical aspects and the ety of definitions, since there could be a property rights school only looked at the a greater incentive to define property tected by a mix of formal and informal
challenges therein. right to ownership, right to transfer, right individual demand for property rights, rights more precisely so that the owners institutions and can’t be easily taken away
to income from property or right to use ignored free-rider problems and the role could realise the potential rents from the by the state.
THEORETICAL APPROACHES the property etc. However, in general, it of the state in supplying property rights mines more fully. Further, it would also
Historically, hunters and gather- is defined as an economic actors’ right, institutions. In the tradition after Coase reduce the uncertainty in the ownership CONCLUSION
ers were moving all the time and hence enforced by other members of society, to (1960), the analysis in these early writings In NIE, Coase was the first to put property of the mines. We have seen above that the defini-
there was no concept of property rights. use and control valuable resources. This also was a harmonious and optimistic one rights at the centre of his analysis Douglass North and Barry Weingast tion, allocation, specification and pro-
This was simply because they were more control over resources can be by exter- with regard to the free market’s ability to tection of property rights is an important
concerned with food and survival from nal agencies such as the government or develop efficient institutions. Later, other In the neoclassical model where the exchange is costless and issue for all governments. One can think
predators. After settling down along riv- it could be private control or it could be NIE social scientists filled this gap. (See of a continuum of such rights with public
erfronts and once agriculture and animal controlled by the community. Economic Riker and Sened below). there is full and complete information and economic actors or state ownership being at one end and
husbandry began, the concept of property actors demand property rights since it In non-democratic countries such as no rights or open access (in the manner of
rights began taking shape. With the com- increases the value of the resource and the erstwhile Soviet Union or present- are rational, property rights are exogenous. In other words, it the tragedy of the commons where every-
ing of city-states, property rights became therefore ensures stable income streams day China, property rights are defined is assumed that property rights are already well defined thing belongs to everybody and hence
an important right and rights over all in the present and the future and allow and protected by the state. All the means nobody cares for the property) at the
kinds of ‘property’ including slaves was the resource to be used as collateral to of production, including land, are owned suggested four conditions under which a have also suggested that economic devel- other end. Most countries fall somewhere
protected by law. Later, as common law raise funds. by the state and who gets how much prop- property right may emerge: a) Scarcity opment requires secure private and com- on the continuum. While most dem-
and civil law took root in continental In NIE, Coase was the first to put erty and under what conditions is also of the resource; b) Demand for the prop- munal property rights. They argue that a ocratic countries protect private prop-
Europe, property right became even more property rights at the centre of his analy- determined by the state. erty right; c) Recognition of this demand ruler has to ensure a credible commit- erty rights by law or by the Constitution,
important. sis. He proposed that clearly defining and by the government and d) Respect of the ment to protect individual and physical socialist/communist countries have state
In the modern democracies, prop- assigning property rights would resolve EMPIRICAL RESEARCH right granted by the others. Riker and property. This credibility comes from ownership. In many countries, there is
erty rights are protected in one form or environmental problems by internalising Unlike in the case of transaction costs, Sened, therefore claimed to correct Dem- the reputation of the ruler. In modern a mix of public and private ownership,
another, either by the Constitution or by externalities and relying on incentives of there has been a fair amount of empirical setz’s reliance on the invisible hand of the democracies, it is constitutions which with private ownership protected by law.
laws. The concept of property has also private owners to conserve resources for research on property rights by the NIE market to supply efficient institutions. provide a credible commitment to secure We also saw that property rights have
been expanded to include intangible the future. In the NIE+ framework, prop- school. This research has tended to be Steven Cheung looks at how price private property. In a study of 17th century important attributes such as the right to
things like ideas, copyright and music. erty rights are endogenous as opposed to sectoral and accordingly property rights controls change the structure of property England, they find that political rules to use, right to enjoy income or other ser-
It has also been expanded to include pat- the neoclassical model and it is important have been treated differently from sector rights. In an economy with no controls, limit the power of the Crown emerged vices, right to transfer and the right to sell
ents, which is particularly important in to understand the origins of these rights to sector. Let us discuss various empirical the market allocates scarce resources to prevent future misuse of such power. the resource.
science and technology. One of the most and how they influence allocative effi- studies on property rights. through the price mechanism. However, After the Glorious Revolution of 1688, In the above discussion, we have also
visible areas where patents are seen are ciency. As an extension of Coase’s work Riker and Sened inject the role of political actors sometimes suspend the the power to affect property rights was seen that property rights is a core con-
in the drugs and pharmaceuticals sector. political actors into the economic model price mechanism ostensibly for ‘public divided between the Crown and the Par- cept in the New Institutional Economics+
Most economists since Adam Smith of property rights. These political actors, interest’ and replace this with alternative liament and this new arrangement led to framework (NIE+). As per this frame-
and Karl Marx recognise that property In the modern democracies, backed by the state’s monopoly over the allocative mechanisms such as ration- a fiscal revolution and the establishment work, well-specified and well-enforced
rights are important for economic devel- property rights are protected use of force, determine the structure of ing, lottery etc. Cheung looks at how the of private capital markets, which in turn property rights lower transaction costs
opment, and modern mainstream eco- property rights in any country. Riker and residential housing market in Hong Kong were instrumental in raising resources by providing incentives for investment,
nomics agree with such recognition. The in one form or another, Sened assume that political actors do so responded to rent control before World for the various war efforts of England
causation goes something like this: well-
either by the Constitution rationally and grant property rights in a War II. He finds that private property when needed. Gary Libecap in a study of
specified and well-enforced property manner that not only enhances their own rights constrain the behaviour of indi-
rights provide incentives for increasing or by laws. The concept welfare but also that of the parties who viduals in the market place. However, in SOME GENERAL PRINCIPLES the evolution of mineral
investment, innovation and trade, which have been granted this right. They ana- the absence of such rights, constraints From the above discussion on the the-
leads to a more efficient market. However, of property has also been lysed the evolution of property rights in to legislative action differ from place to oretical and empirical research on prop- rights law in 19th century US
different models treat the issue of prop-
expanded to include time slots (the right to land and take off) place and usually leads to errors in deci- erty rights, we can draw some general found that the law evolved
erty rights differently. at four US airports and found that these sion making. His study implies that the principles on property rights.
As per Marxian theory, property intangible things like ideas, rights changed from 1969 onwards from existence of private property rights is l There are various theories of prop- to reduce the uncertainty of
rights are linked to class struggle. As pro- open access to queuing to first-come- a necessary condition for allocative erty rights, but I believe that the NIE
ductive forces or the means of production copyright and music first-serve to exclusive salable rights. They efficiency. best describes the existing arrangements ownership. Moreover, the
in most countries. As outlined above, the
NIE extends the neoclassical model by
main mover of the change in
injecting the role of political actors, gov- the law was the demand side
ernment and courts. It does so by relaxing
the neoclassical assumptions of costless innovation and trade and an efficient res-
transactions, perfect and complete infor- olution of conflicts over scarce resources.
mation and perfect rationality. Empirically, we have reviewed various
l Since there is no perfect rational- studies that point to the positive correla-
ity and since all contingencies can’t be tion and perhaps even causation between
foreseen, most contracts are incomplete. property rights and economic develop-
Hence, a clear specification and delinea- ment. Sure, there is a cost of establishing
tion of property rights go a long way in private property rights. For example in
minimising transaction costs. the area of environmental policy, moni-
l Property rights arise only if the toring of air, water and soil pollution is
resource in question is a scarce resource too costly at an individual level. In that
and there is a demand for such a resource. sense, there are no enforceable private
l The demand for property rights arise property rights over such public goods. In
since such a right increases the value of such cases, where private property rights
the resource and reduces the uncertainty are unavailable or too costly to establish
and unpredictability in the ownership. and enforce at an individual level, the
This allows the right holder to use the state steps in through legislation.
resource in any manner she desires: We will continue the discussion on
whether as collateral or to sell. the various building blocks and compo-
l Well specified property rights, which nents of the NIE+ framework and take up
have the backing of the law or the Con- other components in the coming articles.
stitution don’t arise in a vacuum but The writer is an IAS officer, working
come about because of a slow political as Principal Resident Commissioner,
As per Marxian theory, property rights are linked to class struggle It was with the Neolithic Revolution that property rights first came into existence process. Government of West Bengal
millenniumpost| NEW DELHI| SUNDAY, 25 OCTOBER, 2020
mp | 11

RAJEEV NARAYAN
Talking

I met a beautiful and


Shop 20 years, and counting We shall also be accompanied by 16 legs,
large and small, and four tails. They make
rather impetuous up the pack and man up our 4x4 (they
are all ladies). We shall wave to people on
girl two decades back. the road and slam-dunk fists at ‘dhabas’
with those that appreciate life, animals and
Arrogant and shame- togetherness.
As always, we shall also link up with
less she was. Unfor- every person who meets us and share and
cherish the moment. Travelling with four-
tunately, she still is. legged creatures is a blessing, for it always
creates a ripple and a crowd. Some people
But somehow, she call us cruel. “See that? They have four
animal victims locked up in the car while
has become my wife. they are enjoying hot dal and paranthas
at the hotel?”
For over a decade. I True. To understand, please travel
(drive) 600 km over 14 hours in a car with
four idiots (five, if you count the missus)
wooed her. Then I got and understand who the victim is. My dogs
and cats are awesome, and they quietly wait
her, slam-dunk. I look on my arm for sustenance and succulence.
And anyone who calls them a victim is
back today — how most welcome to. For one of the victims
is my full-blown German Shepherd who
did it happen? This will sing a song if I ask her to. My Beagle
croons well too. So pass judgment at your
is my life’s story peril, and the rest is going to be my pas-
time. Bhow bhow… Ouch!

I
TODAY, TIS THE MISSUS
have written on the Indian economy. I started with her. I shall end with her.
Connectivity. Bihar elections. Newly- Anjali is a good kid. I am not. We have
built bridges, almost instantly washed arguments. Lots of them. About where the
away. The aviation and hospitality country is headed. Where it will go? She
sectors, hopelessly gone asunder. Ship- asks way too many questions, girl from
building, tanked and sinking. Telecom, Amritsar that she is. Very irritating, some-
clearly rendered impotent. India’s defence has no choice now but to agree. After all, the most dastardly and distasteful acts. times. I fester and fume for a bit, but that’s
capabilities, denied consistency and rele- she did marry me. So, today is going to be unusual. Senseless. Inane. For one, the authorities and some sec- the creed and base. For she’s right. She laps
vance over and beyond, give or take the five
Rafale fighter jets that shall soon transport
So, is this what I should churn out and
base this column on? Our looks, the hap-
Anyhow, who wants to be regular and predictable in tions of the media… Hathras midnight
pyre. Sushant Singh Rajput’s death cover-
up newspapers for breakfast and snacks
on social media for lunch. When ‘buzurg’
us to Jupiter and its moons, perhaps even
further, driven by the Dassault Aviation-
penings around me, our experiences over
the last few months, India in general? Nah,
these tremulous times? Just once, let me be bizarre and age. Rhea Chakraborty’s hassling. Falsi-
fied TRP ratings by leading channels. Fuel
me wakes up and comes to my senses, the
questions from her are as omnivorous as
led tail winds. Of our faux pas governance, says the general public. But why not? Aren’t inconstant, if only to make your Sunday eventful. Idiotic price hikes that betray and berate logic and they are carnivorous.
an insipid exercise and (ad)venture, to say we now used to and immune to the most economics.
the least. COVID-19, job losses and sal- inane and ridiculous reportage, writings perhaps, but a good time-pass for a few minutes at least Or another announcement of a 6 pm EXAMPLES
ary cuts. Lockdowns. Liquor freezes and and TV debates? Why can’t I be idiotic and Tuesday nationwide address that had every Question 1: “Have you seen what
surges. Fuel price hikes that defy the most a moron, at least once? shy of 14. It was baptism by fire. Ener- and suddenly went away, all of one-and- television channel speculating on what the US has done, blaming us for fudg-
basic of economics. vating. My golden years! What a delight a-half years old. At 51, I abstained from the focus could be. Ladakh? Another fis- ing COVID-19 numbers and spreading
God, I am tired. Dismal. Dismayed. A SENSELESS COLUMN it was. Choices were easy — a ‘gulab jaa- displaying any emotions for hours. I am cal stimulus package? Joint naval exercises pollution in Los Angeles despite ‘Howdy
Disgusted. Enough policy initiatives and So today is going to be unusual. Sense- mun’ was way more important than a kiss a tough guy. to scare the ‘dragon’? Vaccine now ready? Modi’ and ‘Namaste Trump’?”
so on and forth, or the abject, nearly less. Insane. Anyhow, who wants to be from a pretty girl. Come the night, I cried. Inconsolably. The nation suddenly needed to know, des- Question 2: “China, after the ‘jhoola
pathetic absence thereof. Today, let’s talk regular and predictable in these tremu- Fast forward to today. I am older. Wiser. For hours. Other than Anjali, the only one perately. It was on tenterhooks. And sud- chai’ party on the banks of the ‘Sabar-
you. Me. Us. We. The people. The masses. lous times? Just once, let me be bizarre and Chastised. I see things a bit differently. who stood by me that night was my ‘jun- denly, we knew. We were told that while mati nadi’, has betrayed us in Ladakh?
The classes. inconstant, if only to make your Sunday Yes, parts of me still find my wife cute glee’ Indian cat, who took things further. lockdowns are over, COVID-19 isn’t, and What happened to the tenets and basics
Let’s talk things good. Like my beau- eventful. Idiotic perhaps, but a good time- and beautiful, but some larger parts now She howled, ranted and called out repeat- the Coronavirus is still here. Stay care- of diplomacy?”
tiful wife Anjali. She happened to me 20 pass for a few minutes. Yes. Let’s begin by deem her organized, dignified and elegant. edly to Bamby, who we had just buried in ful. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Question 3: What will happen to
years back. talking me, and what makes me, me. A My real hormones are fading out, I guess. the park outside the house. Worse still, Wow. Okay. Thanks for the heads-up. We Indian banks? Why were ICICI Bank and
And hello, let’s talk me. I am, ahem, few of all of our life’s first few experiences What’s fading out too, sadly, is my vision the ‘junglee’ then went silent for days and had almost forgotten. God bless you too. HDFC Bank forced to bail out YES Bank?
good-looking. Even at 51, I am. I bloody- play an inscrutable role in shaping our of a vibrant, classy and modern India. I see stopped eating, even having water. It was Stay safe. Question 4: Amritsar- and her other
well insist. Look at the picture posted with future, parabola-style. Like when I first my country inescapably sliding into little- an eye-opener, how these little ones with But I promised. No real issues today. related rants…
the column! Okay, at the very least, I am got caught stealing from my father’s wallet ness, and that really bothers and scares me. four legs and wagging tails have emotions Enough has been said and vomited on Who knows the answers? I don’t. I
pleasing to the eye. Do not disagree, I warn for a good old Coca-Cola and an ‘elaichi’ The larger ramifications of the same worry far deeper than ours. Desperate to get the all this. know only one thing. That the view to my
you. My double-coated German Shepherd, biscuit. Shame-faced, I was, at 7. And me more — as they should you. older one eating, we got another little tiny left when I get up each morning is bet-
Bobo, will bite you if I don’t. My cats and then how I rode a Bajaj scooter with three Indie kitten to keep her company. And ‘BUZURG AA GAYA’ ter than it was 20 years back. She is there,
other dog, Kaira the Beagle, are nodding gears at 12. And drove a jeep for the first MY BAMMU IS GONE soon enough, the ‘junglee’ nuzzled up to The lovely lady in my life laughed at cute and serene. Sleeping. Effervescent
and licking their paws in agreement as I time, and that too on a highway, when Today, I worry for my family. My Per- the needy little kitty in just a few hours me over a recent TV report, which classi- and quiet. Quiet is good. Who can ask
type this out. They are, by the way, typ- I was 13. No one knew I didn’t know sian cat, Bamby a.k.a. Bammu, the hero and then gobbled up some Whiskas. Idiot fied everyone over 50 as a ‘buzurg’ (elderly for more?
ing half of this. Betwixt the five of us, we how to drive — and I drove 300 kms. of Himachal Pradesh hoteliers (and their animals, right? person). Laugh away, world and lady, but The writer is a communications
assure you we are all very, very cute. The Poor blokes. Or when I wrote my first selfie king), passed away two weeks back. Yes. But we, given our human suprem- I am off to Manali again with you, ‘ele- consultant and a clinical analyst.
fifth animal in the family, my wife Anjali, article for a national newspaper, just He cawed and bayed in my arms for a bit acy and intelligence, repeatedly commit gant’ and ‘dignified’, bless my hormones. narayanrajeev2006@gmail.com

MAPPING THE STATES OF INDIA

A hundred thousand islands


I
AUTHOR n 1956, the SRC had suggested ing the medieval period, the region for Steel, Coal and Mines (1979– in the Islands, the progress was sub-
that the predominantly Malay- was ruled by the Chola dynasty and 1980), Home Affairs (1993–1995) stantial, and gradually government
alam speaking populations of the Kingdom of Cannanore. The and Information and Broadcast- infrastructure, especially schools
Laccadive and Minicoy Islands Catholic Portuguese arrived around ing (1995–1996). He was the Dep- and hospitals came up in all the
under Malabar district, and Amind- 1498 but were expelled by 1545. The uty Speaker of the Lok Sabha from inhabited islands. Interventions in
ivi Islands of the South Canara dis- region was then ruled by the Mus- 1998–2004. The credit for initiating the health sector are especially com-
trict (both in the erstwhile Madras lim house of Arakkal, who had to most of the development interven- mendable and noteworthy, as lep-
state) should be integrated with cede some areas to Tipu Sultan. By tions in the islands, including the rosy was a major issue in the islands.
the new linguistic State of Kerala. the early part of the nineteenth cen- establishment of the Island Devel- Administrators like Omesh Saigal
However, the islands were detached tury, most of the region passed on opment Authority, the introduction helped in ensuring regularity in
from their respective districts to the British, though for all prac- of air services, linkages with Nafed transport and communication ser-
SANJEEV CHOPRA and established as a new Union tical purposes, the islanders were for the procurement of copra and vices. His book on Lakshadweep,
Territory with a population of just left to fend for themselves. Amini, published by the NBT helped
twenty-one thousand (census 1951) Kalpeni Andrott, Kavaratti and bridge the information gap about
From a histori- for administrative purposes. The Agatti are the oldest inhabited Today, the islands.
District of Malabar was made part islands. Today, Lakshadweep has the
cal and storied of Kerala and South Canara (Dak- Before November 1956, the Lakshadweep second-highest literacy rate in the
shin Kannada) was attached to administration in the islands country, and women are not far
past, the UT of Karnataka. was only nominal and the
has the second- behind men in this accomplish-
Meanwhile, a referendum was trade to the mainland highest literacy rate in ment. In terms of HDI, Lak-
Lakshadweep held in Minicoy in 1956 as this was done in boats called
the country, and women shadweep is fourth in the
island was directly under the Crown, ‘odams’. The islanders country, just behind Ker-
is now mov- and only notionally attached to Mal- traded fish, copra and are not far behind men in this ala, Chandigarh and Goa,
abar District for purposes of admin- coir in exchange for and above the NCT of
ing towards a istration. This is how the islands of coy island is the farthest island out- weep is “one hundred thousand rice, salt and other accomplishment. In terms of HDI, Delhi!
Laccadive, Minicoy, and Amind- post of India. islands” in Sanskrit, Malayalam and essentials. Lakshadweep is fourth in the NITI has recently
future that will ivi became a Union Territory (UT) There were two possible reasons Marathi. However, in that historical Lakshadweep’s drawn up strategy paper
in 1956. In 1973, the islands were for placing these islands directly context, where Bharat Varsha was first representation to country, just behind Kerala, ‘Transforming the Islands
see the islands renamed Lakshadweep, although under the Union Government. The a part of Jambu Dweep, Lakshad- the Indian Parliament
Chandigarh and Goa, through Creativity & Inno-
the first Hindi Map of India in 1952 stated reason was, of course, the long weep included the archipelagos of was based on nomina- vation’ for the development
emerge as a had also referred to the islands by term naval interest in the region, Maldives and the Chagos, a British tion. From 1956 to 1967, the and above the NCT of Lakshadweep islands with a
this name. It must be mentioned about which KM Pannikar started Overseas territory which includes MP was K Nalla Koya Than- focus on sustainable eco-tourism
model of devel- here that while the Amindivi group articulating his concerns from the US Naval base, Diego Garcia. gal who served two terms. This of Delhi and fishing as the key economic
of islands had been under the con- the time of India’s independence. The islands have long been known seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribes drivers in the islands, and over the
opment inter- trol of Tipu Sultan, the Laccad- However, another plausible and to sailors, as indicated in an anony- and is the smallest Lok Sabha con- next decade, these Islands will actu-
ive group (Kavaratti, Agatti, and more direct reason was the lurk- mous reference from the first cen- stituency by a number of voters. modernisation of ports and fishing ally be exemplars of how develop-
ventions done Andrott) were under the Arak- ing fear of a possible Communist tury AD by Periplus. The islands The first elections were held in goes to him. ment interventions ought to be
kals. Minicoy is situated mid-way regime in Kerala, and the Union were also mentioned in the Bud- 1967 and PM Sayeed went on to Another milestone in the history made!
right between Indian and Maldives, and Government was paranoid about dhist Jataka stories of the sixth cen- win the next ten elections consec- of Lakshadweep was the shifting of The writer is the Director of
the language of this island (Divehi) the implications of a red flag on any tury BC. Islam was established in utively. He was first elected to Lok the headquarters from Cochin to LBSNAA and Honorary Curator,
appears to be closer to Dhivehi, of the islands. the region when Muslims arrived Sabha in 1967 at the age of 26. He Kavaratti on March 26, 1964. Once Valley of Words: Literature and
rather than Malayalam. This Mini- The literal meaning of Lakshad- around the seventh century. Dur- served as Union Minister of State the ‘Administrator’ started staying Arts Festival, Dehradun
06 NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER 2020 Vol. CXXXXXI 42 (S)

With which is incorporated


The Englishman ~ Founded 1821
Pivotal Myanmar ~I A MEMBER
OF THE

ASIAN VOICES
Water sharing The Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal are fast becoming new flashpoints in the
The power to
Sino-Indian strategic maritime competition. In the last two years, PLA Navy entered
T wo of the major rivers in India, the Godavari
and the Krishna, flow through Telangana, but
neither has been dammed within its territory
for irrigation or power generation in the last 73
the Bay of Bengal on several occasions. The frequency of Chinese submarine patrols
in the IOR has almost tripled in the last two years
stop Covid-19 is
in our hands
T
years. It remained a separate State till 1956 as Hyder- his week, the world hit a grim
abad when it merged with Andhra to form Andhra milestone, surpassing more than
Pradesh and separated in 2014 as Telangana. The 37 million confirmed Covid-19
multi-purpose Polavaram project on the Godavari cases. With the number of infections
became a bone of contention between the two continuing to rise in many countries, it
is clear that the virus will be a part of
States, but it has been declared a national project for
our lives for longer than we had antici-
the development of irrigation, hydro-electric power pated. Faced with so many months of
and drinking water facilities to East Godavari, uncertainty, it can be easy to feel
Vishakapatnam, West Godavari and Krishna dis- fatigued. But given the contagious
tricts under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, nature of Covid-19 ~ and how easily it
2014. The ongoing Pranahita-Chevelle project of the spreads through touch ~ there can be
composite AP was upgraded into the Kaleshwaram no room for complacency on follow-
Lift Irrigation Project on the Godavari for the bene- ing one of the most basic but effective
fit of Telangana. Being executed by the State gov- health measures to stop the spread of a
ernment, the scheme would irrigate about 18.5 lakh virus: hand hygiene. Never has hand
hygiene been more critical, not only to
acres of land and provide safe drinking water to fight Covid-19, but to prevent a range
every city and village in Telangana. It will also help of other infections. Handwashing with
restore the ground water level to its original state soap is an easy and affordable solution
by way of shifting from usage of groundwater for that everyone should be able to do.
irrigation to surface water. When everything seemed It not only protects us from con-
to be going well, the Principal Bench of the National tracting diseases, but also avoids trans-
Green Tribunal on 20 October held that the envi- mission to others, breaking the chain
ronmental clearance for the Kaleshwaram Lift Irri- of infection. But for far too many
gation Project was granted ex post facto by the Min- Indonesians, even this simple act is out

C
First, China’s development For New Delhi, securing the addition to the Union govern- of reach. According to official data, 60
istry of Environment after completion of substantial
hina’s intention to make of Kyaukpyu port will entrench Indian waters is of utmost priori- ment. million people, or 1 in 4, do not have
work and in violation of law, and wanted remedial inroads into the Bay of its naval presence in the IOR. On ty which otherwise would inten- Representatives of Myan- access to a handwashing facility. All
measures to be taken. The Bench recalled the Union Bengal had become the pretext of developing infra- sify the maritime security dilem- mar’s ethnic armed groups too often, adequate hand hygiene sta-
Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Shekhawat, writing clear with President Xi structure and connectivity under ma. Yet, India has been compla- voiced some of the most serious tions are lacking in critical places that
to the Telangana Chief Minister not to proceed with Jinping’s visit to Myanmar in Jan- the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), cent in confronting this new objections. The Arakan Army need them most, such as health facili-
the project without submitting detailed project uary. The intention was not just Beijing has developed a myriad geostrategic reality ~ lack of eco- (AA), which has clashed several ties, schools, workplaces and crowded
reports to the Godavari River Management Board. to boost infrastructure projects of naval posts across IOR ~ from nomic might. times with the Myanmar army in public spaces. The implications are
The shocking news came as Hyderabad suffered its in Myanmar but also increase Gwadar port in Pakistan to Dji- Recognising this, New Delhi Rakhine state since the begin- farreaching and go beyond the current
worst ever floods since independence. All major China’s influence in the region. bouti in Africa and the most is partnering the Quad countries ning of 2020, released a state- pandemic. In communities that lack
Among the 33 agreements signed recent naval outpost in Cambo- to boost maritime security in the ment the day before Xi’s visit basic hygiene, children are dispropor-
river projects undertaken hitherto by successive
during the visit, the development dia. However, the militarisation Bay of Bengal. Japan has been asserting that it would “recover tionately affected and deprived of a
governments of AP favoured the Andhra region at of a deep-sea port in Kyaukphyu of the Kyaukpyu port will be a funding infrastructure projects, land and resources taken from safe environment. Unsanitary living
the cost of Telangana. The Nagarjunasagar Dam on on the shores of the Bay of Ben- game-changer as China will get including port development in the Rakhine people … and wage
the Krishna was built in the mid-1950s on the bor- gal, a railway project to connect a military foothold in the Bay of Myanmar and Bangladesh with a war for the liberation of the
der of Nalgonda and Guntur districts. Vast tracts of the Chinese province of Yunnan Bengal. Though the People’s Lib- India. The US and India jointly Rakhine nation.”
Telangana land got submerged, while Guntur, to Myanmar’s coastal cities, an eration Army (PLA) Navy is high- held the Malabar naval exercise China’s leaders recognize conditions facilitate the spread of res-
Prakasam, Krishna and West Godavari districts of inland-waterway through the ly active in the in the Indian that they need to do more to win piratory infections as well as diarrhea,
Andhra got assured irrigation. The second dam Irrawaddy river and a mega- waters of the Bay of Ocean in 2019. broad-based support for their which itself is responsible for 25 per-
across the Krishna constructed in 1960s benefited hydropower dam project are the Bengal, it still lacks Washington laid various initiatives, and they have cent of child deaths every year in
the Rayalaseema region of Andhra. The first irriga- most prominent. These projects military infrastruc- out a clear military placed greater emphasis on pub- Indonesia. Children who suffer from
are expected to re-energise the ture and logistics roadmap in the lic relations. For example, in prolonged bouts of diarrhea are at a
tion scheme on the Godavari was constructed rather staid progress made under much higher risk of stunting and are
support in the Indo-Pacific to not advance of Xi’s visit, the opera-
before independence, also to benefit coastal the China-Myanmar Economic region. only boost military tor of the Sino-Myanmar Pipe- forced to miss countless school days. If
Andhra. The Kaleshwaram project was taken up in Corridor (CMEC) so far. Second, the An- activities in the line, the China National Petrole- we are going to control Covid-19 and
2008 by the composite government of AP, but hard- Xi’s visit to Myanmar, the daman Sea and Bay IOR but also to um Company, released a new prevent future childhood deaths, we
ly made any progress as it was intended primarily to first by a Chinese president in of Bengal are fast build India’s mar- “Corporate Social Responsibili- must make hand hygiene accessible to
benefit Telangana. Only after bifurcation did the almost two decades, was aimed becoming new itime security ty” report, noting that it has all. That is why UNICEF and a partner-
project gain traction. A special purpose vehicle – at drastically altering regional flashpoints in the capabilities. delivered $500 million of bene- ship made up of government, private
Kaleshwaram Irrigation Project Corporation Limited geopolitics in the Bay of Bengal. Sino-Indian strate- PK Additionally, fits to Myanmar. And in his open sector and civil society organizations
Several domestic and geopoliti- gic maritime com- VASUDEVA New Delhi could letter, Xi stressed China’s com- are calling on all parts of society to ma-
– was established and about Rs 20,000 crore
cal reasons underline Beijing’s petition. In the last rekindle maritime mitment to projects that will ke hand hygiene for all a reality in Ind-
mobilised for its speedy completion. The NGT has The writer is retired Senior
outreach to Myanmar and its two years, PLA Navy Professor, International ties with Asean. improve the livelihood of the onesia. To achieve this, we need to not
thrown a spanner in the works now. Its Principal strategy to use it as a conduit to entered the Bay of Trade, and member of the
This will reduce the Myanmar people. only improve access through water su-
Bench said, “We find that in spite of finding illegali- the Bay of Bengal. It will boost Bengal on several
Vivekananda International
Foundation, New Delhi collective concerns Two possible initiatives pply and physical infrastructure, we
ty in granting EC, it is neither possible nor desir- China’s presence in the Indian occasions with the regarding the secu- stand out as potential solutions: also need individual behaviors to
able to undo what has happened, but accountabili- sub-continent. The deep-sea most recent incident rity of the Bay of In China, leaders have promised change. Handwashing must become
ty needs to be fixed and remedial measures taken.” port project is intended to in December 2019 when a Chi- Bengal and the Indian Ocean. to greatly enhance transparency, an integral part of everyday life at
While the squabbling goes on, millions of cubic feet cement China’s geostrategic foot- nese vessel entered India’s spe- Some time ago, India, Singapore accountability, and environmen- home and in public. This will not hap-
of water drains into the Bay of Bengal unutilised. print in the Bay of Bengal. cial economic zone without per- and Thailand held a joint trilater- tal sustainability of future BRI pen overnight. But for the first time,
China’s dependence on oil has mission. The frequency of Chi- al maritime exercise for the first projects. Instruments such as the hand hygiene has been prioritized on
been increasing by 6.7 per cent nese submarine patrols in the time to cooperate on security Beijing Initiative for the Clean the political agenda. At a recent offi-
Poisoned thought each year and the demand is set
to increase further, given the
IOR has almost tripled in the last and maritime issues in the Bay
two years. Although the past of Bengal. However, Asean and
Silk Road were released in April
of 2019, but it remains unclear
cial event to mark Global Handwash-
ing Day, 10 ministries came together

I
trade war with the US. Therefore, interventions were criticised as India can do more by partnering how these principles have been to deliver a joint declaration that pri-
t will not be surprising if much of India’s atten- the Bay of Bengal will be an alter- violations of the United Nations with Vietnam, Taiwan and the implemented on the ground in a oritizes handwashing with soap in
tion on a less than intellectually stimulating final native route for China. Convention for the Law of the Philippines. BRI host country like Myanmar. their respective institutions, signaling
Presidential debate in the United States will be Being the conduit between Sea, China will now have a legiti- While the governments of Going forward, China is trying its an unprecedented commitment to
focused on President Donald Trump’s description the Western Indian Ocean and mate reason to be present in the Myanmar and China hailed the best to cater for the needs of hand hygiene. We must build on this
of this country and its air as filthy. Not surprisingly, South China, the Bay of Bengal Bay of Bengal because of its pres- Xi visit as a tremendous success, opposition parties, ethnic non- momentum. Truly, if not now, then
and by a bizarre leap of logic that only the Congress enjoys immense geostrategic ence in Myanmar. many other key stakeholders state authorities and civil society when? The success of any effort to ma-
is capable of, the main Opposition party has trained influence in strategies of Asia’s Third, Myanmar is a key issued statements expressing by making a good-faith attempt ke hand hygiene universal will require
its guns on the government for the remark. The rising powers. It is also a lynch- influencer for China’s ambitions reservations. More than 50 civil to fulfill the promises it made last leadership and action at every level. All
Congress’ reasoning appears to be that Mr. Trump, pin of any successful Indo-Pacif- in the Indian Ocean. It is not only society groups published an year.The Myanmar government, of us ~ government officials in their
ic strategy. If the Quad countries a gateway to the Bay of Bengal open letter to Xi, urging him to for its part, has made efforts to offices, staff in health facilities, chil-
the Prime Minister’s great friend who was feted at dren at school, families at home and
~ the US, India, Japan and Aus- but is also a strong member of permanently cancel the contro- subject projects to a strict review
rallies in Houston and Ahmedabad, has somehow tralia ~ continue to push for a the Association of Southeast versial Myitsone Dam project. process incorporating social and employees at their place of work ~ ha-
stabbed Mr Modi – and by extension India – in the loose alliance against China’s Asian Nations (Asean). While the The Myanmar government in environmental impacts assess- ve a part to play. Handwashing must
back. One senior Congress leader asked sarcastical- increasing maritime power both Western nations continue to iso- 2011 halted construction of this ments. Dubbed the “Project become everyone’s business. The gov-
ly if the President’s remark was a “fruit of friend- in the Pacific Ocean and the Indi- late Myanmar on its human mega-dam, located at the head- Bank,” this plan has not yet been ernment can lead the way by develop-
ship”. The correct question for the Congress to have an Ocean, China’s maritime am- rights track record, China’s policy waters of the Irrawaddy River, implemented, due largely to a ing a national roadmap to reach hand
asked was whether Mr. Trump was right. Certainly, bitions could be easily thwarted. of non-intervention in Myan- after environmental, social and lack of donor support. With the hygiene for all. Every ministry should
he is, if the daily reports on air quality emanating Beijing would like to pre-empt mar’s domestic politics has national security concerns proper resources, political will prioritize hand hygiene in the planni-
from the National Capital Region are correct. He is any such attempt by the Quad helped it to cultivate goodwill in sparked nationwide protests. and emphasis on how various ng and budgeting within their own
countries. Establishing its pres- Nay Pyi Taw. China also provided Key political parties, includ- projects might affect the causes jurisdictions. The private sector has a
just as right about the filthy state of the country,
ence in the Bay of Bengal is, military support to Myanmar. By ing the Shan Nationalities of conflict, Myanmar’s govern- crucial role to play to ensure that
notwithstanding the effort put into the Swachch therefore, fundamental to sus- keeping Myanmar on its side and League for Democracy, voiced ment can respond more robustly employees and customers can safely
Bharat initiative, because outside select enclaves – a tain China’s inroads in the Indian by building such economic similar perspectives, urging the to the needs of other stakehold- return to work. Companies must
handful of them – India is a filthy place. The proper Ocean Region (IOR). Cultivating dependencies, Beijing hopes not CMEC to respect traditional land ers and renew efforts to build implement and enforce public health
response to this summation would be to redouble Myanmar as a strategic partner only to keep India on its toes but rights and demanding that all peace in the country. protocols and make handwashing
efforts to clean up both the country and its air. And serves three major objectives in also enhance its influence within CMEC projects receive approval facilities available in their offices, fac-
the Congress party could begin by asking its gov- China’s Indian Ocean strategy. Asean. directly from communities in (To be concluded) tories and staff residential areas.
ernment in Punjab to stop burning crop stubble
and to introspect on all that it did or failed to do
during its years in power to contribute to this sorry LETTERS TO THE EDITOR editor@thestatesman.com
situation. A leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, too,
has reacted to Mr. Trump’s statement by admitting
he is right, and then adding, “In Delhi, we are
breathing poison”, as if to suggest that the national Middle ground must be found RECKLESS POLITICIANS
capital – not ruled by the party – is the only place in SIR, This refers to the editorial bypass the Central Acts, three Farmers’ Produce Trade and Com- SIR, With reference to your timely editorial, 'Necessary caution',
the country with filthy air. Gurgaon and Noida are “Farmer travails” (October 22). weeks after Congress president merce Act, the Farmers Agreement published today, I fully agree with your views that "the Prime Min-
parts of states that the BJP rules, and the people Punjab, the epicentre of the Sonia Gandhi had asked party- on Price Assurance and Farm Ser- ister's caution must be heeded ~ by every Indian, without hesita-
there breathe the same poison that Delhi’ites do. In protests against the new farm laws, ruled states to negate the agricul- vices Act, and the Essential Com- tion." However, a pertinent question may be asked in the context of
short, and reacting along predictable lines, our seems in for the long haul regard- ture-related laws by passing their modities Act. According to one of his nationwide appeal. Has the Prime Minister issued official direc-
political class finds every opportunity to berate ing a potential legal battle with the own legislations. The state Bills ~ the Bills, no sale of paddy and tives to political parties and members of his party to strictly follow
Centre as the Punjab government which require the assent of the wheat in Punjab will be valid the Covid protocols? Reality suggests that political leaders and Min-
opponents without once making substantive efforts presented three Bills in the Vidhan constitutional authorities to come unless the rate of payment is equal isters break the Covid rules the most, and most often. They instigate
to address problems. All of last year, and the years Sabha on Tuesday in a bid to into force ~ seek to counter the to or above the MSP. The agitating followers to gather in a rally, meeting, the party's fuctions or in reli-
before, large swathes of northern India grappled farmers’ main apprehensions are gious gatherings. There are hundreds of video clips that show politi-
with foul air and winter pollution. Politicians talked that the Centre wants to do away cians break Covid rules, some of them seen wearing face masks like
up a storm, debated who was more responsible, with the tried-and-tested MSP neck ties?
resolved to ensure that the right pollution control regime and leave them to fend for Yours, etc., Rupam Guha,
equipment was procured, and announced grand themselves before the corporates. Kolkata, 22 October.
plans to ensure the problem would go away the fol- The Union government has largely
lowing year. And here we are, at the beginning of failed so far in allaying these fears
and convincing the farmers of the as a state subject in the Seventh ing reforms in agriculture.
another winter, and back at square one, attempt-
benefits of the new legislations. Schedule of the Constitution, the The Centre-state tussle threat-
ing to slay a dragon with a flyswatter by ineffectual- The Bills and the resolution unani- non-BJP-ruled states have been ens to impede agricultural opera-
ly switching our cars off at red lights. We have a mously passed by the Punjab Vid- accusing the Centre of enacting tions, an unwelcome scenario that
Graded Action Plan in place to ensure how citizens han Sabha are not only aimed at laws without bringing them on can delay economic recovery,
can be inconvenienced incrementally for the sheer appeasing the farming community board. unless a middle path is found
incompetence of our political class. It isn’t just our but also to score political mileage, The trust deficit has widened soon.
air that is filthy, it is our thinking. with the state going to the polls in ever since the ordinance route was Yours, etc., Sanjay Chopra,
early 2022. With agriculture listed adopted in June to propose sweep- Mohali, 22 October.
NEW DELHI, 25 OCTOBER 2020 07
SITARAM SHARMA
Sans reforms, the has to acquire a fire engine after the
NOW AND AGAIN

UN brand suffers
fire has started.”

T Virus-era
he United Nations Security Let us make the 21st Century
Council (UNSC) is the pre- less violent and the UN should be
mium forum in internation- equipped with necessary tools by

realities
al politics. Through its deci- reforming it. There is a need to
sions, mandated operations and mobilize international civil society
enforcement actions, the UNSC direct- and global public opinion to carry
ly influences the present and future forward a vision for a just and fairer
state of international peace and secu- world. Its strength is evident from SHOVANLAL CHAKRABORTY
rity. Under the UN Charter, the UNSC the fact that when the United

T
is designated as the custodian of Nations passes a Resolution, it is here are people having many blood
International Peace and Security. seen as speaking for humanity, thus groups - A positive, B positive to name
The founders envisaged that “Five giving it unique legitimacy. The 192 a couple, but only two types of people
Policeman” in the post-war era should member states should embark on a now - coronavirus positive or coronavirus
be enabled to act as the net-provider reform agenda for the Security negative. Either you are effected, unfortunate-
of security, while the members of inter- Council which will make the UN an ly, or not, fortunately.
national community would be the con- accountable, transparent and Similarly, BC has also acquired new mean-
sumers of security. democratic decision-making body, ings. It no longer denotes only 'before Christ'
Chapter VII of the Charter set an organization fit for facing chal- but has also come to refer to the times before
out a clear logical progression or lenges and threats of 21st Century coronavirus.
escalation in a possible Council successfully. Until recently weekends were short,
response varying from Article 40 to I would like to quote Ambas- restricted to the usual half Saturdays and Sun-
the final stage along the line of esca- sador Krishnan Srinivasan, former days. For the retired gentry, it was a long week-
lation with the use of force, the basis Foreign Secretary of India, who as a end of course. Now it is a long weekend for
for which is provided in Article 42. co-panelist with me at a symposium most, except for the work-from-home brigade.
However, the envisaged process of on “UN Needs Restructuring” held All the other weekdays have merged with Satur-
response of the Council was done on 25 June 2010 at Kolkata made fol- day and Sunday to form an extended weekend
away for sheer practicality. And lowing striking and interesting for the employed.
since the end of the Cold War, the observations: “In India, whether the All dressed up and nowhere to go! That's
previously under-utilized Council UN needs Restructuring or Reform why some people dream that after the self quar-
became hyperactive - dealing with is always a loaded question. In antine period finally comes to an end, they will
multiple situations across four con- India, any discussion on UN apply for leave and stay in office. For many gov-
tinents. reforms and restructuring however ernment staffers, staying at home is not much
The world has changed beyond turns exclusively on one question of a different experience because they are used
recognition since the founding of only and that is of expanding the to not working in office too.
the United Nations in 1945. But the UN Security Council to include For many stuck at home, Newton's first law
United Nations refuses to reform or India as a permanent member of motion has been redefined - a body at rest
more aptly the permanent five because of its population, its will continue to be at rest until the wife notices
members of the Security Council - democracy, contribution to UN and finds some work for him.
China, France, Russia, the United Peace keeping etc. I was the Indian "Why are you so late?" "Traffic, sir". "But
Kingdom and the United States - Foreign Secretary in 1994 when this is an online class!" "Yes sir, network traf-
always argue for the retention of India for the first time formally pro- fic". You cannot beat computer-savvy students
their veto, thus blocking any major posed its inclusion as a permanent after all. How they wish to uninstall the virus
AFP
reforms. member.…We in India see our case affected 2020 and reinstall it! No chance.
However UN Reform does not gets trampled” is an expression that 1990s, the Council began to inter- landmark year is the most opportune as self-evident but I frankly think Those who found it difficult to spell quar-
start and end with expansion of applies to the concern held by many vene in a particularly traumatic and one for undertaking decisive action when it comes it will come when antine are now struggling with hydroxychloro-
Security Council membership and smaller countries. Their fear is that complex series of internal conflicts. on Security Council reforms. The our stature as an essential country, quine. Learning is continuous. Those who used
the addition of new categories of even if six new permanent seats are Over the past 75 years the case for reform is overwhelming. whose voice is required, is respected to dress smartly and venture out are seeking
membership or additional perma- created; they will be cut out of deci- Council has proven to be remark- Nobody should think that designing and is recognized by everyone.” suggestions from Facebook on what to wear at
nent members with or without veto sion-making. Moreover, power in ably innovative, but at the same a new UN would be easy. But the Prime Minister Narendra Modi home and still look smart.
power. It should be remembered international politics is not a con- time also made significant blunders alternative is a declining UN in a has forthrightly and even in harsh The highly placed bosses wear their jackets
that every member-state of the UN stant. The rise and fall of emperors failing to learn from its past mis- messy interconnected world. An words, which can hardly be faulted, and ties with bermuda shorts during at meet-
signed on to the Charter has tacitly throughout history is testament to takes. In Rwanda, Bosnia and Soma- increasingly unrepresentative, expressed India’s frustration. ings. One wonders if that doesn't turn out to
accepted the inequality embedded this fact. The once powerful are no lia, the Council adopted responses anachronistic Security Council Addressing a special session mark- be fashion statement later.
in the design of the Security Coun- longer powerful and once weak are that were later proved to be wholly speaks with diminishing authority. It ing 75 years of the UN, he called for Want to go out? Put on your mask, get set
cil. The world was presented with a now strong. A Reformed Council inadequate. But it remains the go- is able to debate the issues that mat- reform of its outdated structure and go - but only if you must. Talk is no longer
stark choice at San Francisco in 1945 will not represent the end of history. to forum in a time of crisis and is ter only because important actors are pointing out that in the absence of silver and silence golden. Now the mask is silver
between “an organisation with great In 20-30 years, new emerging coun- likely to remain so well into the missing. A better Security Council comprehensive changes, the world and social distance is gold.
power privilege” and “no organisa- tries such as Indonesia, Mexico, future. These abject failures have would be able to get more done. Alas! body faces a “crisis of confidence”. Many pets must wonder why everyone is
tion at all”. Thus, 75 years later, the South Korea and Turkey will ask the damaged the creditability of the the consensus ends there. India has been at the forefront of staying at home and disturbing them. For such
abolition of the veto still remains a question: Why are we not in the Council and tarnished the UN A need for reforms suggests demanding reform of the UN, par- disturbed pets and others, the advice is - if you
flight of fantasy. Council? brand. At the heart of criticism is the that there is something wrong with ticularly of its principal organ, the can stay positive in a negative situation you
Since the end of the Cold War, In this context, an alternative notion that UNSC has failed to act the UN which needs correction and Security Council for decades, stak- win. Unity is strength? Not any longer. We can
these reform debates, contorted by proposal made by the Secretary- swiftly and effectively and occasion- fixing. It is fair to say that UN does a ing its claim as one of the world’s stand together only by not standing together.
politics, have circled endlessly with- General in 2005, although unattrac- ally failed to act at all to contain lot of things which are right. One largest economies with a track United we fall, divided we stand is the norm in
out any prospect of conclusion. tive to the membership is consid- international crisis of which Syria is can be proud of peace-keeping record in promoting a rule–based these AC (after corona) days.
With the creation of the Open- ered to be more effective – a four- an example. These criticisms are operations, the Universal Declara- international order. However any
ended Working Group, the debate year renewable membership, as the valid. The UNSC is hyperactive, tion of Human Rights, the Interna- structural reform can be realized 100 YEARS AGO
became formalized and plans for wider membership of the UN has reactive, selective and imperfect. tional Criminal Court and the Kyoto only if the UNSC’s five permanent
reforms subsequently proliferated. the opportunity to assess each elect- Since the late 1990s, there have Protocol. At the same time there are member recognize the deep peril the TO WELCOME THE PRINCE
In general terms, reform is aimed at ed Council member’s performance. been many calls for reforms of the moments of powerlessness when UN faces and support the reform To The Editor Of The Statesman
improving performance. Perhaps Let us be clear that we do not United Nations. However there is lit- the UN is dysfunctional, crippled process, an act that will require look- SIR, - In connection with the visit of H.R.H.
the most recited argument for an live in an ideal world. Let us also tle clarity or consensus about what and cannot resolve situations. Peo- ing beyond their own interests for the Prince of Wales to Calcutta next January,
expanded UNSC is that the Council understand the reality that the reforms might mean in practice. The ple have increasingly begun to ques- the greater good of the world and its arrangements have been made for the whole of
does not reflect contemporary Council cannot be expected to be range of opinion extends from these tion its effectiveness in fulfilling its peace building architecture. the Indians of Calcutta to show their loyalty,
power realities and should therefore impartial, apolitical and democratic. who want to eliminate the UN duties. The perception is that UN is and doubtless the whole official world both
be reformed to reflect the so-called This is not to say these expectations entirely, to those who want to make ineffective at peace-keeping. For- The writer is the Vice President of the British and Indian will have their special
new realities of the 21st century. are not good or worthy, but they are it a full-fledged World Government. mer UN Secretary-General Kofi Indian Federation of United Nations chances of being brought in touch with His
Associations, New Delhi and Ex-Chairman,
The old adage “Whether ele- based on an idea of the Council that The United Nations marks 75 Annan famously called the UN, “the MAKAIAS, an autonomous body under Royal Highness at the various Government
phants make love or war, the grass does not exist in reality. During the years of its existence in 2020. This only fire brigade in the World that Ministry of Culture, Govt. of India. House functions; but what about the remainder
of the British and Anglo-Indian portion of the
population of Calcutta? I am sure they would all

Befuddled by Korea’s enigmas


like to show the Prince that they welcome him
It is also incomprehensible that North and the South. as heartily as the rest. This would at the same
some cabinet members are so arro- It is bewildering that a Korean time give the whole British community a
gant and impudent at the National writer reportedly said of late that chance to give His Royal Highness a real unoffi-
KIM SYEONG-KON ple Power Party because despite the Chun Doo-hwan, for example, the Assembly auditing in South Korea pro-Japan collaborators were most- cial welcome, and also let him know that the
new name, the Party had lost the government’s motto was “Building these days. Yet, if we look a little ly those who had studied in Japan. It British of Calcutta have not forgotten the great

T
here are a myriad of enigmatic election. Ironically, the most recent a Society of Justice.” However, how closer, the reason is obvious. Those immediately ignited controversy sacrifice that the best blood of Britain gave for
things happening in Korea name, the People Power Party, can a military dictator who had conceited cabinet members are for- because according to his logic, any- the Empire.
these days, whether in the sounds like a radical progressive seized power through a coup possi- mer National Assemblymen. That one who has studied in China or BRITISHER.
North or the South. For exam- party, not a conservative party, bly build a just society? Thus, the means, the lawmakers in the audit- America is likely to be a pro-China Darjeeling.
ple, North Korea confuses us by show- thereby making it lose its identity motto became an object of derision. ing room are the cabinet members’ or pro-America collaborator, which
ing us a friendly gesture recently, inadvertently during the name During the Noh Moo-hyun admin- former colleagues. Why, then, would is not true. Regrettably, our writers THE PERSIAN REFUGEES
while displaying deadly weapons changing process. istration, the motto was “Every- they be modest or polite? Therefore, are not free from the “nutshell logic” To The Editor Of The Statesman
that can strike the South in a military In fact, the opposition party has body’s Participating Government.” it is not a good idea to appoint a of ultra-nationalism, yet. The inci- SIR, - Would you kindly permit me to make
parade. In South Korea, too, we are frequently changed its name, from Regrettably, however, those who did National Assemblyman to a govern- dent reminds us of the great writer, one or two other acknowledgments of gener-
witnessing a plethora of sphinxlike the Grand National Party to the not support President Roh could not ment cabinet post. Others can also James Joyce, who boldly denounced ous help, as a conclusion to the appeal made for
things of late Saenuri Party and then to the Lib- participate in the government. Thus, be insolent if the majority of the ultra-nationalism of his home- the refugees. They sailed on Saturday last, and
One of the inscrutable things in erty Korea Party, the United Future people muttered, “It is Our Faction National Assembly auditors are land and lived in exile in a foreign in addition to paying Rs 1,500 for their passages,
South Korea is the recent tendency Party, and most recently the People Only Participating Government.” from the Ruling Party who will auto- country. and providing them with a substantial sum for
of political parties to change their Power Party. The ruling party is not At that time, the Ruling Party matically take their side. Finally, it is embarrassing to see exigencies on the way, we have a balance of Rs
names continually. In fact, this phe- an exception, either and had a vari- was the Uri Party, which means, It is equally puzzling to see the our high-ranking diplomats not hes- 168 which will be divided proportionately
nomenon of political parties chang- ety of different names in the past. “Open to Everybody Party” in Kore- recent criticism of Chinese netizens itate to utter undiplomatic remarks amongst some of those who so generously gave
ing their names happens so fre- Consequently, many Koreans are an. However, people derided the on the Korean vocal group, BTS, on foreign relations publicly. In them food and shelter without expecting any
quently in Korea that people are confused and find all these name name by calling it, “Closed to Every- when they expressed gratitude at diplomacy, you do not bluntly say, return. Amongst these I omitted to mention in
now confused which is which. changes rather meaningless. The body Party” or “Open Only to Us the Van Fleet Award ceremony to “No!” because it may inflame the my last letter the Y.M.C.A., who took their share
Take the conservative opposi- important thing is the change of the Party.” Currently, the Korean name the US army for its help during the other party. Yet, our diplomats do of the burden, and we have cabled to Japan to
tion party, for example. Just before substance, not simply the name. Yet, of the Ruling Party is “Deobureo Korean War. The incident stemmed not seem to be discreet enough and their representatives there to meet the refugees,
the April election this year, it our politicians only keep changing Minjudang,” which means “Togeth- from a misunderstanding of Chi- consequently provoke other and render any help they can. Mrs. F.B. Smith,
changed its name from the Liberty the name of their party without er Democratic Party.” However, nese young people about the Chi- nations. of Thoburn Methodist Episcopal Church, col-
Korea Party to the United Future changing its substance. since the Party excludes those who nese intervention in the Korean War. Indeed, we have so many lected Rs 90 for the purchase of clothing; the
Party simply because voters did not Among other perplexing phe- are not in its faction, people call it During the Korea War, China fought inscrutable things happening in our ladies of Wellesley Square United Free Church
like the stalemate connotations of nomena are the mottos of our gov- sarcastically, “Wurikiri Deobureo the US to help North Korea, not country these days. We should be of Scotland also provided suitable garments.
being called the opposition party. In ernments, which often turn out to Minjudang,” which means “Our South Korea. However, many Chi- rational and reasonable from now on. ALBERT G. MACKINNON.
August, the United Future Party be a hollow mockery of themselves. Faction Only Together Democratic nese people misunderstand that Park Street.
changed its name again to the Peo- During the military dictatorship of Party.” China fought for Korea, both the The Korea Herald/ANN.
THE INDIAN NATIONAL SEAMEN'S UNION
CROSSWORD To The Editor Of The Statesman
NO 28114 SIR, - I am surprised to read in The States-
man of today's report of a meeting of the exec-
ACROSS 24 Dander gets up with game woman to get up (4) utive council of the Indian Seamen's Benevo-
SOLUTION FOR 18 OCTOBER 1 I am one to tolerate drug-taking
who's really dominant (6,4) 7 One heading to nightclub to tuck lent Union at Ekbalpore Road. The public are
naked king (6)
26 Bad face lift gets foremost of into brew or a Bud (5) already aware that the Indian Seamen's Benev-
doctors distressed (9) 8 Hills soldiers and devout duke
4 Hoskins must wear contraceptive
27 Flatulent? In the end, booze can climbed close to Leeds (7)
olent Union and the Indian Seamen's Union
covering, being hot stuff! (8)
give you wind (5) 9 Line of speed (6) were amalgamated into one union in a legal,
10 In Paris, bed group of soldiers in unit (5)
11 Song and dance singer recalled
28 A couple of lines with Large Earl in 14 Man on Later playing purely to show constitutional, and regular meeting presided
chart success in Love (9)
motor and things are ok! (3,5) off? (10) over by the president himself, of the now
29 Fighter, perhaps with bit of tan and 17 Discharge English soldier that's hit
12 Possibly treaties meet with anger,
heavenly body (6) volunteers from the south (9)
defunct Indian Seamen's Benevolent Union
rioting and touch of sadness (10)
18 Saucy sort of advance leads to held in the Hall of the Indian Association on
13 One little doggy running around island (4) DOWN
15 Sailor seen with Her Maj grabbing
absolutely torrid affair (7) the 11th inst. This meeting was called by the
posh bloke giving the fingers? (7)
1 Airs shown by a daughter during 19 Artist involved in track by America or then secretary, who was duly elected as such at
posh formal dances (7) Bread (7)
16 Van Gogh was halfway to being this
2 German dons behind blue 20 Is it possible that a half-cut
a meeting held on the 20th ultimo, presided
brave, having lost head (7)
atmospheric phenomenon (9) European is a state? (6) over by the president, who ratified and
18 Turn on debtor that's ready for it
after bit of petting (5,2)
3 He is one not lacking bit of nous, 21 Peak time's ending! Vacation at endorsed the unanimous election of the said
20 Daily forced to ditch front cover in
but simple (10) front with English break? (7) secretary. The Indian National Seamen's Union
5 Missionary position is used in 23 Okay by the cops to bump off
farcical event (7)
Antilles regularly (7) leading liberal? That's terrible! (5)
is now the only existing union which champi-
22 Ultimately defines actor as one
6 Lose your rag as rubbish son needs 25 Palliative primarily given to sick? (4) ons the cause and looks after the interests of
acting other than they are (4)
the Indian seamen and its office-bearers were
NOTE: Figures in parentheses denote the number of letters in the words required. (By arrangement with The Independent, London)
duly elected.
SAMUD KHAN.
25 OCT 2020 4
BHUBANESWAR SUNDA
SUND AY

EDITORIAL Recall Frontier Gandhi


Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan was a rienced difficulty, during his own a religion of peace. He was a man to cement the age-old mutual har-
Vaccine Politics rare example of community tran-
sition, who showed how easy it was
to shed the cult of violence and
visits to the Frontier Province, in
sending out proper news through
normal agencies or otherwise. He
with a universal message of broth-
erhood and camaraderie. He knew
how vibrant the cultural heritage of
mony between the two major com-
munities. Inspired by the increas-
ing influence of Gandhi, whose
P olitical adventurism shouldn’t trespass reason. And gov
ernance is about contextual maturity. Besides, certain
issues are just not meant to be politicised, especially some-
walk the path of peace. India com-
pleted the year-long celebrations of
further observed that restrictions on
such news being sent out were
his people and the region was, and
how this cradle of learning and cul-
persona and ideas had begun to in-
fluence the remote North-Western
thing as serious as the Coronavirus vaccine, a hope that’s the 150th birth anniversary of Ma- stricter in the Frontier Province than ture sank “into a state where there part of the empire and Khyber
sustaining the entire nation which could still end up being hatma Gandhi on October 2. One elsewhere in India. He then revealed was no room left for such good Pakhtunkhwa, young Bacha Khan
the worst-hit in the world. That, too, at a time when an had the privilege of participating in a painful truth: “The result is that work such as education and learn- opened schools for both boys and
effective vaccine is like the proverbial El Dorado, as trials several learned deliberations on the the people in the rest of India know ing.” While India was celebrating girls. He organised young people
are still going on and there is no proof yet that it would relevance of Gandhian ideas in the little of what is happening in this the birth anniversary of Mahatma under the banner of servants of God
work on a mass scale. Even assuming it does, every citi- present context. In most of these, it highly important part of the coun- Gandhi, an erudite scholar of post- — Khudai Khidmatgar — who,
zen, graded according to priority and co-morbidities, has a was rather a unanimous conclusion try.” In this very statement, Nehru Independence history, RNP Singh, contrary to the prevalent tradition,
right to be administered a shot. And any smart Govern- that Gandhi’s principles, values and wrote about Frontier Gandhi. He was searching literature and sources decided to follow the Gandhian
ment would try to sound altruistic enough about protect- his life could give a healing touch said: “Few people know about the in libraries and institutions to put path to achieve freedom for India
ing all citizens, if not mean it, only to reap political gains. to suffering humanity in a world work that Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan up an authentic account of the great and its people. To these highly mo-
Agreed politics is all about making tall claims that are rarely characterised by wars, violence, has been carrying on during the last Gandhian, Khan Abdul Ghaffar tivated and committed people, his
achieved. Still, for all the eloquence, there ought to be some distrust, hatred, fundamentalism, six months. He does not believe in Khan. And how India ignored his message was, “The fundamental
sense of prudence and judgment. Most importantly, no terrorism, arms race, hunger, pov- ostentation but he has gone to vil- contributions which had the poten- principles of all religions are the
party can advocate anything that is morally questionable. erty, ill-health and much more. lages seeing his people, organising tial to bring forth peace not only to same though the details differ be-
In this sense, the ruling BJP has overreached itself a bit Peace, non-violence and religious them and encouraging them in ev- the erstwhile North-West Frontier cause each faith takes the colour
much, promising the voters in Bihar free vaccines, with- harmony remain elusive commodi- ery way. Thus, he has covered the Province (NWFP), Afghanistan and and flavour of the soil from which
out realising that it is implicitly saying that official benefits ties. And Gandhi successfully dem- entire province.” Apart from numer- Baluchistan but to the entire Middle it springs… I cannot contemplate a
will now flow selectively among those who vote for it as a onstrated a non-violent path to hu- ous impediments from various quar- East region, and even beyond. Singh time when there will be one reli-
quid pro quo. That sounds as bad as a public threat. Worse, man dignity, harmony and liberty. ters, Khan also had to face false pro- has established, based on his study, gion for the whole world.” And this
its promise is not just another instance of poll populism — He could influence leading person- paganda of vested interests. Born in how great was the measure of came from a devout Muslim who
it’s an attempt to manipulate the anxieties caused by the alities within and beyond India, 1890, he was greatly touched by the wrong done to this frontline free- never missed a namaaz and who
most lethal pandemic to have ravaged the world in more who plunged headlong into creat- devastating misery of his own dom fighter and an exceptional also had “the spirit of brotherhood”
than a century. And when somebody like Union Finance ing a peaceful world by following people which, he concluded, was devotee of Gandhi. In his seminal innate in himself more than many
Minister Nirmala Sitharaman makes the announcement, his values and successfully achiev- due to the lack of education and con- work, Durand line: Did India Fail so-called orthodox Muslims. Reli-
it shows that the Government is desperate about the poll ing attitudinal transformation sequent ignorance. He started Frontier Gandhi, Singh very suc- gious fundamentalists and protago-
arithmetic of the party it represents than pursuing holistic within their communities and na- schools and the British did not like cinctly summarises: “He was nists of the two-nation theory,
policies, that it is cavalier about the demands of science tion. The life of Khan Abdul it. He was 19 when he was first im- among the very few leaders of un- expectedly, disliked him and his
and health protocols and is unconcerned about lives, leave Ghaffar Khan, also known as prisoned and then it was a life in and divided India who, by dint of their approach and inflicted numerous
alone being compassionate. However, this isn’t the first Bacha Khan and Frontier Gandhi, out of jails of the Britishers, and then sincere effort and selfless service to cruelties on him and his followers
time the party has made such questionable promises. There presents one of the most scintillat- the Government of Pakistan. His their people, rose to eminence and once they came to power. The per-
was talk that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted to ing examples of achieving a rare historic movement, Khudai earned a niche for themselves in the sona of this Frontier Gandhi, suf-
launch a home-grown COVID vaccine by August 15 to community transition from vio- Khidmatgar, was launched to over- top political hierarchy of the coun- ferings that he endured even after
mark the nation’s 72 years of Independence. Apparently, lence as a cult to the path of peace come poverty and banish the Brit- try. Yet in spite of having earned a Independence, must be revealed to
the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was un- and love as the value of total com- ish from India. He was, till the end place among the galaxy of eminent young Indians, who are working for
der pressure to fast-track clinical trials but widespread criti- mitment. His name may appear just leaders, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan religious amity as the core value
of the freedom struggle, for a united
cism about compromising efficacy for the sake of political
as unfamiliar to most young Indi- India. Khan was inspired by never advanced his claims to rec- that could lead India to its destina-
expediency and pressure from scientists ensured that a life
ans as his role as a stalwart in the Gandhi’s message of non-violence ognition in the Indian context.” One tion of honour and acceptability in
and death question was not made a mockery of. Yet the
Indian freedom struggle, and after and he knew how difficult it would could say without hesitation that a strife-torn world. What happened
BJP’s claim of free vaccine doses has already trivialised a
grave issue into a point-scoring exercise. A similar an- Independence, as a fighter for his be to convince his “freedom-loving” India failed Bacha Khan, his to Bacha Khan or what was done
nouncement followed in Tamil Nadu, where the elections people in Pakistan, that he waged Pathans to execute the idea. He had Pakhtoon people and the NWFP. to him is summed up by
are due next year. AIADMK leader and Chief Minister E till his last breath on January 20, the courage and conviction to accept There is no other way out of this Mohammed Arif Khan in the fore-
Palaniswami promised the shots on the basis of his prox- 1988. He finds little resonance even the challenge and he achieved this but to follow the path shown by word to the treatise by Singh: “As
imity to the BJP. In other words, tradeoffs of this nature in India for various reasons. In July miracle. The type of attitudinal trans- Gandhi and Bacha Khan. During an Indian, I feel that what we did to
will be made to buy the allegiance of federal parties. One 1942, Jawaharlal Nehru issued a formation achieved by this charis- the freedom struggle, Gandhi tried Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and the
wonders what the BJP’s stand would be in Bengal, where statement on the happenings in the matic personality could only be his best to persuade the Muslim Pashtuns in 1957 was very unfair.
it is seeking to dislodge the Trinamool Congress? But the Frontier Province — now in Paki- termed unparalleled. He gave a new League and Mohammad Ali Jinnah The Pashtuns had voted in 1946 for
BJP’s fatal flaw has certainly galvanised the Opposition. stan — clearly indicating how interpretation of force, courage and to give up the two-nation theory. He a united India but the decision of
Delhi Chief Minister and leader of Aam Aadmi Party scarce the news from there was, valour to his people and the com- failed in his persuasion and India the Indian leadership reduced them
(AAP) Arvind Kejriwal was quick to point out the plight and that too, was “often tainted and munity. This, he could do through suffered the ghastly tragedy of the to being subservient to the break-
of the people in non-BJP ruled States while National Con- contained many wrong allega- his creative leadership, deep and Partition. And we still need persis- ers of Indian unity.
ference leader Omar Abdullah called the announcement a tions.” Nehru had personally expe- thoughtful interpretation of Islam as tent efforts to strengthen our efforts JS Rajput
“blatant populism” that “shamefully exploits COVID
fears.” He even wondered if the BJP would be paying for
these vaccines from the party treasury. So when the Union
Minister of State for Health, Ashwini Chaubey, tried to
The Astounding Legacy of an Iconic Artist
clear the air, it was too little too late. According to him, the reer with Satasankha Opera, the than any established hero. Thus, ence has become a learning ex-
Centre had prepared an elaborate plan on distributing the Dr. Aditya Keshari Mishra actor has worked with several jatra it brought a radical shift in perience for numerous co-artists.
vaccine and identifying those who would be given “pref- Sociologist, CUO, Koraput troupes in the state such as Janata people's imagination. Viku Seth is His entry has invigorated jatra and
erence.” He even added that every State would be given Mob.: 7008547224 Gananatya, Kalinga Gananatya, not simply a character; it means made it a popular culture in
free Coronavirus vaccines. But Amit Malviya of the BJP’s Parbati Gananatya, Tulasi many things to many people. It be- Odisha. Thus, Viku Seth's truly fe-
IT cell further complicated matters when he said that like Gananatya, Dhauli Gananatya, etc. came a brand name in Jollywood. cund legacy heralded a new era
all programmes, the Centre would provide vaccines to The current article is a small trib- Out of his several penchant per- It has contributed immensely to of Jollywood. Any actor
States at a nominal rate. And health being a State subject, ute to a great artist 'Viku Seth', formances, the performance in Jollywood. First, the character in any industry is known by his
the Bihar BJP unit had decided to give it free if elected and the jewel of Jollywood, a unique "Saguna Basichi Dena Melei provided a wide recognition to or her name. In other words, we
that other State Governments, too, can decide to do the industry in Odisha. As part of the [SBDM]" play is exceptional. He Mahendra Das. Soon after the hardly find any actor who is well-
same. This is not unexpected, as it has become normal for entertainment industry, we fre- acted in a negative role as 'Viku SBDM, he was considered as the known for his/her character in any
the ruling dispensation to change its stand on what sub- quently watch movies (Holly- Seth' in SBDM, which was a sen- frontline actor in the state. Sec- industry: Hollywood, Bollywood,
jects under the State List can be manipulated by the Cen- wood, Bollywood, and sational hit in 1991. As the wily, ond, the character also redefined Ollywood, and Jollywood. Even
tre. Except that the Opposition is not buying this narrative Ollywood), serials, reality shows, wicked, and grotesque protago- the jatra culture in the state. It the characters 'Mogambo' in Mr.
with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) urging the Election etc. We remember and miss the nist, Viku Seth was larger than a brought about a revolutionary India and 'Raj' in Dilwale
Commission to restrain the BJP from “signing a poll deal actors on-screen and off-screen. villain. Some of the dynamic dia- change in Jollywood industry. Dulhania Le Jayenge performed
using the vaccine.” The larger concern is that the political However, in the case of logues of Viku Seth in SBDM 'Na Third, it started to act as a mag- by legendary actors Amrish Puri
parties will still get away making wild claims during the Jollywood, the popular entertain- Taa Tahele Mina', 'Bhala Nachila', netic force. It attracted several au- and Shahrukh Khan respectively
Bihar elections, the results of which will be announced in ment industry in Odisha is wor- 'Bhalaku Bhala Kahibata Kana diences to jatra. His evergreen dia- were quite popular for some time
November. And no trial results will be available before risome. Since the jatra industry is Kharap', 'Bhe', 'Khumpi Delu Puni logues captivated numerous audi- not for a lifetime. However, the
December, leave aside the prospect of a rollout by the be- not an established industry, we Mote Bhala Kalu' etc. made him a ences to jatra. Fourth, it also en- character 'Viku Seth' enacted by
ginning of next year. Would the voter bet on something don't remember, which is unfor- celebrated artist among Odias. couraged healthy competition Mahendra Das in SBDM has been
that has still not seen the light of day? The Government tunate. We often love to watch the These sensational dialogues are among jatra artists. Fifth, many remembered by all Odias in
should instead focus on the vaccine administration pro- jatra but forget to give due ac- still alive today. The stylish dia- jatra troupe owners began to de- Odisha and beyond. Many people
cess and set up a seamless cold chain infrastructure, both knowledgment to its actors. logue delivery and lively acting on velop an inclination towards Viku do not know Mahendra Das; they
of which are humongous challenges. Vaccine preserva- When we see jatra, we enjoy a lot; stage by Mahendra Das in SBDM Seth. These troupes tried to bring know Viku Seth. In fact, during
tion is a tricky business as wide swathes of vials could go but, we feel shy and hesitate to turned him as 'Viku Seth' in Odisha him to their fold to earn maximum his lifelong acting career, the ac-
bad if safety norms are not adhered to and the temperature acknowledge in the public sphere and beyond. Viku Seth brought a profit. Several jatra troupes were tor is known by Viku Seth, not
controls are not monitored strictly. The COVID vaccine because we feel 'watching jatra is dramatic revolution in Jollywood. running successfully in the brand Mahendra Das. This can be
has to be stored at temperatures lower than other known a sign of backwardness' and Before him, negative characters in name of Viku Seth. It won't be rightly considered as an ultimate
vaccines. The Serum Institute has already raised questions Jollywood were hardly known; wrong to mention that the entry accomplishment of an actor,
'watching cinema is a sign of for-
on the Government’s ability to keep aside Rs 80,000 crore artists love to play hero roles. Viku of Viku Seth brought about a com- which is possible because of his
wardness'. That's why many jatra
for the rollout. Is the Government equipped to handle this Seth changed the mindset. After mercial benefit to Jollywood. total immersion in his act. As an
artists come and take a silent exit
without roping in the private sector? If so, how much will his entry in SBDM, many young- Viku Seth is an institution, not acclaimed artist, Mahendra Das
the private sector be ready to subsidise costs? Besides, either in the form of retirement
or death. The recent demise of sters came to Jollywood and simply a character. He has given has left but Viku Seth is still alive.
how will those at risk be mapped, considering that most played negative characters keep- astounding acting to on-stage vil- An artist with a soul, a performer
Indians have a heavy disease burden and co-morbidities? 'Viku Seth', an actor par excel-
lence and second to none is a case ing him in mind as their role lainy. Most of the work he has with a style, an actor with a sub-
Vaccine distribution and administration will be no less of model. Viku Seth proved that it is done was either quality-oriented stance, Viku Seth will be remem-
a logistical challenge than the general elections and will in point. It only became a piece
of breaking news in the media; possible to remain a hero in the work or mainstream commercial bered by mass for time to come.
require the Centre and States to work together. So before it
nothing happened beyond. The public mind by playing a villain plays where he used his powerful His legacy will be cherished by
promises the moon, the BJP should realise that gravity is
character 'Viku Seth' has been character. He was profoundly ac- voice and on-stage performance to all forever.
rude and it alone would land with a thud if it doesn’t pur-
staged by the legendary actor cepted, appreciated, admired, and accentuate the dramatic defini-
sue collaborative politics on COVID for its own good.
Mahendra Das. Beginning his ca- adorned by mass. He was no less tions of evil. His on-stage pres-
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12 SCIENCE  &  TECHNOLOGY DELHI

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2020


THE HINDU
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SNAPSHOTS
How an asymptomatic player turned super-spreader
A single index player in a baseball game spread the virus to 20 other players of his team, but probably not on the field
R. Prasad wearing  and  social  distanc­ The  index  case  was  imme­ had  occurred  outside  the
ing,  frequent  (every  other diately  isolated  and  all field. “Interactions outside of
The  importance  of  testing day) testing for rapid identifi­ players  of  team  A  and  staff on­field play were likely the
asymptomatic  persons  for cation  of  people  infected members who were in close source of spread, and SARS­
Literates at birth novel  coronavirus  and  the with the virus before they ex­ contact with the index cases CoV­2 transmission risk bet­
Comparing fMRI scans of 40 import  of  mitigation  strate­ hibited symptoms and isola­ were tested. ween  baseball  teams  while
newborns’ brains with adults, gies to decrease the spread of tion of the infected and qua­ On  day  five,  after  the  se­ on the playing field appeared
researchers found that the the  virus  have  been  high­ rantining  of  close  contacts. cond  game  with  team  B, low,” the authors write. The
human brain is wired to read lighted in a super­spreading In addition, the games were three more players of team A employee of team B who was
and write even at birth. The event  involving  team  A  that played without spectators. tested  positive.  The  follow­ infected  had  apparently
study published in Scientific participated  in  the  Major Despite  multiple  mitiga­ ing  day,  an  additional  eight closely  interacted  indoors
Reports found the visual word League  Baseball  matches  in tion strategies, including that team  A  players  and  staff with team A tier 1 employees
form area was connected to Philadelphia  in  end­June.  A testing  of  each  player  every member  of  team  B  tested who  subsequently  tested
the language network. single  index  player  spread alternate  day  was  in  place, positive.  In  the  following positive.
the virus to 20 other players the spread of the virus to oth­ days,  eight  more  players  of
of  his  team  and  to  one  em­ er players could not be pre­ team A tested positive.  Additional support
ployee of team B. The results vented.  This  was  primarily Genome  sequencing  re­ “Social distancing measures
were  published  in  the  Mor­ because  the  virus  spread vealed that 17 of the 18 sam­ have been effective in a varie­
bidity  and  Mortality  Weekly during  the  asymptomatic ples  that  were  sequenced ty  of  settings,  and  this  out­
Report (MMWR). phase  of  infection.  To  pre­ had  a  single  nucleotide  var­ break  provides  additional
vent  further  spread  by iant,  revealing  that  the  sup­ support for their use during
Health protocols asymptomatic  players,  the er­spreading event was from sporting events, such as ba­
Precious sample The  Major  League  Baseball Major  League  Baseball  in­ a single index case. seball  games,”  the  authors
Two days after touching down developed  new  health  and itiated daily testing instead of Tricky situation: Among 19 of 21 persons infected, symptoms developed an average of 2.3 days note.  Universal  mask­wear­
on asteroid Bennu, NASA’s safety  protocols  before  the alternate  day  testing  for  all after collection of the test-positive sample. GETTY IMAGES *
Outside the field ing  policies  provided  addi­
OSIRIS-REX collected about July 24 start of the 2020 sea­ players belonging to team A Despite  team  A  playing  five tional  protection  for  team
60 grams of material from the son  based  on  CDC’s  CO­ and B for the duration of the persons with COVID­19 who Meghan  Murray  from  the still asymptomatic, received games in all, spending a cum­ mates.  “Consistent  adhe­
asteroid’s surface, the mission VID­19  mitigation  recom­ outbreak.  Frequent  testing were  symptomatic,  symp­ Epidemic  Intelligence  Ser­ a positive  test  result  on  day ulative 11 hours on the field, rence  to  these  policies  off­
team reported. This will be mendations related to events helped  identify  players  in­ toms  developed  an  average vice, CDC which investigated four  of  the  games  before  a no  player  from  team  B  or field also might have contri­
kept in the sample return and  gatherings.  These  in­ fected with virus days before of 2.3 days after collection of the super­spreading event, in three­game series with team team C, coaches or umpires buted to protecting the com­
capsule till the spacecraft clude  non­pharmaceutical they  started  showing  symp­ the  test­positive  sample,” the paper in MMWR.  B. The result was based on a became infected. According munities hosting the games,”
returns to the Earth. interventions  such  as  mask toms.  “Among  the  19  of  21 says  the  team  led  by  Dr. The  index  case,  who  was sample collected on day two. to the study, the virus spread they note.

Evidence of dairy production in  Room temperature superconductivity,


the Indus Valley Civilisation  possible but under severe pressure
Shubashree Desikan ture  to  lower  and  lower  va­
Traces indicate that milk may have been boiled before consumption lues as the magnetic field in­
Starting from hydrogen sul­ creased.  If  you  extrapolate
Aswathi Pacha sils  of  cattle,  water  buffalo, phide,  infamous  for  its  rot­ this relationship, they show
goat and sheep found in the ten­egg smell, a group of re­ that  at  around  62  tesla  the
The  year  2020  marks  100 area. Cows and water buffa­ searchers  at  University  of magnetic field would destroy
years  of  discovery  of  Indus lo  were  found  to  consume Rochester, Intel corporation the  superconductivity  com­
Valley  Civilisation,  and  a millets,  while  sheep  and and University of Nevada in pletely. 
new  study  has  shown  that goats  ate  nearby  grass  and the U.S. have created a mate­ Commenting on the high
dairy  products  were  being leaves. A preliminary study rial that is superconducting pressure that was needed to
produced by the Harappans suggested  that  most  of  the at 15 degrees Celsius. That is, create this material, Ranga P.
as far back as 2500 BCE.  cattle and water­buffalo died it  shows  zero  resistance  to Dias, from the University of
By  analysing  residues  on at  an  older  age,  suggesting the  flow  of  electricity Rochester  and  the  corres­
ancient  pots,  researchers they could have been raised through  it.  Such  a  material Cool lab: A diamond anvil cell (blue box) was used to produce ponding author of the paper,
show the earliest direct evi­ for milk, whereas the major­ would  have  hitherto  un­ the high pressure of 2.6 million atmospheres. J. ADAM FENSTER *
says in an email to The Hin­
dence of dairy product pro­ Age-old story: Analysis ofresidues on ancient pots shows the ity of goat/sheep died when heard  of  applications  from du that  the  pressure  they
cessing, thus throwing fresh earliest evidence of dairy processing. PRABODH SHIRVALKAR
* they were young, indicating power supplies to quantum croft (1968) gave a new impe­ in polar regions!”. needed was 267 Gigapascals,
light  on  the  rural  economy they  could  have  been  used computers. The only caveat tus  to  this  search  and  sug­ The  researchers  made or 2.6 million atmospheres.
of  the  civilisation.  The  stu­ can  College  Postgraduate that  the  Harappans  made for meat. is  that  it  needs  ultrahigh gested  that  within three tests to verify that this “The pressure at the centre
dies were carried out on 59 and  Research  Institute, curd and cheese, Dr. Chakra­ “The  Harappans  did  not pressure  of  about  2  million conventional  BCS  mechan­ phase  was  indeed  a  super­ of the Earth is 360 GPa, so it
shards of pottery from Kota­ Pune. He is one of the auth­ borty adds: “It is very diffi­ just use dairy for their hou­ atmospheres to achieve this ism of superconductivity, in conductor:  First,  they  mea­ is  75%  of  the  pressure  at
da Bhadli, a small archeolog­ ors of the papers published cult to pinpoint. Traces were sehold. The large herd indi­ transition,  putting  off  any view of light mass of H atom, sured  resistance  as  a  func­ centre  of  the  Earth,”  he
ical site in present­day Guja­ in Scientific Reports. seen in cooking vessels indi­ cates  that  milk  was  pro­ thoughts  of  application  to superconducting  Tc  of  me­ tion  of  temperature  and adds.
rat.  cating  that  milk  may  have duced  in  surplus  so  that  it the future. The research, pu­ tallic  hydrogen  will  reach found that it did fall to a van­
“When we talk about Ha­ Carbon isotope studies been boiled and consumed. could  be  exchanged  and blished  in  Nature,  has room  temperature  scales,” ishingly  small  value  below Diamond jaws
rappans, we always refer to The  team  used  molecular We also found residues in a there could have been some sparked off animated discus­ explains Prof. Baskaran  the critical temperature, Tc. They  achieved  this  by
the  metropolitan  cities  and analysis techniques to study bowl  showing  that  either kind of trade between settle­ sions in the world of physics.  A true  superconductor squeezing  a  tiny  volume  of
the  big  towns.  But  we  have the  residues  from  ancient heated  milk  or  curd  could ments. This could have given “Ever  since  Wigner  and Breakthrough would, if placed in a magnet­ the  substance  between  the
no  idea  of  the  parallel  eco­ pottery. “Pots are porous. So have been served. There are rise to an industrial level of Huntington (1935) predicted In 2015, a breakthrough hap­ ic  field,  try  to  push  out  the jaws of a diamond anvil. “We
nomy — agro­pastoral or ru­ as soon as we put any liquid also remains of a perforated dairy exploitation,” adds Dr. that  solid  hydrogen  can  be pened when a group led by field from its interior. This is have  broken  many  dia­
ral. We know they had great form  of  food,  it  will  absorb vessel,  and  similar  vessels Chakraborty. metallised by application of M.I. Eremets managed to ap­ called  perfect  diamagne­ monds. It’s very challenging
urban planning, trading sys­ it. The pot preserves the mo­ were  used  in  Europe  to He concludes: “The most a pressure of about 25 Giga­ ply  pressure  on  hydrogen tism,  and  the  group  ascer­ to keep this material to very
tems, jewellery making. But lecules  of  food  such  as  fats make cheese. So it is possi­ fascinating  thing  about  the pascal  (GPa),  the  high­pres­ sulphide and get a supercon­ tained that the magnetic sus­ high pressure because of the
we don't have any idea how and  proteins.  Using  tech­ ble  that  they  were  further Indus  Valley  Civilisation  is sure physics community has ductor at 200 kelvin (minus ceptibility  was  that  of  a hydrogen  diffusion,”  he
the  common  masters  were niques like C16 and C18 ana­ processing  milk  into  diffe­ that  it  is  faceless  —  there  is been  after  metallisation  of 73  degrees  Celsius).  Prof. diamagnet.  reveals.
living  during  the  Harappan lysis  we  can  identify  the rent forms.” no king, no bureaucratic or­ hydrogen,” says G. Baskaran, Baskaran  adds,  “It  was  fol­ Thirdly,  it  is  known  that “The  next  challenge  will
times,  their  lifestyle  and source  of  lipids,”  adds  Ka­ ganisations,  but  there  are Distinguished  Professor  of lowed by superconductivity sufficiently  high  magnetic be  to  produce  these  mate­
how they were contributing lyan  Sekhar  Chakraborty, Animal husbandry these very close regional in­ Physics  at  IIT  Madras  and in  few  more  hydride  super­ fields can destroy supercon­ rials  that  are  stable  (or  me­
in  the  larger  network,”  ex­ the first author of the paper, The  team  was  also  able  to teractions  between  settle­ Distinguished  Visiting  Re­ conductors.  Until  recently, ductivity  in  a  material.  The tastable) at ambient pressure
plains  Prabodh  Shirvalkar, from the Department of An­ show which type of animals ments, a symbiotic relation­ search Chair at Perimeter In­ the  record  holder  was  Lan­ researchers  applied  high via ‘compositional tuning’ so
from the Department of An­ thropology, University of To­ were  being  used  for  dairy ship  of  give  and  take  that stitute,  Waterloo,  Canada, thanum  superhydride magnetic fields up to 9 tesla they will be even more eco­
cient Indian History, Culture ronto, Canada. production.  They  studied helped  the  civilisation  sur­ who is an expert in the field (LaH10). Its Tc is about 250 K, and showed the suppression nomical  to  mass  produce,”
and Archaeology at the Dec­ When asked if this proves the  tooth  enamel  from  fos­ vive for so long.” of  superconductivity.  “Ash­ which is room temperatures of  the  transition  tempera­ says Dr. Dias. 

Problems with the Indian supermodel for COVID-19 rotten and fermented


fish. In the smell tests,
those participants who
have the gene variant
Basing public health policy on flawed population.  This  suggests rameters  are  then  varied were more likely to not
that it is the amount of expo­ across a large range, from 67
models can be dangerous sure to the virus that may be to  4,75,000  in  one  case. Question Corner
smell anything when
presented with the fish
important  in  determining There is no justification pro­ odour or could only
Gautam I. Menon tee and a paper that was fast­ whether  an  individual  will vided for this. It makes little smell it with less
tracked in the Indian Journal exhibit symptoms. sense  to  have  so  many  pa­ Smell a fish intensity and often
We predict the future by ex­ of  Medical  Research,  are rameters,  all  changing,  in  a named the odour
trapolating from the present, available. More parameters model. Indeed, a quote from Why is fish smell unpleasant
for some people? incorrectly.
based  on  what  we’ve  learnt Let’s divide the report into A second point is the follow­ the mathematician John von The results were
from  the  past.  To  estimate two parts. The first contains ing: A model should have as Neumann  applies  here: published in Current
how many cases of COVID­19 general  recommendations few numbers as possible that “With four parameters I can Researchers have found Biology. A note from Cell
will  be  seen  in  India  two for  India.  The  eminence  of must be provided by the mo­ fit an elephant, and with five that some people carry a Press adds that while
months  from  now,  we  must the  panel  adds  weight.  It deller  to  describe  the  data I can  make  him  wiggle  his mutation in a particular humans have fewer
have an idea of the number warns  that  the  gains  of  the (parameters).  For  virtually trunk”. gene that makes fish olfactory genes
of people who are currently past  several  months  can  be Puzzling fact: It makes little sense to have 24 parameters, all all such models, such param­ odour less intense. An
infected.  For  this,  we  must dissipated if distancing mea­ changing, in a model. GETTY IMAGES
* eters must be estimated. The Lives at stake olfactory receptor gene
know  the  trajectory  of  the sures are reduced in the up­ more the number of parame­ There  are  many  more  pro­ called trace amine­
disease in the past as well as coming  festival  season.  It ogists, even though the com­ tomatically  infected  while ters,  the  larger  the  signifi­ blems  with  both  the  model associated receptor 5
understand how infected pe­ stresses that continued atten­ mittee as a whole possessed the other will always exhibit cance  of  uncertainties  in and the conclusions it arrives (TAAR5) was pinpointed
ople  spread  the  disease  to tion to masking is critical. It this expertise. symptoms. The supermodel these numbers, even as more at. However, just this discus­ as the reason for this
those  as  yet  uninfected. suggests  that,  provided  we First,  the  supermodel  as­ assumes  that  “immunity  le­ parameters  provide  more sion should indicate that the smell variation.
Mathematical  models  de­ pay attention to these, India sumes  something  unusual. vels, genetic disposition and flexibility.  The  supermodel government’s supermodel is The study conducted
scribe this understanding in may  hope  to  enter  the  new All  generally  accepted  mo­ co­morbidities” might deter­ ostensibly  has  just  four  pa­ ill­suited  to  address  ques­ in Iceland involved
terms of equations, using in­ year  without  seeing  any dels  for  COVID­19  so  far  as­ mine  this  assignment.  The rameters. It fits the count of tions  of  COVID­19  spread  in examining the olfactory
put  from  epidemiologists. further sustained increase in sume that everyone is equal­ truth is, we just don’t know new cases well, reproducing India.  Basing  public  health genes in humans. A sniff compared to other
These  can  be  used  to  make the  number  of  cases.  All ly  susceptible  to  it.  Nothing this. the recent peak in Indian cas­ policies  on  models  that  are test was conducted for species, some of the
predictions for the future. these points are almost cer­ we  know  suggests  that  this es  as  well  as  the  two  peaks flawed  is  dangerous,  since over 9,000 people. genetic variations that
Recently,  the  Indian  go­ tainly valid. All the members should  not  be  the  case.  Ho­ Testable consequence that Delhi saw. the  lives  of  people  are  at Participants were asked people do carry makes
vernment’s Department  of of  the  supermodel  commit­ wever, an unusual feature of This choice has one specific Let’s  dig  a  little  deeper. stake and false optimism car­ to smell odours from them more sensitive to
Science  and  Technology tee  have  signed  on  to  this COVID­19  is  that  some  frac­ testable  consequence.  If  we The  model  divides  the  pe­ ries  risks  with  it.  Science pen­like devices. After particular smells such as
(DST), decided that it would part of the report. tion of people infected with took a random sub­set of pe­ riod between the start of the should  not  serve  political sniffing each pen, the licorice or cinnamon,
support the development of The second is the work de­ the  virus  do  not  display ople, say healthcare workers pandemic  and  the  date  at ends. researchers asked what not less. The researchers
a single  “supermodel”  for scribed in the published pap­ symptoms, while being able drawn from the general pop­ which  the  results  were  ob­ There  are  better  models. the smell was, the say they will continue to
COVID­19  in  India.  This er  about  the  supermodel. to  infect  others.  About  30­ ulation,  we  should  then  ex­ tained  into  six  parts.  These Choosing  this  one  to  be  In­ intensity, and the collect data on odour
would combine the best fea­ Only  three  members  of  the 60%  of  those  infected,  per­ pect to see the same propor­ four parameters all take dif­ dia’s ‘supermodel’ presents a pleasantness of that perception and have also
tures  of  models  from  India committee are authors of this haps more, are such asymp­ tion of asymptomatic versus ferent values in each of these misleading picture of India's smell. They sniffed key planned to investigate
and worldwide. A high­level paper.  The  authors  are  an tomatic carriers of infection. symptomatic  patients  in parts. This gives 24 parame­ capabilities  in  both  epide­ ingredients found in the smell deficits in
committee was set up to do eminent computer scientist, Why  this  is  so  is  still  un­ them  as  in  the  general ters  in  all,  all  separately  va­ miology and modelling. licorice, cinnamon, fish COVID­19 patients
this,  composed  of  eminent an applied mathematician fa­ known.  The  supermodel population. ried  to  fit  the  case  count. (Gautam  I.  Menon  is  a etc. The TAAR5 variant
scientists,  including  several mous for work in control the­ takes a new route. It assumes This  is  not  what  is  seen. These  parameters  are  not Professor  of  Physics  and affects perception of fish
epidemiologists.  The  report ory  and  a  distinguished  ex­ that the population prior to Around  the  world,  health­ constrained in any way by an Biology  at  Ashoka  Universi­ odour containing
Readers may send their
of the committee, in the form army  officer  with  a  medical infection can be divided into care workers are at more risk understanding  of  COVID­19 ty, Sonepat, and at the Insti­ trimethylamine, a questions / answers to
of  a  presentation  of  the  Na­ background.  All  are  well two separate parts. One part of severe infection and death epidemiology. tute of Mathematical Scienc­ compound found in questioncorner@thehindu.co.in
tional  Supermodel  Commit­ known. None are epidemiol­ will always be either asymp­ than members of the general Worse,  some  of  the  pa­ es, Chennai.)
CM M ND-NDE
YK
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THE HINDU
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2020
DELHI

FAQ 13
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The chronic battle with malnourishment


What explains India’s poor rank
under the Global Hunger Index
and what are the solutions?
Priscilla Jebaraj

The story so far: India has been ranked 94 on the 2020
Global Hunger Index (GHI), lower than neighbours like
Bangladesh and Pakistan. The GHI showed that nearly
690 million people in the world are undernourished; 144
million children suffer from stunting, a sign of chronic
undernutrition; 47 million children suffer from wasting,
also a sign of acute undernutrition. The number of young
children in India who are very short and thin, reflecting
severe undernutrition, puts it alongside the poorest
African nations, with some indicators showing actual
*
PTI declines over the last five years.

Forecasting COVID-19 What is the Global Hunger Index and what


determines its ranking?
The GHI is an annual peer­reviewed publication by
Concern Worldwide and Welthungerhilfe. It aims to track
How are mathematical models being hunger at global, regional and national levels. It uses four
parameters to calculate its scores. 
used to predict the dynamics One third of the score comes from the level of
of the SARS-CoV-2 virus? undernourishment in a country, which is the share of the Broad approach: To tackle child malnutrition effectively, all aspects of household deprivation need to be addressed to
population with insufficient caloric intake, and uses Food improve maternal health.  K.K. MUSTAFAH*

and Agriculture Organization data. The other three
Jacob Koshy parameters are based on children under the age of five Experts point out that when it was 17.1%. In fact, Poor sanitation, leading to diarrhoea, is another major
years. A third of the score comes from child mortality food insecurity, poor the situation improved to cause of child wasting and stunting. At the time of the last
The story so far: The India National Supermodel rate, which often reflects the fatal mix of inadequate 15% in the 2010­14 data NFHS, almost 40% of households were still practising
sanitation, inadequate
Committee, constituted by the Department of Science nutrition and unhealthy environments. The remaining period, but worsened open defecation. Only 36% of households disposed of
and Technology (DST) and consisting of mathematicians, third of the score is based on child wasting, which is the housing, limited again by 2015­19. children’s stools in a safe manner. One in ten children
computer scientists and medical professionals, recently share of children who have low weight for their height, access to healthcare — However, experts say under the age of five suffer from diarrhoea.
announced that India had passed its ‘COVID­19 peak’ in reflecting acute undernutrition, and child stunting, all result in maternal this decline may also be
September and that active infections by the SARS­CoV­2 which is the share of children who have low height for distress, that leads to partially due to vagaries in How do different Indian States compare?
virus would fall to a ‘minimal’ level by February. The their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition. the kind of slow, data collection. Hunger is a The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey shows
conclusions were arrived at with the help of a These parameters use information from the World seasonal phenomenon in wide variability across States. Almost one in three
mathematical model.  Health Organization, the World Bank and the United chronic wasting seen many parts of the country, children in Jharkhand show acute undernutrition, with a
Nations, although all these international organisations in Indian children with families dependent on 29% rate of wasting. Although this is the worst State by
What is the ‘National Supermodel’? draw from national data, which, in India’s case, includes agriculture for their far, other large States such as Tamil Nadu, West Bengal,
When the DST said in May that it had convened a group the National Family Health Surveys (NFHS). There is livelihoods, facing lean Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka also have
to track the evolution of the pandemic, it viewed the always a time lag in such data, so the 2020 scores are periods based on the sowing and harvesting cycle. There one in five children who are wasted. Interestingly, other
‘supermodel’ as one that would aggregate the ‘best of’ based on data from 2015­19. are seasonality differences between NFHS’s third and States that usually fare poorly on development indices,
existing mathematical models, and hence the name. This results in a 100­point scale, with zero meaning no fourth rounds, meaning that higher levels of wasting may such as Bihar, Rajasthan and Odisha, actually do better
From February to March, when the relative numbers of hunger at all. Countries scoring 9.9 and less are classified have been seen in the fourth round, on which the latest than the national average, with 13­14% rates of wasting.
infections were low everywhere in the world except as having a low severity. A score between 10 and 19.9 is scores are based, because field data was collected after a Uttarakhand and Punjab, along with several north­
China, scientists began estimating the beginning and the considered moderate, that from 20 to 34.9 is serious, and lean period. However, even the Comprehensive National eastern States, have levels of child wasting below 10%. 
course of the pandemic in their countries through a score of 35 or more is alarming. These classifications Nutrition Survey (2016­18) shows the same 17.3% rate of In terms of stunting, Bihar performs the worst, with
mathematical modelling. Using differential equations, are comparable over time, but the rankings themselves wasting. 42% of children too short for their age. Other populous
that show how multiple variables, such as infections and are not comparable, as the number of countries included States like Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh also have
deaths vary with respect to one another on different in each particular year varies. What is the main cause for such high levels of child stunting rates just below 40%, and so does Gujarat. At the
parameters, modellers try to estimate the fraction of the stunting and wasting in India? other end of the scale, Jammu and Kashmir has only 15%
population which is infected at a particular point in time.  How does India fare on the different parameters in There is an interesting difference observed between child stunted children, while Tamil Nadu and Kerala are
comparison to other countries? wasting in South Asia and the poorer nations of Africa, around the 20% mark.
How are the predictions arrived at?  In 2020, India falls in the ‘serious’ category on the Index, according to researchers. African babies are usually
One of the models used is the susceptible­infected­ with a total score of 27.2. This is a definite improvement healthy at birth, but as they grow up into their toddler What needs to be done?
recovered (SIR) model, which divides a given population from the situation two decades ago, when it scored 38.9 years, undernourishment starts to kick in. South Asian Experts caution that there is no magic bullet. Food
into three groups: ‘susceptible’, ‘infectious’, and and fell into the ‘alarming’ category. However, its scores babies, on the other hand, show very high levels of insecurity, poor sanitation, inadequate housing, limited
‘recovered’. Over time, the number of people in each are abysmal when compared to its peers in the BRICS wasting very early in their lives, within the first six access to healthcare — all result in maternal distress that
group change. The number of ‘susceptible’ people is countries. China and Brazil both scored under five, and months. “This reflects the poor state of maternal health, leads to the kind of slow, chronic wasting seen in Indian
highest at the beginning of are considered to have very low levels of hunger. South more than anything else,” says Purnima Menon, a senior children. 
the pandemic, for Africa is ranked 60 with a score of 13.5, indicating nutrition researcher at the International Food Policy Although India has overall food security with record
Using differential
example, since everyone moderate levels of hunger. In the serious category, India Research Institute. “To talk about solutions, we must levels of foodgrain production in recent years, access to
equations with who is not infected is stands with some of the poorest African nations, as well recognise that this is the root cause. Mothers are too healthy food is still difficult for poor households. A recent
multiple variables such considered susceptible in as its own South Asian neighbours, all of whom have young, too short, too thin and too undernourished study showed that three out of four rural Indians cannot
as infections and most cases. At this point, better scores except Afghanistan. India is tied at the 94th themselves, before they get pregnant, during pregnancy, afford the cheapest possible diet that meets the
deaths, modellers try the number of infectious rank out of 107 countries, sharing the rank with Sudan.  and then after giving birth, during breast­feeding. It is requirements set by the government’s premier nutrition
individuals is at its lowest. In terms of overall undernourishment, 14% of India’s more than a health issue, there are social factors like body. Over the last five years, the Swachh Bharat
to estimate the
As time passes, the population does not get enough calories, an early marriage … If so many young women are starting Mission’s push for toilets for all and ending open
fraction of the number of susceptible improvement from almost 20% in 2005­07. The child their pregnancies so badly, then everything else you may defecation may have resulted in better sanitation
population which is people decreases, the mortality rate is 3.7%, a significant drop from 9.2% in do to help child nutrition later is like simply putting a outcomes which could reflect in better maternal and
infected at a particular number of infectious 2000. Many countries fare worse than India on these two band­aid on a serious wound.” child health in the NFHS round five, which started
point in time  people increases. This parameters. Almost 42% of adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 have a low collecting field data in 2018­19. The Integrated Child
model assumes that at any India’s poor score comes almost entirely from the child body mass index (BMI), while 54% have anaemia. Almost Development Services programme aims to provide food,
given point of time, an stunting and wasting parameters. Almost 35% of Indian 27% of girls are married before they reach the legal age of primary healthcare and immunisation services to young
individual in a defined children are stunted, and although this is much better 18 years, and 8% of adolescents have begun child bearing children and mothers.
population will be a part of one of these groups. than the 54.2% rate of 2000, it is still among the world’s in their teens. Almost half of all women have no access to “There is no single solution. Every kind of household
The model’s output is dependent on what is fed into worst. Also, 17.3% of Indian children under five are any sort of contraception. These poor indicators of deprivation that makes life difficult for women needs to
it. In the early months, little was known about the wasted, which is the highest prevalence of child wasting maternal health have dire consequences for the child’s be dealt with. The focus needs to be on healthy mothers,”
incubation period of the virus, the reproduction number in the world. There is no change from two decades ago, health as well. says Dr. Menon.
(how many people an individual could infect), how lethal
it was, etc. These led to oversimplified projections. 

Understanding potential U.S. election outcomes


With time, data accumulated and improved the
models. In the absence of cold numbers, modellers are
forced to draw assumptions — on how quickly the disease
spreads, the varying susceptibility of adults as opposed
to children, for instance — which are a mix of judgment
and luck. A key differentiator in the ‘supermodel’ was How does America vote for its President and why is winning the popular vote not enough?
that it purported to account for asymptomatics. 
Narayan Lakshman votes), Michigan (16 votes), Nevada (6 votes), New
What are the major findings?  Hampshire (4 votes), North Carolina (15 votes), Ohio (18
While the modelling committee was a seven­member The story so far: Voting day in the U.S. presidential votes), Pennsylvania (20 votes) and Wisconsin (10 votes).
group, a scientific paper describing the group’s work and election is November 3, 2020. However, millions of votes However, if opinion polls are to be trusted — and that is a
published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research has have been cast already, primarily through absentee and questionable assumption — Arizona (11 votes), Georgia (16
only three authors — a physician, a mathematician and a mail­in ballots, made available on a scale that is votes), Minnesota (10 votes) and even Republican­leaning
computer scientist. The modelling exercise also unprecedented in recent times, owing to the impact of Texas (38 votes) might be in play. 
attempted to hypothesise on what India’s caseload would the COVID­19 pandemic. Indeed, the pandemic, and the
have been in the absence of a lockdown, or if it were trail of economic destruction that it has left in its wake, What happens if there is a tie in the electoral
delayed by a few weeks or a month after March 23. The have become arguably the top election issues in 2020, college?
first lockdown came into effect on March 25. If there with the Republican incumbent, President Donald This scenario — of both candidates winning 269 electoral
were no lockdown, the number of active infections Trump, defending his approach as the one best suited to college votes – is not inconceivable. For example, if
would have peaked at 14+ million and the peak would a quick recovery, and his Democratic challenger, former Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, Virginia,
have arrived by mid­May. “There was little qualitative Vice­President Joe Biden, attacking the administration’s Maine (except for its Second District), Colorado, and
difference between two lockdown timings of April 1 and pandemic response as unscientific, inconsistent and Nebraska’s Second District went to the Democrats along
May 1, 2020. This would have resulted in a peak between responsible for the deaths of nearly 222,000 Americans with the firmly ‘blue States’, the Democrats would have
0 and 5 million active infections by mid­June. If there to date. While Mr. Biden is leading in most federal and People filling out their ballots during early voting at a 269 electoral college votes. This would require Trump to
was no lockdown, it would have resulted in more than 2 regional opinion polls, analysts have been cautious about polling station in Florida on October 21.  AFP * win, in addition to all the traditionally ‘red States’,
million deaths. The two lockdowns (April 1 and May 1, making bold election predictions given the outcome of Arizona and Wisconsin (10 votes) — which he did carry in
2020) would have resulted in 0.5­1 million deaths. The the 2016 election. In that election, Mr. Trump defied the mostly on a winner­takes­all rule, each U.S. State chooses 2016. But polls show that Mr. Biden is ahead considerably
number of deaths with current trends is projected to be odds with his win, even more so because his Democratic its electors, who then go on to pick the President and the in both the States. Mr. Trump would also have to carry
less than 0.2 million,” the authors say in the paper.  rival, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, won the Vice­President. The college also encompasses counting of Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia and Ohio. 
popular vote by a margin of around three million votes.  the electoral votes by the U.S. Congress. For example, if In such a case of an electoral college deadlock, a
Is it credible?  more than 50% of the voters in the State of New York vote ‘contingent election’ will be held, wherein the election of
The model’s declaration of India having passed its peak Given that the U.S. has, to date, had one of the for the Democratic Party, then all the potential electors the President will pass on to the House of
comes nearly a month after the reported date — worst COVID­19 numbers of any nation, why is Mr. allocated to that State will be Democratic. Each State has Representatives. Here, the election of President will be
September 17 — from when the national caseload started Trump still in the reckoning?  the same number of electors as it does members in its decided by each State delegation casting one vote for its
to decline. From adding nearly 90,000 cases every day Mr. Trump enjoys an approval rating of a little more than Congressional delegation, namely one for each member preferred candidate. The Congressional record shows
in early September, India is now adding around 55,000 42.5%, considered to be low relative to recent U.S. in the House of Representatives, and two Senators. that only two Presidential elections, in 1800 and 1824,
cases daily. It is not clear whether, or how often, the Presidents at a similar phase of their term in office. Nationwide, there are 538 electors, and to win the have been decided in the House. 
mathematical curve that shows the modelled rise and Nevertheless, his ratings have been somewhat stable over presidency, a candidate would be required to secure 270
peak of the number of cases has been adjusted to fit the the course of nearly four years in the White House, the votes in the electoral college.  When will the election result be known? 
actual number of cases.  principal reason for which is the intensifying polarisation A caveat is that Maine and Nebraska appoint individual In ‘normal’ years, most ballots are counted by the end of
The authors say the model expects a decline and of the U.S. electorate along party lines. This means that electors based on the winner of the popular vote for each the voting day, with the result being known late in the
virtual extinguishing of the pandemic by February, on on average, a far greater percentage of registered Congressional district, and then two electors based on night. This despite a small number of mail­in and
the assumption that existing guidelines on restricting Republicans support Mr. Trump (around 87%), relative to the winner of the overall State­wide popular vote. Even absentee ballots coming in later, small enough in number
public gatherings, wearing masks, etc., continue and no Democrats, whose approval of his performance is at 6%. though it is rare for either State to have a split vote, that they would not change the overall result. 
major mutations making the virus more infectious take This partisan split in support has bestowed the Trump Nebraska had one in 2008 and Maine in 2016. The result However, given the need for social distancing and
place. The authors have relied on data from a popular, campaign with an inherent electoral advantage, because of this system of representation is that surprisingly few concerns over in­person voting due to the COVID­19
crowd­sourced database, ‘covid19india.org’, and it translates into a disproportionate share of electoral voters truly matter in an election. The reason is that pandemic, up to 80 million Americans will likely vote via
acknowledge that “...the major limitation in their model college votes when compared to the popular vote.  except for a handful of ‘swing States’, which have the mail, and in nearly a third of States, votes only need to be
was the non­availability of accurate data”. Officials from potential to flip from one party to the other, all the others postmarked, not received, by the election day. With the
the Health Ministry have been non­committal about Why does the electoral college matter to Mr. have historically only voted one way and are likely to do U.S. Postal Service facing slowdowns through the
India passing the peak, but admit that mathematical Trump’s campaign? so this time too. The States that are traditionally pandemic, the likelihood of a decisive number of ballots
models have their utility in terms of planning.  The electoral college refers to a process, wherein, based considered to swing include Florida (29 votes), Iowa (6 being counted by November 3 is low.
CM M ND-NDE
YK
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14 PROFILES DELHI

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2020


THE HINDU
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ILLUSTRATION: R. RAJESH
have  created  ripples  in  the Bajwa, who then ordered an
country’s politics.  “inquiry” into the incident. 
Mr. Sharif is also likely to “The unfortunate incident
have  created  problems  for that occurred on the night of
his alliance partner, the PPP, 18/19  October  caused  great
and  other  more  moderate heartache  and  resentment
and  risk­averse  politicians within all ranks of Sindh Pol­
like his own brother and se­ ice... IG Sindh has decided to
nior PML (N) politician Sheh­ defer  his  own  leave  and  or­
baz Sharif. But then he’s sit­ dered his officers to set aside
ting  in  London  and  is their  leave  applications  for
unlikely to return.  10 days in the larger national
The leader on the ground interest, pending the conclu­
for  him  is  his  daughter  Ma­ sion of the inquiry [ordered
ryam  Nawaz,  someone  to by  Gen.  Bajwa],”  the  Sindh
watch out for in Pakistan.  police said on Twitter. 
All  this  stuff  is  unprece­
On the defensive  dented. If the Pakistan Ran­ In Focus
“The Army has been put on gers and Army personnel can B Two recent

the defensive by the PDM ral­ kidnap an IGP of a province, rallies in


lies.  Their  spokespersons then  it  raises  questions  on Gujranwala,
Punjab, and in
have  to  come  out  to  defend the  country’s  political  sys­
Karachi,
them,” a Karachi­based ana­ tem. The fact that Mr. Bhutto Sindh, have
lyst, who preferred anonymi­ spoke to the Army chief and galvanised
ty, told The Hindu. “It’s good not the serving Prime Minis­ the
that  Mr.  Sharif  is  naming ter  shows  his  lack  of  confi­ Opposition
names. These things should dence  in  the  leadership  of and brought
together the
be out in the open. Everyone Mr. Khan.  PML (N) and
knows who is backing Imran The  Prime  Minister  has the PPP
Khan’s government.”  himself  played  his  dharna
B As many as
If Mr. Sharif ruffled feath­ politics  while  in  Opposition 11 political
ers  with  his  comments  on so  he  should  be  cognizant parties, many
Gen.  Bajwa,  the  arrest  of that  events  such  as  this  bi­ of them
Captain Safdar, Maryam Na­ zarre kidnapping and arrest regional
waz’s  husband,  from  their can  sometimes  have  a  long­ entities, came
together to
hotel  room,  in  the  early lasting  impact  on  people’s form the PDM
hours  of  October  19  after  a perceptions.  in Islamabad
successful PDM rally in Kara­ on September
ment in a disciplined and in­ “You got judges to write the chi, was nothing short of in­ Great partnership 20
PAKISTAN DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT tegrated manner”.  judgments you wanted,” Mr. explicable. “Police broke my Mr. Khan and General Bajwa B Demanding

Arguing  that  Mr.  Khan’s Sharif,  who  is  convicted  for room door at the hotel I was have had a great partnership Imran Khan's

Taking on the Generals government  had  been  ac­ corruption, said. The three­ staying at in Karachi and ar­ going. “For the first time, the resignation,
corded “fake stability” by the time Prime Minister also laid rested Capt. Safdar,” Ms. Ma­ Prime Minister and the Army they decided
to put in
establishment,  the  PDM  ex­ the  blame  for  rising  prices ryam tweeted after the inci­ chief are on the same page.
place an
pressed  “extreme  concern” and  unemployment  at  Gen. dent.  There  are  no  differences  of alliance
at the increasing interference Bajwa’s door. About the serv­ There  is  CCTV  footage  of opinion even on foreign poli­ structure,

and their Prime Minister of the establishment in Pakis­


tablistering attack 

Blistering attack
Such  statements  are  pretty
ing  ISI  chief,  Mr.  Sharif
claimed,  “all  this  had  been
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC
The PDM, a multi­
Capt.  Safdar  being  taken
away by armed men as well
as these personnel standing
outside  Mariyam  Nawaz’s
room. 
cy  issues  like  India  and  Af­
ghanistan. Make no mistake,
Mr.  Khan  will  complete  his
term in office,” an Islamabad­
based analyst said. Pakistan
which will
“lead and
guide"
nationwide
protests
against the
standard  in  Pakistani  polit­ party movement led This  story  is  unlikely  to is  due  for  elections  only  in "anti-public
Rival opposition parties have come together on a single platform, ics. But former Prime Minis­
by Maulana Rehman,
die down in a hurry and will 2023.  and anti-
nation"
ter  and  PML(N)  leader  Na­ be  used  by  the  PDM  to  hit Whether  it  is  Mr.  Nawaz
challenging the government of Imran Khan and the powerful military waz  Sharif  departed  from has expressed out  at  both  Mr.  Khan  and Sharif or the PPP leadership,
government

the  standard  when  he “extreme concern” at the Army leadership.  the  Army  as  an  institution
launched a blistering attack the increasing But  what  happened  be­ has  never  been  totally  con­
Amit Baruah the president of the PDM.  what  were  once  two  oppos­ on  the  serving  Army  chief fore  the  arrest  was  equally vinced  that  the  “civilians”
In  73  years  of  existence, ing poles of Pakistani politics Qamar  Javed  Bajwa,  whom interference of the bizarre.  are  sufficiently  attuned  to
military in Pakistan’s
P
akistan has been there Pakistan has been under mil­ — the PML (N) and the PPP — he had appointed to the job Mushtaq  Ahmed  Mahar, furthering  khaki interests.
before. Political parties itary rule on four occasions. out in the open to attack both back in November 2016, su­ internal affairs Inspector­General of Police So,  Mr.  Khan  and  his  Pakis­
coming  together  in  al­ Time  and  again,  the  Army Prime  Minister  Imran  Khan perseding  two  generals  se­ in Sindh, was reportedly ab­ tan  Tehreek­e­Insaf  (PTI)
liance  to  take  on  a  military has  demonstrated  that  it and his Army props.  nior to Gen. Bajwa. 
CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC ducted by personnel of the were built up to “partner” so
dictator  or  an  authoritarian wants  civilian  Prime  Minis­ As many as 11 political par­ Mr. Sharif also took on the Pakistani Rangers, a central that  the  Army  doesn’t  have
civilian  government.  This ters  to  be  brought  to  heel. ties,  many  of  them  regional serving  Inter­Service  Intelli­ done”  at  Gen.  Hameed’s  in­ force,  on  Sunday­Monday to  be  seen  taking  power  di­
time,  it  is  in  the  form  and Usually,  the  coup  has  been entities,  came  together  to gence  (ISI)  chief  Faiz  Ha­ stance.  night, and forced to sign on rectly yet again. 
shape of the Pakistan Demo­ the preferred khaki style but form the PDM on September meed,  a  close  associate  of His comments are nothing the dotted line so that Capt. Economic strains can up­
cratic  Movement  (PDM), with  Imran  Khan  as  Prime 20 in Islamabad.  General  Bajwa,  in  his  video short of blasphemous in Pa­ Safdar could be arrested.  set this Khan­Bajwa partner­
which has both the Pakistan Minister it’s been held out as Demanding the Prime Mi­ address from London to the kistani politics. You can talk Later,  IGP  Mahar  and  14 ship. So can ham­handed ac­
Muslim  League  (N)  and  the a “hybrid”  model  of  gover­ nister’s resignation, they de­ first PDM rally in Gujranwala of the “establishment”, a eu­ other senior Sindh police off­ tions of the kind on display in
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) nance.  cided  to  put  in  place  an  al­ on October 17.  phemism  for  the  Army,  but ers  decided  to  take  earned Karachi. Mr. Khan can proba­
as leading lights.  Two recent rallies in Guj­ liance  structure,  which  will “You  are  responsible  for you  can’t  name  names.  Mr. leave, only to withdraw their bly  ride  out  this  storm  with
The old warhorse Maulana ranwala, Punjab, and in Ka­ “lead  and  guide  nationwide the  exit  of  my  smooth­run­ Sharif has broken that tradi­ applications  after  top  PPP Gen Bajwa’s backing. Bluster,
Fazlur Rehman, head of the rachi, Sindh, have galvanised protests against the anti­pu­ ning government,” Mr. Sharif tion  and  his  public  com­ leader Bilawal Bhutto Zardari however,  can’t  be  a  substi­
Jamiat  Ulema­e­Islam  (F),  is the Opposition and brought blic  and  anti­nation  govern­ thundered  at  Gen.  Bajwa. ments  blaming  Gen.  Bajwa called  up  Army  chief  Gen. tute for governance. 

LUIS ARCE MONARCHY

The socialist successor The Ramas of Thailand


Bolivians vote for an aide of Evo Morales in defiance of the military­backed govt. The royals, traditionally revered in the country, face pressure as protests mount 
ILLUSTRATION: J.A. PREMKUMAR
Garimella Subramaniam MAS build a strong connect Stanly Johny clause.  The  junta  gave  the
with the country's poor. monarch full control of the

L I
ast Sunday’s landslide n Thailand, the King tra­ Crown  Property  Bureau,
victory for Luis Alber­ Syncretic traditions  ditionally enjoyed a god­ which manages the palace’s
to (Lucho) Arce in the Interim President Anez had like status. The monarchs roughly $30 billion worth of
Bolivian  presidential  elec­ rolled back many of Mr. Mo­ from the reigning Chakri dy­ assets.  King  Vajiralongkorn
tion is, arguably, a repudia­ rales’s policies. Her display nasty  that  was  founded  in also brought two Army units
tion  of  the  policies  of  the of the Bible at public appea­ 1782  are  called  the  Rama under his direct control. He
military­installed right­wing rances,  in  a  demonstration Kings,  after  the  Hindu  God has  steadily  expanded  the
government  that  was of  her  Catholic  identity, Rama,  the  avatar  of  Lord powers of the palace, while
formed  after  the  disputed downplayed  Bolivia’s  syn­ Vishnu.  The  institution  of the  military  has  used  the
October  2019  election.  Mr. cretic  traditions  of  respect the Thai monarchy, which is monarch’s  backing  to  gain
Arce,  a  socialist  and  the for diverse racial symbols at roughly  800  years  old,  has legitimacy for its actions.
long­time  former  Finance a time when social relations its  roots  in  Hinduism  and For the protesters, if the
Minister,  polled  more  than have been strained.  Buddhism.  While  the  war­ Prime Minister represented
the combined vote share of Underscoring the overall rior  Kings,  under  different a repressive  regime,  the
his two nearest contenders, direction of his government dynasties,  adopted  Hindu King,  who  is  mostly  in
and  thus  eliminated  a  run­ and the urgent need for na­ Gods’ names as their official southern Germany, is a sym­
off.  His  Movement  for  So­ sparked  media  speculation 2019 ouster of Mr. Morales, tional  reconciliation,  the titles, the Theravada Budd­ lege  students,  tried  to  dis­ calm.  Protests  in  Thailand bol of extravagance at a time
cialism  (MAS)  party  ob­ that  the  man  behind  the the country has been rocked President­elect promised in hist concept of ‘Dhammara­ rupt  a  royal  motorcade  in began after the pro­democ­ when  the  country  was
tained a comfortable parlia­ throne  in  La  Paz  would  be by  violent  confrontations a speech following his victo­ ja’ (kingship under dharma) Bangkok  that  was  carrying racy  Future  Forward  Party wrecked by the pandemic. 
mentary  majority.  The Mr. Morales, Mr. Arce’s men­ between the security forces ry  to  establish  a  unity  go­ has  been  the  proclaimed Queen  Suthida  and  flashed was  banned  by  the  coun­ In August, Anon Nampa,
emphatic  victory  ends  the tor and former boss, who is and MAS loyalists. The Inter­ vernment,  to  effect  change goal of the monarchy. Even the  three­finger  salute,  a try’s top court in February. a 35­year­old  human  rights
political instability of nearly to  return  from  exile  in  Ar­ American  Commission  on without  hate  and  to  learn after it lost absolute powers symbol of resistance and so­ But  public  resentment lawyer, called for reforms to
11 months, after an unelect­ gentina.  But  there  are Human  Rights  has  dubbed from MAS’s past mistakes.  in the 1932 Siamese revolu­ lidarity  which  they  bor­ against  the  ruling  elite  was the  monarchy.  The  protes­
ed and little known evangel­ enough  indications  already the killings of protesters as a The  latter  remark  was tion,  the  monarchy  conti­ rowed  from  The Hunger building  up  since  the  2014 ters have since submitted 10
ical senator Jeanine Anez as­ that  while  the  57­year  old massacre  and  called  for  an possibly  an  oblique  refe­ nued  to  enjoy  an  outsized Games books and movies. It military  coup  that  brought demands  to  the  govern­
sumed  charge  as  the protégé intends to build on international investigation. rence, among others, to the influence in the government was an unprecedented show Mr. Prayuth to power. Since ment,  asking  for  a  separa­
transitional  leader  last  No­ the Bolivian model to revive Born  in  La  Paz  on  Sep­ controversial  and  blatantly and society. Thailand’s strict of  dissent  to  the  monarchy then,  the  military  rewrote tion of the King’s assets and
vember. The elections were the sputtering economy, Mr. tember  28,  1963,  Mr.  Arce undemocratic judicial rever­ lèse majesté rules  shielded by  protesters  in  a  country the  Constitution,  awarding the Crown Property Bureau,
postponed twice, citing the Morales  would  play  no  di­ grew up in a middle class fa­ sal  of  the  2016  referendum the  King  from  public  criti­ where  public  criticism  of itself  and  the  monarchy reducing the Palace’s share
COVID­19 emergency, caus­ rect role in the government.  mily. He graduated from the verdict, wherein the people cism, irrespective of the pol­ the  institution  could  land more powers and privileges, in the national budget, a ban
ing  fury  among  MAS Mr.  Arce’s  plans  include University  of  Warwick,  En­ opposed  changes  to  the itical changes. But the winds one in jail for up to 15 years. and  held  an  election  last on the King from expressing
supporters. the substitution of the coun­ gland,  in  1997  with  a  mas­ Constitution  that  would are now changing. A day after, the government year, which made sure that his  political  views  and  en­
The  recent  verdict  is  si­ try’s  import  dependency ters in economics. Mr. Arce have authorised Mr. Morales Thailand, which has seen declared a state of emergen­ Mr.  Prayuth  continued  as dorsing future coups. 
multaneously  a  resounding with  industrialisation  on spent a large part of his ca­ to run for a fourth presiden­ 12  successful  coups  since cy,  banning  public  gather­ the Prime Minister.  The  protesters  say  they
endorsement of Evonomics one hand, and securing in­ reer as a public official at the tial term. 1932, is no stranger to mass ings and censoring the me­ The new King, Maha Vaji­ were not against the institu­
— the economic policies pur­ ternational  debt  relief  and Central Bank of Bolivia.  The  fallout  from  the  CO­ uprisings. In the past, prot­ dia coverage of the protests. ralongkorn  (the  10th  mo­ tion of monarchy. What they
sued under the former Pre­ levying a wealth tax on the In  2006,  Mr.  Morales, VID­19 pandemic, which has ests  were  largely  focussed narch of the Chakri dynasty, want are reforms — a demo­
sident  of  14  years  and  the other  to  raise  revenues  to who  came  to  power  riding placed  the  country  as  the on  the  government  or  the Not backing off  also called Rama X), who as­ cratic  Thailand  with  the
first indigenous occupant of continue MAS’s poverty alle­ the  pink  wave  that  was third highest in terms of per powerful  military.  What But  the  protesters  did  not cended  the  throne  in  2016 King  being  a  ceremonial
the  office,  Evo  Morales. viation initiatives. sweeping  through  South capita rate of deaths, is the makes  the  ongoing  agita­ back  off.  They  termed  the after the death of his father head of the state — not aboli­
They entailed the partial na­ America,  appointed  Mr. other  big  challenge  facing tion, started earlier this year emergency  yet  another Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama tion.  For  now,  the  govern­
tionalisation of Bolivia’s ex­ Low­profile moderate  Arce as the Minister of Eco­ the  next  government.  Mr. against  the  military­backed move by the government to IX),  blessed  the  coup  mas­ ment  has  ignored  such  de­
tractive industries and reve­ The  President­elect,  given nomics and Public Finance. Arce has earned a mandate government of Prime Minis­ take away their freedoms. A ters,  while  the  Generals mands, and warned against
nue  generation  during  the his reputation as a low­pro­ Ever  since,  he  remained  a for the policies he crafted in ter Prayuth Chan­Ocha, dif­ week  later,  as  it  was  clear spent  millions  to  promote “insulting”  the  monarchy.
commodities  boom,  ena­ file moderate within the par­ close aide of Mr. Morales. He the past. Now the challenge ferent is that the protesters that  the  students  were  de­ the monarchy. The King was But the fact that even a state
bling  the  social  redistribu­ ty, is perhaps best­placed to oversaw  the  rapid  expan­ is to live up to the expecta­ are  increasingly  targeting termined  to  press  ahead earlier required to appoint a of  emergency  did  not  stop
tion programmes that lifted navigate  the  country’s  re­ sion of the economy as well tions  of  the  voters  in  the the monarchy.  with their agitation, the go­ regent  while  travelling the protests poses a serious
millions out of poverty. cent tumultuous political di­ as the public spending pro­ midst of the unprecedented On  October  14,  protes­ vernment  cancelled  the abroad.  The  new  Constitu­ challenge  to  both  the  go­
The  latest  results  have visions. Since the November grammes,  which  helped public health emergency. ters, mainly school and col­ emergency  and  called  for tion  did  away  with  this vernment and the King.
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