अतिथि देवो भव: लेकिन कब तक?

Let me ask a question before starting me “Suppose that a troubled person who is facing many difficulties comes to you and is requesting you to shelter him for some time in your house, if you are kindhearted you will help him, but what would happen if the same person slowly take possession of your house and resources and later on refuse to leave your house then what will you do? I am sure you will do your best to get him out of your house.

On 30th, July 2018 final draft of the National Register of Citizenship of India (NRC) in Assam was released.  Actually, NRC is the list which contains the names of those people of Assam who were able to provide the proof of their citizenship as an Indian citizen. This is the 2nd and final draft of the NRC which determines the citizenship status of nearly 1.39 crore people of the state. Before that, in its draft which was published on 1st, January 2018 1.9 crores out of 3.29 crore, applicants were able to prove themselves as  Indian citizens. 40 Lakh residents of Assam do not have their name in the final draft of the list as they are not able to provide enough proofs to prove their citizenship. This mammoth list is prepared after the directions of Hon’ble Supreme court Of India in 2013. It took around 3 years of time by the 52000 government employees of the Assam.

What is this NRC and Why it is needed

National Register of Citizenship is a register containing names of all genuine Indian citizens. The register was first prepared in Assam during the conduct of 1951, Census of India following the wave of illegal immigrants from then East Pakistan.  Northeastern states like Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Tripura has this issue of illegal immigration from a long time because these states share their border with Bangladesh and from there many illegal immigrants enter into India and got settled in these states. the majority of these illegal migrants are from Bangladesh and presently the population of these immigrants increases in these state up to that extent that local people of these states are fearful that gradually these immigrants from Bangladesh become the majority and the local people of the states becomes the minority. Therefore, this issue of illegal migrants has always been a very serious and sensitive issue in the Northeastern States.

We can see that the aforementioned states share their border with Bangladesh.

The major reasons for this immigration from Bangladesh is; 1st, Bangladeshi thinks that India would be a better place then their country to live in and secondly due to the atrocities were done by generals of West Pakistan(present-day Pakistan) during 1971. Due to this large migration, the population of NorthEast increases abnormally as compared to the area of it. The population of NorthEast was only 44 lakh when the population of then India was 29 crores as per the census of 1901. Now if we see the consolidated population count of modern-day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as per 2011 is 156 crore whereas at the same time the population of NorthEast becomes 450lakhs.

So the point what I want to make here is the population of the NorthEast becomes 10 folds whereas in the same time duration population of the 3 nations increased by 5.4 times. Now you can understand from these statistics that how much illegal immigrants enter into the NorthEast states. Due to this spike in the population, the pressure on the limited resources is increased and it also results in the ethnic clashes. This problem of migrants is not got arisen in 2018 itself it was started with the partition of India. If we look at 1951 at that time when Pakistan was just come on the world map that time also due to riots and partition Assam initially saw an influx of refugees and other migrants from East Pakistan. The number of such migrants other than refugees was initially reported by the State Government to be between 1,50,000 and 2,00,000 but later estimated to be around 5,00,000. Considering the seriousness of the influx Government of India went on to formulate the Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950, and to identify illegal immigrants, the NRC was prepared under the purview of the Foreigners Act 1946, for the first time in Assam during the conduct of 1951 Census.

So in simple terms, NRC is the list which is created to have the count of indigenous people of the state Assam. So that if in future when India wants to deport the illegal immigrants then it is easy to identify them.

Why it is getting updated in Assam in 2018?

After the creation of  NRC in 1951, people were thinking that this would get used and will help in preserving the local culture and communities but it was never used. Instead, migration had taken place on large scale between 1948 and 1971. Due to this student leaders in 1979 came out in the fierce protest demanding detention, disenfranchisement, and deportation of illegal immigrants from Assam. The historic movement which came to be known as Assam Agitation or Assam Movement was initiated by All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad (AAGSP) and lasted a span of 6 years. This movement comes to an end after the signing of historic MoS between Central and State Government and   All Assam Students’ Union (AASU),  on 15th August 1985 called the Assam accord.  So, as per the accord, many clauses were introduced to be implemented to curb the illegal immigration issue based on below points.

  • All those foreigners who have entered in Assam between 1951 to 1961 were to be given full citizenship, including the right to vote.
  • Those who have entered from 1961 to 1971 were to deny the voting rights for 10 years but would enjoy all other rights of citizenship.
  • Those who had come on or after 25th March 1971 will continue to be detected, deleted and expelled in accordance with law.

Though how the accord was signed in 1985 but due to various political reasons, the process of implementing its clauses was never taken place. Then again in 2005 during the UPA government due to the immense pressure announced the that NRC would be updated but again for next 10 year nothing was done in the Assam. Due to this unconcerned behavior of the government, ethnic clashes were started in 2012 between indigenous Bodos and illegal immigrants and more than 70 people died in it and bunch pleas reached the Supreme Court thereafter.

Finally, Hon’ble Supreme Court order Union Government and the State Government to complete the update of NRC in 2013 following the 2 writ petitions by Assam Public Works and Assam Sanmilita Mahasangha & Ors, and the complete process is completed under the monitoring of the Hon’ble Supreme Court.

What is in the final draft of NRC and what will happen to those whose names are not in the list

After the order of the Supreme court, The modalities for NRC updates have been developed jointly by the Government of Assam and the Government of India in adherence to these eligibility criteria.

In 2015, a total of 3,29,91,385 residents of Assam had claimed to be the citizen of India by filling the NRC form, out of which as per the latest draft of NRC 2,89,83,668 people of being able to provide sufficient evidence which supports their claim of an Indian citizen. That means 40,07,717 people were not able to get the place in the final draft. These people who don’t have their name in the list are worried and they don’t know about their future whether they will be deported or detained.

But no one need to get panic about this as the home minister of India stated in the Lok Sabha that this is not the final list and everyone who doesn’t have their name in the final draft will be given the full chance to prove their citizenship claim after 28th of August.

But one thing which disappoints me every time is the habit of doing politics on every issue be it the issue of Rohingyas or of the illegal immigrants every time politics is started which is not good for our nation. Few issues should be seen and handled above the party and vote bank politics.

I hope now you get the point behind the question I have asked at the start of the article.

 

End this war before the End of this Country

Each one of us faces hard times in our life and it ends gradually but it seems that God is not in the mood of ending the bad times of Syrian people as the Syrian civil war has entered in its 8th year on this 15th of March. In the past 7 years, a country with a pre-war population of 22 million because of this civil war, lost the lives of its half million people, almost 1.9 million are wounded and as per the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) 5,165,502 are registered refugees, as of August 2017 and more than 6 million Syrians are internally displaced. According to the UNHCR Syrian Civil War is the worst after the World War II.

The reasons behind the spark of this Civil war

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Major reasons behind the protest started in March 2011

Any unrest doesn’t take place immediately but its foundation starts a long time back and that’s exactly happened in Syria too.

  1. The ongoing civil war was inspired by Arab Spring which was started in 2011 from Tunisia under which many dictators were removed and democracy was established in the Libya and Egypt etc. This gave hope to Syrian pro-democracy activists and peaceful protests erupted against the government of Bashar al-Assad ( who comes into power in 2000 after the death of his father  Hafez al-Assadwho was in office from 1971 to 2000.)  after the 15 boys were detained and tortured for writing graffiti in support of the Arab Spring and 1 13 year boy was killed after torturing brutally. Government crush down the protest by killing hundreds of protestors and Jailing many more.
  2. The Another reason is the rule of the minority over the majority, actually, Syria is a Sunni majoritarian country which is about 80-83% of total population and Bashar al-Assad who is in the rule is an Alawite which is a sect of  Twelver branch of Shia Islam which is of around 13% of the population. So, there is political repression on the majority population. Also in 1982, Bashar’s father ordered a military crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood which is a Sunni Islamist organization in Hama, killing tens of thousands of people and flattening much of the city. Hence this is one of the major reason for the protest.
  3. Along with these reasons poverty is also a reason for the protest. Actually, Syria has gone through a severe drought from 2007-10 causing as many as 1.5 million people to migrate from the countryside into cities, because of which the cost of living increases drastically in the country not only this even the cost of food becomes very high.

Timeline of the events which turns civil unrest into an inhuman civil war

The protest starts on 15 March 2011, when protesters marched in the capital city Damascus, demanding democratic reforms and the release of political prisoners. Security forces retaliated by opening fire on the protesters, and detained six. The protest was triggered by the arrest of a boy and his friends by the government for writing in graffiti, in the city of Daraa and out of those a 13-year-old boy, Hamza al-Khateeb was tortured and killed. The government claims that the boys weren’t attacked and that Qatar incited the majority of the protests. Then on 20th March, the protesters burned down  Ba’ath Party headquarters and “other buildings”. The ensuing clashes claimed the lives of seven police officers and 15 protesters. Ten days later in a speech, President blamed “foreign conspirators” pushing Israeli propaganda for the protests.

Until 7 April, the protesters predominantly demanded democratic reforms, the release of political prisoners, an increase in freedoms, abolition of the emergency law and an end to corruption. After 8 April, the emphasis in demonstration slogans shifted slowly towards a call to overthrow the Assad government. Protests spread, and by the end of April protest occurred simultaneously in twenty cities. By the end of May 2011, 1,000 civilians and 150 soldiers and policemen had been killed and thousands detained.

The rise of Armed insurgency and different rebel groups

In response to the armed crackdown on the protestors by the Syrian forces, protestors arm themselves and shoot back. Start of armed insurgency marked on the formation of Free Syrian Army which was established in the summer of 2011, when a group of defected officers declared the establishment of the first organized oppositional military force, which becomes biggest moderate group who wants to remove Bashar al-Assad from the power and want the establishment of democracy.

This civil war also became a religious war between Shias and Sunni because the government was led by Minority Shia i.e. by Bashar al-Assad hence Jihadi and extremist from around the world starts fighting with rebels against the government. In January 2012 a group Jabat AL Nusra has formed which was a branch of Al Qaeda in Syria. Along with this Muslim Brotherhood also joined the war against the Assad which was backed by Turkey. Now by taking the advantage of situation Kurds themselves independent of Syria and declare Rojava in the North.

Involvement of International Powers in the civil war

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In 2012, when it seemed that Assad government will fall at that point Iran provides military support to the Assad because Iran is the world largest Shia population and it doesn’t want that Shia government of Syria to fall down. When Iran stepped into the war then Gulf nations ( Saudi Arabia and Qatar) felt that Iran should not increase its influence so to counter Iran they also start supporting the rebels with money, weapons etc. Gulf nations and Turkey have some problem with Iran because they are a Sunni nation and latter is Shia. After Iran, Hezbollah which is a Shia Islamic Organization also joins the war from Assad’s side. Then next is Jordan which is also a Sunni state was initially not interested in joining the war but later on Gulf nations ask Jordan to join the war so that they can help the rebels as Jordan shares its border with Syria, also Jordan was afraid that this war should not enter into it by crossing border hence Jordan also starts supporting the rebels.

So it is clear from the above developments that the war which was started as an unrest to get the democracy in the country gradually converts into a war where everyone is fighting for their cause keeping aside the original one.

Chemical Attacks by Assad on its people in Ghouta in 2013

Till 2013 complete middle east got involved into the war and becomes an international war. At that time USA approves CIA to provide training to moderate rebels because the ultimate aim of the extremist groups was to destroy the USA once they capture Syria. So, to avoid any other 9/11 USA wanted that the moderate should come into the power and also asked Saudi Arabia to stop funding the extremist rebels.

In August a major incident happened when Assad government did Chemical Attack using Sarin gas on its own people in the suburbs of Damascus called Ghouta which cause the death of 700 people. These attacks were severely condemned across the globe. Then Russia which is a friend of Syria convinced Assad to let OPCW dismantle all Chemical weapons and for this OPCW get the Noble peace prize for it in 2013.

The rise of ISIL/IS in 2014

In 2014, ISIL got separated from Al Qaeda in Iraq and started capturing small villages in Syria and captures Raqqa city and in Iraq, it captures Fallujah and Mosul and proclaimed Caliphate in June 2014. Along with this it also starts attacking Kurds and FSA because they thought these groups have the different ideology than ISIL, as it wants to force Sharia law in Syria but Kurds and FSA are against it. In September 2014, a US-led coalition launched air strikes inside Syria against IS. But the coalition has avoided attacks that might benefit Mr Assad’s forces.

The rise in ISIL Power and Russian Military Intervention in 2015-2016

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Arch of Triumph in the eastern section of Palmyra’s colonnade (destroyed in 2015)

In May 2015 ISIL capture the Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and started destroying the ancient structures which were of around 2000-3000 years old. On the other side at this time PKK and YPG who were Kurdish militias were bombing the major cities of Turkey like Istanbul and Ankara as Kurds want a separate or autonomous Kurdistan like the one they have in Iraq. In response to these bomb attacks, Turkey starts air striking against Kurds. On 30th September 2015 in the response to the official request of the Syrian government, Russia starts air strike against ISIL, AL Nusra and FSA. within 2 months of air striking all of these groups were heavily damaged and expelled backwards and by this time most of Syria was either under Syrian government or under FSA.

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The situation of Syria in 2016

After massive air strike from both USA and Russia ISIL lost its ground and a ceasefire happened between USA and Russia in February which got collapsed. Then again in September both USA and Russia agreed to do a ceasefire which is also got collapsed.

So we can see how amazing it is that war is going on between  Syria and Rebels whereas USA and Russia are doing the ceasefire this is because USA is supporting FSA and Russia is supporting Assad.

Missile strikes by the USA in April 2017

Initially, USA was not involved directly into the war although its supporting FSA against Assad, it was not involved directly and the same thing was made clear by US president Donald Trump that he will not let the USA join the war. But in April 2017 chemical attack was done by Assad forces in Khan Shaykhun, Idlib killing 85 people including 20 children. Due to this incident, USA launched Tomahawk missile on those Syrian air base where they have stored their chemical weapons.

The Defeat of ISIS/IL in Raqqa, Mosul and Deir al-Zour 

Raqqa and Mosul are 2 major cities of Iraq, So Iraqi army defeated the ISIS with the help of Kurds group YPG and US also did air strike against ISIS, and Iraqi army recovered the Raqqa which was the capital of ISIS. Similarly, Mosul was also captured by Iraq with the help of USA and Kurds. After Iraq ISIS also lost Deir al-Zour in November 2017 by Syria army and with this ISIS has now lost its control in Urban areas and they are now operating from the rural area of Syria.

Army intervention By Turkey against Kurds

Kurd is an ethnic group which is majorly divided between Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Now in Iraq, these people have their autonomous state called Kurdistan. So Kurds from Syria and Turkey also want to have an autonomous state like Iraq and many Kurds want to establish a country for Kurds in the region highlighted in red colour in below image.

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Since turkey is already facing the issue of Kurds and doesn’t want to have a Kurd majority nation next to it. Hence Turkey starts attacking Afrin province against Kurdish militia (YPG) and SDF. Although Turkey claims that it is fighting against ISIS but in that region, ISIS doesn’t exist in Afrin.

The bombing of Ghouta by Assad in 2018

Assad again strikes the suburbs of Damascus called Ghouta in February 2018 because from start people of this region is against the Assad government and is a stronghold of FSA. So to get complete control over Ghouta Assad government is bombing it heavily and continuously and not even allowing the relief convoys to gett through.

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The situation of Syria by February 2018

 

Attack on Syria by US, France and Britain April 2018

Recently in April 2018 US, France and UK together launched precision airstrikes in Syria by accusing the Syria government of doing a Chemical attack on its people. The target of the missile is the three site near to Damascus and Homs that were allegedly used for R&D, Production, testing and storage facility of chemical weapons. Total of 105 missiles was launched from water and air. So this is not just the thing done to save the people of Syria but it is also a clear indication to Russia about their power.

Peace Efforts to stop the War

During this war, several efforts were done to established peace and to stop the war and political transition in Syria but the main sticking point has been the fate of Assad.

Geneva I (2012) and Geneva II (2014) talks

In June 2012 1st round of talks took place in Geneva, Switzerland which was facilitated by UNSC between the Syrian government and opposition delegates. But both the talks were failed because all opposition groups said that they will not sign on any treaty till the time Assad is in the power but Assad refused to leave the post of the president of Syria.

Vienna Process October 2015

After failing in Geneva, USA, Russia and other participants of ISSG gathered in Vienna to resolve the conflict in Syria. But this talk again came to the same point where the USA maintained that Assad should have no role in Syria’s future; Russia maintained that Assad should not be forced to go and that Syrian elections should decide who will rule Syria.

Astana peace Talk 2017

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Astana Peace talk January 2017

A new round of peace talks was started in January 2017 between Syrian Government and 12 rebel groups and both sides agreed on doing a ceasefire in Syria, but this ceasefire broke in few days and fight starts again. A special thing about this peace talk is that it was not done under United Nation but mainly lead by Russia, Turkey and Iran was also a part of this. Few more round of Astana talks happened from September to December 2017 but they were also failed.

Sochi talks, January 2018

In January 2018 Russia convened the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, in which 1,500 delegates participated.

Impact of this civil war

It is clear from the above points that it is not just a civil unrest but it is more than that. This is the biggest tragedy of 21st century which results in deaths of lakhs of people and displacement of millions. Social, Cultural, economic and infrastructural destruction of Syria.

Crime against Humanities

During this war, local people suffered a lot. Cluster bombing was done in which 20-25 bombs were dropped in an area of radius 500-600 meter which completely destroys the area and no one got the chance to escape. Even though it is internationally illegal to use cluster bomb as civilians got died in it but still it is used in this war.

Many human right abuses are happened like kidnapping, cutting off the legs and arms, slaughtering the people over the video and publishing it on social media, mass killing of the people just to establish fear in them which is majorly done by rebels like ISIL, AL-Nusra and even Syrian government also tortured lots of people. Use of Chemical weapons like sarin gas was also done in this war.

Minorities Targeted

In this war, people from the minority community were targeted majorly. Alawites, Druze, Christians and Shias are the minorities and as the Assad belongs to the minority community, people of these are majorly targeted by the rebels. On other side Pro Assad groups targeting the Sunni in the region where they are a minority. So it is happening from both side and it has become a religious war.

Refugee Crisis

Due to this war, there is a massive displacement of Syrian people. About 6 million people got internally displaced and almost 5 million people flee from Syria.

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Image shows that which country absorbs how much refugees from Syria.

Majorly refugees have gone to Europe, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. According to UNHCR, this is the worst situation after the WW2.

The complete breakdown of a nation

This war has destroyed Syria completely. The infrastructure of the country is completely destroyed Cities turned into piles of sand. Be it road, electricity, water, everything which is a basic need of any human society is finished because of this. The country lost its cultural heritage because terrorist groups like ISIS/IL have destroyed it as they did in Palmyra where they destroyed almost 2000-year-old structures, the city like Aleppo which is very ancient is also destroyed.

Due to heavy bombing factories, farms of Syria were destroyed because of which its economy also got derailed. As the economy has demolished poverty, illiteracy, cost of living is increased drastically. Along with this, the health condition in the country has degraded very badly and this can be understood from this that the country which is free from polio have reported issues of it again. Quality of life plummeted and the biggest example of it is the decrease in life expectancy which comes down to 50 years which before the war was 75 years.

But Why this Civil war becomes Entangled War

There are multiple sides in this war which are fighting with each other. According to an estimation around 75, rebel/opposition groups are fighting against each other. For example, Turkey is fighting against the Kurds and with ISIS, ISIS fighting with Kurds and FSA, USA is fighting against Assad and ISIS.

Also, the involvement of world power like USA and Russia dragging the conflict by backing their favourite side like when Assad was about to lose the war Russia help him with military aid similarly USA helped FSA when they were in trouble. According to many security experts, it is a WW 3 as many world powers are involved in this war and even a small mistake can turn this war into World War. Such incident happen in October 2015 when a Russian fighter aircraft was shot by the Turkish army and that It seemed like now there will be a war between the 2 nations but luckily that didn’t happen.

I have written about 10 article till date and I was able to conclude them but I am not able to find the end of this article. I can conclude this article but I can’t see the end of suffering of the Syrian people who are getting punished for demanding democracy. But are they asking very much? Just because one person doesn’t want to leave his political post does it means that citizens have to pay for it by their life? A life which is either taken by bombs, by slaughtering or by a bullet and some poor soul lose it in a chemical attack.

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What was the fault of above two kids? one lost his life in a bomb attack and another one during fleeing from this hell. Everyone is just fighting for their interest some wants to sell their weapons, some want the oil, some wants the power and any other wants to show it as a superpower of the world. But no one is answering a simple question that

“WILL THEY EVER WANT TO END THIS WAR IF YES THEN HOW MANY DEAD BODIES THEY WANT TO SEE BEFORE THAT?”

 

Game of Regional Influence on the Chess Board of Maldives…

The Maldives, Asia’s smallest archipelago nation which is a group of 1190 islands and situated in the Indian Ocean is famous for its beautiful beaches but in Feb 2018 it is getting famous for its internal unstable condition which is generated because of conflict between it’s Supreme Court and its current president Abdulla Yameen, and as of result of which President declared a 15 days state emergency on 5th of February which was further extended for 30 days on 19th of February.

Background of the Political Crisis

Abdulla Yameen is the 6th President of the Maldives and joined the office in November 2013. As soon as Yameen came into the power he starts to crackdown the opposition by filing false corruption and terrorism cases against them and jailed them.

He is doing this so that there would not be any opposition against any of his decision which he takes in his interest or we can say in the interest of Dragon. After this, the supreme court of the country objects on this and on 1st Feb 2018 Supreme court order the government of Maldives to release all 9 political prisoners, the basis for this judgement was that the cases against these people were politically motivated and also to reinstating 12 parliament members from the immediate effect.

But Yameen refuse to follow the order because this will lead the opposition to take the power and potentially paving the way for Yameen’s impeachment. This decision was criticized by nations like India, USA etc but China didn’t utter any word on this.

So, instead of following the order of Supreme Court Yameen declared the state emergency and ordered the arrest of two judges of the Supreme Court of the Maldives, including Chief Justice of the Maldives Abdulla Saeed and justice Ali Hameed Mohamed.

After all these incidences below tweet were done from exiled former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, in which he is requesting from India to intervene into the Maldives by sending a convoy.

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Former president of Maldives asking help from India and USA on Maldives crisis

A question might get raised that why Former President is requesting from India? well, this is because this is not the 1st time when the Maldives is in crisis. In November 1988 also a coup was tried to be done against the government of the then president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom by a militant group PLOTE with the help of some Maldivians and at that time India Army conducted the Operation Cactus and secure both the then President of Maldives and democracy of the country.

Relation of India and Maldives

India the 1st nation who recognized the Maldives as an independent nation after its independence in 1965. Relation of both the nations prevails when India help the Maldives to restore the democracy by failing the coup tried to be done in 1988 against the then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Apart from this in 2014, Yameen was one of the leaders India invited for the swearing in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But in 2015 Modi called off the visit of Maldives because of the crackdown of opposition parties by Yameen and as this was not acceptable to India hence our PM didn’t visit the nation. So on one side relation between India and Maldives was getting worst and on the other side as soon as Yameen becomes the President, the relationship between Maldives and China gets improved. In recent years, Yameen has seemingly aligned the Maldives towards China as it signed China’s ambitious maritime silk route project which India doesn’t support as it is a part of One belt One road initiative which includes CPEC.

Then in December Maldives also signed Free Trade Agreement( FTA ) with China ( at the time of passing this agreement only 30 out of 85 members of the People’s Majlis are present ) and it didn’t even mention the name of India in the list of future nations with which FTA can be done.

Then the Maldives also snatch the contract of airport development from an Indian infrastructure firm GMR and gave it to a Chinese firm Beijing Urban Construction Group.

So this is a clear message to India that Maldives policy of India first is changed now which was followed by the Maldives since a long time,  Now one thing we also need to understand this changes in policy is because of change in government.

Why India concerned about the Maldives crisis.

If someone sees the condition of Maldives it might look like an internal political crisis, but in reality, it is much more than that. Yameen is the 6th president of the nation and came into the office in 2013 and from then only the relation of India and Maldives getting worst and on the other hand, Male-Beijing relation starts to get stronger which was clear from the visits happened in December 2017 when Maldivian President visit China and in the same month Chinese President visited the Maldives. Apart from FTA, giving the contract to a chinese firm by taking it from Indian one and then extending the support to Belt and Road initiative of China by the Maldives are the clear indication that Yameen is ignoring the long relation of Maldives-India and come up as Pro- China leader.

The government of Yameen also passed an amendment to the constitution in July 2015 allowing foreign power can buy or lease an island or atoll in the Maldives. So in this way, this is not a political issue of Maldives but it becomes an arena of the geopolitical game in the Indian Ocean region.

 

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The string of Pearl created by China around India

 

As soon as the amendment is passed India got alarmed because this opens a way for China to increase its influence in the Indian Ocean region by buying or leasing an island in the Maldives which Dragon can use for military purposes in future which will be a serious security concern for India. Though how China doesn’t have its coastline in the Indian Ocean but China encircle India by a string of pearl which it creates using  Hambantota port of Srilanka, Gwadar port of Pakistan, Djibouti Port and now Marao atoll of Maldives.

Apart from security issues, economic concerns of India will also be increased by the presence of China in the Maldives as sea trade route of India passes through many choke points and one of them passes through the Maldives so those routes can be easily blocked by China if has its presence in that area.

What India should do in this situation

Whoever controls the Indian Ocean dominates Asia. This ocean is the key to the seven seas in the 21st century. The destiny of the world will be decided in these waters.

Above statement clears the importance of Indian Ocean, it has always been and will remain on the strategic radar of great powers. Given its location with abundant oil, minerals resources and fisheries and being a hub of vast seaborne global trade and oil route, it has turned into an arena of geopolitical rivalry between the world power. For India, this trade route passes through the Maldives and hence it is very important for India to have control on this region and also to have good relationships with countries of Indian Ocean.  China understands the importance of this region and also it’s sea trade goes from this route and hence it is trying to increase its influence in this region which is not in the interest of India both economically and strategically.

So, if India wants to dominate in this region then India needs to keep good relation with Maldives and Srilanka. Currently, in case of Maldives crisis, India has issued two statements since the crisis erupted, one on the morning of 2 February exhorting the Maldivian government and all its agencies to abide by the Supreme Court judgment and the second on 6 February conveying that it was ‘’disturbed’’ at the imposition of emergency by the Maldivian government. In conjunction with the UN and other democratic countries, India should apply unrelenting pressure in a graduate and calibrated manner on Yameen to restore freedom and independence of the Supreme Court, lift the state of emergency, implement the 1 February judgment and ensure that Mohamed Nasheed is able to contest the Presidential election due to take place later this year.  India should also take the lesson from this issue and should also focus its diplomatic activities in this region so that any other possible threat don’t get the chance to create any problems in this region.

Now, no more TALAQ TALAQ TALAQ

Shayara Bano, Aafreen Rehman, Gulshan Parveen, Ishrat Jahan name may be different but the pain and problems of all of these are same as they suffered from the same evil of the society called triple talaq.  Someone received it on phone someone on WhatsApp or someone got it on a 10 rupees stamp paper. They suffered from this because their husbands have a magical spell TALAQ, TALAQ, TALAQ as soon as the guy utter this word thrice in any manner be it oral, written, or more recently, electronic form, he is free from all the responsibilities of her wife and he is not even bound to pay alumni after the period of Iddah.

This way of divorcing becomes a curse of the life of 9 crore Muslim women. Triple talaq as a practice is not mentioned in the Quran or Sharia law. It is also largely disapproved by Muslim legal scholars. Several Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have banned it but Muslim women of India still got victimized by this practice.

What exactly is the triple talaq ( Talaq-E-Biddah)

Actually, Triple talaq( Talaq-E-Biddah) is a form of divorce practised in India by Muslim man according to which he can legally divorce his wife by pronouncing Talaq thrice in any manner be it oral or written, or, in recent times, delivered by electronic means such as telephone, SMS, email or social media. While pronouncing this word it is not necessary that his wife should be present and he not even needed any cause for divorcing her. In recommended practice, it is not allowed to man to pronounce the talaq thrice in one go instead after the 1st call of talaq the husband has to compulsorily wait for a wife’s iddah (menses) to complete before pronouncing another talaq. Not more than two talaqs can be pronounced during the course of iddah. Iddah is considered to be the three-month course. During these three month cycles, a man cannot give his third talaq. This had been envisaged so that the couple sorts out their differences in this period. After the period of Iddah, the divorce will be irrevocable.

This way of Triple talaq is Talaq-e-Sunnah, but nowadays what Muslim men ( not all but majorly ) follow the system of triple talaq (Tala-e-Biddah) in one sitting based on the practice from the time of Umar, the second caliph.

Once the talaq is finalized and the couple wants to reunite again than the woman has to go through the process of “Nikah Halala”. According to which she must have to marry another man, consummate the relationship and only after following the original procedure of Talaq-e-Sunnah then only will she be able to marry the former husband again.

Hon’ble Supreme Court judgement on instant triple talaq

Shayara Bano, Aafreen Rehman, Gulshan Parveen, Ishrat Jahan and Atiya Sabri knocks the door of Supreme court against triple talaq. A five-judge Constitution bench was set up to hear the plea in May 2017. Then a question is raised due to article 25 of Indian constitution grants the right of religion as a fundamental right and if any decision is taken against the religion will it be a violation of the article of 25 or not?

The five-judge Constitution bench in which there are persons from different faith and they are,

the then Chief Justice JS Khehar, a Sikh, Justices Kurian Joseph a Christian, RF Nariman a Parsi, UU Lalit a Hindu and Abdul Nazeer a Muslim.

So for this Supreme court has reviewed whether instant triple talaq is fundamental to Islam or not and supreme court finds that

  • This practice violates article 14 i.e. fundamental right of equality of the women facing triple talaq.
  • Then it violates article 21 i.e. Right to life, it violates as women don’t have any liberty give consent on this talaq and they become helpless without any form of alimony.

And on 22 August 2017, in 397 pages ruling, though two judges upheld the validity of Instant triple talaq (talaq-e-biddat), the three other judges held that it was unconstitutional, thus barring the practice by 3–2 majority. One judge argued that

instant triple talaq violated Islamic law. The bench asked the central government to promulgate legislation within six months to govern marriage and divorce in the Muslim community.  The court said that until the government formulates a law regarding instant triple talaq, there would be an injunction against husbands pronouncing Instant triple talaq on their wives.

In the light of Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937   the 2 judges the then CJI J.S.Khehar and Justice Abdul Nazeer differed and said while triple talaq may be sinful act, but court can’t interfer in the personal laws which have the status of fundamental right under the constitution. So parliament should bring a law thorugh which this practice can be ended.

Hence the Hon’ble Supreme Court verdict is:

  • Blocked the use of Muslim divorce law until the government frames new legislation.
  • 6 month of the period is given to the government by the court hence it is ban for said period.

The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017

This is not the first time when judiciary gives a verdict in favour of the victim of triple talaq before this also give a verdict in favour of the victim. Before this also Hon’ble Supreme Court had passed a great judgement of giving the right to Muslim woman of maintenance on monthly basis.

But that judgement didn’t get the support of the parliament and was overturned by a legislation passed by INC government in parliament with full majority,” Muslim Woman (Protection of Right on Divorce) Act 1986″.

But this time government upheld the 22 August 2017 judgement of Supreme Court and on 28 December 2017, a bill namely The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 is passed by voice vote in Lok Sabha. The bill proposes to make instant talaq, or uttering the word “talaq” thrice, illegal. The bill also includes a three-year jail term for a Muslim man who uses triple talaq. It would make instant talaq punishable and would be a cognisable, non-bailable offence. 

The bill is presented in Rajya Sabha and it will be difficult for the government to pass this bill in the upper house. Should the triple talaq Bill be sent to a Select Committee or not? This question triggered a heated exchange of words in the Rajya Sabha, forcing an adjournment of the House for the day.

India is not the 1st country who is in process of making a law against triple talaq and have a ban on it but 22 Islamic nation including Pakistan and Bangladesh, had regulated instant triple talaq. We need to stop for a while and think that what it takes India to take this much time to take a reform in case of triple talaq. Why are our 9 crore Muslim sisters are facing this curse from more than 70 years? Why didn’t Muslim society and its elders take some steps against this evil practice till now and why still NGOs like AIMPLB opposing this practice even when it is not mentioned in the Quran or Sharia law.

The answer to all of these questions can only be given by the society and for that mindset of all the generations needs to be changed.

 

Mistake of Past Which is Ruining The present and will Hurt the Future

Every one of us has done mistakes in our life and we also learned from them. Sometimes the impact of these mistakes can be reversible but there are some mistakes whose impact are not only irreversible but it continuously impacts the life of the one.

One such mistake was done in the history of our country by our leaders and even today country is paying for that mistake. I am talking about article 35A of our constitution which derives from article 370 in 1954. But why I am suddenly talking about this article…because on 30 Oct 2017 the Hon’ble Supreme court defers the petition filed against article 35A for 3 months. The article 35A was challenged by an NGO “We the Citizens”  in 2014 on the grounds that it is illegal as it is not added by constitutional amendments as per article 368, last month two Kashmiri women argued that the state’s laws, flowing from 35A, had disenfranchised their children.

These petitions again spark the debate of revoking the article 35A and section 370 of the constitution.

What is article 370, when and why it was added to the Constitution of India?

Section 370 of our constitution grants the autonomous status to the state of Jammu & Kashmir along with certain special privileges, The article was drafted in Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions.

In 1947 when India got independence there were 565 princely states present at that time, who had the options to either go with India or Pakistan or they can exist as a free nation. Maharaja Hari Singh of J&K decided to not go with either of the nations. As soon as this declaration was done by Maharaja, Pashtun tribes with the support of Pakistan invade the valley and the army of Maharaja was not able to confront them then Maharaja seeks help from India. But India couldn’t send the troops as J&K was not the part of Dominion of India hence on 26 October 1947 Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession and from that day J&K becomes an integral part of India. Sheikh Abdullah was appointed as the head of the emergency administration. Now 1 thing needs to be clear here that this accession was unconditional unlike rumours going on nowadays.  The accession of J&K was done on the matters: defence, foreign affairs and communications. with which it was done with other princely states.

The article 370 was worked out in late 1947 between Sheikh Abdullah, who had by then been appointed Prime Minister of J&K by the Maharaja and Nehru, it was Sheikh Abdullah, who, driven by his ambition to be ruler of an independent Kashmir and his hatred for the Maharaja, persuaded Nehru to give special status to J&K. Among his reasons were – occupation of one-third of J&K by Pakistan, reference to the UN and plebiscite.
Jawaharlal Nehru sent him to Dr B.R.Ambedkar for preparation for the draft of this article but Dr Ambedkar opposes the article which gives the special status to the J&K. Balraj Madhok reportedly said Ambedkar had clearly told the Kashmiri leader, Sheikh Abdullah: To give consent to this proposal would be a treacherous thing against the interests of India and I as the Law Minister of India, will never do it. After this Nehru sent Shiekh to Gopal Swami Ayyangar and later Ayyangar drafted and presented the article 370 in front of the constituent assembly. The proposal was torn to pieces by the Constituent Assembly and also Congress Party Executive. Later Nehru requested Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel who himself was against the article to get this article passed in the constituent assembly.

So this is how this article got its place in the constitution under Part XXI of the Constitution: Temporary, Transitional and Special Provisions.

Special Provisions provide to J&K under Article 370

  1. The provision of article 238, which was omitted from the Constitution in 1956 when Indian states were reorganised, is not applicable to J&K.
  2. Indian parliament can’t increase or reduce the border of J&K that means article 2,3 and 4 is not applicable in case of J&K.
  3. Except for defence, foreign affairs, finance and communication, all other laws passed by Indian parliament needs to be passed by state government then only those laws will be applicable in the J&K.(Ex. RTI is applicable in all other states of India except J&K)
  4. J&K is the only state who has its own constitution and due to article 370, President of India don’t have the right to dissolve the constitution of J&K.
  5. President of India can’t impose financial emergency in the J&K i.e. article 360 is not applicable.
  6. No proclamation of emergency made by the President under Article 352 on the State of J&K without the State Government’s concurrence.
  7. A resident of J&K has dual citizenship and J&K has its own flag and disrespecting India national flag or national emblems is not a crime in J&K.
  8. The term of state assembly of J&K is 6 years unlike the other states of India.
  9. Initially, Indian supreme court had no jurisdiction in J&K but after the Presidential order of 1954 jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of India was extended to the State.
  10. Due to this article person who is not a permanent resident of J&K cannot purchase land in J&K.
  11. Minority Hindu & Sikhs don’t get 16% reservations.
  12. The most controversial part of this article is if any woman marries a man who is not a citizen of Jammu & Kashmir, she loses all her citizenship (state rights). Whereas if any woman marries a Pakistani, she will be entitled to have a citizenship of Jammu & Kashmir

Is it possible to abrogate the article 370?

In 2014 as part of election manifesto BJP pledged for integrating the state of J&K by abrogating the article 370. But, in October 2015, the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir has ruled that the Article 370 cannot be “abrogated, repealed or even amended.” It explained that the clause (3) of the Article conferred power to the State’s Constituent Assembly to recommend to the President on the matter of the repeal of the Article. After that recommendation, the President may, by public notification, declare that this Article shall cease to be operative. since the Constituent Assembly did not make such a recommendation before its dissolution in 1957, the Article 370 has taken on the features of a “permanent provision” despite being titled a temporary provision in the Constitution.

But if the state assembly recommends the President of India for abrogation of this article then also under clause(3) of the article 370 abrogation can be done.

 

Article 35A and provisions under it

Article 35A empowers the Jammu and Kashmir state’s legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. It was added to the Constitution through a Presidential Order issued by the then President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad on 14 May 1954.

As per the constitution of J&K adopted on November 17, 1956, One can only be considered as permanent resident of the state if that was a state subject on May 14, 1954, or who has been a resident of the state for 10 years, and has “lawfully acquired immovable property in the state”. 

So if a person is not a permanent resident of J&K then that person restricts from :

  • Getting the job under state government.
  • Acquiring any immovable property in J&K,
  • Permanently settling down in the state and,
  • Getting the scholarships and other such aids as state govt. may provide.
  • Voting for state elections but can vote in national elections.

Why the article 35A is being opposed and debate of its abolition has started

  • An NGO has challenged the constitutionality of Article 35A in the supreme court in 2014 on the grounds that it was not added into the constitution through amendment under article 368 and was never presented in front of the parliament and came into effect immediately.
  • In 2017 two Kashmiri women argued that state law’s flowing from article 35A had disenfranchised their children.
  • Children of non-state subjects do not get admission to state colleges.
  • Another point is that article 35A says that any law created by J&K state assembly on permanent residency then that law will behold constitutional. Now a Kashmiri person can settle down in any part of the country but vice versa is not possible because of the 35A which is contradictory of the right to equality(article 14).
  • If a person is a Non-permanent resident of J&K then that person doesn’t have the right to get the job in state govt, and hence it is against article 16 which gives equality of opportunity in matters of public employment and reservations.
  • It ruins the status of West Pakistani refugees. Being citizens of India they are not stateless persons, but being non-permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir, they cannot enjoy the basic rights and privileges as being enjoyed by permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

Arguments in support of article 35A

Political parties of J&K and alleged liberals of the country are standing in support of this article by saying that:

  • This is not the only article who provide special rights there are many other articles present in the constitution which provide special rights to other Indian states like, Nagaland (Article 371A) and Mizoram (Article 371G) like article 371. But they forget that these articles don’t discriminate between the people of India unlike it is done 35A.
  • This article protects the demographic status of the J&K. But again this is a politically created agenda and the main point is if the demography of the state changes then their vote bank will also get impacted.
  • Article 35A is only a clarificatory provision and itself does not confer any special power. But they don’t say that this article is making the laws made for PR of the J&K constitution even though they are violating the fundamental rights of the Non-permanent resident.

If Article 35A is INVALID, Jammu and Kasmir ACCESSION to India will be INVALID??

Some politician says that if 35A is removed then the citizen of J&K needs to think again about their relationship with India, they again need to decide whether they want to go with India or Pakistan or want to be a free nation. But while saying this they forget that as soon as the Maharaj Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession on 26 Oct 1947, J&K becomes an integral part of India. And once the instrument is signed it’s irreversible. After 7 years, Article 35A came into existence in 1954. Besides this, Jammu & Kashmir Constitution, which came into force on 26 January 1957, (3 Years after article 35A), The State of Jammu and Kashmir is, and shall be an integral part of the Union of India, and this section cannot be legally amended as per provisions of the J&K constitution. Also, section3 of the J&K Constitution clearly states, “Relationship of the State with the Union of India: The State of Jammu and Kashmir is and shall be an integral part of the Union of India.”

Hence It can be logically concluded, that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the Indian Union with, Or without Article 370 and its derivative Article 35A.

At the time of Independence, there was no united India but there was an India which was broke in 565 parts. These 565 parts were collected together to make today’s India. But because of the romance of one person and the ambition of the other these two articles come into existence and because of these J&K becomes an alien state in India itself. These articles on the name of giving special status, discriminating the people either based on their resident or on gender. I can’t say whether these articles have done anything good for the valley or not but one thing which I am sure about is that these two articles become a weapon for few people in the valley to keep their political or Monterey benefits above the people of J&K which is not at all good.

In the end, I just want to say that J&K was and will be an integral part of India and for that, we don’t need any such articles.

Naxalism … from terror to horror

For any country securing its people and its boundaries from any outside invader is at most priority. Many countries of the world suffer from internal extremism, which is slowly becoming terrorism. Naxalism in India is the result of such extremism, which has become a threat to internal security and has spread to less developed areas of rural southern and eastern India like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

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Image 1: Statistics of Red corridor

Which was started as a movement against Zamindars ( landlords) and their atrocities on the local farmers which later turned into arm revolt and now Naxalites are just using the name for there benefits which are nowhere concerned with the farmers or tribal people.

Who are Naxalites and what is their ideology

A Naxal or a Naxalites is a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). It is considered to be the far left-radical communist, supportive of the political ideology and sentiment of Maoist. Naxalism is the unofficial name of that armed movement of the communist party of India which was started by Charu Majumdar, Kanu Sanyal and Jangal Santhal against power.

The term NAXAL derives from the name of that village Naxalbari, in West Bengal where the 1st spark of movement happened on May 24, 1967.

Incident which sparks the Naxal movement

The Naxal movement was started from a small village in West Bengal named Naxalbari in 1967. On May 18, 1967, Siliguri Kisan Sabha chaired by Jangal Santhal declared their support to the armed movement started by Kanu Sanyal. In the next week of the Kisan Sabha, a peasant who has the judicial order to plough his land was attacked by men of the landlord over a land dispute. The objective of the movement was to rightfully distribute the land to the working peasants. on 24 May 1967, Police team was sent by the state government to maintain law order and order them to action against the rebellions. Police opened fire on villagers and firing killed 9 adults and 2 children. As a result of this, a group of tribals under the leadership of Jangal Santhal attacked the Police team who had come to arrest the leader of peasants. In that attacked a police inspector was killed in hails of arrows. After this incident, many Santhal tribals and poor people encouraged to take part in the movement and start attacking local landlords.

The movement was started by Charu Majumdar, and he was influenced by the ideology of Mao Zedong and hence more than often Naxalism is interchanged with the word Maoism. Over the years insurgent groups forked into many insurgents groups, and all traced their ideology from the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

The foundation of CPI(ML) was announced by Kanu Sanyal at Calcutta meet of AICCCR on Lenin’s Birthday i.e. on April 22, 1969. CPI(ML) was formed by the radicals within the CPI(M) who was upset from the parliamentary politics of CPI(M). They alleged that the CPI(M) party leadership was turning towards revisionism and simultaneously a debate ensued which finally let to the expulsion of the radicalised faction within the CPI(M) and led to the formation of CPI(ML). CPI(ML) was in favour of armed revolution and denounced participation in the electoral process.

Causes of rising and growth of Naxalism

The Naxal movement started against the atrocities done by the rich landlords on the poor peasants. Those poor were deprived of their only means of livelihood by these landlords who snatch their lands illegally, the government also not helped them. In an all poverty, unemployment, lack of education are the major cause of the rise of Naxalism.

Growth

The region, over which the Naxalites have established their presence, is marked by widespread poverty, corruption, unemployment, lack of development, poor governance and an under-equipped police force. In many of these areas, the state machinery either does not exist or has a very limited existence. Naxalites fill the vacuum and exploit the poor performance of the institutions of governance on issues such as land rights, minimum wages, education and anti-corruption.

And in one way or the other below reasons helps Naxalism to grow

  • Social Inequalities. Atrocities, subjugation, discriminatory treatment of Dalits and lower caste peasants by the upper caste landlords continue to be very common in Naxalite affected parts of the country.
  • Economic Deprivation. There are extreme poverty and utter lack of economic development in many parts of the country. The landlords do not follow the stipulated minimum wage rule as laid down by the government.
  • Infrastructure Inadequacies. The areas affected by the Naxal movement are one of the richest in terms of natural resources. Even then, these areas have not seen any infrastructure development and continue to remain neglected by the authorities.
  • Tribal and Forest Policies. The primitive methods of cultivation have left the tribal people economically fear behind in comparison with other peasants. The tribals have been denied their traditional means of livelihood and hence, their only means of survival has been taken away from them in the name of our forest policies.
  • Inadequate Governance. It is a known fact that in many of these areas, there is no governance at all and the state and civil administrative infrastructure are virtually non-existent.

Consequences

The consequences of this movement are already in front of us, in the Naxal hit area,

  • Development is completely derailed, people are not able to get basic facilities due to these Naxalites. There is no development from an economic perspective, education is also not good in these areas.
  • Naxalites curbed the infrastructure development of these areas, they attack the worker and stopped the work.
  • Tax collection and revenue generation from these areas are low as Naxals prevents the governing body to do so.
  • Lower domestic investment and higher expenditure on defence at the cost of lower expenditure on education and health.
  • Naxalism become an internal security threat for the country, and we have lost many of our security personnel in the encounters between them and Naxals.
  • Along with security personnel civilians are also killed. In past 20 years total 12,183 people killed, 9,471 were civilians and 2,712 central and state security force personnel.
  • As Naxalites do not believe in the electoral process they have always attempted to disrupt elections thereby not only preventing masses from choosing their leaders but also inhibiting them from exercising their fundamental right to vote.

The Naxals enjoy immense support among the lower strata of the society in what is known as the Red Corridor, a collection of states with active Naxalism( which is shown in image 1)

  1. Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 placed the reserved forests of the entire country in the hands of the Centre. This rule led to the eviction of many Adivasis from the forests and their frequent abuse at the hands of forest officers. The Naxalites stepped into such disputes and provided protection to these Adivasis from the forest officers as well as eviction from their habitat. This is a perfect example of the adversities attached to centralization.
  2. The law and administration provide no succour to displaced people and treats them with hostility since such internally displaced forest dwellers tend to settle down again in some forest region which is prohibited. The Naxalite movement has come to the aid of such victims. One such example was the displacement of Adivasis by irrigation projects in Orissa who migrated to the forests of Andhra Pradesh. Without Naxal intervention, these adivasis would have been evicted by forest officials from there as well.
  3. The Minimum Wages Act remains an act on paper for most of rural India. It is reported that the Naxalites have ensured payment of decent wages to the labourers. A famous example of this is the increase in payment rates secured by the Naxalites for tendu leaf pickers used for rolling beedis.
  4. The pressure exerted by the Naxalite movement has had some effect in ensuring proper attendance of teachers, doctors etc. in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chattisgarh.
  5. The slogan of the Naxalites from the beginning has been ‘land to the tillers’. Their fear nearly brought an end to the absentee landlordism system although this activity is still prevalent in some places.
  6. Partly because of the efforts of the government and partly because of the Naxal threat bonded labour or ‘begar’ (bonded labour) has been nearly abolished.

Does the above example say that the path is chosen by the Naxals to meet their demands right? Does this imply that the gore killings of innocent people who have nothing to do with the problem of Naxalism justified? Certainly not. But at the same time, Government and local authorities need to work more in direction of wellness of local people living in Naxal hit areas. The Naxal movement started because of the socio-economical inequality of the society, hence government need to make such policies which don’t harm the tribals in the name of development. Today Naxalism is used as a weapon against the government but the motive behind it is not the same as it was at the time of the start of the movement. India is a democratic country and in any democracy, insurgency should not be tolerated.

Country who have “Democratic” in name but not in its character

“The US has great strength and patience,” But “If it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

This was the part of the speech given by the president of the United States of America at the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. The president said so because the supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un is continuously threatening the nuclear attack on the USA.

But why North Korea is giving such statements and warning to America and that too without any reason or provocation from the later side?. The answer to this question can only be given by Kim Jong-un but history can also help us to understand the reason(s)(if there is any ).

This is how North Korea come into existence

Korean Peninsula before 1945

Korean Peninsula before 1945

Before the year 1945, there was neither North Korea nor South Korea but was a unified country called Korean Peninsula was exist for centuries (1392-1910) under the Joseon Dynasty. But around 1850 influence of Japan started increasing in the Korean Peninsula, as the Japenese wants to increase so by 1910 Japan annexed the region and from then it becomes the colony of Japan till 1945. After the defeat of Japan in World War II, the allied powers thought that they will establish the democracy in the colonies of Japan. But Korean peninsula was not the priority of USA as it was more interested in Germany and USSR took the advantage of this situation and declared war on Japan within 2 days of atomic attack on it and invaded Manchuria region so that they can capture the land which not able to do in Russo- Japanese war (1904-05). and Russia wants that when any other country gets created in that region it should be under the influence of Russia and should follow communism.So after the defeat of Japan in World War II, Russia captured the northern part of the Korean peninsula and USA captured the southern part of the same.

So after the defeat of Japan in World War II, Russia captured the northern part of the Korean peninsula and USA captured the southern part of the same. The plan was to unify the Korea and conduct the election but Russia wants that Korea should follow communism and USA want the capitalism should be the ideology of the Korea and due to this conflict of ideology Korean peninsula was dividing it into half along the 38th parallel to latitude. In this way, North and south Korea come on the map of the world.

In 1948 South Korea declare itself a nation and becomes the Republic of Korea and in 1949 USSR appointed Kim il-Sung as “Great Leader” which later becomes dictator of this northern part which is officially known as Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Why North Korea Hates USA, Japan and South Korea

The current supreme leader of North Korea Kim Jong-Un is not only furious on the USA but also keep threatening the Japan and South Korea. There are many reasons behind it let’s see them one by one

Reason of hatred with JAPAN

At the time when the Korean peninsula was the colony of Japan at that point in time, Japan not only annexed the Korean land but also try to destroy their culture and history and even Japan put the ban on speaking of Korean native language and up to that extent that there was the provision of Death penalty for the person found using Korean language. Exploitation of Korean people on their own land, their environment, the utilization of industrialization only for the purposes of benefiting Japan etc is the reasons why both North and South Korea don’t like Japan.

Scattered Dream of one Korea under communist rule

korean border

Border or North and South Korea before and after the Korean war

Actually, North Korea doesn’t to destroy the South Korea but it believes that there should be one Korea and due to this reason the Kim il-Sung the then “Great leader” attacked South Korea 25 June 1950 which ends up in 1953 this war was named as Korean war. During this period of war, there was a time when North Korea has captured 98% of South Korea but at that point, USA helps South Korea and hence destroyed the dream of North Korea.

Reason of Hatred towards the United States America

North Korean hates the USA up to that extent that they taught their children to hate America from the early age, as per my understanding there are majorly 3 reasons because of which North Korea has so much hatred towards the USA

  1. As we already read that during the colonial period of Japan the life of the Korean people was awful and become bad to worst. Now as the USA is a friend of Japan so due to this North Korean hates it.
  2. Another and the most important reason is the defeat of North Korea in Korean war of 1950. As the USA supports South Korea was able to manage to defeat the North Korea. Only 3 years long Korean war was catastrophic, in which 3 million people were killed. As per the then head of the Strategic Air command during this war, US killed almost 20% of the North Korean Population. The level of shelling from the US can be understood as during thorough out World War II the US dropped around 503000 tonnes of bombs whereas in Korean war this count went up to 635000 tonnes of bombs. In this war, North Korea was decimated completely. The government of North Korea keep alive the wounds of this war in the mind of its citizens and it is the biggest reason behind their hatred.
  3. Till now North Korea has done 5 nuclear bomb tests and due to this UN and The USA puts many sanctions on it. Thinking of US behind these sanctions was that if they put sanctions the conditions of the North Korea become worst and the people of the country will revolt against the government but things go against the America and the people keep the USA only responsible for their degrading economy and all other problems due to these sanctions.

So what happens if war breaks out

As per the experts, North Korean missiles are not capable enough to target the USA as of now, but South Korea and Japan are in the direct range of them and if North Korea attacks any of these nations then also the USA will come to help them. But it is not like North Korea don’t have friends, in the war of 1950 when the USA was supporting the South Korea, China and Russia were with North Korea.

China share 1420 Km of the border with North Korea and looking at the current tension China already sent 1,50,000 troops towards the North Korean border.

Because of the below reasons China could support North Korea

  • There is a treaty between 2 nations called Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty of 1961 according to which if either of the nation is in the state of war then other country have to support the other nation unconditionally. This treaty got renewed in every 20 years and lastly, it renewed in the year 2001.
  • If America attacks North Korea than, in that case, millions of refugees will move to China because of such long border and these refugees could be a big problem for China.
  • Last reason is the ideology, North Korea is the only country which follow Communism strictly and as China is also a communist nation so due to this China will be in support of it.

Due to the last to point mentioned above Russia can also take part in war from the side of North Korea. So in this war China and Russia will fight from North Korea and South Korea, Japan will be on USA side and due to these major involvement, if this war happens this will be nothing less than a mini-World War III.

Military Power of North Korea

North Korea has the fifth largest army in the world which includes 7.6 million personnel(Active, reserve and paramilitary), it also has missile like wasung 5 and wasung 6 whose range is 1000km, apart from these North Korea also have Missile which is capable of carrying nuclear weapons like Nudong missile whose range is 1300km, Musudan Missile whose range is 3,500km. Currently, it is working on missiles like KN14 and KN08 whose ranges are 10,000 and 11,500 km respectively.

Looking at the military statistics and rambling between the leaders, we can conclude that nuclear catastrophe is in near sight. However, we can hope for the best and let diplomacy do the correct work.

Liquid Gold Called “Petrol”

On 24 May 2012, the then CM of Gujrat Narendra Modi tweeted that

“Massive hike in petrol prices is a prime example of the failure of Congress-led UPA government. This would put a burden of hundreds of crores on Gujarat”,

now in 2017, he is the prime minister of India and petrol price is at all-time high then according to his logic this is also a prime example of the failure of BJP- led NDA government. Tourism minister of his cabinet is giving the statement like

“If a person can afford a car or a bike then certainly he is not starving so somebody who can pay has to pay”.

I want to ask that when in 2012 price hike was not justifiable when the price of crude oil was higher than today, then why today when the crude oil price is almost half, then why the government is trying to justify this price rise?

How the prices of  Petrol and Diesel is decided

From 16 June 2017 fuel prices are started to revised on daily basis and this is called Dynamic Fuel Pricing(DFP). Under this mechanism, all the petrol pumps of the country(58,000 in number) change the price of petrol and diesel daily on the basis of the price of crude oil in the international market and foreign exchange rates. Previously this was implemented on pilot basis in 5 cities viz. Udaipur, Jamshedpur, Vishakhapatnam, Puducherry and Chandigarh for 40 days from 5 may 2017.  Before this mechanism, the price was changed on 1st and 16th of every month based on the average price of crude oil and foreign exchange rate of the preceding 15 days.

This shift in price determination has been backed by the argument that, this mechanism will ensure that even the slightest benefit of the change in the oil international market should be delivered to the bottom line i.e. to the distributors and consumers. But it seems that this mechanism is not able to serve its purpose as the crude oil price low but the consumer is not getting the benefit of the same.

After deciding the price of petrol from the oil companies then Central government impose Excise Duty and state government impose VAT( AS Petroleum products are kept outside of GST) on the petrol price and due to these two major taxes its price is this much high and as the rate of VAT differs in states hence different states have different prices.

How does the cost of petroleum products get calculated

Comparative petrol price chart

Comparative petrol price chart

For the reference, I will take Delhi’s petrol product price

Currently, the price of the petrol got decided by dynamic fuel pricing which takes international market’ price of crude oil and foreign exchange rates into consideration for determining the price.

In 2013 the price of petrol in Delhi was ₹ 76.06 when the price of crude oil was $109.45/barrel, and today when the price is $54.58/barrel then the price of petrol in Delhi is ₹ 73.58. So as per the logic of DFP, the price of petrol should decrease but instead, it is touching the new high every day.

So why these prices are not coming down, the reason behind this is that the petroleum sector is considered and used as big money generating industry, the real issue is with petrol policy of India. According to which only government is getting benefits but not the public and this thing are clear from the amount of revenue that government gets from the petroleum sector. In the year 2014-15 was ₹ 3.32 Lakh crore which increases to ₹ 5.24 Lakh crore in the year 2016-2017 which is 3.5% of our GDP.

let’s have a look that how come the government is able to earn this much money.

In April 2014 the price of 1 litre of petrol contains ₹ 9.48 and 1 litre of Diesel contains       ₹ 3.48 as excise duty which has been increased to whopping ₹ 21.48 for petrol and ₹ 17.33 for diesel in September 2017. The central government has increased the excise duty 12 times in past 3 years which is over 120% on petrol and 380% on diesel.

Petroleum product is not a money tree from the central government only but state governments also generate a major part of their revenue from it. Every state imposes VAT on the price of petroleum product whose rate is different in the different state. In Delhi, 27% VAT is added to the price of petrol whereas in Mumbai this rate is 47.64%.

As per the report of PPAC i.e.(Petroleum Planning & Analysis Cell),

  • The Central government has increased the excise duty by 54% on petrol and 150% on diesel from November 2014.
  • On an average VAT is increased by 46% on petrol and 48% on diesel.
  • Dealer commission is also increased to 73% on both.

Mathematics of cost of 1 of litre petrol beared by government

As per the statistics provided by India oil corporation, the cost incurred by oil refineries for 1 litre of petrol is only ₹ 26.65 in Delhi. To get the petrol dealer needs to pay ₹ 30.70 after that ₹ 21.48 is added to the cost as excise duty, then dealer commission of ₹ 3.24 is added into the cost and at the last ₹4.96 is added to its cost as VAT (27% in Delhi). So in an all we need to pay 70.39 to get 1 litre of petrol in which major part is paid as a tax.

India is way ahead of its neighbouring country in the price of petrol which can be seen in below image.

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Is there any way to reduce these prices?

As we see that in the price of the petrol that we pay is taxes, so to reduce the price of petroleum product taxes needs to be reduced and that can only be done by taking these products under GST. Even petroleum minister Mr Dharmendra Pradhan is also suggesting the same. It has 4 different bands( 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%) according to which taxes are imposed on the commodities. So if the petrol is kept under 12% GST then the price of petrol in Delhi comes down to ₹ 38.10 from ₹70.39. Even if the 28% of tax is imposed on petrol which is highest in it then also the price will be 43.44. But 28% of tax is kept for luxurious things and as per my understanding petrol is not a luxury but a thing of day to day use so, 28% of tax should not be imposed on petrol.

But it is not that easy to get the petrol price under GST because as per the GST act, the decision to include any product under GST can only be taken by GST council. In this council majority is of state representative and states are in opposition of taking petrol product in GST because if petrol comes under it then it will cut down their revenue that they are getting from petrol.

In the end, I just want to say that government need to reduce the price of this daily need thing. Because price rise of petrol product either directly or indirectly increases the prices of other products and services which result in the high inflation rate. As of now the only way of doing this is to include them also in GST and for this along with the central government state governments also need to take some steps in the positive direction.

 

Another name added in the list…Gauri Lankesh

On 5th of September 2017, at 8pm, 7 rounds of fire and one more name added to the list of the assassinated journalist. This journalist was Gauri Lankesh who was an editor in Lankesh Patrike, a weekly started by her father P.Lankesh, also ran her own Gauri Lankesh Patrike. She was shot dead by 3 unidentified men outside of her house in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Banglore. After her death, a debate started again that whether India is not a safe place for free journalists, well the 136th rank of India out of 180 nations in world press freedom index indicates the same.

A death cannot be justified

Along with the debate over press freedom, few more questions also arise soon after the death of Gauri Lankesh, that whether this is not only the murder of a journalist but the murder of an ideology? that she was murdered because she criticizes a particular political party, that she is murdered because she’s a communist, that she is assassinated because she is leftist?

We don’t know who killed her or who is responsible for this but whosoever have killed her should be catch and put behind the bars and her murder can’t be justified in any way. But despite of her cruel murder a part of the social media is celebrating her death which is completely inhuman. Posting tweets against her, and in them using insulting language.

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Is this the language of decent society

This is not at all justifiable and acceptable, you don’t like that person, fine but derogating that person after the death is completely inhuman.

Is it the death of an ideology

There is one more side who directly started blaming  Hindutva, BJP, RSS and Right wing people for her murder. Raising a suspicion is one thing but announcing the judgment that too within hours of her death and without having any proof in your hand is also not justifiable. How could they come to the conclusion when the investigation is going on, and if they have any proof then why don’t they give it to SIT?

Why these people are not looking at the Naxal angle, which could be a possible reason for her murder.

From past several years, she was working actively towards the rehabilitation of Naxalites. Several of them, including former Naxal leader Sirimane Nagaraj, surrendered to the state in December 2015, as did others like Rizwana Begum, Parashuram, Padmanabha, Chennamma, Shivu, Bharathi, and Kanyakumari, before the Chikmagalur district administration. According to her brother Indrajit Lankesh,  sources had informed him of a threat to the Lankesh Patrike editor’s life. Gauri Lankesh was working with Karnataka government for bringing the  Naxalites into the mainstream further he said that he had been informed that pamphlets were distributed to fellow Maoist that to not join the mainstream.

Above statement of the brother of the deceased clarifies that it is not only the right-wing people who threatened her but Naxals are also not happy with her activities.

Whoever had read her article must know about her anti-religious and anti-caste view, due to this many people are connecting her murder with some of the rationalists like M.M.Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar etc. But in my opinion, Gauri was not rationalist because a rationalist isn’t the one who does not believe in religion but the one who bases their opinions and actions on reason and knowledge rather than on religious belief or emotional response. So what my point is that she was not the rationalist but atheist and similarly comparing her death with the rationalist is not correct, but people are hailing her as a rationalist just for the sake of their propaganda.

And if this is the murder of an ideology than what about the murder of RSS workers in Kerala wasn’t that the murder of another ideology. Why don’t such voice arose on those murders? Is it because it that don’t suits the propaganda of political parties?

A murder which is politicized

Unfortunately, she is not the first journalist who is murdered cold blooded.

Rajdev Ranjan (He was known to have been writing against Mohammad Shahabuddin), Hemant Yadav, there is a long list such of the journalist who was murdered from 1992 to till 2017, but none of those murders were able to attract the attention of media and politicians, why?

Is it because those journalists were not targeting the right-wing?

or it’s because of political parties thinks that those murders have nothing on which they can get any political mileage or

is it because those journalists were working on something which could harm the politician?

This is the hypocrisy of our media. They can gather at press club and invite the people from a political party, they allow to use their stage to a person who is on bail in case of sedition. Why they provided their stage to such people, why they only invite the people of one party only, it that was the condolence meet then why didn’t they invite all other parties.

or it’s because of political parties thinks that those murders have nothing on which they can get any political mileage or is it because those journalists were working on something which could harm the politician? This is the hypocrisy of our media. They can gather at press club and invite the people from a political party, they allow to use their stage to a person who is on bail in case of sedition. Why they provided their stage to such people, why they only invite the people of one party only, it that was the condolence meet then why didn’t they invite all other parties.

is it because those journalists were working on something which could harm the politician? This is the hypocrisy of our media. They can gather at press club and invite the people from a political party why because, Gauri Lankesh is leftist and if so then it is clear that they politicizing her death, they allow using their stage to a person who is on bail in case of sedition.

Rahul Gandhi, vice president Congress, never resist himself from doing politics here also. Criticising the BJP government, he said, anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP-RSS is “pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed”.

My question is how can they be so convinced that Gauri was murdered because he had criticized the BJP-RSS ideology? Is there any proof of this and if not, is not he just trying to shine his politics? by putting baseless allegations.

But for political parties, this is not an issue of law and order

A senior journalist is shot dead in front of her house and many people say that this is not an issue of law and order but a political issue. Now the point is these are the same people who said that central government should not interfere with the state government as we have a federal structure then why not they are asking from state government instead of pointing toward the center.

Karnataka is a congress ruled state and when M.M. Kalburgi was assassinated government was the same and in 2013 when Narendra Dabholkar was murdered Maharastra was governed by Congress. If Congress was so concerned and sure that death was happened because of rightist then what is the progress in the above cases?

I totally condemn the murder of Gauri Lankesh and it can’t be justified in any manner and should be investigated by keeping the focus on every aspect. We are free to suspect on everyone but in the minute of her death, a part of media starts blaming a particular ideology by saying as she wrote against that ideology or as she criticizes the BJP-RSS that’s why she got murdered.

But they don’t have any proof on that, even SIT is not reached at any point during its investigation, and making such baseless allegations can hamper the investigation. People follow media so it is a responsibility of media that they should not be biased up to this level. Because with GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITIES.

Rohingyas…”World’s most unwanted people”

India has for decades sheltered people fleeing conflict and disaster. But this time Central government seems strict towards the illegal migrants/refugees and planning to deport them.

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The Hon’ble Supreme Court has asked for a detailed answer from the Government of India on a petition filed against its move on deporting the illegal Rohingyas Muslims who had to flee to India following the Rakhine state of Myanmar. The petition was filed by two Rohingya refugees, plea stated that “this act (deportation) would also be in contradiction with the Principle of Non-Refoulement, which has been widely recognized as a principle of Customary International Law”.

The Principle of Non-Refoulement prohibits states from sending back refugees to a country where their life may be in danger.

Who are these Rohingyas

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Rohingyas are the ethnic community who have been living from centuries in the Rakhine( formerly known as Arakan) state of Buddhist majority Myanmar. Out of 1.3 million Majority are Muslims and rest are Hindus.

According to many historians and Rohingyas groups, Muslims have been living in this region from as early as 12th century. When in 1784 the Burman king Bodawpaya conquered the Arakan( Rakhine state of modern Myanmar) hundreds of thousands of refugees fled to the then Bengal.

During the British rule of 100 years  (1824-1948),  Burma was a province of British India and many workers were sent from rest of British India(majorly from the Bengal province) to Burma for the different projects.

This migration was taken negatively by the majority Buddhist of the country and was consider them as a menace. After their independence in 1948, many of the Rohingyas wanted Arakan to join Muslim-majority Pakistan. The government retaliated by ostracizing the Rohingya, including removing Rohingya civil servants. The Burmese government considers the migration that happened during British Rule illegal and hence, it is on this basis of that they refuse citizenship to the majority of Rohingya,” HRW said in a 2000 report.

At one point in time, Rohingyas were also the citizens of Myanmar

After the Burmese independence in 1948, the Union Citizenship Act was passed defining, which ethnicities can be the citizens of Myanmar and the Rohingyas were not included in them. However, as per the act, those people can apply for the identity cards who were living in Myanmar for at least two generations. Initially, Rohingyas got the identification and also citizenship under that generational act and during this time their representative were also in Parliament.

But why Rohingya are persecuted and facing identity crisis

But victimization of the Rohingyas started after the military coup of 1962. After that, it was made compulsory for all the citizens to obtain the national registration card, but the Rohingyas were provided with foreign identity cards which limited their opportunity to get jobs and education.

In 1982, new citizenship law was passed, under this law, there were three levels of the citizenship and to get the most basic level of citizenship it was necessary that one should have the proof that he/she had lived in Myanmar prior to 1948 and should know one of the national languages.  Due to lack of such documents, Rohingyas were not able to apply for citizenship and became stateless.

As they are no longer the citizens of Myanmar their rights to study, work, travel, marry, practice their religion and access health services have been and continue to be restricted. They are not considered in 135 ethnic groups of the Myanmar, rather becomes the victims of ongoing ethnic cleansing and human right abuses by majority Buddhists and the Burmese army.

Why Rohingyas have been compelled to flee

Since 1970 many army crackdowns have happened on Rohingyas, which bound thousands of Rohingyas to flee to neighboring Bangladesh, as well as Malaysia, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries.

The story of atrocities of  21st century started in 2012,  soon after the rape and murder of a Buddhist girl, riots broke between Rohingyas and Rakhine Buddhists which led to the death of more than 100 people, mostly Rohingya due to lakhs of people were driven into Bangladesh. Nearly 150,000 were forced into camps in Rakhine.

The recent atrocities started when Rohingya militant group Harakah-al-Yaqin attacked border police station and killed 9 soldiers in 2016. After this military crackdown started in the villages of Rakhine state where Rohingyas were living, forcing 2,50,000 Rohingyas to flee from Myanmar.

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Myanmar’s state councilor Aung San Suu Kyi denies the ongoing atrocities on Rohingyas whereas more than 90,000 Rohingya have already left the country in past 10 days.

Why India is deporting the Rohingyas

Indian MoS home, Kiren Rijiju, announced that India would deport its entire Rohingya population, thought to be numbered about 40,000. This number, he said, would include some 16,000 Rohingyas who have been registered as refugees by the UN. “The UNHCR registration means nothing. For us, all of them remain, illegal migrants,” he said.

The first thing we need to be clear about the fact that central government said that we will identify the illegal migrants and deport them. So who so ever is thinking that the government is deporting them just because they are Muslims is not correct as per my understanding is not correct.

Here we also need to know that:

  1. India is neither the signatory of 1951 UN refugee convention nor of its 1967 extension protocol.
  2. This means that there is no refugee law in India, but there is a standard operating procedure in India from December 29, 2011, according to which if a person maintains regular travel document of home country and request for shelter in India and if the government finds that the request is valid then that person can live in India for 5 years and maximum 6 years.
  3. Long-term visa gives them the right to work in private sector and access to education and banking.

Along with the above reasons, India also wants to deport these people because

  1. As per the report of Economic times, intelligence agencies said that these people are vulnerable and can be recruited by terrorist organizations and can be involved in terrorist activity against India.
  2. They “not only infringe on rights of Indian citizens but also pose grave security challenges”.
  3. The influx of migrants also leads to social, political and cultural problems like we see in Assam in form of unrest for Bodoland. The main reason why the demand of Bodoland arises is due to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
  4. One such attack already happened in July 2013. A series of 10 bomb blasts happened in and around Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya for avenging of killing Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, according to arrested SIMI and Indian Mujahideen suspect Mohammed Umair Siddiqui.
  5. On 11th July 2012, a protest organized in Azad Maidan to condemn the Rakhine riots and Assam riots, which later turned into riots, known as Azad Maidan riots.
  6. Their settlement in different regions like Jammu and Kashmir can impact the demography of the region, and we are already facing the issue of Bodo people in Assam due to demographic changes which happened because of illegal migration from Bangladesh.

I also want to address those people in India who are raising the question that “if India can provide the asylum to refugees from Tibet, SriLanka, Pakistani Hindus, and Sikhs then why only these Rohingyas can’t live in India”. My answer to this question is the condition and the reason due to which the citizens of many countries seek asylum in India is completely different from the situation of the Rohingyas.

These people are considered as the terrorist in their own homeland due to their activities. So,  for a country like India who is fighting from terrorism for such a long time, ignoring the warning from different agencies on the name of the image of a kind hearted nation can be very dangerous.