India Stresses Urgency of Security Council Reform

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By Syed Akbaruddin
India's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York

Following are excerpts from his statement on November 7, 2016 at the current Session of the General Assembly's Agenda Item 122: 'Question of equitable representation on and increase in the membership of the Security Council and other matters Related to the Security Council.'

While aligning with the statements made by St. Lucia on behalf of the L69 (a cross regional grouping of 42 developing countries from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific) and Germany on behalf of G4 (including Brazil, India and South Africa), he highlighted a few additional issues in his national capacity. Excerpts follow.

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Demonetise Nuclear Weapons Currency

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By Raj Chengappa - India Today

In June, Union defence minister Manohar Parrikar had vowed not to speak to the media for six months as his statements always seemed to draw him into controversies. However, within four months, at a book release function on November 10, in answer to an innocuous question from a journalist in the audience, Parrikar raised a storm when he went on to question the fundamentals of India's nuclear doctrine, particularly its policy on unleashing its atomic arsenal against an enemy country.

Ever since India's second test in 1998, ordered by the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, there has been heated debate over what red lines have to be crossed for India to launch a nuclear attack.

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It's Not Just About Demonetisation of 500 and 1000 Bank Notes

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The harassment of the common citizen – particularly from the ranks of the urban and rural poor-through denial of access to income, savings and livelihood will not be forgotten anytime soon.

By Satya Sagar – JUST International-Movement for a Just World

The abrupt demonetisation of 500 and 1000 rupee notes by the Narendra Modi regime is a drastic move that is staggering in its scale, ambition and repercussions. The only other figures in modern history one can think of, devious or stupid enough to attempt something similar, are the likes of Marcos, Suharto, Idi Amin and Pol Pot.

For all its audacity however, the decision could go down also as the grandest of blunders made by anyone in Indian political history. Poorly planned and implemented it is likely to prove disastrous not only for the country’s economy but – ironically enough – for the BJP’s own electoral fortunes.

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A Successful Visit: Modi in Japan

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By Salman Haidar - The Statesman

Developing close relations with Japan was from the start a priority task for independent India. Ties were badly damaged by the War but after hostilities ended India began to shape a vision of Asian solidarity that required early restoration of ties with Japan; the discredited imperial and colonial powers were on the way out and a new dispensation for Asia was in the making. Nehru’s India took some imaginative steps in this direction, one of the most striking being refusal to demand war reparations from Japan, unlike other combatant nations which extracted what they could from the prostrate Japanese empire. This important gesture elicited a warm response, and to symbolize the new era Japan made a handsome gift to India of a fine house in a choice quarter of Tokyo to serve as the official residence of the newly appointed Ambassador. This remains the Indian Embassy even today, and as Japan restored its fortunes and property values in Tokyo went through the ceiling, that early gift has become immensely valuable.

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Japan-India Pact: Economic Gain Before Disarmament: Critics

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Kyodo News - The Japan Times

The government signed a controversial civilian nuclear cooperation pact with India on Friday, disappointing A-bomb survivors and other opponents of the deal who believe Tokyo has placed economic gain ahead of its stated goal of global nuclear disarmament.

The pact opens up a massive market for Japan’s nuclear energy industry, which suffered a huge setback from the March 2011 Fukushima disaster, and falls in line with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s infrastructure export-focused growth strategy.

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Why India Pledges No First Use of Nuclear Weapons

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By Shivshankar Menon  - The Huffington Post

I am often asked why India committed itself to not using its nuclear weapons first. The center-right National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government adopted the no-first-use doctrine when India first publicly tested nuclear weapons at Pokhran in 1998, and all subsequent governments of India have reiterated this pledge. The doctrine states that

    The fundamental purpose of Indian nuclear weapons is to deter the use and threat of use of nuclear weapons by any State or entity against India and its forces. India will not be the first to initiate a nuclear strike, but will respond with punitive retaliation should deterrence fail.

[Excerpted from  ”Choices: Inside the Making of India's Foreign Policy”]

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Indira Gandhi and The Nuclear Bomb: Never Gave the Green Signal

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By Vivek Prahladan

“My God, that woman had a will of iron. You talked to her and you realised immediately that she was tough.” (Reedy, 1985).

This was George Reedy, a long-time aide of President Lyndon Johnson reflecting upon a conversation he had had with Indira Gandhi. The possibility of Indira emerging as a long-term Indian leader at the time was not apparent to everyone or perhaps many.

In 1966, at a dinner gathering, some leading newspaper editors and political commentators unanimously considered that “Mrs Gandhi, who had been the head of government for less than three months, would soon be ousted” (Masant, 1976).

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Hypocrisy in India: Where are the Rich?

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Modi doesn’t know how the poor are grappling with this crisis.

By Sunanda K Datta Ray  - The Asian Age

“… patriots, usually of the progressive persuasion, describe India as a rich country of poor people. On the contrary, I insist, India is a poor country bursting with rich people. And one reason why the country is poor is that the rich drain it of its wealth. “

Narendra Modi has boasted “of the service he has rendered the poor by demonetising Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.”

People in the line-up are mostly poor or middle class people

Where are the rich? Or they did not have any 1000 and 500 notes! 

“If, as statistics show, India’s 100 richest people have more money than two-thirds of the population put together, it stands to reason that their enormous wealth must include some at least of those tainted notes that are said to account for 85 (or is it 86?) per cent of the currency in circulation.”

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Economy Takes a Hit if Faith in the Currency is Shaken

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In India, 70-80 per cent of the cash economy is legitimate, says Arvind Mayaram

Interview by Pawan Bali – The Asian Age

Arvind Mayaram played an important role in shaping the economic policies of the country during the UPA-II government as finance as well as the economic affairs secretary. In an interview with Pawan Bali, Mr Mayaram talks about the impact of Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes on the economy and people.

When you were in office was there any proposal to demonetise currency notes?

Discussions on the issue have taken place often, including during the UPA government. There was a discussion that if we demonetise, perhaps black money could be curbed to an extent… this is something which all governments have considered in the past.

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A Surgical Strike on Economy: Benefits The Crony Capitalists

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Economic Emergency In India And What Does That Mean For The Common People

By Binu Mathew – Editor CounterCurrents

At the stroke of midnight November 9, 2016, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi imposed an undeclared economic emergency on India. With a stroke of pen he wiped out Rs 15 lakh crores in cash from the system. What prompted this drastic step? What will be the fall out of the action for Indian economy is a billion dollar question.

First let us hear what are the reasonings of the government.  This what PM Modi said in an unprecedented address to the nation at 8 PM (on November 8).

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Banning Of The Notes Or Death Call

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By Dr Vivek Kumar Srivastava *

Demonetization of bank notes in the country has brought problems to multitudes of the people. The arguments being offered by the NDA government suggest that it is one of the greatest achievements and even the associated members and the TV channels of the party in power are projecting the thesis that government has moved into a new generation of economic reforms in order to curb the black money. These may appear acceptable to several acolytes of the party in power but none has been able to appreciate the social implications of this decision.

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OCTOBER 2017

Vol. 12 - No. 3










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