All About Bharat

To content | To menu | To search

Tag - india

Entries feed

Wednesday 10 February 2016

India, South Africa, Brazil Begin Joint Naval Exercise

The BRICS countries minus the big superpowers China and Russia are taking stock of their military preparedness and engaging in joint naval and military exercises. The Indian Navy is currently conducting the IBSAMAR military exercise which also includes Brazil and South Africa. This is the fifth edition of this particular exercise, which has always been conducted off South African waters thus far. The exercise will begin on February 19, Friday, and will continue till February 29, Monday.

According to a statement from the Indian Navy, the exercise is essentially geared towards anti-submarine warfare, surface and air-to-air missile defenses, search and seizure operations and search and rescue operations. Ships, aircraft carriers, planes, helicopters and submarines are involved in this huge exercise.

IBSAMAR began in 2006, and is only one of many military exercises that India is engaging in. Besides its bilateral exercises with the United States, and trilateral operations with Japan and Australia, India also conducted its second international fleet review recently, in which 55 countries including China, South Africa and the United States were present. This heightened exercise calendar is due in part to threats to India's security from China, and its desire to become a global arms manufacturing hub and exporter. India also was present at the recent Bahrain Airshow, where it showed off its indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas.

South Africa is meanwhile flexing its muscles and trying to grow independent of China's clout, on which it is highly dependent financially. South Africa's economy is staggering under economic downturn and its military funding is being cut year-by-year. It is looking for cheaper sources for arms and gear. South Africa has always emphasized a strong military as a deterrent towards other nations. Even the country's first President Nelson Mandela repeatedly spoke about the need for a strong military in independent South Africa. In fact, as President of the African National Congress in the 1960s, before he was imprisoned under the apartheid regime for 27 years, Mandela referred to the need for a strong armed force to ensure the nation's sovereignty in the current atmosphere of the world. One of Mandela's quotes about freedom also speaks of military.

The IBSAMAR military exercises involving India, Brazil and South Africa began, for the first time off the west coast of India, Friday, the Indian Navy said in a statement. According to the statement, the exercises will end on February 29. The exercises are taking place close to Goa. "The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Surface firings, Air Defences, Visit Board Search and Seizure (VBSS), Flying Operations, Search and Rescue and tactical procedures," the statement reads. The three countries began holding the IBSAMAR exercises in 2006. This is the fifth round of the drills. All previous exercises were held in South Africa. This year, the IBSAMAR exercises will involve ships, submarines, aircraft and special forces.

Sunday 2 August 2015

Gandhi's views on socialism, production and monetary systems

"The repudiation of the so-called Public Debt of lndia incurred by the foreign Government’ is too vague and too sweeping a statement in the programme of a progressive and enlightened party. The Congress has suggested the only real and statesmanlike proposition, namely, reference to an impartial tribunal of the whole of the so-called Public Debt before any part can be taken over by the future free Government of India."

This was the statement that Gandhi made in response to a pamphlet circulated by the Socialist Party of India in 1939. Honesty demands that real debt be paid. Gandhiji used the term “so-called” public debt and the Congress suggested an impartial tribunal to assess the real extent of debt. By doing so, the Congress had, on behalf of a future government of India, given its moral pledge to pay off the public debt. Gandhiji suggested to his socialist friends that they must honour the promises made by the predecessors. Gandhiji welcomed new ideas but advised them to learn from the old as well.

Continuing his response to the note, the next point that he made concerned Marxist ideology and its language. Gandhiji said, “The progressive nationalization of all the instruments of production, distribution and exchange’ is too sweeping to be admissible.” The example cited by Gandhiji is beyond the comprehension of those who cannot think outside the realm of the economy. The socialists must have found it strange and are likely to have cited it as an example of Gandhijis idiosyncratic ways. Gandhiji wrote: “Rabindranath Tagore is an instrument of marvellous production. I do not know that he will submit to be nationalized.”

The example was outside strict economics. However, not many years later, we would see how the socialist state apparatus of Soviet Union was used to curb the freedom of literature and artists and sought to regulate their “production’’.This shows that Gandhiji s analogy was not out of place. Masani’s pamphlet also demanded cancellation of debts owed by peasants and workers. Gandhiji objected to this as well:

"Cancellation of debts owing by peasants and workers’ is a proposition which the debtors themselves would never subscribe to, for that will be suicidal. What is necessary is an examination of the debts some of which, I know, will not bear scrutiny."

In these views, Gandhi held similar views to BR Ambedkar, who also spoke out against the British Raj's mismanagement of Indian finances. Nehru drew upon the work of both Babasahib and the Mahatma in creating his first five-year plan, in which he worked to eliminate public debt accumulated during World War 2 under British rule.

Gandhiji had vast experience of the Indian peasantry and knew that they were not so shameless as to not own up to genuine debts. He also knew that if these real debts were cancelled along with the fake ones, the peasants would have difficulty securing debts in the future; this would be suicidal for them. Gandhiji was sensitive to the injustice that the socialist group wished to point out and, hence, he also said that some debts would not bear scrutiny.

Next, Gandhiji raised an issue that bore the mark of his own economic thinking, something that would probably not have occurred to the progressive socialists. Gandhiji s concern was that the people should not become dependent and feeble: "I should educate the masses to cultivate habits of thrift. 1 should not be guilty of maiming them by letting them think that they have no obligation in the way of taking preventive measures in the matter of old age, sickness, accident and the like." 

His view on strikes was radical even for the socialists: "I do not understand the meaning of the phrase ‘the right to strike.’ It belongs to everybody who wants to take the risks attendant upon strikes." 

Gandhiji asked Masani a question: “Does ‘the right of the child to care and maintenance by the State’ absolve the parent from the duty of caring for the maintenance of his children?” The Kibbutz in Israel did experiment with making the community responsible for child-rearing but their experience taught them that while the community may take economic responsibility, cultural and social responsibilities have to be borne by the parents.

The pamphlet demanded the elimination of landlordism. Gandhiji saw in this the intent to take over zamindari and talukdari lands. He was never in favour of doing away with zamindars and the zamindari system; he suggested merely the regulation of the relations between the landlords and tenants in order to promote harmonious relations between them.The socialists would have found this utterly reactionary. This was also quite contrary to the views of Ambedkar, who was quite definite in wanting to eliminate the entire structure of Hindu society, seeing that as the only possibility to destroy untouchability.

Saturday 10 January 2015

Government inaugurates Dandi Kutir, Gandhi museum

The Gujarat government inaugurated the Dandi Kutir, a museum commemorating the Mahatma's life, which is shaped like a salt mound.

Continue reading...

Sunday 15 June 2014

Sanatana Dharma: Understanding the Hindu Way of Life

Sanatana Dharma

Continue reading...

Monday 9 June 2014

Amazing Facts About India That Will Blow Your Mind

India Map

Continue reading...