Sunday, February 5, 2023
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Modi needs to repair ‘Neighbourhood Policy’ before China moves in as new regional protector

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India, in 2020, is losing grip in South Asia. Modi made new year calls to neighbouring countries, but continues to alienate Pakistan and Bangladesh — a far cry from his 2014 outreach. His ‘Neighbourhood Policy’ is in tatters. Modi must quickly repair ties before China becomes the new regional protector.

Kota children deaths isn’t about BJP or Congress, but criminal apathy of health sector

Like in Gorakhpur, the Kota hospital deaths of children have also been reduced to a political blame game. Over 6,000 have died in Kota since 2014, spanning both BJP and Congress governments in Rajasthan. Beyond partisan politics, it just highlights, once again, systemic and criminal apathy of India’s health sector.

Trump attack on Soleimani will destabilise West Asia. India must refrain from taking sides

The US killing of Iran’s powerful military general Qassem Soleimani is set to aggravate instability in West Asia. In attempting to reshape the region, Trump has one eye on his re-election. India has huge stakes with both US and Iran, and should refrain from taking sides in their age-old squabble.

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  1. India will face international isolation because of CAA / NRC, according to Shri Shiv Shankar Menon. That is an outcome far removed from seeking to isolate Pakistan globally, which has been our top diplomatic goal and endeavour in recent times. MEA’s Advisor has tweeted disparagingly about negative global media coverage, which is no different from how the growing chorus about the economic downturn has been dismissed in recent years.

  2. That impressive inaugural ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, all SAARC leaders present to wish the new administration well, was a moment filled with promise for South Asia. Ms Ruchira Kamboj recalled from Paris to ensure flawless protocol. Then somehow the elegance and savoir faire of the diplomatic corps yielding to the tungsten edge of the security state. In that long slide, the blockade of Nepal stands out as a step singularly lacking in compassion and foresight. 2. In tatters now … After opting out of RCEP, ASEAN is looking as bleak as SAARC has been willed to become. Clearly, foreign policy should go back to the drawing board. Earlier as FS, now as EAM, we expect the world from Dr Jaishankar.

  3. Life is incredibly – in this case, heartbreakingly – hard for the poor in India. We have such an immense development deficit, there should be a moratorium not for ten but a hundred years on all divisive issues. Foreign dignitaries arrive, are hosted in Mughal splendour, and then they see these images of the real India. 2. Beyond a point, it may be unfair to blame the hospital authorities. They make do with what they have, which is obviously not enough. Fix the most basic needs. Lofty aims like Aayushman Bharat can wait. For the BJP and the Congress to blame each other – depending on who is in power at the moment – is the worst form of cynicism.

  4. The price of oil – which impacts India so much – is already edging up. Should actual conflict ensue, it could go up much more. 2. It remains unclear why India has given up its traditional neutrality when it comes to the Iran – Saudi Arabia competition / rivalry in the Islamic world. Both Japan and France have tried, admittedly without much success, to bridge the gap between America and Iran. Perhaps India should have lent its weight to this process of finding reconciliation. 3. There is nothing in President Trump’s record in office so far, including in global diplomacy, to give assurance that he is dealing with this situation – which would not have arisen if he had not resiled from the Iran deal – with calm, cool judgment of the sort President Obama generally demonstrated.

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