Indo-US Relations

History of Indo-US Relations

Before  Independence
  • Ambedkar studied in Columbia University from 1912-16 .
  • Roosevelt (US President during World War II) supported Indian independence
Initial Years
  • PL-480  started by USA to address food shortage of India after independence
  • IIT Kanpur  established with US help
  • Green Revolution : Norman Borlaug  & Ford Foundation played important role
Cold War Period
  • Pakistan was member of US led groups like SEATO. India was non-aligned and ideologically closer to USSR
  • During 1971 war, US dispatched aircraft carrier  USS Enterprise to Indian Ocean to help Pakistan in East Pakistan
NUCLEAR ISSUE
  • 1974: India experimented Nuclear Explosion – Pokharan 1. This was not supported by USA
  • 1978 : Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty signed & India was not accepted by nuclear states . India resented NPT & CTBT terming it Nuclear Apartheid 
End of Cold War
  • Cold war ended with collapse of  USSR & unipolar world emerged with US being the sole super-power
  • US stopped Russia many times to supply needed technology like Cryogenic engine in 1990s
1990s
  • Balance of Payment crisis due to Persian Gulf war => one lakh workers repatriated and high price of oil on global spot market prior to war .  IMF loan that India got came with condition of SAP
  • SAP(Structural Adjustment Plan)  consisted of disinvestment , privatisation , convertibility of currency , reducing tariff & subsidies in agriculture
US- India Engagement
  • 1998 : Nuclear Test (Pokharan 2) was conducted=>  US imposed Sanctions on India . Nuclear issue again became major source of tension
  • 2000: Clinton’s visit to India  & beginning of new era   followed by Jaswant – Talbot Dialogue
  • This process culminated in Civil  Nuclear Deal  finally signed in 2008 

Bush – Manmohan Civil Nuclear Deal

  • Signed in 2008
  • India agreed for separation of civil & military nuclear programmes
  • India allowed inspection of civilian programme
  • US to offer fuel & Technology
  • Russia & France were the main beneficiary of this deal

Reasons behind Change in Relations now

  • Strategic Reason :  US trying to contain hegemonic China endangering US interests in Asia Pacific region . India can prove important ally
  • Economic Reason :  India’s 1.2 billion population = important market for US products .

Issue 1: Indo – US Trade Issues

Indo-US Relations
Indo-US Trade Issues

Trade Imbalance

  • Trade between India and US is of $ 142 billion (2018)
  • But Trade Balance is in India’s favour (Although India is working to reduce gap )

What India is doing to reduce Trade Balance

  • In order to bridge this gap , India has started to buy
        • Gas  and Crude Oil import
        • Commercial Aircrafts
        • Military hardware
  • But still major irritant : Trump wants India should open it’s markets for American Products and reduce taxes . India is not ready to do this.

CAATSA

  • Countering American Adversaries through Trade Sanctions
  • Aims to counter the aggression by Iran, Russia and North Korea – If any country trade with them, US will impose Sanctions  .
  • Problem for India  because
        • Russia = India import defence products like  S-400 , Kamov Helicopters and have joint projects like Brahmos with Russia
        • Irani oil imports impacted

Generalized System of Preference (GSP) Issue

  • Started in 1974
  • Provide opportunities to  world’s poorest and developing countries to use trade to climb out of the poverty and grow  .
  • GSP of 94 products from India has been removed
  • India’s export under  GSP was more than $5.6 billion.
  • Impact on India
        • India’s Current Account Deficit will increase
        • MSME sector is going to be impacted the most
  • 2019 : Trump ended GSP given to Indian products

India US Solar Dispute

  • India launched National Solar Mission in 2011 (present target 100 GW)
  • Government offered financial support of ₹1 Crore / MW if orders are placed with domestic manufacturers .
  • US complained WTO in 2013 to be violative of TRIMs=> India lost the case in Dec 2017 and agreed to change rules and procedure
  • Present Issue : India says they have implemented the order but US continues to disagree

Custom hike on Steel and Aluminium

2018 : announced 25% import duty on steel and 10% on aluminium.

Although India’s imports to US account for just 5% and major exporters are China, Japan etc . Hence, they will not impact much in short term

Dairy Industry Issue  

  • US dairy products are banned in India on religious and cultural grounds.
  • Reason  : These dairy products are derived from cows which consume feed containing internal organs , blood meal or tissues of ruminant origin while the cow in India is considered sacred and herbivore.
  • In 2015, US proposed to label it’s milk with ‘red dot’ (non-veg products)

Harley Davidson Issue

  • US has demanded duty cuts on bikes imported to India
  • Feb 2018 : India reduced duty from 75% to 50% but US wants it to be Zero

Multilateral Trade Issues wrt India-US

WTO India vs US Disputes at Dispute Settlement Mechanism  under the WTO

  1. poultry and poultry products from the US
  2. countervailing duties on Indian steel products,
  3. Import of solar cells and modules under National Solar Mission,
  4. US’s Renewable Energy Programmes
  5. US measures concerning non-immigrant visas,
  6. India’s export promotion schemes and,
  7. US tariff hike on steel and aluminium products.
IMF & World Bank
  • These  institutions are completely dominated by US
  • Voting rights of US are highest
  • India & China raising voice against this => BRICS developed to challenge US dominated financial system

Issue 2 : Defence cooperation

Weapon Trade

  •  Barack Obama’s term =>   US recognised India as  “Major Defence Partner(only non- NATO member to get this tag)
  • August 2018 : India was moved to Strategic Trade Authorisation (STA)-1 list .  It will give license-free access to almost 90% of dual-use technology to India .

2016 – India US   sign  LEMOA

  • Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA)
  • This will give American aircraft and warships access to Indian military bases for logistical purposes, including refuelling and repair. In turn, India’s military will enjoy similar access to U.S. bases.

(3 agreements that US considers foundation of her defence cooperations

Indo-US Relations
US Defence Cooperation
  • Logistics Support (LEMOA) signed in 2016
  • Communication (COMCASA) – signed in Sept 2018 (below)
  • Basic Exchange & Cooperation Agreement (BECA) – Yet to be signed)

COMCASA  – signed Sept 2018

  • Communication Compatibility & Security Agreement
  • If India wants to use US Military Encrypted Communication Systems (that eg comes in US airplanes etc) , they have to sign COMCASA first.

Military Support to Pakistan

  • Earlier, US was  supplying military weapons like F-16 jets to Pakistan .
  • Post Trump and with Pakistan’s increased friendship with China, US is changing posture as well.

US Presence in Indian Ocean

  • Diego Garcia in Indian Ocean is Military base of US
  • India don’t like powerful nation on her footsteps .
  • India want that Indian ocean should be India’s area of Influence

Malabar Exercise

  • Trilateral Naval Exercise between India, US and Japan (Note : Australia is not part)

Quad

  • India, the United States, Japan and Australia
  • To secure Indo-Pacific

Buying Weapons

Airplanes :
  • Boeing C17 Globemaster military transport
  • C – 130 J Super Hercules
  • P8-I Poseidon Maritime Patrol
C-17 Globemaster C 130J Super Hercules P8-I Poseidon
UAV
  • June 2017 : India will buy  Guardian Drones (naval & unarmed version of Predator UAVs)
Helicopters
  • Chinook
  • Apache
Howitzer
  • M-777 Ultralight Howitzer
  • US has become 2nd  biggest armaments supplier to India

Fight against terror

  • Main role in listing Jaish-e-Mohammed leader Masood Azhar as an international terrorist by the UN
  • US helping India to control Pakistani terrorism using FATF

Issue 3: Indian diaspora in USA

  • 3-million-plus strong  accounting for about 1% of the total population
  • Includes a large number of professionals, business entrepreneurs and educationalists with increasing influence in the society.
  • Example
        • Satya Nadela : Microsoft Head
        • Sundar Pichai : Google head
        • Nikky Hellay : Indian
H1-B Visa Issue
      • H1- B visa is a nonimmigrant visa given by US to employ skilled workers from other countries for various specialised fields of occupation for a certain period of time.
      • US issues 85,000 H1-B visas & in that largest people getting H1-B Visa are Indians (70%) followed by China

Proposed Changes

This is to make Companies to hire US workers and also to give Visas to highly expert workers .

      • Increase the minimum salary of H1-B visa holder to $1, 30,000 per annum from $60,000.
      • Prohibit spouses of H-1B visa holders from working in the US.
      • Give preference to students educated in the US for H-1B visas

India-Sri Lanka Relations

India-Sri Lanka Relations

This article deals with ‘India-Sri Lanka Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

Issues with Sri Lanka

  • LTTE + Tamil Issue
  • Fisherman Issue
  • Kacchateevu Island
  • Constitutional Amendments
  • China influence vs Indian Interests

Issue 1: Tamil Issue

India – Sri Lanka relation has generally been cordial , although there have been some tensions mainly caused because of ethnic conflict between people of Indian Origin – mainly Tamils- living in Sri Lanka & Sinhalese (majority constituting 70% of Lankan population)

What Tamils were doing there

There are two types of Tamils in Sri Lanka

Ceylonese Tamils
  • Whose forefathers had gone to Sri Lanka centuries ago
  • Their population is estimated to be 1million
  • Concentrated in Jaffna and northern & eastern coast
Indian Tamils
  • Whose forefathers were taken by Britishers as plantation workers
  • Population ~ 1 million
  • Concentrated in districts of Colombo, Kandy & Trincomalee in traditional tea garden areas

Indo-Sri Lanka Relations
Tamil Areas in Sri Lanka

Reason for Sinhalese Anti Tamil feeling

  • Reason for this is colonial. Tamils were in minority  but Britishers favoured Tamils  over Sinhalese in all opportunities
  • When Britishers went back
        • Sinhalese majority started to capture every property and post fromTamils 
        • Sinhalese Only Act was passed & Tamil lost official language status .
        • Even took right to vote from them
  • After that, state backed pogrom of Tamils started in which Tamils were massacred & their houses burnt
Various agreements were signed like

  • Nehru – Kotelawala Agreement, 1953
  • Shastri – Sirimavo Agreement, 1964
  • Indira – Sirimavo Agreement, 1974

These Agreements were to decide the fate of Tamils and give Indian citizenship to some Tamils . But Sri Lanka never implemented them in letter and spirit

1983 : Ethnic Explosion happened and large number of Tamils were massacred .

Rajiv – Jayawardene Agreement(India-Sri Lanka Accord)  , 1987

Diplomatic agreement  to solve the ethnic problem

  • Autonomous unit consisting of areas where Tamils are concentrated would be constituted
  • Tamil, Sinhalese & English would be official languages of Sri Lanka
  • Deployment of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to end hostilities between Lankan army & Tamil militants

Agreement was vehemently opposed by both Tamil & Sinhalese extremists

XIII Amendment: Direct outcome of Accord of 1987

  • Divide entire Sri Lanka  into provinces and Federal System to be adopted
  • Remove Sinhalese Only Language Act and give equal status to Tamil as well
  • Land should be provincial subject
  • Police should be under state /province

What was rationale

Federalism to give some power to Tamils

Present status

  • Division of states have been done but rest of provisions arent implemented

Later Supreme Court of Sri Lanka declared this Accord to be unconstitutional saying that Land and Police being Union subject is fundamental feature of Sri Lankan Constitution .

Indian Peace Keeping Force posting in Sri Lanka was utter failure

  • Crores of ₹ were spend on troops trying to restore order
  • Hundreds of troops killed in clashes with Tamils
  • Even ethnic conflict wasn’t brought under control
  • Operations of IPKF changed ethnic violence into civil war , which Sri Lanka was forced to continue even when Indian forces left in 1990
  • Led to large number of political killings of both Indian and Sri Lanka top leaders
1991: Death of Rajiv Gandhi
1993: Death of Premdasa who got IPKF removed
2009: End of LTTE

Side Topic – Sri Lanka vs LTTE: Timeline of Events

1976 LTTE started Civil War between Tamil Insurgents and Sinhali Sri Lankan Army
1976 – 2009
  • Civil War continued
  • Large scale violence and human rights violations observed
2009
  • Prabhakaran killed.
  • LTTE-Sri Lanka Civil war ends.
  • More than 1 lakh died in the civil war

Question

What  are  the    immediate  and longer-term  grievances of  the  Tamils of  the  north  and  east  in  Sri  Lanka?  How  are  these  grievances    met by the  Sri  Lankan  governments?

Steps taken

  • Formation  of  government  in  Tamil  province (which since long was under Military Rule)  was   with  TNA (Tamil National Alliance)  coming  to  power
  • Replacement  of  the  military  governor  by  a  civilian
  • Rehabilitation process of civil war ravaged province

However  some issues  that  are  still  in  the  hanging  include:-

  • Excessive  military  presence  in Jaffna
  • Passing  XIII  amendment   => Transfer Policing and Land to State List
  • Justice  for  human  right  violation  and  genocide  is  yet  to  happen.

Issue 2: Fishermen Issue

Introduction
Fishing happening in this region since Sangam period without any issue
Problem
  • Indian fishermen venture into Sri Lankan waters => Fired upon by Lankan Navy or caught
  • Unscientific Fishing by Indian Fishermen :
        • Indian fishermen use grill & synthetic nets => Bad for overall ecology || Lankan Fishermen use ordinary nets 
        • Indian fishermen use Trawlers (and not boats) and venture into Lankan waters. These trawlers are the main cause behind overexploitation
  • Tamil Fishermen still argue that they have sovereign right over Katchathevu Island and go near the island to catch fish. In process, Sri Lankan Navy arrest them .
  • Trawlers are not fitted with GPS
  • Argument by scholars => Sri Lankan government wants to aggravate this issue because biggest sympathisers of Sri-Lankan Tamils are Indian Tamils .

Solution 

  • Tamil Nadu fishermen are not allowed to venture into coastal waters of Andhra . If Indian fishermen normally observe such territorial limitations , there is no reason why they should not do so with north Lanka
  • Palk Bay Authority => Fishermen of both side should have dialogue and arrive at solution =>initiative from below 
  • Solving Trawler Issue  as Trawlers & Synthetic nets are the main culprit
  • Government could offer a voluntary buy-back scheme for trawlers + offer a rehabilitation package
  • Equip Indian boats with GPS 
  • Generate other jobs to end overdependence on  Fishing

End Word : Palk Strait has always been a bridge between India and SL since times immemorial leading to exchange of ideas and knowledge . Let it be a bridge and not a barrier between Indian and Sri Lanka

Issue 3 : China Angle in India-Sri Lanka Relations

  • Sri Lanka is important part of Maritime Silk Road (MSR) and most important pearl in so called Pearl of String Theory
  • $ 4 billion Chinese investments have happened in Sri Lanka
  • Port : Hambantota Port developed => wasn’t able to service debt => given on lease for 99 years

Issues

  • China following Debt Trap Diplomacy.
  • Changing Balance of Power in Indian Ocean=> Impacts India’s position as Net Security Provider in the Indian Ocean Region.
  • Chinese don’t allow to develop auxiliary industry => cement, steel , labour etc imported from China => no jobs created
  • Projects turning out to be White Elephants  (Hambantota given on 99 year lease)

What India is doing to counter this

  • India to develop Trincomalee as Petroleum Hub and   build infrastructure around it.
  • India is developing Kankesuthai and Trincomalee as port.
  • Most important : development of the Eastern Terminal at Colombo port along with Japan
  • 2018 : India to lease and manage the Mattala airport in Hambantota. (emptiest airport of world)
  • $ 300 million Line of Credit to upgrade SL Railways
  • Indo – Sri Lanka Nuclear Cooperation Agreement Signed (first such deal signed by SL with any country)
  • Post LTTE aid of ₹ 5 billion in 2009

India can never match Chinese in terms of Economic Muscle . India should also focus on People to People Contact and also use Buddhism and Buddhist Tourism Circuit to gain goodwill in Sri Lanka.

Issues with Indian Projects in SL

  • Delay in their completion and implementation.
  • Many of these projects, like Mattala airport, are not seen as profitable for India.
  • Indian ventures  are  seen as reactive to the increasing Chinese influence in the country.
  • Over-concentration of Indian development funding to Tamil areas

Issue 4: Areas of cooperation 

Trade & investment

  • FTA signed (in 1998) & CEPA on the cards
  • India =  2nd largest FDI in Srilanka

Cultural

  • On cards
        • Ramayana trail in Sri Lanka and
        • Buddhist circuit in India (Sinhalese = Buddhist).
  • Rabindranth Tagore Auditorium in Rahana University. Tagore had influenced Sri Lanka’s national anthem – “Sri Lanka Matha” (we salute mother Sri Lanka).

Members of Same  Multilateral Forums

Both are members of

  • SAARC
  • BIMSTEC
  • South Asian Economic Union

This article dealt with India-Sri Lanka relations. For entire series on International Relations, click on following link

http://civilspedia.com/international-relations/

Indo-China Relations

Indo-China Relations

This article deals with ‘Indo-China Relations.’ This is part of our series on ‘International Relations’ which is important pillar of GS-2 syllabus . For more articles , you can click here

 

 

Brief History of Indo-China Relations

Historical Ties

  • Indo-China Relations date back to ancient times.
  • Buddhism traveled from India to China.
  • Chinese travelers like Fa Hien, Xuanzang etc traveled India
  • Both were part of Silk Road Trade + Chinese inventions like paper making, sugar making etc came to India

 

Initial Years in Indo-China relations

Both became independent at same time

  • India was Non Aligned  || China under Mao was Communist
  • Nehru wanted good relations with China => Due to this reason, when Chinese Army entered Tibet and took it over, India recognised Tibet as part of China and   gave up Indian rights over Tibet  in 1954 (like Right to station army , control over post & telegraph etc)
Panchsheel, 1954 India was disappointed at China’s Tibet policy. But, for the sake of friendship and as confidence building measure, they signed Panchsheel

 

Five principles of Panchsheel were also incorporated in the agreement of 1954

  • Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity & sovereignty;
  • Mutual non‐aggression;
  • Mutual non‐interference in each others internal affairs;
  • Equality and mutual benefit; 
  • Peaceful co‐existence.

 

Prelude to war
  • Lhasa Uprising in 1959 & Dalai Lama came to take refuge in India =>  China took impression that India is trying to support the uprising
  • Global Situation – Khrushchev came  to power in USSR . He was reformist unlike Stalin . Khruschev was not liked by Mao & China started to fear  both USA & Russia

 

War of 1962 Reasons of War

  • Case of Tibet : Chinese felt that uprising in Tibet was supported by India
  • China was ambitious country & both India & China wanted to be leaders of Afro-Asian world
  • Undefined borders between China & India. China refused to accept Macmohan Line & India refused to accept Aksai Chin is part of China .
  • For Mao , Nehru was bourgeois leader

 

Impact on Sino – Indian Relations

  • Freeze in Sino-Indian relations till 1988 . There was permanent hostility
  • Emergence of alliance between China & Pakistan .
  • Pushed India to the side of USSR
  • Massive militarisation & nuclearisation in india

 

Confrontation in 1986-87 Sumdorung Chu in eastern  sector where both armies came in near conflict impacting Indo-China Relations

 

 

Rajiv Gandhi Visit in 1988 A new beginning : 

Joint communiqué stressed on  need to restore friendly relations & work towards a mutually acceptable solution to border dispute.

 

2003 Another landmark visit

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit brought about marked improvement in the post 1998 n-test freeze in relations.

 

2014 President Xi Jinping Visits India

 

2015 Modi’s visit to China

 

2016 President Xi Jinping Visit to India in BRICS Summit (Goa)

 

2017 Doklam Issue started

 

2018
  • Wuhan Summit : Informal Summit between Modi and Xi Jinping
  • Modi visit to China to participate in SCO Summit

 

 

 

Issue 1: Territorial Disputes

Indo-China Relations
Disputed Areas

 

There are three sectors  where boundaries are disputed by India & China

Western Sector
  • Aksai Chin in J&K : Held by China & demanded by India
  • Shaksgam Valley : Given by Pakistan to China (from PoK)
Middle Sector Himachal & Uttaranchal Border
Eastern Sector
  • Disputed McMahon line .
  • They demand almost whole of Arunachal Pradesh .
  • Questions Indian sovereignty over Sikkim

Since boundaries are not clearly demarcated . Hence, lot of incursions take place and impacts Indo-China Relations.

 

Aksai Chin Issue

  • Territorial dispute over Aksai Chin can be traced back to the failure of the British Empire to clearly demarcate a legal border between its Indian colony and China.
  • As two borders between India and China were proposed during the time of the British Raj –
        • Johnson Line :  shows Aksai Chin under Indian control
        • McDonald Line.   places it under Chinese control.

 

 

Conflicted Claims

India
  • Claims Johnson line is correct
  • Hence, Aksai Chin is part of J&K
China
  • Claims McDonald Line is correct
  • Hence, Aksai Chin is part of Xinjiang
  • During  war of 1962 , China took control over  Aksai Chin.

 

 

Note : Main reason for annexing Aksai Chin was to built a road connecting Xinjiang Region and Tibet to strengthen hold over Tibet . Only way to built a motorable road was to pass through Aksai Chin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Tibet Issue

  • Tibet’s political system was based on Buddhist faith. Dalai Lama was also the political chief of country.
  • Tibet’s  political connections with China varied from time to time.

 

 

  • 1914 Shimla Agreement  :  
        • Inner Tibet under China
        • Outer Tibet under Dalai Lama
        • Also demarcated a line between Tibet & North East India known as Macmahon Line
        • India was  given certain  rights in Tibet eg free entry in Tibet, right to station troops & maintain communication etc

Issue :  China disputed this line as imperial line drawn by Britishers .

 

  • Post  World War 2 , China refused to accept this line .
  • Nehru wanted good relations with China => Due to this reason, when Chinese Army entered Tibet and took it over, India recognised Tibet as part of China and   gave up Indian rights over Tibet  in 1954 (like Right to station army , control over post & telegraph etc)

 

  • 1959 : Lhasa Uprising => Dalai Lama took refuge in India => relations worsened leading to War of 1962

 

 

Latest Issues

  • China’s military build-up and infrastructure development in Tibet
  • Plans to divert or dam rivers (eg : Zangmu, Dagu etc)  that rise in Tibet and flow into India
  • China’s ‘Gold Rush’: China’s has started mineral mining  to extract precious metals, rare earths etc
  • Geo-engineering Experiments: Recently there are reports of China’s geoengineering experiments to “trigger natural disasters such as floods, droughts and tornadoes to weaken” an enemy in the event of a war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Issue 2 : India China Economic Issues

China  has  become  India’s  largest  trading  partner  with  their  bilateral  trade  volume  increasing  from  less  than  $3 Billion  to  nearly  84 Billion $. But India has huge trade deficit with China of 51Billion $ which contributes to 25% trade deficit of India with world

Indo-China Relations
Trade Deficit between India and China

 

 

Why is  India  Important  to  China?

India  is  extremely  important  for  Chinese  growth  because  it  provides  China  with

  • Access to a billion  plus  market  for  its  products
  • Avenue  for  investment  of  surplus  Chinese  capital.
  • The  depression  in  the  western  market

 

 

Issues

  • Huge trade deficit of $ 51 Billion
  • Currency Manipulator =>   China is keeping Yuan undervalued
  • Indian Farm  sector  ,  agro-processing  industry  and Pharmaceutical Sector face Non-Tariff barriers from China
  • Dumping   cheap  Chinese  products =>  It is adversely  effecting Indian  MSME.
  • Security  implications
    • Excessive Chinese Mobiles => can be used for surveillance
    • Large Chinese investment in Power Sector (Chinese getting blueprint of Power Grids)
    • Excessive dependence (upto 80%) on China for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) (National Security Advisor and NITI Aayog suggestion => Implement Katoch Committee)
    • 5G security issue 

 

How to address

  • (Foreign Trade Policy 2015) Concentrate on  things like buddhist tourism & entertainment sector
  • Effectively implement Make in India
  • Increase trade competitiveness of Indian goods
  • Use Anti Dumping Duties
  • Promote Chinese investment in Indian manufacturing , SEZ ,NIMZ etc so that Chinese Companies make products  in India only
  • Implement Katoch Committee report (to address API issue)

 

 

 

Issue 3 :  String of Pearls and Indo-China Relations

String of Pearls

  • Theory given by Pentagon
  • Theory says that China is trying to increase its naval presence in Indian Ocean & counter India by surrounding it . It is developing string of ports around India for this purpose . These pearls include
Kyaukpyu  Myanmar
Chittagong Bangladesh
Hambantota Srilanka

 

Maldives Marao Atoll
Gwadar Pakistan
Djibouti First oversea military base
Indo-China Relations
String of Pearls

 

Impact on India

  • Can be used for imposing Embargo on India in case of war (90% Indian Trade pass through Indian Ocean)
  • Disturb balance of Power heavily in favour of China
  • Entry of extra territorial power in Indian Ocean

 

Steps taken by India

Srilanka Developing Kakesuthai & Triconmale port

 

Andaman & Nicobar Islands Can act as iron choke to string of pearls

  • Most of Chinese oil &  trade flows through Malacca => Andaman & Nicobar islands overlook Malacca Strait
  • Established  air naval station in Andaman & Nicobar called Baaz
Myanmar After opening up of nation, India has stepped up its engagement with Myanmar
Seychelles Trying to counter it with soft diplomacy
Chabahar port India is developing Chabahar port in Iran

 

  • Apart from that, India is trying to contain China too through following ways
        • Making alliances with Vietnam ( Vietnam too had issues with China in South China sea )
        • Mongolia is also strategic partner of India now
        • Making strategic ties with Japan
        • Malabar practice with US & Japan

 

  • Military Modernisation : Agni, Sukhoi, Nuclear submarines , Aircraft Carrier-Vikramaditya   are not meant for Pakistan but to fight against powerful nation like China

 

  • India building Roads in North Eastern border

 

Issue 4 : One Belt One Road  (OBOR) INITIATIVE
OBOR  consists  of  two (now – three)  elements.

Silk  Road  Economic  Belt  (SREB) Eurasian  land corridor from Pacific coast  to  Baltic Sea.
Maritime  Silk  Road  (MSR) Aims  to  develop  ports across  the  Indian  Ocean
New –

Digital Silk Road

      • Virtual Dimension of OBOR
      • It is about
        • strengthening internet infrastructure ,
        • lowering barriers to e-commerce,
        • developing common technology standards,
        • promoting cyber security
        • Promoting Chinese 5G technology

 

Indo-China Relations
OBOR

(source-https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:One-belt-one-road.svg)

 

Analysts  believe  that  the  OBOR  initiative  will  impact  4.4  billion  people  and   generate  $ 2.5  trillion  in  10  years.

 

 

 

 

This will involve

  • Building physical infrastructure (highways, railways, ports in coastal nations, fibre-optic lines)
  • Establish free trade zones (by coordinating customs, quality supervision, e-commerce etc)
  • Increasing cultural exchange etc.

 

 

Reasons  behind  OBOR  Initiative

Restructuring Economy
  • In 2008 => decrease in demand abroad => changed economy to Internal Consumption Led Economy => Now issue of overcapacity in infra sector  => want to address this by exporting infra projects 

 

  • Rising labour costs => Shifting production to underdeveloped western regions

 

Strategic Reasons
  • Decreasing dependence on Malacca Strait (80% of Chinese energy and exports pass through it) and addressing the Malacca Dilemma

 

Using Vast  Forex  Reserves China  has  forex  reserves  exceeding  $ 3 Trillion  =>  put large surplus reserves in building railways, highways, industrial parks along the Silk Road Economic Belt

 

Diversifying Trade Routes Excessive  dependence  on  a single  route  is  a  strategic vulnerability. 

 

Development of Under-developed areas China’s economic development and progress has been mostly concentrated in its eastern coastal provinces. OBOR Will  provide outlet to its  underdeveloped  southern  and western  provinces,  to markets and coasts. Development of regions like Xingxian will help in containing Uighur militancy as well.

 

Should India  Join Or Not ?

OBOR  has  specific  risks  and  opportunities

View 1: India should Join
India should join this initiative because of innumerable benefits

Economic
Road to Central Asia
  • enhance  India’s  connectivity  with   Central  Asia  through  China  
  • Connectivity  to  Russia  and  Eurasia  

 

Connectivity to North East
  • North Eastern Connectivity to South East and China (BCIM)
  • Push to  tourism in North East

 

Chinese experts say that India’s participation in the Silk Road project will ease the trade deficit.
Political
  • Better  economic  relations  improves  political  relocations  and  mutual trust. 

 

Strategic
  • It will help in balancing Pakistan  and  China  relations

 

Other
  • India may also face some difficult choices in the road ahead, because as a co-founder of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation  it will be asked to support many of the projects under the B&RI.

 

  • Revival of ‘continentalism’ & old ties

 

  • With OBOR & other initiatives, China is making new world economic order. Not being part of it may isolate India from New Economic Order.
View 2: India shouldn’t join
  • Sovereignty Issues:  CPEC (part of OBOR) passes through  POK .

 

  • It  is ‘opaque’  in nature => may be nothing but an economic disguise for the ‘string of pearls’ .

 

  • It is detrimental to India’s geopolitical interests in the Indian Ocean Region . It challenges India’s stature of ‘security provider’ in the region  .

 

  • OBOR promotes  Chinese neo-colonialism => Loans are used as debt trap . Eg :
        • Seen  in Hambantota (SL)
        • Malaysia halted projects
        • Myanmar also wants the port built by China to scale down
        • Even in Pakistan , voices are raised against CPEC (termed it as next East India Company)

 

  • stronger  China  is  a  strategic  risk  for  India  given  the  fact  India  has  4078  km of  disputed  border  with  China  and  China  claims  a  large  portion  of  Indian territory  (nearly  80,000  sq  km).

 

  • Relations  with  USA  may  get  hampered. 

 

 

Indian Answer to OBOR

  • India recently proposed the ‘Cotton Route’ to strengthen economic ties between countries in the Indian Ocean rim.
  • It has also launched Project Mausam and Spice Route apparently in response to China’s Belt and Road initiative.
        • ‘Mausam’ – re-establishment of India’s ancient maritime routes in Indian Ocean.
        • Spice Route – revival of old links between 31 countries in Asia and Europe with India especially Kerala .
  • India & Japan come up with Asia Africa Growth Corridor (AAGC) to counter China’s OBOR.
  • India is developing large number of standalone projects
        • Chabahar Port project and the International North South Transportation Corridor
        • Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal Motor Vehicles Agreement (BBIN MVA)

=> Later these can be joined under one OBOR like project => China too used this strategy

 

Issue 5 : China – Pakistan Axis + CPEC

  • China & Pakistan describe their friendship as being ‘higher than mountains, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey’.

 

Areas of Cooperation between China and Pakistan

  • NSG Membership: China opposed India’s admission into Nuclear Suppliers Group demanding India’s parity with Pakistan
  • Infrastructure investment: via China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
  • Terrorism: China has been shielding JeM chief, Massod Azhar from being listed as a ‘Global Terrorist’ by UN.
  • Military cooperation:  China’s military cooperation with Pakistan especially after CPEC involves
        • Bolstering the Pakistani navy =>  planned acquisition of eight submarines
        • Feb 2019 : China could sell an aircraft carrier to Pakistan

 

 

CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor)

  • 3200 km  route  consisting of highways, railways and pipelines that will connect Gwadar port to Xinjiang in China.

    Indo-China Relations
    CPEC

 

 

Importance of CPEC for Pakistan

  • CPEC investment = $50 Billion
  • Over 7 lakh direct jobs in Pakistan.
  • Investment in Power Sector => country is desperately short of power.
  • Relieve USA pressure

 

Indian Concerns

  • Sovereignty Issues : CPEC passes through the disputed Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
  • Security Implications in IOR : Chinese access to Gwadar port=>  impacts Indian position as net security provider in Indian Ocean
  • Energy Security of India : Gwadar Port overseas Hormuz Strait and China can blockade Indian oil supplies in case of conflict .
  • Heavy Infra building in PoK will help in faster mobilisation of Pakistani troops in case of any future war

 

Potential Benefits which can accrue from CPEC to India

  • One of the arm of CPEC can be expanded to Indian states of Punjab and J&K without any major infrastructure costs .
  • India can get overland access to Afghanistan and Central Asia

 

Issue 6: South China Sea Issue and Indo-China Relations

China’s  Aggressive  claims  in  the  South  China  Sea

Dispute
  • China  claims  vast  regions  of  South  China  Sea  ,  through  Nine  Dash  line  theory while
  • Other nations  like Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia etc lay claim on them based on UNCLOS .  Eg :
        • Paracel Island (China vs Vietnam)
        • Spratly Island
        • Paratas Island etc

Indo-China Relations

(source-wikimedia commons)

 

Interest of China

    • Resources , oil being the most important (this region is oil rich region ). (Other = Fisheries)
    • Controlling South China Sea through which half of the world shipments pass
    • Proving her hegemony in the area & ousting US influence from neighbourhood 

Indian Stand

    • India has taken  a  neutral  stand  that  countries  involved  should  negotiate  and  resolve  it  peacefully  
    • India has also  emphasized  on  freedom  of  navigation  for  all  countries  in  South  China  Sea.

 

 

Importance of South China Sea and its littoral states for India

  • Around 55 % of India’s  trade  with  Asia  pacific  passes  through  South  China  Sea

 

  • With  presence in South China Sea ,India can  put  pressure  on  China  to  counterbalance  China  in  South  Asia & Indian Ocean Region (IOR)

 

  • To secure the energy supplies (we ship oil from Sakhalin to Mangalore through this region).

 

  • India’s ONGC Videsh Ltd has invested in areas which  China is claiming to be disputed (Oil Block 127&128 of Vietnam)

 

  • Vietnam is India’s strategic partner.

 

Issue 7: River Issues in Indo-China Relations

North South Water Diversion Plan

      • Problem with China = although her southern parts have water , Northern parts have acute water shortage.   Ideas are given since long to use Tibetan water resources to meet thirst of north =>this leads to North South Water Diversion plan 
      • Project worth $33 billion
      • China is constructing mega dam at Great Bend to divert water of  Tsangpo   

 

 

Dams on Brahmaputra

India-China Relations
Chinese Dams on Brahmaputra
      • Plan is to built  Four  Dams – Dagu, Jeixu, Zangmu & Jiacha . China has assured that these are run of river projects and will not divert water . 
      • These dams are part of North South Water Diversion Plan.

  

 

 

Problems which India can face

  • India and China don’t have any river water sharing agreement 
  • Impact of the projects on the sediment flow :  The sediments offer immense ecosystem services for the downstream economies of India’s N-E states, and Bangladesh.
  • Apprehension of China using water in events of conflict to create flooding downstreams .
  • Any significant diversion of water could impact hydroelectric projects downstream specially Lower Siang and Upper Siang   Project in Arunachal Pradesh
  • Chinese record on shared waters is  not good => virtually stopped Irtysh river  from going into Kazakhstan

 

Way forward : Sign Treaty on the Model of Indus Water Treaty with China

 

 

Recent developments to Normalise situation Indo-China Relations

India  and  China  are  on  the  verge  of  transforming  their  relationship.  In  pursuit,  they have  signed  several  agreements.

 

Some of  them are  :

      • Post Trumpism : India and China are collaborating on
        • saving globalization
        • defending the WTO
        • promoting a multipolar world
        • Climate Change

 

      • June 2018 : China  reduced tariffs on more than 8,500 goods. It has increased tariffs on US Soyabean by 25% providing Indian exporters to enter Chinese market

 

      • Wuhan Spirit : peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability amidst current global uncertainties

 

      • BRICS & AIIB : Both are members of  BRICS grouping & AIIB
      • SCO :  India got  full membership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

 

      • Climate Change : Both are part of Paris Agreement . Most important parties post US withdrawal

 

      • People to People Contact : people-to-people exchanges are thriving.
        • Practising yoga,
        • Bollywood movies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Globalization

Globalization

In this article, we will discuss article titled ‘Effects of globalization on Indian society.’

 

Note :  This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.

 

When did Globalization started?

No agreement on this

  • 1st view : Since  old times as world was never isolate . There was trade & exchange of culture & ideas

 

  • 2nd view : it happened during 15th & 16th century, when Europeans through colonialism connected new countries

 

  • 3rd view : it was during Industrial Revolution which led to formation of steam engines

 

Finally although there is no agreement on the definition, everyone agrees that the pace of globalisation has increased during 1990s with internet & telecommunication

 

Note – India’s concept of Vasudeva Kutumbakam is in line with Globalization. Hence, Indians are experiencing Globalization since long

 

 

 

 

What Exactly is Globalization ?

  • In simple terms , globalization is increasing global interconnectedness
  • In Globalization, concept of Sovereignty of States is diluting . MNCs are encroaching and sometimes becoming more powerful than States
  • Has various aspects – Social,  economic etc. 
Economic Economic globalization comprises of two aspects :

  • Globalization of production : manufacturing  goods and services at place with minimum cost of labour
  • Globalization of markets

 

Social
  • Local happenings are shaped by events occuring miles away

 

Whether it is beneficial or not is matter of debate. It has both sides .

      • Some consider it the cause of the rising standard of living throughout the world.
      • Others think globalization to be soft underbelly of corporate imperialism that plunders and profiteers on the back of rampant consumerism.

 

 

 

 

Factors helping Globalization

International Trade
  • Trade is the biggest contributor of Globalization .
  • Free Trade Agreements , Regional Integration & Global institutions such as WTO played important role.

 

ICT
  • ICT has connected offices situated in different parts of the world
  • BPOs in India can do work for companies in US and EU at fraction of price .

 

International Governmental Organisations Organisations like WTO , UN, European Union (EU), ASEAN etc integrated different parts of the world.
Tourism People are travelling different parts => such surge in tourism was never seen before
International Sports CWG, Olympics, FIFA etc

 

 

 

Negatives of Globalization in General

  • Attack on sovereignty of nations by MNCs and Institutions like WTO , IMF etc.
  • Spread of Terrorism, drug trafficking, piracy etc
  • Increased Insurgencies
        • Adivasis uprooted from ancestral lands by MNCs
        • Support of diaspora . Eg : Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tigers relied on the Tamil diaspora
  • Environmental damage : overfishing, forest depletion etc.
  • Disease Spread : Diseases spread like fire in the forest because of increased global connectivity & movement
  • Global Economy became too fragile – frequent depressions and slowdowns
  • Inequality has increased . Capitalists have exploited the situation to their advantage
  • Increased vulnerability of workers : MNCs keep on shifting their manufacturing bases based on cheap availability of labour. Eg : Nike –  Japan => South Korea => Indonesia , India and Thailand.
  • Impetus to Culture of Materialism and Consumerism
  • Exploitation of farmers
        • Globalization has exposed the farmers to global competition
        • WTO obligations regarding de minimus limit
        • MNCs controlling farmers through Contract Farming
        • Seed monopoly by MNCs

 

 

But we cant live in isolation and we can find a warning against isolationism in a parable about a well-frog- the ‘kupamanduka’ that persistently recurs in several old Sanskrit texts.

 

Socio-cultural Globalization & India

  • Cultural Globalization has increased cross cultural contacts 
  • Penetration of western food culture like McD, Pizza Hut, KFC etc & western cloth culture .
        • Critics say that it is Westernisation and not Globalization because of imbalance of transfer
        • But  MNCs also adopt to the local cultures eg McD don’t serve beef burgers,  Pizza Hut coming  with Indian flavours etc .
  • Cultural  homogenization : we all watch the same television programmes, buy the same commodities, eat the same food, support the same sports stars . Cultural diversity is being destroyed .
  • Use of  ‘English’  rapidly increasing + Multilingual speakers are  increasing
  • Rise of right wing parties  to protect local values & culture

 

 

 

Economic Globalization & India

Economic globalization comprises of two aspects :

  • Globalisation of production
  • Globalisation of markets

 

 

Positive Impacts
  • Creation of jobs. Eg : Jobs in BPO sector
  • Bringing in improved technological process
  • Providing revenue by way of paying tax
  • Bringing better work culture  to India
  • Indirect impact is – To attract more MNCs to India, government invest a lot in infrastructure (roads, faster railway services and airplane facilities)
  • IT revolution in India and setting up of huge BPO sector providing services to their clients in developed world. This has created crores of jobs in India .

 

Negative Impacts
  • Worsening of labour conditions as MNCs chief aim is maximisation of profits (main thing that seduce MNCs to manufacture in India is cheap labour )
  • Repatriating their profits to respective countries rather than investing in India
  • Driving small companies and artisans out of business
  • Violating human rights & damaging environment
  • Health sector has impacted greatly. Due to patent protection , price of patented drugs have skyrocketed
  • Impact on agriculture sector : Seed monopoly + dumping  by US & Europe

 

 

 

 

Impact of Globalization on various sections of society

1. Society as a Whole

Family structure Value of Individualism  =>  nuclearisation of families

 

Marriage values
  • Children taking their own decision to select their own partners.
  • Marriage is seen as contract rather than sacrament
  • Large number of divorces.

 

Social interactions and festivals
  • Individualism => Social Interactions have reduced
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day rather than Holi and Diwali.

 

Food & clothing 
  • Abandoned local foods & attracted towards  junk food =>  increased  health disorders
  • Western  suitings preferred by males but they are inappropriate  for Indian climate.

 

Withdrawal of

Government

 from Social Sector

  • LPG  led to general reduction of  state’s  public spending => State has taken the role of regulator instead of service provider
  • Large budget cuts on health, education and social security. 

 

2. Female

Positive
  • Has opened new avenues of jobs for women
  • Working from home and flexi hours are less burdensome physically.
  • Globalization has posed challenge to institution of Patriarchy
  • Women in India are inspired by women the world over to fight for their rights. Eg : fighting for maternity leave
  • Modern ideas like Equality of Sexes and Equal wages for both sexes have reached India
  • Signed conventions like CEDAW

 

Negative
  • Double Burden / Second Shift : Women get job in MNCs but her social responsibilities don’t lessen
  • Globalization exploit cheap women labour in countries like  India , Bangladesh etc
  • Globalization has exacerbated gender inequalities – no doubt women have been benefited but men have been benefited more than  women
  • Corrupted value system of males =>  objectify women =>increased cases of rapes and sexual exploitation
  • With encroachment of MNCs , small women entrepreneurs have gone out of market. Eg : Women silk spinners  from Bihar arent able to compete against Chinese silk yarn
  • Male members move to other nations ( Punjab and Kerala) -Women has to pass almost whole of her life without her husband

 

 

3. Farmers and Agriculture

Positive Impact of globalization

  • Greater access to better technology
        • high yield varieties
        • genetically modified crops (GM crops)
        • micro irrigation techniques.
  • Foreign investment in agriculture in contract farming  and food processing have helped farmers.
  • Access to foreign markets

 

 

Negative Impact of globalization

  • Exposed to Competition from World =>  good produce in Jamaica can make price of sugarcane to fall in India .
  • MNCs using IPRs to create seed monopolies . Eg :  Monsanto’s monopoly over BT cotton seed
  • Due to WTO obligations and De-Minimus limit , state support for agriculture has declined substantially .
  • MNCs controlling farmers through Contract Farming (monopsony in exotic products)
  • Crops grown in Contract farming  usually requires high doses of fertilisers and pesticides which damage environment
  • Increased suicides since LPG reforms in India . Eg : Vidharbha is called suicide capital of India .

 

 

4. Old Age

Loneliness Children are migrating either to work in MNCs in cosmopolitans or other countries . (Empty nest syndrome)

 

Economic Impact With new kinds of technology in jobs , they are not fit for this

 

Psychological Impact Not able to accept encroachment of foreign values which have occurred at huge pace. This leads to Clashes  between parents and children especially girl child  .

 

Health Impact Due to agreements like TRIPS price of patented drugs have skyrocketed => impacted Old age the most

 

5. New Generation / youth 

Positive
  • New avenues of Job : New avenues of jobs have opened . Eg: IT sector , BPO , Sharemarkets etc .
  • More political awareness– idea of  individual  liberty, justice etc
  • Rise of entrepreneurial spirit :   end of monopoly of Parsis, Marwaris etc on industry => startup culture & rise of    first  generation  millionaires (eg : Ola, Oyo etc)
  • Pressure for protection of children :
        • International  conventions  like   Convention  on  Child  Rights
        • NGOs  & Social workers like Kailash  Satyarthi’s efforts  get global recognition

 

Negative
  • Change in value system :  individualism => increased suicidal tendencies & loneliness
  • Hyper consumerism => engulfed in feeling of relative deprivation among youth
  • Increased Competition : Now they have to compete not just with their countrymen but whole world
  • Increased divorces : Marriage seen as contract due to globalization
  • Drugs : Globalization has brought drugs like heroin , smack etc to India.

 

 

 

5. Art Forms

  • Fusion of Indian and Western Art  forms  . Eg Fusion Music , Fusion Dance
  • Packaging and branding of traditional folk and festivals
  • Tourism to see Indian culture. Eg – Langar of Golden Temple to ruins of Hampi have become tourist destinations
  • Yoga becoming world famous
  • Foreign culture is also penetrating India and hence, right wing groups revived cultural nationalism . Eg campaigns against Valentines Day etc

 

Localisation  vs Homogenisation vs Clash of Civilisation

With increase in globalization, what will happen? 

Three contrasting views

Globalisation
Result of increasing Globalisation
  1. With Globalisation ,  all cultures will become similar/ homogeneous.
  2. There is an increasing tendency towards glocalisation .
  3. Clash of Civilisations

 

Glocalization

Glocalization refers to the mixing of the global with the local.

Globalization
Glocalization

 

Arguments for Glocalization

  • It is a strategy adopted by foreign firms  to enhance their marketability.
  • Glocalization In India,  
      • Netflix making Indian TV Series
      • Foreign TV channels like  MTV and Cartoon Network use Indian languages.
      • McDonald selling Indian Burgers
      • Bhangra pop &  remixes

 

 

 

Argument for  Homogeneity

homogeneity due to globalization in India can be seen at 2 levels

  • Socio-cultural level:
        • Common values of Globalization like modernization, promotion of democracy
        • Homogeneous food habits (macdonaldization, pizza culture)
        • Use of  ‘English’ as a global language
        • Creation of Global Celebrities like Britney Spears or Ronaldo

 

  • Economic level:
        • MNCs – same large corporations having presence in whole world
        • Same corporate culture
        • Same production techniques

 

Infact Globalization is Americanisation of the world

 

 

3rd view – Cultural polarization

    • Samuel Huntington  dismissed the idea of a global monoculture as well as Glocalisation
    • ‘clash of civilizations’ –  civilizational conflict would  occur between USA and China and between the West and Islam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regionalism

Regionalism

This article deals with topic titled ‘Regionalism’.

 

Note : Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.

 

 

What is Regionalism?

The phenomenon in which people’s political loyalties become more focused on particular region in preference to the nation or other parts of the state of which that region is sub-part is called regionalism

 

In Indian context, regionalism is rooted in India’s diversity vis-a-vis caste , religion , language , ethnicity etc. When all these factors get geographically concentrated along with the feeling of relative deprivation, it results into Regionalism.

 

 

Is Regionalism a threat to National Integration?

The politics of regionalism has two connotations

  • Positive : This type of Regionalism is not threat to National Integration
        • Desire for preserving identity based on language, culture, ethnicity
        • To protect socio-economic interest
        • For administrative convenience .

 

  • Negative : Any demand of regionalism which acts as a threat to nation building efforts is referred as negative form of regionalism . Like Son of Soil policy & demand of secession.

 

Second form can be seen as threat while first form is not threat per se.

 

Characteristics of regionalism

  • Regionalism is conditioned by economic, social, political and cultural disparities. 
  • Regionalism at times is a psychic phenomenon.
  • Regionalism is built around as an expression of group identity as well as loyalty to the region. 
  • Regionalism supposes the concept of development of one’s own region without taking into consideration the interest of other regions. 
  • Regionalism prohibits people from other regions to be benefited by a particular region.

 

 

 

Types of Regionalism

Regionalism
Types of Regionalism
  • Demand for  Separation  : Demand to secede from Indian union and become a sovereign state. Eg : Khalistan , Azad Kashmir , Naga etc

 

  • Supra-state regionalism: Group of states are involved. They share common issues & build common identities . Eg    Northeastern states for economic development and rivalry between North and South Indian States on language

 

  • Inter-state regionalism: Between States . It is  issue-specific. Eg : Disputes between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Kaveri

 

  • Intra-state regionalism: Due to lack of equitable sharing of benefits within state. Eg:  Coastal region vs western region in Odisha, Jaipur (Amer) vs Jodhpur (Marwar) in Rajasthan

 

Causes of regionalism in India

  • Linguistic Reorganisation of States
    • States  divided linguistically => generate sub-national identity

 

  • Historical and cultural factors: 
    • History has divided India into two  parts – “Aryans” and “Dravidians”.
    • Different regions have their own local heroes &’people tend to mobilise around them .Eg Shivaji in Maharashtra or Periyer in TN etc
    • After integration of princely states , people were still loyal to their old territorial units

 

  • Economic underdevelopment : Uneven development generates  regionalism and separatism. It can manifest in form of demand for Special Category Status or separate state or secession . Eg Bodoland, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Chhatisgarh, Telangana, and so on.

 

  • Politico-administrative factors:
    • Used by some region based parties. Eg : Shiv Sena => protect Maratha interests 
    • Undue Interference in the affairs of state by  central government gives  birth to regionalism.

 

  • Economic DevelopmentSometimes development of particular community raises regional aspirations of the community . Eg : After GR, Sikh Jatts of Punjab became economically prosperous and they started to demand separate Punjab from other Hindi speaking regions

 

  • Disintegration  of Congress Party : After Nehru, central leaders started to impose their mandate on regional leaders. As a result, local leaders moved away to form parties like NCP in MH , Trinamool Congress in WB. They encouraged regionalism

 

 

 

Son of the Soil Movement

  • “Son of the soil” doctrine argues that state specifically belongs to the main linguistic group inhabiting it , who are the sons of the soil or local residents.
  • Aka Politics of Nativism.

 

 

Why son of the soil?

  • Rising aspirations of the local middle class
  • Economy’s failure not to create enough employment opportunity. There remains a competition for jobs
  • Politicians with vested interests try to consolidate their voting base using this. Eg Shiv Sena in Maharashtra

 

Note : In some areas like Punjab , Haryana , Delhi etc , son of soil theory is not there but in Maharashtra , Karnataka etc it is present.

Not Present in Punjab, West Bengal, Delhi etc
  • Son of Soil theory is for Middle class jobs and not for menial jobs
  • It is not issue of political parties . Eg : Akali Dal is jatt dominated party + Communist Party refused to use anti-migrant sentiments in Calcutta because of its ideological commitment
  • Symbiotic Relationship : Punjabis and Haryanvis want cheap agricultural labour
  • In Delhi, culture is purely cosmopolitan

 

There in Maharashtra
  • Political parties like Shiv Sena, MNS use this as political tool
  • Competition between migrants and nativists is for middle class jobs
  • If national party is weak, the native political parties become more assertive

 

 

 

Impact of Regionalism in India

Positive
  • Most important basis for the formation of identity was language. Hence, it has kept communalism and formation of political identity based on religion in check
  • Regionalism has helped in promoting democracy in India. Regional parties like Shiv Sena, DMK etc fight to capture power via democracy
  • Agitate to preserve their culture => helped in preserving the diversity of nation

 

Negative Regionalism at times transforms into secessionism

Son of Soil Policy impacts Fundamental rights of Citizens like right to life or right to carry out any profession

It can cause great damage to private and public property.

Creates sub national feelings in the people . Naga Nationalism or Punjabi Nationalism vs Indian nationalism

Regionalism, also becomes hurdle in the international diplomacy, . Eg : Tamil Parties impact diplomacy with Srilanka & Trinamool Congress with Bangladesh (like in Teesta Water dispute)

 

 

 

 

Ways to Combat 

  • Making India truly federal in word and spirit
  • Doing away with regional imbalances 
  • Not imposing single culture on whole nation . Eg imposing Hindi in whole nation will face backlashes from Non-Hindi speaking states .
  • Three language formula as suggested by Sarkaria Commission to be strictly implemented
  • People to People contact + making people aware of other cultures using TV & Radio + Ending the prejudices of Cow Belt against North Easterners & South Indians

 

 

Federalism to Combat Regionalism/ Why India didn’t face Regionalism  to the extent other multi-lingual/diverse countries face

  • Other countries with ethnic and linguistic diversities are facing many problems like secessionist movements => they werent able to accommodate regional aspirations 
        • Nepal is facing Madhesi Agitation
        • Pakistan facing Baluchi & Sindhi movements
        • Sri Lanka experienced Tamil civil war
        • Eriteria seceded from Ethiopia
        • Yugoslavia broke due to various sub nationalisms at play

 

But India inspite of such a huge diversity of cultures is still united  .  Reason = Federalism and devolution of power which gives sense of meeting regional aspirations by various groups.

 

 

  • Indian federalism provides democratic ways to meet local aspirations of people
        • Sovereignty is constitutionally shared. States enjoy significant power  . People feel that they are governed by their own people . Cooperative  and Competitive Federalism is the new watchword in India.
        • 73rd and 74th Amendment
        • Regions under 5th and 6th Schedule enjoys certain autonomy
        • Art 370 & 371 has special provisions helpful in addressing concerns of some states.

 

 

 

Other factors why India hasn’t faced Regionalism 

  •  Linguistic reorganization of states
        • Unlike our neighbours, India recognized early that language is the reason behind regionalism & opted for linguistic reorganization of the states in 1956.And by 1966 all major language speakers have states of their own. This led to regionalism problem getting subdued in India.

 

  • Economically most backward regions are politically most powerful.
        • India has a peculiar situation  unlike other countries =>  UP is one of the most backward state in India but they decide who will make Government at Union => cant complain of Political Apathy & Discrimination
        • Out of 14 Prime Minister, 9 are from UP.

 

  • Economic interdependence between different regions

 

  • Wave of globalization => India is becoming homogenous => Regionalism subsumed by Globalisation

 

 

 

 

 

Secularism

Secularism

This article deals with topic titled ‘Secularism’.

 

Note : Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.

 

Secularism is defined as the principle of separation of state from religious institutions and religious dignitories.

 

But nature and extent of separation may take different forms depending upon different values it intends to promote.

 

 

Three models

Secularism
Models of Secularism
US
  • Religion is private affair of person and state passively respects all religions

 

Arm length distance is maintained between state and religion.

 

French
  • Laicite / Militant Secularism
  • In France, due to long battle against religious influence on laws and government, Laicite was introduced.
  • There is total separation between religion and state (ie  religious activities and symbols are banned in public sphere).

 

French secularism has come under criticism that rather than promoting diversity, freedom of thought and multi-culturism , it is interfering with the basic right to religious self expression

 

Indian
  • The Indian idea and practice of secularism although was inspired by western ideas yet it is rooted in India’s unique socio-historic circumstances like religious diversity and support for all religions .

 

  • Based on this , features of Indian secularism are as follows
      • Wall of separation between state and religion is porous ie state can intervene in religion to promote progressive voices within every religion . Eg : Abolition of untouchability.
      • However, religion is strictly prohibited to interfere in state matters hence disallowing mobilisation of electoral support on religious line

 

 

 

 

Provisions regarding Secularism in India

  • Articles 25 to 28 => freedom of religion to all.
  • Articles 14, 16, 44 (Uniform Civil Code) and 51A, by implication prohibit the establishment of a theocratic state.
  • In the Kesavananda Bharati case the Supreme Court (SC) had declared secularism as a part of the basic structure of the Constitution.
  • Doctrine of Essential Practices by SC
  • Section 123(3) of Representation of Peoples Act 1951  prohibits political parties to ask for votes on religious lines
  • Rev Stanislaus vs State of MP held that forcible conversions is not included in right to propagate religion

 

 

Challenges to Secularism

  • Frequent recourse to revivalist events such as Ghar Wapsi etc. breeds fear amongst the minorities
  • Incidents of lynching
  • Communal Riots and Targeted Violence
  • Religious hate speech,  falsification of history and dissemination of wrong information

 

 

 

For more articles on Society, click below.

Society – UPSC Material

 

 

Communalism

Communalism

This article deals with topic titled ‘Communalism.’

 

Note : This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles , click here.

 

 

Definition of Communalism

Allegiance to ones own  ethnic/religious group  rather than  to wider society

 

 

Stages of Communalism

Communalism is manifested at three levels

communalism
communalism
Mild When people belonging to same community believe that they have same secular interest
Moderate When people belonging to different communities believe that they have different secular interests
Extreme When people believe that they not only have different interests but mutually antagonistc and hostile interests (one community can prosper only at the cost of other community)

 

Communalism is an ideological tool often used by upper class to mobilise people to achieve their own political goals 

 

6 types of Communalism

Often there is perception in the society that communalism is threat to National Security . But , it is not a threat to national security prima facie. It depends upon type of communalism which is present

Assimilationist
  • When large religious community tries to bring into it’s fold small communities
  • Eg : Hindu organisation projecting Tribals as Hindus
Welfarist
  • When religious community makes effort for welfare of the members of that community
  • Eg : Christian organisations doing welfare work for Christians
Retreatist
  • When the religious community forbid their members from participating in political affairs
  • Eg : Bahi Community
Retaliatory
  • When members of the religious communities are made to believe that their interests are mutually antagonist to interests of other religious communities
  • Eg : Hindu-Muslim community
Separatist
  • When based on religious identities , people demand a separate state within the federal framework
  • Eg : Punjabi Suba
Secessionist
  • When based on religious identities , people demand secession
  • Eg : Khalistan

Last three are threat to national integration but first three arent . Hence, we cant say communalism is always threat to national integration.

 

 

Characteristics of Communalism

  • Communalism is an ideological concept. 
  • It is total commitment to a set of beliefs & unwillingness to accept other beliefs 
  • It mostly rests on prejudices.
  • It close the self and is highly emotional
  • It causes rivalry and violence among masses.
  • It is used by the higher class people and elites as an instrument for division and exploitation.
  • It strikes at the roots of secularism and national integration.

 

Evolution of Communalism in India

The genesis of  communalism in India can be traced back to the British rule

  • With the emergence of secular education,  new educated middle class emerged . But the aspirations  of the middle class were not getting satisfied in the absence of adequate economic opportunities. Communal Politics emerged to get largest pie .
  • Socio-economic classes coincided with religious distinctions. Eg :
        • Hindu Zamindars vs Muslim peasants in Bengal, Kerala etc
  • Divide and Rule Policy of Britishers : To counter the growing national movement

 

However, the overthrow of colonial state was only the necessary condition to fight the menace of communalism but not sufficient condition . There were other forces at play too. Even in post-independence period , Government failed to control communalism.

 

Causes of Communalism

Failing of Minorities to integrate in Mainstream

  • Muslims failed to intermix in the national mainstream and insist to sustain separate identity.

 

Vote Bank Politics

  • Various religion base parties use Communalism to consolidate their vote banks

 

Communal way of History writing

  • British historian like James Mill described ancient period  as the Hindu period and  medieval period as the Muslim period

 

Economic Causes

  • If certain religious community is economically weak => feeling of relative deprivation => rise of communalism

 

Absence of Uniform Code

  • In absence of Uniform civil code, there is  perception that all communities have divergent and contradictory interests.

 

Psychological factors

  • Hindu groups consider that the Muslims are crusaders , fundamentalists and unpatriotic.
  • On the other hand, the Muslims believe that they are  treated as inferior group in India .

 

Politics of Appeasement

  • Political parties try to appease communities for votes. Eg : Shah Bano Case . This promote Communalism

 

Provocation of Enemy Countries

  • Eg : Pakistan foster Communal feelings especially in Kashmiri Muslim Youth

 

 

 

Problems in State Machinery to fight Communalism

  • National human rights commission (NHRC)  fights for  communal violence related causes . But it’s recommendations are advisory in nature
  • Various commissions have given suggestions to  solve the issue of communal violence. Prominent among them are SACHAR COMMITTEE  and RANGANATH MISHRA COMMISSION.
        • Sachar committee (2010) : set up Equal opportunity commission (EOC) 
        • Ranganath Misra Commission : recommended reservation for minorities
  • No Special Act dealing with Communal Violence and targetted violence. It was also held in Sajjan Kumar vs State (2018)
  • Role of police in communal riots is highly controversial. This is further aggravated by large scale concentration of dominant caste in police .

 

Impact of Communalism

On Politics
  • Organisation of Political parties on Communal Basis
  • Voting on Communal Basis
  • Large scale riots  near elections to polarize votes

 

On Society
  • Created wide rift among the people
  • Hampers unity of nation and creates various sub-national feelings
  • Curbing of Progressive voices . Eg Voices for abolition of Triple Talaq is being opposed 

 

On Economy
  • Vandalisation of public property like burning of buses, trains etc
  • Badly impacts the investors confidence

 

 

 

 

Ways to eradicate Communalism:

  • Balanced and job intensive economic development
  • Interreligious marriage
  • Equal Opportunities commission  should be formed .
  • Going towards Uniform civil code
  • Zero Tolerance toward riots .
  • Avoid communalisation of politics.
  • Promote Indian ideology of Vasudeva Kutumbakam ie whole world is a family ie universal brotherhood.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety of Women at Workplace

Safety of Women at Workplace

This article deals with topic titled ‘Safety of Women at Workplace.’

 

Note – This article is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles, click here.

 

According to NSSO Data, Women’s workforce participation has decreased to 21%  ( one of the lowest in the world ) .

 

 

Initiatives taken so far

      • Vishakha Guidelines by  Supreme Court in 1997

 

      • Protection of Woman from Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act  based on  Vishaka Judgement

 

    • She Box Portal to enable woman employees  to file harassment complaints at workplace

 

 

 

 

 

Sexual Harassment at Workplace Act, 2012

Features
      • It  defines sexual  harassment  as laid down by SC in Vishaka  case.

 

      • It puts the legal responsibility on the employer to provide a safe & conducive environment for the woman  worker.

 

      • Formation of Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) or, in case of unorganised sector , formation of 5 member Local Complaint Committee under the supervision of District Collector.

 

      • Those who  donot  comply  with the Act’s provisions will be fined up to Rs 50,000.

 

Limitations
      • 2015 study : 36% of Indian companies have not constituted ICC

 

      • Non inclusion of the armed forces and all paramilitary forces within its purview.

 

      • If a complaint is found to be “malicious” , she is liable for punishment. This will discourage victims

 

      • Limited time period of 90 days to file complaint

 

      • Provide security to only women and not men

 

      • Punishment   for misconduct is as per the service rules of the employer ( if it exists), else as per the rules of the act. The Act is, however, silent on the situation where employers’ service rule contains less stringent punishment provisions.

 

 

 

 

 

Current Cases

Oct 2018 #MeToo Campaign : Large number of women came forward to share their old experience of harassment at workplace by men in power

 

 

 

Women Safety in India

Women Safety in India

In this article, we will look into topic titled ‘Women Safety in India.’

 

Note- This is part of our series on Society for UPSC examination. For more articles, click here.

 

Women safety includes various dimensions like Sexual harassment at workplace, rape, marital rape, dowry, acid attack etc.  (In general question, cover all aspects)

 

India is the 4th most dangerous country in the world for woman (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Congo ahead of India)

 

 

Factors aggravating & affecting women safety

1. Socio-Economic-Cultural Factors

  • Institutionalisation of Patriarchal System 
  • Objectification / Commodification  of women
  • Influence of “Western culture”.

 

2. Institutional Failures

  • Poor enforcement of laws + laws have lacunae
  • Poor conviction rate in crimes against women
  • Slow criminal justice system
  • Poor gender sensitization of law enforcing agencies like police, judiciary etc.

 

3. Lack of Reporting

  • Women don’t complain due to various reasons like social stigma or fear of retaliation

 

4. Infra Gaps

  • Poorly lit urban spaces coupled with inadequate police patrolling

 

 

Note – Not only physical spaces but women is not safe in India even on Digital space (Internet) .

 

 

 

Justice Verma Committee

Formed – After the horrific event of Nirbhaya death

 

Recommendations

    • Rules out death sentence for rape convicts
    • Life Imprisonment in case of Rape means imprisonment for entire natural life of convict
    • Stalking to be viewed as serious offence
    • Law Enforcement Agencies are Gender Insensitive
    • Marital Rape should be made offence under IPC

 

 

Government schemes in this regard

1.Acts and legal measures

  • Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace Act 2013
  • Various provisions under IPC

 

2. Surakshit Nari , Sashakt Nari

Following things done under this scheme

  • Panic Button  in Mobiles 
  • 181 – Universal Women Helpline number
  • Himmat App : To raise SOS alert .
  • CCTV Surveillance cameras in trains

Etc

 

3. Sakhi-One Stop Centre Scheme

  • Will support women affected from violence
  • Will offer Medical Aid , Police Assistance, Legal Aid , Counselling and shelters

4. Transportation Schemes

  • Pink Auto initiative of  Odisha: pink autos drivers have undergone psychological testand training.
  • Delhi : Women compartment in Metro