Story Behind India’s Republic Day

Story Behind India's Republic Day

Happy Republic Day to all Summachar readers! On this occasion let’s go through some interesting trivia that would make you appreciate the day even more.

Crux of the Matter

72nd Republic Day
India celebrates its 72nd Republic Day today to commemorate the Constitution coming into effect on this date in 1950. India didn’t have a Constitution after Independence, with its laws meanwhile being based on the modified version of ‘Government of India Act 1935’ (established by the British).

Setting Up The Constitution

  • 9 December 1946: The 1st meeting of the Constituent Assembly of India occurred.
  • 29 Aug 1947: Drafting committee formed – Dr B R Ambedkar was the Chairman.
  • Constitution completed on 26 November 1949 – final draft after 2 years, 11 months, and 17 days of the 1st meeting. Originally written in Hindi and English.

Why 26 Jan And Not 26 Nov?

  • India’s independence date (15 August 1947) was forced by Lord Louis Mountbatten.
  • Forced as 15 August was the 2nd anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the Allies after World War II.

On 26 January 1929, Indian National Congress had declared “Poorna Swaraj” (complete self-rule). This date was decided for independence and celebrated as ‘Poorna Swaraj day’ from 1930 onwards. India thus wanted at least 1 date based on its own traditions and also wanted to commemorate the ‘Poorna Swaraj’. Thus, 26 January was chosen as the date.

What’s Different This Year?

  • 1st Republic Day without Chief Guest as British PM Boris Johnson cancelled due to Covid surge.
  • No motorcycle stunts – total audience allowed also reduced.
  • Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth would become the 1st female fighter pilot to participate in the parade.
  • Bangladesh Armed Forces contingent will participate in the parade – commemorating 50 years of its Liberation War where India played a key role. A foreign contingent would take part in India’s Republic Day for the 3rd time – previously done by France (2016) and UAE (2017).

Some More Trivia

  • Republic Day celebrations officially run from 26 January to 29 January. Celebrations end with the ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony.
  • Indian Constitution is the longest in the world with 448 articles. It is also the longest handwritten Constitution – written by Prem Behari Narain Raizada.

Major borrowed features in India Constitution

  • Britain: Bicameral Parliament with 2 houses and the Prime Minister post.
  • France: Concept of “liberty, equality and fraternity” in the Preamble.
  • Soviet Union: 5-year plans.
  • Germany: Suspending Fundamental Rights during ‘emergency’.

Russia Found Guilty Of Human Rights Violation In Georgia War

Russia Found Guilty Of Human Rights Violation In Georgia War

In a landmark verdict, the European Court of Human Rights has found Russia guilty of Human Rights violation in Georgia in 2008. In that light, let’s look at what happened there as well as several wars Russia has been engaged in with former Soviet territories.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Claim
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) recently found Russia guilty of human rights violations during its 2008 war with Georgia. It was found guilty of civilian killings, property destruction, torturing prisoners of war, etc.

2008 Russia-Georgia War
All regions involved are former parts of the Soviet Union. Also, South Ossetia and Abkhazia are officially part of Georgia but consider themselves autonomous.

  • 2006: Georgia publicly accused Russia of supporting the two regions’ separatism.
  • August 2008: Georgia launched an attack on South Ossetian to “neutralize separatist positions”. The attack came after months of clashes between the two.
  • Russia immediately launched an attack on Georgia – reached within 30km of Tbilisi (Georgian capital).

The war, lasting 5 days, saw more than being 228 Georgian civilians killed. In its report, the European Union (EU) also found Russia guilty of ‘long history of provocation‘ and ‘disproportionate reaction’.

Russia has been involved in conflicts with several nations previously being part of the Soviet Union. The major such wars are as follows.

First Chechnya War
Chechnya is a Muslim majority region, which declared independence from Russia after the Soviet breakdown.

  • 1994: Chechens under Akhmad Kadyrov declared jihad (holy war) on Russia after it invaded Chechnya against separatist forces.
  • 1996: Russia retreated, making Chechnya practically independent.

Second Chechnya War

  • Islamic extremism increased in the region – Akhmad Kadyrov switched to the Russian side.
  • 1999: Russia launched an attack after Chechen rebels allegedly killed 300+ people in bombing attacks inside Russia.
  • Such guerilla attacks continued, but Russia eventually won in 2009 and gained control of Chechnya.

Ukraine Crisis

  • February 2014: Pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown after pro-West protests broke in the nation.
  • Russia soon annexed Crimea (belonging to Ukraine) – part of re-establishing authority and partly due to its expansionism.
  • 13,000 people were killed, out of which 3,300 were civilians as per 2019 UN report.

Read about Russia’s relationship with Germany here.

Curiopedia
  • The Russo-Georgian War was regarded as the first European war of the 21st century. Since the war, Russia has occupied Abkhazia and South Ossetia in violation of the ceasefire agreement of August 2008.
  • The Rose Revolution was a change of power in Georgia in November 2003. The revolution was brought about by widespread protests over the disputed parliamentary elections and culminated in the ousting of President Eduard Shevardnadze, which marked the end of the Soviet era of leadership in the country.
  • The Battle of Tskhinvali was a battle for the city of Tskhinvali, capital of the breakaway state of South Ossetia. It was the only major battle in the Russo-Georgian War.

Famous Indian Journalists & Their Connections

Famous Indian Journalists & Their Political Connections

As 2021 gave a rough start to Indian journalists, with prominent names like Arnab, Nidhi, and Ghai being in the limelight for all the wrong reason, let’s take a deeper look at the political connections of some of the most prominent Indian journalists.

Crux of the Matter

Arnab Goswami – Founder of Republic TV

  • Maternal uncle: Siddhartha Bhattacharya – Cabinet Minister in Assam from BJP.
  • Father: Late Colonel Manoranjan Goswami – BJP member also contested 1998 Lok Sabha Polls.

Ravish Kumar – Senior Executive Editor, NDTV India

  • Brother: Brajesh Pandey – Senior leader from Congress.

Radhika Roy And Prannoy Roy – Founders of NDTV

  • Radhika’s sister: Brinda Karat – Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader.
  • Brinda’s husband: Prakash Karat – CPI-M politburo member, former Gen Sec.

Rajdeep Sardesai – Consulting Editor with India Today

  • Wife: Sagarika Ghose – Consulting Editor, The Times Of India.
  • Sagarika’s father: Bhaskar Ghose – Former Director-General of Doordarshan.
  • Sagarika’s aunt: Ruma Pal – Former Judge at the Supreme Court.

Barkha Dutt – Columnist for The Washington Post; renowned for stint with NDTV

  • Involved in ‘Radia tapes’ that reportedly showed collusion between several journalists and the UPA Government.
  • Her previous channel Tiranga TV was backed by Congress leader Kapil Sibal.

Sreenivasan Jain – Managing Editor, NDTV

  • Father: Lakshmi Chand Jain – former Indian High Commissioner to South Africa, a former member of Planning Commission.

Siddharth Varadarajan – Co-founder of The Wire; former Editor at The Hindu

  • Father: Muthusamy Varadarajan – a former member of the Indian High Commission in London (1979-83), former permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, former Civil Servant.

Suhasini Haidar – Diplomatic Affairs Editor and National Editor, The Hindu

  • Father: Subramanian Swamy – Rajya Sabha MP, BJP.

The beginning of 2021 brought problems to some prominent Indian journalists like Arnab Goswami and Nidhi Razdan, due to WhatsApp, Harvard, or even the capital market. Read about it in detail here.

Curiopedia
  • Harvard has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.
  • Arnab Goswami resigned as editor-in-chief of Times Now on 1 November 2016, citing editorial differences, lack of freedom, and newsroom politics. On 16 December, Goswami announced his next venture — a news channel called Republic; the name was later changed to Republic TV.
  • Rajat Sharma has interviewed more than 750 guests on his show Aap Ki Adalat. In 2015, Sharma was awarded with Padma Bhushan for his contributions through Journalism.

Indian Journalists Arnab, Nidhi, & Ghai Start The New Year On A Rough Note

Indian Journalists Arnab, Nidhi, & Ghai Start The New Year On A Rough Note

2021 didn’t exactly give the best of starts to Indian journalists, as prominent names were entangled in different problems whether due to WhatsApp, Harvard, or even the capital market. Let’s take a look at what happened in the case of each.

Crux of the Matter

CNBC Show Host Fraud
Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently banned Hemant Ghai, his wife, and his mother from the capital market for alleged “fraudulent trading practices”.

Ghai was CNBC Awaaz show host. The CNBC group has sacked him from the show after the SEBI announcement. SEBI also directed to seize the proceeds of ₹2.95 crores generated by fraud and banned him from providing investment advice till further notice.

What Was The Fraud?
As per reports:

  • Ghai purchased shares in accounts of his wife and his mother a day before recommending on the show.
  • Sold shares immediately after the market opened on the recommendation day.
  • Made significant benefits from the change in price caused by his recommendations.

Harvard Invitation
On 13 June 2020, journalist Nidhi Razdan announced her resignation from NDTV. She announced joining as “Associate Professor teaching journalism as part of Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences”.

The Catch
As per Joshua Benton, director of ‘Nieman Journalism Lab’ at Harvard University:

  • Harvard has “has no school of journalism, no department of journalism, and no professors of journalism”.
  • Only related section is “Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, field: Journalism” – even that has “no full-time journalism faculty”.

Razdan later claimed that she was a victim of a “phishing attack”, and filed a complaint with the Delhi police cyber cell.

Chat-Gate
1000+ page WhatsApp chats between Arnab Goswami of Republic and former Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) CEO Partho Dasgupta were recently leaked amidst the ongoing TRP manipulation scam. As per the purported chats:

  • Then Union Minister of I&B Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore ‘kept it [DTH matter] aside on Arnab’s asking.
    Republic TV and Zee Media allegedly used the DTH service of DD to reach viewers without paying it.
  • Dasgupta requested Goswami to get him a job at PM Office due to the latter’s ‘connection’ with Government.
  • Goswami called India TV anchor Rajat Sharma “cheat… [getting] away by fudging the BARC system”.
  • Goswami stated “This attack we have won like crazy” over Pulwama attack as his coverage apparently got his channel more ratings.
  • Goswami asked Dasgupta months before launching Republic TV to “take care of disti” (sic) [distribution] in alleged ratings manipulation. Dasgupta replied, “Very very well covered, much ahead of times”.
Curiopedia
  • Harvard has more alumni, faculty, and researchers who have won Nobel Prizes (161) and Fields Medals (18) than any other university in the world. Students and alumni have also won 10 Academy Awards, 48 Pulitzer Prizes, and 108 Olympic medals (46 gold), and they have founded many notable companies.
  • Arnab Goswami resigned as editor-in-chief of Times Now on 1 November 2016, citing editorial differences, lack of freedom, and newsroom politics. On 16 December, Goswami announced his next venture — a news channel called Republic; the name was later changed to Republic TV.
  • Rajat Sharma has interviewed more than 750 guests on his show Aap Ki Adalat. In 2015, Sharma was awarded with Padma Bhushan for his contributions through Journalism.

Korean War And The Role Of America

Korean War And The Role Of America

In the backdrop of North Korea exhibiting a new missile amidst Joe Biden’s inauguration as the US President, let us take a look at the peak of the conflict between the countries, which occurred in the Korean War starting in 1950.

Crux of the Matter

Background
Korea was under Japanese rule since the early 20th century. It was divided after World War II along the 38th parallel, which is the popular name of latitude 38° N.

  • Area to the North of the line – Russians occupied and appointed ‘communist dictator’ Kim Il Sung.
  • Area to the South of the line – US occupied and appointed ‘anti-communist dictator’ Syngman Rhee.

Conflict started immediately after the division – 10,000 North and South Korean soldiers killed in skirmishes even before the war.

War Begins

  • 25 June 1950: Korean war began – 75,000 soldiers from North Korea stormed across the ‘38th parallel’.
  • The war over border conflict, the spread of communism state, and the ‘cold war’ between Soviet and US.
  • The US considered intervention vital to curb the spread of communism and Soviet influence – the latter didn’t fight but aided its communist allies with supplies.
  • South Korean forces were ill-equipped – North Korea captured former’s capital Seoul in 3 days.

US Arrives

  • 5 July 1950: US and United Nations forces land to aid South Korea but suffered heavy casualties initially. US Gen. Douglas MacArthur also commanded the UN forces.
  • September: Seoul under UN control as the US launched ‘Inch’on Landing’ (mass amphibious attack).
  • October: UN forces now captured North Korean capital Pyongyang and advanced towards the Yalu river which separates it from China.

China Joins

  • November 1950: China invaded North Korea after UN forces refused to stop while also fearing for its own border.
  • July 1951: Truce talks began. However, fight still continued as talks repeatedly failed.
  • October 1952: Notably, US bombed North Korea capital Pyongyang continuously for 2 months.
  • 27 July 1953: UN, US, China and North Korea signed an armistice (rejected by South Korea). SK didn’t sign the armistice over the division of Korea – truce is held informally.

Technically the war is not over as no formal peace treaty was signed after the temporary armistice. 5-6 million casualties were reported in the war with around 50% to 70% of them being civilians.

The US has since shared a cordial relationship with South Korea. It is in stark contrast to the strained relation with North Korea. The question remains over which method Biden would use to deal with North Korea and its authoritarian rule.

Curiopedia
  • North Korea’s human rights record is often considered to be the worst in the world and has been globally condemned, with the United Nations, the European Union, and groups such as Human Rights Watch all critical of the country’s record.
  • The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula. It is established by the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement to serve as a buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea.
  • In South Korea, the war is usually referred to as “625” or the “6–2–5 Upheaval“, reflecting the date of its commencement on 25 June