A Short History Of Tibet

A Short History Of Tibet

As China recently stepped up its plan to shift the rural population of Tibet into industrial labour, another thread of strain was added to the relations between the two which have been in an alternating relationship with differing ideologies. Let us have a look at the history of Tibet and its relations with China.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Push Into Labour By China
China has reportedly increased the number of Tibetan rural labourers forced in military training camps, where they are trained to become factory workers. Recently, China claimed that ~500,000 people from Tibet (15% of its population) were trained from Jan to July 2020 in such camps. 50,000 of the total were sent to jobs inside Tibet while thousands were sent into labour in China.

Critics have claimed that the motive of such training camps is to eliminate the cultural influence of Tibet while indoctrinating Tibetans with Chinese ideology. These camps are compared to the detention camps in Xinjiang, where Uighur Muslims are sent to forced labour.

History Of Tibet

  • 620s AD: Songtsen Gampo became the ruler of Central Tibet. He married Princess Wencheng of the Tang dynasty (China) and founded major Buddhist temples like Jokhang and Ramoche in Tibet.
  • 820s: Peace treaty between China and Tibet was signed after a period of conflict.
  • 1042: Indian scholar Atisha travelled to Tibet and revived Buddhist teachings by inspiring the locals.
  • 1240-44: Mongol prince Godan Khan invaded Tibet, who later converted to Buddhism in 1247. Peaceful relations between Mongols and Tibetans were established, with the latter retaining significant autonomy in the Mongolian empire.
  • 1598: The title of ‘Dalai Lama’ was first given to High Lama Sonam Gyatso by Mongol King Altan Khan.
  • 1720s: Mongols invaded Tibet. In return, the Manchu (Qing) dynasty of China defeated the Mongols but then appointed its officers to administer Tibet and annexed its Kham and Amdo regions.
  • 1904: British forces from India invaded Tibet and forced to sign an agreement to prevent any Russian interference in the region. However, Britain acknowledged suzerainty of China over Tibet.
  • 1913: Tibet reaffirmed its independence from both China and Britain.
  • 1949: People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established by Communist leader Mao Zedong, who claimed Tibet as part of China.
  • 1951: Tibet was forced to sign the “Seventeen Point Agreement” by China, which granted autonomy to the former but established Chinese military quarters in the capital Lhasa.
  • 1959: The Dalai Lama was forced to take exile in India along with 80,000 followers as a revolt against Chinese rule broke out in Tibet, which was suppressed violently.
  • Refuge for Dalai Lama has been cited as one of the reasons for the 1962 Indo-China war.
  • 1963: Foreign visitors were banned in Tibet – opened back in 1971.
  • 1965: Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) was established by China.
  • 1966: The Cultural Revolution of China impacted Tibet, as Buddhist monasteries and entities were damaged.

Several talks of reconciliation have failed between the 2 groups since.

Curiopedia
  • Lhasa is a prefecture-level city, one of the main administrative divisions of the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The population is well-served by primary schools and basic medical facilities, although more advanced facilities are lacking. Tibetan Buddhism and monastic life have been dominant aspects of the local culture since the 7th century.  
  • The Uyghurs are a Turkic-speaking minority ethnic group in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Northwest China. The Chinese government rejects the notion of the Uyghurs being an indigenous group. 
  • The Militia is the militia part of the armed forces of China, other two parts being the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the People’s Armed Police (PAP). It is one of the largest militias in the world.

75th UN General Assembly Session Held

75th UN General Assembly Session Held

As the 75th UN General Assembly meet was held virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic, let us take a look at what the leaders said in context of the worldwide situations as well as their interpersonal relations.

Crux of the Matter

Virtual Meet
The 75th anniversary of the United Nations was marked this year, which was formed when World War II ended in 1945. The UN General Assembly meeting was held online this year from 22 September, with pre-recorded messages from World Leaders being played.

Donald Trump (US President)
Trump continued blaming China for Covid-19 damage while describing the achievements of his tenure. Some of his statements are given here:

We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy, the China virus, which has claimed countless lives in 188 countries.

Even as [China] canceled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes, the Chinese government and the World Health Organization, which is virtually controlled by China, falsely declared that there was no evidence of human to human transmission.

Our military has increased substantially in size. We spent $2.5 trillion over the last four years on our military. We have the most powerful military anywhere in the world, and it’s not even close.

Xi Jinping (Chinese President)
Jinping downplayed China’s expansionism, took covert jibe at the US and made grand promises.

We will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. We have no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country.

We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

In particular, major countries should act like major countries. They should provide more global public goods, take up their due responsibilities and live up to people’s expectations

Vladimir Putin (Russian President)
Putin offered aid to the UN members while pushing for more open trading across the world.

Russia is ready to provide the UN with all the necessary qualified assistance; in particular, we are offering to provide our vaccine, free of charge, for the voluntary vaccination of the staff of the UN and its offices.

I would like to draw attention once again to Russia’s proposal to create so-called ”green corridors“ free from trade wars and sanctions.

In general, freeing the world trade from barriers, bans, restrictions and illegitimate sanctions would be of great help in revitalizing global growth and reducing unemployment.

Emmanuel Macron (French President)
Macron discussed a multipolar world besides the US and China while highlighting unlawful actions being taken across the world.

The world as it is today cannot come down to simple rivalry between China and the United States, no matter the global weight of these two great powers.

I repeat once more to Russia the need for full light to be shed on the murder attempt on a political opposition figure using a nerve agent, Novichok.

We will not compromise on the activation of a mechanism that the United States is not in a position to activate on its own after leaving the agreement (reactivated sanctions on Iran by the US).

Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkish President)
Erdogan raised the issue of Kashmir, again.

The Kashmir conflict, which is also key to the stability and peace in South Asia, is still a burning issue. Steps taken following the abolition of the special status of Jammu & Kashmir further complicated the problem.

In order for the Kashmiri people to look at a safe future together with their Pakistani and Indian neighbours, it is imperative to solve the problem through dialogue and on the basis of justice and equity, but not through collision.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey in 2019 UN General Assembly

Narendra Modi
Modi called for structural reforms while declaring a need for “multilateralism”.

The declaration acknowledges the need for reform in the United Nation itself. You cannot fight today’s challenges with outdated structures.

Without comprehensive reforms, the UN faces a crisis of confidence. For today’s interconnected world, we need a reformed multilateralism that reflects today’s realities.

T S Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, tweeted that “Turkey should learn to respect sovereignty of other nations and reflect on its own policies more deeply”.

Curiopedia
  • The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the United Nations. It establishes the purposes, governing structure, and overall framework of the UN system, including its six principal organs.
  • The secretary-general of the United Nations is the chief administrative officer of the United Nations and head of the United Nations Secretariat. As of 2020, the secretary-general is former prime minister of Portugal António Guterres.
  • Trygve Halvdan Lie was a Norwegian politician, labour leader, government official and author. From 1946 to 1952 he was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Toy Manufacturers And Their Revenues

Toy Manufacturers And Their Revenues

The Indian toy industry began with the manufacturing of traditional toys such as whistles, wooden carts, and unbranded plush dolls, but with the increase in demand for international brands and due to the influence of pop culture and social media the Indian toy industry is transitioning.

Crux of the Matter

Prominently Manufacured Toys
Some of the most popular types of toys are licensed toys that are manufactured globally from popular shows and Disney animated movies like Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, Frozen, DC, and Marvel Cinematic Universe. Plush toys are among the most popular categories of toys for children as they are considered safe and for all ages.

Other popular categories include sports and outdoor play toys, puzzles, board games, construction and building toys, and electronic toys.

Largest Toy Manufacturers in India
Geographically, the largest toy market currently is in Maharashtra, followed by, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, and Delhi.

  • Mattel’s subsidiary, US-based Fischer-Price is among top 10 toy companies in India. It manufactures more than 5,000 different types of toys and also manufactures products for babies like booster seats, strollers, baby car seats, etc.
  • Started in 1968, Mattel’s Hot Wheels is also a leading toy company in India which produces a collector’s item which is popular among children as well as adults.
  • Funskool (India) Ltd was established in 1987, at Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is a joint venture between US-based Hasbro Inc. and MRF Ltd in India. They have more than 20 retail stores across the country and two factories in Goa and Ranipet.
  • MEGA Bloks, K’nex, Masoom Playmates, Simba Toys, etc are some of the other notable toy players in India

If you want to have a look at statistics around the toy industry, read this now: Indian And Global Toy Industry

Curiopedia
  • Funskool (India) Ltd. is an Indian toy manufacturing company founded in 1987 with headquarters in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. In 2014, Funskool surpassed Mattel to become the market leader in the mid to premium range of the Indian toy market. Funskool has published the Monopoly board game in India since 1987. 
  • Hamleys is a British multinational toy retailer, one of the oldest and largest in the world. The chain has 15 outlets in the United Kingdom and also has more than 90 franchises worldwide. In May 2019, Reliance Industries announced that it had acquired Hamleys for £67.96 million (around ₹620 crores) in an all-cash deal.
  • Kondapalli Toys are the toys made of wood in Kondapalli, Andhra Pradesh. Bommala Colony translates to Toys Colony in Kondapalli is the place where the art of crafting takes place. It was registered as one of the geographical indication handicrafts from Andhra Pradesh.

A Look At Soft Drinks Industry

A Look At Soft Drinks Industry

When the global soft drink market, especially in developed countries is slowing down or contracting, its demand in developing countries like India seems to indicate faster growth. Let’s have a comprehensive look at the global and Indian soft drinks industry.

Crux of the Matter

Global Soft Drinks Industry
In 2019-20, the global revenue from soft drinks was $667.4 bn in 2020 and the US contributed $200.29 bn to it. Moreover, the soft drinks market is expected to grow annually by 6.5% (CAGR) from 2020 to 2025. In relation to the total population, $89.67 per person were generated from soft drinks revenue in 2019-20.

Reasons For Declining Trend

  • Nourishment Based Food – Consumers are focusing on nourishment and nutrient-rich food.
  • Sugar a slow poison – A big impact on purchasing decisions due to awareness among people about the anti-sugar movement.
  • Shift in preference for ‘naturally healthy’ – Consumers preferring natural and organic products for better health. Carbonated beverages are being replaced by Fermented drinks, ready-to-drink teas, and products with natural sweeteners.
  • Business model promoting Sustainability – Consumers making more conscious purchasing decisions keeping in mind a business’ values so as to have a positive impact on the world.
  • Increasing Prices and Tough Competition – Profit margin on carbonate-sugar contained drinks is shrinking.

Experts estimate that non-carbonated drinks are expected to overtake their carbonated rivals.

Soft Drink Market In India
Experts say that the soft drink market in India seems promising and might continue its “robust growth trajectory”. Carbonated beverages account for 51% of PepsiCo’s sales volumes in India. Demand for lemon-based soft drinks is expected to increase rapidly in the Indian market.

The bottled water category is expected to see a robust volume growth with increasing awareness among consumers about water-borne diseases and shortages in drinking water in the urban areas.

Varun Beverages Limited

Covid-19 Impact
Indian Beverage Association’s (IBA) preliminary assessments for full 2020 indicate a contraction of ~34% in the soft drink industry, i.e. of ~₹70,000 crores. Due to lockdown, the industry suffered a loss of ~₹1,200 crore as raw material expired. Recently IBA sent a letter to the Finance ministry to reduce GST on beverages.

Curiopedia
  • Costa Coffee is the second largest coffeehouse chain in the world, and the largest in the UK. Coca-Cola Company acquired Costa Coffee in 2019 for $5.1 billion.
  • Coca-Cola sponsored the 1928 Summer Olympics, and has subsequently remained a sponsor to the current time. Coca-Cola Olympic City was an 8-acre plaza in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, built in concurrence with the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
  • Campa Cola is a soft drink brand in India. It was a market leader in the Indian soft drink market in the 1970s and 80s in most regions of India until the advent of the foreign players Pepsi and Coca-Cola. Campa Cola was created by the Pure Drinks Group in the 1970s.

New Beginning And A Brave Ending For Indian Armed Forces

New Beginning And A Brave Ending For Indian Armed Forces

While the iconic aircraft carrier INS Viraat sailed the last time before its dismantling, news of jubilation came from the Indian Navy as it appointed its first female airborne tacticians from warship decks. Let’s have a look at the recent events surrounding Indian Armed Forces.

Crux of the Matter

INS Viraat To Be Dismantled
INS (Indian Naval Ship) Viraat, an Aircraft Carrier ship, arrived on the Alang coast in Bhavnagar district (Gujarat) on 22 September 2020. It would be dismantled “during high tide at 1 PM on September 28” after being decommissioned in 2017 by the Indian Navy, and would be sold as scrap.

INS Viraat belonged to the ‘Centaur-Class aircraft carrier’ category, while having Sea Harriers jet fighters and ‘Anti Submarine aircraft Sea King Mk 42B, Sea King Mk 42 C and Chetak’ helicopters operate from it.

History Of INS Viraat

  • The ship was integrated into the Royal Navy of the UK in 1959 by the name ‘HMS (Her Majesty’s Ship) Hermes‘.
  • It played a vital role in the 1982 Falklands war between the UK and Argentina.
  • It was decommissioned by the UK in 1985, after which India purchased it in 1985-86.
  • The ship was integrated into the Indian Navy in May 1987 as INS Viraat.
  • It played an important role in Operation Jupiter (1989) during the Peacekeeping operation in Sri Lanka.
  • It was deployed in Operation Parakram (2001-02) after terrorist attacks on the Parliament of India.

Indian Armed Forces – Women Make History
Sub Lieutenant (SLt) Kumudini Tyagi and SLt Riti Singh were recently selected as ‘Observers’ (Airborne Tacticians) in the “helicopter stream” of the Indian Navy, becoming the first women airborne tacticians in India to operate from warships’ decks. Earlier, women were restricted to ‘fixed-wing aircraft’ that both ascended from and landed on the shore.

Rear Admiral Antony George claimed that women trained for the first time in “helicopter operations” would eventually lead to women being deployed in “frontline warships of Indian Navy”.

Rafale
Indian Air Force (IAF) would be inducting a female pilot (name withheld currently) in the ‘Rafale’ squadron, with the pilot currently operating MiG-21 Bison jets. IAF has been integrating women fighter pilots since 2016.

Curiopedia
  • The motto of INS Vikrant is, Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah, which is taken from Rigveda and can be translated as “I defeat those who fight against me”. The Rigveda is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns.
  • The motto of INS Viraat is, Jalameva Yasya, Balameva Tasya. It translates as, “He who rules over the seas is all powerful”.
  • INS Viraat was originally commissioned by the British Royal Navy as HMS Hermes on 18 November 1959, 15 years after she was laid down in June 1944. In April 1986, Hermes was towed from Portsmouth Dockyard to Devonport Dockyard to be refitted, re-activated and sold to India.