Defence Alliances Of India

Defence Alliances Of India

Defence alliances formed by India are adding to its combat as well as negotiation strength as it was recently drawn in a border conflict by China.

Crux of the Matter

Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister of India, recently visited Russia for its Victory Day Parade on 24th June and also had discussions on the weapon supply. After the talks, Russia agreed to speed up the delivery of S-400 missile systems to India, which drew praise from Singh.

I have been assured that ongoing contracts will be maintained and not just maintained, in a number of cases will be taken forward in a shorter time

Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister, India

Previously, Russia agreed to supply S-400 anti-missile system by 2021 to India, which is currently deploying Pechora and OSA-AK systems, provided by the former, at Ladakh border following a clash with Chinese soldiers.

Besides the Russian systems, India has also deployed the Israeli SPYDER system at Ladakh border. ‘Surface-to-air PYthon and DERby’, known as SPYDER is a “quick-reaction surface-to-air missile system” used for air defence. It was used in 2019 to shoot down a Pakistani drone at the Gujarat border.

Indian Navy and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) recently conducted a “join training exercise” to further strengthen defence relations. The move came in the light of Taro Kono, the Defence Minister of Japan, revealing the presence of Chinese submarines near its islands.

Japan has warned China to curb its aggression while implementing measures to withdraw industries from there.

France has reportedly accelerated the process of supplying the Rafale jets to India, and 6 jets instead of expected 4 would be reportedly arriving on 27 July.

The Rafale deal was done in 2016 when India placed the order of 36 jets which would be provided in subsequent years. The deal cost India ₹59,000 crores.

The United States recently reduced its troops in Europe, shifting them to Asia. In his statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the shifting was done to aid “India and other Asian countries” against the Chinese intrusion.

Pompeo also accused China of escalating the border conflict with India, where casualties were observed on both sides. The US also shared its intelligence regarding Chinese intrusion and casualties.

In a landmark move, Lockheed Martin, an American defence technology company, recently extended its deal with Tata to produce more defence aircraft which would strengthen Indian defence. The move comes after the agreement of February 2020, when the US agreed to sell the Integrated Air Defence Weapon System (IADWS) to India for $1.87 billion.

On 4 June 2020, India and Australia signed a defence pact to strengthen security and defence relationships. The pact allows both countries the access to each other’s military bases. The step has come in the light of Australia demanding an independent inquiry into the origin and transmission of Covid-19, against which China imposed severe duties on barley coming from Australia.

  • India became the main base for the American China Burma India Theater (CBI) in the war against Japan during WW-II. Tens of thousands of American servicemen arrived, bringing all sorts of advanced technology, and money; they left in 1945.
  • Serious tension erupted over American demands, led by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, that India be given independence, a proposition British Prime Minister Winston Churchill vehemently rejected. For years, Roosevelt had encouraged British disengagement from India. The American position was based on principled opposition to colonialism, practical concern for the outcome of the war, and the expectation of a large American role in a post-colonial era. Churchill threatened to resign if Roosevelt pushed too hard, so Roosevelt backed down.
  • The United States under the Truman administration leaned towards favouring India in the late-1940s as a consequence of most U.S. planners seeing India more valuable diplomatically than neighboring Pakistan. However, during the Cold War Nehru’s policy of neutrality was awkward to many American observers. American officials perceived India’s policy of non-alignment negatively. In 1948, Nehru rejected American suggestions for resolving the Kashmir crisis via third party mediation. Nehru’s 1949 tour of the United States was “an undiplomatic disaster” that left bad feelings on both sides

Global Brands Revamping In Light Of Anti-Racism Protests

Global Brands Revamping In Light Of Anti-Racism Protests

After a wave of protests following George Floyd’s death, global brands are rebranding age-old products which once signified racism and also showing their support towards the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Crux of the Matter

Evolving Names, Logos & Tag Lines
The past few weeks have seen an international wave of apologies and product removals. A number of consumer-goods companies are rebranding old trademarks following weeks of anti-racism protests in the U.S.

For decades, Indian advertisers have propagated an association between skin fairness with career success and social status. Unilever patented Fair & Lovely in 1971 after patenting niacinamide, a melanin suppressor which is the cream’s main active ingredient. Melanin is the natural skin pigment. To revamp its identity, Unilever announced to drop the word fair. Fair & Lovely has an average sales of over ₹3,400 crores/year in India

If we have to make our brands contemporary then we have to keep innovating and renovating them.

Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman Hindustan Unilever

After an Indian-American woman named Hetal Lakhani launched a campaign against the very popular website, they announced the removal of its skin-tone search filter option which allowed users to search for those with fair or dark complexions.

Johnson & Johnson after being accused of systemic racism they have announced to take all skin-lightening products like Neutrogena Fine Fairness off their shelves. Other brands like Loreal are also now being criticised for their products.

Brands know that it is bad business to be antagonizing large segments of vocal consumers who have the power to sway public opinion for or against them.

Karthik Srinivasan, Indian Branding & Communications consultant

Quaker Oats is changing the name of its 130-year old Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup whose brand logo features an African-American woman named after a character in 19th-century minstrel shows and is rooted in a stereotype of a friendly black woman working as a servant or nanny for a white family. 

Uncle Ben’s owned by Mars Food and Mrs. Butterworth syrup owned by ConAgra Brands have announced to revamp and evolve the brand’s packaging in response to ongoing protests against racism. Cream of Wheat owned by B&G Foods Inc. also will review its current packaging which depicts a character named Rastus, a derogatory term for Black men.

Nestlé has decided to review its portfolio of more than 2,000 brands and 25,000 products to ‘identify any required changes to our use of imagery or language.’ It will rename its Red Skins, Chicos, and Beso de Negra products.

More Efforts by Brands To #BlackLivesMatter
Nike has inverted the brand’s tagline to ‘Don’t do it’ and also released a powerful video encouraging people to resolve the issue of institutionalised racism. Google added a message of support to the BLM along with a black ribbon. Spotify created a silent playlist that lasted for 8mins 46seconds, the time for which George Floyd was choked by the American policeman. Nickelodeon went off-air for 8:46 minutes.

Amazon & Netflix celebrated the role of black artists, writers, and producers by putting out messages on their social media handles. Doritos gave Black artists major outdoor ad space to promote their messages as part of new investment in the #AmplifyBlackVoices effort. It also aired a 30-second spot, “Do You Hear Us Now?”

Twitter changed its profile picture to a black version of its logo and also real Tweets from Black users around the world were transformed into OOH boards in U.S. cities of Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Minneapolis, New York, Oakland and Philadelphia where major protests occurred.

Mississippi Removes Confederate Emblem
Mississippi House and Senate passed a bill on June 27 to remove the Confederate emblem from their flag which was originally used by the slave-owning states that lost the US Civil War and was seen as a racist symbol. It was the only remaining US state flag to feature the Confederate emblem and the recent protests reignited a debate over its use.

Mississippi was the only remaining US state flag to feature the Confederate emblem which was originally used by the slave-owning states that lost the US Civil War and the recent protests reignited a debate over its use. On June 27, Mississippi House and Senate passed a bill to remove the Confederate emblem from their flag which was seen as a racist symbol.

  • Lakmé is named after the French form of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. It was started in 1952 famously because then PM Jawaharlal Nehru was concerned that Indian women were spending precious foreign exchange on beauty products and personally requested JRD Tata to manufacture them in India.
  • Unilever patented the brand Fair & Lovely in 1971 after the patenting of niacinamide, a melanin suppressor,[1] which is the cream’s main active ingredient. Melanin is the natural skin pigment that gives colour to the skin.
  • 8:46 is a 2020 performance special by American comedian Dave Chappelle about violence against African-Americans. The special was released via YouTube on June 12, 2020. The performance is not a traditional stand-up comedy special, as it was recorded at a private outdoor venue due to the Covid-19 pandemic in Ohio and features long stretches without humor.

Russia Holds Trilateral Meet With India And China

Russia Holds Trilateral Meet With India And China

While hosting a meeting with India and China, Russia witnessed prominent guests for its ‘special day’ and enhanced relations with the Indian state.

Crux of the Matter

RIC Meet
RIC meet, which is a trilateral meeting between Russia, India, and China, took place on 23rd June through video conferencing. The meeting occurred between the Ministers of External Affairs of the respective nations. No discussion on bilateral issues like the recent border clashes between India and China occurred, with the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov declaring no “need” of mediation.

I don’t think India and China need any help from outside. I don’t think they need to be helped, especially when it comes to country issues. They can solve them on their own… [this means recent events.]

Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister, Russia

Indian Contribution And Demands
Dr. S Jaishankar, the Minister of External Affairs of India, raised issues like the structure of the UN and called for an increased adherence to the international laws.

Respecting international law, recognizing the legitimate interests of partners, supporting multilateralism and promoting common good is the only way of building a durable world order.

Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Dr. Jaishankar also highlighted the contribution of India in international matters and called for a revision in the UN structure.

India made a significant contribution [to achieve victory over Nazism and Fascism], with 2.3 million of its citizens under arms and 14 million more participating in war production. Indian blood was shed at the battlefields of the world, from Tobruk, El Alamein and Montecassino, to Singapore, Kohima and Borneo.

We helped keep key supply lines open to both your countries, one through the Persian corridor and the other over the Himalayan hump. If Indian personnel were conferred the Order of the Red Star, the medical mission led by Dr Kotnis was a legend in China. So tomorrow, when our military contingent marches through the Red Square, it would be an affirmation of the difference that we made.

Dr S Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs, India

Victory Day Parade
On 9th May, the Moscow Victory Day Parade is taken out every year. The event commemorates the victory of the Allies over the Axis Forces in World War II. The date was chosen as Germany surrendered on 9 May 1945.

In 2020, the parade was delayed to 24 June owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. It marked a special occasion for India as its contingent of 75 members from its 3 armed forces took part in the parade.

Defence Meet
Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister of India, attended the parade as a high-profile guest as a part of his 3-day visit to “strengthen the longstanding special and privileged strategic partnership between India and Russia”.

In the meeting, Rajnath Singh also discussed the provision of weapons with Russia, which promised the delivery of S-400 Missile Systems within 2-3 months while “speeding up” the delivery to the possible extent.

Russian Impact In Indian Conflicts
In the early 1960s, Russia offered MiG-21 jets to India to enhance security. However, it stopped the supply in 1962 at the time of the Indo-China war. The situation changed again in 1971 when Russia supported India in the Indo-Pak war by countering the US fleets supporting Pakistan.

In 2019, Russia diverged from Pakistan and China regarding the Kashmir issue. In its statement, Russia declared the removal of article 370 as an “internal matter” of India.

  • India is the second-largest market for the Russian defence industry. In 2017, approximately 68% of the Indian Military’s hardware import came from Russia, making Russia the chief supplier of defence equipment.
  • The Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation (FCT) is a twenty-year strategic treaty that was signed by the leaders of the two international powers, Jiang Zemin and Vladimir Putin, on July 16, 2001. The treaty outlines the broad strokes which are to serve as a basis for peaceful relations, economic cooperation, as well as diplomatic and geopolitical reliance.
  • On November 23, 2010, at a meeting of the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, it was announced that Russia and China have decided to use their own national currencies for bilateral trade, instead of the U.S. dollar. The move was aimed to further improve the relations between Beijing and Moscow and to protect their domestic economies during the financial crisis of 2007–2008.

How Did China Become The People’s Republic?

How Did China Become The People's Republic?

With the recent hostilities shown to India, China’s aggressive policies have a history of communist regime engaged in conflict with several ideologies. We explore the history of today’s China, primarily how it became a People’s Republic.

Crux of the Matter

Early Chinese History
China was under the rule of the Qing dynasty from 1644. In 1894, the first Sino-Japanese war occurred over dominance in Korea. The war ended in a defeat for China, and Taiwan acceding to Japan.

In 1899-1900, the Boxer Rebellion was started, where the secret society under the name of ‘Boxer’ started to remove and kill foreigners in China. The retaliation of the Western nations further diminished the Chinese economy. Consequently, in 1912, the Xinhai revolution occurred where the Qing dynasty was removed and the Republic of China (ROC) was established. The revolutionary Sun Yat-sen became the first President.

1920s: The CPC Emerges
The Communist Party of China (CPC) was established in 1921, with the party initially adhering to Marxism-Leninism. The party was formed after the May Fourth movement, with mass protests following the Treaty of Versailles after World War I. In the treaty, territories of China annexed by Germany were handed over to Japan, which incensed the Chinese.

In 1924, the CPC formed an alliance with the Kuomintang (KMT), or the Nationalist Party of China. However, the situation became precarious as the KMT President Chiang Kai-Shek ordered the massacre of CPC workers after which they went underground.

Civil War And Establishment of People’s Republic of China
In 1931, a civil war broke out between the Red Army (armed forces of the CPC) and the Nationalist Party. The condition of China further deteriorated as Japan invaded in 1937 in the background of World War II.

In 1949, the civil war ended with the Communist Party of China emerging victorious, and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established. Chiang Kai-Shek and his soldiers escaped to Taiwan where they established their rule. Until 1971, the Republic of China (ROC) was accepted by the United Nations as a Chinese representative, after which it started recognizing the People’s Republic of China as the official representative.

Communist Regime
In 1949, Mao Zedong became the Chairman of the CPC and the ruler of China. His method was different from the initial ideology of Marxism-Leninism, which created a branch of the Marxist ideology known as Maoism.

The Great Leap Forward
Mao initiated the Great Leap Forward in 1958, with the aim of changing China from an agrarian society to a communist and self-sufficient industrial nation. The move shifted people into communes, changed the farming techniques, and forced people to produce steel in their backyards. At the same time, Mao also ran the Four Pests Campaign which sought to kill rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows as they spread diseases or ate the crops. The government even declared birds as “public animals of capitalism”.

The Leap Forward failed disastrously as the agricultural output was damaged severely while the steel production proved futile. With the step being combined with disasters like floods, 20-48 million people died, with the majority of the deaths occurring due to starvation.

Cultural Revolution
The Cultural Revolution was initiated by Mao in 1966. The movement aimed to “crush” people living the “capitalist” mode of life and to ‘re-educate’ people in Maoism. Initially, schools and places of religious worship were closed down to be restructured. However, the movement turned violent as the Red Guards, comprising of students, started killing intellectuals, opposition members, and anyone deemed “capitalist”.

The movement ended in 1976 with the death of Mao, with more than 2 million deaths reported.

Deng Rule
Deng Xiaoping of the CPC took the lead after the death of Mao in 1976. He decreased the authoritarianism of the government and removed the restrictions imposed on the market. His adding of the ‘free market’ to the communist nation created ‘market socialism’ for China, which has decreased the poverty rate from 90% in 1981 to 2% in 2013. Deng also made peace with Japan to a certain extent and implemented the ‘1 child’ policy to control the population explosion in China. He also imposed the limit of 2 consecutive terms for Presidency, which was recently modified by the current President Xi Jinping.

  • Chiang Kai-shek was a Chinese nationalist politician, revolutionary and military leader who served as the leader of the Republic of China. Chiang was the longest-serving non-royal ruler of China who held the post for 46 years.
  • The Qin dynasty was the first dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. The dynasty was founded by Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin.
  • The Qing dynasty was the last imperial dynasty of China. It was established in 1636 and ruled China proper from 1644 to 1912. It was preceded by the Ming dynasty and succeeded by the Republic of China. It was the fifth largest empire in world history in terms of territorial size.

Changed Rajya Sabha Look After Recent Elections

Recent elections of Rajya Sabha changed the distribution of seats in the house while adding familiar faces to the Upper House of India. It has also brought the NDA near to having majority in the Upper House as well.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Elections
On 19 June, 2020, elections took place for 19 seats out of the 61 vacant ones, with the rest 42 being filled unopposed. BJP won 8 seats, while the Congress secured 4 seats.

BJP has now 83 seats in the Rajya Sabha, while its coalition NDA including JDU, SAD, and other parties now has 100+ seats. The NDA now constitutes ~50% of the total 245 seats in the Upper House of Parliament.

Scindia Defection Pays Off
Jyotiraditya Scindia was among the winners of BJP in Madhya Pradesh. In March 2020, he quit the Congress party and joined BJP. In the process, several of his supporting MLAs defected with him, which resulted in the fall of Congress government in Madhya Pradesh.

About RS
Rajya Sabha is also known as the Upper House of the Parliament. It can have a maximum of 250 members, out of which 12 would be appointed by the President of India. The elected members serve for a tenure of 6 years, and 1/3rd of the total members retire every 2nd year.

Members of the Upper House are elected by the Legislative Representatives of the concerned State or Union Territory. By-elections take place when a vacancy is created before the end of the tenure of the respective seat, with the elected member serving for the remaining term.

  • The Leader of the House is a Rajya Sabha member who is either a cabinet minister or another nominated minister. The Leader has a seat next to the Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha in the front row. Thaawar Chand Gehlot is currently the leader of the upper house of Indian Parliament.
  • Besides the Leader of the House, who is leading the majority, there is also a Leader of the Opposition (LOP) – leading the opposition parties. The function was only recognized in the Salary and Allowances of Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament Act, 1977. This is commonly the leader of the largest non-government party and is recognized by the Chairman.
  • Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV) is a 24×7 parliamentary TV channel owned and operated by the body. The channel aims to provide in-depth coverage and analysis of parliamentary affairs, especially its functioning and policy development. During sessions, RSTV provides live coverage and presents an analysis of the proceedings of the House.