Vox Box: What do our readers feel about the race riots in USA?

Last week we asked our instagram followers to raise your voice on the race riots in USA. Here’s a compilation of the top answers in no particular order.

Vox Populi

This situation is becoming worse..This 2020 was a nightmare and now this. All should treat everyone as their equals. Why to do discrimination? Why to go with completion?Everyone are humans and they have the same rights as others.. Let’s hope for the best to come…
I think that if we look at the past ,this situation is better..because this time those white people are also sending pled, taking part in protests and wearing the black out Tuesday and black lives matter shirts and all those placards..
I don’t know why most of the people think that black people are not equal as they are…Let’s post on insta with hashtag black out Tuesday….May god make this situation better and people forget discrimination..

Jyoti Boparai @jyotiboparai238

Racism is not acceptable but
I think it’s their internal matter,
When we as Indians expect not to interfere in our bilateral or internal issues with Pakistan and China from USA, Indians should not interfere themselves in their internal issues.

Sharv Kothari @k_sharv

Racism a concept that exists with us since long ago. It has become a part and parcel of the dark people and the bad thing about it is it judges you only on basis of your external appearance. It is a way of humiliation caused by Powerful and those who consider oneself superior over the other. It is a weed and it can be treated only when we start from ourselves. We should be the initiater of change .

Ankita Thakur @ankita5408

I’m just surprised that systematic subjugation of Indians are so prevalent that we have gotten used to it. Kudos to anyone speaking up against it.

Pradunma Choudhury @amnudarp

Criminals playing the victim card is the latest trend,today USA tomorrow India.

Vishwas Shetty @vishwas1876

It is a terrible thing going out there and it’s not the first time though.. it has happened in the past too but I think China 🇨🇳 is taking or will take advantage of this thing.

Swastik Tiwari @swastik_t16

BHIM Data Exposed Through Partner Website

BHIM, an Indian app for online transactions, recently witnessed a leak of important data of users through one of its partner sites. While the government has denied a breach, the report mentions data leak of millions of users.

Crux of the Matter

Leaked Data
vpnMentor, an Israeli cyber-security firm, reported a breach of data used to register for the BHIM app, an Indian application for online payments launched in 2016 after demonetization. Reportedly, data of over 7 million users have been leaked. The data was available publicly till 22 May 2020 on Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 Bucket, which is a type of cloud storage.

The leaked documents include those documents used for app registration:

  • Aadhar Cards
  • PAN Cards
  • Caste Certificates
  • Residential Proofs
  • Bank Records

How Did The Data Leak?
The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) developed the BHIM app in collaboration with CSC e-Government Services Ltd, which is a non-government company now affiliated to the Indian government by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) provision. The website for CSC uses the gov.in domain, and collaborated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for its cloud storage, using its S3 Bucket storage to store the data for BHIM.

vpnMentor has absolved AWS from the data breach and has placed the responsibility on CSC for its negligence in configuring the storage for data upload.

Govt Denies
While the Israeli firm has claimed a serious leak, the Indian Govt has denied any data breach in its statement.

We have come across some news reports which suggest data breach at BHIM App. We would like to clarify that there has been no data compromise at BHIM App and request everyone to not fall prey to such speculations.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

While the breach did not leak the app users’ data, important documents used in the registration were disclosed to the public.

  • In May 2019 Australian graphic design tool website Canva suffered an attack that exposed email addresses, usernames, names, cities of residence, and salted and hashed with bcrypt passwords (for users not using social logins) of 137 million users. Canva said the hackers managed to view, but not steal, files with partial credit card and payment data.
  • A backdoor in a computer system, a cryptosystem, or an algorithm, is any secret method of bypassing normal authentication or security controls. They may exist for a number of reasons, including by original design or from poor configuration.
  • BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) named after B. R. Ambedkar, was launched on 30 December 2016 to facilitate e-payments directly through banks as part of the 2016 Indian banknote demonetization and drive towards cashless transactions.

USA Aflame With Race Riots

Race riots in US

US witnessed surge in hate-crimes specifically against black people in recent. The incident of Minneapolis has brought the whole country out on streets to protest against police brutality and hatred towards the black race. The protests have evoked various reactions across the world.

Crux of the Matter

Minneapolis Mayhem
On 25 May 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man was killed by police, which was called on Floyd after he was accused of using fake currency. Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, choked Floyd by placing his knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. The incident occurred in daylight, with several bystanders recording while requesting Chauvin to spare the unarmed man. Floyd repeatedly requested mercy, even pleading “I can’t breathe” before succumbing to death.

Georgia Grieving
On 23 February 2020, a 25-year-old black man was killed in a similar hate crime. Ahmaud Arbery, the victim, was jogging when he was spotted by Gregory McMichaels and his son Travis McMichael. The father-son pair perceived him as a burglar and chased after him in their truck, and ended up shooting Arbery dead. While the incident occurred in February, the arrests were made in May after mass protests began

Hate-Crimes In US
Hate crimes are attacks against people or property motivated by prejudices concerning gender, race, sexual orientation, disability, etc. In US, while the total number of hate crimes has remained steady, the number of hate crimes specifically against the black race and different ethnicities reached its 16-year high in 2018.

Timeline Of Racial Riots In US
While slavery was abolished in 1865, hatred based on race and colour has continued in US. Following is the timeline of major racial riots:

  • 1865: Slavery is abolished
  • 1992: Los Angeles riots after 4 white policemen beat a black bike rider
  • 1996: Florida riots after an unarmed black man shot dead by several white police officers
  • 2001: Cincinnati riots after an unarmed black civilian killed by police
  • 2014: Missouri riots after a black teenage boy killed by a white police officer, who fired 12 times while claiming self-defense
  • 2020: Minneapolis riots after George Floyd’s death

Massive protests have ensued across the country, with several celebrities supporting the movement from US and the world. President Trump used the line “when the looting starts, the shooting stars” to express disapproval of violence in protests. The line was used by Walter Headley in 1967, Miami’s police chief, to show strictness against protesters demanding racial equality.

China has expressed solidarity with the protesters amidst continuous attacks by US for its dealings with Hong Kong and Taiwan. In a statement, China urged US to focus on internal issues before interfering in foreign affairs.

Racial Discrimination In Every-day Life

  • According to a 2017 report, black people constitute 12% of total US adult population.
  • 33% of prisoners were black, signifying imbalance of arrests.
  • Poverty rate is the highest for African Americans, standing at 27.4% as compared to 9.9% for Whites.
  • Ratio of unarmed black people killed by police with that of unarmed white people is 17:12.
  • Number of black people killed by police per million is 6.6.
  • Number of white people killed by police per million is 2.5.
  • Hence, a black person is thrice more likely to be killed by a cop than a white person.
  • Fruitvale Station is a 2013 American biographical drama film written and directed by Ryan Coogler. The film is based on the events leading to the death of Oscar Grant, an African-American man who was fatally shot in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day 2009 by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle in Oakland, California. The film received critical acclaim and Ryan Coogler later directed Black Panther, highest-grossing black cast film worldwide.
  • “I Have a Dream” is a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. The speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement and among the most iconic speeches in American history.
  • Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation that existed in South Africa and Southwest Africa (now Namibia) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterized by an authoritarian political culture based on baasskap (or white supremacy), which ensured that South Africa was dominated politically, socially, and economically by the nation’s minority white population. Nelson Mandela was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election when the Apartheid legislation was repealed on 17 June 1991.

USA And China Continue Flexing Their Muscle In The International Arena

President of USA Trump and President of China Jinping

USA and China recently displayed international aggression as well as animosity at mutual level. The developments come in the light of new laws and treaties, all amidst the time of heavy loss due to the lockdown imposed to curb Coronavirus’s spread.

Crux of the Matter

China And Hostilities In HK
China recently proposed the ‘New Security’ Law for Hong-Kong (HK), which is tied to China in ‘1 country, 2 systems’ manner. The law enables strict action against “treason, secession, sedition & subversion” directed towards Chinese Govt in HK, and would enable the Chinese Govt to eliminate any type of protest swiftly. The law was first introduced in 2003, but it was never drafted properly after mass protests from HK civilians fearing for their loss of freedom of speech.

Hong Kong’s History

  • 1997: Britain gives up its colony Hong Kong to China and integration occurs by ‘1 Country, 2 Systems‘ provision. China grants significant liberty in business and freedom of speech otherwise not provided in China.
  • 2003: More than 500,000 citizens protest against the introduction of ‘Security Law’, which is being reintroduced in 2020.
  • 2010s: Demand for Independent Hong Kong increases.
  • 2019: Mass-protests in HK to oppose Extradition law, which would allow China to have particular criminals from HK on trial in Chinese Courts.

1 Country, 2 Systems
China is engaged with Macau and Hong Kong in ‘1 Country, 2 Systems’ provision, and has tried to bind Taiwan with the same. Recent times have seen an increase of demand for Independence from China, particularly in the latter 2. Re-election of Tsai-Ing-wen as Taiwanese President saw open rejection of the policy amidst calls for inclusion of Taiwan in UN and WHO.

In 2005, China passed the ‘Anti-Secession’ law which enables it to take “non-peaceful” measures against Taiwan if it declares independence from China. Analysts are apprehending the same fate for HK which might turn into reality if unchecked.

USA Out Of The ‘Open Skies’
Trump recently announced the decision to withdraw from the ‘Open Skies Treaty’. The treaty allows member nations to fly unarmed aircraft over other member nations to observe their military forces’ development. The treaty came into effect from January 2002, and had 34 members including the USA, Russia, Germany, Belgium, etc. Trump pointed to Russia’s violation of the pact as a reason to withdraw. However, he has kept options open for reconciliation in the future.

Trump’s Major Withdrawals

  • May 2018: Pulls out of the ‘Iran Nuclear Agreement’ which restricted Iran’s nuclear development.
  • August 2019: Withdraws from the ‘Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty’ with Russia in which the 2 countries agreed to dismantle their stock of intermediate range land missiles.
  • May 2020: Withdrawal from ‘Open Skies Treaty’, making it the 3rd major pull-out by Trump during his tenure.

USA and China at Loggerheads
USA and China are the world’s largest and second-largest economies respectively. However, they saw a loss of 4.8% and 6.8% in GDP respectively due to Coronavirus. The USA is one of the worst-hit countries due to Coronavirus, while China is facing the wrath of nations for opaqueness in sharing information on Covid-19. USA openly accuses China of hiding information regarding the virus, which China has denied.

The tensions increased with Tsai-Ing-wen’s victory as Taiwan’s President. In reaction to China flying fighter planes in the Taiwanese border, US sailed armed ships in the China-Taiwan strait. The USA also backed Hong Kong in the latest development, warning China of “strong reaction” if the security law is passed.

  • Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code lays down the punishment for sedition. The Indian Penal Code was enacted in 1860, under the British Raj. Throughout the Raj, this section was used to suppress activists in favor of national independence, including Lokmanya Tilak and Mahatma Gandhi, both of whom were found guilty and imprisoned.
  • For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers, and diplomats secret. The company, Crypto AG flush with cash, became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades and sold its equipment to more than 120 countries. On 11 February 2020, The Washington Post, ZDF (German Broadcaster) and SRF (Swiss Broadcaster) revealed that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence.
  • Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The colony was further extended when Britain obtained a 99-year lease in 1898. The whole territory was returned to China in 1997, although Hong Kong maintains separate governing and economic systems from that of mainland China under a principle of “one country, two systems”.

Venezuela President Charged with Drug Trafficking by US


The USA has declared a bounty of $55 million for information on connections of the President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro and his associates in drug trafficking and narco-terrorism.

Crux of the Matter

Maduro has had topsy-turvy relations with the US since his re-election in the 2018 elections. The US accused Maduro of occupying the Presidential post unconstitutionally in the country. But Maduro, backed by Russia and China, continued serving as the President.

The US declared charges against Maduro after an investigation by US Federal services. The US said that strict steps are necessary to remove deeply rooted corruption in Venezuela that has resulted in the crippling of its democracy and democratic values. Allegations on Maduro are that he helped the Colombian revolutionary group, the FARC for drug trafficking and flooding the United States with Cocaine. He is also accused of facilitating drug trafficking routes through air and water via Venezuela along with running a drug cartel even though he is occupying a government office.

Thus amid escalating tension, US and US allies evacuated their embassies from Venezuela. Besides Maduro, the US has filed charges against more than a dozen others that include Venezuelan government and intelligence officials and members of the Colombian rebel group FARC.

Maduro defended himself by saying that Donald Trump is politically motivated to remove him from the office. He added that before the US Presidential election, such a move might give Donald Trump fame, and thus he is trying hard to make it more political. He further said that by hook or crook the US wants him to vacate his post.


Nicolás Maduro Moros is a Venezuelan politician serving as president of Venezuela since 2013. His presidency has been disputed by Juan Guaidó since January 2019. Beginning his working life as a bus driver, Maduro rose to become a trade union leader before being elected to the National Assembly in 2000. He was appointed to a number of positions under President Hugo Chávez and was described in 2012 by the Wall Street Journal as the “most capable administrator and politician of Chávez’s inner circle”. He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2006 to 2013 and as vice president of Venezuela from 2012 to 2013 under Chávez. After Chávez’s death was announced on 5 March 2013, Maduro assumed the presidency.

Shortages in Venezuela and decreased living standards led to protests beginning in 2014 that escalated into daily marches nationwide, repression of dissent and a decline in Maduro’s popularity. According to The New York Times, Maduro’s administration was held “responsible for grossly mismanaging the economy and plunging the country into a deep humanitarian crisis” and attempting to “crush the opposition by jailing or exiling critics, and using lethal force against anti-government protesters”. An opposition-led National Assembly was elected in 2015 and a movement toward recalling Maduro began in 2016. Maduro called for a rewrite of the constitution, and the Constituent Assembly of Venezuela was elected in 2017, under what many—including Venezuela’s chief prosecutor Luisa Ortega and Smartmatic, the company that ran the voting machines—considered irregular voting conditions; the majority of its members were pro-Maduro. On 20 May 2018, presidential elections were called prematurely, opposition leaders had been jailed, exiled or forbidden to run, there was no international observation, and tactics to suggest voters could lose their jobs or social welfare if they did not vote for Maduro were used. Multiple nations did not recognize the Constituent Assembly election or the validity of Maduro’s 2018 reelection;the Canadian, Panamanian, and the United States governments sanctioned Maduro. More Info