Friday, March 18, 2022

Top India Analysts Dispel "India's Size Illusion"

India's leaders and their western boosters have been promoting the country as an emerging superpower to counter rising China. They cite the size of India's economy, demography, military and consumer market to back up their assertions. These claims are challenged by India's former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian and Josh Felman, former head of IMF in India, in an article titled "India's Size Illusion".  In a similar article titled "The Chinese Threat No One Is Talking About — And How to Counter It", Sameer Lalwani, a senior fellow for Asia strategy at the Stimson Center, has raised serious questions about India's ability to counter China in the Indian Ocean region. 

Modi Claims 56 inch Chest 

Modi's 56 inch Chest:

"Desh ka bahut nuksaan hua hai", acknowledged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after his military's 2019 failures against Pakistan in Balakot and Kashmir. This marked a major shift in Modi's belligerent tone that has been characterized by his boasts of "chhappan inch ki chhati" (56 inch chest) and  talk of  "munh tor jawab" (jaw-breaking response) and "boli nahin goli" (bullets, not talks) to intimidate Pakistan in the last few years.  These events should force India's western backers to reassess their strategy of boosting India as a counterweight to China.

India's Illusions:

Indian government's former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian has enumerated and challenged arguments for what he calls "India's Size Illusion" as follows:

1. India’s economic size has not translated into commensurate military strength. Part of the problem is simple geography. (German Chancellor Otto Von) Bismarck (1815-1898) supposedly said that the US is bordered on two sides by weak neighbors and on two sides by fish. India, however, does not enjoy such splendid isolation. Ever since independence, it has been confronted on its Western frontier by Pakistan, a highly armed, chronically hostile, and often military-ruled neighbor. More recently, India’s northern neighbor, China, also has become aggressive, repudiating the territorial status quo, occupying contested land in the Himalayas, reclaiming territory in the east, and building up a large military presence along India’s borders. So, India may have fish for neighbors along its long peninsular coast, but on land it faces major security challenges on two fronts.

2.  Then there is the question of market size. As Pennsylvania State University’s Shoumitro Chatterjee and one of us (Subramanian) have shown, India’s middle-class market for consumption is much smaller than the $3 trillion headline GDP number suggests, because many people have limited purchasing power while a smaller number of well-off people tend to save a lot. In fact, the effective size of India’s consumer market is less than $1 trillion, far smaller than China’s and even smaller relative to the potential world export market of nearly $30 trillion.

Indo-Pacific Dominance:

In an article titled "The Chinese Threat No One Is Talking About — And How to Counter It", Sameer Lalwani, a senior fellow for Asia strategy at the Stimson Center, has raised serious doubts about India's ability to counter China in the Indian Ocean region. Here are a couple of excerpts from the article:

1. China has been building dozens of advanced warships that seem poised to head toward the vast body of water through which 80 percent of global seaborne trade transits.....Indeed, a deeper (US) partnership with India — the world’s largest democracy, on an upward economic trajectory, seemingly perfectly positioned to counter China on land and at sea — has been something of a holy grail for at least four U.S. administrations.......Yet what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a decade ago called a “strategic bet” on India does not seem to be paying off. Indian naval and political power in the Indian Ocean region is faltering, giving way to influence by Beijing. Many of these problems are of India’s own making.

2. There is increasing discussion and advocacy among China’s foreign policy scholars and former officials about an Indian Ocean fleet. Indeed, the idea is consistent with China’s efforts to acquire military facilities in the Horn of Africa, on Pakistan’s Indian Ocean coast, in Myanmar and in the UAE, which offers access to the Persian Gulf. China has also engaged in intelligence collection efforts in the region and increased its port visits and diplomatic presence.

India's "Accidental" Missile Firing:

India's March 9 "accidental firing" of Brahmos nuclear-capable supersonic cruise missile into Pakistan has raised serious questions about the safety of the Indian nuclear arsenal. Do the people in charge of India's nukes have basic competence to handle such weapons? Was this really an "unauthorized" or "accidental" firing? Why was there a long delay by New Delhi in acknowledging the incident?  Could Pakistan be blamed if it assumed that extremist right-wing Hindu elements had taken control of the missile system in India and fired it deliberately into Pakistani territory? Has the Indian government risked the lives of 1.6 billion people of South Asia?

Could this "errant" missile brought down commercial passenger planes that were in the air at the time of this "accidental" firing? Here's an excerpt from Bloomberg detailing air traffic in the flight path of the Indian Brahmos:

"Several planes passed through the direct trajectory of the missile that day, which flew from the Indian garrison town of Ambala and ended up in Mian Channu in Eastern Pakistan. They included a Flydubai jet heading to Dubai from Sialkot, an IndiGo plane going from Srinagar to Mumbai and an Airblue Ltd. flight from Lahore to Riyadh. All crossed the missile’s trajectory within an hour of its accidental launch, data from flight-tracking application Flightradar24 show.  Other international flights in the vicinity of the missile’s trajectory -- and within its range -- included a Kuwait Airways Co. jet heading to Guangzhou, China from Kuwait City, a Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to Riyadh from New Delhi, and a Qatar Airways service from Kathmandu to Doha, the data show. No advisory to pilots operating in the vicinity -- known as a notice to airmen or NOTAM -- was issued". 

India: A Paper Elephant:

In an article titled "Paper Elephant", the Economist magazine talked about how India has ramped up its military spending and emerged as the world's largest arms importer. "Its military doctrine envisages fighting simultaneous land wars against Pakistan and China while retaining dominance in the Indian Ocean", the article said. It summed up the situation as follows: "India spends a fortune on defense and gets poor value for money".

After the India-Pakistan aerial combat over Kashmir, New York Times published a story from its South Asia correspondent headlined: "After India Loses Dogfight to Pakistan, Questions Arise About Its Military".  Here are some excerpts of the report:

"Its (India's) loss of a plane last week to a country (Pakistan) whose military is about half the size and receives a quarter (a sixth according to SIPRI) of the funding is telling. ...India’s armed forces are in alarming shape....It was an inauspicious moment for a military the United States is banking on to help keep an expanding China in check".


Sher said...

India is in defense posture due to geography and the Chinese always knew that the Pakistanis are the kingmakers in the region and India can't bypass Pakistan and despite it's size the Chinese also know Pakistan is stronger then India..

If China were to fight India or Pakistan.. They will find the Pakistanis to be a foe 4 times tougher to take on compared to the Indians..

Why do you think the whole region is called after a river in Pakistan because that is the seat of control and power period and the remaining just used to be Pakistani colony for thousands of years.. This was never a fluke

Ashutosh said...

Sher: Chinese also know Pakistan is stronger then India.."

Why have we not solved the Kashmir dispute then? Why hasn’t Pakistani been able to force a solution?

Mo said...

If anything looking at the performance of the Russians in Ukraine, wouldn't be surprised if we see something similar from the Indians given that they receive the same equipment and likely have imported similar doctrines. Forget about 2 front war, they will be hard pressed to even deal with 1 front.

Ashutosh said...

I agree with the assessment that there is a perceptible inflation of India’s true size. War would be a stalemate unless it’s a war of attrition. The solution to the problem, in my opinion, is not a military one. I also don’t believe that Pakistan has any meaningful edge in this fight, which is what I am trying to point out.

Pak said...


Good points.

I was recently reading an article written by Lt Gen Pang that India doesn't have conventional strength to win and achieve its objectives against Pak.
As far as Pak is concerned, the only thing they are interested in at the moment is successfully defending itself against Indian adventures. The time Pak starts to increase its conventional size to x3 that of India , is when I would start to think they are being serious to take Kashmir. As for now , status quo will hold.

Mo said...

The Indian military is very much like the Russian Military, more then they would like to admit. And Ukraine’s defense of itself should give Indians pause if they think Pakistan will be a pushover. India might win a battle here or there initially, but would be repulsed.

Riaz Haq said...

#WorldHappinessReport: #India among unhappiest nations, languishes at 136th spot. In #SouthAsia, only Taliban-ruled Afghanistan fared worse than India. #Afghanistan was named the most unhappy country in the world, ranking last on the index of 146 countries

India continued to fare poorly in the world happiness index, with its position marginally improving to 136 as against last year’s 139.

Among the South Asian nations, only Taliban-ruled Afghanistan fared worse than India. Afghanistan was named the most unhappy country in the world, ranking last on the index of 146 countries. Nepal (84), Bangladesh (94), Pakistan (121) and Sri Lanka (127) managed to get better ranks in the list.

Finland topped the list for the fifth time in a row, according to the 10th edition of the World Happiness Report.

Finland was followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Among other western countries, while the United States managed to bag the 16th position, Britain was ranked 17th and France 20th.

The Happiness report also stated that India was one among the countries that witnessed, over the past 10 years, a fall in life evaluations by more than a full point on the 0 to 10 scale.

samir sardana said...

Chaiwala has a 56 inch chest - like a water buffalo.

What is the waist and hip size,of the Chaiwala - is the real question.

India has fish, on 2 sides and 200 million cows - but it does NOT,eat that fish

Indians eat the fish of the Ponds and rivers,which feed on cadavers,of humans and animals

What Indo-Pacific ?

Let us assume that the PLN and Indian Navy are equally skilled (which is not the case)

Who has better technology ? It is PLN
Who has more ships,subs,AWACs,Drones,Minelayers and sweepers ... ? It is PLN

QED ! PLN wll wipe out the Hindoo Navy !

If the Indian Navy is in a COMBO with the US Navy - then the equation changes.BUT THAT ASSUMES THAT THE PLN will be sleeping for the next 10 years !

India is a Paper Elephant - except that the paper is made from Elephant Poo

Indians revel in dung - cow dung,cock dung and elephant dung,and its corollary - cow urine

When Indians revelled in this genius - it was their golden age.When they became ambitious and stepped out of their core competence (like Chaiwala),then disaster struck India - every time - and that is the history of India ! dindooohindoo

samir sardana said...

The Fatal Flaw of India,is not its impotent military and polity,and corrupt bureaucracy and industry.

It lies within !

It has 1.4 billion people,of whom,most are living in,penury and subsistence.Cows have more rights than Indians - and rightly so - as Cows give milk,dung,urine,tractor power and meat,and also reproduce,and can be used,to make power.


100s of millions of Indians do NOT have jobs and will NEVER have jobs
GOI is downsizing,selling and outsourcing
Indian Banks are BUST








The Japanese Premier is in India with Chaiwala

He expected Chaiwala to condemn Russia in UKR - but Chaiwala is MUM - and deflected to Indo-pacific.The Guajarati Dishwasher's son,cannot locate the Indian Ocean,and the Pacific Ocean !

The Japanese thought that INDIA AS A PART OF QUAD will coordinate on the issue of UKR - BUT INDIA DID NOT DO SO !

Nippon is betting on the wrong donkey - Chaiwala Modi.The issue is NOT that Nippon is concerned,about Ukraine !

The issue is that,Russia is a neighbor of Nippon, and has a border dispute with Nippon. Russia and Nippon have fought,many naval wars !

The QUAD is not even together, on the issue of UKRAINE.Can QUAD rely on the Indian weasels, to send its woeful navy ,to fight the PLN ?

QUAD has no alignment,on CORE PRINCIPLES.

India is a poor and vulnerable nation ,which is in a pathetic decline,and is overpopulated.

A nation with 100s of millions jobless and dependent on foreign oil - CANNOT BE AN ALLY FOR NIPPON.. Oil at 100 USD for 6 months,will destroy India (assuming that PRC does not invade,before that)

Indians CANNOT EVEN control ,the Brahmos - what will these fools do,with their dud navy ?

Only the US Navy and the UK Navy can save Japan - besides a BMD and Japan going Nuclear.

Japan has a huge stockpile of Plutonium - time to use it.dindooohindoo

Riaz Haq said...

'We may soon top hate and anger charts': Rahul Gandhi after #India ranked below #Pakistan in #WorldHappinessReport2022. #Modi #BJP #Hindutva #Islamophobia #hate

In the World Happiness Report 2022, India saw a marginal improvement in its happiness ranking. The country jumped three spots this year to 136. However, India is ranked even below Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are placed at 121 and 94 respectively.

Meanwhile, in an apparent jibe at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led ruling dispensation, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said India would soon top hate and anger charts.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: "Hunger Rank: 101, Freedom Rank: 119, Happiness Rank: 136. But, we may soon top the Hate and Anger charts!"

Finland has been named the world's happiest country for the fifth year running, while Afghanistan has been named the unhappiest, closely followed by Lebanon.

The United States rose three places to 16th, one ahead of Britain. France climbed to 20th, its highest ranking yet.

The World Happiness Report ranks countries based on several factors such as real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

It is based on two key ideas – happiness or life evaluation measured through opinion surveys and identifying key elements that determine well-being and life evaluation across countries.

Riaz Haq said...

Christopher Clary
"If the logic of a multipolar world leads to a ‘unipolar Asia’ led by China, India might find itself in the fire rather than the frying pan. If... India’s main objective is to construct a ‘multipolar Asia’, it would need the cooperation of the US..."


Diplomacy for the new decade

C. RAJA MOHAN (2010)

INDIAN diplomacy has ended the first decade of the 21st century on an impressive note. The rash of civil nuclear cooperation agreements that Delhi has signed with many countries in 2009 underlines the significance of the controversial but consequential Indo-U.S. engagement through the decade. Delhi’s outreach to Washington, despite the persistent scepticism on the left and right of the Indian political spectrum, not only ended three and a half decades of Indian isolation on global nuclear issues but also created new space for Delhi in dealing with the unending conflict with Pakistan, and catapulted India into the same league as a rising China in international perceptions. Put simply, three long-standing objectives of Indian foreign policy – a claim to parity with China, elevation above Pakistan, and the acceptance of its status as a nuclear weapon power – were all realized substantively, if not in a full measure.

Pacifying the Trans-Indus Territories: Although the renewed American focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan under the Obama Administration has concentrated the whole world’s attention on this region, our north-western frontiers have always been the major source of external threat to India. For millennia, the turbulent region between the Indus river and the Hindu Kush mountains has attracted foreign invaders and challenged the authority of large empires in the Indian heartland. That basic framework has not changed after the Partition and Independence. For more than sixty years, all of India’s external and internal security challenges expressed themselves together and in the sharpest possible form in the trans-Indus regions. That context has only become more acute at the turn of the decade, as the U.S. escalates the war in Afghanistan in what could be one last shot at regaining the initiative, and the militants retaliate by stepping up terrorist attacks all across urban Pakistan.


While sceptics are right to caution against exaggerated expectations on what the world can deliver in Pakistan and Afghanistan, India loses nothing in engaging the Obama Administration in a purposeful dialogue. Given the scale of threat that Pakistan poses to the region and the world, the real dangers of a collapsing nuclear state in Pakistan, and prospect of Al Qaeda and its affiliates establishing a permanent home in the Af-Pak region, the U.S. can no longer conduct business as usual in Pakistan. The question for India is not whether it should work with the rest of the world in stabilizing the Af-Pak region, but how best we can leverage the current international interest in the subcontinent.

Meanwhile India must continue to develop its own independent policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan. During the last few years, India has emerged as a major investor and partner of post-Taliban Afghanistan. The UPA government has also invested heavily in finding lasting peace with Pakistan and settling all outstanding disputes including Jammu and Kashmir. While the peace process has stalled since the Mumbai terror attacks in November 2008, India’s objective cannot be a simple return to the old framework of the composite dialogue. Delhi must instead find an approach that will strengthen our potential partners for peace in Pakistan and isolate those who are irreconcilably hostile to normalization of relations with India.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's External Affairs Minister: '#China shouldn't allow #Pakistan to dictate its #India policy'. Jaishankar hosted #Chinese FM in #Delhi 2 days after #Modi gov't strongly criticized Wang's statement in support of #Kashmiris' rights at #OICInPakistan.

China should not allow its policy towards India be influenced by Pakistan, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar tacitly conveyed to his counterpart in the communist country's government, Wang Yi, on Friday.

“I referred to it. I explained to him why we found that statement objectionable,” the External Affairs Minister said after his meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister. “There was a larger context as well. You know, I conveyed that we hoped that China would follow an independent policy in respect of India, and not allow its policies to be influenced by other countries and other relationships.” Wang had on Wednesday attended a meeting of the OIC hosted by the Government of Pakistan. He had made a statement endorsing the OIC's support for the movement for “right to self-determination” in Jammu and Kashmir.


China had in 2019 joined its “iron-brother” Pakistan to launch a campaign against India at the United Nations and other international forums, opposing the move made by the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and split the state into two union territories.

Riaz Haq said...

#China's #birth rate in alarming decline. Could it impact #Chinese #economic growth rate? Could China get old before it gets rich? Is #India better placed than China in terms of #demographics? #population #economy #fertility

Cai Fang, a member of the People’s Bank of China’s monetary policy committee, said it is ‘entirely possible’ that the world’s largest population will peak in 2022
Yicai reported that seven out of the 16 provinces that have so far disclosed birth data saw negative population growth in 2021

China’s population is likely to peak this year, a central bank adviser said, with several provinces already reporting declines in the population growth rate.
Cai Fang, a member of the People’s Bank of China’s monetary policy committee, said it is “entirely possible” that the world’s largest population will peak in 2022, according to a report in the 21st Century Business Herald.
Separately, Yicai reported that seven out of the 16 provinces that have so far disclosed birth data saw negative population growth in 2021.
With a declining labour force already acting as a constraint on the supply side of the economy, a shrinking population will become a new restriction on the demand side, Cai said late on Friday.

A mismatch between demand and supply would curb economic growth, he said.
One way to boost demand is by granting migrant workers who work in the city residency permits, known as a hukou, Cai said, predicting the move alone could grow total consumption by 30 per cent.
A hukou is a household registration document all Chinese citizens must have that controls access to public services based on the birthplace of the holder. Migrant workers will hold hukou from their hometowns, meaning that they will have very limited rights to public services in any other city that they move to for work.
China should also take concrete measures to support household income growth, Cai said, to cope with the new demographic changes.

China had a population of 1.4126 billion at the end of last year, with the growth rate rising at the slowest pace since the 1950s.
The number of babies born in China in 2021 was 10.62 million, down from 12 million in 2020, according to the National Statistics Bureau.
Populations in the provinces of Jiangsu and Hubei, as well as in the Inner Mongolia, autonomous region, dropped for the first time in recent decades, according to the Yicai report.
The biggest decline was in Heilongjiang, where the population fell by 0.51 per cent last year, it said.
Adding to the trend, a separate Yicai report said the number of marriages in 2021 hit the lowest since records began in 1986. The 7.6 million registrations last year was 56.6 per cent of the peak reached in 2013, it said.

Riaz Haq said...

#China's #birth rate in alarming decline. Could it impact #Chinese #economic growth rate? Could China get old before it gets rich? Is #India better placed than China in terms of #demographics? #population #economy #fertility

A social media post in early March claiming that India had become the world’s most populous country created a storm in China.
The post claimed India’s population had hit 1.415 billion and was widely shared on social media, adding to rocky relations between Beijing and New Delhi and concerns over domestic growth hurdles in China, while also fuelling discussions about a host of social issues.
Demographic issues have been a hot topic in China since last year, when the once-a-decade census found the national fertility rate was alarmingly low.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #Citibank left #India. Some experts have blamed Indian #banking’s bad-loan crisis. Citi, which has been present in India for over a century, is not the first foreign bank to exit or scale down operations. #Modi #economy #BJP #Hindutva via @qzindia

Almost immediately after Citigroup’s announced its decision last year, FirstRand Bank, too, followed suit. South Africa‘s second-largest bank has $118 billion in assets in India.

Barclays, HSBC and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, too, have downsized due to high capital requirements and costs.

Foreign banks have been struggling due to increased competition from domestic players, differences in compliance guidelines, and poor asset quality issues, among other reasons.

Some experts have blamed Indian banking’s bad-loan crisis.

“We believe our capital, investment dollars, and other resources are better deployed against higher returning opportunities in wealth management and our institutional businesses in Asia,” Citigroup’s global CEO Jane Fraser had said last year.

In 2013, RBI had announced guidelines for foreign banks, asking them to either operate through branch presence or set up wholly-owned subsidiaries to be treated at par with Indian banks. While the business models of some banks did not allow the subsidiary route, only a few got licences to open fresh branches.

Some have survived, though.

Riaz Haq said...

#India #Electricity Crisis Worst Since Oct 2021: Many northern states suffered hours-long power outages in October, when a crippling #coal shortage caused the worst electricity deficit in nearly five years. #EnergyCrisis #BJP #Modi #economy #unemployment

The western state of Gujarat, one of the country's most industrialized, has ordered a staggered shutdown of "non-continuous process" industries in key cities next week, according to a government note reviewed by Reuters.

India's electricity shortage from March 1 to March 30 was its worst since October, a Reuters analysis of government data shows.

A surge in power demand in March has forced India to cut coal supplies to the non-power sector and put on hold plans for some fuel auctions for utilities without supply deals due to a slump in inventories.

Many northern states suffered hours-long power outages in October, when a crippling coal shortage caused the worst electricity deficit in nearly five years.

Shortages in the eastern state of Jharkhand and Uttarakhand in the north surpassed those of October, the latest data showed.

The western state of Gujarat, one of the country's most industrialised, has ordered a staggered shutdown of "non-continuous process" industries in key cities next week, according to a government note reviewed by Reuters.

A Gujarat energy department official said the move was due to power shortages and to facilitate continuous power supply to farmers, adding a similar strategy was last used in 2010. He declined to comment on how long the staggered shutdown will be in place.

The official declined to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh and the tourist resort state of Goa, which registered marginal shortages in October, suffered deficits several times larger in March.

The deficit in March was 574 million kilowatt-hours, a measure that multiplies power level by duration, a Reuters analysis of data from federal grid regulator POSOCO showed.

That amounted to 0.5% of overall demand for the period, or half the deficit of 1% in October.

The northern states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab and the eastern state of Bihar, some parts of which suffered widespread outages in October, accounted for most of the deficit in March, but shortfalls were lower, the data showed.

Riaz Haq said...

The #Hindu Right is turning against the #US. Until a few years ago, #Modi Bhakts were largely pro-US. Now, Joe #Biden is seen as antagonistic — if not to #India, then to the sort of India that Modi’s supporters want to create. #Hindutva #Islamophobia


Even while the war in Ukraine rages, however, we should be asking ourselves deeper questions. A few days ago, at the ABP Ideas of India Summit in Mumbai, I interviewed Fareed Zakaria. Fareed’s view was that over the last decade or so, India has become so inward-looking and obsessed with its own issues and divisions that it has not spent enough time thinking about its place in the world, going forward.

While we have been obsessed with headscarves and caste arithmetic, the world has rearranged itself. No matter what happens in Ukraine, Russia will come out of the war damaged. If it makes peace, then some of the sanctions imposed on it by the West may be moderated but it seems unlikely that Putin’s Russia will become a full-fledged member of the global economy for a long time.

In that case, it will have no choice but to move into the Chinese sphere of influence. One scenario sees Russia as a classic vassal state of the Chinese, supplying energy and raw materials to feed the Chinese military machine and its industrial complex. Pakistan and China are longstanding allies, so we will probably see the emergence of a Russia-China-Pakistan alliance.

India will then have two choices. Either we agree to accept China’s suzerainty over the East. Or we look for other options.

Should we choose the second path (and I imagine we will have to), then there really is nowhere to go but the West. At present, the West understands how India is constrained by its dependence on Russian weaponry. But in the long run, it will expect a greater measure of alignment. Is that something we have considered? Or are we too blinded by the rhetoric about anti-Hindu America and hypocritical Washington?

Sooner, rather than later, we will have to rescue reality from the rhetoric.

Riaz Haq said...

#US Monitoring Rise in Rights Abuses in #India by some gov’t, police & prison officials, #Blinken said today in a joint press briefing with Defense Sec Lloyd Austin, #Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar, India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. | World News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States was monitoring what he described as a rise in human rights abuses in India by some officials, in a rare direct rebuke by Washington of the Asian nation's rights record.

"We regularly engage with our Indian partners on these shared values (of human rights) and to that end, we are monitoring some recent concerning developments in India including a rise in human rights abuses by some government, police and prison officials," Blinken said on Monday in a joint press briefing with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh.

Blinken did not elaborate. Singh and Jaishankar, who spoke after Blinken at the briefing, did not comment on the human rights issue.

Blinken's remarks came days after U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar questioned the alleged reluctance of the U.S. government to criticize Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government on human rights.

"What does Modi need to do to India’s Muslim population before we will stop considering them a partner in peace?" Omar, who belongs to President Joe Biden's Democratic Party, said last week.

Modi's critics say his Hindu nationalist ruling party has fostered religious polarization since coming to power in 2014.

Since Modi came to power, right-wing Hindu groups have launched attacks on minorities claiming they are trying to prevent religious conversions. Several Indian states have passed or are considering anti-conversion laws that challenge the constitutionally protected right to freedom of belief.

In 2019, the government passed a citizenship law that critics said undermined India's secular constitution by excluding Muslim migrants from neighbouring countries. The law was meant to grant Indian nationality to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan before 2015.

In the same year, soon after his 2019 re-election win, Modi's government revoked the special status of Kashmir in a bid to fully integrate the Muslim-majority region with the rest of the country. To keep a lid on protests, the administration detained many Kashmir political leaders and sent many more paramilitary police and soldiers to the Himalayan region also claimed by Pakistan.

Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently banned wearing the hijab in classrooms in Karnataka state. Hardline Hindu groups later demanded such restrictions in more Indian states.

Riaz Haq said...

#US Professor Calls #India "Sh*****E". "They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh*thole,” UPennProfessor Amy Wax said. #Caste #Brahmin #Xenophobia #Hindu via @ndtv

Leading Indian-Americans, including US Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, have slammed a law professor from University of Pennsylvania for her disparaging comments about the Asian American community, with a specific disdain for Indian-Americans.
In a recent interview to Fox News, Prof Amy Wax from the University of Pennsylvania alleged that “Blacks” and “non-Western” groups have “a tremendous amount of resentment and shame against western people for [their] outsized achievements and contributions.” “Here's the problem. They're taught that they are better than everybody else because they are Brahmin elites and yet, on some level, their country is a sh*thole,” Wax, who has a long history of inflammatory remarks, said.

She also said that the westerners have outgunned and outclassed the Asian Americans in every way.

“They've realised that we've outgunned and outclassed them in every way… They feel anger. They feel envy. They feel shame. It creates ingratitude of the most monstrous kind,” she said.

Wax then targeted the influential Indian-American doctors' community as well. “They are on the ramparts for the antiracism initiative for ‘dump on America,'” she alleged.

The comment was condemned by the Indian-Americans across the US.

“After President Trump left office, I thought the days of calling others “shithole” countries were over,” Krishnamoorthi said in a tweet.

“As an Indian-American immigrant, I'm disgusted to hear this UPenn Professor define Indian-American immigrants, and all non-white Americans, in such insulting terms,” he said.

Stating that such comments are borne of hatred and fear, he emphasised that such talks make it much harder to accomplish common-sense immigration reform.

“Comments like these are borne of hatred and fear, and they lead to real harm for my constituents and our minority communities. They fuel hate crimes against minorities, and they make it much harder to accomplish common-sense immigration reform,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Indian-American Law professor Neil Makhija also slammed Wax for her comments.

“It's irresponsible to use your position to lend credibility to these overtly racist sentiments that don't recognise Indian-Americans for who we are," he told Axios.

Indian-American Impact is slated to hold a summit next month in DC Makjiha told Axios he's planning to adjust programming to discuss the incident and create solutions against anti-Asian and South Asian hate in educational settings.

“The most unfortunate thing is that we have a lot of brilliant and incredible students at the law school,” he told NBC News.

“It makes you question whether she can fairly grade or educate,” he said.

This is not the first time Wax's controversial comments about race have gone viral, the US media reported.

Her appearance on Carlson's show is not the first time Wax has made anti-Asian remarks. In an interview in December, she said that Indians Americans should be more “grateful” to be in the US and that the country would be “better off with fewer Asians.” Penn has confirmed that the school is in the middle of disciplinary proceedings against Wax, NBC News reported.

“The University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School has previously made clear that Professor Wax's views do not reflect our values or practices,” it quoted a representative as saying.

“In January 2022, Dean Ruger announced that he would move forward with a University Faculty Senate process to address Professor Wax's escalating conduct, and that process is underway,” the report quoted the Penn representative as saying.

Riaz Haq said...

Ivy League Professor Amy Wax joins Tucker Carlson to go on a wildly racist rant that will make you wince. Adrienne Lawrence breaks it down on Rebel HQ.

Riaz Haq said...

The Army in Indian Military Strategy: Rethink Doctrine or Risk Irrelevance

India’s military strategy has been dominated by an orthodox offensive doctrine—a method of using force that favors large formations tasked with punitive incursions into enemy territory. This doctrine is orthodox in its preference for large combined-arms army formations, usually operating with minimal coordination with other services and relatively autonomously from its political masters. It is offensive in its military aims of imposing a punitive cost on the enemy––usually in the form of capturing territory for the purposes of gaining leverage in postwar negotiations––even if it is usually deployed in the service of a strategically defensive policy of maintaining the territorial status quo. And it is a doctrine in that it represents an enduring set of principles governing the Indian Army’s use of force, regardless of the scarcity of public doctrinal publications.

This paper argues that the stubborn dominance of the orthodox offensive doctrine, even in the face of drastic changes in India’s strategic environment, renders the military a less useful tool of national policy. In the two decades since India fought its last war in and around the district of Kargil in 1999, three major strategic trends have fundamentally changed India’s security environment: nuclear deterrence has made major conventional war unlikely; China’s military power and assertiveness now pose an unprecedented threat; and radical new technologies have redefined the military state of the art. India’s security policy has not kept pace. Given the balance of military power on India’s northern borders, India cannot decisively defeat either Pakistan or China on the battlefield. Without the ability to impose such unacceptable costs, India’s doctrine will not deter its rivals, which both have significant resolve to bear the costs of conflict. The continued pursuit of large, offensive military options also raises the risk that its enemies will rely on escalatory—even nuclear—responses. And because the doctrine demands a force structure of large ground-holding formations, it pulls scarce resources away from modernization and regional force projection—a problem made especially acute as the Indian government makes tough economic choices amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The remainder of this paper is divided into five parts. First, it surveys the history of India’s military strategy, showing its reliance on ground forces and the orthodox offensive doctrine. Second, it outlines the three major strategic changes that have upended India’s security environment in the twenty-first century. Third, it analyzes the reasons why India’s strategy and doctrine have failed to adapt. Fourth, the paper argues that India’s military is less useful in this new environment. Finally, the paper concludes with some recommendations for the Indian Army.

Riaz Haq said...

China-India population debate comes down to quantity vs quality after social media sparks storm

China’s overall population only increased by less than half a million last year to 1.4126 billion, according to official government data
A widely shared social media claimed India’s population had hit 1.415 billion earlier this month, although the figure was widely criticised as it lacked official authority

Mainland China’s overall population increased to 1.4126 billion in 2021, but the national growth rate hit a record low of just 0.34 per thousand. Photo; AFP
Mainland China’s overall population increased to 1.4126 billion in 2021, but the national growth rate hit a record low of just 0.34 per thousand. Photo; AFP
A social media post in early March claiming that India had become the world’s most populous country created a storm in China.
The post claimed India’s population had hit 1.415 billion and was widely shared on social media, adding to rocky relations between Beijing and New Delhi and concerns over domestic growth hurdles in China, while also fuelling discussions about a host of social issues.
Demographic issues have been a hot topic in China since last year, when the once-a-decade census found the national fertility rate was alarmingly low.


China-India population debate comes down to quantity vs quality after social media sparks storm


China has “great potential” for a higher fertility rate if the standard of living and access to public services are improved, according to a leading demographer.

In an article in The Beijing News on Wednesday, Cai Fang, a demographic economist with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, also said there was an “urgent need” to improve basic public services and make them available to everyone to address the extremely low fertility rate.

While the trend of lower fertility rates has been seen across Asia – linked to factors such as urbanisation and female empowerment – the decline has been steep in China in recent years, partly due to the cost and pressures of raising children.

According to the latest official data, there were just over seven babies born per 100 people in mainland China in 2021 – a record low. The fertility rate, or the number of children per woman, is now 1.3. That is below the level in Japan, a rapidly ageing population like China, and below the replacement rate of 2.1.

Riaz Haq said...

China is facing a major demographic challenge as the working-age population shrinks, with over-60s expected to make up a third of the population by 2050, and there are concerns that the ageing society and declining births could threaten future economic growth.

To tackle the problem, Beijing abandoned its decades-long one-child policy in 2015, allowing couples to have two children, then expanded that to three children last year. But many young people say they are deterred by the high costs of raising children, and a lack of government support.

There have been moves to change this, including with more parental leave in some places and the introduction in January of a monthly tax deduction of 1,000 yuan (US$157) per child under three to help ease the financial burden.

However, economists and demographers say the government needs to do more.

According to Cai, with the CASS, Beijing could use the UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) as a measure to help assess and improve public services in China.

HDI is a measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life, being knowledgeable, and having a decent standard of living in terms of gross domestic product per capita.

China’s HDI value for 2019 was 0.761 – ranking it at 85 out of 189 countries and territories. Norway topped the list with a value of 0.957, followed by Ireland and Switzerland. Most developed countries have an HDI score of 0.8 or above, and have stable governments, widespread education and healthcare, high life expectancies, and growing, powerful economies.

Cai said the fertility rate would improve with a higher HDI score. “The fertility rate will hit the bottom and rebound when the HDI at least reaches the range between 0.80 and 0.85,” he wrote.

‘Are women just machines?’ Chinese web users left cold by birth rate solutions
China, the world’s second-largest economy, was ranked 79th for GDP per capita as of 2017. Some 600 million people in the country live on a monthly income of 1,000 yuan or less, Premier Li Keqiang has said. That means more than 40 per cent of the 1.4 billion population live on less than US$5 a day, and for many there is no pension or medical insurance.

In addition to improving public services and living standards, Cai said “special attention should be given to gender equality”.

Gender discrimination remains pervasive in China and has discouraged some women from getting married. Many women in recent years have also raised concerns about issues such as domestic violence, the unequal distribution of household work and discrimination against working mothers.

Around 7.63 million marriages were registered in 2021, the lowest number since 1986 when records began, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs, extending a near decade-long decline.

Huang Wenzheng, a demographer and senior fellow at the Centre for China and Globalisation in Beijing, was not optimistic that the change to the birth policy and more support measures would be enough to encourage people to have more children.

“So far the effects of the policy have been too limited to reverse the trend of a declining fertility rate,” he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Autonomous Hindutva could devour both India and the Bharatiya Janata Party
In a formally secular India, religion indeed seems to have become the opium of the people, a mass distraction from the transformative social agenda that the country needs

Last Updated at May 23, 2022 09:46 IST

Bharat Bhushan

With the rapid radicalisation of sections of Hindu society, the Hindutva project has become dangerously autonomous. It is no longer possible to see it only as an electoral strategy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Today one does not need to even presume the direct hand of the BJP or the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh behind Hindutva’s every move.

Its exponential social growth may have placed it beyond their control. In a formally secular India, religion indeed seems to have become the opium of the people. When Marx described religion as “the sigh of the oppressed ...

Riaz Haq said...

#California’s (pop 40 million) #gdp of $3.4 trillion as of 2021 is larger than #India’s (1.4 billion pop).California's #SiliconValley is home to world's most valuable #technology companies, including #Apple, #Google and #Facebook. CA is home to over 10% of Fortune 1000 companies

Riaz Haq said...

Arundhati Roy: "The damage to Indian #democracy is not reversible...#India's tragedy is not that it's the worst place in the world -- it's that we are on our way there. We're burning down our house". #Modi #Hindutva #Islamophobia #BJP #hindutvaterrorists

When two spokespeople from India's ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) made derogatory comments about the Prophet Mohammed last month, it prompted an international firestorm.

The incident led to protests among India's Muslim minority in several states. Some Muslim-majority nations summoned their India ambassadors. India's foreign ministry said the comments did not reflect the views of the government, and the officials involved -- one of whom later withdrew her remarks -- faced disciplinary action.
But for India's 200 million Muslims, these comments were not an isolated incident.
Rather, they were the culmination of the BJP's "engineering hatred of a common enemy," says bestselling Indian author Arundhati Roy.

"India's tragedy is not that it's the worst place in the world -- it's that we are on our way there. We're burning down our house. India is an experiment that is failing dangerously," she told CNN.
"Many, many of my beloved friends -- poets, writers, professors, lawyers, human rights activists and journalists -- are in prison, most of them charged under a dreaded law called the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, all of them for speaking up for minorities, Dalits and forest-dwellers facing displacement and state terror.

"Among them are people I consider to be India's most important minds. It makes one wonder what living as a free person in the time of fascism means. What does it mean to be a bestselling author when the world is breaking?" writes Roy.
In this email interview with CNN Opinion, Roy says Indian politics has something in common with the US Capitol riots, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is stoking hatred, and talks about who the real power in India lies with.
CNN: What does this incident involving BJP officials' comments about the Prophet Mohammed reveal about Indian politics today?
Roy: It reveals how successfully the clear and present existential threat posed by Hindu nationalism in India has been masked by the face it presents to the outside world. You know the people in strange clothes, the man in furs and antlers who stormed the US Capitol? We're being ruled by their equivalent here. The difference is that they are not a collection of random lunatics. They are members of the most powerful organization in India -- the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), whose founding ideologues openly admired Hitler and likened the Muslims of India to the Jews of Germany. RSS is the real power in India.
CNN: What is the connection between the BJP and RSS?
Roy: The ruling party, the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), considered to be one of the richest political parties in the world, is only the front office of the RSS. Founded in 1925, the RSS, traditionally controlled by a handful of Brahmins, now has millions of members including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been a member since his teenage years, and most of his cabinet ministers.
It has its own vast militia, its own schools, labor unions and women's organizations. It's not a political party, it's something of a shape-shifter, a master of double-speak, its sources of funding are amorphous and leave no legal trail, it works through an array of affiliates, but it's a nation within a nation.
The RSS believes that India should be declared a Hindu nation, just as Pakistan, Iran and several countries in the Persian Gulf are Islamic nations, just as Israel is legally the "nation-state of the Jewish people."