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India asks UN to focus on peace-building to protect civilians

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United Nations: In a bid to protect civilians from violence during armed conflicts, India asked UN to focus on peace-building missions rather than focusing on transitory peacemaking operations.

In his first address to the Security Council, India’s newly appointed Permanent Representative Syed Akbaruddin said on Tuesday, “Efforts at peace building should be initiated right at the beginning and the cause of the armed conflict addressed through national reconciliation and inclusive political processes giving all sections of society a stake in peaceful co-existence.”

Speaking at a debate on protection of civilians in armed conflict, Akbaruddin said the world body should “consider disaggregating the complex multidimensional nature of the UN peacekeeping mandates, and address issues confronting protection of civilians in armed conflict situations through focused peace-building activities so that the transition to a post-conflict society can be sustainable.” Because protection of civilians is primarily a national responsibility, he said that “contribution to national capacity building rather than intervention mechanisms should be the priority.”

Invoking the heroism of Gurbachan Singh Salaria, an Indian Army captain who was killed during the UN operations in Congo during the 1960s, Akbaruddin, said however that peacekeepers have and will continue to rise to the defence of civilians when they are in danger.

“Even though the notion of ‘Protection of Civilians’ was not part of the mandate” of the UN peacekeeping operations then, Akbaruddin said, Salaria and about 45 Indian soldiers made the supreme sacrifice to protect civilians.

Salaria of the Gurkha Rifles led his company in December 1961 against the secessionist Katanga forces loyal to Moise Kapenda Tshombe, who were on a mission to encircle the UN headquarters in Elisabethville, now known as Lubumbashi. With bayonets, khukris and hand-grenades, they charged the much large force of Katanga gendarmes routing them. Tshombe, a supporter of Belgian colonialists, opposed the UN and its peacekeeping operations to restore peace in newly independent Congo.

Salaria was posthumously awarded India’s highest military honor, the Param Vir Chakra. Akbaruddin pointed out that it took the UN 35 years to recognise his sacrifice with a Dag Hammarskjold Medal.

Akbaruddin reinforced the case for the Council consulting with troop-contributing countries. “As a developing country with years of peacekeeping experience, we feel frequent and regular consultation between the Council, the Secretariat and Troop Contributing Countries will enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the Council in protecting civilians,” he added.

The lack of consultations hurts “the troop contributing countries who put their troops lives at risk in the service of the UN,” the host countries, the Council and, ultimately, the entire UN.

Last month, the Council acknowledged that the consultation process with troop contributors was flawed and called “importance of substantive, representative and meaningful exchanges.” (IANS)(Arul Lois)

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Badshah: Indians Don’t Take Rapping Seriously

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show "Dil Hai Hindustani"

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Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously
Badshah Says, Indian Don't Take Rapping Seriously, flickr

Rapper and music composer Badshah, who is excited about his new reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani 2”, says that rapping is not taken seriously in India as an art form.

Badshah was interacting with the media at the launch of Star Plus channel’s forthcoming reality show along with singer Sunidhi Chauhan on Monday.

Badshah, who has delivered some chart-busting rap songs like “Chull”, “Saturday Saturday” and most recent “Tareefan” is eager to spread awareness about rap as an art form.

Talking about it, he said: “Rapping along with dance and stand-up comedy is not taken seriously as an art form in India and this misconception should change.”

“That is one of the main reasons why I have chosen to be a judge on the show. But apart from that, I’m here to have fun as well, and have a better connection with the audience,” he added.

Badshah
Badshah, flickr

The rapper is also gearing up to produce Bollywood and Punjabi movies and also launching a web series soon through his production house.

Talking about the future of the digital platform, Badshah said: “I think it (digital media) is the future, so it’s very important for any production house right now to concentrate on digital media.”

Sunidhi and Badshah will be judging the second season of the reality show “Dil Hai Hindustani”, along with Bollywood singer and composer Pritam.

Also read: Malaysian Rapper’s Dog Video Sparks Claim of Insulting Islam

The show, which first aired in January 2017, provides a platform for people from all over the world and of varying age groups to showcase their talent in Indian music. (IANS)