Tuesday October 24, 2017
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Outswinger: Barriers that separate us from competing with the world in Sports

Through Outswinger, I deliver my opinion on a wide range of issues

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Indian Women Hockey Team playing a match. Wikimedia Commons

The Good thing is: From Atlanta (USA) Olympics in 1996 onwards, India has been winning at least a medal in every Olympic game. In just concluded Rio de Janeiro Olympics of 2016, India won 2 medals- both by Indian daughters PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik.

PV Sindhu won Silver medal in Badminton at Rio2016. Credit: http://www.badmintonindia.org/
PV Sindhu won Silver medal in Badminton at Rio2016. Credit: http://www.badmintonindia.org/

Bad news: In a country with a huge mass of the population, we are miserably failing in the fields of sports.

The USA topped the medal tally at Rio2016: 46 Gold, 37 Silver, 38 Bronze =121 Medals

Now, let us not assume The US has not its quota of problems. When Simone Manuel became the First ever African American to win a Gold medal in an individual event in swimming at Rio2016, it brought a glaring fact to public discussion again: Why blacks in the USA do not excel in swimming? One reason which is often pointed out: Black kids do not have access to the classy swimming pools and similar resources.

Coming back to the question of India,

  1. India has an immense potential to excel in sports, but sports are ignored at the expense of one sport who we call Cricket.
  2. More funding and sponsorship is needed. Again, Cricket is clouding other sports here.
  3. More autonomy and less bureaucracy: Sports bodies are headed by corrupt, fat politicians. Chnage the law to debar politicians from there.
  4. Bolstering sports from youngs days; schools and colleges must become the centers to groom the talent.

Indulgence in sports is far better than youth spending energy on riots and political hoodlum. Think Kashmir!

Baloch and AHRC report

With Indian Prime Minister Modi devoting 72 seconds to Balochistan in his Independence Day speech (August 15), the issue of Balochistan has become a discussion point in Indian media.

Credit: Balochistan National Party
Credit: Balochistan National Party

And now ex-President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai has also supported Modi’s statement. This is again a good development.

India has done well to rake up the issue of Balochistan. Not only, Balochistan’s demand for a separate country is just, the province is suffering from neglect and persecution at the hands of Pakistani authorities.

In a report released last week by Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a few glaring facts stand out:

  • Approximately 1,000 dead bodies (corpses) have been recovered in Balochistan in last 6 years. Many of them are bullet ridden, disfigured and mutilated.
  • More than 9,000 Balochis were arrested in the year 2015 in the name of suspected militants and criminals under National Action Plan by police, Frontier Corps ( a wing of Pakistani Military) and other agencies. The report says that “The Baloch nationalists have been targeted in all of the operations, while the extremists and religious zealots have been allowed to operate with impunity to divert attention from the Baloch freedom movement.
  • Balochistan province is rich in minerals, the land is fertile and it supplies the bulk of gas to Pakistan, yet the people are poor and the area under-developed. Balochi people say that Pakistan is only interested in developing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (C-PEC), while the people are being alienated. Quetta attack on lawyers is the latest example.

It is clear that Baloch separatists and nationalists are looking up to India as a big brother who will enact a Dhaka (1971) for them.

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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India Demands Data on UN Staff Misconduct, Use of Immunity

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India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about misconduct by UN staff. Flickr

United Nations, Oct 7: In an attempt to break the wall of silence around the crimes and UN staff misconduct and those on its assignments, India has demanded the secretariat disclose information about such cases and the immunity invoked against prosecutions.

Yedla Umasankar, the legal advisor in India’s UN Mission, touched a raw nerve here by criticising the UN on Friday for not vigorously following up allegations of serious wrongdoing by its employees who enjoy the equivalent of diplomatic immunity, a prized possession of its staff.

“It appears that the UN system itself may be reluctant to waive immunity even for serious misconduct carried out by its personnel while serving on its missions, so that such cases can be prosecuted by the host governments,” he told the General Assembly’s committee on legal affairs.

“Even a few of such instances or allegations of crimes committed by UN personnel is highly damaging for the image and credibility of the United Nations system and its work around the world,” he added.

His statement also touched on the practice of some countries that protect their wrongdoers at the UN.

Umasankar demanded that secretariat disclose how many cases of serious misconduct by UN personnel were registered and the number of cases where the UN refused to waive immunity to allow their prosecution.

He also wanted to know in how many cases the host country wanted the immunity waived so it can prosecute those accused; the number of times the UN asked the host country or the country that sent them to prosecute them; how many times it consulted countries before waiver of the immunity of their personnel and how many of them refused UN’s request to waive their citizens’ immunity.

The information he wanted does not cover the diplomats sent by member countries to represent them at UN bodies and enjoy diplomatic immunity with the nations hosting the UN facilities.

After scores of serious allegations of sexual misconduct by peacekeepers, especially exploitation of children, the UN vowed to uphold a policy of zero tolerance and began publishing data on such cases in peacekeeping operations including how they were dealt with.

Starting with the year 2015, it began identifying the nationalities of those accused.

However, it has not made public a roster detailing all the allegations and proven cases of serious misconduct across the entire UN.

While the focus has been on sexual exploitation and abuse reported on peacekeeping operations, Umasankar said that “at a broader level, the issue of accountability has remained elusive in some cases”.

He attributed it to “the complexities of legal aspects relating to sovereignty and jurisdiction”, the immunity or privileges that may be necessary for UN operations, and the capability or willingness of countries to investigate and prosecute the accused.

He noted that the UN itself cannot make criminal prosecutions.

While Indian laws has provisions for dealing with crimes committed abroad by its citizens, not all countries have them, he said.

Those countries should be encouraged and helped to implement such measures, he added. (IANS)

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Indo-Pak Peace Talks Futile Unless Islamabad Sheds Links with Terrorism, says Study

A Study by a U.S. think tank calls India and Pakistan talks futile, until Pakistan changes its approach.

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India and Pakistan. Wikimedia.

A Top United States of America (U.S.) think tank, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace called the relations between India and Pakistan futile, unless Islamabad changes its approach and sheds its links with Jihadi terrorism.

A report “Are India and Pakistan Peace Talks Worth a Damn”, authored by Ashley J Tellis stated that such a move supported by foreign countries would be counterproductive and misguided.

The report suggests that International community’s call for the India and Pakistan talks don’t recognize that the tension between the two countries is not actually due to the sharp differences between them, but due to the long rooted ideological, territorial and power-political hatred. The report states that these antagonisms are fueled by Pakistani army’s desire to subvert India’s powerful global position.

Tellis writes that Pakistan’s hatred is driven by its aim to be considered and treated equal to India, despite the vast differences in their achievements and capabilities.

Also ReadMilitant Groups in Pakistan Emerge as Political Parties : Can Violent Extremism and Politics Co-exist? 

New Delhi, however, has kept their stance clear and mentioned that India and Pakistan talks cannot be conducted, until, the latter stops supporting terrorism, and the people conducting destructive activities in India.

The report further suggests that Pakistan sees India as a genuine threat and continuously uses Jihadi terrorism as a source to weaken India. The report extends its support to India’s position and asks other international powers, including the U.S., to extend their support to New Delhi.

Earlier in September, Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) slammed Pakistan for its continuous terror activities. She attacked the country by saying that India has produced engineers, doctors, and scholars; Pakistan has produced terrorists.

Sushma Swaraj further said that when India is being recognised in the world for its IT and achievements in the space, Pakistan is producing Terrorist Organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba. She said that Pakistan is the world’s greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity.

-by Megha Acharya  of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at @ImMeghaacharya.