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On 12 September 1996, a speech took place in the Lok Sabha of the Indian parliament, wherein it was introduced that from now on, one-third of seats will be reserved for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. But, when we look at the present scenario of women representation in the Indian parliament, it is evident how the Women's Reservation Bill exists only on paper and is yet to become operational
Even an analysis was done by the PRS Legislative Research, and it showed that less than fifteen percent of the women are a part of the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. Moreover, it is understood that when there is less representation of women in the legislative bodies, then its impact is directly seen on the country's decision making and policy framing.
In fact, globally, India stands at the 148th position out of a list of 193 countries when it comes to women representation in their national parliaments. When twenty-five years ago, the bill regarding women's representation was introduced in the parliament, loud debates and voices of resistance were heard. Even objectionable comments on women and their minimal role in the society were made. Many regional and national parties, like the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, and the United Front coalition government which brought the first legislation in 1996, have made numerous attempts to pass the bill.
When asked from many women political leaders, they said that the bill exists only on paper because men are incapable of giving up their seats to women. Photo by Liam Edwards on Unsplash
When asked from many women political leaders, they said that the bill exists only on paper because men are incapable of giving up their seats to women. Even if you see today, only one state is represented by a woman, and that is West Bengal whose chief minister is Mamata Banerjee. This clearly shows a wide gap between the representation of men and women in Indian politics.
Back in 2014, when Lok Sabha elections took place, BJP and Congress, both the leading parties of India committed to implement the bill. But as we know, it did not happen. In fact, it is vile to see how even the “panchayat" or village level government secures fifty percent reservation for women. But, the same could not be done at a national level.
Seeing this situation, we must note that the representation of women in a country matters significantly because it affects directly on the nature of the country. In easy terms, the more the representation of women, the more will the country elevate. Hence, it is high time to make the Women's Reservation Bill operational and successful in India, which is one of the larger democracies of the world.
Keywords: Women, Representation, Equality, India, Democracy, Parliament, Governments.
American newspaper based in the New York city, recently published an article in which they called many members of the Taliban government as “stalwarts".
The article was published on September 7, 2021, and the headline of the article was: “Taliban Appoint Stalwarts to Top Government Posts".
It must be noted that since a very long time, the United States of America (USA) is of the view that Taliban is a "movement" and not a terrorist group. According to the USA, all that the Taliban does, be it bombing or killing, is because they are fighting for their “rights" and “dignity".
The article which was published by the New York Times on September 7 also stated how the forming of the Taliban government is justified, as Afghanistan has been struggling for stability since 2001.
At the same time, the same article mentioned that many members of Taliban are recognised as terrorists by the United Nations and United States, too. And now, the irony is that these recognised terrorists are set to lead a country!
The article by the New York Times was published when the Taliban announced a 33-all men-member cabinet of the Afghanistan government which will be headed by Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, the new Afghan prime minister.
It must be noted that this was not the first time when the New York Times glorified the Taliban. Earlier, too, this news agency has published many articles which were not “for" the Taliban, but they neither were “against" them.
To understand the approach behind this act, it must be noted that these kinds of articles are written in order to gain sympathy the of readers, so that they start viewing terrorists as victims of oppression. This, in the end, leads to nothing but chaos, and poses a great threat to the world community.
Keywords: USA, New York Times, United Nations, Taliban, Afghanistan, Government, Politics.
A research study has shown that China has lavishly spent huge sums of money to buy influence in India's film world, universities, social institutions, research think-tanks, social media, and the tech industry, posing a serious threat to national security and democracy. The 76-page report titled "Mapping Chinese Footprints and Influence Operation in India" released by the Law and Society Alliance on September 3 tries to identify how deep and extensive the Chinese foothold in India is.
The report covers a wide range of topics and identifies key elements and ways in which Chinese intelligence services and the Chinese Communist Party government have entrenched themselves into various Indian sectors from the entertainment industry to academia. Besides highlighting the Indian industries and areas where China has over the years increased its influence through strategic investments, the report also touches upon Beijing's hidden agenda in increasing its influence to shape the opinion of the common man, the voters, in India.
The 76-page report by the Law and Society Alliance on September 3 tries to identify how extensive the Chinese foothold in India is. | Photo by Denise Jans on Unsplash
Through a combination of financial investments, as seen in the entertainment industry, to propaganda in the socio-political realm through the Confucius Institutes, Beijing is using every trick in its playbook to make inroads into the Indian economy and society in order to try and advance its own selfish narrative and to create discord within the Indian society with regard to China's actions and motives. In the last few years, China has repeatedly tried to make incursions into the Indian entertainment industry and influence Bollywood through the mechanism of co-productions of movies. The clearest evidence of Beijing attempting to influence Bollywood was the hosting of the China-India Film Co-Production Dialogue at the Beijing International Film Festival in 2019. The Chinese influence even successfully managed the participation of prominent Indian cinema icons like Shah Rukh Khan and Kabir Khan.
The report also highlights how the Chinese Communist Party has created a lobby group headed by an Indian lobbyist specifically for the Indian film industry. Beijing's influence has been subtle but systematic. The Chinese have managed to win over prominent individuals in film regulatory bodies that have ensured that Chinese interests are well represented in Bollywood, or at the very least not harmed. One instance of this is how the Chinese successfully influenced the producers of the film "Rockstar" to blur a flag that had "Free Tibet" written on it that was shown in a popular song of the film.
(Article originally published on IANS) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: China, India's film world, universities, social institutions, research think-tanks, social media, tech industry
It was December 5th, 1989, a calm normal day in the East German city of Dresden. Barely four weeks ago on 9th November, the Berlin Wall, infamously known as the Iron Curtain was demolished by the German people. The atmosphere was still euphoric, and protestors' ambition knew no bounds. Until a year ago, the secret police agency of the German Democratic Republic, officially known as the Stasi was one of the most hated and feared institutions. And now it lay siege to the frenzied mob.
The Stasi headquarters were combed thoroughly by the unruly mob, ransacking all the secret archives and freeing political prisoners. All this was happening right in the backyard of the KGB outpost in Dresden. Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Putin was on the fringes, watching the mob closely. A new officer Major General Vladimir Shirokov had replaced the previous one, earlier that year. He was not present at the outpost, leaving Putin as the senior-most in line of command.
A fraction of the unruly mob broke from the main demonstration and turned outside the KGB outpost. A sole security guard posted outside, scrambled inside to inform Lieutenant Colonel Putin about the unruly mob. Being the only one in charge, he ordered the guards to ready for an assault and dialled the Soviet Military Command in Dresden for additional military reinforcements.
An officer on duty told him he could do nothing because "There were no orders from Moscow."Albeit he promised to inquire through other channels. When the officer did not call back, Putin called again and prodded him for an answer. The officer replied, "Moscow is Silent ".
A mosiac of Vladimir Lenin.Photo by Soviet Artefacts on Unsplash.
This single phrase hit Vladimir Putin like a freight train. It was one of the formative moments in his lifetime. And he realized the whole country was no more. Recalling the bitterness still raw years later, he said "It became clear that the Soviet Union was ailing. It was a deadly, incurable disease called paralysis — a paralysis of power." He could imagine the end of his career, and altogether his life.
With the mob getting unruly by the hour and with no reinforcements on the way, it was in this nadir that Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin donned his KGB uniform and went outside to confront the mob himself. Before venturing out he had ordered his staff to burn all the classified documents in the furnace, which they duly obeyed until the furnace broke.
Eye-witness accounts of the event, tell that once the guard ran inside, a short officer emerged from the main door, walked a few steps, and approached the people. He did not speak initially but was calm and composed in his demeanour.
"This house is strictly guarded. My soldiers have weapons. And I gave them orders: if anyone enters the compound they open fire." He spoke in fluent German, astounding the mob.
He then turned his back on the mob and calmly walked back into the house. The crowd murmured amongst themselves and left. They had already toppled the Stasi but toppling the KGB was for another day. A few hours later, the Soviet Military Command in Dresden received orders from Moscow and sent in reinforcements, only now they were not needed.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, calmly with a stoic determination avoided a security fiasco for the KGB. He avoided any kind of intelligence failure all without any bloodshed. And yet there was no official recognition of his actions, that night. No commendations, medals or accolades whatsoever. Moscow is Silent, that single phrase haunted him for years afterwards.
A statue of Lenin in front of the Central Pavilion at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh), later known as the All-Russia Exhibition Centre, in Moscow's Ostankinsky District, 1988.Photo by Steve Harvey on Unsplash.
Analysts, sceptics all agree that Vladimir Putin is deeply motivated to restore Russia's might at par with the former Soviet Union. He has a great ardour for the former Soviet Union. It is quoted that Putin once famously said, " Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains. " Putin is smart enough to understand that restoring the former Soviet Union is an unviable option. Instead, building a stronger, reliant Russia is feasible.
Moreover, he has assumed a role of a messiah in Russia. He believes he has been chosen to resurrect Russia from the ashes of the Cold War and recast itself as a global superpower. The humiliating trounce of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the subsequential fall of the Berlin Wall, and the tragic collapse of The Soviet Union all made a deep lasting impact on Russian society.
The flexing of Russia's military muscle under Vladimir Putin is seen as the revival of Russia might by ordinary Russians. It is not surprising that amidst the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan, Russia has decided not to vacate its embassy in Kabul. Global policy analysts are clueless in terms of deciphering Russia's new stratagem in Afghanistan. On a concluding note, one can surely state that Vladimir Putin is going to avenge the lost Soviet pride in Afghanistan.
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