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The racial trouble in Indo-African relations

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Francis A. Kornegay, Jr.

The time when India under the fellowship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is upscaling its African diplomacy, but the fact that the country has a deep-seated race problem to confront, would complicate New Delhi’s African agenda.

The attack on an African student in Bangalore from Tanzania which was inspired by a fatal car accident also involved a Sudanese national followed the murder of a student from Burundi in Punjab and an AAP minister in Delhi leading a mob attack in New Delhi on Nigerian and Ugandan women in 2014. All of these are on top of the attacks that have occurred in metropolitan areas on India’s own racial minorities from its north-east region.

Indo-Aryanism and social realities

At the risk of being presumptuous – I am a race-conscious African-American in race-conscious South Africa – let me say this: in India discussing issues related to racism doesn’t seem comfortable. Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed, co-authored a provocative book, The South African Gandhi: Stretcher-Bearer of Empire.

Giving more tolerant traditions in its south with its darker hues and Dravidian heritage, there is, more to India than ‘Indo-Aryanism’. Out of these, there are a plenty in the global north and south alike: poverty and marginalisation of the poor, ‘the left behind,’ the unemployed and unemployable, the uneducated, those fearing their identities threatened – men especially – by loss of status brought on by little understood rapid socio-economic and cultural changes absent appropriate developmental outlets for channeling pent-up tensions from unrequited yearnings likely to never be met.

India’s domestic baggage

Combining with the impunity of culture, there is little or no enforcement of protections for the vulnerable – and it takes little in putting a match to the dry tinder of manifold animosities waiting to explode. Neither does it take much in this brave new world of global integration where different people are thrown together for the innocently unsuspecting to wander into dark corners of life-threatening rage fuelled by uncontrollable grassroots emotions, whatever the spark that may alight them.

To place a broader perspective to what India, as an emerging power is doing, this background is also necessary.  The cases of horrendous violence against women, minorities and foreigners expose intractably combustible contradictions in an ancient civilisational culture under strain as external and internal forces of change test leadership and governing capacities to manage such challenges.(Source-The wire)(image-newsminute)

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Three Projects Help India to Stop its Share of Water to Pakistan after Pulwama

The waters of the western rivers - the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab - averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan.

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Picture Courtesy:-www.economylead.com

The government has envisaged three projects to give intent to its decision to stop its share of water from three eastern rivers of the Indus system – the Beas, Ravi and Sutlej – from going to Pakistan.

The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack though the Union cabinet had approved implementation of one of the key projects – Shahpurkandi dam – in December last year.

The waters of the western rivers – the Indus, Jhelum, and Chenab – averaging around 135 MAF, were allocated to Pakistan except for “specified domestic, non-consumptive and agricultural use permitted to India”, according to a treaty.

India has also been given the right to generate hydroelectricity through run-of-the-river (RoR) projects on the western rivers which, subject to specific criteria for design and operation, is unrestricted.

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However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. VOA

To utilise the waters of the Eastern rivers, India has constructed the Bhakra Dam on Satluj, Pong and Pandoh Dam on Beas and Thein (Ranjitsagar) on Ravi. These storage works, together with other works like Beas-Sutlej Link, Madhopur-Beas Link and Indira Gandhi Nahar Project have helped India utilise nearly the entire share (95 per cent) of the eastern river waters.

However, about 2 MAF of water annually from Ravi is reported to be still flowing unutilised to Pakistan. The other two projects are Ujh multipurpose project and the second Ravi Beas link below Ujh.

Here’s the reality check of the three projects:

Shahpurkandi Project: It aims to utilise the waters coming from powerhouse of Thein dam in order to irrigate 37,000 hectares of land in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab by generating 206 MW of power.

The project was scheduled to be completed by September 2016. However, following a dispute between the two states, work was suspended in August 2014 but they reached an agreement last September and the construction work has now resumed with the Centre monitoring its progress. The central government had in December last year announced assistance of Rs 485 crore for the project and it would be completed by June 2022.

 

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The decision was affirmed by Water Resource Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday in the wake of Pulwama terror attack. VOA

The project will create irrigation potential of 5,000 hectare in Punjab and 32,173 hectare in Jammu and Kashmir.

Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

The total balance cost of pending work in ShahpurKandi Dam project is estimated Rs 1,973.53 crore (irrigation component: Rs 564.63 crore, power component Rs1408.90 crore).

The Shahpurkandi Project was initially approved by the Planning Commission in November, 2001. Revised costs were approved, but there was delay in its execution both because of lack of funds with Punjab and inter-state issues with Jammu and Kashmir.

An agreement was finally reached between the two states under the aegis of Water Resources Ministry in September last year.

Ujh multipurpose project: Construction of the Ujh multipurpose project will create a storage of about 781 million cubic metres of water on Ujh, a tributary of Ravi, for irrigation and power generation and provide a total irrigation benefits of 31,380 hectares in Kathua, Hiranagar and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir.

The total estimated cost of the project is Rs 5,850 crore and the Central assistance of Rs 4,892.47 crore on works portion of irrigation component as well as the special grant is under consideration. The project is yet to be implemented and it will take about six years for completion.

Second Ravi Beas link below Ujh: The project has been planned to tap excess water flowing down to Pakistan through Ravi by constructing a barrage across it for diverting water through a tunnel link to the Beas basin.

The project is expected to utilise about 0.58 MAF of surplus waters below Ujh dam by diverting the same to the Beas basin.

 

india, pakistan, water share, pulwama
Officials said that some water of the Ravi is going waste through the Madhopur Headworks downstream to Pakistan and it is required in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Wikimedia

The water distribution treaty between India and Pakistan was brokered by the World Bank in 1960 to use the water available in the Indus system of rivers originating in India.

 

ALSO READ: IOC Cancels Places for 2020 Tokyo Games from India after it Refused Visas to Pakistan

The Indus system comprises Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej rivers. The basin is mainly shared by India and Pakistan with a small share for China and Afghanistan.

Under the treaty signed between India and Pakistan in 1960, all the waters of the three eastern rivers, averaging around 33 million acre feet (MAF), were allocated to India for exclusive use.  (IANS)