The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Friday, 30 September 2016

INDIA STRIKES BACK

September 29 morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan's cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world.

Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out surgical strikes on six terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India, like a responsible member of the world community, has owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

Ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders are in a state of shock. And it initially reflected in their state of mind, speaking in different and incoherent voices. After the surgical strike, they initially didn't know what to do and what to say. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they admitted the surgical strikes. In fact, many from the Pakistan's political establishment said things on these lines.

But how these versions changed with Pakistani army's diktat shows the chaos India's move caused - with foolishness and boorishness defining the thinking process of Pakistan's ruling elite.

Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay - to save its face) the surgical strikes move by India, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister had said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

But the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology - they are finding hard to respond - going for silly bravados like 'we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness' - or the silly Pakistani media propaganda that show the Pakistani army has captured or killed so many Indian soldiers or has blown this many Indian outposts across the LoC.

How sham now it all looks. How hollow it sounds.

Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing midnight road sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threats against India, including nuclear threats. The eastern border (LoC) was specifically on their radar.

Yet India struck back, and at will. It went deep into the Pakistan controlled territory and destroyed terror camps, not one or two but six, and the whole operation lasted for around four hours. And in spite of all the tall claims of Pakistan of being in a war-ready state, it could not do anything. Pakistan could not beat even the bush properly to push its propaganda aimed at saving its face.


©SantoshChaubey    

Thursday, 29 September 2016

A BOLD, NEW INDIA: SURGICAL STRIKES AFTER INDIA’S KASHMIR ADMISSION AND KASHMIR ASSERTION AT UNGA

SURGICAL STRIKES

This morning brought us the biggest newsbreak of decades and the proudest moment for every Indian. After Pakistan's cowardly strike, India has struck back and true to its growing global reputation, has owned it before the world. Indian Army has gone 3 kms deep into the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir territory, a disputed area that is under the intense cover of bayonets and AK47s of the Pakistani army and terrorists, has carried out many surgical strikes on terror launch-pads with perfect precision, killing dozens of terrorists and some interfering Pakistani soldiers, has inflicted heavy damage, and has come out with flying colours. And with no damage, no casualty.

And India has fully owned it, informing Pakistan and the world community that it has carried out these surgical strikes, even if many of them were still pushing us to go for talks to a backstabbing nation that has always worked to bleed us, including the latest Pakistan sponsored terror strike at the Indian Army base camp in Uri. We lost 19 of our soldiers in an act of cowardice since most of our soldiers were sleeping. Yes, there were lapses, but the Army has avenged it and in style – and with substance.

And ever since the attack, Pakistan and its leaders look shocked. Pakistani military was on high-alert, its F16s were doing sorties for war preparedness. Its leaders, prime minister, army chief, everyone was busy issuing all sorts of threat against India, including nuclear threats. But now they don’t know what to do and what to say. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said it was an act of ‘naked aggression’ by the Indian Army. Its defence minister Khawaja Asif initially said yes there were such incidents over the night but if India did so again, we would give a strong reply. So they admit the surgical strikes.

And now see the foolishness and chaos inside Pakistan on it. Since its all powerful army has denied (or desperately tried to downplay - to save its face) the surgical strikes, the whole Pakistan is now trying to toe the line away from what its prime minster and defence minister said initially. They say no surgical strike took place and it was a mere Line of Control (LoC) aggression.

Well, the body language of Pakistani politicians and the meek response of its Army show that the realization that India would strike back has come as a rude shock and they are in a state of disarray on how to respond because they realize that Pakistan is no match to India. And with its new bold, foreign policy – with its traditional upper hand – in economy, in military, and in technology - they are finding hard to respond - going for silly bravados like 'we will defend our country, we will give befitting reply to India in case of future attack or we are in a state of war preparedness'.

Yes, it’s the same India that was here all these years, especially in this Century, but with a bold new face that speaks its mind, based on its requirements, irrespective of what the police-masters of the world say. And it began with India’s diplomatic offensive against Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack.

SUSHMA SWARAJ'S UNGA WARNING

Even if it was not a masterpiece, Sushma Swaraj sure dealt a body-blow to the blabbering of Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders and officials. While her speech was eagerly awaited after Nawaz Sharif's pathetic show on September 21 in UNGA where he churned out falsities after falsities about India and Kashmir for 8 minutes during his address of 19 minutes, Sushma's was a balances, well-drafted reply that again showed the world community why Pakistan should not be trusted.

Sushma's UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stood apart - that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future - something that reflected in the midnight surgical strikes by the Indian Army in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India's credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, back home, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma's speech had this admission during her United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight - that is Pakistan sponsored. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It was a bold move and fearless expression of a global power.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj's speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. We Indians know it.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, made it very clear that it is now India's position that is now going to matter - a position that reflected in the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian forces across the LoC to avenge the Uri attack to act on intel to prevent further terror strikes.

A BOLD PERSPECTIVE IN DIPLOMACY

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, along with India's boycott of the SAARC Summit in Islamabad and today's surgical strike will prove a milestone in India's diplomacy. India was not alone and it got support of other countries that saw the SAARC Summit cancelled that was to be hosted by Pakistan - and the consensus was that with Pakistan's terror record, it was not possible to hold peacetime summits in that country. This well can be the very first visible signs of Pakistan's diplomatic isolation.

At UNGA, Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly - including its diplomacy. And Sushma's bold UNGA speech was the beginning.

And then came this surgical strike that has told the world that India has fully arrived on the world stage now. India never needed permission from any world power to respond to cowardly terror attacks inside its territory. And now it is walking the talk. We needed to go beyond Pakistan. We needed to shed our Pakistan obsession. And with this surgical strike, we just have showed that.

India had started with a non-aligned foreign policy but it could seldom act independently on foreign policy matters. There was always this or that global power pressure and there were only a handful of instances like Indira Gandhi's decision to send Indian forces to liberate Bangladesh in 1971 or to carry out nuclear tests in 1974 and 1998, when India acted on its own, firmly shutting down those interfering voices.

And like this surgical strike that was beyond anyone's imagination, in India, in Pakistan and across the world - until it happened this night. Like a front-league global power, India needed to show something now, beyond its economic advances, that could tell the world community this India is not the India of yesteryears - that it was well prepared not only to defend its territory but also to strike back in case of proxy wars or terror attacks - like all the global powers do.  

To back India's might, it has what it needs. Even if dragged by many problems including poverty, illiteracy and disparity, India is undoubtedly now major global power - in economy, in military and in space. And if India is a global power, it should exude confidence and authority and should command respect. Yes, nothing comes for free, especially in the realpolitik of geopolitics that is propelled by selfish motives. And India knows what it has - the largest middle class of the world. India is projected to have the largest middle class in some years. Middle class is the main consumer of marketing forces and therefore is its pivot. So this market will be dear for companies from across the world, including India's traditional opponent China. No one can ignore it.

©SantoshChaubey         

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

HOW NOKIA AND BLACKBERRY GOT IT ALL WRONG

It was in November 2014 when the Nokia CEO officially announced that Nokia would not be making cellphones anymore. Though it didn't happen globally and Microsoft bought Nokia, the brand could not be revived. Microsoft experimented with Nokia, first as Nokia, then as Lumia. It also tried a layered formula - Nokia for feature phones and Lumia for smartphones.

The catch was to develop a cellphone OS version of the world's most successful computer OS, Microsoft's Windows. Two years down the line, now there is a very real possibility that Microsoft would soon issue the official line that is shutting down its phone making operations.

Nokia was the global handset leader for 14 years till April 2014 when Samsung outdid it becoming the world's largest handset maker. Since then it is all the Samsung and Apple. In fact, Apple's entry in the smartphone market in 2007 was the beginning of the end for Nokia. Apple saw a meteoric rise. And so Samsung who rode the Android wave with Google, the most innovative of the tech giants, launching first Android OS (Android 1.0) in September 2008.

So, Apple had finesse and panache and Samsung had versatility of Android, but Nokia had none.

When the road ahead was clearly going to be smartphoned, Nokia was still banking on its feature phones. It didn't develop fast and beautiful products like iPhone and iOS or versatile products like Samsung's smartphone range or Google iOS.

By the time it realized its fault, the damage was already done and any chance to recovery was beyond any threshold of redemption. Android was free for everyone but Nokia failed to see the opportunity even if its Symbian OS with shabby and unacceptable apps looked archaic in front of iOS and Android - functionally as well as aesthetically.

Now, in 2016, Apple is the most profitable cellphone maker. Google's Android is the most widely used OS. And Samsung is still the largest cellphone maker by volumes of sale and shipment.

While Nokia is still looking for some lease of life, this time trying to collaborate with a Finnish business outfit that will manufacture the Nokia brand cellphones and Nokia will get royalty.

Today brought another news of another mobile phone world leader of its time going out of the business.

BlackBerry, once the darling of Canada, America and the corporate world elsewhere (including India) today declared that it would not be making smartphones anymore. The company said it would now focus on its software business and would outsource the handset manufacturing requirements.

BlackBerry also died in the wave that came with iPhone, Samsung phones and Android iOS though the basics were different. BlackBerry was always a smartphone company with its encrypted software solutions that made it a must have gadget for the corporate honchos, something that ultimately became its nemesis. Communication is the mainstay of any business and BlackBerry targeted it. The strategy paid rich dividends initially. Its parent company, Research In Motion's (RIM) share zoomed to an all time high in 2008 and Fortune had declared RIM as the fastest growing tech company in 2009.

But that was it.

The corporate and enterprise focus that had brought glory to BlackBerry, soon became a black-hole for it that made every attempt to redo its strategies void - because the company was still roaming in the wilderness of mobile phone devices with efficient messaging and communication platforms while the new entrants were rapidly ramping up the mobile phone market to handheld computing devices that would act as all-serving entertainment hubs - be it messaging or emails or chats or complete web browsing or a never ending app ecosystem fuelling interest and engagement.

BlackBerry saw corporate consumers and enterprises as its base while companies like Apple, Samsung and Google saw consumers in everyone - be it a business leader or a politician or a celebrity or a common man. And their product offerings were designed keeping them in mind. They were able to cater to every class of consumer. So when a CEO found that an iPhone or a Samsung phone with Android iOS could have provided the comfort of communication that a BlackBerry device would provide and at the same time, would also act as a handheld computing device offering a world of entertainment, he immediately switched to it. And BlackBerry's fall shows it, indeed, was the case.

So, the company that was the fastest growing tech company of 2009, was sold for less than $5 Billion in 2013 and it still hovering in the range of a market cap of $5 Billion - a meteoric fall from a high of $83 Billion worth of market cap.

Though BlackBerry was a masterly combination of hardware and software, like Nokia, it failed to read the pulse of the market. Like Nokia, by the time BlackBerry realized where it erred, it had become too late. Nokia failed to move on from feature phones to smartphones while BlackBerry failed to move on from corporate-centric smartphones to people-centric handheld entertainment hubs.

Featured Image Courtesy: Screenshots collage from BlackBerry and Nokia websites

©SantoshChaubey  

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

SUSHMA'S UNGA SPEECH FIRMLY PUTS INDIA'S DIPLOMACY IN A PERSPECTIVE

Even if it was not a masterpiece, Sushma Swaraj sure dealt a body-blow to the blabbering of Nawaz Sharif and other Pakistani leaders and officials. While her speech was eagerly awaited after Nawaz Sharif's pathetic show on September 21 in UNGA where he churned out falsities after falsities about India and Kashmir for 8 minutes during his address of 19 minutes, Sushma's was a balances, well-drafted reply that again showed the world community why Pakistan should not be trusted.

As expected, no one in India and the world community has taken Sharif seriously and he has been criticised even back home in Pakistan for not raising 'India interfering in Balochistan' issue. We all know why Sharif did not raise it - simply for the fear of global attention that the issue would get - if it becomes an India-Pakistan war of words on a UN platform. But, then at the same time, we should not be in two minds on whether it will help Pakistan. With India's emphasis and Pakistan's long record of human rights abuses in Balochistan to crush the decades old freedom movement of its native people, it is going to get increased traction.  

Sushma's UNGA speech that won wide praise was well balanced in content, addressing themes of this General Assembly session (sustainable development goals), as well as hitting back at Pakistan for its duplicity and terror streak.

But two things stand apart - that also show how India is going to conduct its diplomacy and how it going to speak its mind in future.

THE KASHMIR ADMISSION

When Sushma Swaraj said that those who have glass houses should not throw stones on others, she was making an honest statement and was issuing a stern warning.

We all accept that Kashmir is going through a bad phase. Even our prime minister has accepted it and the Indian establishment is sincere to make things normal even if it is all because of Pakistan sponsored terrorism and separatism. We in India know where we erred and we accept it. To India's credit, Kashmir unrest has seen a raging national debate and everyone has spoken his mind, including the so-called separatists.

When we can do so here, why not across the world? It will, in fact, help India in building a water tight case against Pakistan. Sushma's speech had this admission that day that the situation in Kashmir is bad. Its global admission will put the root-cause of it in the limelight. The admission also conveys a sincere intent to correct any wrong on the Indian part.

At the same time, she also said that Pakistan has many weak points and if India starts speaking for them or if starts supporting the separatist voices like Baloch or Sindhi, Pakistan will find it hard to control.

It is a bold move.

THE KASHMIR ASSERTION

The other thing that is remarkable about Sushma Swaraj's speech is that it made it clear before the world that the whole Kashmir is an integral part of India and Pakistan can never take it, even if it wages a war for it.

Now we all know the positions here.

The whole Kashmir, including Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, are integral part of India and Pakistan is in illegal occupation of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Pakistan says India is forcefully occupying the Kashmir Valley while its people want freedom from India.

The issue is still on UN Security Council agenda. Kashmir is seen globally as one of the crisis hotbeds that can become a threat for regional peace.

But the whole world community, barring few, now advocates that it is a bilateral issue and India-Pakistan should resolve it accordingly.

Sushma Swaraj, through her speech, has now made it very clear that it is India's position that is now going to matter.

A BOLD PERSPECTIVE IN DIPLOMACY

These two points, admission and assertion about Kashmir, might prove a milestone in India's diplomacy. Sushma spoke with authority on Kashmir like a global power speaks and others listen. Even if dragged by many problems including poverty, illiteracy and disparity, India is now major global power - in economy, in military and in space.

India is now seen in the front league nations and its policies should be accordingly including diplomacy. And Sushma's bold UNGA speech this time can be the beginning.

If India is a global power, it should exude confidence and authority and should command respect. Yes, nothing comes for free, especially in the realpolitik of geopolitics that is propelled by selfish motives. And India knows what it has - the largest middle class of the world.

India is projected to have the largest middle class in some years. Middle class is the main consumer of marketing forces and therefore is its pivot. So this market will be dear for companies from across the world, including India's traditional opponent China. No one can ignore it.

India needs to assert herself on global platforms and a diplomacy aligned on these lines is the first step towards it.

©SantoshChaubey 

Monday, 26 September 2016

GOOD THAT IT IS ONLY PAKISTAN'S INDIA OBSESSION NOW!

After the recent developments, tension between India-Pakistan is again all time high, so much so, that we are opening talking military solutions or even a full blown war.

What happens we will see later if we see the Twitter trends from India and Pakistan, it will look like every Pakistani has become so obsessed with India that it has mopped up his cortex and diverted away his grey matter to think anything else.

While a look at India says our people are moving away from Pakistan obsession. None of the tags in top trends, at 8:30 PM and 10 PM, were Pakistan centric while Pakistan had three India-centric tags in its top 10 at 8:30 PM which went up to four by 10 PM, after Sushma Swaraj's strong rebuttal to Nawaz Sharif by her UNGA speech.

#UNGA is trending at top, both at 8:30 PM and 10 PM, in India trends and it is understandable. India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was scheduled to address the UNGA today and everyone was expecting a strong rebuttal of Nawaz Sharif's diatribe delivered from the UNGA podium where he spoke bunch of lies.


And Sushma Swaraj delivered a marvellous speech today - balances, dignified and tough on Pakistan. And she had to trend and she is trending. In case of India, it is natural, but she was on number 2 in Pakistan at 8:30 PM and at number 3 at 10 PM, while by 10 PM, Sushma Swaraj had slipped back to 4th place.

That is good for us, the Indian society. We have normal trends in the top rung, a look at these trends shows, even if rhetoric between both countries is at an all time high. It shows that we are finally shedding our Pakistan obsession. And it is in sync with the aspirations of a society that is going to become the market of the largest middle class in the world, that the whole world needs, even China.

But it is bad for Pakistan. The trending topics show Pakistani politicians enjoy a jolly good time because many in its society still believe excelling in India bashing, these Twitter trends, at least show this. The trends show how tense Pakistani would be - they are blabbering Burhan Wani, his father, Sushma Swaraj and Indus Water Treaty.

At 10 PM, it gets another dose of hallucination when #BanBollywoodBecause starts trending at top. Now we all know that who needs Bollywood - it is the Pakistani film industry and Pakistani artists. India produces maximum number of films globally and has become lifeline and permanent home for many Pakistani artists and filmstars.

It is indicative of a sick mentality and the Pakistani society can never progress while being on this track. They have to realize that India is a much bigger global power and their future will become more stable and prosperous if they try to align their policies to establish friendly ties with India.

 ©SantoshChaubey 

Sunday, 25 September 2016

INDIA TALKS TOUGH ON INDUS WATER TREATY: BUT WAHT ABOUT CHINA?

Prime minister Narendra Modi has called a meeting of concerned ministries and departments to review the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 between India and Pakistan. The meeting will ponder over the treaty post Uri attack circumstances to see if India can continue with it or the 56 years old treaty now needs changes.

Which way the government is thinking can be gauged from the reaction of Vikas Swarup, spokesperson of India's External Affairs Ministry. He said that such treaties require 'mutual trust and cooperation and can never be one-sided'.

But can the Modi government take some tough decision?

It is well known that the Indus Water Treat is one-sided, heavily skewed in favour of Pakistan. Rivers of the Indus Basin originate in India but according to the treaty, 80% of the Indus water is reserved for Pakistan and 90% of Pakistan's irrigated area is dependent on it. When we talk of the catchment area of the Indus river, if Pakistan has its 47% area, India is not far behind with 39% of the land falling under its territory.

In India, especially in Jammu & Kashmir, the state that is directly affected from the arrangements made under any such treaty, demands have been consistently raised on abrogating the treaty. And now after the Uri attack, that demand is back again, this time now to correct this historical anomaly to use it as a potent tool to encircle and give a befitting reply to Pakistan. Now, if India, indeed, raises this demand tomorrow, Pakistan will be in deep trouble. If India stops the Indus flow to Pakistan or starts controlling and regulating it on a fair share basis, it will left a big area of Pakistan barren.

But India will have to face tough international pressure in doing so. The Indus Water Treaty between India and Pakistan was brokered by the World Bank and India and Pakistan have been approaching international arbitration tribunals in case of disputes. But even if we assume that  India will get everyone onboard, what about China, especially when China is fully capable of doing something similar with us.

Brahmaputra river water has been a source of consistent discord between India and China. China can pose a big threat if it decides to divert the Brahmaputra water away from India to its arid north and north-western parts where 37% of its population has just 7% of water resources available. Brahmaputra originates in China and flows for quite long before entering India and then to Bangladesh. If China does so, it will create a grave existential threat for the north-eastern states of India as Brahmaputra river is like a lifeline here and for a big part of Bangladesh.

Going by the past precedents and China's traditional anti-India stand, which can go to any extent to see India in trouble, especially when it concerns its so-called all-weather friend and ally Pakistan, China can certainly do something like this. 

©SantoshChaubey 

Saturday, 24 September 2016

WOULD TWITTER REMAIN SAME, OLD, FREE TWITTER?

Selling Twitter makes business sense for its promoters. The San Francisco based company was formed in March 2006 and went public in November 2013. But Twitter is yet to make profit. According to a Reuters report, the total accumulated loss of the company since its inception comes around $ 2.3 billion and Twitter has not showed any profit since it went public.

But Twitter is just not any other social media or information technology Company. It has become a powerhouse of news, views and information. Any big news is usually broken on Twitter first, be it Osama bin Laden’s death or Prince William’s engagement or many other such developments. Even back home in India, the whole nation was waiting for Nawaz Sharif’s UNGA diatribe and India’s first official response on it came through Twitter only. Narendra Modi had announced his sudden Lahore stopover on Twitter only. There are countless such examples – India or elsewhere.

The another aspect of Twitter that is goldmine of news and views is that people, especially those who matter, tell their anger, frustration, irritation, joy, happiness, sorrow and what not through Twitter. Sometimes a controversial tweet becomes the biggest trending news of the day. Sometimes a tweet becomes the most direct message to tell your problems and grievances that potentially reach across the spectrum.

In that sense, Twitter has become more like a mainstream media outfit – with the obvious benefits of social media – there are no restrictions, no gatekeeping, no censorship – and these are really free. Yes, there are exceptions and government poaching but then where aren’t they? The good thing about Twitter is that it has fought such censorship attempts vehemently.

If we see Twitter sale in that context – the natural question that comes to us is – “would Twitter remain the same, old, free Twitter after it is sold to some big behemoth with multiple business interests across the countries?”

Don’t we know how big businesses lobby with governments and do compromises to keep their operations growing? 

©SantoshChaubey 

Friday, 23 September 2016

A SHARIF TAKES AWAY SHARAFAT (DECENCY) OF ANOTHER SHARIF!

Nawaz Sharif became Pakistan’s prime minister for the third term in June 2013. His party had emerged as the largest one the national general elections held in May 2013 but fell short of six seats from the House majority threshold. Later, 19 independents joined his party and he formed the government with a simple majority. It was a historical first for Pakistan – power transition from a civilian government to the next - after a democratically elected government from the 2008 elections completed its term.

Since Nawaz Sharif was seen as an influential and strong leader in Pakistan’s politics and since Pakistan was going to have a democratically elected government for possibly another five years, the world had expected that Nawaz Sharif would take forward the democratic transformation process and would be successful in reducing the political influence of the army.

Something that was going to be the biggest challenge for next chief of the Pakistan Army – General Raheel Sharif – that how to clip Nawaz Sharif’s wings. Raheel Sharif took charge of the Pakistani army in November 2013.

It means Nawaz Sharif had the early mover advantage and a window of six months to make his moves, to fix his equations and to repeat the history of 2008 and 2013.

The world knows that creating and maintaining India’s terror in the mindset of Pakistan’s population has become its army’s lifeline. For this, it goes to any level of propaganda, fear pyschosis and war mongering. Irrespective of what was in Nawaz Sharif’s heart, he chose to target this lifeline to consolidate his grip on power. Narendra Modi invited Nawaz Sharif and other SAARC leaders for his government’s oath-taking ceremony and it looked as if a new chapter in India-Pakistan ties was about to be written. It came with positive vibes. Nawaz didn’t meet the Kashmiri separatists during his visit, a clear departure from the past tradition which saw every visiting Pakistani dignitary meeting the separatist factions from J&K. it was further extended and we saw mangoes and sarees exchanged. Moreover, the Ufa joint statement, released by India and Pakistan in July 2015, had no mention of Kashmir, again a clear departure from the policy adopted by Pakistan in the past.

Though some small incidents and war of words did happen during this period, on a whole, the message that went to the world was that a personal chemistry was developing between Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif and this would take care of such small skirmishes. If the external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj was the privileged guest of Nawaz Sharif’s family, Narendra Modi took a sudden detour to wish Nawaz Sharif personally on his birthday on December 25 last year while returning from Afghanistan. Such incidents were indicative of that developing personal chemistry.

But then we should not assume that, in the meantime, the other Sharif (Raheel Sharif) was not doing anything. Not at all!

Raheel Sharif knew that he was behind Nawaz Sharif by six months and he needed to move swiftly – but with meticulousness and detailing. And though he was always busy making his moves, as indicated from time to time by ceasefire violation, terrorism and infiltration incidents in Kashmir, Ufa joint statement and corruption allegations on Nawaz Sharif, especially after his name figured in the leaked Panama Papers, gave him the opportunity he was looking for – to make his final move – to deal the final blow – that would again tell the people that Pakistan is still the real dominion of its army. Equations changed rapidly after it.

Raheel Sharif prepared such a concoction of Ufa, corruption and Kashmir that Nawaz Sharif had no option but to swallow. And to help Nawaz Sharif, there was popular opinion swing in army’s favor owing to incessant terror attacks in almost every part of Pakistan. Add to it the anti-corruption appeal, on which even many political parties openly advocated the clean-up required by the army, Nawaz Sharif suddenly had an adversary who was efficiently crushing him. But Raheel Sharif did it systematically – from 2014 to 2015 – from 2015 to 2016 – no jumps. It is only that Nawaz Sharif realized it too late.

Raheel Sharif first got the India-Pakistan national security advisors level talks cancelled in August 2015. Then got Pathankot terror strike stage managed by Pakistani terrorists and left Nawaz Sharif to bear its cost. Next he fuelled unrest in Kashmir and left names like Hafiz Saeed and Syed Salahuddin, who are in  India’s most wanted list, to run amok and openly spew venom against India.

How long India and Narendra Modi could have taken it?

Narendra Modi gave Nawaz Sharif more than enough chances but it was Nawaz Sharif who left Modi midway and abandoned the aura of decency he was trying to put on ever since Narendra Modi had invited him to his government’s inaugural. If Nawaz Sharif had his political compulsions and political survival to finally plunge in anti-India politics to appease his domestic audience and army in order to save his corruption ridden government, Narendra Modi, too, had compulsions of answering to India’s people who were increasingly growing uncomfortable of Pakistani designs. Raheel Sharif had half succeeded when he had co-opted Nawaz Sharif. He was fully in the game when India said enough was enough and no more talks with Pakistan till the guns went silent.

Now that India has unleashed a diplomatic offensive on a tit-for-tat scale to raise Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Balochistan human rights violations to counteract Pakistan’s Kashmir rant, it has started unnerving the Pakistani political establishment. Nawaz Sharif is finding it increasingly difficult to convince the world leaders about his Kashmir rant. All this has weakened Nawaz Sharif's position compared to 2013 and everyone knows that it can be the beginning of his end and the initiation of a full-fledged political role for the Pakistani army.

And whatever little decency Nawaz Sharif was left with, that also was taken away when Raheel Sharif made him deliver that rubbish speech with a flat, expressionless face to a UN audience during his UN General Assembly address on September 21.

Nawaz Sharif looked like some poor chap that day who was ejaculating words stuffed in his mouth by Raheel Sharif who used him as a pawn to convey the viewpoint of the Pakistani army. Nawaz Sharif totally looked and sounded spellbound by the dictation that Raheel Sharif had given him prior to his speech. Sharif gave 8 minutes of his 19 minutes UNGA address to Kashmir saying how disturbed the whole Pakistan is and how disturbed the humanity should be on the plight of the Kashmiri people. While explaining all this, an emotional stuff, not even a single emotion crossed from his face. Also, he didn’t mention the Uri attack that had killed 18 Indian soldiers, most of them sleeping, even though it has become clear that the terrorists had come from Pakistan. And to add more to his growing list of miseries (it doesn’t matter anymore if he did it himself or Raheel Sharif again used the pawn in him), Nawaz Sharif, from an official global platform, and that too the biggest one, the United Nations, chose to endorse someone who was self-proclaimed terrorist commander of a declared terrorist outfit, Hizbul Mujahideen. Now only both of these Sharifs can tell who gave them this wisdom, but it was certainly a bravado that is going to cost Pakistan dear and will haunt the nation for years.

And the writing has started appearing on the wall. Pakistan’s duplicity has not gone unnoticed.

Those who matter globally, no one has taken Pakistan seriously – be it Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, or John Kerry, the US Secretary of State or Shinzo Abe, the Japanese PM or leaders of the European countries including France and Germany. Russia, which is currently conducting a joint military drill in Pakistan, has strongly condemned the Uri attack and reportedly refused the Pakistani offer to carry out drill in PoK. Poor Mr. Sharif is screaming Kashmir-Kashmir but no one is taking him seriously.

The Pakistani army has been notorious for promoting and sponsoring terrorism and history tells us that it firmly believes in the saying that notoriety also makes one known. And as the days are passing, the prevailing geopolitical and sociopolitical equations suggest that Raheel Sharif may repeat the history. He has found success in the first phase of his mission. He has effectively made Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif chemistry a history and has effectively crushed the ambitions of Nawaz Sharif of emerging as an icon of democratic supremacy in Pakistan. If he was Pakistan’s democratic hope in 2013, in 2016, he is no more than a corrupt, weak and army-dependent prime minister.

It can be said here that a Sharif of Pakistan has taken away the rights of being Sharif (noble) from another Sharif of Pakistan.

Featured Image Courtesy: Collage prepared from images taken from Pakistan PMO’s Facebook page and Pakistan Army’s website 

©SantoshChaubey 

Thursday, 22 September 2016

TENDER. NOW THAT IS LIFE.

"If only life could be a little more tender and art a little more robust." 
(Alan Rickman)




TENDER. NOW THAT IS LIFE. 

“I will never hurt you.I will always help you.
If you are hungry, I will give you my food.
If you are frightened, I am your friend.
I love you now. And love does not end.” 
(Orson Scott Card, Songmaster)

©SantoshChaubey   

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

THIS TWEET IS INDICATIVE OF HEIGHT OF ANTI-INDIA PROPAGANDA IN PAKISTAN

Ever since Narendra Modi has asserted that India would raise and support the Balochistan issue and Pak-Occupied-Kashmir is legitimately India's and Pakistan is illegally occupying it and future India-Pakistan talks will revolve around it, Pakistan has scaled new heights of anti-India propaganda back home and across the world where ever it can reach.

And it is reflecting in every level of Pakistani establishment and society. Be it leaders, its communication channels or its social media chatter, one look, and it looks they squeeze even the last drop of blood out of Indian existence. Anything that is good, is firmly censored and banned in Pakistan.

As this tweet from Radio Pakistan shows.

During his last address to the UNGA as the US President, Barack Obama said that " China and India remain on a path of remarkable growth". In fact, India was one of the few rare mentions in his speech which had nothing negative about it.

But see how Radio Pakistan, Pakistan's national radio presented it.


If you think it is a human error in tweet only, then here is the complete Radio Pakistan copy.


Here is the portion of Barack Obama's speech mentioning India and China. 


Anything and everything may be debatable but it shows one thing that mere mention of India in a positive light starts giving sleepless nights to Pakistan.

©SantoshChaubey