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World Politics

CHINA: THE WORLD TRADER

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic, almost all of us realised what China offered to the rest of the world. But it is very important to know that China is one of the top traders in the world. Most of the goods and raw materials for manufacturing are provided by China to the rest of the world. Trade has become an increasingly important part of China’s overall economy and it has been a significant tool used for economic modernization. Over time, China’s dominance has grown dramatically.

Cartoon Of The Open Door Policy - The Koller Report - N.Koller

Although the U.S. dominated most of the world trade in 1980, China gradually surpassed the U.S. in 2013 as the major trading partner in many countries around the world. Before 2000, the U.S. was at the peak of global trade, as over 80% of countries traded with the U.S. By 2018, that number had dropped sharply to just 30% as China swiftly took the top position in 128 of 190 countries. China’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization was a major turning point in China’s international trade relationships.

Between imports and exports, China is involved in $4.6 trillion worth of trade worldwide. It has a trade balance of $367 billion, which means that its overall exports are higher than its imports. Just imagine the profits that China makes! In total, China exports $2.5 trillion worth of goods to other countries.

History of Chinese foreign trade:

The direction of China’s foreign trade has undergone marked changes since the early 1950s. In 1950, three-fourths of the total was accounted for by trade with non-communist countries, but by 1954, the situation was completely reversed, and communist countries accounted for about three-fourths. In 1965, China’s trade with other socialist countries made up only about one-third of the total.

Mongol Age - Silk Road

The drive to modernize the economy that began in 1978 required a sharp acceleration in commodity flows and greatly improved efficiency in economic transactions. In the following years, economic reforms were adopted by the government to develop a socialist market economy. This type of economy combined central planning with market mechanisms. The changes resulted in the expansion of domestic and foreign trade and investment.

The Silk Road: Connecting the ancient world through trade ...

During the 1980s and 1990s, China’s foreign trade came full cycle. Trade with all communist countries diminished with the demise of most socialist states. By contrast, trade with developed and developing countries became predominant. In general, China has had a positive balance of trade with its trading partners since 1990. Hong Kong became one of China’s major partners before its reincorporation into the country. It remains prominent in domestic trade, mainly for agricultural products.

Ambassador Zhangqian’s Visit to the Western Regions

Over the past several decades, Chinese trade has expanded at a fast pace. In 1995, the value of China’s imports and exports of goods totalled $280.9 billion or 3 percent of global trade. By 2018, its total trade in goods had jumped to $4.6 trillion or 12.4 percent of global trade.

Exports:

The latest available country-specific data shows that 60.2% of products exported from China were brought by importers in: 

  • The United States of America (16.8%)
  • Hong Kong (11.2%)
  • Japan (5.7%)
  • South Korea (4.4%)
  • Vietnam (3.9%)
  • Germany (3.2%)
  • India (3.6%)
  • Netherlands (3%)
  • United Kingdom (2.5%)
  • Taiwan (2.2%)
  • Singapore (2.2%)
  • Malaysia (2.1%).

Even though The U.S. is one of the most developed countries in the world, it is the largest importer of goods and raw materials from China. Surprising, isn’t it? The most common goods that China exports to the U.S. tend to be electronic devices, such as cell phones. It shows how important of a role China plays for every country when it comes to the manufacturing industry.

The great bulk of China’s exports consist of manufactured goods, of which electrical and electronic machinery and equipment and clothing, textiles, and footwear are by far the most important. Agricultural products, chemicals, and fuels are also significant exports. The United States, Hong Kong, Japan, EU countries, and South Korea are the principal export destinations.

The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Chinese global shipments:

  1. Electrical machinery, equipment: US $671 billion (26.9%)
  2. Machinery including computers: $417 billion (16.7%).
  3. Furniture (including bedding, lighting, prefab buildings, signs): $99.5 billion (4.2%).
  4. Plastics, plastic articles: $84.4 billion (3.4%).
  5. Vehicles: $74.4 billion (3%).
  6. Optical, technical and medical apparatus: $73 billion (2.9%).
  7. Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $71.4 billion (2.9%).
  8. Iron and steel products: $69.6 billion (2.8%).
  9. Clothing, accessories (excluding knit or crochet items): $66.8 billion (2.7%).
  10. Toys, games: $62.8 billion (2.5%)
  11. Footwear: $47.8 billion (2.3%)
  12. Agricultural products like cotton, tea, rice and potatoes

The value of China’s exports in goods annually surpasses the amount it imports from the rest of the world. In 2018, China exported $2.49 trillion in goods while it imported $2.13 trillion.

Imports:

Most of China’s imports consist of machinery and apparatus (including semiconductors, computers, and office machines), chemicals, and fuels. The main import sources are Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Australia, the countries of the European Union (EU), and the United States. Regionally, almost half of China’s imports come from East and Southeast Asia, and some one-fourth of its exports go to the same countries. Taiwan also has become an important trading partner.

China’s Commodity Imports are:

  1. Mineral fuels including oil: $116.2 billion
  2. Iron ore: $57.1 billion
  3. Copper & Copper Ore: $53.2 billion
  4. Oil Seeds e.g. canola: $38.3 billion
  5. Coal: $11.5 billion 
  6. Electronic equipment: $431.6 billion
  7. Electrical machinery and equipment: $414.3 billion
  8. Machinery (including computers): $147.8 billion
  9. Medical apparatus: $92.6 billion
  10. Vehicles: $71.5 billion
  11. Organic chemicals: $43.9 billion
Emperor Jiajing on his state barge

China also has free trade agreements with several nations, including China–Australia Free Trade Agreement, China–South Korea Free Trade Agreement, ASEAN–China Free Trade Area, Switzerland and Pakistan.

China’s Trading Relationship with India:

The relationship between the two giants of Asia, and the world, has been progressing at a tremendous pace. Both nations have witnessed their share of ups-and-downs over the years. The history of bilateral relations between India and China dates back to the mid-1980s.

China is one of India’s prime trading partners. Imports from China mainly include consumer durable goods such as electronic products, plastic goods, smartphones, solar cells, pharmaceutical drugs, industrial goods, car components, apparel, footwear, toys and sports equipment among several others. In 2018, imports were over the US $22 billion, clocking over 50 percent of India’s requirements of electrical and electronic equipment. In the period 2001-2012, the total import of toys from China has increased by 25.21%. On the other hand, 30% of India’s automobile components demands are met by China.

Exports and Imports after COVID-19:

According to CNBC, in April, exports percentage of China rose by 3.5% crushing expectations for a decline of 15.7% and imports fell by 14.2%. Reuters had expected that 15.7% of exports would fall but the exports rose by 3.5% in April. China’s trade surplus was predicted to be $6.35 billion but it was found to be $45.34 billion. In April 2020 China exported $177B and imported $153B, resulting in a positive trade balance. Between April 2019 and April 2020, the exports of China have increased by 4.02% while imports decreased by 9.33%. Exports of medical supplies surged in April as it shipped health- care goods to the rest of the world. China’s trade surplus in April was the largest since December last year when the surplus was about $47 billion.

We all assumed that the exports from China to other countries were going to decrease but it has widely increased even with the coronavirus outbreak. Many countries are now thinking to boycott China but that would be a really difficult mission to accomplish as China seems to have a finger in every pie.

Overall, by creating new markets and trade routes, China is possibly cementing its position as the world’s major trading partner for years to come.

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World Politics

How will the ban on Chinese products impact India

 HOW WILL THE BAN ON CHINESE PRODUCTS AFFECT INDIA?

India mourning with casualties following the recent Indo-China border dispute over the Himalayan Galwan Valley, is not what it seems like. Below is an image that has surfaced over the internet showing soldiers armed against each other. However, this is a throwback picture of last year when the Indian forces sustained a casualty against the armed militants.

 

Nonetheless it prompted a massive outrage between the two nuclear-armed countries, India and China.

 In a frenzy, there began a mass protest by hurling Chinese television sets down the balconies, smashing mobile phones. A Union Minister called for a complete boycott of Chinese restaurants selling Indianized Chinese food with owners and chefs of Indian origin including the ingredients generated through Indian agriculture.

Kolkata: Youth Congress activists burn Chinese products during a protest against the killing of 20 Indian Army soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops, in Kolkata, Thursday, June 18, 2020. (PTI Photo/Ashok Bhaumik)(PTI18-06-2020_000152B)

People started taking initiatives by burning generic Chinese luxury goods which have been procured by them as evident through the following link https://youtu.be/3e7irVQG1wo.

 A group of protestors were caught burning the image of North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un mistaking him for the Chinese President Xi Jinping.

While there is stigmatization that operates in India around Chinese products to be synonymous with duplicate, inefficient and a cheap alternative for luxury items, it must also be remembered that China is the second largest contributor to the Indian economy after U.S.

The Indian government however has resorted to boycotting any form of trade with the idea to teach China a lesson. Waging a war when it cannot afford to, is the last step to be taken by China or India. Given the situation, India must work towards complete disengagement of the troupes. In these context MEA on India China Standoff and de-escalation: “We will not accept any unilateral attempts to change the LAC.Both sides are engaged thru military,diplomatic channels.Meeting of WMMC is also expected to be scheduled soon. Hope the Chinese side will work towards peace  ”

 For all the impulsive outrage that has invoked is quite natural yet India cannot afford complete resistance in terms of trade and following are five major reasons why:

1.Public perception: Trade deficit is an alarming sign

The idea that is resonating behind boycotting Chinese products is to hit them down with trade deficit assuming to blow a tremendous impact on the Chinese economy. This pre-conceived false notion ought to be addressed with immediate effect. India has trade deficit with 22 countries including China. List of other countries include France, Germany, Nigeria, South Africa, UAE, Qatar, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia to name a few. Similarly, if the top 25 countries with whom India trades is taken into consideration, it has recorded trade surpluses with economic giants like the U.S. Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Does it mean that India is better of than any of these countries? No, that is never the case. Trade deficit with China does not essentially convey that India is a weaker economy, the only fact is India has more buyers of Chinese goods compared to Chinese buyers.

It is a given statement that it is feasible for Indian customers to buy the Chinese product as a cheap alternative to Japanese or French or even the indigenous product. What essentially matters is that the Indian consumers and the Chinese producers both are in a win/win situation. It is this process that generates the trade. On the other hand, persistently running on trade deficits has its issues. The country’s foreign exchange reserves become questionable along with it also underlines the incapability to manufacture indigenous products. However, no country is entirely self-sufficient hence the concept of trading. It creates a framework to launch expertise in whatever the home country excels in and provides a steady process of exporting that good while importing the efficiency of the other.

Although, it is proven that consistent trade deficit brings in more benefits, taking into consideration the current economic scenario of the state, it cannot pose buying restrictions on Indian consumers as it will only adversely affect economic fluidity and India would stand to lose more.

2. India barely can afford an alternative

This is to say that China is the second largest trade partner to India after US and it reports a fair 12% of India’s imports across sectors including chemicals, automotive components, consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals. It is confirmed by Sudarshan Jain, the President of the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance that almost 70% of intermediary needs for drug manufacture in India is facilitated and fulfilled by China. Even though India pledges to be “Atma Nirbhar” (self-reliant) at the moment it is still a distant dream.

India’s surge in the smartphone sector heavily thrives on phones manufactured by Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi coming in a relatively cheaper price. Ban on these companies may not necessarily affect the tech giants but the underdogs in consumer electronics business will face the heat if they cannot import intermediary goods from China.

“We are not worried about finished goods. But most players across the globe import key components such as key compressors from China” says B.Thigarajan, managing director of Blue Star Limited, an Indian manufacturer of air-conditioners.

How will this affect India?

Well, the rich can easily afford an alternative that is relatively expensive but the middle class will either have to forgo the desire to own an air-conditioner or purchase a less-efficient model.

3. The Poor will suffer

Indian economy has already hit a rock bottom following the worldwide pandemic crisis. In any adverse circumstances, nightmare breaks upon the working and lower middle-class strata of the society. More often than not, it is the poor consumers who are the worst-hit in such kind of a trade ban comes into action.

The Indian government has restricted further trade collaborations with China. Now, Chinese goods are accessible at surprisingly cheap rates in India. Imposing a trade ban will not only shrink the consumer base but also increase the stakes of Indian retailers who have already placed pre-paid orders. This hit will turn out severe on the poorest retailers in proportion for the incapability to cope with a deep and unprecedented loss.

4. Indian Producers and Exporters will be penalised

While on one side there is truth in the statement that India pays a heavy price trading with China, it is also to be known that it hurts only the less-efficient producers. Chinese imports are not restricted to finished goods only for buyer’s consumption, several Indian business sectors rely on China for intermediate goods and raw materials which in turn contribute to the manufacture of the final product for the domestic market in India as well as for global exports.

 Lesser known fact, large proportion of Chinese imports include intermediate goods like electrical machinery, nuclear reactors, fertilizers, optical and photographic equipments, organic chemicals e.t.c. Indo-China business relations have deeply penetrated in the technological sector with companies like Zomato, Big Basket, Ola, Paytm.

“There have been more than 90 Chinese investments in Indian start-ups, most of them made over the last five years. Eighteen out thirty Indian unicorns [tech start-ups valued at over $1bn] have a Chinese investor”, according to Gateway House, a Mumbai-based think-tank.

Therefore, an umbrella ban on trading will hurt all the growing businesses in ventilation to survive in the current unfortunate socio-economic scenario.

5. Bust the myth: China will not shed a tear

India imports 14% of Chinese goods will the exports amount to only 5%. In $US value- India’s imports from China are just 3% of China’s total exports.

Looking at the facts above, what does common sense convey?

COUNTRIESIMPORT(LOSS%)EXPORT(LOSS%)
INDIA145
   
CHINA13

The above table underlines the possible consequences both countries will be recuperating with.

The Upshot

Impulsively shifting a border dispute gun to shoot the trading sector is a ridiculously childish measure the Indian government may resort to. Given the global economic status of both the countries, India will face the heat relatively more than China. ‘Atma Nirbhar’ [self-reliant] cannot certainly contribute to be immediately effective.

On a ground level, we the mass who are the maker or breaker of any institution that is a result of collected effort can work towards creating an empire that supports indigenous goods and modify the sale of low quality Chinese products irrespective of all possible time constraints

Reference links: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/india-china-trade-ban-explained-6465949/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53150898

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CoronavirusWorld Politics

$5 Trillion economy: Dream or Reality?

Introduction

Living in an unpredictable world where the US and China are leading the world markets. Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red fort on 73rd Independence day, Prime Minister Modi dreams of $5 Trillion economy. Prime Minister’s ambitious target was reflected in the recently released Economic Survey & Union Budget. Analyzing India’s current situation & coronavirus outbreak this target set by PM is hard to achieve but not impossible. To attain this target our GDP needs to grow over the next few years. The required rate of growth to achieve that level is in excess of 9% per annul.

Present Status

India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with one of the highest youth population .GDP growth is pegged at 6-6.5 % in 2020-21 up from 5 % in 2019-20(Economic survey 2019-20). Creation of new firms has increased drastically since 2014. More than 50 % of the workforce is in the agriculture sector. As per govt. plans, farmers to become exporters from bare producers. Govt has planned to invest vast on agricultural infrastructure. A 10 % increase in registration of new firms. The Economic Survey pointed out high drop out rates at various levels of schooling and lack of affordability in higher education as areas of concern. Barely 2 % of the Indian population pays Income tax. The present fiscal deficit remains at 3.5% of GDP. Currently, rupees stand at 76.54 to a dollar. Despite this mixed data it very tough declaration to intend to become $5 trillion economy.

Road breakers

India stands at 63 among 190 countries in ease of doing business released by world bank. It takes as many as 36 approvals are needed to open an eatery in Bengaluru which shows why we are so behind in the ranking. This also reminds us of license Raj during Nehru time. Unemployment is in degrading trend with an all-time low. Infrastructure is another major concern, Our weak infrastructure needs major upgrade especially in places like Northeast which has high potential to affect our GDP. India has a huge population to provide education, health & food security which is a very difficult task & needs a good plan with proper management. The degrading environment all over India puts pressure on existing resources. Proper Implementation is still a big problem we are facing. Every year Govt. announce new plans & strategy but we don’t know how many people are benefited from the schemes. Corruption of ministers, bureaucrats in major schemes is the root cause that many people are still out of reach of schemes that are announced every year. Women’s participation is low in our country compared to the world average. There were many other parameters like fake news, rumors that have an indirect effect on the Indian economy.

Govt steps

Nirmala Sitaraman presented the Economic survey 19- 20 on 31st January & union budget on 1st February where she highlighted several plans of the government to be taken. The budget is woven around 3 prominent themes- Inspirational India, Economic development & Caring society. Govt had decided many Fibre to the Home(FTTH) connections through Bharatnet that will link gram panchayats this year policy to enable the private sector to build Data center parks throughout the country will be brought soon.100 more airports would be developed under the Udaan scheme. More than 2.83 Lakh crore will be spent on agriculture development. On education & skill front 99,300 crores have been allocated. India’s government has tried to stem the slowdown with a host of measures, including tax cuts and cash injections for the banking and automobile sectors.

Effect of coronavirus on Economy

On 31st December while we were welcoming New year, a deadly virus COVID-19 emerged in the city of Wuhan, China. No country ever wondered this could have such a harsh effect all over the world. More than 3,50,000 cases with 15,415(till now) deaths are being reported.500+ cases have registered in India till now. Most of the Indian states have gone in complete lockdown with trains, metros and inter-state buses have been shut. Many states have sealed their borders. Sensex plunges the biggest single-day fall. On the BSE, 2,037 companies declined, while 232 advanced. Investors in India suffered a huge loss due to this disease & fear that it can destroy the economy. The travel industry has been badly damaged. Currently, all trains, flights service remains suspended. There is a pay cut to the employees of these sectors. The next hard-hit sector is Tourism, no International flights are being allowed to land on Indian soil. With tourism restaurants, chains are being closed. Many heritage sites including the Taj Mahal is currently closed. These are further slowing the Indian economy. Indian govt. Has ordered work from home so the demand for high-speed internet has increased & many telecom operators launching new plans. Automobile manufacturing has been stopped by many companies. However, a company like Reckitt Benckiser(manufacture dettol) saw a huge increase in sales of sanitizers & soaps. To some relief Govt. has put sanitizers & mask in essential commodities & capped its prize. Coronavirus soon needs to tackle if we want to make $5 Trillion economies possible.

Conclusion

Every year the Union budget is out & money is allocated to different sectors but still, we are behind the projected rate. This may be due to corruption or improper implementation or any other reason the Indian economy gets affected.Huge money is allocated to education & health. Still, the condition of these sectors is not improving. While some states performance is not up to mark some states like Kerala, Karnataka is performing well. We can see these states working model & implement it in other states but we are busy discussing in a useless political issue. Recently Yes Bank crises had put the huge burden in banking sectors and the major question arises ,Are money in banks safe? What was RBI doing? As India feels the pain of coronavirus outbreak, India’s economy further downshifts. With lockdown all over the country, India has to bear a huge financial burden due to this disease. Globally, the coronavirus shock is severe even compared to the Great Financial Crisis in 2007–08. Indian policymakers have to plan accordingly in this time of shutdown & make effective plans further if we still want $5Trillion economy.

This post is contributed by Asthanu Madhav

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World Politics

The Fading Voices: The Story behind the Existential Crisis of an Indian Race

The northeast has been a very integral part of India in contributing to a nation’s economic growth. Rich in natural resources and cultural diversity, Northeast India is the role-model upon which the pillars of our Constitution were designed. But despite contributing to the nation’s growth through its natural resources and setting examples of a tolerant Indian society, the people of the Northeast have been facing a severe existential crisis throughout centuries. From a lack of economic growth to racial discrimination to facing cultural slaughter, the people of Northeast has been constantly raising their voices against injustice committed by numerous governments of independent India. Even though these voices have been suppressed or ignored throughout history, today let us find out what exactly these voices cry for and what is the reason and solution behind all these.

A brief History of Northeast India

Before India achieved her independence, Northeast, as we know today, was a huge landmass in the east of the Bengal Province. It was locally known as Greater Assam or “Bor Axom”. A huge state comprising of modern-day Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya, and modern-day Assam. Originally founded and united through alliances by the king, “Chow-Lung-Siu-Ka-Pha” from the Ahom Dynasty in 1228, the Kingdoms of Assam has successfully resisted countless foreign invasions, including the Delhi Sultanates and the Mughals until 1824, when it was finally defeated by the Burmese Maan Dynasty and fell to the hands of the British under the Yandaboo Treaty of 1826, finally putting an end to 600 glorious years of rule. Now starts the story of a colonial northeastern state of Assam.

Fig. The Kingdoms of NorthEast India during the Medieval Period
(Source: https://cascade.madmimi.com)

Demography of Assam Under Colonization

Following colonization in 1826, Assam was incorporated into the Bengal province. The British were delighted to find abundant natural resources and rich fertile soil of the Brahmaputra valley. This led them to set up industries in the Brahmaputra valley. But following brutal wars with the Burmese, the local population was outnumbered and hugely lacked manpower. The population of the entire northeast was assumed to be in thousands rather than in millions. For this, the British brought in the first non-natives to the land, the British servants from Bengal and Rajasthan. Posted as government officials, their numbers grew in number throughout the 19th century. Upon discovery of oil, coal, and tea in the state, the British brought in more non-natives, like the tribes from Odisha, Jharkhand and the South to work in the mines, tea plantations and oil fields in and around Digboi. Slowly and steadily these people started setting up their homes and businesses which soon became villages and towns. On receiving news of newfound freedom in Assam, the peasants and farmers from East Bengal and Bihar, trapped under the brutality of the Zamindar System, began immigrating in thousands to feed on the fertile soil of the Brahmaputra Valley. 

Fig. Northeast India with the Princely states as a part of the Bengal Province during the British Rule
(Source: https://assamchronicle.com/)

In the midst of these, the British government on learning about the majority Bengali speaking people, comprising of hundreds of tribes, decided to set Bengali as the official language. Soon the Assamese felt the loss of their social identity, their language, and their cultural heritage. This was the beginning of the long struggle for existence that even continues today. The natives lost their livelihoods to the non-natives. Unemployment began to rise among the Assamese along with the depleting population. This trend of reckless immigration continued well until the end of the British Era in India. When India received her independence, it was presumed that the pain had finally come to its end and the natives shall have their dignity again.

Assam After Independence and Assam Accord, 1985

But things did not turn out as it was supposed to be. East Bengal getting incorporated into East Pakistan, let to millions of Bengali speaking peasants and farmers to immigrate illegally into Assam in search of fertile land. This illegal and unchecked immigration is still a major issue for the state. After immigration, these people soon produced counterfeit documents to validate their Indian citizenship and soon started taking up descent jobs in the state, keeping the indigenous people at bay from having a better livelihood. Following negligence of the central government during Chinese invasions in the Sino-Indian war in 1962, certain internal conflicts arose across the Northeast. Fearing repercussions, the central government gradually divided the state into seven different states (The Seven Sisters), along with polarizing the native people based on communal lines. But this did not solve the issue of unchecked illegal immigration, which rose like never before after the Indo-Pakistan war of 1972, leading to the formation of Bangladesh. Tensions escalated and it crossed every boundary when the voter’s list for the state by-election of 1979 was presented to the people. In this election, it was found that the number of voters increased drastically and upon inquiry, it was concluded that the majority of voters were Bengali speaking non-native immigrants Bangladesh. Soon, the state of Assam went into a major uproar with the demands of the deporting of these illegal immigrants from the state sealing off the border with Bangladesh for good. This protest movement came to be known as The Assam Agitation or “The Assam Movement of 1979-1985”, the first-ever major protest movement in post-independent India. Faced with intense brutality and ignorance from the Central Congress government headed by Indira Gandhi, the protest and the unrest lasted for six long years. 855 Assamese protesters, mostly students were martyred at the hands of the police, along with communal clashes all across the state. On 15th August 1985, the protest came to an end with the signing of The Assam Accord, with the Central Government under Rajiv Gandhi. The Assam Accord promised to fulfill the demands of deporting illegal immigrants who arrived after 1971, protecting the indigenous rights of the Assamese people under Clause 6 and most importantly the implementation of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) in Assam to identify the natives from illegal immigrants. The whole state of Assam celebrated the victorious signing of the Assam Accord with student leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta of the All Assam Student Union (AASU) rising as the new leader. 

Fig. The Signing of the Assam Accord between the People of Assam, represented by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and the Central Government under Rajiv Gandhi, 1985

What happened after the Assam Accord was signed?

Unfortunately, after becoming the new Chief Minister of Assam, he along with his political party, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), tainted the trust of the Assamese people when the AGP administration failed to implement the demands of The Assam Accord and corruption engulfed the state. The Central Government along with the State Government of Assam formed a secret agreement. An agreement that was so vicious that it came to be known as “Gupto Hotya” or government-sponsored “Secret Killing” of innocent Assamese youths, falsely framing them as members of the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA). ULFA is an underground separatist group of the Assamese people, formed during the Assam agitation movement. They were declared as a terrorist organization by the Government of India in 1998. Their demand is the declaration of an Independent Greater Assam from the “so-called” Republic of India. 

Following many more events, nothing improved when it came to the demography. Instead, the Bodo community demanded a separate state because of cultural differences. Matters worsened when Assam was declared as an insurgent state. Insurgencies and military operations became common events. Tourism and economic development were the worst hit. The implementation of the Assam Accord remained a job to be done despite changing governments. Illegal immigration from Bangladesh continued, crime rates increased, villages plundered, communal clashes between natives and non-natives became common and what not. Things changed drastically when recently the BJP government forcefully implemented CAA over the demography of Assam. It was a situation when all hell broke loose.

Aftereffects and why Assam Rejects CAA?

In 2016, after the BJP won the state election in Assam, debates and discussion began with the central government to pass an act for the state along with the entire country to end this demographic issue once and for all. In 2019, after the central BJP government came to power for the second time, this act was passed in the Upper House of the Parliament in December 2019 and implemented from 10th January 2020. This is called the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). A law that shall allow all the illegal immigrants except Muslims currently residing in India because of religious persecution in their home country (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh) to take up citizenship in India. People all over the country and abroad irrespective of any religion, caste, creed protested against this act of amendment, calling it religiously discriminatory, nonsecular and against the pillars of the Indian Constitution. However, the situation for the states of Assam and Northeast is completely different and even today it is widely ignored by the general masses including the international media.

Fig. A protestor hailing the traditional ‘Gamusa’ with ‘NO CAA’ written on it during the Anti-CAA movement in December, 2019

When the government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, it has completely scrapped off the Assam Accord of 1985 which was supposed to protect the indigenous rights of the native people, also putting in vain the sacrifices of the 855 martyrs during the Assam Agitation of 1979. The state government of Assam under BJP also failed to notice that the Bengali speaking illegal immigrants from Bangladesh belonged to both Hindu as well as Muslim religion. The people of the northeast demanded to deport immigrants not based on religion but based on nationality and immigration policies. The government even today fails to listen to this fact. As a result, the Hindu Bengali speaking immigrants from Bangladesh who entered Assam before 2014, as per the Citizenship Amendment Act shall be given full citizenship of India, thus extending the 1971 cut-off date and also relaxing certain citizenship procedures for any Hindu Bangladeshi applying for citizenship in India and residency in Northeast. However, their Muslim counterparts shall be treated like any other illegal immigrants. This leads to incomplete removal of illegal immigrants and a religiously polarized society, a society that is unimaginable in a humanitarian and secular state like Assam.  To stop the widescale protests all across Assam and northeast, several brutal measures were taken up by the government which included the shooting and thrashing of protestors, mostly students, arresting and defaming of social activists and leaders like Akhil Gogoi and Dr. Hiren Gohain, curfews, internet shutdowns, laying off government officials and much more. Even after all these, the protests against CAA and the fight to save the indigenous rights continues even today.

What lies ahead?

Today the Assamese speaking population is roughly about 37%, which includes all the tribal communities and castes combined. There is nothing as unfortunate as being a minority and having to stay under the domination and brutality of illegal immigrants who also happened to control most of the businesses in their home state. Where livelihood is nothing but a dream for the natives, where there is no freedom to celebrate one’s native festivals (especially in Barrack Valley), where there is no freedom to carry out free businesses and where the safety of indigenous women and children is always a concern. Even the Assamese language, having script very similar to Bengali has been compromised many times since the colonial era and even today, it continues to be an occasional source of conflict.

As a solution to the century-long conflicts, the only way out is the implementation of Inner Line Permit (ILP), as followed by all the states of Northeast leaving aside Assam and Tripura, the two states severely affected by illegal immigration. But just like every strong medicine has its side-effects, ILP for Assam will also come at a cost. It will truly segregate the state from the entire country as no non-native Indians will be able to buy or sell land here and their rights will be limited. This will alienate the people of Assam from the rest of India which might also lead to social and cultural stigma for the Assamese all across India. 

The term ‘Assamese’ is a combination of a huge number of ethnic groups having different cultural backgrounds and dialects coming together to form a common culture, language, and harmony. A community where religion and caste play no role in determining the character of a person. Today, in a society where secularism is highly compromised and lack of tolerance has led to a polarized nation, it is high time the politicians and leaders learn about the demography of the northeast. Because of the amount of diversity present in the demography of Northeast India, calls for special attention and delicate action. Since numerous governments have acted blind to the cries of the Northeast, it is high time, every citizen of India and the world listen to these cries of existential crisis and persuade our leaders to take up necessary actions. Else, the term ‘Assamese’ will be nothing but a reminder of a bygone community who happened to exist in and around the Brahmaputra Valley, spoke an extinct language and practiced a non-existent culture and way of life.

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World Politics

USA V/S IRAN : 3rd WORLD WAR ??

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”

– Albert Einstein

History

 There is 2 main power in middle east Iran and Saudi which is constantly against each other due to their oil deals. Yes, the world has limited sources and they are fighting over it .USA is great allies to Saudi. Iran and Saudi have been involved in a cold war for decades. The USA and Iran’s relationships are not good for 40 years but huge tension between the two countries has been build for few years. All will fight and make us mad.

All started with President Donald Trump abandons Nuclear deal with Iran in 2018 which was signed by Ex-President Obama in 2015 after 2 years of negotiation between two countries.Trump claimed that Iran supported terrorism & all chaos in the middle east is created by Iran is the reason to abandon the nuclear deal. Is this reality or political stunt by Trump just to oppose Obama? After this event, the tension between two countries became worse after Iran shoots USA drone in strait of Hormuz claiming that drone was flying in Iranian territory.

What they want is that destroys the earth and we have to elop to mars.

New Drama

Donald Trump, sporting tattooed muscled arms, walks into the cricket ground with the audience cheering for him. On 3 Jan 2020 USA drone strikes near the Baghdad International Airport which led to the death of Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.Oh, that’s just a schoolboy stuff for him but Soleimani was commander of the Quds Force and considered as No. 2 position in Iran . With this the USA makes an astonishing comeback after Iran shoots USA drone.USA simply gives its explanation of attack as Q. Soleimani was planning more attacks on the USA army in Iran. Donald Trump thinks himself the lion king but if war happens USA will citizens will pay a huge prize for it.

“Not a single country has said the Soleimani killing was a good idea,” says Ivo Daalder, a former US ambassador to Nato. With the election for president, just a few months away did Trump did this attack just for political popularity. If it’s true than its like “Jab sar pe ho election aur ginana ho koi kaam, war ka lo naam”.But who will resolve the actual problem of citizens that was promised ? 

Effect on India

Iran is India one of the leading oil suppliers.If the tension between 2 countries didn’t resolve that India will be riding two horses at one time. Within an hour of the attack, India investors faced huge losses in share bazaar. If war occurs Nirmala Sitaraman has to check the economy status from last as the economic condition in India is all-time low and report from many International Organization(IMF) states worse is still to come. Economic is in danger!!. With boat going to sink and alarm bell already ringing but our elite captain and mota bhai will still announce all is well sitting in AC room.With curfew still in Kashmir our media house still not showing these serious topics.If war happens the USA will sanctions huge economic sanctions in Iran which they will give by increasing crude oil prices which will directly affect the common people of our country. We need Modi to focus on real issues, for Pakistan and China we have Chota Bheem.

Conclusion 

The world has seen two devastating wars, with technology advancement 3rd world war has the capability to remove half of the world population. With the centralization of power in a few world leader, they do whatever they want but the war will directly effect & leave long term effects on common people. As of now, world leaders should be focusing on a real issue like health, clean air,environment,water not war.Both countries should call a peace meeting before they eradicate the world.With the USA election just front door, Donald Trump has to look after the real issue in the country rather than war or peeping to other nations.Now citizens have to choose who will screw them more this time and meanwhile Trump should keep his tiny little fingers away from nuclear codes.

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