Issue :   
August 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.  Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       August 2017 Edition of Power Politics is updated.   Happy Diwali to all our subscribers and Distributors       
Issue:August' 2017


Caring for farmers

The cover story on the state of our farmers in your July issue deserves applause. You have rightly said India's is fundamentally an agricultural economy . The recent farmers' unrest in different parts of the country is a product of insensitivity on the part of our successive governments at the Centre and in the States . This ongoing unrest has had deep causes. The recent measures some of the state chief ministers have taken are yet another indication that the Government still works on an adhoc basis. Such band-aid solutions would not do . Our farming sector requires a new agri commission to address the root causes of its predicament . Our farming sector needs due attention . It needs a new strategy and a radical overhaul. I hope our policy makers would heed the pragmatic counsels you have offered to make the future of our farming sector prosperous .
It is shocking that our successive governments at the Centre and in the States have failed to ensure the development of our farmers . Last month the Supreme Court rightly warned the Tamil Nadu government, "Your job is to take steps to prevent farmers' suicides and not go around distributing compensation after they commit suicide....Your approach has to be preventive and not compensatory."
The State government had blamed heart attacks, illness, and "in certain cases", severe drought for farmers suicides. It had claimed that it was "sensitive to the plight of farmers", paying relief from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund to the families of deceased, poor farmers. It has been observed that banks take coercive steps if farmers fail to pay their agricultural loans. The Court has rightly suggested , "If coercive steps are taken against farmers by banks for defaults on agricultural loans, there should be intervention from you. " The Court suggested that after " a crop is harvested, you [State] sell it for them and ensure they get the minimum support price. This can be done to stop any coercion from middlemen."

Madhav Gokhale

The Dragon at its old games !

New Delhi must remain cautious of Beijing's designs . Recently, the Chinese Foreign Ministry told the media the Indian border troops crossed into the Chinese territory at the Sikkim section of the China-India boundary. It said that in accordance with the Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet (1890), "the boundary of Sikkim and Tibet shall be the crest of the mountain range separating the waters flowing into the Sikkim Teesta and its affluents from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu and northwards into other rivers of Tibet. The line commences at Mount Gipmochi on the Bhutan frontier, and follows the above-mentioned water-parting to the point where it meets Nipal territory."
The Chinese ministry asserted that Doklam belongs to China. The water-parting in the area where the Indian troops trespassed is distinct. New Delhi must firmly assert its case. Beijing's activities are highly suspicious . According to reports, there was a 20-25 per cent increase in transgressions by the People's Liberation Army (PLA) along the disputed Sino-Indian border compared to 2016. On an average around 300 transgressions take place along the China border due to "difference in perception."
The stand-off between the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA at Doklam on the China-Sikkim-Bhutan tri-junction near Nathu La has been confirmed . The Bhutan government has lodged an official protest in a demarche asking China to stop road construction in the Doklam area. China's influence is growing in the region .
There has been rapid development of bilateral cooperation between Beijing and Kathmandu in various fields . Early this year , then Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda went over to China for the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference . His Vice Prime Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara went to China for the high-level dialogue of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Leaders of the two countries reached broad consensus in such areas as connectivity, free trade and postdisaster reconstruction and inked an intergovernmental memorandum of understanding on
cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative. Communist China has imperial designs. Recently, it dispatched People's Liberation Army (PLA) personnel to man its first overseas military base at Djibouti , located in the Horn of Africa. The base will ensure China's performance of missions, such as escorting, peace-keeping and humanitarian aid in Africa and West Asia. It will also conduct overseas tasks, including military cooperation, joint exercises, evacuating and protecting overseas Chinese and emergency rescue, as well as jointly maintaining security of international strategic seaways. The Djibouti base was under construction since 2011.
It is the first such base being set up by China. The second base is coming up in Gwadar, Pakistan. China plans to increase the size of its marine corps from 20,000 to 1 lakh personnel for overseas deployment, including at Gwadar and Djibouti.

J P Singh