Narendra Modi’s Foreign Policy – Japan


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 13, 2015           10.10 P.M.

In the world of obfuscation of national frontiers, in the age of internet and social media reach, no country can remain isolated. It shouldn’t either. Foreign Policy is, thus the most important aspect of modern governance.

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi took oath of office, it was widely assumed and believed that due to lack of international exposure, he would rather falter if not fail in Foreign Policy. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised his friends, critics and enemies alike. Today after almost 18 months, foreign policy initiatives have become his strongest achievement and accomplishment.

In my last blog I wrote about 3 epoch-making initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the realm of foreign policy. He initiated 3 forums to support India’s World View. During the U.N. Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris [ COP 21 ] , he proposed a new forum of 120 nations named INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE [ I.S.A. ]

Thus the above mentioned 4 new forums bearing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signature are there in the foreign policy domain and they will remain the biggest hallmark of India in the coming days. India’s 1st big initiative, Non-Aligned Movement [ N.A.M. ] , started by 1st Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru is, for all practical purposes, now dead. No other Prime Minister after that could usher anything worthwhile. So it is right to say that in the realm of Foreign Policy Narendra Modi is the 2nd most successful Prime Minister of India. He is 2nd to Jawahar Lal Nehru only technically. In fact he is 2nd to none.

4 most successful initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi till date :

1 – Forum for India-Pacific Islands cooperation [ F.I.P.I.C. ]

2 – Indian Ocean Outreach Programme [ I.O.O.P. ]

3 – India-Africa Forum Summit [ I.A.F.S. ]

4 – International Solar Alliance [ I.S.A. ]

 

Foreign Policy successes, apart from multilateral forums,  is also measured in bilateral terms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi scores in this arena also.

Till date Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made 30 foreign trips. He has made 1 visit each to 26 countries. They are : Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, China, Fiji, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mongolia, Myanmar, Russia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, UAE, UK & Uzbekistan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made 2 visits each to : France, Nepal, Singapore & USA.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in following multilateral meetings also. They are : BRICS [ Fortaleza & Ufa ] / G-20 [ Brisbane & Antalya ] / ASEAN [ Naypyidaw & Kuala Lumpur ] / SCO [ Dushambe & Ufa ] / IBSA [ New Delhi ] / INDIA-AFRICA FORUM [ New Delhi ] / SAARC [ Kathmandu ] .

He has developed unique and intimate relationships with almost all the world leaders. Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe is one of them.

India - Japan Location Map

India – Japan Location Map

Shinzo Abe came to India on a 3 day official visit on December 11, 2015. This visit, apart from clinching of several deals and contracts, will always be remembered for GANGA AARTI in Varanasi.

 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

But first let us first look at the other major economic and social accomplishments. Following is the 16 major agreements, known as Power of 16.

Nuclear Energy, Bullet Train, Make In India in Defence, Double Taxation Avoidance are some of the major agreements, which were signed.

16 Agreement Signed with Japan

16 Agreement Signes with Japan

16 Agreement signed with Japan

 

4th Int'l Control Regime

4th Int’l Control Regime

 

Maritime Challenge in Indo-Pacific Region

Maritime Challenge in Indo-Pacific Region

 

Maritime Safety , Trade & Commerce

Maritime Safety , Trade & Commerce

 

ODA Loan

ODA Loan

 

Partnering for Make In India

Partnering for Make In India

 

UNSC Reform

UNSC Reform

 

Shinkansen Bullet Train

Shinkansen Bullet Train

 

But this visit of Japanese Premier will always be remembered for GANGA AARTI on the banks of eternal GANGA in Varanasi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited his Lok Sabha constituency and performed pooja and Aarti along with the guest.

 

Coming for GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Coming for GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

GANGA AARTI in Varanasi Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

 

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[ Photos of Prime Minister Narendra Modi & Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is taken from the twitter handle of Shri Narendra Modi & documents have been photo copied from the twitter handle of Shri Vikas Swaroop, Spokesperson Ministry of external Affairs. I express gratitude. ]

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Crimea in Turmoil : The February Jinx


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           MARCH 04 , 2014           00.30 A.M.

Never in my wildest dreams I had imagined that one day , I would be sitting in Mumbai and writing a blog about Crimea. I know this name ” Crimea ” will not ring a familiar bell for majority of my countrymen. But students of world history know about Crimea . I , as a student of history , have read about Crimean War [ 1853 – 1856 ] in detail . Much before World war I [ 1914 – 1918 ] , French Empire , Ottoman Empire , British Empire and Kingdom of Sardinia fought a bloody and fierce battle with Russian Empire over the right of Christians in Holy Land . Allied forces fought for Roman Catholics and Russian Empire fought for Orthodox Church . Crimean war , fought between October 1853 to February 1856 , resulted in the victory for Allied Forces and finally Treaty of Paris was signed between the victors and the vanquished .

Crimean War had far-reaching effect in the history of mankind. It will aways be remembered for Florence Nightingale and her pioneering service for the wounded in the war . Her work heralded the modern nursing methods . It is a little known fact that Mahatma Gandhi won Victoria Cross for his services for the British Empire during Crimean War . It is also a fact that in the aftermath of Crimean War , because of heavy financial crisis and huge debt , which he was unable to pay , Alexander II , the Czar of Russia sold Alaska region of Russian Empire to U.S.A. Alaska was admitted as the 49th state of USA on January 3, 1959 .

As a student of history I have read about Yalta Conference of February 1945 , a.k.a. Crimea Conference , and many more pages of Crimean history during World War II . By strange quirk of history and unlike Crimean War , British Empire and Russian Empire were not at loggerheads during World War II but they were fighting together as the Allied Forces along with United States of America . Franklin D. Roosevelt of U.S.A. , Winston Churchill of Great Britain and Joseph Stalin of Russia assembled at Yalta , a port city of Crimea and discussed and decided Europe’s Post – War reorganization .

Yalta Summit-1

Yalta Summit-2

Churchill , Roosevelt & Stalin at Yalta Conference

So when I read about the recent turmoil in Crimea , I was alarmed and concerned . I just wrote and posted a blog about Ukraine . I was celebrating the success of nationalist forces of Ukraine and the fall of pro – Russian Ukrainian President and a tyrant Viktor Yanukovich . But alas , it was short – lived . Viktor Yanukovich took refuge in Moscow and Russian forces slyly entered into the Simferopol , the capital of Crimea , and took control of the airport and other vital government installations .

Map - 3

Map of Crimea

Map - 1

Map of Crimea

Crimea is a peninsula and is attached to Ukraine by a narrow stretch of land which is at places not more than 5 km in width. For centuries Russian Empire was struggling to have a foothold in the warm water of Black Sea for her navy. With the decline of Ottoman Empire , and after the end of Crimean War , Russian Empire annexed Ukraine and Crimea and these regions first became part of Russian Empire and later on a Soviet Republic of USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] . Ukrainian Cossacks and Ukrainian Tatars [ Muslims ] resented the Russian sovereignty but to no avail . From 1922 to 1945 Crimea remained a part of USSR as the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic . On February 19 , 1954 , the Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR transferred Crimean region to the Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic . And thus from 1945 to 1991 , Crimea remained a part of Ukraine .

As I have stated in my earlier blog about Ukraine , in 1991 USSR was disintegrated and Ukraine , along with 14 other republics became independent country . In 1991 Crimea became a part of Ukraine as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea .

This is the brief history of Crimea . Things started changing fast and situation became fluid after the fall of pro – Russian president of Ukraine , Viktor Yanukovich . On February 26 , 2014 pro – Russia and pro – Ukraine protesters clashed in front of the parliament building in Simferopol .

Protesters with Russian Tricolour in Crimea

Protesters with Russian Tricolour in Crimea

Russian parliament granted President Vladimir Putin the authority to use military force in Ukraine . And because of his unbridled ambition to regain the lost glory of Russian Empire , President Vladimir Putin wants to exercise this new-found authority . He simply forgets that in 1994 Russia backed the legal status of Crimea as part of Ukraine and signed a treaty with United States of America , United Kingdom and France and pledged to uphold the territorial integrity of Ukraine . This treaty was ratified in May 1997 and Russia finally accepted Ukraine’s present borders and Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea and Sevastopol .

He is emboldened by the fact that Ethnic Ukrainians make up only 24 % of the population , Ethnic Russian 58 % and Ethnic Tatar Muslims 12 % . And this 58 % Russian population is urging Russia to intervene and take control of Crimea and govern Crimea . They was to secede from Ukraine . And Vladimir Putin is more than willing to oblige .

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Ukraine is in trouble . Crimea is in turmoil . Jinx of February seems to be working again in the troubled history of Crimea . Have a look :

Crimean War : February 1856

Yalta Conference : February 1945

Crimea Became Part of Ukraine : February 1954

Crimean Occupation by Russia : February 2014

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On behalf of all the students and staff of VIDUR Acting Institute , I express my solidarity with the Ukrainian people , with the Crimean people .

VIDUR Editing Studio , VIDUR Club and VIDUR Theatre would also like to wish them well and pray for their glorious future ahead .

[ All the dates and certain historical facts about Crimea and Ukraine have been taken from Wikipedia and are quoted here in this blog . I express my gratitude . ]

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Birth of A New Ukraine


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MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 24, 2014           01.30 A.M.

Two years ago, on February 01, 2012 , I wrote a blog about Ukraine , a former Soviet republic and a very little known country in India. It was titled ” Sorry Ukraine , My Apology “ and was written when a group of Ukrainian women demonstrated naked in front of Indian embassy in Ukrainian capital of Kiev . Two years later, I am again writing about Ukraine and this time matter is more serious.

Map of Ukraine-2

Map of Ukraine-3

Ukraine was a Soviet Republic before becoming a sovereign country. As every one knows on December 26, 1991 , USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ] was dissolved and 15 independent countries came into being.

Even after dissolution of USSR , some former Soviet republics retained and maintained close links with Russia. Some republics formed Eurasian Economic Community and retained close links with Russia in the form of economic and security cooperation.

It is alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin secretly wants to re-establish the former USSR . He knows that his dream is almost impossible to accomplish, so he encourages friendly leaders in the former Soviet republics to become close allies. He wants them to join Eurasian Union and thus help him retain some of the old glory. In his scheme of things Viktor Yanukovich, the president of Ukraine , was the most important ally.

Ukrainian people read the writing on the wall and saw the signal. For majority of Ukrainian people Ukraine’s president Viktor Yanukovich was not more than a stooge of Vladimir Putin , who wanted Ukraine to become a satellite of Russia. People of Ukraine on the other hand wanted to move away from Russian orbit and wanted to get closer to Europe.

Sensing trouble, Viktor Yanukovich started reign of oppression. He ruled Ukraine with iron fist, jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and moved dangerously close to Russia.

Ukraine erupted in defiance. They fought a bloody battle . Kiev became a war zone. 77 people got killed. Dictator Viktor Yanukovich first tried to suppress Ukraine . But in these days of internet and other social networking sites it is not easy. Ukrainians remained defiant. They fought police and army. Ukraine wanted to get rid of the dictator.

Following pictures show their resolve.

Protests in Ukraine -1

Protests in Ukraine -1

Protests in Ukraine -2

Protests in Ukraine -2

Protests in Ukraine -3

Protests in Ukraine -3

Protests in Ukraine -4

Protests in Ukraine -4

Protests in Ukraine -5

Protests in Ukraine -5

Burning Ukraine

Burning Ukraine

Ukraine in Shambles

Ukraine in Shambles

Ultimately Ukraine’s parliament voted on February 22, 2014 in favour of removal of Viktor Yanukovich from the post. Viktor Yanukovich denounced this as coup against his regime and left his office in Kiev and disappeared . Ukraine’s parliament promised new elections and formation of a new government . Police of Ukraine and Ukrainian army declared that they are with the protestors and are not going to fight their own people.

While I am writing this blog rapid changes are being seen in Ukraine. Former prime minister and opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko was freed from the jail and fresh election has been ordered on May 25. Ukraine turns a new page in her history. World is watching.

The Russian stooge is gone and with his unceremonial departure dreams of Vladimir Putin evaporates in the thin air.

Long live Ukraine ! Long live people of Ukraine ! Long live struggle for freedom ! Long live struggle for democracy !

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Inder Kumar Gujral : Father of A Failed Doctrine


I K Gujral

I K Gujral (Photo credit: ramesh_lalwani)

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           DECEMBER 02 , 2012           11.40 P.M.

Inder Kumar Gujral , the 12th Prime Minister of India , ruled the country for almost 11 months . He was Prime Minister from April 1997 to March 1998 . He , apart from his brief tenure , will always be remembered for 3 (in) famous legacies . He was the second Prime Minister of India , who ruled the country without being elected to Lok Sabha . He was member of Rajya Sabha throughout his tenure . His immediate predecessor H. D. Deve Gowda was the first one to govern the country from Rajya Sabha . His second controversial act was to dismiss BJP government of Uttar Pradesh led by Kalyan Singh . His third (in) famous legacy was a foreign policy doctrine known as ” Gujral Doctrine ” .

Born on December 04 , 1919 in the Jhelum district of undivided Punjab , he died on November 30 , 2012 in Gurgaon , Haryana .

As a student in Lahore , he was member of Communist Party of India . He joined Indian National Congress in 1964 . He was Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the Indira Gandhi government during the dreaded emergency . He allegedly refused to obey commands of Sanjay Gandhi and thus was out of favour . He was later appointed as the ambassador of India to USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] , now known as Russia . It goes to his credit that he continued to hold the position during the tenure of Morarji Desai and Charan Singh regimes also .

He , after returning from USSR , resigned from the Congress in 1980 and joined Janata Dal . He was Minister of External Affairs during the regime of V. P. Singh . He again retained the same ministry during the tenure of H. D. Deve Gowda . The year was 1996 . During this period he propounded his (in) famous doctrine , known as ” Gujral Doctrine ” .

In 1997 , Congress withdrew support to H. D. Deve Gowda government and it collapsed . To avoid general election a compromise was stitched and Inder Kumar Gujral was sworn in as the 12th Prime Minister of India on April 21 , 1997 .

As I have stated earlier , as a Prime Minister he supported the dismissal of Kalyan Singh government of Uttar Pradesh in 1997 and tried to impose president rule . The then president of India K. R. Narayanan refused to sign the recommendation and sent it back . Inder Kumar Gujral government had egg on its face when Allahabad High Court also gave decision against the President’s rule . He had to eat crow .

His another controversial legacy is his (in) famous ” Gujral Doctrine ” . According to this doctrine India , being a big brother , should not demand reciprocity while dealing with her immediate neighbours like ; Pakistan , Nepal , Bangladesh , Bhutan , Maldives and Sri Lanka . Without caring or demanding for any kind of reciprocity , India should give all she can with generosity and magnanimity .

Though I have all the respect for this erudite statesman , I submit with all the humility that ” Gujral Doctrine “ is flawed . 26 / 11 and other terrorist incidents are ample proof of the futility of ” Gujral Doctrine ” .

As the news of his death came , I remembered his suave and gentle persona . He was our 12th Prime Minister during fluid and turbulent times . He erred when he dismissed Kalyan Singh government in Uttar Pradesh and again succumbed to his innate kindness while propounding ” Gujral Doctrine “ . Real – politic should follow Chanakya or Machiavelli . It should never be based on utopian philosophy of goodwill and generosity .

As per Hindu tradition one should not speak ill of the dead person . But since Inder Kumar Gujral was the Prime Minister of this country and his actions affected us enormously , so it is pertinent to analyze his tenure . This blog precisely does that .

I mourn his death and offer my condolences .

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I , on behalf of all the students and staff of my acting institute , Vidur’s Kreating Charakters  , pray for the departed soul .

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Sorry Ukraine , My Apology !


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           FEBRUARY 01 , 2012           01.30 A.M.

In the beginning of January 2012 , I read a disturbing news item in the Mumbai edition of Times of India and other news papers . I am putting that news verbatim , as it is available on the internet  :

” Four FEMEN activists have undressed at the Indian embassy in Kiev in protest against the country’s plan to block young Ukrainian, Russian and Kazakh women from entering India as part of a national anti-prostitution campaign.

The topless activists, partially clad in Indian clothes, used a ladder to climb the Indian embassy’s balcony and unfurled banners saying Ukrainians are not prostitutes!”, “Delhi, close your brothels,” and “We demand apologies.”

The protesters waved Indian flags and knocked on the embassy’s doors and windows – until detained by security guards and taken away by the police.

The demo was sparked after the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered its embassies to take extra care checking visa applications from women aged 15-40, who are blamed for the country’s prostitution boom.

FEMEN’s blog says that by issuing such an order, India has gravely insulted the women of Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan.

“Indian prostitution is directly connected with impunity of the country’s criminal business,” the blog states. “Blaming it on women is a shame for the heirs of such a rich and old culture.”

The FEMEN movement made its name by carrying out politically motivated naked protests at home in Ukraine and in countries throughout Europe, including the Vatican . ”

FEMEN

Image via Wikipedia

[ On January 16, Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice refused to register FEMEN as an official political movement, claiming its position was extremist. ]

USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ] was dissolved in 1991 and 15 new countries came into existence . Ukraine became independent on August 24 , 1991 and along with other former Soviet Republics , started her life on a new note .

Map of Ukraine

Economy of  Ukraine , in spite of her shinning capital city Kiev , is in shambles . She was unable to cope up with the transition to market economy and started struggling with her economy . She , during this period , was stricken with 8 year – recession also . Then in 2008 , Ukraine was caught in the world-wide economic crisis . Economy suffered and finally plunged .

Kiev - Capital of Ukraine

According to me because of this grim economic situation many Ukrainians started visiting various countries , including India , in search of job and greener pastures . It is said that Ukrainian girls are indulging in prostitution in India . So the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered its embassies to take extra care checking visa applications from women aged 15-40, who are blamed for the country’s prostitution boom.

I strongly feel that such kind of order for the blanket ban of Ukrainian , Russian and Kazakh women is insulting indeed . Even if Ukrainian girls are indulging in some kind of amoral activities , the order is harsh and uncalled for . There is law enforcing agency in India . They must perform their duties and should do something to stop this menace . A policy to not issue visa to the young girls of Ukraine , Russia and Kazakhstan is very humiliating and insulting .

In stead of making the machinery more effective , Government of India issues such insulting advisory to the Indian Embassy . FEMEN , which always protests in the matter of women , took offence and umbrage and protested naked in front of Indian Embassy in Kiev .

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

FEMEN Protest in Kiev

I am pained to see these 4 photographs . If women can undress themselves for a cause and protest naked in public , one can understand their pain and agony .

I empathise with them . I feel sorry for them . Brothels are in plenty in India . And they are not thriving because of Ukrainian girls . It is reported by some N.G.O.s that poor minor girls of Nepal and Bangladesh are  lured into prostitution and brothels in metro cities of India are full of them . So why blame only Ukrainian girls . Is it not duty of the police to stop prostitution ? Is it not duty of the N.G.O.s to rehabilitate these poor girls and arrange for their deportation to their native countries ?  In stead of strengthening its law enforcing agencies , central government reneges its duty and issues such derogatory and inhuman order .

Words are not saying it and it is not there in the text but the order suggests that Ukrainian women are prostitutes . It is not there openly in the order but one can easily draw the meaning . I am a non – entity but still I feel like apologising to the Ukrainian women .

My Ukrainian friends , I am extremely sorry ! Though I wish to do something regarding this but I am a small and helpless man . I am not more than a spec in the scheme of the things .

I can only express anguish and offer my apologies on behalf of this ancient Nation , where women used to be adored once upon a time and are still worshiped in the form of various goddesses .

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Svetlana Alliluyeva : From Russia With Love


Svetlana Alliluyeva

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 14 , 2012           02.55 A.M.

Svetlana Alliluyeva , daughter of Soviet Communist dictator Josef Stalin , died on November 22 , 2011 at the age of 85 . She died in Wisconsin , U. S. A.

I missed the news then . When I was going through the bunch of old news papers few days ago , I came across a small news item about her death in the Times of India . This innocuous news of Svetlana’s death brought back some forgotten memories . It opened a dog – ear – page of my book of life  . Some sepia – toned photos rushed to the firmament of my being .

The year was 1967 . I passed High School and went to Allahabad for further studies . In the Government Inter College of Allahabad , I was slowly opening up . I was curious to know everything . I wanted to know all the aspects of the world and I used to devour knowledge of every kind .

News papers of 1966 were full of  the Svetlana episode . Svetlana left USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] in 1966 , and came to India with the ashes of her third husband Brijesh Singh , a scion of Kalakankar state in Uttar Pradesh . Indian news papers were full of her stories and every one was anxious and curious to know more about her .

Svetlana Alliluyeva

Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva , youngest child and only daughter of Josef Stalin and Nadezhda Alliluyeva was raised by a nanny . Her mother died when Svetlana was only 6 years old . According to Soviet premiere Nikita Khrushchev , Stalin was an abusive husband . It is rumoured that Nadezhda Alliluyeva committed suicide due to the atrocities of Stalin . According to some , she was killed by Stalin himself .

Josef Stalin

Stalin & Svetlana

Svetlana married twice but her marriages were not successful . Stalin died in 1953 . Svetlana was 27 years old then . After her father’s death , she worked as a lecturer of history and political thought in Moscow . Apart from Russian , she was fluent in German , French and English .

Svetlana & Stalin

Svetlana met Brijesh Singh , her third husband in a hospital in 1963 . She was admitted for a minor surgery and Brijesh Singh , a scion of Kalakankar state of Uttar Pradesh , was very ill at that time and was admitted for a major operation . They met , fell in love and love blossomed when they shifted to a resort near Black Sea . Couple returned to Moscow in 1965 but were not allowed to marry .  Singh died in 1966 and with his ashes , Svetlana left USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] in 1966 , and came to India with the ashes to immerse it in the Holy Ganga .

She stayed in Kalakankar Palace for 8 months and wanted to take asylum in India . It was refused and she approached U. S. A. embassy in New Delhi and was granted U. S. citizenship .


सैकत शैय्या पर दुग्ध धवल ,
तन्वंगी गंगा ग्रीष्म विरल ,
बैठीं हैं शांत क्लांत निश्चल ||
कालाकांकर का राज भवन ……..

I still remember these lines of famous Hindi poet Sumitra Nandan Pant . Kalakankar was etched in my memory .  Like the other fellow students of my age , I was aghast that the Congress government of Indira Nehru Gandhi didn’t grant asylum to Svetlana . Majority of students of Allahabad University were critical of the Congress government’s decision .

She got asylum in United States of America and later on became a citizen also . Later on she wrote a best-selling book ; ” Twenty Letters To A Friend ” and married there and had a daughter , Olga .

Cover of

Cover of Twenty Letters to a Friend

She moved back to Soviet Union in 1980 and again returned to U. S. A. within a year . Slowly she moved away from the front pages of the news papers . Slowly her memory faded .

Last week , when I read about her death . flood of memories gushed to my mind and I started remembering those days of 1966 , when Svetlana came to India seeking asylum and was denied that . We suspected that the Congress government refused asylum to her under pressure from government of the then USSR .

With her death , a forgotten and faded chapter of my dog – eared book of life is lost forever .

Svetlana Alliluyeva

Farewell Svetlana Iosifovna Alliluyeva ! May you rest in peace !

I am sorry that my country , which is famous for not refusing shelter to anyone , failed for the first time . I am sorry that a long tradition of granting shelter to the shelter – seekers was broken for the first time during the tenure of Indira Nehru Gandhi of the Congress , The Indian National Congress .

I was ashamed then and I am saddened now .

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South Sudan : Birth of A Nation


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JANUARY 08 , 2012           11.45 P.M.

It is not that every day a new country is born . It happens occasionally . It happens once in a life time . So when I read about the vivisection of Sudan , a country in Africa , I was pleasantly surprised .

In my 60 years of existence , I have seen birth of 28 major countries . I might be forgetting some tiny countries but 28 major countries took birth during my life time and I vividly remember those epoch – making moments . So when Sudan was split into two , I decided to chronicle these events .

Bangladesh :

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English: East Bengal Map

Map of Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh

First major country , whose birth I remember , was Bangladesh . She came into being in 1971 after a bloody and gory battle with Pakistan . Formerly East Pakistan , the new country Bangladesh , became independent in 1971 .

Birth of Bangladesh is proof that religion can not be a binding factor for a country . In the case of Bangladesh , the common religion , Islam failed to unite two wings of Pakistan .

Bangladesh became a member of United Nation Organization in 1974 .

Vietnam :

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Map of Vietnam with Indo - China Nations

Vietnam’s journey as a nation is fascinating . From Imperial China to French colonizers she travelled through the centuries and the journey was an arduous one at times . Later on Vietnam accepted communism , she was divided into two ; North Vietnam and South Vietnam . North Vietnam was communist and South Vietnam was capitalist . Hanoi and Saigon were the capital cities of two Vietnams respectively . Both parts of Vietnams were united on July 02 , 1976 .

Vietnam is one nation . She was divided into two states . But nationalism prevailed and finally Vietnam was united again and again became one nation .

Germany :

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Map of East & West Germany

Map of Germany

History of Germany is very fascinating . Germany’s case , like Vietnam , is the classic case of a nation triumphing over a state . Basically a nation , Germany was divided into two states after 1945 . Communist East Germany was called German Democratic Republic with East Berlin as capital . Capitalist  West Germany was called Federal Republic of Germany with Bonn as capital .

After just 45 years of vivisection , German nationalism prevailed and Germany once again became one nation in 1990 . Berlin became the national capital and Berlin wall was demolished .

Case of Germany is like Vietnam . Both are one nation . Both were divided into two states . Political divisions like capitalism and communism were unable to divide them and they finally became one nation .

Union of Soviet Socialist Republic :

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Map of U.S.S.R.

If Vietnam and Germany are the symbols of victory of nation over state , then USSR is the symbol of failure of state in front of nationalism . Vietnam and Germany were one nation divided in two states . Finally they became one nation . USSR was one state with 15 nations and was dissolved in 1991 after 69 years of artificial existence and 15 independent and sovereign nations came into being .

Russia , Ukrain , Belarus , Uzbekistan , Turkmenistan , Tajikistan , Azerbijan , Kazakhistan , Kirghizstan , Georgia , Armenia , Moldova , Estonia , Latvia and Lithuania were merged to form USSR [ Union of Soviet Socialist Republic ] . They became independent in 1991 .

It was most momentous time of my life . Mighty USSR just collapsed in front of my eyes and 15 new nations were born . It never seemed probable even a month before December 1991 that an invincible looking USSR will cease to exist .

All 15 nations became members of  U. N. O. in 1992 .

Yugoslavia ;

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Map of Yugoslavia

Former Parts of Yugoslavia

After fall of USSR , other communist nations were also became vulnerable . Yugoslavia , another classic case of one state and several nations , became unstable. Artificially created state of Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1991 after demise of Josip Broz Tito and collapse of Union of Soviet Socialist Republic .

Croatia , Serbia , Slovenia , Mecedonia , Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina asserted their nationalistic aspirations and became independent and sovereign nations .

Off all these 6 nations ; Croatia , Slovenia and Bosnia & Herzegovina became members of U. N. O. in 1992 . Mecedonia became a member in 1993 , Serbia joined in 2000 and the 6th one Montenegro became member of U. N. O. in 2006 .

Czechoslovakia :

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Map of Czechoslovakia

Czech Republic & Slovakia

After USSR and Yugoslavia , another communist country , Czechoslovakia , collapsed soon . She was also one state and two nations . On January 01 , 1993 Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent and they both joined U. N. O. in 1993 .

South Sudan :

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Sudan’s case is different . She is one nation but religion divides them . North Sudan is Islamic and finds solace in the comity of Arab nations . South Sudan is Christian and is not comfortable with Arab identity .

After 5 decades of guerrilla struggle and loss of 2 million lives , South Sudan came into existence on July 09 , 2011 . She became Africa’s 54th state with Juba as the capital of the new state .

Religion failed to unite Pakistan and Bangladesh . In Sudan’s case religion divided them . Fate of South Sudan is unknown and precarious . Majority of its people live on less than a dollar a day . Almost three-quarter of  adults cannot read or write . Only 1% has a bank account .

Sudan with Khartoum as its capital is Islamic and prefers Arab identity . While South Sudan with Juba as its capital is Christian and prefers western identity . South Sudan is the 54th African state and 193rd member of United Nations Organization .

India South Sudan Locator

Location of India & South Sudan

Sudan - South Sudan - Locator map

Location of Sudan & South Sudan

Map of Sudan

Map of North & South Sudan

English: Seal of the Government of Southern Sudan

Seal of Government of South Sudan

So South Sudan became the 54th African State . She became newest and 193rd country of the world . She became the 28th nation to become independent in my life time . As I stated earlier , countries don’t take birth everyday . Birth of a nation is a rare experience . I am lucky that I could witness birth of 28 nations in my life .

It is rare . It is unique . It is not going to happen again . Welcome 193rd nation of this earth !

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

www.vidur.co.in

www.vidurfilms.com

www.twitter.com/VidurChaturvedi

www.jaibhojpuri.com/profile/VidurChaturvedi

 

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