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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Sunset Boulevard ( 7 ) : ” Vanishing Milestones “


MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA           JULY 07 , 2012           01.00 A.M.

I wrote 1st blog in the ” Sunset Boulevard ” category on December 28 , 2009 . It was about Bajaj Scooter . There was news that owners of Bajaj are discontinuing the production of their iconic Bajaj scooter permanently . A sense of nostalgia gripped me and I wrote about ” Hamara Bajaj ” . I never thought that one day I would be writing 7th blog in this category .

Recently when I visited my native place Deoria , I suddenly noticed that ubiquitous milestones are slowly but steadily vanishing from the roads . Such iconic part of one’s life is now giving way to some metallic mileposts and no one is noticing it .

What is a milestone ?

As dictionary explains its meaning ; ” a milestone is a stone functioning as a milepost .”

Later on the word milestone started carrying other meaning also . A milestone is refered to as ” a significant event or stage in the life , progress , development in the life of a person and / or a nation . “

Since olden times , milestones are used on the roads to show a mile of distance from one place to another . In those days of yore when ” Google Earth ” and ” Google Maps ” were yet to appear and digital maps with the ; GPRS [ Global Positioning Radio System ] or GPS [ Global Positioning System ] technology were yet to become a part of our lives , a milestone was the only indicator or sign which indicated that we are travelling on the right path .

Roman Empire

Milestones were originally stone obelisks – made from granite marble or whatever local stone was available – and later concrete posts. They were widely used by Roman Empire road builders and were an important part of any Roman road network . Many Roman milestones only record the name of the reigning emperor without giving any place names or distances.  The first Roman milestones appeared on the Appian way. At the centre of Rome, the “Golden Milestone” was erected to mark the presumed centre of the empire : this milestone has since been lost. The Golden Milestone inspired the Zero Milestone in Washington, D.C., intended as the point from which all road distances in the United States should be reckoned.

Zero Milestone (1923), The Ellipse, Washington...

Zero Milestone (1923), The Ellipse, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Byzantine Empire

A mile-marker monument, the Milion , was erected in the early 4th century AD in Constantinople . It served as the starting point for measurement of distances for all the roads leading to the cities of the Byzantine Empire , and had the same function as the Milliarium Aureum of Ancient Rome . The Milion survived intact until at least the late 15th century. Its fragments were discovered again in the late 1960s. A fragment is re-erected as a pillar.

Post Medieval Europe

In Europe , the distance measured typically starts at specified point within a city or town , as many roads were named for the towns at either end . For example in London , United Kingdom , a plaque near the Eleanor cross at Charing Cross is the reference point from which distances from London to other towns and cities are measured . In the UK, milestones are especially associated with former Turnpike roads .

 Modern highways

The historical term milestone is still used today, even though the “stones” are typically metal signs and in most countries are based on metric rather than imperial units of measure . Also found today are more closely spaced signs containing fractional numbers , and signs along railways, beaches and canals .

Milestones on Indian highways typically have white backgrounds with yellow tops (on national highways) or green tops (on state highways) . The names of cities and distances are painted in black . The names of the nearest towns and cities are written along with distance in kilometres . On undivided highways , both sides of the milestones are used , telling the distance to the nearest cities in each direction . The highway number is written on the head of the milestone . The sum of the distances of two nearest cities in each direction from the milestone is listed on the side .

I am posting recently clicked photo of Zero Milestone of Deoria city . It is freshly painted because it is just opposite the District magistrate’s Bungalow .

A Milestone at Deoria

A Milestone at Deoria

A Milestone at Deoria

A Milestone at Deoria

This huge stone structure , which gives the distance of various city from Deoria , is also freshly painted and it stands just in front of the District Magistrate’s Bungalow . These three are a part of my life . I have seen these three milestones or mileposts since my childhood days . I am a wanderer and am used to see milestones while travelling  .

A Milestone at Deoria [ Larger Version ]

A Milestone at Deoria [ Larger Version ]

 These photos , which I have taken from the internet , tell us that a milestone is the part of our civilization since the days of Roman Empire .

Slate milestone near Bangor, Wales

Slate milestone near Bangor, Wales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Newell Green milestone

Newell Green milestone (Photo credit: sleepymyf)

Milestone, Bath Road

Milestone, Bath Road (Photo credit: Pete Reed)

Zero Milestone (1923), The Ellipse, Washington...

Zero Milestone (1923), The Ellipse, Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Milestone

Milestone (Photo credit: A.M. Kuchling)

But alas , things are changing . Roads of yore are gone . Now Highways and Expressways have taken their place . And with the advent of these Highways and Expressways , milestones are also gone . Now metal mileposts with fluorescent colours have taken their place . On my numerous journeys , I have noticed these new age milestones but it never occurred to me that old milestones of my childhood will vanish one day .

These metal milestones are more convenient and easy to see during night because of the fluorescent colours , but the older version of the milestones have some distinct charm and some romantic attraction .

New Age Milestone

New Age Milestone

New Age Milestone

New Age Milestone

On my recent visit to Deoria when I travelled to my wife’s village Ghortap , I noticed the pitiable condition of the milestones . You can watch yourselves . You can’t read the name or distance because it is almost buried in the ground and also not painted . And remember , this road connects Deoria to Kushinagar , a Buddhist pilgrimage centre where Gautam Buddha attained NIRVANA . Several foreign dignitaries visit this place quite often .

Current State of Milestone

Current State of Milestone

Current State of Milestone

Current State of Milestone

Current State of Milestone

Current State of Milestone

Current State of Milestone

Current State of Milestone

Milestones of foreign countries are also going through the same phase .

Milestone, Bath Road

Milestone, Bath Road (Photo credit: Pete Reed)

Milestone, Datchett

Milestone, Datchett (Photo credit: Pete Reed)

Very soon these new age milestones or mileposts will replace our age-old milestones made of stone or rock . People of younger generation will forget about these ubiquitous milestones , which were so intrinsically attached to our being not very long ago .

New Age Milestone

New Age Milestone

Alas ! One more part of my life will cease to exist very soon . There is no official announcement . There is no official order of discontinuation of old milestones . But I know it wont be seen anymore . It wont be around few years after .

Milestone will be googled and it will only be seen in some dictionary or encyclopaedia .

[ Some information about Roman Empire and Byzantine Empire is taken from Wikipedia . I express gratitude . ]

VIDUR

MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA

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Commonwealth Sh..(g)ames


As we all know Commonwealth Games 2010 are about to start in Delhi within a week, precisely on October 03 , 2010.  A symbol of the dying and fading British Empire , Commonwealth is the group of all the nations, which were under the  British rule at some point of time or other. A decaying and fading British Empire thought that at least through this group they can ameliorate their sense of loss and can feel proud and can show the world that once upon a time , UK used to rule upon such a big chunk of the hemisphere. Now this group has 72 countries as members and barring USA, which also was under British rule once upon a time, all the nations once ruled by UK, are part of the Commonwealth.

Personally I have no problem with the Commonwealth. Our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru, loved everything British, so he was not willing to snap relations from the UK permanently. And because of this fact, the shameful symbol of our 200 years of slavery continues. We were eager to host 19th CWG [ Commonwealth Games ] and got a chance to host it in Delhi. We got the confirmation in 2003 and in spite of the seven long years, we were unable to complete all the construction works and all the other facilities at the CWG Village. Last couple of days were very disturbing for me. Every newspaper, every TV channel and all the tweets of various eminent people on the micro-blogging site twitter were full of negative reports on the CWG , being held in New Delhi. CWG are starting within a week but media coverage of the facilities in the CWG complex were disparaging. Almost all the countries , almost all the officials were very critical of the facilities being provided in the CWG village. Few days back BBC showed 15 photos of the the CWG village. There were filth and muck in the bathrooms,and marks of dogs paws on the mattresses.  Now whole word knows the facts and saw it too. 2010 CWG, Delhi’s predecessors , 2002 CWG , Manchester and 2006 CWG , Melbourne were not only successful but are appreciated even today for the opulence and grandeur. Another example also being sited as the mark of excellence ,  is the 2008 Olympics , Beijing. Compared to Beijing Olympic, India‘s CWG looks like a symbol of sheer incompetence. I was ashamed to read the following tweet of Salmaan Taseer,  the Governor of the Pakistani Punjab :

SalmaanTaseer

Compare Beijing Olympics. Wth Delhi CWG INDIA SHINING

Some other remarks by the people,  who matter, are no less disparaging. Let us go through some glaring ones :

Dave Currie – [ New Zealand Chief of Mission ] :

” We’ve lost faith in the Organizing  Committee. Every time we raised an issue [ we received ] ‘ yes that will be fixed tomorrow ‘ , but you know that it wont be fixed . Its hard to work with someone if they dont admit a problem.”

Julia Gillard [ Australian Prime Minister ] :

There is obviously widespread concern about the games. The decision on whether to attend is a matter for individuals .

Craig Hunter [ England Chief of  Mission ] :

We looked at some towers today……They are deep in water and extremely uninhabitable and quite dagerous in many respects .

It is now alleged that we bribed 72 countries to get Delhi CWG. According to Daily Telegraph, India gave 100,000 in US Dollars to each country and got the CWG. India beat Canadian city Hamilton by 46-22 votes in the final rounds. In spite of the facts that our record was never great in CWG, we were eager to host the game. We got it in 2003 and yet we failed to put our house in order. Watch the following chart to know about our records in the CWG :

India in the Commonwealth Games

Image via Wikipedia - India in the Commonwealth Games

In spite of all these criticim, in spite of all the news that various nations are thinking of not coming for the games, in spite of the news of several players deciding to withdraw from the games, Suresh Kalmadi, Chairman CWG OC [ Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee ] is not perturbed. After 15 photos of the CWG Village were put on the BBC website, he was nonchalant and proudly proclaimed, ” From today, everything is going to be fine.I know how to take criticism in my stride. We will have a good game and we will take care of evrything. ”

Equally shameless were the remarks of Lalit Bhanot,  Secretary General of CWG OC , ” They [ athletes ] may not be able to sustain their performance so they find some reason to not participate, but these things happen in every competition. ”

Mr. Lalit Bhanot’s other comment about the difference of the concept of Western standard of hygiene and our standard of hygiene is equally deplorable and unpardoable.

Damage has been done. Atal Bihari Vajpayee‘s ” India Shinning ” is now ” India Ashamed ” under Man Mohan Singh. Our reputation has been damaged irreparably. Our national pride lies bruised and battered. A defaced and defiled nation looks helplessly. The Prime Minister held meetings with M. S. Gill and Jai Pal Reddy, to salvage the situation. Its like Sunil Shetty having a seminar on acting with Aftab Shivdasani and Vivek Mushran. Culprits are roaming free with immunity. Blame is thrust on the head of Suresh Kalmadi , Chairman CWG OC , alone. Is Sheila Dikshit not responsible ? Is Man Mohan Singh not responsible ? And what about Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi ? They rush to take credit of everything , which is successful and good. At this juncture of National Shame they both are silent like sphinx. Are they not responsible for the mess ? Instead of touring the remote corners of country, should not Rahul Gandhi take charge and try to salvage the situation in Delhi? At this juncture, isn’t CWG and our prestige more important than dining in the kitchen of a Dalit ? Doesn’t always acerbic and uncouth Mani Shankar Aiyer need a tight slap on his ugly and abominable face for saying that I will be happy if CWG  flops ?

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the first BJP Prime Mini...

Image via Wikipedia - Atal Bihari Vajpayee , the first BJP Prime Minister

Today as I am about to post the blog, I read that yesterday Akhil Kumar’s bed collapsed when he sat on it. Today a snake was found in one of the rooms. I saw the news that even Botswana is complaining about the CWG Village’s hygiene and the unlivable conditions. I hang my head in shame. The wonder that was India does not exist anymore. A 5000 year old Nation’s prestige lies in shambles. I am a sad to witness my country’s journey – from India Shinning to India Ashamed. If you still differ , look at the following photos and decide yourself :

Vidur

Mumbai , India

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