It is not merely about change in leadership; it is about ushering the country into a ‘decade of transformation’. The most immediate challenge before the incumbent government and the relevant election and security institutions is to sustain and strengthen the people’s engagement in the process.
The country is witnessing protests which are the biggest in over a decade and will only worsen unless a political accommodation is arrived at soon. The efficacy of multilateral institutions like the UNASUR, not subservient to US interests, is also on test.
Despite its abstention, India will continue to be evaluated negatively in Sri Lanka for its approach to the Tamil issue. Moreover, Colombo is also taking steps which may unnecessarily complicate bilateral relations.
Three meetings to discuss Ukraine are scheduled for the week beginning on Monday, April 14. The first meeting is of EU foreign ministers at Luxembourg on April 14. They are supposed to consider further sanctions on Russia. The next day the EU defence ministers are going to meet. The third meeting in Geneva on April 17 will bring together US, Russia, EU, and EU.
India has had a healthy tradition of the armed forces personnel being apolitical while being allowed to exercise their democratic right of voting in the electoral process. While the state police and central police and para-military units have been in the front tier of security network during the elections, the armed forces have discharged a crucial auxiliary-cum-supportive role.
The uniqueness of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) is to have a system with satellites in the geostationary orbit. India needs to exploit the ‘regional nature’ of the IRNSS to the fullest and effectively engage various states from Africa, Asia and Oceania region by using ‘satellite navigation diplomacy’.
Southeast Asian countries are facing challenging times. Push for further democratisation within the countries and the established regimes resistance to it has the possibility of jeopardising the region’s political stability and which may impede the movement towards a ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.
It would appear that India accorded preponderance to the broader interests of national sovereignty before its final stand on the UNHRC resolution. But it also cannot be oblivious to the likelihood of parallels being drawn in the future by some countries inimical to India.
If we have no qualms about importing from other countries why cannot we buy ammunition from our own private sector companies? While restrictions could apply to production of small arms and ammunition, for large calibre arms and ammunition there is a case for permitting the private sector companies to chip in.
The verdict exposes a conspiracy to destabilise India’s restive North Eastern region. According to the charge-sheet, all the arms and ammunition were manufactured by Chinese firm NORINCO and the funds had been procured from Pakistan. Contrary to the BNP policy of promoting cross-border terrorism, the current Awami League (AL) government has demonstrated its zero-tolerance towards militancy through the recent verdict.