[op-ed snap] J&K Peace Mission, UP elections and more

The Hindu – Editorials

UP elections.

Up elections have always defined the course of Indian politics. It is popular to hold that any govt to hold power at the centre it shall get its majority in UP. In this scenario, congress has lost its forte after emergency. The rise of OBC during Janata  era led to the consolidation of SP. BSP has traditionally represented the Dalits and BJP the upper castes. In this scenario, SP tried to engineer the OBC and Muslim unity and BJP tried to consolidate all the votes from OBC, Upper caste Dalits in the name of development and better governance. Changed demographic patterns are also reasons for the voters rallying after BJP in the last parliamentary elections. It has significantly weakened the BSP.

After the series of attacks on Dalits and Muslims in UP and Gujarat, BSP is trying its come back on a social engineering based on Dalit – Muslim alignment.

Kashmir – for starters, ban the pellet gun

The road to reconciliation with Kashmiri people can be through empathy, development and assurance of their identity. It is been famously said by Prime Minister Vajpayee as insanityat, Jamooriyat and Kashmiriyat. Prime Minister Modi meeting with opposition leaders and his expression of deep concern and pain at the violence in the valley is a step in this direction.

Pellet gun has become a symbol of state violence in Kashmir and replacement of it with more humane methods of crowd management can be a starting point for reconciliation.


Syria – Ankara’s climbdown on Assad

Context – recollect the following events

  1. Coup in Turkey
  2. Syrian democratic forces consisting of Kurds and Arabs seized the IS held town of Manbij
  3. Erdogans reach out to Russia – His visit to Russia

Kurds are a minority in Turkey and are demanding for an autonomy and Kurdistan workers party is banned in Turkey. But it is the same party that is most successful in fight against ISIS. Inspite of Turkeys objections USA is providing air support for their fight against ISIS. In this scenario, initially Turkey has pitched along with USA on Assad must go. The objective of Turkey is to make in roads in to Syria and to find a place for Muslim brotherhood in Turkey.

It was opposed by Russia and it clearly said that damage to the state structure will have long term consequence to the Syrias stability. It  sent its troops in support of Assad forces. It changed the equation and Assad opponents have significantly weakened. Turkey also has brought down the Russian plane on the pretext of crossing its border.

As Turkey sees no light in its strategy and war is effecting its economy and leading to the strengthening of Kurds, it has changed its strategy and reached out to Russia and Iran. It is a blow to the gulf Arabs who relied on Turkey as a pathway in to Syria.


Flood Management

Floods are natural occurrences in India in every rainy season and our preparedness, response is dismal. It is causing loss of life and property. The major reasons for this are

  1. Lack of scientific data on floods. Much of the information is based on satellite imagery and Geographic Information Systems, but on ground-level surveys and anecdotal reporting. Advanced techniques such as satellite imagery and Geographical information systems can be Used.
  2. No capacity building to handle the situation.Though NDRF changed the situation a bit, by and large the states preparedness is still dismal. Orissa example on disaster management and capacity building need to be emulated.
  3. Lack of understanding of river patterns Ganga and its tributaries display.


Prepared by the Civilsprep Team.

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