Category Archives: India

thecatapult.in

thecatapult.in is a new blog focusing on the matters concerning the Indian national interests, strategy and the affairs of the State.

The First Post today is about the Chinese side war gaming a scenario on the Tibetan plateau and the border with India in case of a (planned?!) steady deterioriation of relations leading to war with India after the conclusion of the Beijing Olympics.

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Filed under Geopolitics, India, India and the World, Indian Military, International Communism, International Politics, National Security, PRC, The Indian Subcontinent

R.I.P: Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (April 3, 1914- June 27, 2008 ) who engineered one of India’s greatest victories on the battlefield in a thousand and half years during the 1971 war is no more.He passed away at the military hospital at Wellington in the early hours of June 27, 2008 after battling an acute illness. He was 94.

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His other greatest moment was when he swiftly took charge of the situation when the morale of the country had taken a drastic beating with the defeat of its forces at the hands of the Chinese in NEFA in 1962 and when everyone expected the fall of Assam to the Chinese PLA any moment.

His response “There will be no withdrawal without written orders and these orders shall never be issued” energised the Armed forces and the nation to stand tall against a deceitful enemy. The stuff that legends are made of.

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Filed under India, Indian Military, National Security

B Raman Calls for a Boycott of the Chindu

Shri N.Ram, the toast of China’s communist clique

Shri N.Ram, the well-known Editor-in-Chief of “The Hindu” of Chennai, has been the toast of China for an article purported to have beenwritten by him refuting the allegations levelled by the Dalai Lama and his supporters regarding the events of March in Lhasa . The Chineseauthorities have been gratified by what they see as his vigorous articulation of the version of the events as put out by them.

2. A report on Shri Ram’s article disseminated by the State-owned Hsinhua news agency of China is annexed. It is learnt that this has beentranslated into the Tibetan and Uighur languages and copies distributed in all the monasteries and educational institutions in theTibetan-inhabited areas of China. It has also been made required reading in the patriotic re-education classess for Tibetans being organisedby the Chinese authorities.In the meanwhile, the Chinese authorities have reduced the duration of the stay of the Olympic Torch in Tibetfrom three to one day. The torch will be in Lhasa on June 21 instead of June 19.

3. The dissemination of Shri Ram’s article is unlikely to have any impact on the Tibetans and Uighurs. Nor will it have much of an impact oninternational opinion on the recent events in Tibet because Shri Ram’s policy of “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” with regard toChina is well known right across the world.His popularity in China is confined to the Chinese ruling circles.

4.After writing this article, I showed this to a number of Indian friends. While a majority agreed that this deserved to be written anddisseminated, some asked why do this since it could reflect on the credibility of a great institution of Chennai.

5. After carefully considering their advice, I concluded that this needed to be written in the interest of the Indian people and the lovablepeople of Tibet. It will be moral cowardice to remain silent when the Editor of a highly respected paper of Chennai uses his access to itscolumns to demonise the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans just as Beijing is in the habit of doing.

6. As you move around Chennai, you see thousands of advertisements inviting you to buy “The Hindu”. When you see those advertisements,think of Shri Ram and his writings in support of the Chinese and in demonisation of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetans and ask yourself thequestion:” Does such a newspaper deserve my continued support?”. The choice is yours.[link]

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Filed under Comrade Circus, Freedom of Speech & Information, International Communism, Liberal Extremists, Media, National Security

Dude, where goes my tax money?

How would you feel if your hard earned money is taken away and “redistributed” to the  mostly political activists or favored constituencies of the respective parties in the name of the poor? or blown on some minister’s foreign jaunt or better still into the black hole of hair brained schemes like the NREGS and for the purpose of sending more and more rich or middle class OBC kids to the IITs, IIMs and other institutes of higher learning while myself who has by now paid a good amount in tax money since the last 4 years cannot rely on the government to provide proper services in return- i have to drive on pathetic roads, put up with unreliable and erratic power supply, pathetic public transport, drains that overflow at the first burst of monsoon and added to that the country sorely lacks an efficient public health care system, primary education system and so on and so forth.

India will reform much faster and things will change for the better much more sooner if only more and more Indians demand accountability from the government for how it is spending their hard earned money it collects as taxes.

Narendra Modi should be commended for being the first person to demand such accountability. I completely agree with him that the government should be held accountable for how it spends the taxes it collects from the people.

Should the brightest student in a class be forced to dumb down to accommodate the dullard?

The essence of democracy prevents Indian politicians from giving honest answers to such questions. Ever since “equitable growth” and “inclusive development” became consensual buzzwords, India’s policy framework has been geared to target the last person in the last row. On paper this sounds noble but the reality is less appetising. In the guise of giving a leg up to the needy, we have punished enterprise, rewarded criminality, indulged mediocrity and brutalised the vulnerable. The Incredible India of smiling peasants and the Fab India-kitted woman prancing about on a Rural Employment Guarantee picnic — a la the ads during the IPL telecasts — exist entirely in the imagination of demented propagandists.

The mindless attachment to failed mantras has blunted the politicians’ capacity for innovative thinking. This may be a reason why Modi’s plea to the Centre to let Gujarat enjoy complete fiscal independence for one year has been met with incomprehension or drawn a hysterical response — including the silly assertion that he be charged with sedition.

The chief minister’s demand that revenues from Gujarat be largely spent on Gujarat is a radical departure from existing federal norms. At present, the Centre collects the lion’s share of all major taxes, including income tax and customs and excise duties, leaving the states with the crumbs from stamp duties, irrigation cess, tax on liquor and VAT on consumer sales. A percentage of the central revenues are ploughed back to the states under the Finance Commission’s guidelines. But the returns are never proportionate. Additionally, the Planning Commission doles out the capital expenditure on approved schemes.

The present system was centred on two principles: the government in New Delhi should be a redistributive Centre and development should be centrally planned and not left to the market. The system worked without major hiccups as long as the Centre played the role of a neutral arbiter and until the public sector occupied the “commanding heights” of the economy.

Both assumptions are no longer valid. While the market economy has ushered rivalry between states for private investments, fiercely competitive politics has forced ruling dispensations to be more responsive to voters. At the same time, the growing mismatch between those who pay taxes and those who benefit from government expenditure has produced strains in places as far removed as Darjeeling and Mumbai. There is a feeling that revenues generated in the region are inadequately ploughed back and that the present system favours the inefficient. Likewise, there is dismay over the culture of non-accountability that governs grandiose schemes such as the loan-waiver and the NREGS. Some people, it would seem, pay their hard-earned money in taxes while a small, privileged minority squanders and loots it recklessly. Most important, the system is not geared to apportioning accountability for expenditure. A politician in, say, Jharkhand doesn’t give a damn for fiscal rectitude because he knows that the funds at his disposal have actually emanated from somewhere else.

In saying that Gujarat should have a greater say in the money it gives to the Centre, Modi is not seeking sops and handouts. Shorn off its polemical flourish, it is a call for a new mindset that treats those who pay for nation building with respect.[link]

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Filed under Governance, India, Indian Politics, Indian States, Infrastructure Politics, Social Issues

The UPA Arrangement

A very apt comic to show the relationship between the Congress President and the Prime Minister.

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Filed under General, Humour, Indian Politics

Defending India’s Space Assets

In an interview to Karan Thapar back in February, 2008 Gen Kapoor had put his faith in detecting any Chinese troop buildup in the Tibetan plateau on satellite surveillance.

Karan Thapar: Just a moment ago you mentioned that their infrastructure allows them to move troops very quickly. Recently the Indian Express reported that with the result of roads and railways, the Chinese can move two divisions amounting to 10,000 troops within a space of 20-25 days. Earlier it would have taken three-six months. Does that worry you a little?

General Deepak Kapoor Well that is a matter of concern, but the fact is that if and when they move, there are also images available through the means of satellite when any such movements take place. So there is ample opportunity for sufficient notice to meet such a challenge, if and when it does arise.

Karan Thapar: So with satellites, you mean that every time China moves troops substantially, you know in advance and you can take counter measures.

General Deepak Kapoor The ability to look deeper across the Line of Actual Control is much greater.[link]

But the fly in the ointment was ofcourse that the Chinese had recently successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite Test by shooting down one of their own aging satellites in orbit and there is now an additional risk that during a period of crisis the Chinese might attempt to shoot down any Indian satellites which they deem might give away their troop buildup on the Tibetan plateau or elsewhere.

Now to arm itself against such a scenario the India defence ministry has in a timely manner decided to establish a Space cell to guard India’s space assets.

NEW DELHI: In view of the looming Chinese threat to its communication network and other space assets, India on Tuesday announced the setting up of its Integrated Space Cell (ISC).

The cell is designed to counter the Chinese Military Space Systems that comprises anti-satellite weaponry and a new class of heavy-lift and small boosters acting as catalyst in the next generation satellite warfare system.

The Space Cell will be put under the command of the Integrated Defence Services Headquarters and will act as a single window for integration among the armed forces, the department of space and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

Announcing this after inaugurating the two-day Unified Commanders’ Conference in the Capital, defence minister A K Antony on Tuesday expressed concern at the “offensive counter space systems and an improved array of military space systems emerging in our neighbourhood”.[link]

While this is a step in the right direction, India should also seriously consider conducting its own ASAT test as quickly as practicable. That would be a strong deterrent to any adversary against taking potshots at India’s space based assets.

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Filed under India, Indian Military, National Security, Science & Space

Say NO to this Fraud!

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Read this, this and this.

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Filed under India, Indian Politics, Neglected/Sidelined News