Shivangad Singh Gill

Why India could never pull out a Leo Varadkar

The youngest Prime Minister of Ireland, who is also the first gay Prime Minister, also the first Indian origin Prime Minister, these seem to be few of the firsts which Leo Varadkar, the 38 year old Taoiseach of Ireland has achieved, sadly had he been in India he would never have been accepted into the mainstream society let alone the politics.

In January of 2015, when Varadkar was the country’s health minister, he openly came out as gay in a national radio broadcast saying that being gay is a part of who I am and my character. In the same month of January 2015, Ramesh Tawadkar, the minister of Goa Youth Affairs said that there need to be “gay centres” set up in the state, so that he could train and cure them.

India seems to be ecstatic about the idea of Indian origin gay person becoming the PM of Ireland, but we seem to have forgotten had Varadkar been in India the story would have been quite different for him.

The admiration and blessings being showered on Varadkar is tremendous, but it is shameful how we actually treat our LGBT population. LGBT community living in India has a tough life. They are often shunned by the society, rejected by schools, university and unable to find a job, forcing them to hide their sexuality for survival in our society, where normalcy is status quo and to just have a different perception can land you in trouble with various right wing organizations and vigilantes. In such a place having a different sexuality would just invite bias, hatred and possibly violence.

We often elect and re-elect people who are murderers, have served time in jail, have cases of corruption piled up against them, and the sad thing is that had Varadkar stood in election against them, he wouldn’t have won a state legislative seat let alone become the Prime Minister.

The far more troubling form of affairs is that, the politicians in our Lok Sabha out of which 34% face criminal charges, won’t even discuss the rights of LGBT. That’s why a gay doctor would not be able to survive in the Indian political scenario, where generally caste and the last name of a candidate play a greater role in him scoring votes than his education or work.

Section 377 of the IPC still criminalizes homosexuality, and when well read politicians like Shashi Tharoor try to discuss this issue in parliament, our not so law abiding lawmakers block the discussion.

Varadkar's merit, policies, plans for development were of pertinence in Ireland, with his sexuality playing a little or minor role but had he been in India, no matter how great his policies and idea’s were, he could have never entered into mainstream politics. This shows that there is a paramount need of introspection about ourselves as a country, where a person who has the capability of becoming a Prime Minister of a European country, would have been declared as a criminal.

Padmini Ramesh

Why the Vatika-True Caller app is something to look forward to?

In a move that may revolutionalize the check in process, Vatika Business Cente and the popular caller ID App-True caller have collaborated together to create a first of its kind service which seeks to make information exchange much simpler and just a matter of seconds.  Why this is even more exciting is that it is for the first time True Caller is venturing into North India. The App is designed in a way wherein anyone wanting to use the facility of Vatika is just required to feed his/her number in the App. This leads to an automatic transfer of the entire information of the customer pre recorded with True Caller, to the Vatika database. As against the earlier system, which required the customer to enter all his details ranging from phone number, picture, email id, address etc which spanned over minutes, this application would require the customer to give just his phone number, hardly a matter of few seconds, following which the True Caller application would send the entire database of the customer to Vatika Business Centre. What’s more interesting is that the customer has the facility of changing his information, in case something is incorrect and the change would get recorded in True Caller’s database as well. The service would be available at all Vatika Business centers spanning India and would require the customer to have the True Caller application pre installed.

Shivangad Singh Gill

King of good times or King of Loan defaulting

 

The only man,who has run faster than Usain Bolt, is Vijay Mallya, of course in metaphorical terms. The tycoon has been on a self imposed exile since Indian banks found him guilty of loan defaulting, and has sought shelter in UK.

In a 1998 interview with Nikki Bedi he was asked if he is India’s Trump to which he had replied he did not know trump personally but read about him, he lives his life like I do, but I am not near bankruptcy like him. One can only wonder how times change.

On Tuesday outside a UK court, when Mallya was asked about him defaulting loans by a journalist of ANI, Mallya said “keep dreaming about billions of pounds”. Soon after this V K Singh, Minister of state for external affairs said that all necessary steps are being taken for extradition of Mallya back to India, and that no time frame could be predicted in which he would be brought back to India.

 

Padmini Ramesh

Why the farmers’ protests everywhere is something to worry about

Starting from the Mandsaur protests in Madhya Pradesh  in the beginning of this month, there has been a series of farmers’ protests propping up across the country with the latest being yesterday’s protest in Punjab. It would be irrational to assume that this rising anger and restlessness among the farmers across the country is simply because they want to keep up with the Mandsaur protests. Rather, the Mandsaur protests could be viewed as the tipping point of this crack down by the farming community- a distressed farming community with mounting debts, poor marketing facilities, unable to get competitive remuneration for their produce; the recent cash crunch post demonetization only worsening their problems. With the inflation rate falling short of the target of 4% implying fall in food prices, a surge in the rates of petrol and diesel increasing the transportation costs and the new notification by the centre banning the sale of cattle and live stock in animal markets for slaughter purposes, the situation had to reach this stage.

 

Opinio12

Developing a Strategic Psyche

The Indian nation has a deep sense of history and a proud tradition of soldiering, yet today there is a distinct lack of strategic psyche. New Delhi is more adept at thinking economically and garnering votes. Matters defence are always under played and there is a culture of allowing the events to adrift thus following a wait and watch policy.

India follows a reactive policy as far as its geostrategic interests are concerned. As a nation post-independence New Delhi is always reacting, China in Tibet,

Pakistan gave away Aksai Chin,  Pakistan’s invasion of “47, infiltrators in ’65, recent Kargil, and an ongoing violent insurgency for which there have been no clear cut directions; New Delhi, is never proactive. The net results are two, firstly the nation lost whatever strategic space there was to China, and with Pakistan it’s a history of blunders right from 1947 onwards.  Secondly the security forces are always hampered as the geostrategic environment to ensure success except Bangladesh in ’71 is not created.