A Neighbour Less Talked About – Myanmar

India’s neighbours are often in the talks, be it for good reasons or bad. Bangladesh and Bhutan are usually talked about for mostly good reasons, while Pakistan and China are talked about for mostly bad reasons. Nepal and Sri Lanka are talked about on how India helps its neighbours to grow. But there is a neighbour, about whom most Indians know very little about. Yes, that neighbour is Myanmar.

Myanmar has been a more failed state, than Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka. Since independence, Myanmar could do little for its citizens, rather it has shrinked itself to complete isolation from the rest of the world. The most powerful unit in Myanmar is the Junta, which has recently for the second time overthrew the demographically elected Government, led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

After gaining independence from British rule, Myanmar slowly tried to build itself from its ruins. But in 1962, the military overthrew the Government and took the reins of administration upon itself. While military rule in some countries is not that bad, the military rule did more harm than good to Myanmar’s rise as an independent nation. Till 2011, the military rule did misery to the country, forcing its people into poverty, displacing thousands, killing minorities and threatening its own destruction.

The year 2011 brought about a sea of change in the politics of Myanmar, when elections were legally held for the very first time, and people chose Aung San Suu Kyi as their leader. However, it is alleged that Aung San Suu Kyi herself had little powers, especially regarding the Rohingya crisis, and that the military was still the decision-maker in politics. However, the demographically-elected Government was hugely popular among the masses, triggering panic among the junta that despite the country’s protectors, they are getting hugely unpopular.

Hence, a fresh coup was the result in 2021, in which the junta again overthrew the demographically-elected Government to fulfil their own needs. But now, together with the Covid-19 pandemic threw the country to chaos, and took the country’s economy to the brink of collapse. Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced to imprisonment for an indefinite period of time, and so are a number of leaders of her party. India has seen a recent surge in migration of refugees from Myanmar to India.

However, India, having to deal with Pakistan’s terrorism, Bangladeshi illegal immigrants, Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, Covid-19, and other factors, is not looking to meddle in Myanmar’s internal matters. India supports Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, but given the cruelty and harsh nature of the junta regime, it is not likely that Aung San Suu Kyi and her party is going to make a popular comeback anytime soon.

Written by – Himadri Paul

Are we going to witness a tough fight between the ruling party and BJP in West Bengal 2021 election?

It is now crystal clear that the Assembly election in West Bengal in 2021 is going to be one of the toughest tussles in the political history of India. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongly determined to replace the ruling party, All India Trinamool Congress (AITMC) in West Bengal. On the other side, AITMC is also equally ready to shield their 10 years’ reign.

But why Narendra Modi and Amit Shah only targeting West Bengal?

Mamata Banerjee is the only regional leader who is a formidable rival for the BJP and West Bengal is a frontier that BJP wants to conquer. This is why Amit Shah and other party leaders have visited the state so many times ‘-said Sekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of The Print.

election 2021

Religion plays a vital role here. It is not only a fight between two political parties but also a contest between the aggressive Hindutva craze of BJP and AITMC which is popular as close to Muslim Communal politics.

India is a well-known secular country. Moreover, in West Bengal Hindus and Muslims live together in harmony. The biggest issue of BJP would be their aggressive Hinduism agenda in West Bengal.

On the other side, after the Singur-Nandigram case, Mamata Banerjee has created an image of development. There are many schemes such as Kanyashree or distribution of cycle to the students, distribution of rice at a lower price, etc. have been launched by AITMC. Although there are several ideological conversion took place in AITMC, Mamata Banerjee has established herself as an image of secularism.

In contrast, Suvendu Adhikari, a heavyweight candidate from AITMC recently joined BJP. It can assume that this incident will have a strong impact on the 2021 election.
If we look back, in 2011 BJP was capable to gain seats in the state. The party contested 289 of the 294 votes but ended up with a vote share of 4.06 percent.
In 2016, BJP contested 291 out of 294 seats, and in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the party was able to capture 18 seats of 42 in the state.

“The BJP has worked doggedly over the last ten years and increased its vote share by ten times.’ Said Sekhar Gupta.

In 2011, AITMC displaced Left Front which had been in power for 34 years. However, the question remains whether it will change again the ruling party once again in 2021.

In the end, we can say whatever the result will be, the government should keep an eye on the election center so that there is violence over the vote. State and Central both are interlinked. So, the clash between state and central ruling party should not affect the state-central connection even after the declaration of result.

Written By Saswati Chattopadhyay.

Indian Politics and The Youth

An article on Indian politics and today’s generation

Pericles a great Greek orator once said,

“Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you”.

Youth and Politics

Politics in India in the last 70 years has gone through a stigmatizing change, people often refer to it as a sewer, but most fail to realize that this is what keeps the country going. It may be one of the reasons why youth refrain from stepping into politics. They want a good life but are afraid of a degraded social image.

India is a country with a population of approximately 1.3 Billion people. Youth makes 19.1%, i.e. one-fifth of the country’s total population. Statistics say that 65% of India’s population is under the age of 35 years. Nevertheless, only 6% of our leaders, ministers and peoples representatives are below the age of 35.

Yet only13%of our Lok Sabha representative’s are below the age of 35, “Young Parliamentarians.”

Yet some have taken ahead of the legacy of their families. Still, many young leaders stepped into the world of politics to make a paradigm shift in the Indian Political System. Fresh, Energetic, Bold and Innovative they provide the much-required enthusiasm to the Indian Political System.

Despite the substantial population of Youth in India, there has not been a proportional representation in the Political Sphere of the Nation. Though there isn’t lack of words to describe the zeal and capacity of youth to make a change, numbers have there owned role which can’t be ignored and certainly in Indian Political System, the number is not enough to make an impact.

There isn’t a shortage of examples to determine how youth have been engaged in politics since the old times. Even the real independence struggle on Youth Revolutionaries. Starting from moderate leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, Badruddin Tayyabji and many more whose experience of admin was considerable. The later movement in the last phase of Congress was led by youth. Leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and more in the earlier stage led to enthusiastic and bold steps in the struggle, and the later phase was led by youngsters like Subhash Chandra Bose, Bhagat Singh, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and many more.

In the current context, young, vibrant leaders like the new Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, is 31. The new Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, is 37, and also the world’s youngest female leader.

Talking about India Lakya Suryanarayan Tejasvi also known as Tejasvi Surya is 29. Nusrat Jahan Ruhi Jain is 30, Jamyang Tsering Namgyal is 35, and there are many more examples of young leaders who have genuinely represented how vibrant, enthusiastic, energetic and diplomatic today’s youth is. As voters grow tired of decrepit political parties, now some Political Parties are embracing new blood and empowering it, to survive.

But politics isn’t something that cannot run just by power. It needs a calm mind who can face the challenges, threats of all sorts. Youth is always exuding energy but seldom knows how to direct it to the right path. Hence, often end up taking decisions applicable for a short run. Politics is a field that needs a calm mind, along with experience. Experience teaches tolerance and the potential to have realistic visions, Young people have no experience and hence, often tend to have idealistic and unrealistic images of the society which may not be victorious in implementation. It is easy to manipulate young people and can be treated as mere as puppets. These were seen in violence and destruction of public properties by a few student groups recently.

But by making politics available to youth, the negative aspect of politics can be slowly erased in the minds of youth. Policies affecting youth can be framed by young people themselves rather than old politicians, who most probably cannot feel the contemporary problems young people are facing.

Nowadays, there is a shortage of young guns in the present scenario of Indian Political System. Youth should be given the prospect to prove themselves by making politics accessible to them. The right balance of young talent and experienced politicians can lead to the cleaning of politics and can restore the public faith in the political system.

Written By – Ishita Singh.


The occasion of the groundbreaking ceremony for the establishment of a grand temple for Lord Sri Ram in Ayodhya on Wednesday, 5th of August engrossed all the news channels and social media all day long. Though the incident can be interpreted in various ways, it was initially considered to bring all the Indians within the same umbrella and what they conclude from it.

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi along with UP Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Aditya Nath, and others performed Bhumi Pujan. No religious leaders were included except the nine priests. Guest lists had to cut to avoid social gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I am grateful to the Trust for inviting me here”-said Narendra Modi.

But not surprisingly a storm of controversy was swirling around the country even before the ceremony. One view is that rising a Ram temple in Ayodhya which is also the birthplace of Lord Sri Ramchandra signifies the end of all oppression on the Hindus. On the other perspective, it can be a new phase of political ascendency that may curtail the theory of secularism. Some parts of cybernauts believe that it is completely misused of money during this crisis but some have conceded as the historical revolution even after decades.

Ayodhya dispute is not an unknown fact for all citizens. This was started in the year 1527, the reign of the Mughal emperor, Babur constructed the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, located on the banks of the river Saryu.

In Hindu mythology, the city of Ayodhya is the birthplace of Sri Ramchandra. The Archaeological Survey of India stated that the Babri mosque was built on the land of non-Islamic structures and from where the problem arose. There were several cases filed by both Hindus and Muslims against each other. Even the British rulers tried to settle down the issue by dividing the land but all went in vain. In 1949, the Hindu Mahasabha placed an idol of Ram inside the Babri mosque, after which the Indian government ceased the building to avoid a further clash.

Lastly, in 1992, the 6th of December a group of Hindu activists (Kar sevaks) who were belonging to Hindu Mahasabha showed their brutality and demolished the Babri mosque and pushed the whole country towards Hindu-Muslim riots. The aftermath of the Babri mosque demolition was distressing for the Indians. Religious hatred was not only confined in Ayodhya, but it was unfurled over the country. Thousands of people died in that violence.

From the year 1980, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) set out for a campaign for the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya but that was executed on Wednesday after so long period.

Novel coronavirus has spread all across the world which affected India massively. Social distancing can be the only to stop the transmission of coronavirus. The scientists are sinking their brains to discover vaccines.

The Indian economy has already broken down due to worldwide lockdown.

Standing in this vulnerable condition, the inauguration of Ram temple in Ayodhya may wash out all the hatred of the before ages and the beginning of a new, harmonious era.

According to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya is the logical outcome of the Supreme Court verdict. The temple itself manifested the various possibilities soon. And the government must look forward to developing a modern democratic and secular country leaving behind all the religious issues.

Citing Lord Sri Ram’s quote, Narendra Modi said powerful India gets, the more it will be loved and peaceful.

“social harmony was the core principle of Lord Ram’s governance,”- he added.

-Saswati Chattopadhyay.

THE TRANS ACT: Distress in Guise of Aid

Trans bill, 2019, written by Anandita Singh

With the BJP-led NDA Government winning up another landslide second term with no political, social or financial subsistence but simply strong-arm politics and the wave of saffron populism of polarisation in the Indian society, it has been easier than ever for the government to turn bills into laws even if it faces criticism. The fragile opposition seems to make their job easier. As the basic characteristic of any right-wing ideological political entity, the inherent ideals of conservativeness and nationalism, the reflection is remarkably clear in the bills introduced in the Parliament by their members and passed by their members and allies.

The drafting of National Educational Policy (which is also opaque in sections), The EIA, The much-feared UAPA, and several others. The Transgender Persons Act is also an element derived from the same title.

The trans community is a community that faces extreme and extensive amounts of social and cultural exclusion despite being a part of the same socio-cultural milieu for centuries and has served in the royal courts. Things were not always the same for them as from historical shreds of evidence it has been found that they have (had) been treated with great respect over three centuries ago. However, everything changed once the East India Company took the helm of India and paved the way for the British Parliament to rule India under subjugation. The imposition of British ideology (mostly orthodox Catholic sect of Christianity) led to the introduction of the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 which declared that all of the trans community as “criminals” and also that they were “addicted” to crime. The act was repealed in the year of 1947 but the damage was already done and a deep-rooted stigma was planted in Indian society besides the enmity towards Pakistan by Indians and vice versa.

Trans community

India has over half a million of people from this community (as of 2014) as Dr. Rajkumar of Chaudhari Devilal University stated in his paper Education of Transgenders in India: Status and Challenges “The community needs to be included in the mainstream development program of the country and be protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation”.

The Trans community is addressed with the following terms in regard to identity (which are not names, as any normal person would think) kinner, hijra, aravasi, and jogta.

As the aim for the introduction of the Transgender Person Bill states to provide for the protection of transgender persons and their welfare and for matters connected therewith and incidental thereto, the actual working of the provisions on a closer introspection would clarify that much like the party it is being drafted by, the bills are more or less the same – a paradoxical and tokenistic effort.

The government has stated that this Bill (which is now in drafting stage) when will be passed as an Act will be a powerful tool in the hands of the administration to safeguard the people and transgender community and their interests with regard to the social, cultural, economic, mental and emotional state. When in reality this bill does nothing for such measures but establishes the transgender community as the third gender and not for the purpose to protect or safeguard them. The realistic applications of the provisions seem vague and much like the guidelines prescribed by Arthashastra by Kautilya where the guidelines were merely guidelines for statecraft and the practical economic and political policies were much different.

The Bill lays great emphasis on the Identification section and the issuing of Certificate for Identity of people from the transgender community. The purpose can be considered very noble but can be subjected to potent polarisation by the populist outfits, anytime the waves would turn that way.

The identification of a transgender person is to be carried everywhere and can be asked for inspection from time to time and that would not make them feel protected but make them vulnerable in the public space. There’s no reasonable contradiction on the violence and atrocities the people of the transgender community faces and that’s extensive.

Also with respect to the Identity section, the requirement of a “clinical psychologist’s” report is very suspicious and un-called for. The Bill doesn’t clarify the purpose of this step to apply for an identification certificate but has made this a mandatory provision. The lack of clinical psychologists in the nation and whether most of them will be welcome towards them and fulfill their responsibility is very unclear and the drafters of this Bill seem not to lose any sleep over that.

The identification section also recognizes only those people Trans who go through inter-sex surgery and/or hormone therapy. The Trans Community is one the most economically weaker sections of Indian Society, and many can’t afford day to day meals, let alone hormone therapy which requires lakhs of rupees. Asking the poor trans to go through hormone therapy/inter-sex surgery, only to be provided with an identification certificate which in turn will allow people to discriminate and make public spaces unsafe for them, and not provide them with any kind of aid, is not only a tokenist move but a mockery of their existence.

No welfare measures are prescribed by the central government but simply the burden of that responsibility has been shifted on the local or state governments with the words “The appropriate Government”. This is very much like throwing the balls in others’ court and shrugging off the responsibility while the drafting is by the Union.

The establishments or entities are set by marked guidelines with respect to vigilance but let’s face the practical fact that no employee would report their employer on such actions (whether public or private) and thereby such guidelines make no sense at all.

The National Council for Transgender Person is very much like NITI Aayog, by which government would exercise and exert its propaganda with only 10 out of the total 34 member council being of members not from the government (state or central) but still nominated by the Central Government and only 5 out of 34 members are actually from the Transgender community. This formation of such a council has just made a mockery of representation of the Transgender community for their own rights. Also, for over half a million people only Rs 1,00,00,000 has been allotted.

When the Constitution of India states ‘equality for all’, when it comes to punitive measures they are not at all severe. Even the major offenses of sexual abuse can only be subjected to a maximum of six months to two years of imprisonment and fine. When for a normal person it is not less than twelve to eighteen years. All that of course, after a completely free and fair trial in the Indian Judicial system.

This Bill does no good for the people of the Transgender community except to subject them to uncertain provisions over their identity and in reality makes no effort for their welfare and social and cultural representation.

This community has the lowest life expectancy of not more than 30 years, where the average life expectancy in India is around 80 years. This is the same community that has just 46% literacy (average in India being 74%) and that too when it is just a little over half a million in population. This community has been exploited, abused (mentally, verbally, physically, and emotionally), killed, tortured, driven from their own homes, and their identity used as slurs. It’s is high time to call on our leaderships to make proper provisions for them and take a stand for their welfare.