India is imploding fast and it will be exploded soon. The minorities are not safe there. The Muslims are facing the worst kind of persecution in today’s India at the hands of goons of RSS and BJP on the behest of the state because the Prime Minister is a fanatic who believes in Hindutva. Narendra Modi has made India the most dangerous country for minorities. No Muslim is safe in India today including cricketers, actors, and now the students. The fire that was started by the extremist goons of RSS will destroy India and it is just written on the wall.
After years of persecution and suffocation, there is now a Muslim uprising in India as evident from the daring act of chanting ‘All-O-Akbar’ slogans by Karnataka’s Muskan in front of RSS goons backed by Modi and his BJP. Muskan was heckled by the goons and fanatics as she was wearing a Burqa or Hijab.
The episode has stirred an outrage within India itself and led to many protests when schools in Karnataka state-imposed ban on female students wearing Hijab. Muskan showed great courage just in front of the goons and she is still in high spirits. She said that she will continue wearing Hijab as it is part of being a Muslim.
The friends of Muskan from other communities have also vowed to support her. Muskan narrates the story of that day when she went to college to submit an assignment. Those goons were not allowing her to go inside because she was in the Burqa. They started shouting the slogan ‘Jai Shri Ram’ in front of Muskan and she started reciting ‘Allah-o-Akbar’ in response. Muskan says that it is her basic and fundamental right to wear Hijab or Burqa and she will continue exercising her due right.
The ban on Hijab in schools has invited severe outcry among Muslims in southern India as it led to large crowds to take to the streets to protest against the restrictions. It has developed a sense of fear among the minority Muslim community that thinks that it is sheer persecution under the Hindu nationalist government of Modi.
After years of persecution and suffocation, there is now a Muslim uprising in India.
Some members of the ruling party are giving statements while defending the decision of ban that is further threatening for the Muslims as it encourages the RSS goons.
The Chief Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai failed to control the situation and announced to close all the schools and colleges in the state for three days. Some incidents of violence were also reported from several districts after the controversy over students wearing Hijab on campus got intensified. The Education Minister of the state BC Nagesh also refused to lift the ban. He asked the students to explore the other options if they are unwilling to follow the uniform dress code defined by the state.
The insane decision was criticized even within India as Bollywood celebrities, media professionals, intellectuals and politicians condemned the Modi government’s Hindutva-inspired policies. The opposition parties have also warned the Modi government that this continuous discrimination against Muslims will not go well with the country as it will be catastrophic in days to come. A student also went to the court for filing the petition in which she maintained that wearing the Hijab is a fundamental right to religion guaranteed by the constitution of India. The Karnataka High Court also appealed for peace and calm.
Growing extremism in India in Modi’s tenure is truly worrisome for all communities and it should be a wake-up call especially for Muslims to take a firm stand and fight for their rights. The Muslims are in continuous danger in India since Narendra Modi took over the reins. The minorities are being lynched. Their homes are put on fire while they are being labeled as traitors under the sedition charges.
In today’s India, Bollywood stars hailing from the Muslim community aren’t safe anymore. The hatred has crossed all the limits as Muslim players in the Indian cricket team are also facing the worst bigotry by the goons of RSS and BJP. Just last year, Pakistan defeated India in a cricket match and then the goons of RSS started blaming Muhammad Shami-the only Muslim player in the Indian cricket team- for the defeat while also labelling him a ‘traitor’.
Modi is proving Jinnah right, who used to say that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations and they cannot live together. In Modi’s India, the two-nation theory by Muhammad Ali Jinnah proves to be right.
What happened with actor Shah Rukh Khan at the funeral of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar is very disturbing. The BJP started a campaign against him whether he ‘spat’ on Lata’s mortal remains or recited a prayer. It was a great moment when Shah Rukh walked to the coffin of the legendary singer to pay his last homage along with his manager who was a Hindu. Shah Rukh paid his last homage in his Muslim way while reciting some prayers while his manager did in her Hindu way but that great moment was polluted by the fanatics of RSS and BJP mindset.
It is really unfortunate that instead of guarding the minorities, the state itself is involved in the persecution of Muslims at the behest of Modi. It is a matter of shame that those who bulldozed the Babri mosque are now sitting in the power corridors of India while tarnishing the image of their own country.
The time isn’t far away when the Muslims in India will decide about their future because they are continuously facing the worst kind of persecution. They are beaten up for eating beef. They aren’t allowed to offer prayers in public places. Now, extremism has reached educational institutions, which is really unfortunate.
India has to decide whether it believes in democracy or Hindutva. It should be decided what will be the future of Muslims in India. The future scenario for minorities living in India looks extremely grim. The defiance of Muskan has exposed India badly in the public.
10 Best US Presidents of All Time: A Comprehensive Ranking
The United States has had 46 presidents, each with their own unique leadership style, accomplishments, and controversies. While some presidents are remembered for their exceptional leadership and achievements, others are infamous for their failures and shortcomings. The list of the top 10 best US presidents of all time is a topic of much debate among historians, political scientists, and the general public.
Criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a president’s leadership varies greatly. Many experts consider factors such as their vision, ability to set an agenda, public communication skills, legislative success, economic management, and foreign policy. Others focus on the president’s character, integrity, and moral leadership. The criteria used to evaluate the presidents can be subjective and vary from one expert to another.
Despite the varying criteria, some presidents are consistently ranked among the top 10 best US presidents of all time. These presidents are recognized for their significant contributions to the country, their leadership during difficult times, and their lasting impact on American society. In this article, we will explore the top 10 best US presidents of all time and the reasons behind their enduring legacies.
Table of Contents
- The criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of a president’s leadership varies greatly.
- The top 10 best US presidents of all time are recognized for their significant contributions to the country, their leadership during difficult times, and their lasting impact on American society.
- The list of the top 10 best US presidents is a topic of much debate among historians, political scientists, and the general public.
Criteria for Evaluation
When evaluating the best US Presidents of all time, historians and experts use a variety of criteria to assess their leadership and legacy. Here are the key factors that are commonly considered:
The ability to inspire and lead the nation is a critical factor in evaluating a President’s greatness. This includes factors such as communication skills, charisma, vision, and the ability to make tough decisions. A President who can rally the nation during times of crisis and inspire confidence in their leadership is highly valued.
A President’s domestic policies are also a key factor in their legacy. This includes their ability to pass legislation that benefits the country and improves the lives of its citizens. Presidents who prioritize issues such as civil rights, healthcare, education, and economic equality are often viewed favourably.
A President’s foreign policies are also an important consideration. This includes their ability to maintain strong relationships with allies, negotiate treaties, and promote peace and stability around the world. Presidents who successfully navigate international conflicts and promote American values on the global stage are often highly regarded.
The state of the economy is a crucial factor in evaluating a President’s legacy. A President who can create jobs, reduce unemployment, and promote economic growth is highly valued. This includes factors such as tax policies, government spending, and trade agreements.
Finally, a President’s ability to handle crises is a critical factor in their legacy. This includes their response to natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other unexpected events. Presidents who can maintain calm and provide effective leadership during times of crisis are often viewed as great leaders.
Overall, evaluating a President’s legacy is a complex process that involves a variety of factors. By considering their leadership qualities, domestic policies, foreign policies, economic management, and crisis management skills, historians and experts can gain a better understanding of their impact on the nation and the world.
Top 10 Presidents Overview
The United States has had 46 Presidents since its inception, and each of them has left a lasting impact on the country. However, some Presidents have stood out due to their exceptional leadership, decisive action, and legacy. In this article, we will look at the top 10 Presidents of all time, as rated by experts and historians.
The following table summarizes the top 10 Presidents, along with their political party, years in office, and key achievements:
|Rank||President||Political Party||Years in Office||Key Achievements|
|1||Abraham Lincoln||Republican||1861-1865||Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War victory, preserved the Union|
|2||George Washington||None (Federalist)||1789-1797||Revolutionary War hero, established the presidency, set precedents|
|3||Franklin D. Roosevelt||Democratic||1933-1945||New Deal, World War II leadership, Social Security, United Nations|
|4||Theodore Roosevelt||Republican||1901-1909||Trust-busting, conservation, Panama Canal, Pure Food and Drug Act|
|5||Thomas Jefferson||Democratic-Republican||1801-1809||Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Declaration of Independence|
|6||Harry S. Truman||Democratic||1945-1953||Atomic bomb, Marshall Plan, NATO, desegregation of the military|
|7||Woodrow Wilson||Democratic||1913-1921||League of Nations, Federal Reserve, women’s suffrage, World War I leadership|
|8||James K. Polk||Democratic||1845-1849||Mexican-American War, Oregon Treaty, California Gold Rush|
|9||Dwight D. Eisenhower||Republican||1953-1961||Interstate Highway System, desegregation of Little Rock schools, Cold War leadership|
|10||Ronald Reagan||Republican||1981-1989||Reaganomics, end of Cold War, conservative resurgence|
Each of these Presidents has made significant contributions to the country, and their legacies continue to shape the United States today. From Lincoln’s fight to preserve the Union and abolish slavery, to Reagan’s conservative resurgence and end of the Cold War, each President has left a unique mark on American history.
When it comes to evaluating the best US Presidents of all time, one of the most important factors to consider is their impact on the country. This can be measured in a variety of ways, including social progress, technological advancements, and constitutional significance.
Several US Presidents have had a significant impact on social progress in the country. For example, Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as one of the greatest Presidents in American history due to his role in ending slavery and preserving the Union during the Civil War. Franklin D. Roosevelt is another President who had a significant impact on social progress, particularly through his New Deal policies that helped to lift the country out of the Great Depression.
Many US Presidents have also had a significant impact on technological advancements in the country. For example, Thomas Jefferson is known for his contributions to science and technology, including his support for the Lewis and Clark expedition and his creation of the United States Military Academy at West Point. More recently, Barack Obama is known for his support of renewable energy and efforts to combat climate change.
Finally, many US Presidents have had a significant impact on the Constitution and the legal framework of the country. For example, George Washington is known for his role in creating the office of the President and establishing many of the traditions that are still in place today. Similarly, Abraham Lincoln is known for his role in preserving the Union and strengthening the power of the federal government.
Controversies and Challenges
Being the President of the United States comes with its fair share of controversies and challenges. The best US Presidents of all time have had to navigate through difficult situations and make tough decisions that have often been met with criticism and opposition.
For instance, Abraham Lincoln, who is considered one of the best US Presidents of all time, faced strong opposition from Southern states that were against his anti-slavery policies. This eventually led to the Civil War, which claimed the lives of over 600,000 Americans. Despite the challenges, Lincoln remained steadfast in his beliefs and successfully led the Union to victory.
Another President who faced significant challenges was Franklin D. Roosevelt. During his time in office, the country was facing one of its worst economic crises – the Great Depression. Roosevelt implemented a series of policies, known as the New Deal, to help the country recover. However, his policies were met with opposition from some who believed that they were too interventionist and threatened individual freedoms.
John F. Kennedy is also another President who faced controversies during his time in office. His administration was marked by the Cuban Missile Crisis, which brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. Kennedy’s handling of the crisis was met with both praise and criticism, with some believing that he acted too aggressively, while others believed that he acted with restraint and prevented a global catastrophe.
Despite these controversies and challenges, the best US Presidents of all time have remained committed to their vision and have worked tirelessly to serve their country and its people. Their legacies continue to inspire and guide future generations of leaders.
Legacy and Influence
The legacy and influence of a president can be measured by the policies they implemented, the crises they faced, and their impact on the country and the world. The following US presidents have left a lasting legacy and have had a significant influence on American history:
1. George Washington
As the first president of the United States, George Washington set the precedent for future presidents to follow. His leadership during the American Revolution and his role in drafting the US Constitution solidified his place in history. Washington’s Farewell Address warned against political factions and foreign alliances, which continue to influence American foreign policy to this day.
2. Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War and his Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery, cemented his place as one of the greatest US presidents. His Gettysburg Address, which emphasized the importance of democracy and equality, is still quoted today.
3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies helped the country recover from the Great Depression and his leadership during World War II helped the Allies defeat Nazi Germany. His Social Security Act and other New Deal programs continue to benefit Americans to this day.
4. Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson’s authorship of the Declaration of Independence and his advocacy for individual liberty and religious freedom are still celebrated today. He also made the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the United States.
5. Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation efforts and his role in establishing national parks and forests helped preserve America’s natural resources. He also strengthened the role of the presidency and the federal government, which has had a lasting impact on American politics.
6. Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman’s decision to drop atomic bombs on Japan helped end World War II and his Marshall Plan helped rebuild Europe after the war. He also desegregated the military and pushed for civil rights legislation.
7. John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy’s leadership during the Cuban Missile Crisis and his commitment to the space program helped establish America as a global superpower. He also advocated for civil rights and his assassination in 1963 shocked the nation.
8. Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan’s conservative policies and his role in ending the Cold War helped shape American politics in the 20th century. His economic policies, known as “Reaganomics,” emphasized free-market capitalism and deregulation.
9. Barack Obama
Barack Obama’s election as the first African-American president and his policies, such as the Affordable Care Act and the Paris Climate Agreement, have had a significant impact on American history. His presidency also marked a shift towards more progressive politics.
10. Donald Trump
Donald Trump’s presidency was marked by controversy and polarization. His policies, such as tax cuts and immigration restrictions, have had a significant impact on American politics. His impeachment and the storming of the Capitol in 2021 will also be remembered as defining moments of his presidency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which U.S. President is considered the greatest according to historical surveys?
Historians generally agree that Abraham Lincoln is the greatest U.S. President of all time. In fact, he has consistently topped the lists of greatest American Presidents in various surveys conducted by scholars and experts. In the most recent Presidential Historians Survey conducted by C-SPAN in 2021, Lincoln secured the top spot, highlighting his exceptional leadership during the Civil War and his significant contributions towards abolishing slavery.
How do presidential historians rank the top American Presidents?
Presidential historians rank the top American Presidents based on their achievements and impact on the country. They evaluate the Presidents’ effectiveness in areas such as crisis leadership, vision and agenda setting, economic management, and public persuasion. They also consider their character, integrity, and moral authority. The rankings are based on a combination of objective and subjective criteria and are often influenced by the historians’ own political and ideological views.
What criteria are used to evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. Presidents?
Historians evaluate the effectiveness of U.S. Presidents based on various criteria, including their leadership skills, policy achievements, public support, and legacy. They also consider the context in which they served, such as the political, social, and economic challenges of their time. Some of the key factors that historians use to evaluate Presidents include their ability to manage crises, their vision and agenda setting, their economic policies, their foreign policy achievements, and their impact on civil rights and social justice.
Who are the most influential U.S. Presidents in history?
The most influential U.S. Presidents in history are those who have had a lasting impact on the country’s development and trajectory. Some of the most influential Presidents include George Washington, who played a crucial role in the founding of the nation; Abraham Lincoln, who led the country through the Civil War and abolished slavery; Franklin D. Roosevelt, who guided the country through the Great Depression and World War II; and Ronald Reagan, who redefined the role of government and conservatism in American politics.
Which U.S. Presidents have had the biggest impact on the country’s development?
Many U.S. Presidents have had a significant impact on the country’s development, but some stand out more than others. Some of the Presidents who have had the biggest impact on the country’s development include George Washington, who helped establish the foundations of American democracy; Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence and expanded the nation’s territory; Abraham Lincoln, who preserved the Union and abolished slavery; and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who implemented the New Deal and led the country through World War II.
What are the latest rankings of U.S. Presidents by scholars?
The latest rankings of U.S. Presidents by scholars are based on the most recent surveys and polls conducted by various organizations. In the most recent Presidential Historians Survey conducted by C-SPAN in 2021, Abraham Lincoln was ranked as the greatest U.S. President of all time, followed by George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. However, different surveys and polls may produce different results, depending on the methodology and criteria used.
COP 28 Dubai 2023: Uniting for a Sustainable Future Amidst Climate Change Challenges
The world is at a critical juncture in its fight against climate change. The impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly evident, from rising sea levels to extreme weather events. As the window for action narrows, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 28), slated to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023, stands as a pivotal event in addressing this global crisis.
The overarching goal of COP 28 is to accelerate global climate action and ensure that the world stays on track to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, the conference will focus on three key objectives:
- Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): NDCs are the plans submitted by each country outlining their climate actions and commitments. COP 28 will aim to strengthen NDCs and ensure they are aligned with the Paris Agreement goals.
- Accelerating the Renewable Energy Transition: Transitioning to renewable energy sources is crucial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing climate change. COP 28 will focus on accelerating this transition by promoting renewable energy policies, financing, and technological advancements.
- Enhancing Adaptation and Resilience Strategies: Climate change is already having severe impacts on communities and ecosystems worldwide. COP 28 will address this by promoting adaptation and resilience strategies, including climate-resilient infrastructure, ecosystem-based adaptation, and community engagement.
The stakes at COP 28 are high. If decisive action is not taken, the world will face irreversible environmental damage, jeopardizing the well-being and prosperity of current and future generations. COP 28 provides a critical opportunity for global leaders to unite, forge ambitious commitments, and accelerate climate action to secure a sustainable future.
Why is COP 28 Dubai 2023 Important?
COP 28 Dubai 2023 is crucial for several reasons:
- Urgency of Strong International Commitments: The window for action to avert the worst impacts of climate change is rapidly closing. COP 28 must deliver strong and ambitious commitments from all countries to reduce emissions and enhance climate action.
- Consequences of Inaction: Failure to take decisive action at COP 28 will have severe consequences. Global temperatures will continue to rise, leading to more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and widespread disruptions to ecosystems and human societies.
- Platform for Resilience and Sustainability: COP 28 provides a platform for fostering climate resilience and sustainability. By sharing knowledge, best practices, and innovative solutions, countries and stakeholders can strengthen their responses to climate change and build a more resilient future.
What to Expect at COP 28 Dubai 2023?
The COP 28 agenda will cover a wide range of climate change issues, including:
- Enhancing NDCs: Countries will discuss strategies to strengthen their NDCs and bridge the ambition gap.
- Renewable Energy Transition: The focus will be on accelerating the deployment of renewable energy technologies and promoting supportive policies.
- Adaptation and Resilience: Discussions will center on enhancing adaptation measures, building climate-resilient infrastructure, and promoting community engagement.
- Just Transition and Climate Justice: The conference will address the need for a fair and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy, ensuring that no one is left behind.
COP 28 will also feature a high-level segment where heads of state and government will deliver speeches and participate in high-level dialogues. Additionally, various side events, workshops, and exhibitions will showcase innovative solutions, best practices, and cutting-edge technologies.
1: Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
NDCs are the backbone of the Paris Agreement, forming the basis for global climate action. At COP 28, countries will focus on enhancing NDCs in several ways:
- Assessing Progress on NDCs: Evaluating the effectiveness of current NDCs in curbing emissions and identifying areas for improvement.
- Increasing Ambition in NDCs: Exploring approaches to raise the ambition level of NDCs, aligning them with the 1.5-degree Celsius goal.
- Enhancing Transparency and Accountability: Strengthening mechanisms for tracking NDC implementation and ensuring countries meet their commitments.
2: Renewable Energy Transition
The transition to renewable energy sources is essential for achieving the Paris Agreement goal of mitigating climate change. At COP 28, countries will focus on accelerating this transition by:
- Renewable Energy Policies and Regulations: Implementing supportive policies and regulations that incentivize renewable energy investment and deployment.
- Financing Renewable Energy Projects: Mobilizing financial resources and developing innovative financing mechanisms to support renewable energy projects.
- Advancements in Renewable Technologies: Promoting research and development in renewable energy technologies to enhance their efficiency, affordability, and scalability.
3: Adaptation and Resilience Strategies
As climate change impacts intensify, adaptation and resilience strategies are crucial for protecting communities and ecosystems. At COP 28, countries will focus on:
- Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development: Integrating climate resilience considerations into infrastructure planning, design, and construction.
- Integrated Ecosystem-based Adaptation Approaches: Incorporating ecosystem-based solutions, such as restoring natural ecosystems, into adaptation plans.
- Community Engagement and Knowledge Sharing for Adaptation: Empowering communities through knowledge sharing, capacity building, and participatory approaches to adaptation.
4: Just Transition and Climate Justice
The transition to a low-carbon economy must be just and equitable, ensuring that no one is left behind. At COP 28, countries will address this by:
- Equity in Climate Action: Integrating equity considerations into climate policies, ensuring that the most vulnerable communities are not disproportionately affected by climate change and climate action.
- Social Impacts and Workforce Transition: Addressing the potential social and economic impacts of the transition on workers and communities, providing support for retraining and reskilling.
- International Cooperation and Solidarity: Strengthening international cooperation and support mechanisms to assist developing countries in achieving a just transition.
5: Summary and Conclusion
COP 28 Dubai 2023 stands as a pivotal moment in the global fight against climate change. The conference must deliver strong and ambitious commitments from all countries to accelerate climate action and ensure the world stays on track to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. By enhancing NDCs, accelerating the renewable energy transition, strengthening adaptation and resilience strategies, and promoting a just transition, COP 28 can pave the way for a sustainable and resilient future for all.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1: What is the COP 28 Dubai 2023 conference?
COP 28 Dubai 2023 is the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It will take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023.
2: What are Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and why are they important?
NDCs are the plans submitted by each country outlining their climate actions and commitments. They are crucial for implementing the Paris Agreement and achieving global climate goals.
3: How can renewable energy transition contribute to addressing climate change?
Transitioning to renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal power, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating climate change impacts.
4: What are adaptation and resilience strategies, and why are they necessary in combating climate change?
Adaptation and resilience strategies help communities and ecosystems prepare for and cope with the impacts of climate change, such as extreme weather events and rising sea levels.
5: What is a just transition and why is it crucial in addressing climate change and socio-economic inequalities?
A just transition ensures that the shift to a low-carbon economy is fair and equitable, protecting vulnerable communities and workers from negative impacts while promoting sustainable development and poverty eradication.
TPNW can prevent nuclear disaster in South Asia
The second Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons began at the United Nations Headquarters on 27 November and will continue until 1 December 2023. Ambassador (Dr.) Juan Ramón de la Fuente (Mexico) was elected as President of the Meeting.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations calls the Treaty “an important step towards the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons and a strong demonstration of support for multilateral approaches to nuclear disarmament.”
Ambassador Melissa Parke of Australia and the Executive Director of ‘International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons’ (ICAN) warned the world body during the high-level opening statement that “Nuclear-armed states, instead of pursuing disarmament following their legal obligations, are squandering tens of billions of dollars every year to ‘improve’ and expand their arsenals. A theft from the world’s poor. An insult to all who value peace…Some of these same states are also waging wars of aggression – with staggering death tolls and undeniable nuclear risks…Against this backdrop of bloodshed, we must renew our call not only for nuclear disarmament, but also, more broadly, for multilateral approaches to peace and security, and for adherence to the international rule of law, based on the UN Charter.”
“It is worth mentioning here that ICAN was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 2017 for the leadership role it played in achieving Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.“
Arundhati Roy, an Indian novelist and activist was representing the aspirations of hundreds of millions of people all over the world when she wrote in “Cost of Living” that “It is such a supreme folly to believe that nuclear weapons are deadly only if they’re used. The fact that they exist at all, their presence in our lives, will wreak more havoc than we can begin to fathom. Nuclear weapons pervade our thinking. Control our behaviour. Administer our societies. Inform our dreams. They bury themselves like meat hooks deep in the base of our brains. They are purveyors of madness. They are the ultimate colonizer. Whiter than any white man that ever lived. The very heart of whiteness.”
I completely agree with Ms. Roy for her foresight about the danger of the existence of nuclear weapons. Perhaps not by coincidence, the danger of nuclear threat in South Asia should be of paramount interest to the world body. Kashmir is the bone of contention in the nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan. It has been regarded by President Bill Clinton as the most dangerous place on earth. Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark said, “Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint.” Kashmir is the only nation in the world which is surrounded by three nuclear powers – India, Pakistan & China. Perhaps that was the reason that former President Obama said on November 10, 2010, in New Delhi, “The resolution of Kashmir is in the interest of India, Pakistan and the region and the United States.”
Kashmir currently has more than 900,000 military and paramilitary troops occupying the Valley with no more than 10 million people, a ratio of one soldier for every 10 citizens. However, because of their concentration in the towns and cities, the density is more like 5 to one. Imagine what that would be like on your city block.
Having so many troops in this small country whose size is no greater in square miles than the U.S. state of Tennessee should certainly be a cause for concern by anyone. Why are Indian forces there? Where’s the war? Is neighbouring Pakistan about to invade? Is China? Do they have a similar number of troops amassing at the border? This is more than three times the number of troops the U.S. had at the height of the Iraq War. The answer is None of the Above. It’s a curious fact that we have a very circular problem inherent in a deep paranoia India has long had of an uprising and its use of such troops to maintain control and put down any threat has become a way of life. It’s like avoiding a fire by burning down the house first.
The possibility of such an uprising is greatly enhanced and exacerbated by the presence of these troops and would more likely be a direct provocation for such an uprising and has been. Rather than relieve the pressure in the cooker by taking it off the fire, India’s solution has been to simply turn up the burner. The greatest cause of discontent is this constant abrasive to the social conscience, this erosion of trust in New Delhi, and a pervasive atmosphere of fear. People look for leadership elsewhere in their ranks, and they have. There is a deeply entrenched movement at the grassroots level that has become very influential in being the voice of public opinion.
It is a historical fact that when the Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-1948, the United States championed the stand that the future status of Kashmir must be ascertained following the wishes and aspirations of the people of the territory. The United States was the principal sponsor of resolution # 47 which was adopted by the Security Council on 21 April 1948 and based on that unchallenged principle. Following the resolution, the United States, a leading member of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP), adhered to that stand. The basic formula for settlement was incorporated in the resolutions of that Commission adopted on 13 August 1948 and 5 January 1949.
But India would not then and will not now honour that commitment or admit that its claim to Kashmir is illegitimate. And it will not admit to the world that the people of Kashmir have no faith in Indian democracy. Perhaps India believes that if it keeps repeating the same lie over and over again, that Kashmir is an integral part of India, things will settle down if a few carrots are offered, and the problem will go away.
Who knows it better than India that the cry for azadi (Freedom) in Kashmir has simply gotten louder? As such the level of tensions between India and Kashmir and between India and Pakistan show few signs of letting up any time soon. And ignoring the decades-old problem of refusing to resolve the question of Kashmiri sovereignty and self-determination has not only led to deep unrest among the Kashmiris; it has also led to two wars between India and Pakistan. That they are now both nuclear-armed states raises the stakes dramatically and calls for action to defuse these tensions immediately.
Perhaps it’s time the major powers take this seriously. The answer is plain as day for anyone. Kashmir has international legitimacy. It has international sanctity. It commits the United Nations Security Council. These commitments should once and for all be honoured. The clock is ticking. Every day that passes without a resolution of the Kashmir dispute is one day closer to a cataclysm that will reach far beyond the borders of all countries involved.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai is also Secretary General World Kashmir Awareness Forum.
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