India and China have ended a three-week standoff on a windswept Himalayan plateau where they fought a war 50 years ago by agreeing to pull forces back to positions held before the confrontation, India’s foreign ministry said on Monday.
The two countries packed up tents and left the disputed patch on the 5,000-metre-high (16,000-foot) Depsang Plain late on Sunday. But it had not been clear how far they had withdrawn.
Neither side has given details of the terms of the deal.
In 1950, the Survey of India issued a map of India showing the political divisions of the new republic. While the border with Pakistan was defined as it is now, including the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir area, the borders with China were depicted differently. In the east, the McMahon Line was shown as the border, except in its eastern extremity, the Tirap subdivision, where the border was shown as “undefined.” In the Central sector of what is now Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh and the eastern part of Jammu & Kashmir, including Aksai Chin, the boundary was depicted merely by a colour wash and denoted as “boundary undefined.”
In March 1954, the Union Cabinet met and decided to unilaterally define the border of India with China. The colour wash was replaced by a hard line, and the Survey of India issued a new map, which depicts the borders as we know them today. All the old maps were withdrawn and the depiction of Indian boundaries in the old way became illegal. Indeed, if you seek out the White Paper on Indian States of 1948 and 1950 in the Parliament library, you will find that the maps have been removed because they too showed the border as being “undefined” in the Central and Western sectors.
What was the government up to? Did it seriously think it could get away with such a sleight of hand? Or was there a design that will become apparent when the papers of the period are declassified? Not surprisingly, the other party, the People’s Republic of China, was not amused and, in any case, there are enough copies of the old documents and maps across the world today to bring out the uncomfortable truth that the boundaries of India in these regions were unilaterally defined by the Government of India, rather than through negotiation and discussions with China.
A Chinese border guards’ platoon (40 soldiers) has pitched tents ten kilometres inside Indian territory overlooking Daulet Beg Oldie (DBO) in Ladakh in the Western sector. The last time they did a similar thing was in 1986 in Sumdorong Chu in the Eastern sector (Arunachal Pradesh). Both times, the Chinese forces had blessings from the highest quarters: then supremo Deng Xiaoping and now the President and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, Xi Jinping.
Then, the Chinese were not a risen power and the occupation of Sumdorong Chu, of little tactical significance, was meant to test Indian gumption after the passing away of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who Deng admired for being a strong and determined leader. The Chinese finally left Sumdorong Chu of their own accord in 1995, with India calling it a historic win-win situation. This time around, the Chinese forces are unlikely to withdraw because as a risen power, the occupation is a well-crafted act of an unfolding grand strategy.
According to the Chinese, they are technically correct in insisting that the present occupation does not transgress the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This is not all. India, according to China, has done more transgressions into the Eastern sector than the other way round. China further says that it has refrained from making noises because it wants good neighbourly relations, but it will act in self-defence if the need arises.
India, on the other hand, says that differing perceptions about the LAC are responsible for numerous transgressions as well as the present stand-off in the Western sector. Meanwhile, treating it as a military matter, the Indian army has reportedly pitched its own tents facing the Chinese. What is the truth in this game?
The Mumbai police has sounded a high alert after the control room received calls claiming that six terrorists have sneaked into the city and may carry out a major attack at Juhu Chowpatty or Bandra Bandstand on Valentine’s Day.
On February 14, youngsters throng both these places.
Police commissioner Satyapal Singh on Sunday night contacted all senior police inspectors in the western suburbs and asked them to carry out searches in hotels and lodges and stage nakabandis.
Security agencies are not taking chances following Saturday’s hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.
“The Pakistani terrorist outfit, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), has given an open threat after the hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab; now there is the Afzal Guru case,” said a senior police official. Jamaat-ud-Dawaa and LeT chief Hafiz Saeed, accused mastermind of the 26/11 attacks, delivered threats in Pakistan and strongly protested after Guru’s execution, claiming it amounted to “judicial terrorism”.
An outbreak of swine flu in India has killed at least 94 people in just over five weeks, reports say.
The health ministry said more than 450 cases had been reported, mostly in the northern state of Rajasthan.
Officials say they are investigating the cause of the outbreak, with some experts saying low winter temperatures are to blame.
The H1N1 virus, which causes swine flu, first appeared in Mexico in 2009 and rapidly spread around the world.
It killed 981 Indians in 2009, 1,763 in 2010, 75 in 2011 and 405 last year.
It is thought the virus has killed 200,000 people around the world.
In November, police in Mumbai arrested a 21-year-old woman for complaining on Facebook about the shutdown of the city after the death of the nativist politician Bal K. Thackeray; another Facebook user was arrested for “liking” the first woman’s comment. The grounds for the arrests? “Hurting religious sentiments.”
Mr. Rushdie, who after the 1988 publication of “The Satanic Verses” became, to his chagrin, a human weather vane for the right to free speech, was to travel to Kolkata last week to attend a literary festival. At the last minute, he says, he was informed that the police in West Bengal would block his arrival. Local politicians chimed in to support the ban. “Rushdie never should have been invited,” an official in the party that rules the state told me. “Thirty percent of Bengali voters are Muslims.”
The organizers of the literary festival had held up Kolkata as the “cultural capital of India.” The notion that any cultural capital would try to silence speech — or punish artists who do speak out — is, of course, preposterous.
Not mentioned in the article but also relevant:
When water started trickling down a statue of Jesus Christ at a Catholic church in Mumbai earlier this year, locals were quick to declare a miracle. Some began collecting the holy water and the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni began to promote it as a site of pilgrimage.
So when Sanal Edamaruku arrived and established that this was not holy water so much as holey plumbing, the backlash was severe. The renowned rationalist was accused of blasphemy, charged with offences that carry a three-year prison sentence and eventually, after receiving death threats, had to seek exile in Finland.
It’s hard to escape a visit to India without someone asking you to compare it to China. This visit was no exception, but I think it’s more revealing to widen the aperture and compare India, China and Egypt. India has a weak central government but a really strong civil society, bubbling with elections and associations at every level. China has a muscular central government but a weak civil society, yet one that is clearly straining to express itself more. Egypt, alas, has a weak government and a very weak civil society, one that was suppressed for 50 years, denied real elections and, therefore, is easy prey to have its revolution diverted by the one group that could organize, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the one free space, the mosque. But there is one thing all three have in common: gigantic youth bulges under the age of 30, increasingly connected by technology but very unevenly educated.
My view: Of these three, the one that will thrive the most in the 21st century will be the one that is most successful at converting its youth bulge into a “demographic dividend” that keeps paying off every decade, as opposed to a “demographic bomb” that keeps going off every decade. That will be the society that provides more of its youth with the education, jobs and voice they seek to realize their full potential.
NEW DELHI — Police said Sunday they have arrested six suspects in another gang rape of a bus passenger in India, four weeks after a brutal attack on a student on a moving bus in the capital outraged Indians and led to calls for tougher rape laws.
Police officer Raj Jeet Singh said a 29-year-old woman was the only passenger on a bus as she was traveling to her village in northern Punjab state on Friday night. The driver refused to stop at her village despite her repeated pleas and drove her to a desolate location, he said.
There, the driver and the conductor took her to a building where they were joined by five friends and took turns raping her throughout the night, Singh said.
The driver dropped the woman off at her village early Saturday, he said. […]
Also on Saturday, police arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly raping and killing a 9-year-old girl two weeks ago in Ahmednagar district in western India, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Her decomposed body was found Friday. […]
The Maoists who implanted a tumour-sized bomb in the body of a CRPF jawan they killed in Jharkhand may not have seen Kathlyn Bigelow’s Oscar winning Iraq film ‘Hurt Locker’, but the tactic poses a new and deadly challenge to anti-Naxal operations.
The grisly ruse of embedding a 2.75 kg improvised explosive device in a dead body, suspected to have been aimed at wreaking havoc at the hospital where the postmortem was to be conducted, replicates a chilling moment from the 2008 film.
In the film, the madness of war comes home to a bomb disposal expert, played by Jeremy Renner, when during a raid on a warehouse, he discovers the body of a young, football loving Iraqi boy nicknamed “Beckham” on a table in the process of being made into a bomb.
The circuitry of the device placed inside the jawan killed during an anti-Naxalite operation that turned into an ambush in Jharkhand’s Latehar area was wired to set off the deadly bomb as soon as doctors performing the post-mortem surgically pierced the abdomen.
I Was Wounded; My Honor Wasn’t
THIRTY-TWO years ago, when I was 17 and living in Bombay, I was gang raped and nearly killed. Three years later, outraged at the silence and misconceptions around rape, I wrote a fiery essay under my own name describing my experience for an Indian women’s magazine. It created a stir in the women’s movement — and in my family — and then it quietly disappeared. Then, last week, I looked at my e-mail and there it was. As part of the outpouring of public rage after a young woman’s rape and death in Delhi, somebody posted the article online and it went viral. Since then, I have received a deluge of messages from people expressing their support.
It’s not exactly pleasant to be a symbol of rape. I’m not an expert, nor do I represent all victims of rape. All I can offer is that — unlike the young woman who died in December two weeks after being brutally gang raped, and so many others — my story didn’t end, and I can continue to tell it.