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October 10th, 2016

India Link International Oct-Nov -2016

Each issue of India Link International brings you:
the latest in Business and investment in India
Triumphs of the global Indian
• Sports
• Political, social and economic problems facing India
• Indian art, culture, religion and music
• Indian film industry - the largest in the world
• Tourist attractions -World & on the Indian sub-continent.
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October 10th, 2016

The Carousel of Time By Ken O’Donnell

By Ken O’Donnell

A typical view of time goes like this…
Few of us who are old enough can remain detached when we see a photograph of ourselves 20 years ago. We have aged. We have less hair, perhaps less teeth, and certainly more wrinkles. Maybe we didn’t or couldn’t do all the things we had planned to do. Time has passed and has exacted its toll on us. So what is this mysterious thing that threads days, months and years together so inexorably? We can’t see it, hear it, smell it, taste it or touch it. Time has changed us - our physical appearance and inner experience, yet we have been unable to change it.
We say that it flies or drags by, but in fact it just rolls along with the same constancy as ever. We don’t want to waste it. We are always coming up with new technologies that supposedly help us “save” it. We invent new vehicles so that we can get from one place to the other in less time. But we forget that time is also life.
We see time’s cycles. The earth revolves on its axis and we call it a day. It makes a complete turn around the sun, and we call it a year. We can measure it, but its deeper secrets elude us.
There is a story about a rich tourist visiting a fishing village in the Amazon. He tried to convince a fisherman to hire more people to help him.
The conversation went like this:
- Why would I want to do that?                           
- So that you can catch more fish.
- Why would I want to do that?
- So you could earn more money to invest in your operation, maybe buy a few more boats.
- Why would I want to do that?
- With more money you can have some time off to relax.
- But I’m already relaxed. Why would I want some more time?
- Then you could do what I do. For one month every year I just come fishing and leave all my troubles behind.
- But I’m already fishing...
You can see where the story is going.

The mystery of time has haunted us throughout the ages, so much so that we have an ambiguous relationship with it. We want to save as much time as we can, but when we have it available, do we really know how to make the best use of it? We plough through the day thinking about the time that we will have for relaxing in the evening. We struggle through the week to enjoy our weekend. We work so hard during the year for our annual vacation, so that we can have time for our well-earned rest. The years roll by and we start to plan for our retirement, which passes sooner than most of us want. Old age brings sickness and finally the death of the body has to happen. We then think that our time is up.
Understanding time from the perspective of being an eternal soul, playing a role on this huge world stage, moves us to a different level of perception, in which time becomes just as important as our consciousness. Life is a happy mixture of both.

Ken O’Donnell, philosopher, scientist, poet and yogi, he also advises governments and businesses! He is the Brahma Kumaris Director in Brazil and speaks fluent English, Portuguese and Spanish.

October 10th, 2016

Is the super priority visa for you?

Under the Coalition government of the UK, the prime minister had announced the super priority visa service which was designed with frequent and valued business travellers in mind. India is a key trading partner for the UK and it was stated that by 2015 the two nations were on course to double bilateral trade. The Super Priority visa is the first of its kind that was launched by home office and the Immigration Minister of that time stated ‘This government is committed to encouraging international business to invest in Britain. India and Britain have a long history of trade and we run our largest visa operation in the world there. We are delighted to be able to launch our first same day visa service in Delhi and Mumbai, and make our world class visa service even better’
This has meant that both businesses and individuals are now able to get a decision on their application within 24 hours, making it easier for businesses to carry on trading and families to continue reuniting. The service extends to spouse visa’s allowing for emergencies and last minute travel to be catered for. Of course the introduction means that careful and sound advice needs to be sought for the completion and submission of such applications since they are technical and many rules need to be met. The service can be availed at an extra cost which is dependent on the service sought.
So next time you think you are going to miss your cousins wedding, think again. Seek honest advice from a leading immigration firm. The Sethi Partnership Solicitors caters to your needs. Our advice and integrity towards our profession goes hand in hand with the goals of the business or the individuals applying. While a decision can be achieved within 24 hours, it is important that the decision is the one anticipated. Our step to step guidance and empathetic approach is the solution for every time you have to travel urgently, leave the hassle of paperwork to us and get your bag packing.
For more detailed information of whether the super priority visa is for you or your business contact our immigration department for specialist and professional advice on 0208 866 6464 or

October 10th, 2016

Importance of Strategy in International Relations By Sarosh Z

My dear colleagues and friends.
The topic on which I shall be speaking today is the importance of strategy in international litigation. I have had nearly 35 years of experience in handling international litigation. 95% of my firm’s clients are international clients. Most lawyers today think of strategy as a way to ambush the opponent. I have never followed this approach. My approach has always been to be fair also to the opponent and they must have an opportunity to fairly deal with the questions of law contended by me for our client.
The first important rule in forming the strategy is always to maintain a high standard of integrity and always act with courtesy no matter how difficult the opponent is. If you follow this rule, even if you make an error, it is likely to be excused. The second principle which I have always followed is “law is for justice and not justice for law”. One finds very often solicitors and barristers simply following what is the conventional view of the law without seeing how best the law could be worked to obtain justice.
I will give you a few examples of this later on. As part of this principle I have made sure that one can play with the law but not with the facts. We have a duty to be honest with regards to the facts presented to the Court.
In following the above two principles there is also an overriding requirement to show silent courage and pursue what you believe should be the correct interpretation of the law. This principle has never failed me and I have been successful almost invariably against large international firms before the English Court. I have often found that a case which appears most difficult there may be one or two strategic issues of law which needs to be focussed on and not take all possible issues before the Court.

I am going to give a few examples of this now.
In 2013, an Iranian client, Bank Mellat, decided to change their former solicitors, which is a large city of London firm, in their proceedings which they had commenced in the English Court challenging the banks listing under the Iran Nuclear Sanctions. They had lost both in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal and their then solicitors advised that the prospect of taking the matter to the Supreme Court were rather slim. They then approached me and we started acting for them. I changed the Counsel team. I always select leading Counsel who knows me and who has experience and confidence in the way I work.
One of the issues in this case was the secret hearing before the Court described as closed hearing, of which my client knew nothing about. I was in Tehran when the Chairman of Bank Mellat told me that the English Court, a beacon of justice and my bank is not told what the allegations against the bank are. I then wrote a letter to Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court to bring to his attention this comment and the importance of maintaining transparency in the deliverance of justice by the English Court. I did this with clean heart. On receipt of my letter, the Lord Chief Justice adjourned the hearing which was before 5 Judges and re-fixed the hearing before 9 Judges for a subsequent date. The secret evidence was one of the major issues. My client Bank Mellat succeeded 5-4 in the Supreme Court who gave a judgment declaring the UK Governments action as both unlawful and irrational.
The second example I will give is many years ago when I had just started. My firm was fortunate to have the Indian High Commission in London as a client. At that time India was going through a deep financial and food crisis and the United States was donating free wheat to India under what was known as a PL480 scheme. The Indian Government had to provide ships to carry the wheat to Indian ports and practically every charter party for the carriage of the vessel had a dispute which went to London Maritime Arbitration. The Indian Government would always pay the freight and demurrage late and there were countless maritime disputes going to arbitration in London. One such case was before the Sole Arbitrator, Mr Bruce Harris, who awarded for the first time compound interest. This concerned a voyage made by a ship called La Pintada. The arbitrator made an award for compound interest on the basis of Lord Denning’s judgment in a case called Techno-Impex [1981] 1 Lloyds 587.
The Indian Government was very concerned as they faced huge liability in respect of interest on a compounded basis. This liability would go to millions of pounds as there were several charter parties. When the case came to me I looked at the Techno-Impex judgment and I researched the law myself and came to the conclusion that it was very arguable that Lord Denning was wrong. Awarding compound interest would amount to making the debtor an involuntary banker. Jurisprudence wise compound interest is awarded where there is a conclusive presumption that the defendant has made a profitable use of the money.
As a then very young solicitor, I appeared before the Sole Arbitrator as an advocate who enthusiastically turned down my interpretation of law. The shipping barristers’ chambers all considered my view on the law as hopeless. No shipping or commercial barrister were prepared to accept my firm’s instructions to argue the law as I wanted them to argue. So I decided to instruct Counsel from labour law chambers, who was none other than Tony Blair who later went on to become the Prime Minister. Earlier, Tony had shown interest in being instructed in my firm’s maritime cases. Tony suggested that I should also instruct Derry Irvine (who later on went on to become Tony Blair’s Lord Chancellor) as a leader as this would be an important test case. Before I got instructions from my client to instruct Tony Blair and Derry Irvine for the Court hearing, I went for a preliminary chat with both Tony and Derry at their chambers to make sure that they agreed with my proposed submissions on law and after nearly 2 hours of discussions on law they appeared to accept my view of the law that the Court of Appeal had wrongly decided the Techno-Impex’s case.
The matter came up for hearing before Mr Justice Staughton in the Commercial Court. On the day of the hearing I received a call at 9 in the morning from Tony Blair informing me that he and Derry Irvine wanted to see me with the client, the Indian High Commission’s representative at 9:45am. The hearing was at 10:30am. When I met Derry and Tony outside the court room with my client, I was told by the Counsel team that my argument was hopeless and it would adversely affect the reputation of the Indian Government if they were to put my argument to the Court. I firmly disagreed.
I advised the clients to not follow Derry Irvine and Tony Blair’s advice. Reluctantly the Counsel team entered the Court room for the hearing along with me and the client’s representative from the Indian High Commission. Mr Justice Staughton had apparently come well prepared for the hearing as English Judges normally do and he found my point on law very interesting. He had obviously done a lot of research and asked many questions of Derry Irvine QC. Derry Irvine would turn around to Tony Blair for an answer and there was a blank. He would tell the Judge that he would answer the Judge’s questions after the lunch break. Martin Moor-Bick, now Vice President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal was the opposing Counsel. The Judge grilled him too. To both Counsel teams’ surprise the Judge referred the matter back to the arbitrator for reconsideration based on my submissions on law [1983 1 Lloyds 39].
When the matter went back before the Sole Arbitrator, again I appeared before him. The arbitrator refused to follow Mr Justice Staughton’s guidance given in his judgment. In a post-script to his new award he said that he had maintained his decision after reconsideration with great enthusiasm. My client challenged the award once again under the Special Case Procedure which was applicable to arbitration in those days. The matter came up again before Mr Justice Staughton. I could not find any barristers from any commercial or maritime chambers who were prepared to accept my firms instructions to argue the point of law which I had put forward on behalf of my client, the President of India. Ultimately, I managed to find a Counsel called Ellis Myer from matrimonial chambers. Mr Myer was an elderly counsel who many years ago had practiced in Calcutta High Court. Mr Justice Staughton thought my point was an arguable one and of his own volition told the parties that he intended to give leave to leap frog to the House of Lords.
In the House of Lords I instructed Nicholas Phillips QC who later went on to become the first President of the Supreme Court. We won 5-0 in the House of Lords [1984] 2 All ER 773. All these judgments are reported judgments.
A strategy in litigation is not simply a physical strategy but a strategy on how the law should be interpreted and put before the Court. One other interesting case which came to my firm was an arbitration award by 3 eminent QC’s, Adrian Hamilton, Martin Moor-Bick and Gordon Pollock. The arbitrators made an award against The Indian Oil Corporation, one of the Indian oil giants owned by the Indian government who had never previously been a client of my firm. The award was for some US$18million. For this arbitration, parties had agreed not to appeal which was permissible and binding under the Arbitration Act 1979. So there was no remedy available under the Arbitration Act to challenge the award in Court. Unusually, one of the arbitrators, Gordon Pollock QC, had added a post-script to the award effectively saying that the Indian Oil’s legal team was not competent. The postscript read as follows.
I wish to record my regret that the sellers had not at some stage broadened the scope of their case…..
The documents gave rise to a strong indication that the buyers had intended to create clear impression in the minds of the seller that if a satisfactory settlement of the demurrage claim were made, nothing further would be heard of the “enormous losses” said to have been suffered by the buyers…..
In the result I believe that the sellers had far stronger case than they allowed themselves to advance, one of which might well have succeeded had that been formulated differently….”
Right up to the arbitration award, Indian Oil was represented by a big City maritime firm Ince & Co. After the Award was published, the Indian Oil’s legal team had consulted 2 eminent silks from the Temple. Both of them had said there was no remedy available under English law. Indian Oil came to me in a desperate state. It was a Government company. The head of the legal department said “if we lost there was no problem but this comment of Mr Pollock in the award would have our heads chopped off in India” and urged me to do something. The question was what, if any, remedy a party has, who had lost the arbitration because of incompetence of its legal team which included both English Counsel and solicitors.

I instructed a new Queens Counsel from another leading maritime law chambers suggesting a novel approach. The new Queens counsel gave me a short 3 page written opinion saying my suggested approach was ‘illusory’. I then drafted the application on my own without Counsel’s assistance challenging the award on the grounds of English Public Policy. The essence of the short argument that I had put forward was that the award on the face of it raised doubt that it was based on the true legal analysis of the evidence and therefore it would be against English public policy to give leave in future to enforce the award as a judgment of the English Court. The matter came up before Mr Justice Evans and I instructed my old friend Hon. Michael Beloff QC. We succeeded. The English Court accepted our novel submissions and Mr Justice Evans in his Judgment accepted Lord Atkin’s comment in a different context in the case of Ras Behari Lal v The King – Emperor (1933) 50 T.L.R.1 that “finality is a good thing but justice is better”.
Before I go to the recent Russian Yukos arbitration case where there was an award made by the Hague Arbitration Tribunal of US$50billion against the Russian Federation, I must give one other example of the importance of legal strategy which when taken with courage could bring success. This involved an issue of construction of a term in a charter party as to when the time to commence this charge would count. The charter party provided the words “entered at customs”. At the Indian ports there were 2 entries at customs, prior entry and final entry. The London maritime arbitrators decided that it must mean prior entry. 2 Judges, Mr Justice Lloyd and Mr Justice Bingham in 2 earlier cases had confirmed that the correct answer was prior entry. In fact, Mr Justice Bingham had said that the contrary point was so bad that it ought to have been ‘twisted at birth’. Some other firm had earlier acted for the Indian client, Food Corporation of India (FCI).
FCI were unhappy and they came to me. Again FCI faced several million dollars liability which depended on this issue because there was always congestion at Indian ports and on the basis of prior entry, the payment for the time lost by the vessel because of congestion, which fell on FCI. One would have correctly expected any law firm to have followed the two judgments of Bingham & Lloyd JJ on this legal issue. I realised that there was some injustice to my clients. I advised the client to start a new arbitration. At the hearing before a Tribunal of 3, I appeared personally as advocate. When I put forward my newly formed submissions on law to show that this issue had been wrongly decided by both Mr Justice Bingham and Mr Justice Lloyd, the Chairman of the Tribunal got angry and said I had no respect for the judiciary and he was not going to hear me put forward such an argument. He told me I was plainly wrong. I courteously told him that it was wrong on his part to express a view before hearing me out fully and he might therefore consider stepping down. The Chairman (who remains nameless), got very angry and walked out in the midst of the hearing with a few abusive words directed at me. There was a stunned silence. I remained calm.
A new Chairman, Michael Dean QC, was appointed in due course by the tribunal to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of the Chairman. He was much more patient and courteous. He told me he saw my argument but he was bound by the earlier decisions of the Commercial Court. He made an award against my client but very fairly set out my arguments. My clients appealed to the Commercial Court and we were successful before Mr Justice Webster.
This caused ripples in the Baltic exchange. There then followed an arbitration on the same issue in a new case with all guns blaring from the London P& I club who represent the ship owners. Once again, I appeared and the award went against us. FCI again appealed to the Commercial Court and the appeal came before Mr Justice Leggatt. We were successful. He considered that my submissions were correct, not because of comity but because of inclination. The other side representing the vessel owner appealed. Their solicitors were a well-known shipping firm Holman Fenwick & Willan. The leave to appeal application was listed before Lord Justice Bingham who was the same Judge who had earlier decided this issue against my client. He unusually directed to convert our client’s application an inter-party application and fixed it for half a day hearing. To everyone’s surprise the Judge after hearing both sides counsel gave a short judgment that after considering the new submissions which were now before him his earlier decision on law was wrong. A week later out of the blue I got a telephone call from The Rt. Hon. Lord Wilberforce who many will remember is considered the Judge of the last century. He introduced himself and asked me if it was correct that Lord Justice Bingham had given a judgment saying that his earlier decision on law was wrong. I said that was correct and he asked me to send a transcript of the judgment. A few days later I received a hand written letter from Lord Wilberforce which I still cherish, in which he paid “great tribute” to Lord Justice Bingham and myself for my “persistence and skill in producing the victorious argument”. I have got a copy of Lord Wilberforce’s letter if anyone wants to see.
Recently when the Russian Government were faced with the Yukos award of USD$50billion with no potential legal remedy available, a team was sent to London to consult me. I was asked to recommend a law firm and I attended the first meeting with that law firm and suggested a new challenging argument relating to the Arbitration Tribunal’s jurisdiction on which they were ultimately successful. It was the same argument I had taken challenging the London GAFTA Arbitration appeal award in the case of PEC v Asia Golden Rice which was accepted by Mr Justice Andrew Smith.
With the recent technology revolution has changed the landscape of litigation. Lay clients can get information on the internet. Therefore it is all the more important that lawyers will have to think and how to add the human element when considering the issues of law. London is now recognised internationally as a litigation capital of the world and this has happened because of the integrity and independence of the English Judges who are of very high calibre and have an open mind. The English bar and the City of London solicitors’ ethics have also contributed to making London the litigation capital. I hope long may this remain.
Finally, might I remind all of you that India is soon going to open to foreign lawyers and there is a great potential for English law firms to open offices in India.

October 10th, 2016


Of 1.2 billion Indians, about 30 million live in 180 countries abroad. This migration harbours cross-border matrimonial relationships whose offspring live in foreign abodes but connect with Indian soil through their parent(s). Their broken multi-jurisdictional matrimonial relationships lead to removal of children to India or foreign jurisdictions in violation of court custody orders or infringement of the parental rights of the aggrieved parent. Sadly, India does not define or recognise inter-parental child removal as an offence under any statutory law in India, even though this malaise is a frequent phenomenon in daily lives of migrant Indians. As a corollary, remedies in law for effective relief are difficult to secure or achieve.
As of now, multi-jurisdictional child disputes often end up in a stalemate. An aggrieved parent lands on Indian soil armed with a foreign court order to face a protracted, cumbersome, tedious and expensive course of successive multiple appeal litigation to achieve an enforcement of a foreign court order. Time, money and patience run out. A deadlock ensues. The child is split and isolated by one parent. Consequentially, most foreign courts now do not allow children to visit India, fearing that they may not return.
The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, 1980, enables nations to become signatories and become part of a global hub to enable return of wrongfully removed or retained children by entertaining requests through the office machinery of a Central Authority established by every nation for such purpose. As of 2016, ninety four countries are contracting States to this Convention. Sadly, India is not amongst them. The Hague Convention aims to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed or retained in any contracting State and ensures that the rights of custody and access under the law of a party nation are effectively respected in other contracting nations. The Convention considers removal of children wrongful if it is in breach of actually exercised rights of custody of a parent, arising by operation of law or by a judicial or administrative decision or an agreement, having legal effect by the law of that State. It creates an international law implemented through a domestic machinery. Today, India does not have any exhaustive, uniform and consistent laws to deal with issues arising out of inter-parental cross-border child removal. Indian Courts adjudicate matters with the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration when there is an inter-jurisdictional conflict. The removed child, caught in cross-fire, suffers in silence. India is no longer impervious to international inter-parental child removal and foreign courts now do not permit children to descend on Indian soil, when parents litigate in foreign courts. The Convention resolves this deadlock by offering a wholesome solution and offers a global platform for resolution to residents of nations who come under it.
Happily, by a communication of June 22, 2016, the Ministry of Women and Child Development had uploaded on its website, a proposal to enact a draft of The Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Bill, 2016, considering that before accession to the Hague Convention, it is imperative to have an enabling legislation in India to give teeth to the provisions of the Convention in India. The draft Bill provides to designate a Central Authority and lays down a procedure for ensuring return of removed children as also seeking return of children wrongfully removed to and from India. The proposed Bill to be renamed as “The International Child Removal and Retention Bill, 2016” had been placed on the website of the Ministry for suggestions and comments till July 13, 2016. Hopefully, after considering views, a final version may find approval of the Parliament to become a codified law and which will enable India to sign the Hague Convention.
The said draft Bill was prepared following a reference made by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the Law Commission of India as the Ministry of Women and Child Development to examine the issue and thereafter consider whether recommendations should be made for enacting a suitable law on the subject and for signing the Hague Convention. The High Court had made this reference when despite all efforts made by the author as amicus curiae and the CBI, a minor child remained untraceable after she was removed from the de jure custody of the Court and taken abroad by misusing an interim order of 2006. Taking on record a detailed report submitted by the author as amicus curiae, the Court had observed in its order that for want to the Indian Government acceding to the Hague Convention or enacting a domestic law, children would continue to be spirited away from and to India, with Courts and authorities “standing by in despair”.
Till the above process is completed, the much needed practice directions have emerged in the celebrated decision of the Supreme Court in Surya Vadanan v. State of Tamil Nadu (JT 2015 (3) SC 85). This watershed verdict rendered on February 27, 2015 by Justices Madan B. Lokur and U. U. Lalit laid down salutary principles as follows:
• The Principle of Comity of Courts and Nations must be respected and the best interest/ welfare of the child should apply in such cases.
• The Principle of “first strike”, i.e., whichever court is seized of the matter first, ought to have prerogative of jurisdiction in adjudicating the welfare of the child.
• The Rule of Comity of Courts should not be jettisoned except for compelling special reasons to be recorded in writing by a domestic court.
• Interlocutory orders of foreign courts of competent jurisdiction regarding child custody must be respected by domestic courts.
• An elaborate or summary enquiry by local courts when there is a pre-existing order of a competent foreign court must be based on reasons and not ordered as routine when a local court is seized of a child custody litigation.
• The nature and effect of a foreign court order, reasons for repatriation, moral, physical, social, cultural or psychological harm to the child, harm to the parent in the foreign country and alacrity in moving a concerned foreign court must be considered before ordering return of a child to a foreign court.
The above decision has as of now, set at rest, a five decade string of precedents laid down by courts in India from time to time to evolve a consistent approach in multi-jurisdictional child custody disputes. In the absence of any codified law made by Parliament, this precedent has evolved in a developing jurisprudence necessitated by advent of time to resolve family problems arising out of migration of a huge Indian diaspora. However, law has still to be codified and given a statutory platform.
India’s accession to the Hague Convention would resolve the issue of inter-country parental child removal since it is based on the principle of reverting the situation to status quo ante and on the principle that the removed child ought to be promptly returned to his or her country of habitual residence to enable a Court of that country to examine the merits of the custody dispute and thereupon award care and control in the child’s best interest. The Convention advocates so, because the courts of such country where the child had permanent or habitual residence are considered to be in a better position to determine the best interest of the child as the environment and living conditions of such home turf are better suited to determine welfare of the child where substantial period of his life has been spent. The home State would know it better. This step forward may be a start to a happy ending of a long sad tale.
*The author, a practicing lawyer, assisted the Court as an Amicus Curiae and has to his credit six books pertaining to issues pertaining to Non Resident Indians.

October 10th, 2016

In step with time : The American Presidential Elections - the fi

This is of course an assumption that the former first lady and secretary of state Hilary Clinton would win the American presidential race in November 2016 and that she would be sworn in as the next and historical first woman president of the United States of America. But for Hillary Clinton to ignore her formidable opponent by simply thinking that there was no possibility in a million years that a non-political figure like Trump would win can be a big miscalculation. Her opponent Donald Trump has refused to go away. As a matter of fact, he is closing the gap with Hillary Clinton. Reuters in mid-September showed him a point ahead in certain states.
It was no shock that Hillary Clinton was nominated as the presidential candidate after winning the delegates required over her left leaning democrat candidate, 74 years old Senator Bernie Sanders as Clinton was more well-known even though in February this year he was leading by 18 points in New Hampshire. He was 55.6% and Hillary Clinton was 38.9% in the polls. But unfortunately for Sanders, he did not lead in any other state to the point that he could be a mortal danger to the former first lady and Secretary of State. In some states she used to be miles ahead of her opponent. And as we all know now that eventually she made it. We got to see from now on as to what kind of chances she got to get the top job? Although some sections of the media have predicted that Donald Trump has already ‘blown it’ But the truth could be a shock to this kind of media when the crunch comes.
During the presidential nomination campaign, the most shocking indictment was the fact that Hillary Clinton was losing women’s votes to Bernie Sanders. She was less favourite among the younger female voters aged under 30 while more popular among women aged 30 to 44. It was clear that the majority of women did not believe that a woman president would be more biased towards her own gender. Pro-Sanders women were citing the example of many world stateswomen such as Angela Markell, Margret Thatcher, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir, Chandrika Bandaranayke and Benazir Bhutto and others who simply carried on with the top job just like men. As a matter of fact, Hillary Clinton herself was hesitating to be labelled as just the woman president. In New Hampshire she called Bernie Sanders a sexist when he called her a member of the Democratic establishment. She retaliated and told a huge rallying crowd in Manchester,” Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterise me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment.” One of her supporters went further imitating and aping Sanders,” When folks talk about revolution, the revolution is electing the first woman president of the United States of America.” Debbie Stabenow, a Senator from Michigan carried on,” that is the revolution and we are ready for the revolution.” Donald Trump is no novice to politics although he never been a politician and never pretended to be one but his speeches are so fearless, frank and to the point that whether you agree with him or not, you understand them very clearly and some people love to listen to him. Although some perceive him to be a demagogue and ignorant fool who is divisive to say the least. Yet there are millions of voters, mainly white who think that he was speaking their own political language. He makes sense to them and they assume him as the spokesman of the ordinary American. So you cannot lock away his ‘evil’ thoughts and throw the keys away. Analytical study of his candidacy, therefore is necessary. Yes, another plus point for some Americans is that Trump has no political background and they feel that they have tried and tested the politicians on enough occasions.
Donald Trump is not only a smooth operator but a cunning and daring one too. He does not miss an opportunity to attack his opponent. He is a master in twisting Hillary Clinton’s statements. When a black man Sylville Smith, 23 was shot dead in Milwaukee, the democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton issued a statement condemning the policeman who shot this African American. In retaliation Trump retorted,” Our opponent Hillary Clinton would rather protect the offender than the victim. We reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton which panders to and talks down to communities of colour and sees them only as vote.” This he said when he participated in the singing of hymns alongside the mainly African American congregation at a church in Milwaukee. Mr Trump is desperate to get the support from not only African Americans but also from Asians and the Hispanics. Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Jennifer Palmieri dismissed Trump’s remarks by issuing this statement. “Hillary Clinton is no bigot. On the other hand, Donald Trump is. I think the American public will soon know who is guilty of this charge.” She then quoted Hillary who said in another part of Milwaukee,” The nation has urgent work to do to rebuild trust between police and communities. Everyone should have respect for the law and be respected by the law.”Donald Trump’s biggest agenda is to reduce the immigration and prevent illegals coming in. He is emphasizing that the illegal Mexicans will be prevented entering the country by building a tall and electrified wall which could cost as much as $20 billion. He also says that the cost of this will be met by the Mexican government. The Mexican president has already rejected this idea out right. So far as the legal immigration is concerned, where previously Trump was insisting that all immigration will be put to a halt, he has now changed his wordings to ‘I am all about the jobs now’ meaning that if there was a requirement to fill certain jobs, the legal immigration would continue.’ He has yet to tell the Americans as to where he would get the fruit and vegetable pickers and who would do the menial jobs which are currently filled by the illegal Mexicans and other illegals? He is sticking to his guns though about the outsourcing of jobs where India can be at a loss. Some Americans are of the opinion that these kind of jobs can be filled by the Americans. The companies which outsource are doing that to make more money by employing cheap labour abroad. A legitimate law can prevent the companies and corporates to outsource. Being a billionaire businessman, he assures the public that he could do that. The plus point for him is that the Americans simply do not like foreigners answering their calls and that happens after a considerable time spending on the phone. The American companies also use cheap foreign labour in foreign countries in other fields.
The most controversial agenda of Donald Trump is to prevent all Muslims coming into the country if he was to become the president. This issue alone can cost him lot of votes. He has already generated lot of hatred for himself from Muslim countries around the world and from the Muslims living in the United State of America. But as I said before, his advisers are now softening the stance by simply saying that the new entrants will be ‘thoroughly vetted.’ It may come as a shock that some non-Muslim Asians are supporting Trump on this issue as they are of the opinion that extremist Muslims are creating the problems for them too. For example, a number of Sikhs have been subjected to racial attacks as with their turbans, they are wrongly perceived to be Muslims. A few years back a Sikh temple was attacked where three people died. Barack Obama had to issue a statement condemning the attackers and defending Sikhs by saying that they are a peaceful and hardworking community.
Hillary Clinton is also under fire from Trump camp on the issue of the leakage of some official e mails scandal. It took new twist when some media reported that Russia may be involved in hacking e mails of Democratic National Committee. Hillary Clinton is being accused of being negligent and careless in generating these e mails from her private e mail account. She has already apologised about this by stating that it was unintentional. When reported that Russia knew about it, she issued a statement just days before the national convention “we are going to have to take those threats and attacks seriously.”
Donald Trump and the republican generally are in favour of the right to keep guns. This is incorporated in American constriction since 1875. As far back as 1689, The Bill of Rights stated that the Protestant Citizens of England have the right to ‘have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law’ but in 1875 the word protestant was removed. Hence since than all Americans have the right to bear arms. About 30,000 people are killed by licenced and non-licenced firearms each year now-a-days. In other words, thirty people on average are shot and murdered each day. Barack Obama failed to control the firearms during his 8 years of two term presidency. Subject to her becoming the next president, Hillary Clinton promises to carry on with Obama’s policy in all areas including the fire arms. Will she succeed? I doubt it.
United Kingdom Independent Party leader Nigel Farage went to America to support Trump and addressed a huge rally with him on the stage. He told the Americans that if Brexit can do it in the United Kingdom then Americans can also help win Donald Trump. Farage was widely criticised for interfering in a foreign country’s elections campaign but his supporters were quick to point out that Obama also came to UK to support David Cameron’s remain campaign. It should also be noted that right wing European political parties are generally supporting Trump doctrine of anti-Muslim and anti-immigration.The western leaders are upset about Trump saying that if he were to become the president of the free world he will refuse to support NATO unconditionally. He would not want American soldiers to die on foreign soil disproportionately. He is also of the opinion that all the member countries of the United Nations should pull their own weight whilst at present, America allegedly pays for poorer countries although by doing so America is guaranteed the full favour on any policy.
The worrying thing for Hillary camp is the fact that according to the opinion poll conducted on 9 Sep 2016 both the candidates are neck and neck in the key background states of Ohio and Florida. This poll was conducted after democrat candidate said that the Trump supporters are ‘basket of deplorables’ and ‘supporters of Donald Trump are racist, sexist, xenophobic, Islamophobic -and you name it”. Trump quickly tweeted “Wow, Hillary Clinton was so insulting to my supporters, millions of amazing, hardworking, people. I think it will cost her at the polls.” His running mate added,” They are not basket of anything. They are Americans and they deserve your respect.” Someone tweeted this message also,” A candidate who writes off half of the country as a basket of deplorables should be disqualified.” Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee said,” Hillary Clinton has outright contempt for ordinary people. Hillary’s camp also reacted very angrily,” We will carry on fighting bigotry and racist rhetoric.” Later on Mrs Clinton regretted calling Trump’s supporters deplorables but the damage was done. Hillary’s bad luck did not stop there. On 11th of Sep while giving a tribute to nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives in the 9/11 incident she ‘felt overheated’ and had to leave the ceremony in the middle. The republicans quickly propagated that Hillary Clinton’ health was a great concern and that she was unfit to run the country. After a few hours of rest, she left her daughter’s apartment nearby and told the world press that she was ‘feeling great’. The democrats attacked Trump camp by saying that they were pushing a ‘deranged conspiracy about Clinton’s health.” Her campaign manager reiterated that Mrs Clinton has fully recovered from the surgery of a blood clot in 2012. Having said that the question of her health will not go away easily and it may affect the outcome of the final result. Some people are particularly concerned that Hillary Clinton has not come clean about her health recently until her doctor Lisa R Bardack issued this statement on the morning of 12 September 2016, “Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related allergies. On Friday 8 Sep, during follow up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on anti-biotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at 11 Sep’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. Now she is recovering nicely.” Soon after this statement, Hillary’s California trip was cancelled which further gave rise to fresh speculations.
I am sure there are more surprises, allegations and counter allegations to come from both sides until the voting in Nov 2016. And there could be unexpected developments. In the meantime, the presidential election fight in America is heating up every day to the new heights.

October 10th, 2016


Cornelia Sorabji, the first female law student at Oxford in 1889 continues to provide a pioneering link between India and the University of Oxford. Cornelia Sorabji was not only Somerville College’s first Indian student, but was also the first Indian woman to study at any British University.
On her return to her home country, Cornelia Sorabji became the first woman to practice law in India and worked on behalf of women living in purdah. Her lifetime’s work as a social reformer centred on support for the poor and for women at every level of society.
From its inception in 1879, Somerville College, founded as one of the first two institutions at the University of Oxford to admit women, had been dedicated to inclusion, explicitly welcoming students from all social backgrounds, any kind of cultural and religious beliefs, and all nationalities. Cornelia Sorabji actually came to Oxford with the help of a subscription raised by progressive British men and women including Madeleine Shaw Lefevre, the first Principal of Somerville.
The Faculty of Law and Somerville College are thus proud to celebrate Cornelia Sorabji and her achievements through the creation of scholarships for outstanding Indian graduate students in Law. The Cornelia Sorabji Law Programme is housed at the Oxford India Centre, ( and provides a thriving postgraduate and postdoctoral programme for talented Indian graduate students who seek to lead change on their return to India.
15 November 2016 will mark the 150th anniversary of Cornelia Sorabji’s birth.

On Thursday 22 September 2016, the Principal of Somerville College, Dr Alice Prochaska, will be at the Oxford and Cambridge Club , 71-77 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HD to discuss this event. You are warmly invited to have coffee with the Principal between 12.00-1.00pm on this date. Dr Prochaska will provide details about this unique scholarship scheme and take questions about the life of the remarkable Cornelia Sorabji.

If you would like further information or would like to attend please R.S.V.P. to Sara Kalim, Director of Development, Somerville College, at:

October 10th, 2016

Indian Bureaucracy - Unfathomable by Joginder Singh

Indian Bureaucracy:
Unfathomable and Inexcuseable

Indian Bureaucracy has multiplied so much, that if the work for which the jobs are created, the bureaucracy instead of diverting the surplus staff, creates more and more posts. Whether required or not new Committees and Commissions are created, for no reason except to create post retirement jobs for themselves. Walter Bagehot has rightly said and it is very much applicable to Indian Bureaucracy, that its duty is to augment official power, official business, or official members. It overdoes the quantity of government, as well as impairs its quality. The truth is, that a skilled bureaucracy is, though it boasts of an appearance of science, is quite inconsistent with the true principles of the art of business.
It is a sad truth all over the world, that No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing, to the eternal life we shall ever see on this earth.
It is perfectly alright for it to write garbage, in the most beautiful language. It is a deliberate policy and not a coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now, as the size of the government, is at an all-time high. No one spends, someone else’s money as wisely as he spends his own. You can not be, for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be of service to the little guys, like me, and millions ,of my compatriots.
When in service, I once dropped into a friend’s time, who was occupying the post of a Secretary to Government of India. Seeing his table full of files, after spending a few minutes, I got up and apologised, for dropping in , when his table was full of files. He insisted, that I spend some more time with him.
I said, that it will be unfair for me, to divert him from his work, when a lot of files, awaiting his orders. He smiled and said that these are disposed off old files. To give an impression that he has plenty of work, they are kept, on the table in front of him. I said that I am foxed. Could he please enlighten me the work he does from 9 AM to 6 PM? He amplified that the best way is to stack the old files, so that nobody gets the impression that a particular official is under worked, leading to the eliminating of a post
Actually, when he joined his present Department, he had only four current files. When he disposed off one of the four files, his Private Secretary came to his room and apologised, for advising him. He said that, as it is, there is no work in this department, which actually provides jobless jobs to those who have displeased their political bosses. He suggested that my friend should go on making queries and keep on asking the views of other Department. The above true example is quoted to show, that there are plenty of Commissions, Committees and Departments, which can be abolished without making any difference to the governance.
In fact, there is vast difference in the number of government employees as quoted by the government sources. One estimate says that there are 38.76 lakhs employees in central government alone and 50 lakhs are in PSU’s (central and state combined). Add to this state govt. and autonomous bodies (including central universities). It will be around two crore employees (maybe more), according to 2001 census.
Nothing moves without bribery in our great country, with a few honourable exception. At the drop of a hat, a Committee or a Commission is set up for all kinds of work, and then forgotten. No amount of lectures or committees are going to end corruption.
It is for the simple reason, that laws are so framed, that even if a person is caught red handed or if he has assets beyond his known sources, there are impossible laws and evidence required to prove any case. Right from the clerks to the CMD or equivalent in the Banks and other organisations have been caught red handed demanding and accepting bribes. Even for a marriage certificates, spelling corrections, A clerk was caught red handed in Goa, demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs, 1700, Even the chairman of the SSLC Board of Andhra Pradesh was caught red handed by the Anti Corruption Bureau accepting a bribe of Rupees ten Lakhs,
According to a report in June, 2016,: In the past few years, nearly 800 government employees of Punjab including 125 senior gazetted officers have shamed the state as they were all caught indulging in corrupt practices, mostly red-handed, on different occasions. While nabbing these ‘corrupt’ public servants, vigilance sleuths also seized the currency notes worth Rs 1.31 crore from the spot to establish the charges.
After nationwide raids conducted over 15 days, in June, 2016, the CBI has registered disproportionate assets cases against 14 government officials, six of whom are Group A officers. The total registered value of the assets has been computed to Rs 38.47 crore but their market value, sources said, could be over Rs 250 crore. CBI recovered incriminating documents from these 14 officials, pointing to disproportionate assets. They include three Group B officers and five Group C officers. CBI has also booked wives of two officials. According to CBI, the biggest case has been made out against , deputy general manager of Hindustan Handicraft and Handloom Export Corporation, who had amassed 27 properties in posh localities of Mumbai, Thane, Noida and Gorakhpur. While their cumulative registered value is Rs 25 crore, their market value is more than Rs 200 crore. -Apart from the above, CBI registered cases against a, senior manager (electronics and telecom), BCCL, Dhanbad, administrative officer, NIACL divisional office in Murshidabad; the then passport officer in Goa, , deputy manager (regional office), New India Assurance in Surat, and Superintendent (Central) Excise, Madurai. If any proof is required to prove that we have a nincompoop system of laws, the following Statement of the present Finance Minister dated 14th March, 2016, in the Parliament is self explanatory;”You take legal action where recoveries are to be made. And here I must tell you it’s a big challenge to the legal system. The most visible of defaulters are managing to even escape out of the country...A question we need to ask ourselves did the legal system also act as a hurdle in the recovery? How many cases the banks in the last three years have had to fight against such people and this is for every institution we now look intl.” It is not a problem, which cannot be solved in 24 hours. Just turn the law upside down by putting the onus on the suspected Government employee or his family the onus of proving that whatever property or money he has, is legally acquired from his known sources of income. Give a time frame to all public servants to account for whatever, they have, as at the time of joining service and every year a government employee has to file his both moveable and immovable property. Government should stop wasting tax payers money, on various commissions or committees, just to accommodate retiring or retired Government employees and focus on making the governance citizen friendly and deliver results and not bloat the swelling bureaucracy. The present Government should perish the idea of add 2 Lakhs more Government employees. Instead the work should be assigned and accountability imposed on shirkers.

October 10th, 2016

Reserve Bank of India has new Head to steer the Indian Economy

London School of Economics scholar, Dr Urjit Patel has been appointed as 24th Governor of India’s apex bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Dr Patel obtained his Bachelor’s in Economics from the London School of Economics and M. Phil. degree from Oxford University in 1986. He received his doctorate in Economics from Yale University in 1990 in 1990. He was at International Monetary Fund (IMF) India desk during the 1991–94 transition periods. He was posted to IMF country mission in India 1992–95. He has also been a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution since 2009. After obtaining his PhD, Dr. Patel joined the IMF in 1990 worked on the USA, India, Bahamas and Myanmar desks at IMF till 1995. Thereafter he went on deputation the IMF to the RBI where he played an advisory role in the development of the debt market, banking sector reforms, pension fund reforms, targeting of real exchange rate. After the two-year deputation with RBI, Patel became a Consultant to the Government of India in the Ministry of Finance, Department of Economic Affairs - a position he held from 1998 to 2001.Between 2000 and 2004, Dr. Patel worked with several High Level Committees at both Central and State Government level, including Competition Commission, Task Force on Direct Taxes, Prime Minister’s Task Force on Infrastructure, Group of Ministers on Telecom Matters, Advisory Committee on Research Projects and Market Studies, Committee on Civil Aviation Reforms, Expert Group on State Electricity Boards and High Level Expert Group on Civil & Defense Services Pension System.
On 11 January 2013, Urjit Patel was appointed as Deputy Governor of RBI for a period of three years. He took over charge of the vital Monetary Policy Department, succeeding Subir Gokarn to the post.
Investors have responded well to the appointment as it signals seamless continuity of the policies pursued by RBI.
HSBC Holdings Plc said its bullish view on India is reinforced by the appointment, which Aberdeen Asset Management Plc said lays to rest uncertainty about policy continuity. PineBridge Investments said it will help draw money to the Asian nation. “Patel will be tough on inflation and this will be good for bond markets and deliver economic benefits in the long run,” said Leong Lin Jing, Singapore-based investment manager at Aberdeen Asset. “Patel’s appointment is confirmation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to reforms.” As a deputy governor in charge of monetary policy he has been a key architect of the central bank’s shift to a consumer-price-based inflation target. He is known to be very hawkish on inflation, which remains one of the big worries in the Indian economy.
However, during an interaction with reporters in 2014, he said the central bank was neither a hawk or a dove, but an owl. “An owl is traditionally a symbol of wisdom, so we are neither doves nor hawks but owls, and, we are vigilant when others are resting.”
Red Ribbon welcomed the announcement of the new Reserve Bank of India Governor, the Deputy Governor Dr Urjit Patel as successor to Dr Raghuram Rajan.
It signals a seamless continuity in the policies pursued by the RBI to conduct its monetary policy in an independent manner.
One of the most seminal achievements of Dr Rajan was the signing of the monetary policy agreement between the government and RBI for “flexible inflation targeting” which was based findings from a panel headed by Dr Patel.
Dr Patel’s track record has helped India join the league of developed nations where adoption of flexible inflation targeting has helped anchor inflationary expectations and brought about a structural control over inflation. Markets and market participants have strongly cheered the appointment. Inflation targeting is a framework for monetary policy characterised by the public announcement of official quantitative targets (or target ranges) for the inflation rate over one or more time horizons, and by explicit acknowledgement that low, stable inflation is monetary policy’s primary long-run goal.
Red Ribbon are pleased to support the announcement and welcome the growth opportunities the Indian government are opening up.

October 10th, 2016

Your letters-Oct-Nov 2016

Dear Sir

Dialogue ? What Dialogue ?
Even at the cost of being called uninformed,and a novice at real politics, I want to understand the so called dialogue which has become a conundrum for me. I read in newspapers and listen to the same on television that India should have dialogue about our Kashmir with Pakistan and with euphemistically called small group calling themselves separatists. Let us take them one by one. Pakistan has no business to have any dialogue in our internal matters as Kashmir is an integral part of India. The only humble request we could make to them is to return our part of Kashmir which they are occupying and making life miserable for our brothers and sisters living there without proper facility for education, health care and employment. Now dialogue with the so called separatists. Are they stupid not to know that Kashmir has no way to generate enough mazuma to run the state on its own. It shall have to be parasite of some other nation. India is pouring loads of money to run Kashmir which is equivalent to money’s to run a big province like U.P. Also as Kashmir is one of the several states of India, asking for so called independence amounts to breaking the country and is simply treason. This small group which is being paid by Pakistan to cause trouble in the valley, did not have the courage to participate in the elections recently conducted. They very well knew that not even a single candidate of theirs would have got elected and most of them would have lost their deposits. They therefore have no rights to talk for the citizens of Kashmir (India) as they do not in any way represent them.It is a shame that these citizens of India are causing man made turmoil in the valley being on the payroll of another country. They have been helped and given protection by our army and Government and saved their lives during recent floods in Kashmir! How can they dance to the tune played by a terrorist country which has been constantly sending terrorists to kill our civilians as well as our army personnel. So what possible dialogue could the Government have with both these elements acting against our nation? Could someone more knowledgeable solve this conundrum?

Dr. C.P. Dalvi.

Dear Sir
Recd. the digital issue and immediately read your editorial and the film review of Sarbajit by Vijayji.
Brexit to my mind is like those people who voted for Lalu’s Party in Bihar when he was convicted for five years and was on bail. This shows more lack of education and a bit of stupidity. Your Editorial must have been written just when the voting was to begin. The harm which will come to Britain has been well explained in your editorial. It appears that uneducated, and elderly people with a (?)patriotic and superior complex feeling for England might have been the reason for funny illogical voting. Wish all in U.K.could have read and understood your very erudite editorial. Vijayji’s review of Sarbajit is excellent. Although these days I do not see pictures in the theatre and wait for good ones to be shown on the television later, her review gives a vivid feeling as if you are watching the picture while reading the review. Her article is pragmatic and very honest. I wish she could see more pictures and review them in each issue. I have yet to see and read Mr. Joginder Singhs article. His writing is always extremely good. By the way, I hope that the customs relent and allows the printed copy to be sent to us. I prefer it to the digital one.
Sorry that you had to send the digital copy again. I do not know how I missed it earlier. Thanks again.
Sincerely, Chandrashekhar
s s s s s s s s s
I always enjoy insightful articles by your regular contributor Mr Bhupendra M Gandhi. In his From Far & Near column he is suggesting to British Government to take responsibility to help Syrian Refugees as they did in the case of Asians expelled by Amin from Uganda. I would like to remind Mr Gandhi that British Government had legal and moral obligation to take and help resettle Ugandan Asians. Most of them were British citizens and a few were British Protected Persons. Out of 50,000 Uganda residents 40,000 came to the UK and the rest went to Canada. The Aga Khan had made with the late Trudeau arrangements for Canada to receive all Ismails and to provide them assistance. There was also historical link as British were colonial masters until 1962. Furthermore there was the consideration of language and of course the Commonwealth. Even when making arrangements to receive Ugandan Asians James Callaghan had gone to see Amin to request him to change his decision or to at least defer the implementation. Amin refused and the British Government had to make arrangements to rehabilitate them in the UK. A committee was formed under the leadership of Sir Richard Turnbull who I know tried to encourage the arriving Asians to settle in different parts of the country, particularly in the North.
Sir Andy Chande Tanzania
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Krishan Tyagi’s article on ‘ Nationalism – right and wrong perspectives’ published in India Link International of Aug-Sept. 2016 is very educational and informative. It is written simply and clearly and is well supported with examples from both developed and developing countries as well as democratic and not so democratic ones.
Mr Tyagi explains a subtle distinction between feelings of mainstream nationalism and those of people living on the peripheries of a country. He rightly says that, “As a concept, ‘Nation’ is a very fluid and slippery word”. He goes on to suggest that in every country, nation is a mainstream sentiment and that quite possibly, people living in peripheral areas of that country, often do not share this sentiment with the same intensity as those living in the heart of the country.
My advice to those who would like to understand the word ‘nationalism’ properly is that they should read his article more than once. I have read it quite a few times.
Mukat Singh,
Founder, Gramodaya Post Graduate College,
Amarpurkashi, Bilari, Moradabad, U.P., India
s s s s s s s s s
17 brave jawans of Indian army got martyred in a terror attack in Uri, J&K. Unfortunately this wasn’t first, and the last terror attack. We ridiculously continue to merely ‘condemn’ such incidents like cowards. It’s time for NaMo to study 1971 strategy. A major surgery is necessary at any cost. Or; we continue to suffer like fools. JAI HIND.
Hemang Palan

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