Super Economies: America and India – Where Do We Go From Here?

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In the first part, we looked at the preamble that Raghav Bahl builds for his case for India’s potential case in the coveted SuperEconomy club. In the second part, we then looked at the Raghav Bahl’s separate chapter-wise exploration of the past events of the international stage, wherein the involvement US, China and India, translated into the future case of ‘Shall it or shall it not ?’ for India’s Super Economy status. In the third and penultimate part, we looked at how Raghav Bahl views the points of common heritage, common systems of governance, a critical mass of Indian Americans and examines whether these two great parallels will ever, if at all, converge.

Raghav Bahl thus completes his panoramic analysis of the factors that brings India at the present critical junction of its future journey to the SuperEconomy status. In the concluding part, we join Raghav Bahl to see Where Do We Go From Here?

Super economies 4Geopolitics seemed to be the driving force in the 20th century. That dramatically underwent a change in 1989 with the fall of Berlin Wall. By the end of the century, Japan was failing to deliver on the great post-WWII promises expected of it.EU, established in 1993, was not ticking as economic powerhouse as was anticipated. The reforms undertook in China, as well as in India, had seemed to bring in a flurry of development, and hope.

9/11 attack, at the dawn of 21st Century, changed all that…Almost imperceptibly; the forces of globalization began to change the nature of geopolitical power, once primarily exercised through the State’s military might. The sphere of influence was getting increasingly leveraged by citizens, businesses and non-governmental agencies through economic, cultural and humanitarian channels.

While the SuperPower era was characterized by a cold war of estrangement and impassivity, The Age of SuperEconomies engenders a much ‘warmer’ kind of interaction during the moments of conflicts. In citizen-to-citizen interactions too, the Age of SuperEconomies is unrecognizable from those of SuperPower era.

It is this extraordinary level of integration that distinguishes the Age of SuperEconomies from the SuperPower era….And yet, today’s world mirrors the Superpower Era in one crucial way : The one-party states like Soviet Union or China have continued to flourish under rigid government controls.

What Europe was to 20th Century, Asia will be for the 21st Century : the core theatre of global commerce and conflicts, where aspirations and political ideologies collide. For the first time in 500 years, the bulk of global power resides not in Europe or America but in Asia.

Globalization has precluded of a ‘cold war’; countries are economically so interdependent that no trading partner can be ignored, isolated or quashed without wrecking the entire global order in one or more major ways.

Just as no one could envision the Age of SuperEconomies arising from the remnants of Cold War, we probably have no way of knowing how the geopolitical landscape will unfold going forward. Of all the possible developments that would transform the world by mid-21st Century, these five seem most likely to happen:

  1. The birth of NATO and NAFTA for Pacific will help stabilize Asia. The economic Integration among Asia’s democracies will counterbalance China’s hegemony.
  2. Robust growth of India, combined with America’s success in the recovery of its own economy will help the combined growth of the two economies dwarf that of China.
  3. China will reclaim Taiwan and strengthen its foothold in the South China Sea.
  4. America, China and India will unite to forestall Islamic terrorism.
  5. China will become ‘near-democracy’, thereby becoming a more open society.

Most of the considered reviews that were published when the book was released had, more or less, painted Raghav Bahl’s version of Indian Turtle vs. Chinese Hare race as the one painted by having put on Rose coloured glasses. But, like him, every one of us knows pretty well what is wrong with the way have been approaching our destined economic, and thereby social, pre-eminence. In more than the two years that the book was published, the economic and political landscapes in the three principal theatres of USA, China and India have scripted quite different, unexpected and certainly the unintended ways.

For India it is no more question of whether it will be able to size the opportunities available at this most interesting phase of its journey. The question that every Indian must ask and answer is what everyone should do to enable India leapfrog the economic growth and thereby, social and humanitarian challenges that will come up on this journey. India has to clearly identify forces that can help it to remain the game and sustain its staying power over the long haul. The plot that is being etched is quite tantalizing. But it is a once-in-a-lifetime, Do or Die situation for India. Every Indian should do every thing that he or she should to realize this, if not for themselves, if not for becoming a Super economy, at least for its generation that will come in the future.  That is the cross of responsibility that the present generation carries on its shoulders.

Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music – February, 2016

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Welcome to February, 2016 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.

We take up the tributes first.

Suraiya - A personally autographed pictureSuraiya: The Last Singing Star of Indian Cinema – a tribute to her on her death anniversary on 31st January – By Parag Sankla“Almost eighty five years ago, God must have said “Today I am sending three great artists to this world. A natural actress, a beautiful lady and a melodious singer! Acting, beauty and singing. These are not three different persons, this is one girl! And here I present you Suraiya.”… Along with Kanan Devi and Noor Jehan, she was one of the most prominent female singing stars of the golden era of Hindi films….Her first two songs as a singer (“Aao aao hil mil kar khushiyan manayein” and “Rana ji ki jai jai se”) came for a film titled Taj Mahal (1941) composed by Madhavlal Damodar. This golden period of Suraiya’s career (1941 – 1946) is often ignored in many of the articles on her……I love the song “Suno more raja, nazariya milaaike” for composer Neenu Majmudar from “Main kya karoon” (1945).”…..From among other songs that have find mention in the article, we pick up Jab badal ghir ghir aayenge, kaho jee kit jaayenge – Daak Bangla. 1947 – Naresh Bhattacharya as a song that is we get to hear less.

Waheeda Rehman and Soumitra Chatterjee in Abhijan (1962)Waheeda Rehman: Quintessential Beauty with Intense Acting Prowess – By Antara Nanda Mondal – Impressed by her enigmatic screen persona and acting panache, Satyajit Ray picked her for the role of Gulabi in his celebrated Bengali film Abhijan (1962).

More about Waheeda Rehman :

Indurani, a star of the 1930s is a rich tribute on death anniversary of Ishrat Jehan Imamuddin aka Indurani on 18th February by film historian Arunkumar Deshmukh, enriched by photographs and posters by Harsh Raghuvanshi.

Ye Sama Ye Khushi Kuchh Bolo Ji Bolo Ji” – Azra – now known as “Farhana”, for the most part, acted in second heroine and character roles in around two dozen movies viz. ‘Junglee’, ‘Ganga Jamuna’, ‘Ganga Ki Lehrein’, ‘Ishara’, ‘Baharon Ke Sapne’, ‘Bandish’, ‘Wapas’, ‘Raja Saheb’, ‘Mahal’, ‘My Love’ and ‘Ilzam’ and finally bid adieu to Filmdom after she got married. In ‘Ganga Jamuna’, she was the second lead opposite Nasir Khan. Movies ‘Shaan-e-Khuda’ (1971) and ‘Pocketmar’ (1974) released after her marriage. ‘Shaan-e-Khuda’ was directed by her father Nanubhai Vakil.

Happy Brithday, Cuckoo! – Some readers of the blog Dances on the Footpath know about the incredible Cuckoo news and trivia post that have developed there. It started with so many comments to the 2011 Cuckoo birthday post (linked to below). And here are a couple of the Cuckoo birthday posts, both of which include a bunch of really good song clips. …. This blog contains a whole lot of Cuckoo…. 2011 Cuckoo Birthday Post ǁ   2014 Cuckoo Birthday Post

The Unlucky Genius Ghulam Mohammad’s best songs for Talat Mahmood – If you associate Anil Biswas, C Ramchandra, Madan Mohan and SD Burman for the best of Talat Mahmood, Ghulam Mohammad would rank at the equal footing with them.

The article is a tribute to the Unlucky Genius with his best songs for Talat Mahmood as a tribute to the singer, too, with velvet voice on his 92nd birth anniversary.

Here are some of the less heard songs:

Meri Yaad Mein Tum Na Aansoo Bahana: Remembering Talat Mahmood – Talat Mahmood was grand-uncle, naani’s (maternal grandmother’s) brother of Sahar Zaman. She reminisces her association with Talat Mahmood over the years in this article.

Talat Mahmood, the photogenic ghazal superstarManish Gaekwad notes that Talat Mahmood sang over 700 songs in his career, including a rare solo “Kadale Neelakadale” in the Malayalam film Dweepu for composer MS Baburaj. His last recording was “Mere Shareek-e-Safar”, a duet with Hemlata, for the film Vali-E-Azam (music by Chitragupta). Lyricist Ahmed Wasi writes, “Mere shareek-e-safar, ab tera Khuda hafiz” (My companion in this journey, I take your leave now). It turned out to be Mahmood’s swan song. He died on May 9, 1998, at the age of 74.

मण्टो का बम्बई” narrates the 21 minute docudrama directed by Dharmendra Nath Oza, which was first aired on TV on Sahara Samay on 3rd April, 2005. The documentary can be seen on Dharmendra Nath Oza’s YouTube Channel in six clips.

Nalini Jaywant – Down Memory Lane – is based on interview was conducted in 1960.

Remembering Nadira: The Diva Who Didn’t Want to be Rescued – Ranjib Mazumder – Remembers Nadira on her death anniversary – Two Jewish women stood out in the race among many prolific names starting from the early days of cinema. In the silent era, Ruby Myers was the most successful star known in film history as Sulochana, and in the post-independent Hindi cinema, Florence Ezekiel, better known as Nadira shone the brightest…..She was the anomaly in a society where women didn’t dare. The viewing public limited her career in a swift stroke of judgment in Shree 420, and in real life, men couldn’t gather the courage to handle an informed mind…..She craved companionship without having to be rescued, but we didn’t have enough imagination to understand that.

The Real and Reel Life of Pran, Bollywood’s Villain Extraordinaire – Ranjib Mazumder looks at some of the interesting aspects of the real and reel life of the villain extraordinaire who would have been 96….Here is one example …. “Pran was very close to Dilp Kumar and Raj Kapoor owing to their long association in the film industry……. When Dilip was getting married, Pran was shooting in Kashmir. Despite heavy rain, he managed to reach Bombay to attend his friend’s wedding. The entire gang including Raj Kapoor got drunk, banged on Dilip’s nuptial-night bedroom door relentlessly till he opened up to say hello to them.”

We now move over to the blog spots on other subjects.

Multiple Versions Songs (24): Songs having versions across different films – similar initial lyrics in mukhada – is a presentation of interesting variety of songs which have multiple versions across different films. In some cases these may be a traditional bandish, where you may find some versions outside films.

One can come across widely differing versions on the circumstances that led to the actual performance of Aye Mere Vatan Ke Logo. Subhash K Jha presents one more – India’s most patriotic song: How Lata Mangeshkar almost turned down ‘Ae mere watan ke logon’ .

Shankar-Jaikishan’s dance songs for Lata Mangeshkar – SoY now picks up one music director around him one set of posts remain anchored during the year. 2014 was the year of Anil Biswas, 2015 was that of Naushad with C Ramachndra in tandem with. S D Burman was organically covered concurrently. Now, 2016 has been dedicated to Shanker Jaikishan, with a limit of the year 1959 for the selection of the songs.

My Favourites: ‘Me Tarzan, You Jane’ Songs creates a list with ‘I am…, you are…’ motif.

Here are a few songs that typically represent the theme while not being heard often enough.

Ten of my favourite romantic duets – of pure, outright romance…Nothing to adulterate the headiness of being in love, of being confident, too, that one’s love is returned.

Ten of my favourite ‘Jaa’ songs – begin with ‘jaa’ (and being strict about this; no variations, like jaaiye or jaao). What or who is being sent away differs, but the crux of the matter remains: go. Go away. This post sprang out of an earlier post on ‘Aaja’ songs….Some interesting coincidences…Jaa tose nahin boloon Kanhaiyya (Parivaar, 1956) has, interestingly, another song in another film begins with exactly the same words: in Samrat Chandragupta, a song picturized on Nirupa Roy and Bharat Bhushan begins Jaa tose nahin boloon…..Jaa Jaa re chanda jaa re from Private Secretary (1964), is created by music director, Dilip Dholakia He has another jaa song from the same film, fabulously rendered by Manna Dey – Ja Re Beiman Tujhe Dekh Liya Jaa.. Another song, nearly decade earlier, which is similar to that of the Lata song from Private Secretary is Ja jaa re chanda teri chandani jalaye from Albeli (1955) – music director – Ravi.

Sadanand Kamath also recites similar interesting coincidence in Kaliyon mein Raam mera kiranon mein Raam hai –-It was a surprise to know just a few days back that Amirbai Karnataki, the Kannada Kokila as she was known in Karnataka, had faced a situation when she was required to lip sync in Sudha Malhotra’s voice for the song ‘Kahaan nahi Ram hai’ from the film PAWAN PUTRA HANUMAN (1957). The song is written by Saraswati Kumar Deepak and is set to music by Chitragupta. Apart from Amirbai Karnataki, the other actor in the role of Hanuman is S N Tripathi. Incidentally, Chitragupta assisted S N Tripathi before he got independent assignment as music director in 1946. Here is the song that provides the title to the post: Kaliyon mein Raam mera kiranon mein Raam hai – Pawan Putra Hanuman – Geeta Dutt .

‘Gata Rahe Mera Dil was Patchwork’: In Conversation With Vijay Anandnever-before-published interview of Vijay Anand – in conversation with Peeyush Sharma we have some interesting aspects of S D Burman’s music. “No one could dictate Burman Dada about which song must be sung by which singer. He had his own style of testing and selecting the voice. Once he would conceptualize a song and decide on the singer for the particular song, no one could influence that decision. He would go to the final limit of even scrapping the song altogether. He would then create a new song but he would not change his decision on the singer. He had the courage of his conviction. He knew which song would best suit a singer. And that decision would be the best decision and the song of course, would be a hit….There was no singer of his calibre in the entire film industry. The kind of highly complex ‘murkiyan’ (tonal embellishments) or ‘gayaki’ (rendering style) he would come up with was simply out of this world. But when he would sing the same tune for Lata or Rafi or Kishore or Asha, he would make it simpler than before.

More to read :

We end our present episode with some (interesting) posts on Mohammad Rafi

I look forward to receive your inputs for further enriching the contents of the posts…..

Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs – February 2016

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Welcome to February 2016 edition of Carnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.

We commenced the familiarizing ourselves with the changes in the Revision of ISO 9001 (:2015) with the December, 2015 episode of our blog carnival. Then, in the January 2016 episode, we took up Process Approach in the 2015 revision of the standard, as our first topic.

Now, in this month’s episode we will look up as to how Risk-Based Thinking has been addressed in the 2015 revision of the standard.

We first take up the what the Standard itself states in Clause A.4, sub clause 0.3.3 of this concept –

Risk-based thinking is essential for achieving an effective quality management system. The concept of risk-based thinking has been implicit in previous editions of this International Standard including, for example, carrying out preventive action to eliminate potential nonconformities, analyzing any nonconformities that do occur, and taking action to prevent recurrence that is appropriate for the effects of the nonconformity.

To conform to the requirements of this International Standard, an organization needs to plan and implement actions to address risks and opportunities. Addressing both risks and opportunities establishes a basis for increasing the effectiveness of the quality management system, achieving improved results and preventing negative effects.

Opportunities can arise as a result of a situation favourable to achieving an intended result, for example, a set of circumstances that allow the organization to attract customers, develop new products and services, reduce waste or improve productivity. Actions to address opportunities can also include consideration of associated risks. Risk is the effect of uncertainty and any such uncertainty can have positive or negative effects. A positive deviation arising from a risk can provide an opportunity, but not all positive effects of risk result in opportunities.

Risk Management is the foundation of ISO 9001_2015

As its continuing initiative, to explain the new concepts in the revision of the Standard, ISO/TC 176/SC2 has presented on its site –

In the revised standard, ISO 9001: 2015,

  • in Clause 4.1 the organization is required to determine the risks which can affect its ability to meet these objectives
  • in Clause 1.2 top management are required to commit to ensuring Clause 4 is followed
  • in Clause 1 the organization is required to take action to identify risks and opportunities
  • Clause 8 – the organization is required to implement processes to address risk
  • Clause 1.3 and 9.3.2 the organization is required to monitor, measure, analyze and evaluate the risks and opportunities
  • In Clause 10 the organization is required to improve by responding to changes in risk

ISO 9001:2015 – Risk based thinking – Declan Cahill – Risk Based thinking is now present in so many standards….Examples include – ISO 14971, OHSAS 18001, ISO 14001 and ISO 31000. For most organizations, it is a mind-set that many are comfortable communicating and operating with on a daily basis.  By alignment with these standards, the ISO 9001 standard itself is being continually improved in order to minimize the work involved where requirements of various standards are integrated…..Where there are risks and the enterprise has put in actions or fixes to prevent or minimize the occurrence of these specific risks, every enterprise should be careful to consider how strong these fixes are and what these fixes are dependent on, i.e. human behavior, infrastructure & utilities.

Risk 4.1

“Risk Based” vs. “Threat Based” Thinking – Risk based thinking is entrenched in historical facts. It examines the past for clues to the future. Risk based thinking operates under the premise that if it has not happened in the past then it is not likely to happen in the future…..Threat based thinking is formed when it is understood that just because an event has not occurred in the past, that does not rule out the potential for it to occur in the future.

Risk - Lewis2005

A risk-based-thinking-model for ISO 9001: 2015 – Bob Deysher states that the concept of “risk” in the context of international standards relates to uncertainty in achieving the core objectives of the standards, viz. to provide confidence in the organizations’ consistent ability to provide customers with conforming goods and services and to enhance customer satisfaction. The risks and opportunities have to be identified in the context of the organization.

ISO 9001:2015 – Risk Based ThinkingOne of the key changes in the 2015 revision of ISO 9001 is to establish a systematic approach to risk, rather than treating it as a single component of a quality management system. Risk-based thinking is something we all do automatically and often sub-consciously. e.g. if I wish to cross a road I look for traffic before I begin. I will not step in front of a moving car. Risk-based thinking is already part of the process approach. e.g. to cross the road I may go directly or I may use a nearby footbridge. Which process I choose will be determined by considering the risks. Risk-based thinking makes preventive action part of the routine. Risk is often thought of only in the negative sense. Risk-based thinking can also help to identify opportunities. This can be considered to be the positive side of risk. Crossing the road directly gives me an opportunity to reach the other side quickly, but there is an increased risk of injury from moving cars. The risk of using a footbridge is that I may be delayed. The opportunity of using a footbridge is that there is less chance of being injured by a car. Opportunity is not always directly related to risk but it is always related to the objectives.

Risk-Based Thinking and ISO 9001:2015Chad Kymal and R. Dan Reid – Definitions of risk vary, even within documents published by the International Organizations for Standardization (ISO)… SO 9001 focuses on “risk-based thinking,” although it stops short of actual “risk management.”…. In ISO 9000:2015, “Quality management systems—Fundamentals and vocabulary,” risk is defined as the “effect of uncertainty.” Notes in the definition further describe risk as a “deviation from the expected,” either positive or negative. The term “uncertainty” is clarified as a lack of information or knowledge about an event that can be expressed in terms of consequences the likelihood of occurrence. Lastly, ISO 9000 states that risk is related to potential events, and that it’s typically expressed as a result of the likelihood and consequence of such an event…..Risk appears in the normative parts of ISO 9001 eight times, and risk-based thinking appears once. Risk and risk-based thinking appear many times more when we study the informative portions of the standard.

Here is a video of the Interview with Chad Kymal: Risk-based thinking and ISO 9001:2015,

Some more videos on the subject:

Corrective or Preventative Action – The new risk based methodology for ISO 9001:2015?

The Process Approach and Risk-Based Thinking – posted by T. D. Nelson – this webinar provides a more general education about the process approach and risk-based thinking as well as their implications for quality management system definition, documentation, and assessment.

We have far more material than what can be accommodated in one post. So we will continue our discussion on the subject of Risk Based Thinking in ISO 9001: 2015 in the March, 2016 episode as well.

We will now turn to our regular sections:

ASQ CEO, Bill Troy in his ASQ’s Influential Voice blog-column, in Changing Company Culture: December Round Up, takes up Luciana Paulise’s views about what determines organizational culture and how factors define a company’s culture and sums up the reflections of Influential Bloggers on how culture is changed within an entire organization in response of Luciana’s ideas.

He also presents a guest post, Evolving Quality to Enable and Support a Global Digital Organization by Prem Ranganath, who blogs @ The Art of Quality. In Prem Rangnath’s experience, the top three trends that shaping the future of quality in IT, based on current and emerging customer expectations are:

  1. Quality has a strategic role in enabling successful digitization and digital product management
  2. Focusing on a Minimum Acceptable Product (MAP) is important for Minimum Viable Products (MVP) to succeed
  1. Expectations for quality are increasingly focused on collective experiences

We now watch the latest ASQ TV episode:

Advice for Quality CareersIn this episode, learn why quality can benefit anyone’s job, how to develop qualifications employers seek in quality professionals, and see why salary trends are looking up for jobs in quality…

In the third year of ASQ TV, please take a moment to complete this brief survey. Your feedback is vital to the ASQ TV continuous improvement plan. Take the survey

Whilst on the subject of Quality as a career, tips for others in the field, and how Michael Jordan relates to the quality profession, read Jim Gem’s “13 Steps to Get Ahead”

In Jim L. Smith’s Jim’s Gems for the month of January, 2016, we have.

Jim's Gems

  • Four Thoughts about Selling Ideas – “In my work with quality professionals, I am constantly amazed at how many lament that their wonderful ideas did not see the light of day because ‘short-sighted’ management didn’t endorse them.”
  • Choose to Make This Year Great – To have the best year you’ve ever had, live each of the coming days as the best person you’ve ever been.
  • Think Positively, Then Do It! – To achieve your dreams and aspirations, choose to put your time and energies into living and working toward your highest intentions.

I look forward to your active participation in enriching the blog carnival as we pursue our journey in exploring the happenings across quality management blogs…………

Super Economies: America and India – Heritage Link, Democratic States – Positives Enough for Convergence !?

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Super Economies

America, India, China and The Future of World

By Raghav Bahl

ISIN: 978-06-7008-812-6 ǁ Publishers: Random House ǁ Price: Rs. 699/-

In the first part, we looked at the preamble that Raghav Bahl builds for his case for India’s potential case in the coveted SuperEconomy club. In the second part, we then looked at the Raghav Bahl’s separate chapter-wise exploration of the past events of the international stage, wherein the involvement US, China and India, translated into the future case of ‘Shall it or shall it not ?’ for India’s Super Economy status.

In this third and penultimate part, we will see how Raghav Bahl views the points of common heritage, common systems of governance, a critical mass of Indian Americans and examines whether these two great parallels will ever, if at all, converge.

Super economies 2Foetal Siblings or Estranged Democracies?” draws on the pre- and post-independence America and India. The first common challenge both nation faced was to create a federal union out of the group of separate, sometimes disparate, states. Indeed, like America 150 years before, India was blessed at birth with a set of wise and principled leaders who guided the country with their foresight and courage. America’s experience in tackling the challenges that arose during its first century of free-market democracy can be instructive to India, from its transition from an agrarian economy to largely an industrial one.

As America grew and prospered in the nineteenth century, the Puritan ethics of simplicity, hard work and fair play gave way to a more materialistic, aspirational mind-set of what came to be known as “robber barons’. First used to describe medieval nobleman who ambushed traveling merchants and demanded payments or confiscated their goods, the term “robber baron” initially carried a negative connotation, implying ruthless, lawless money grabbing. As the America grew in its economic strength, the term got tagged to the ruthless new class who gained in the riches. This was partly as a result of technological innovation, boosting efficiency and competition which asked nothing of ideas of art and science, but the application towards ends of use and profit. The influx of some seven million immigrants between 1820 and 1870 only heightened the shift.

America’s first generation titans of industry started poor and scrappy. They found themselves torn between the national doctrine of ‘equality for all’ and the rise of ‘free-booting citizen’ who by his own efforts, by whatever methods, had wrested for himself a power that flung its shadow upon the liberties and privileges of others.

With the Government committed to free-market capitalism, it became frightfully easy for these industrialists to expand their holdings, in the process building up properties that East India Company would have envied.

Like the excesses of East India Company, which prompted London to step in, the behaviour of Gilded Age (end of 19th century period) tycoons spurred new legislation to help modulate America being free-market economy.

Since then, the period has undergone dramatic historic revision. After all, one man’s ‘robber baron’ is another’s ‘visionary entrepreneur’. The term ‘political entrepreneur’ who used government subsidies and patronage to build their empires and stifle competition and ‘market entrepreneur’ who simply built superior product at a lower cost now gained recognition.

Thanks in the large part to their legacy; today’s entrepreneurs operate in a drastically different world – one that is not only more global, but vastly more competitive, inclusive, regulated and democratic.

Post-1991-opening of the then regulated economy, Indian tycoons can be classified as ‘reform barons’, who seized the opportunities afforded by the economic liberalization. India now also has ‘first-generation barons’ who have built widely respected businesses from scratch.

Unfortunately, it is neither first generation nor reform barons who are dominating the headlines today. It is the another class, so-called less principled ones, the crony capitalists, who use corruption and cronyism to disproportionately benefit from the allocation of the country’s natural resources at stage-managed low costs.

Rather than allow similarities to let them take one another for granted or needless criticizing each other for the apparent flaws, America and India should use the core likeness and advance the self-correcting powers of the democratic form of governance.

In “The Centre Will Hold “ with a sub-title of ‘Democracy and Law’, Raghav Bahl takes up the subject of similarities in the forms of governance in USA and India, as the modern states, with respect to India’s tryst with the status of being (or failing) a SuperEconomy. George Bernard Shaw allegedly once quipped that America and England are ‘two counties separated by a common language’. Making a parallel comparison can also be made between America and India, Ogilvy & Mather’s India vice-chairman, Madhukar Sabnavis considers two counties separated by a common political system. Furthermore, both countries are home to multi-cultural populations. America’s diversity is largely the result of immigration of from across the world, whereas India’s diversity has grown out of its long history as a sprawling collection of isolated, highly territorial regional populations. That makes US qualify as traditional nation-state, while India is better defined as ‘state-nation’. While the traditional federal system is ‘symmetrical’, India’s is asymmetrical.

Holding together a collection of disparate factions requires far more strategic savvy and collective will….whatever the difference in form or style, however, American and Indian democracies share an essential character and spirit.

A successful democracy depends on achieving a balance between centralized and decentralized forces and serving the interests of powerful without excluding the disenfranchised. In this, both, US and India have largely succeeded.

A democratic system may not guarantee upstanding conduct, but it does guarantee demanding transparency, checking the power and pursuing the justice… the ability to speak freely is perhaps the most essential check on runaway power….In a democracy, no matter what goes wrong, the rule of law ultimately prevails…But no process better highlights the connection between US and India – and their disconnect with China – than the peaceful transfer of power. In a democracy, protocols exist to handle even the most unforeseen circumstances…The good news for China is that if it ever does decide to embrace democracy, India, more so than US, can provide a shining example of successful, multi-national state….In the meanwhile, India and US will draw closer, driven by a mutual appreciation of their democratic institutions, their drift towards centre, and the desire to overcome the diplomatic obstacles still blocking their way.

In “Treading Softly”, with a very speaking subtitle of ‘The Race to Win Investors and Other Admirers’ Raghav Bahl takes a very close look at the grass-root economic factors that can make, or unmake, India’s foray to the SuperEconomy club. In atmosphere that sometimes it takes more than three days just to transport goods across a state boundary…. Investors driven strictly by short-term bottom-line considerations would chose China. Gurcharan Das says that, ‘India is rising from below, unlike China which is rising from above. From below is more enduring, happens irrespective of who is ruling, the people make it happen’. What India needs, Gurcharan Das says, is a strong liberal state. Such a state would have the authority to take quick, decisive action; it would have the rule of law to ensure those actions are legitimate; and finally, it would be accountable to the people. But achieving this will not be easy, says Das, because India has historically had a weak state and a strong society.[ Reference: India Grows at Night : A Liberal Case for a Strong State][1] . In a Goldman Sachs Report “Ten Things for India to Achieve its 2050 Potential’ (Jim O’Neill and Tushar Poddar, 2008) notes that India could be 40 times bigger by 2050. For this to happen, it needs to implement many changes like improve the governance, control inflation, introduce credible fiscal policy, liberalize financial markets, increase trade with neighbours, raise its basic education standards, increase quality and quantity of its universities, boost agricultural productivity, improve its infrastructure and environmental quality……Hard power may still come more easily to China than soft power, but as it settles into the role of SuperEconomy, it will eventually figure out how to win hearts and minds naturally, instead of by cold calculations.

The Ties That Bind” is the Raghav Bahl analysis of The Power of the Indian Diaspora. In the globalized Age of SuperEconomies, the diaspora populations hold unprecedented economic and diplomatic advantage. Of all the America’s diaspora populations, Indians are the highest-earning ethnic group, in the fields from media to medicine….Other immigration groups view unparalleled success of America’s Asian Indians with a mix of admiration ad envy….Americans’ attitude towards Asians in their midst are inseparable from their feelings about Asia itself…Indian Americans may be the secret key to securing India’s future both as a twenty-first century SuperEconomy and as a steadfast US ally.

Raghav Bahl thus completes his panoramic analysis of the factors that brings India at the present critical junction of its future journey to the SuperEconomy status.

In the concluding part, on 6th March, 2016, we will join Raghav Bahl to see ‘Where Do We Go From Here?’.

[1] India Grows at Night: A Liberal Case for a Strong State

Fading Memories….Unforgettable Songs: February, 2016

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We are meeting soon after the 26th January, India’s Republic Day. If we do not get to listen to the patriotic songs from films on such an occasion, then the celebrations would seem to have to remain incomplete. Our friend Samir Dholakia does not disappoint and has very timely remembered

Mere Watan Se AchchhaLadki (1953) – Lata Mangeshkar – C Ramchandra – Rajinder Krishna

Naresh Mankad also has added up

Main Hoon Bharat Ki Ek Naar – Lata Mangeshkar – N. Sudershan, from the same film.

Harish Raghuvanshi has sent in a gem of the vintage era:

Main To Udas Hoon Magar, Woh Bhi Hai Sogwar kyoon, Unke Bhi Dil Men Dard Hai, Aye Dil-e-Bequarar Kyon – Kamal (1949) – Surendra – S D Burman – Prem Dhawan

The full lyrics of the song are posted @ Main to udaas hoon magar.

Atul’s Songs A Day has posted nine other songs from this film:

Samir Dholakia remembered Ye Duniya Rahe Na Rahe Kya PataMitti Mein Sona (1960) -Asha Bhosle – O P Nayyar – S H Bihari

Bhagwan Thavrani sees the similarity of this one with Madan Mohan tune which was composed almost 4 years earlier…. Kahin Chal Na Dena – Ek Shola (1958) – Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle

Bhagwan Thavrani also very fondly informs us that his elder brother is even a greater ‘music buff’. They hold long sessions in the evenings, discussing songs around a particular music director, singer, lyricist, era or raag. Here is one song that had come up in one of these sessions, while discussing notable Suman Kalyanpur songs –

Likh De Piya Ka Naam, Sakhi Ri Piya Ka Naam – Saranga (1961) – Saradar Mullik – Bharat Vyas

Here is one more equally poignant VIDAI – farewell to the bride to her new married life – song, composed by Ravi, who, perhaps next to O P Nayyar, has given some of the best songs of Asha Bhosle.

Jaa Ri Sakhi Saj Dhaj Ke – Ghunghat (1960) – Lyrics : Shakeel Badayuni

In a tribute to Mahendra Kapoor, Bhagwan Thavarani states that this duet may not qualify as a vintage corner forgotten melody which needs to be dusted off and presented to all connoisseurs of music…but I’m helpless ! For two reasons – one, I have a personal affinity for this duet…..or perhaps, for some personal reasons hidden in the subconscious…AND then for the Great Helen ! She has no peer as far as dancing is concerned. Just watch body movements….. she displays during each interlude. It’s lightening, killing, intoxicating, maddening and what not !

Chhod Kar Tere Pyaar Ka Daman Ye Bat Den Ke Ham Kidhar Jaayen – Who Kaun Thi (1964) – Mahemdra Kapoor, Lata Mangeshkar – Madan Mohan – Raja Mendi Ali Khan

We also take up the opportunity to recall some of the (relatively) for gotten solo songs of Mahendra Kapoor

  • Kho Gaya Hai Mera Pyar – Hariyali Aur Rasta (1961) – Shanker Jaikishan – Hasrat Jaipuri

  • Tum Kitni Khubsurat Ho – Wahan Ke Log (1967) – C Ramchandra – Shakeel Badayuni

In a tribute to Subir Sen, on his passing away in December, 2015, Samir Dholakia has remembered

Sedin Dujane Dulechhinu Bone, Phulodore Bandha Jhulona Bolo Na Bolo Na – Anubhav (1971) – Kanu Roy

This Ravidra Sangeet song has been rendered in their own style by several other artistes. We have picked up its famous Hindi version Nain Deewane – Afsar (1950) Suraiya S D Burman and Hemant Kumar (Mukhopadhyay)’s Bengali rendition in this clip.

Pandit Ravi Shankar had sang this song along with his rendition on sitar at a London concert in June 2011.

Na Jaane Kyon Hota Hai Yeh Jindagi Ke Saath – Chhoti Si Baat (1976) – Lata Mangeshkar – Salil Chaudhary – Yogesh , which had a beautiful Bengali version Pogol Hawa by Subir Sen

In the 1950s, Sen added a unique romantic touch to hit Bengali songs such as “Monalisa Tumi Ki Bolona”.

We have picked up a few more of his rare (duet) songs from Hindi films:

  • Gori Tere Nakhat Naina – Hum Bhi Insaan Hai (1959) – with Geeta Dutt – Hemant Kumar – Shailendra

  • Dil Leke Jaate Ho Kahan – O Tera Kya Kahana (1959) – with Kamal Barot – Kalyanji Virji Shah – Farooq Kaiser

  • Pyar Mein Milna Sanam – Ardhangini (1959) – with Lata Mangeshkar – Vasant Desai – Majrooh Sultanpuri

  • Ghar Tum Bura Na Mano – Mehlon Ke Khwab (1960) – With Asha Bosle – S Mohinder – Raja Mahendi Ali Khan

We shall conclude our present episode with the journey with Peeyush Sharma through everlasting songs of Mohammad Rafi songs Fifty Years Ago: Films and Music of 1965 that seem to be on the path of oblivion…

  • Sab Mein Shamil Ho Magar Sab Se Juda Lagti Ho – Bahu Beti – Ravi – Sahir Ludhyanvi

  • Zindagi Ke Mod Pe Jo Koi Rasta Mila, Teri Gali Se Ja MilaBedagh – Roshan – Shakeel Badayuni

  • Phir Teri Yaad Naye Geet Sunane Aai – Bekhabar – S Mohinder Raja Mehndi Ali Khan

  • Mera Ban Jaye Koi Ye Meri Taqdeer Nahin – Ek Sapera Ek Lootera – Usha Khanna – Asad Bhopali

  • Meri Nigaah Ne Kya Kaam Lajawab Kiya – Mohabbat Isko Kahate Hain – Khayyam – Majrooh Sultanpuri

  • Hamen Kya Jo Har Su Ujale Huye Hain, Ke Hum To Andheron Ke Paale Huye Hain – Namaste Ji – G S Kohli – Anjaan a.k.a. Lal Ji Pandey

  • Kuchh Aisi Pyari Shakla Mere Dilruba Ki Hai, Jo Dekhta Hai Kehta Hai, Kudrat Khuda Ki Hai – Naya Kanoon – Madan Mohan – Hasrat Jaipuri

  • Dil Tadpe Tadpaye, Jo Unke Milan Ko Tarse Wo To Na Aaye, Mausam Aaye JaayePoonam Ki RaatSalil Chaudhary – Shailendra ( Peeyush Sharma notes : Salil was not in favour of taking Rafi for this song. I have personally confirmed this with him during my three meetings with him. After trying out Mukesh and Manna Dey, Kishore Sahu insisted on Rafi, who was summoned to render this difficult number.  And what a job he did!)

  • Teri Meherbani Hogi Badi Meharbaani Haye Teri Meherbaani With Asha Bhosale and Chorus – Raaka – Dattaram – Asad Bhopali

Icing on the cake is this song sent in by Biren Kothari:

Maar Gandasa Mar Jaana – Chhai (1950) – Hansraj Behl, Verma Malik – a Punjabi comic song is from very old classic punjabi movi. Very – very rare feature of the song is PRAN along with SUNDER and KHARAITI on the screen. . .

The song seems to have been inspired on Mohammad Rafi – Ameerbai Karnataki superhit Maar Katari Mar Jaana – Shenai (1947) – C Ramchandra

We will meet again on 2nd Sunday of the next month… with more unforgettable songs that have started slipping out of our memory….

If you have such songs to share, you are most heartily welcome…..

Melodies, Movies & Memories – Nalin Shah

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Movies, Memories and Melodies - Nalin Shah

Melodies, Movies & Memories – Nalin Shah © 2016
Publisher: Saarthak Prakashan, Ahmedabad ǁ Price: Rs. 300
ISBN: 978 – 93 – 84076 – 17 – 7 ǁ Buy Online

 

 

 

“The act of writing on vintage Hindi Music is akin to documenting the Ganga without having any idea of Gangotri”, writes Urvish Kothari in the preface to a well – known writer of film history-related articles, Nalin Shah’s maiden book Melodies, Movies & Memories.

nalin shahHowever to Nalin Shah, the obsession of the vintage Hindi films and its music is rooted in his early boyhood, when he wrote articles for various Gujarati periodicals on the subject of vintage film music. Later on, his writings for Filmfare, G (a film magazine of Vaju Kotak’s Chitralekha group), Playback & Fast Forward, The Pioneer, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Mid-day etc. attained the stature for their authentic content, objective point-of- view and accurate analysis. ‘Writing for press enabled (Nalin Shah) to reflect on artistes as people and their place in the wider world. As a Development Officer at Life Insurance Corporation of India, in his primary professional career, Nalin Shah also had had frequent opportunities to travel to different cities all over India. These helped him to clarify his thought-process, as well as to check (and many times cross-check and re-check) and to verify “facts”. All these experiences and interactions then were distilled into lucid and engrossing stories, covering a wide panorama of subjects. He has conducted lecture-demonstrations on the history of film music and staged audio-visual shows on KL Saigal, Naushad, Khemchand Prakash, New Theatres, Mehboob Khan, Bombay Talkies. We now get to read these stories between the two covers in the present book.

In spite of relatively active publishing of film related works, the fact remains that over the years, different communication channels of the industry, like Gramophone companies, or the public communication media or the film correspondents or journalists, as a whole has not enough to preserve or document the multiple facets of the film-making, its music and its history. The advent of internet and the evolving digital platforms have been now very imaginatively been put to use by some of the very dedicated, little-known film enthusiasts to supplement the very pioneering and path-breaking works in the print media in so far as the first two decades of the Hindi Films and its world of music. Nalin Shah’s present book is not simply a documentation of history nor is it the plain narratives of stories. While maintaining very high standards of reporting, he develops story in quite an interesting style of writing. He has also been very particular in maintaining a professional arm’s length objectivity even with people, events or songs for which he has developed a deep personal like or proximity. Here is one typical illustration, picked up from the very first chapter – In Search of Gold – of the book:

I find the music of 1940s more enchanting than anything heard before or after. The music of 1950s too was extremely melodious though more ostentatious. The decline started in 1960s….However, the relevance of term ‘Golden’ to a musical age is dependent on many factors including the time and the environment. But the academic question cannot take away the appeal of any music composed at any time if it has an inherent charm.

The book apparently does not have very specified divisions, in terms of the subjects of the contents of the stories. But a little more analytical view reveal a few discerning patterns of presentations of the subject matters.

Subjects, like travails of the artistes through the days of glittering Sunrise adulations to abject poverty or loneliness of the Sunset days or A Matter of Inspiration behind a particular song have been dealt with in fairly insightful details.

Nalin Shah’s discerning choice of songs to illustrate or emphasize the matter of the subject, on one hand imparts high clarity to the point of view being presented, and on the other hand helps the reader to rekindle memories of some of very rare gems of that era.

The book also has very judiciously enriched the memories of the era with the help of some very rare photographs of the artistes with whom Nalin Shah has maintained personal contacts. References to these rare songs and use of these photographs elevate the book to a level of a collector’s prized trophy.

Nalin Shah with Naushad at Viramgam where Naushad wanted to revive his past in Viramgam before the start of his career as music director

Nalin Shah with Naushad at Viramgam where Naushad wanted to revive his past in Viramgam before the start of his career as music director

When the author takes up the subjects of reasons and aftermath of break up music duos or the First Lady of Hindi Film Music directors (Saraswati Devi), the Rhythm in Songs, or the legendary tales of Peti- masters (as the music directors were then known), he seems to have chosen a very concise narrative format to drive his point of view home.

The articles, like The End of an era – Studios and Institutions, Vintage Music – The Saviour or Radio Ceylon: Jane Kahan Gaye Who Din, not only place some of the otherwise hazy or misattributed or misinformed records straight, but also have documented some of the pioneering and path-breaking roles played by several individuals. Some of these endeavours reached the status of the institutions that left profound impact on the industry. It would not be out of place to record at this stage, that articles of this stature, and any other representation for that matter, can go a long way in building up the right type of public opinion about the different aspects of films.

The role of lyricists also has been given its due recognition in the book. The portrayal of how different lyricists tackled the themes for a particular song or the how the use of the original literary works of the poet-lyricists have been used with or without modifications or the role of a lyricist or the music director or the star who enacted in on the screen is spread over different articles – The Writer’s Dominance, The Poet’s Lament and The Song, ShAIR and the Star.

In any historical perspective analysis, the topics like how much role the destiny played in making the preeminent position of Lata Mangeshkar in the post-partition years or how would the music scene have taken shape if Noorjehan had chosen not to migrate to Pakistan have always remained quite contentious and thorny issues of the debate among film critics, historians and fans. In ‘Daughter of Destiny – Why a Lata Can Not Be Reborn’ and ‘Noorjehan, Lata and Partition’, Nalin Shah has succeeded in balancing the facts with perceptions and opinions.

We also get the taste of Nalin Shah’s considered forthright views on the subjects of film awards in ‘A Matter of Awards’, ‘Phalke, Who ?’ or ‘An Award named ‘Lata Mangeshkar’’.

The author also opines that ‘Moral Values’ in films not necessarily reflect the times but the degeneration in the minds of the films maker. Whilst on the subject, he does not miss the opportunity to record ‘the irony that delinquent film-makers welcome the controversy that can help generate some free publicity for a product which may otherwise may not be that sale-able on its own merits.

The book also finds adequate space for other contemporary subjects of Menace of Remix or The Genesis of Piracy, which underscore the fact that no one can claim to be holier than thou. The big service can be made if the original (genuine) music is ‘made available at an affordable price to the public.

‘Melodies, Movies and Memories’ must have scratched only the tip of vast treasure of treasure of documents, photographs and memories of insightful anecdotes that Nalin Shah has very assiduously built along with his “enviable storehouse of 78-RPM records”. We fondly hope that when the book is published in a digital format of e-book, addition of the soundtracks of the songs that have been referred to in the book also (as far as possible) be added on to make this book as the most memorable and immortal gift that a person who has been witness to more than half of the life span of the Hindi Film industry can bequeath the future generations.

We join the publishers in wishing that the present book “is just a precursor to many more”.

Super Economies: The Settings of an International Plot: Shall or Shall Not?

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Super Economies

America, India, China and The Future of World
By Raghav Bahl
ISIN: 978-06-7008-812-6 ǁ Publishers: Random House ǁ Price: Rs. 699/-

In the first part, we looked at the preamble that Raghav Bahl builds for his case for India’s potential case in the coveted SuperEconomy club. In this second part, we look at the Raghav Bahl’s separate chapter-wise exploration of the past events of the international stage, wherein the involvement US, China and India, translated into the future case of ‘Shall it or shall it not ?’ for India’s Super Economy status.

Super economies 2In “From Falling Towers to Falling Tickers”, Bahl sees “The Dawn of Super Economy Era”. The events of 9/11uninteionally created the new opportunities for the developing nations, hastened the levelling of global playing field, ushering in new geopolitical order, whose contours would be boldly sharpened by the collapse of Lehman Brothers seven years later. The three most important words of the decade following 9/11 turned out to be not ‘war on terror’ but ‘made in China’ – be it supply of cheap goods or pouring in of Chinese savings into US Dollar….It was no accident that ubiquitous term now used to describe the first wave of globalization – BRIC(S)- was coined in aftermath of 9/11. The customised model of these countries, based essentially on free-market capitalization, allowed India and China to heal quickly from the wounds of 2008 financial meltdown.

Raring to Go” focuses on “A Growing Concert of Democracies” in the face of newly assertive China’s experiment to strengthening its grip over trade and diplomacy. Rare Earths became the symbol. By the turn of 20th century, China was supplying over 90% of world’s rare earth metals, even though its own resources were of the order of third of the global reserves. The true extent of China’s stranglehold on rare earth became alarmingly clear after a show-down with Japan in September, 2010. Even as it denied any official embargo, the shipments of rare earths to Japan drastically dwindled. China’s efforts to improve order and price leverage unintentionally driven the revival of global rare-earth production in the US and allied democracies. The united economic power of the democratic world proved to be an antidote to China’s combativeness.

Neutral No More” portrays the developments in Burma during the end-of-20th-century-beginning-of-21st-century. During the course of mid-20th century, Burma’s relation kept swinging between India and China. However nullifying the results of 1990 elections, the Military Junta sought to isolate Burma back towards democratic reforms by way of series of trade and economic sanctions. That gave China a right window to enlarge influence in the resource-rich land. However, by mid-1990s, India’s leadership began to adopt a ‘strategic realistic policy’, which favoured the limited engagement with Burma’s military rulers. Burmese military leadership’s wariness of Chinese-backed Maoist insurgency in the hills went on to aggravate over a period of time. So the Junta started diversifying its support system. India went on balancing its relationship with autocratic regime on one hand and the pro-democracy movement on the other hand. By 2011, the Junta was disbanded and was replaced by nominally civilian government. The new government hardly lost any time in unchaining Chinese shackles over its economy. Burma was now deftly playing the same multi-alignment game, mastered by the countries such as Kazakhstan in trying to escape the Soviet-Russian sphere of bear-hug influence. With most recent win Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD the sense of transformation is now palpable.

The Burmese Story reinforces the efficacy of rare-earth showdown coordination of the democratic nations to counteract Chinese adventurism. India’s new strategic ties with countries, as varied as Japan, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Vietnam, erstwhile Soviet-bloc countries as well as its neighbours continues to gain its strong impetus against the mighty dragon under PM Narendra Modi’s present central government too.

A Region at Sea” maps, primarily, South China and, secondarily, the Indian Ocean, as the main theatres of rivalry for the 21st century Super Economies. The fact that 80% China’s oil imports travels through the crowded Strait of Malacca across South China Sea partly underscores the strategic importance of the erstwhile historic events. China appears keen to expand its presence not only in South and East China Seas but also in Indian Ocean, where it has ‘helped’ in ramping up the ports in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

China’s increasing marine power has spurred small littoral states like Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia to bolster their naval capabilities. Though, albeit tentatively. India keeps backing their tiffs with China.

China’s actions in South China Sea have tested the alignments of 21st century in much the same way its approach to Burma and rare-earth metals did. Deterring China in the South China Sea has proven far more challenging for Team Democracy than solving rare-earth crisis or winning over Burma. For one thing, many Chinese harbour an unshakable conviction that their sovereign claims are legitimate. At the same time, it also believes that US has absolutely no legitimate claim to the region, and is merely using its power to egg on China’s rival claimants….Fortunately, China is not eager enough incite actual military conflict in Asia’s waters.

In the age of Super Economies, the most promising bulwark against Chinese creep comes not from US but from the rapidly strengthening bond between Japan and India. Outwardly, Asia’s two largest democracies have little in common, but their cultural and religious connections stretch back to centuries.

To be sure, India and Japan have gone out of their way to reassure China their goal is not containment. As their bond solidified, the language of Indo-Japanese partnership grew less circumspect….To hedge its bets, China has explored broad new west-oriented foreign policy.

The fact remains that the today’s world powers don’t need to choose between being rival or allies; they can be both, or neither. Managing such bifurcated relationship requires a revolutionary kind of teamwork, careful coordination of policy, purpose and rhetoric among the like-minded countries.

Aligned With India, But Allied With Pakistan” is ‘The Great American Paradox’. The 9/11 incidents linked Osama Bin Laden’s liquidation, US presence in Afghanistan and similar incidents led to sinking of Pakistani public opinion of America to the lowest. Correspondingly, Americans too did not think much better of Pakistanis…The imploding US-Pakistan alliance heartened – or less surprised – India. The cross border sponsoring of extremist terrorism seems to have accelerated the convergence of US-India strategic interests. For America, the old adage – India can be friend, but not ally and Pakistan can be an ally but not a friend – was seen to be turned upside down. Pakistan was behaving neither like a friend nor like an ally and India was suddenly exhibiting signs of becoming both.

With Osama Bin Laden dead and Afghanistan’s future uncertain, what was left of US-Pakistan partnership quietly unravelled…One of the tensest issues between them was nukes – or rather, the security of nuclear armament in the hands of Pakistan. As the only Muslim-majority country in the world with a successful nuclear weapons programme, Pakistan would be the first stop for Islamic radicals looking for nuclear option. Pakistan’s continuing ability to secure nuclear arms remains suspect in US eyes.. As Pakistan’s behaviour grew increasingly defiant and irrational, the US found itself looking more and more to India. While preparing for departure from Afghanistan, India seemed more in place to occupy the US space. So far, India’s assistance to Afghanistan has been entirely economic and humanitarian…The continued instability in Afghanistan seems to raise the risk of India – Pakistan (probably nuclear, this time) war. The best option to try to reduce Pakistan’s India-obsession is to increase the cross-border trade and transit between the two countries. Another option is for India to rise above squabbling and push for progress on the Kashmir issue, fostering the dialogue while reducing it military presence and addressing humanitarian abuses…But the best hope may yet come from another giant presence lurking on the border – China. China has remained on the side-lines for most of the Afghan conflict; however it has started adopting a more active role once the present theatre starts to wind down. China also continues to exert subtle pressure on Pakistan t crack down harder on terrorism if its wants their economic relationships to grow.

Afghan region could end up being the first great theatre of Super Economic collaboration among US, China and India. Unlike in South China Sea or the Indian Ocean, where they play a competitive game of brinkmanship, their strategic interests align in seeing an orderly, growing AfPak as their best chance for curbing terrorism and advancing peace and prosperity in the region, and beyond.

We will continue with Raghav Bahl’s detailed background analyses in the next part – Super Economies: America and India – Heritage Link, Democratic States – Positives Enough for Convergence !? on 21st February, 2016………………….

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