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Wednesday, 17 February 2021

कॅनडामधून, इंग्लंड अमेरिकेमध्ये खालिस्तानी उग्र वादाला होणारी मदत कशी था...

National Security & Social Media-MAJ GEN NITIN GADKARI

 National Security & Social Media

The arrest of Disha Ravi in the 'Toolkit' episode has sparked a more significant debate about the definition of digital freedom a private citizen enjoys. The arrest has sparked off wide-scale protests in Bengaluru and Delhi, spreading like wildfire in other cities. An ordinary citizen wonders if such events are likely to increase in future times as there seems to be no mechanism to stop this trend. The government is well equipped to handle protests in physical space to cap citizens, yet it finds itself at crossroads when it comes to handling protests that emerge in cyberspace. The important question that everyone is asking; how do you define freedom in cyberspace? When does individual freedom in cyberspace tiptoes into the breach of national security amounting to sedition?

As these morning papers suggest, a hashtag campaign runs on social media of '#Finger on the lips'. This signifies the youth's displeasure of the State's efforts to block individual freedom of expression. They seem to be pointing out their constitutional rights to express themselves enshrined as 'Freedom of speech' in our Constitution. Yet they seem to miss a point that when the Constitution was drafted and adopted, the beast of cyberworld was non-existent. What form would civil society take three-quarters of a century later was not conceivable to those brilliant minds. If they had known that every mind could become a weapon of dissent, would they have kept the same provisions? It's a matter of conjecture and needs a broader debate. India is no exception as every democratic nation where freedom of speech has been a virtue, has faced similar situations. The Julius Assange case is the cornerstone of such a debate. How much is dissent healthy? As everyone in democracy seems to suggest that dissent is good for the democratic system. How much should civil society permit and who defines these limits? It has become clear that this limit cannot be defined for young minds who have embraced social media and cyberspace. They would like unlimited power to say what they want. The trouble starts when the dimensions of 'Influencers' and 'Followers' is added to this equation. Assuming there is an anti-national idea is being propagated by an "Influencer', how does a state stop others from following it. Youth by nature are 'Rebellious', they love to rebel against the authority. It gives them a sense of power, satisfaction of defiance. It's a hormonal thing, and every human goes through it. No state can stop this cycle. 

One is arguing here: how does the State define national security, and how does it stop anyone from breaching it. National security is an amorphous concept. It cannot be defined in all its dimensions. External aggression is well understood and can be structured, but to save a nation from internal aggression is hard to define and harder to quantify. Who defines the rules of right and wrong? Not the government alone, but at the same time, it cannot be the opposition parties or any other political parties. Politics is the biggest bane of national security. There is a word often used 'constructive criticism'. This is more for debates in media and parliament as seldom does criticism leads to positivity in civil society which is deeply divided over issues. In the absence of an umpire, this game is free for all with boxing gloves on. Saner elements suggest; you only value a trait or feature after you have lost it. Today's youth has no fear of losing anything, as they have not witnessed the independence struggle. Nor is there a conscript military where like Israel everyone has to serve in the military, and the trials and tribulations of defending their motherland are experienced daily. They don't fear losing any liberty as they work in anonymity in cyberspace. As the Disha Ravi case will suggest, her understanding of life is related to the wrongs the State or society does to the environment we live in, people included. It's thus easy to identify with a protestor group who is opposed to the State. The underlining aim is to fight anything that seems to do the wrongs and by extension, anything that appears authoritarian. Quelling protests thus is an authoritarian act which needs to be condemned and acted upon. 'If we don't they who will', is the typical slogan that reverberates the self-styled cyber soldier's mind.

Is there a way out of this seemingly endless cycle of action and retribution?  There doesn't seem to be any mechanism physically or theologically to end this. Both sides: The State and the protestor cannot see each other's point of view. For the cyber protestor, national security does not figure in his/ her mind, as being a patriot is never in doubt in their minds. In the globalised world, those who reach out to their cause are friends, and others are with the State. The idea that he/she is working with anti-national elements does not weigh on their conscience, as these elements don't come across as enemies, but as friends, more than the State. Their naïve minds regarding their understanding of the threats to their nation cannot fathom the devious ways inimical interest work against the State. By the time this understanding comes, the next generation which is glibber and savvier is ready to take up the mantle. 

Where does the answer lie? In the author's mind, the answer lies with the State. It is the senior partner and has to understand the sensibilities of the youth. The State can never produce as many cyber specialists as the protestors have in their ranks. Their ranks swell due to hormonal appeal and not because of meagre state salary. The induction of more mature and young decision-makers in the ranks would help. Quelling dissent in any form has to develop as an art and not as a defensive mechanism. A polite 'Yes' can lead the way to a better 'No' in future. A hard-handed 'No' is a sure shot disaster. Management of media is another critical factor in this game of attribution and retribution. Media can twist the best-intended statement. If the State's methods seem polite and friendly, the more palatable the final decision. More than ever, it's time to get 'Chankayaniti' back in governance. The government needs to tackle even issues at home, especially those they cannot control more diplomatically.

"When a diplomat says Yes, he means May-be when he says May-be, he means no, a diplomat who says 'No' is no diplomat at all

Friday, 12 February 2021

21 Para (SF) Celebrates Silver Jubilee Of Its Conversion - Lt General VIJAY OBEROI | 11 FEBRUARY, 2021

 21 PARA (SF) or the Waghnakhs’, as they are well known, is a unique Special Forces (SF) battalion, as it is the only SF battalion that has been converted from an existing infantry battalion.

The Infantry battalion was the 21st Battalion of the Maratha Light Infantry Regiment. Although this battalion was raised on February 111985, it was part of one of the senior most regiments of the Indian Army, which has recently completed 250 years of service in the Indian Army in August 2018.

In early 1990s, a major exercise was undertaken by Army Headquarters to convert the then existing three Para Commando battalions into SFs and increase the strength by another battalion. I was the DGMO at that point of time and had implemented this change.

A major change in the roles of the units, making them more akin to Special Operations Forces (SOFs) of other countries, was formalised. I also had the honour of being appointed the first Colonel of the newly formed SF, the only time they moved away from being just super-infantry!

However, the change was short-lived, because the Parachute Regiment, of which the three Para Commando battalions were part of, did not countenance these battalions going out of the Regiment and as soon as I moved out to command a Strike Corps, the then Chief succumbed to the pressure from the Parachute Regiment lobby and the units reverted to again becoming super-infantry! But that is a different story!

This narrative is about the current 21 PARA (SF). 21 Maratha LI had been selected for the conversion, as all other Infantry Colonels of the Regiments had chosen not to part with any of their battalions. Being the Colonel of the Maratha Light Infantry at that time, we had the foresight to offer one of our Maratha battalions for conversion, as we were convinced that it was in the national interest. In addition, we had given many of our battalions to other regiments in the past and all had done extremely well and had brought laurels to both regiments.

21 Maratha LI completed its conversion to Special Forces on 01 Feb 1996, after successfully completing its gruelling probation over two years. The outfit thus holds the unique distinction of being the only infantry battalion to have been directly converted to Special Forces.

However, our overall aim of making the then existing three (1,9 and 10) Para Commando battalions plus the new 21 Para Commando to exclusive Special Forces units lay in ruins, as explained above.

The Blood, Sweat and Grit of all the torchbearers involved in bringing the unit to the present pedestal needs to be applauded and cherished. On this day, 11 Feb 2021, the Waghnakhs are celebrating their Silver Jubilee of Conversion.

A about their nom d’ guerre Waghnakhs. The Wagh Nakh or Tiger’s Claws is a typical Maratha weapon of Shivaji’s time, which is a knuckle duster of steel flanked by two finger holes through which the thumb and small finger are inserted, concealing three to five curved blades in the palm of the hand and turning the wearer's hand into a tiger claw.

For complete concealment, the knuckle duster could be decorated with gems giving the appearance of wearing rings. The blades, like the tiger claws they are named for, are made to slash through an opponent's skin and muscle. In some cases, there is the addition of one or two blades that project from the side of the wagh nakh, an additional weapon that would have been used for jabbing, or thrusting.


The wagh nakh is most often associated with the Maratha warrior Shivaji, who fought under Islamic rulers -- the Moghuls in the north and various independent Sultans in the Deccan. In 1659, a meeting was arranged between Shivaji and General Afzal Khan of the Bijapur Sultanate. Shivaji suspected that the General would try something tricky and so wore chainmail under his clothing and a wagh nakh in his hand.

When the two leaders embraced, the traditional greeting, Khan tried to attack Shivaji with his dagger but it failed to pierce Shivajis chainmail. Shivaji then used his hand with the small, concealed wagh nakh and, like a tiger, clawed Khan, inflicting mortal wounds.

Reverting to 21 PARA (SF), the Paltan specialises in Jungle Warfare, although it has taken part in many operations in rural and urban settings too and has left its mark in the entire north eastern part of our country. One may recall that following the terrorist attack on an army convoy in Manipur a few years back, it was 21 PARA that had carried out a surgical operation in the border areas of Myanmar and given the terrorists and insurgents a befitting reply. The operation under command of the then Commanding Officer of 21 PARA (SF), Colonel Saurabh Singh Shekhawat was a complete success where only terrorists were neutralised and there had been no collateral damage or any casualties to our troops.

I am given to understand that both the serving ‘Colonels’ of the Maratha Light Infantry, Lt Gen Asit Mistry and of the Parachute Regiment, Lt Gen Paramjit Singh Sangha would be present for the celebrations of the Paltan. The Army’s SFs units are arguably the best infantry units in our Army, but despite their nomenclature of SFs, they do not fall in the category of Special Operations Forces (SOFs) of countries like USA, Russia or UK, whose top rated units: US Delta Force; Russian Spetsnaz; and British SAS, are SF units in the classical genre.

We do have the potential and professional zeal to become like the above quoted units, as our officers, JCO’s and Jawans are the best, but we are far too mired in regimental issues and non-issues and our hierarchy is far too risk-averse! The other reason is that although our SF Units have won many a battle, they get stymied by our Ministry of Defence (MoD) manned by civilian officials, who neither have the expertise nor the desire to learn about how the army operates and the sense of urgency.

Unless the SF are modernised on a continuous basis in terms of the latest weapons and other warlike equipment, we will not be able to utilise the full potential of these special troops, which have an increasingly important role to play on the future battlefield. In the 25 years of its existence since the conversion from 21 Maratha LI to 21 PARA (SF), the battalion has shown its mettle; won both battles and laurels and has become a most effective and fearless machine for the battles likely to be faced in future. More power to this exuberant SF battalion that at the moment of writing is carrying out a para jump by both serving personnel and veterans of the battalion, commemorating their Silver Jubilee.

Cover Photograph:Bagh nakh (tiger-claw weapon of Indian origin) made of lacquered steel

Lt General Vijay Oberoi is a former Vice Chief of Army Sta

चिनी सैन्याची लडाख मध्ये माघार,अमेरिकन नौदल प्रत्युत्तर देण्यासाठी साऊथ ...

Thursday, 11 February 2021

आर्थिक प्रगती थांबवण्यासाठी चीनचा भारतात घातपाताचा दहशतवाद-SABOTAGE WAR ...

महाराष्ट्र आणि कृषी बाजार सुधारणा -TARUN BHARAT- - अनिल जवळेकर- 11-Feb-2021

महाराष्ट्रातील नेते त्याच्या आंदोलनाला चुकीचे ठरवित नाहीत, याचे आश्चर्य वाटल्याशिवाय राहत नाही. महाराष्ट्राने आजपर्यंत सर्वच सुधारणा आवश्यक मानल्या आहेत व महाराष्ट्रातील शेतकरी अशा सुधारणांचा लाभच घेत आला आहे. याच सुधारणा देशातील इतर शेतकर्‍यांनाही आवश्यक आहेत व तेथेही त्या अमलात आणल्या पाहिजेत, हे समजून घेणे गरजेचे आहे. 

सध्या शेतकरी आंदोलनाची चर्चा सर्वत्र सुरु आहे. जवळपास सर्वच विरोधी राजकीय पक्ष शेतकर्‍यांच्या आंदोलनाला समर्थन देत मोदी सरकारविरोधात मैदानात उतरले आहेत. परंतु, शेतकर्‍यांना साथ देण्याच्या नावाखाली विरोधी पक्ष नेमकी कुठली भूमिका प्रसारित करत आहेत, यात मात्र कुठलाही काही ताळमेळ दिसत नाही. विरोधासाठी विरोध व तोही कशाचा व कशासाठी, याचे तारतम्य राजकारणात असणे आवश्यक आहे. पण, सध्य ते कुठेच दिसत नाही, हे खेदाने म्हणावेसे वाटते. कृषी सुधारणांबाबत महाराष्ट्रातील नेते नेहमीच प्रगतिशील भूमिका घेत आले आहेत व नवीन सुधारणा स्वीकारण्यात केंद्राशीही सहकार्य करत आलेले आहेत. त्यांनीच प्रतिगामी भूमिकेला साथ द्यावी, हे या पार्श्वभूमीवर न समजण्यासारखे आहे.

महाराष्ट्र हे प्रगतिशील राज्य

 महाराष्ट्र हे भारतातील प्रगतिशील राज्य म्हणून ओळखले जाते. उद्योग, सेवा व कृषी या तिन्ही क्षेत्रांत महाराष्ट्र अग्रेसर आहे. महाराष्ट्राचे माजी मुख्यमंत्री वसंतराव नाईक यांनी “महाराष्ट्र अन्नधान्याबाबतीत दोन वर्षांत स्वयंपूर्ण झाला नाही, तर मला फाशी द्या,” अशी घोषणा करूनच निवडणुका जिंकल्याचे सर्वांना ज्ञात असेलच. तेथूनच महाराष्ट्रात हरितक्रांतीची बिजे रोवली गेली व परिणामस्वरूप महाराष्ट्र अन्नधान्याबाबत स्वयंपूर्ण झाला. सुरुवातीपासूनच महाराष्ट्र हा देशात कृषी सुधारणा स्वीकारण्यात तसा आघाडीवरच राहिला आहे. नवीन बी-बियाणे असो की, आधुनिक तंत्रज्ञान असो, महाराष्ट्राने ते सहज स्वीकारले व म्हणूनच महाराष्ट्र शेतीक्षेत्रात आजही तितकाच कृतिशील दिसतो. कृषी बाजार सुधारणांमध्येही महाराष्ट्र कायमच अग्रणीच राहिला. त्यामुळेच महाराष्ट्राच्या नेत्यांचा नवीन कृषी बाजार सुधारणा कायद्यांबाबतचा विरोध खटकतो.

 महाराष्ट्रातील मुख्य पिके

 महाराष्ट्र हा आपल्या व्यापारी पिकांसाठी प्रसिद्ध आहे. कांदा, ऊस, कापूस व तेलबिया ही पीके येथील मुख्य पिकांत मोडतात. फलोत्पादनातही महाराष्ट्र अग्रणी होत आहे. महाराष्ट्र सरकारने केंद्रीय योजनांचा लाभ घेत व खासगी क्षेत्राला वाव देत, कृषी बाजार संरचना उभी करण्यात चांगले यश मिळवले. महाराष्ट्रातील कोकण क्षेत्र धान, काजू, चिकू व आंब्यासाठी महत्त्वाचे आहे, तर पश्चिम महाराष्ट्र व खानदेश ऊस, ज्वारी, भाजीपाला, फळे वगैरेंसाठी. मराठवाडा कापूस, मका, तेलबिया, डाळींसाठी प्रसिद्ध आहे, तर विदर्भ संत्री, कापूस, डाळी तसेच धान यासाठी आणि ही सगळीच पिके कृषी बाजारासाठी महत्त्वाची मानली जातात.

महाराष्ट्रातील खुला कृषी बाजार

 शेतकरी आपली सर्व पिके थोडे जास्तीचे उत्पादन असेल तर गावगावांत भरणार्‍या, आठवडी बाजारात किरकोळपणे विकत असतात. हे बाजार पंचायत वा नागरी संस्थांच्या जागेत भरतात व या किरकोळ बाजारांना ‘एपीएमसी’ कायदा लागू नाही. काही शेतकरी ज्यांनी स्थानीय व्यापार्‍यांकडून कर्ज घेतले असेल, तर त्यांनाच आपले उत्पादन विकतात. कारण, त्यांना येथे माल वाहून नेण्याचा वगैरे खर्च येत नाही. शेतकर्‍यांजवळ असलेला तिसरा पर्याय ‘रेग्युलेटेड मंडी’मध्ये नेऊन विकण्याचा असतो. महाराष्ट्र सरकारने एका मर्यादेबाहेरचे उत्पादन, अशा ‘रेग्युलेटेड मंडया’मध्येच विकण्याचे बंधन घातले आहे.

म्हणून बाजार समित्यांचे आवार हे कृषी उत्पादन पुरवठा साखळीचे मुख्य केंद्र झालेले आहे. महाराष्ट्राने ‘एक शेतकरी बाजार’ कल्पनाही अमलात आणली आहे. ज्याद्वारे शेतकरी आपले उत्पादन किरकोळ व्यापार्‍यांना, प्रक्रिया करणार्‍यांना व उपभोक्त्यांना अगदी थेट विकू शकतात. हे एक प्रकारचे आठवडी बाजार असतात, जिथे मध्यस्थांना वाव नसतो. ‘सुपर मार्केट’ वगैरेंनाही शेतकर्‍यांकडून सरळ माल खरेदी करता येतो. काही शेतकरी संघ वा गटही बाजार समित्यांच्या परवानगीने यार्डाच्या बाहेर शेतकी उत्पादन उपभोक्त्यांना विकू शकतात. पुणे जिल्ह्यात असे गट तयारही झाले आहेत व शेतमाल सरळ बाजार समित्यांच्या यार्डाबाहेर विकत आहेत. आता यात ऑनलाईन खरेदी-विक्रीची भर पडली आहे. यात शेतकर्‍यांना मंडीतील फी वगैरे द्यावी लागत नाही व किंमतही चांगली मिळते. महाराष्ट्रातील कृषी बाजार समित्यांच्या बंधनातून मुक्त होत जात आहे, हे यावरून स्पष्ट होते.

महाराष्ट्रातील कृषी उत्पन्न बाजार सुधारणा

 महाराष्ट्रात जवळपास बाजार समित्यांच्या मुख्य बाजारपेठा ३०७ व उप बाजारपेठा ५९७ आहेत. केंद्र सरकारने २००३ मध्ये एक सुधारित कृषी उत्पन्न बाजार (विकास आणि विनियमन) अधिनियम बनवले व त्यानुसार राज्यांना बदल करण्याचे सुचविले. महाराष्ट्राने २००५ मध्ये आपल्या १९६३ च्या कायद्यात त्यानुसार बदल केले. त्यात मुख्यत: शेतमालाची थेट खरेदी करण्याचे परवाने देणे (डायरेक्ट मार्केटिंग), पूर्ण राज्यभर खरेदी करण्याचे परवाने देणे (सिंगल मार्केट लायसन्स) व करारशेती वगैरेचा समावेश आहे. सप्टेंबर २०१८ पर्यंत असे ९४० परवाने देण्यात आले होते, ज्यात कॉर्पोरेट कंपन्यांची संख्या २९५ होती. ४६४ ‘एफपीओ’ व शेतकरी ग्रुप ३९ होते. व्यक्तींची संख्या ७० होती, तर सहकारी संस्था १६ होत्या. या सर्वांनी मिळून २,७९१ कोटी रुपयांचा व्यापार केला होता (३१ मार्च, २०१८). या परवानेधारकात ‘आयटीसी’ व ‘रिलायन्स’ आहेत. सप्टेंबर २०१८ पर्यंत ५० खासगी मार्केट स्थापन झाली होती व त्यांनी तीन हजार कोटी रुपयांचा व्यापार केला होता. २०१६ मध्ये हा कायदा पुन्हा बदलला व फळे व भाज्या बाजार समित्यांच्या यार्डाबाहेर विकण्याची परवानगीही दिली गेली. २०१८ मध्ये या कायद्यात बदल करून ई-व्यापाराला परवानगी दिली गेली, जेणेकरून केंद्राचा ’एअछअच’ अमलात आला. यात जवळपास २५ बाजार समित्या आपला व्यवहार करत होत्या.

 बाजार समित्यांची मर्यादा

१९७० ते १९९० या काळात बाजार समित्यांनी आपले वर्चस्व कायम केले व एक प्रकारची शेतमालाच्या बाजार व्यवस्थेत एकाधिकारशाही स्थापित केली. अपेक्षित होते की, या बाजार समित्या शेतकर्‍याला वजनाच्या, ग्रेडिंगच्या वगैरे सुविधा देतील व शेतकर्‍याला त्याच्या मालाला चांगला भाव मिळवून देतील व काही वाद झालाच तर शेतकर्‍यांची मदत करतील. पण, हळूहळू या समित्या राजकरणाचे अड्डे होत गेल्या. एक प्रकारची कडी झाली व एजंट, व्यापारी वगैरे नि एकमेकांच्या सहकार्याने शेतकर्‍यांचे शोषण सुरू केले. त्यातच मार्केट फी वगैरे वाढतच गेल्या व शेतकर्‍यांच्या खर्चात भर व उत्पन्नात घट होत गेली. यात शेतकर्‍यांच्या शेतमालाचा भाव ठरवण्याची पद्धतही स्पष्ट नव्हती व शेतकर्‍यांना आवश्यक त्या सोई-सुविधाही मिळत नव्हत्या. एका बाजूने शेतकर्‍यांना भाव मिळत नव्हता व बाहेर ‘प्रोसेसर’, ‘सुपर मार्केट’ वगैरे शेतमाल मिळत नाही म्हणून चिंतेत होते. यात सुधारणा होणे आवश्यक होते.

महाराष्ट्र नेत्यांचा कृषी बाजार सुधारणा विरोध न समजण्यासारखा...

केंद्राने जे तीन नवीन कायदे कृषी बाजार खुला करण्यासाठी केले, त्याला महाराष्ट्रातील सरकारी पक्षातील नेते विरोध करत आहेत. शरद पवार जे महाराष्ट्रातील बर्‍याच कृषी सुधारणांमध्ये सहभागी राहत आलेले आहेत, तेही या आंदोलनाला पाठिंबा देत आहेत. शेतकरी आंदोलनाचे नेते अडवणुकीची भूमिका घेत असून, सरसकट कायदा वापस घ्यावा, यासाठी अट्टहास धरताना दिसतात व महाराष्ट्रातील नेते त्याच्या आंदोलनाला चुकीचे ठरवित नाहीत, याचे आश्चर्य वाटल्याशिवाय राहत नाही. महाराष्ट्राने आजपर्यंत सर्वच सुधारणा आवश्यक मानल्या आहेत व महाराष्ट्रातील शेतकरी अशा सुधारणांचा लाभच घेत आला आहे. याच सुधारणा देशातील इतर शेतकर्‍यांनाही आवश्यक आहेत व तेथेही त्या अमलात आणल्या पाहिजेत, हे समजून घेणे गरजेचे आहे. त्यानेच नवीन सुधारणा व येणार्‍या सुधारणांची वाट मोकळी होईल व भारतीय कृषी क्षेत्र विकसित होऊन शेतकरी समृद्ध होईल, हे सर्वांनीच लक्षात ठेवले पाहिजे. यात महाराष्ट्राचा पुढाकार महत्त्वाचा असेल.