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Indian Express

22-November-2023

1) On our terms, in our time

Context:

  • India’s Quad partners—Australia, Japan, and the US are renewing high-level political engagement with China, raising concerns about how suitably Delhi is currently handling Beijing relations.
  • India’s position needs to be reevaluated in light of recent diplomatic encounters, such as Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s trip to China and US President Joe Biden’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
  • This is especially true in view of the ongoing military conflict in the Ladakh frontier. In light of the revived US-China interaction, this article examines two primary arguments that suggest India should change its current strategy: strategic worries about India’s standing in relation to China and tactical and diplomatic factors.

Diplomatic and Tactical Considerations: Quad Engagement vs. Independent Logic

The Quad’s Objectives and India’s Independence

  • According to one viewpoint, India shouldn’t be the sole member of the Quad that refuses to communicate with China.
  • This is refuted by the research, which claims that just because China is the Quad’s main priority, member states won’t all align their diplomacy with Beijing.
  • India’s distinct approach is justified by its autonomous logic, which is formed by its distinct geographical and geopolitical factors.
  • India has direct territorial disputes with China, unlike Australia and the US, which highlights the unique difficulties Delhi faces.

Military Dialogue and Economic Decoupling

  • Delhi’s attempt to negotiate the complex dynamics with China is reflected in its three-pronged strategy, which includes ongoing military talks, efforts to lessen economic interdependence with Beijing, and a pause on political engagement.
  • India is adamant on the relationship between the relationship and the border, even in the face of significant progress.
  • It emphasizes that the Ladakh conflict must be resolved before engaging in more extensive engagement.

Strategic Concerns: US-China Engagement and India’s Positioning

Shifts in US-China Dynamics and India’s Strategic Salience

  • Delhi’s attempt to negotiate the complex dynamics with China is reflected in its three-pronged strategy, which includes ongoing military talks, efforts to lessen economic interdependence with Beijing, and a pause on political engagement.
  • India is adamant on the relationship between the relationship and the border, even in the face of significant progress.
  • It emphasizes that the Ladakh conflict must be resolved before engaging in more extensive engagement.

Misreading the US-China Dynamic

  • The analysis issues a warning against misinterpreting the US-China dynamic. It draws attention to the fact that major breakthroughs from leader summits are seldom and underscores the necessity of reliable military agreements in order to restore peace along the disputed border.
  • It notes that US-China ties may shift, but cautions against hastily adjusting India’s strategy in light of ongoing diplomatic encounters.

Conclusion: Staying the Course for a Persuasive Approach

  • The conclusion highlights India’s growing comprehensive national power and highlights that the current level of animosity between Beijing and Washington is not necessarily sustainable.
  • It promotes a realpolitik strategy, asking Delhi to concentrate on seizing chances with the US and the West to quicken its ascent to prominence in the world political system.
  • According to the analysis, rather than hurriedly changing the conditions of engagement, India would be better off sticking with its current strategy toward China, which offers a greater possibility of convincing Beijing to reevaluate its policy toward India.

2) Another seat at the table

Context:

  • The article emphasizes the need for sensitivity and inclusiveness while highlighting the transgender community’s increasing acceptance in global society.
  • It recognizes the difficulties transgender people encounter, such as prejudice, societal stigma, and limited possibilities, and it highlights the global push for increased inclusion.
  • India is acknowledged for its efforts, especially after the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act was passed in 2019 and the NALSA ruling in 2014.

Inclusion in the Armed Forces: Unique Challenges and Opportunities

The Armed Forces and Societal Characteristics

  • The article discusses the possibility of transgender people joining the military while recognizing the special qualities of this organization.
  • The military, which is renowned for its order, comradery, and emphasis on trust and teamwork, reflects local social standards.
  • The author emphasizes the close ties that exist among members of the armed services and the significance of carefully considering every matter that may have an impact on these ties.

Collective Wisdom and Broad Principles

  • The article makes the suggestion that transgender troops could be accepted based on competency, education, and talents, drawing on the author’s nearly 40 years of military service.
  • It highlights the necessity of a gradual and measured rollout, reflecting social acceptance and keeping pace with the rate of inclusion in other domains.
  • The author emphasizes how crucial it is to incorporate senior officers’ combined knowledge while creating recommendations.

Implementation Strategy: Social Awareness and Careful Calibration

Social Awareness and Sensitization

  • The article suggests that the armed forces develop a social awareness plan in order to guarantee successful integration.
  • Through improved awareness and acceptance of the facts of past prejudice, this technique seeks to improve understanding among military personnel.
  • It is stressed that the organization’s attitude has to fundamentally shift, and that all levels need to have a roadmap for sensitization.

Learning from Previous Inclusions

  • The article refers to women’s admittance into the medical services of the military forces and argues that transgender workers in related sectors could act as trailblazers.
  • It promotes cautious selection and offers somewhat shielded appointments at first, maybe in peace stations’ service corps.
  • The article emphasizes the visibility and acceptability of transgender officers and their prospective role in senior staff postings.

Conclusion: Inclusive Dialogue and Transparent Consideration

  • The article ends by calling for extensive consultation and debate within the armed forces prior to enacting policies that would accommodate transgender personnel.
  • It is advised to uphold a culture of complete trust and include the transgender population in conversations regarding job opportunities.
  • The article highlights the need to foster an intellectual environment that fosters empathy as well as transparency and justice for this marginalized group in society.

 

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