Iran has agreed to accept 45% of payment to oil export to India in rupees. BRICS members have agreed to accept each otherâ€™s currencies. India has an opportunity to make rupee a global currency.
On 22/3/2012 India voted against Sri Lanka in UNHRC, Geneva. Out of the 47 countries, 24 voted for the resolution, 15 against and 8 abstained. The resolution was moved by USA which has committed more war crimes than any other country in recent times. India was the only Asian country to vote against Sri Lanka. Russia, China, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Indonesia, Philippines, Cuba and some other countries voted against the resolution. India gave up its position of not voting in favour of any country specific resolution.
USA and EU want India to stop dealing with Iran. Sometime back Indiaâ€™s Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai visited USA. It is reported that American officials asked him why cannot India reduce its ties with Iran. He replied India imports oil from Iran, there are six million Indians in the Gulf region and Iran is the only land access to Afghanistan and hence difficult to stop reducing ties with Iran.
The reply should have been â€œWhy should India reduce its ties with Iran? India has its interests. Indiaâ€™s foreign policy will not be subservient to foreign policy of any other country.â€
Greece had protests over the years against austerity measures. Some protests were violent leading to death of people. European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund wanted Greek Parliament to pass a package of new austerity measures to lend 170 billion dollars to Greece. Greek Parliament obliged. Protests in Greece have turned more violent. Buildings are set on fire.
There is anger in UK over aid to India after India chose Rafale over Typhoon. The contract for 126 Rafale fighter jets is said to be worth $10-15 billion. British PM David Cameron said he would do everything to encourage India to reconsider its decision. UK has an economic crisis but gives Â£280 million per year to India. There was opposition before but International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell had justified the aid saying it was necessary to get contract for Typhoon. British newspapers have reported that the money does not reach the poor and is lost in corruption. Now that UK did not get the contract the British government finds it difficult to justify continuation of aid. Indian government says it does not need aid. British aid is â€œpeanutsâ€. UK cannot dictate terms to India and say do business only with us as India is a liberated country.
There is a debate on how to get back black money held abroad by Indians. Some want it to be declared a national asset. Some say it is red money acquired through crimes like drug trade. Some say there is more black money in India than abroad. The amount of black money is a conjecture. Some mention 25 lakh crore rupees. BJP blames Congress for not doing enough to get back black money and wants the names of 782 account holders given by France revealed. Congress blames BJP that it did nothing when it was in power. Some say getting money is more important than knowing names.
A Jewish group known as Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has objected to the title of a serial Hitler Didi on Zee TV. Some in India support them and say the channel should drop the title and find something else.
It seems there are two standards; one for Jews, one for others. When some people do something like books, cartoons, films, TV serials and paintings, that offends Christians, Hindus and Muslims these people speak freedom of speech and expression. They advocate tolerance and say freedom of speech and expression is meaningless if something that offends someone is excluded. When something offends Jews it must be banned. There is no discussion. There is no talk of freedom of speech and expression, tolerance and the right to offend.
When I first heard Mahmoud Ahmadinejad say in some European countries people can be put in jail for denying Holocaust I thought it was a joke. Later I came to know it was a fact and at least one author was jailed for his book on Holocaust. A journalist who covered White House since 1960 lost her accreditation because she said Jews in Israel and Palestine are outsiders and they should go back to where they came from like America, Russia, Poland and England.
According to UN the world population reached seven billion on 31/10/2011. How correct is UN is a separate issue as there is no round-the-clock monitoring of population all over the world.
Population growth is slowing down and world population is expected to stabilize when it reaches nine billion. However floods, earthquakes, cyclones and other natural calamities play a part. In some countries there has been decline over the years and they want to increase their population. Russia, Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, South Korea and Singapore want more people.
Petrol price has gone up once again. There is no good reason for the hike. It is a myth that oil marketing companies decide the hike. When there were elections in four states and one union territory petrol price did not go up. The hike happened after voting was over. That time LPG price also went up.
For centuries England followed the policy of balance of power. When there were wars in Europe it joined a side that was weak. It benefitted from that policy and became a world power.
It is time for India to follow the policy of balance of power. After the end of Warsaw Pact and disintegration of USSR, USA-led NATO has dominated the world. Russia is unlikely to be a superpower. Alcohol and abortions have weakened Russia. Countries attacked by USA or NATO are helpless. India can provide leadership to such countries. India has nothing to gain by supporting NATO except in Afghanistan. However NATO is fighting a losing war in Afghanistan and if NATO withdraws it is best for India not to get involved. It is unlikely that UN Security Council will be expanded soon and Indiaâ€™s chance of getting permanent membership of it is slim.