Commencing on 22nd February, Russia launched a multipronged invasion of Ukraine. It has been dubbed the war for fossil fuel as it has heavily exposed the dependency of Europe on fuel imports from Russia and Ukraine. The conflict, now on its 6th month, has led to worldwide economic and geopolitical impacts.
Recently, this scribe observed a mother and child playing together at the Simra airport. The mother was talking to somebody on her mobile but while doing so she was also directing the camera of her mobile towards her toddler, who even without any instructions from the mother started posing for the picture. The mother then kept on shooting pictures and getting her toddler to keep posing. After a few minutes, the child got tired and started running away from the mother to start playing around the waiting room, but the mother kept following her and taking video shoots, probably to make a TikTok later.
If you happen to be offering a prayer to the deities in a temple during the month of Shrawan, you will find girls and women adorned in green and red. Green and red bangles clink together. And red and green shalwar, kurtha and sari wrap around a woman’s figure. It isn’t a coincidence. In Nepal, Shrawan is the month in which women worship Lord Shiva and add a touch of green to their wardrobe in hopes of appeasing the Lord Shiva. As such, Shrawan heralds the start of the festival season.
After the government’s announcement of the election date, all political parties started strengthening organisational capacity at the local, village, municipality, district and central levels to improve their chances of winning the elections. These parties will soon hold rounds of 'training and orientation' programmes for party workers and cadres to get them ready for electioneering as the November 20 (Ma
The world is now facing one of the grave environmental problems in plastic pollution. Plastics have become an integral part of human life since they were developed in the 1950s. They have many uses. They are flexible and hence can be moulded into different shapes. They are light in weight. They are resilient. And they are cheap. They produce a smaller carbon footprint than glass, paper or heavy metals do. T
In many African societies, sexual reproductive health issues remain a contentious topic – so it is also in Ghana. The situation is worse among males who are often unwilling to get involved in reproductive health issues of their partners due to social and cultural norms. Men are often brought up in a gender-stereotypical way which takes on negative and dangerous int
Loud and clear, the current big power race is for greater multilateralism enabling countries a fairer share in global decision making. Existing contradictions in the Quad community submit a case in point. A nation with a population of 14.5 billion and one of the largest military powers, India is a reviewing its bilateral and multilateral relations, in addition to its security strategies for appropriate preparedness. In this regard, suggestions floated by several Indian political and defence analysts who urge the Narendra Modi government to ensure that India does not become a pawn for proxy wars that other existing powers keenly pursue. In focus is the Quad comprising Australia, Japan, India and the United States. Basically an idea of the US to checkmate its nearest economic and military power, it has not made much headway simply because India has begun to sense that it would be the frontline partner exposed to China in the event of the worse of conflict. Should Quad be activated in a conflict with China, India would be exposed to the biggest risks among the grouping’s partners. Money and machine the others might provide just as they are supporting Ukraine since February, but India would be the one on the frontline facing the situation. Brunt-bearingThe equipment and military hardware coming from Quad partners would not enable India to wish away the inevitability of having to bear the brunt of the battle that could drag on for years. It is not for nothing that Australia declares that it is against war with China. Describing Quad as Washington’s desperate move “to contain China’s rise”, Sunil Sharan, writing in the Strategic Insights, does not mince words: “India must forthwith leave the Quad. Land battles will be entirely between India and China and not between the US and China or Japan.” Economists anticipate if India remains focused on growth, it will be the No. 3 economic power, next to China and the US within the next 15 years. Such projection would collapse if India were to be involved in any major war, especially with a superpower that is newly established. Editor-in-Chief of Freedom Gazette, Mohamed Zeeshan, too, finds India as “the odd one out on several critical geopolitical issues”, which might be the reason for India keeping away from its Quad partners. After all, New Delhi does not see eye to eye with the partners on several “critical geopolitical issues, including Myanmar, Ukraine, and North Korea”. During Quad ministerial meeting in Melbourne earlier this year, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar said India does not agree with Western sanctions on Myanmar, which neighbours both India and China. And Myanmar’s longstanding report with its neighbour China carries an important dimension to any military alliance designed by rivals within and outside the region. Unlike the rest of the Quad quartet, India has remained reticent on making any compelling comment on the Ukraine war. Jaishankar reacted strongly to sharp suggestions from the US not purchase Russian oil.India’s issue with China basically emanates from its border dispute in the northern region. It has distanced itself firmly away from the other partners’ positions on the Muslims in Xinjiang, the pro-change campaigners in Hong Kong and Beijing’s stance on Taiwan. Pragmatism plays a crucial role in matters of geo-political strategy, as underscored by the fact that India maintains an embassy in nuclear-power North Korea unlike the absence of the other three Quad members.M.K. Bhadrakumar, another noted Indian analyst, recommends: “India should quit Quad now!” He insists that “hedging between superpowers — United States, Russia and China — was never the smart thing to do”. India’s differences with China are basically confined to border dispute — something India has had with also a number of other neighbouring countries. Whereas Australia, Japan and the US do not share such concerns — away as they are thousands of miles away across vast oceans — India’s case is different. The US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan explicitly threatened China in an interview with CNN, a day before a meeting with China’s top diplomat and Politburo Member Yang Jiechi in Rome: “There will absolutely be consequences for large-scale sanctions’ evasion efforts or support to Russia. We will not allow that to go forward and allow there to be a lifeline to Russia from these economic sanctions from any country, anywhere in the world.”Practical planeSuch warning will wear off as far as India is concerned, considering that two-thirds of its weaponry come from Russia since some five decades. Even as the US-led European powers begin their strategies to contain China’s growth — military as well as economic — Russia and India are reviewing their relations since the early 1990s when the world was described as a unipolar one after the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. The oil price concessions that Moscow recently offered to New Delhi are a pointer to this. The world’s largest country that Russia is, and the two most-populous nations, China and India, find some areas of common interest. Their combined territorial reach, population size at 3.15 billion and economy — existing and potential — account for a staggering strength. To cap it, China shares long common borders with both India and Russia — an advantage the U.S., the United Kingdom, Australia and Japan, among others, do not have with one another. This, too, has prodded India to review and revise its role in Quad. The AUKUS partnership between Australia, the UK, and the US is apparently an outcome of the grouping’s search for an alliance more dependable than Quad in the Indo-Pacific region for common security interests. Some trust deficiency between India and the rest of Quad partners is obvious. India might not fill the intended bill and hence the more exclusive club. New Delhi realises the need to go for and deepen alliances that serve its interests best with minimal risks to its core interests. It needs to make choices without inordinate delay by weighing all aspects of existing conditions and their long-term implications in a world witnessing change in power equation from the West to the East. (Professor Kharel specialises in political communication.)
Some are sphinx like — half man and half animal. Some are hairy like orangutans. Some look clownish — small body size but big head and big belly. Some look transgendered in their outfits, for example a male politician is dressed up in a Sari and blouse, the other in a T-shirt and mini skirt. These are political cartoons. Cartoons are funny and satirical. Wilfrid Wood says, “Wonderful-looking people can be boring as hell. Mouldy old potatoes can have a lot going for them.”
Hand-washing is the second best way to prevent getting an infection. There is a need to increase awareness and understanding about the importance of washing hands with soap as an easy, effective, and affordable way to prevent diseases and save our lives. The habit of proper hand washing is directly linked to one’s health especially among school going children. Hands contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in several ways. Experts recommend that people wash their hands for a full 20 seconds to clean off bacteria. We can stop the spread of killer coronavirus by washing our hands properly.
It seems conflict, mutual accusation and eventual split are inherent in the communist and socialist movement since its inception. The First International, which was the common name of International Working Men’s Association, collapsed owing to the raging dispute between Karl Marx and Mikhail Bakunin. Their conflict was more ideological than personal though the issue of nationality had apparent role in driving a wedge between them. Marx suspected that Bakunin was a Russian agent working to subvert the international labour movement. He accused the leader of anarchists of being devoid of political theory while the latter called the former an ‘authoritarian.’ Marx stressed on organisation’s centralised structure, coherent ideology and workers’ participation in political struggle, which Bakunin rejected in favour of ‘libertarian socialism.’
Regular physical activity is one of the most important ways to improve health and wellbeing. Moderate level of physical activity has been shown to improve brain health, strengthen bones and muscles, help maintain weight and reduce the risk of many non-communicable diseases. It has been proven that many of the non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, stroke, heart diseases and numerous cancers can greatly be reduced with physical activity. However, there is less awareness among the general population on how damaging and expensive reduced physical activity can be.
As we catch one disease or the other, we have no option but to rush to hospital for treatment. Allopathic doctors and nurses are the ones who help us return from the jaws of death. Being life saviours, they must not be humiliated. Instead, they should be honoured and appreciated for their vital role in protecting us from different ailments. However, we are often taken aback when we find the same doctors and nurses working actively in one institution do not seriously commit to their duty in other hospitals. This issue must be brought to discussion.
The trajectory of Nepali politics is finding many voices. The teasing fracture in the establishment has made one side reap the political spoils as a winner while the other side the real loser of the political game. To treat democracy as a zero-sum game obviously devalues its beauty that offers the possibility of credible and constructive opposition assuming that it has a rich inventory of alternative policies. Zero-sum game turns opposition into an enemy having no stake for regime survival and no interest in cooperative action. Now Nepali political parties are torn between the constitutional status quo defended by the fractured establishment and those demanding change in institutions and political culture to make it attuned to transformation.