Kim Jong mocked Donald Trump as “mentally deranged”

North Korean leader Kim Jong mocked Donald Trump as “mentally deranged”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un mocked Donald Trump as “mentally deranged” — and warned he will make the US president “pay dearly” for threatening the destruction of his country at the United Nations.

Kim lashed out after Trump stunned the world on Tuesday when he used his maiden UN General Assembly speech to warn the North that Washington would “totally destroy” it if the US or its allies were attacked.
 Kim Jong
The bellicose speech came after months of escalating tensions over advances in the rogue weapons programme operated by Pyongyang, which has defied tough sanctions to launch its sixth and largest nuclear test and to fire a series of missiles over Japan.
“I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the US pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK,” Kim was quoted as saying by state news agency KCNA, referring to North Korea’s official name.
Kim, whom Trump belittles as “Rocket Man”, also questioned the sanity of the US leader, referring to the “mentally deranged behavior of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state”.
Isolated and impoverished, the North says it needs a nuclear deterrent to protect it from an aggressive US and the autocratic regime has made militarism a central part of its national ideology.
The statement stressed Kim was in no mood to change course. Trump’s remarks “have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last,” Kim added.
The angry response also came after the US yesterday sharply ramped up sanctions aimed at curtailing North Korea’s nuclear weapons drive, targeting the regime’s trading partners with a sweeping ban on business.
Trump unveiled the new measures as he met with the leaders of allies Japan and South Korea, even as key players China and Russia voiced unease with his more aggressive approach.
Pyongyang’s stated aim is to be able to target the US mainland and the nation has flaunted the advances in its weapons programme in recent weeks, with the September test of what it said was a miniaturised H-bomb capable of being loaded onto a rocket.
The country also tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July that appeared to bring much of the US mainland into range.
-22 September 2017 | AFP | Seoul

United States launches missile strike on Syria

United States launches missile strike on Syria 

The United States launched a targeted missile strike on Syria to “prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” President Donald Trump said on Thursday night. U.S. warships in the region launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on an airfield controlled by President Bashar al-Assad in the war-torn country.

File photograph of guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) conducting an operational tomahawk missile launchThe U.S action is in response to a chemical attack that killed at least 80 people, including children earlier this week in a rebel controlled area. The U.S has held Mr. Assad responsible for the attack, while the regime has denied responsibility. “Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered at this very barbaric attack. No child of god should ever suffer such horror,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump’s decision to conduct a military intervention in Syria marks a turnaround from his position during last year campaign and it won instant support from a cross section of commentators. The President’s decision is also a departure from his predecessor Barack Obama’s policy.

Tillerson blames Russia

The attack on Syria also eclipsed the ongoing debate in the U.S on alleged collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign officials and Russian agents, even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blamed Russia for failing to stop Mr. Assad’s use of chemical weapons. “Either Russia has been complicit or Russia has been simply incompetent in its ability to deliver on its end of that agreement [to remove all chemical weapons from the regime’s control]” he said.

“There were no discussions or prior contacts, nor had there been any since the attack with Moscow,” Mr. Tillerson told reporters in Florida. Mr. Trump, in a brief announcement, where he started his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said:

“On Tuesday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent. Tonight I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched. It is in vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.

“There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and ignored the urging of the UN Security Council. Numerous previous attempts at changing Assad’s behavior have all failed very dramatically. As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United States and its allies.

“Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syrian and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types. We asked for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world. We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who passed. And we hope as long as America stands for justice and peace and harmony will in the end prevail. Good night and God bless America and the entire world.”

Mr. Tillerson said the Syrian regime had agreed to surrender its chemical weapons under the supervision of the Russian government. “…the U.S. and the Russian government entered into agreements whereby Russia would locate these weapons, secure these weapons and destroy these weapons. They would act as the guarantor that these weapons would no longer be present in Syria,” he said. “Clearly Russia has failed in its responsibility,”

“It is important to recognize that as Assad has continued to use chemical weapons in these attacks with no response, with no response from the international community, he, in effect, is normalizing the use of chemical weapons, which may then be adopted by others. Therefore, it’s important that some action be taken on behalf of the international community to make clear that these chemical weapons continue to be a violation of international norms,” Mr. Tillerson said.

Critics laud military action

Two of Mr. Trump’s staunchest critics within the Republican Party, Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham lauded the military action. “Acting on the orders of their commander-in-chief, they have sent an important message the United States will no longer stand idly by as Assad, aided and abetted by Putin’s Russia, slaughters innocent Syrians with chemical weapons and barrel bombs,” they said in a joint statement.


US gives list of 271 ‘illegal’ Indians; India doesn’t accept

US gives list of 271 ‘illegal’ Indians; India doesn’t accept



The US has given a list of 271 people claiming they were illegal migrants from India, but the government has not accepted it and would allow their deportation only after proper verification, union minister Sushma Swaraj said today.

“We have not accepted this list and have sought more details. We have said that it is only after we verify the details, can we issue an emergency certificate for their deportation,” the External Affairs Minister said.

Addressing concerns by members during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, she said it would not be correct to say that there has been a change in the US policies after the Trump administration has come to power.

Several members expressed concern over the effects of the steps being taken by the Donald Trump administration on Indian citizens including skilled professionals living there.

 Referring to skilled workers, Swaraj said regarding H1B and L1 visas for professionals, four bills have come to the US Congress but they have not been passed.She said the government was engaging with the US at the highest level to ensure that the interests of Indian people or the IT industry are not affected.

“We are conveying to them that IT professionals are not stealing jobs but contributing to the US economy and making it stronger,” the Minister said.

Anand Sharma (Cong), while greeting Swaraj on her recovery after having been unwell, said it is important that skilled professionals are not confused with illegal migrants.

Swaraj said she had earlier stated that some Bills have been moved in the US, but the government was taking steps so that they are not passed in such a form. She said the Foreign Secretary had met US Congress members who had been all praise for Indians.

Even in 2012, a figure had come that 11.43 migrants lived there, of whom 2.60 lakh were Indians. “We did not accept the figure because it cannot be considered authentic without thorough verification,” she said.

She said “there are no authentic figures on the number of undocumented Indian immigrants in the US”, adding that the government provided travel documents only after the concerned person was conclusively identified as Indian.

“In case we don’t provide travel documents, they would be jailed,” Swaraj said, adding that from 2014 till date, 576 people have been provided travel documents.

Responding to questions on social security, she said these issues have been raised in the past and can be taken up again later “as you say right now a sword is hanging on jobs”.

On H1B visas, she said there have been “flip-flops” in the past and the number of these visas rose from 65,000 to 1.95 lakh and then again went down to 65,000. “It is not that all these changes have happened only after the Trump administration has taken over,” she said.

-March 23, 2017, New Delhi

Trump admin has very positive view of Indo-US ties

Donald Trump admin has very positive view of Indo-US ties: S Jaishankar

s jaishankar

Trump Admin has a “very positive view” of the Indo-US relationship and a lot of interest in taking the ties forward, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said today after his wide-ranging talks with senior Cabinet members and top officials here.

“Optimistic” about the continuation of the upward trajectory of the bilateral relationship, Jaishankar told Indian reporters here that the India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue, which was started under the previous Obama administration, would be held later this year.

Dates were being worked out for the India visit of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to hold the first India US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue under the Trump administration.

“Overall, (the) sense was that the Administration has a very positive view of the relationship, positive view of India,” said Jaishankar, who along with Commerce Secretary Rita Teotia, is on a visit here to engage with the new Trump administration.

“We saw a lot of goodwill and a lot of interest in taking the relationship forward,” he said.

Jaishankar, during his visit, held a number of key meetings here, including with Secretary of State Tillerson, Commerce Secretary Ross, Secretary of Homeland Security Gen (retd) John Kelly, National Security Advisor R McMaster, and Deputy Assistant to the President, Ken Juster.

The visiting Indian officials, accompanied by the Indian Ambassador to the US, Navtej Sarna, also met the top leadership of the US Congress, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and his House counterpart Congressman Ed Royce.

They also met Senator Mark Warner, Co-Chair of the Senate India caucus, and Co-Chairs of India Caucus in the House Congressman George Holding and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard.

Jaishankar and Teotia, during their visit, interacted with US businesses through the US India Business Council.

“The (US) Congress has been extraordinarily supportive of the growth of this relationship. Since there has been a change in the political landscape, we thought engaging them was something which was important,” Jaishankar said.

“Broadly with the (US) administration, we explained to them the progress that the India US relation has made in the last many years. So it was a full spectrum (of) discussions,” he said.

With Tillerson, Jaishankar discussed bilateral strategic relationship as well as the situation in Afghanistan and the Asia Pacific region.

Discussions with Secretary Ross were more focused on bilateral trade and economic cooperation, and with the Homeland Secretary, to some extent, issues related to immigration and also welfare of the Indians and Indian American community in the US were discussed.

Jaishankar’s discussions with the Homeland Secretary assume significance in the backdrop of the death of Indian engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in a shooting by an American navy veteran.

Another Indian man Alok Madasani was critically injured while an American, who tried to intervene during the shooting, also sustained injuries.

“Yes, we have a strong sense of optimism. I think, the current Administration has a very strong sense of optimism about the relationship,” Jaishankar said in response to a question.

Ross’ own business experience with India has been very positive, he said.

“What we heard across the board in the Administration, whether it was business, security, defence cooperation, whether our engagement in the region or working together on international issues, overall a very positive sense of India as a partner,” he said.

“Also, a lot of respect for the economic changes which have taken place in India. An acknowledgement that there has been a very robust growth and that this has made India a particularly attractive partner. So a lot of appetite for working on economic cooperation,” Jaishankar said.

Referring to the last three US administrations, the Foreign Secretary said all of them were significantly different from the other.

“And yet, India-US relations with each administration actually grew to a higher level. The sense is, this is a good relationship that this administration is inheriting. India is seen as a good solid economic partner, a country with which it has a strong security and foreign policy convergences,” Jaishankar said.

“At the same time given the fact that the Trump administration looks at the world quite differently than its predecessor, we need to absorb that and adapt to it and look at new possibilities of cooperation. Certainly, the sense was that we would like to do more with India,” he said.

Responding to a question on Trump administration’s policy with regard to China and Pakistan, the Foreign Secretary said they did discuss the global strategic landscape and exchanged ideas.

“In the meetings with the Secretary of State and the National Security Advisor, we discussed Asia Pacific, we discussed Afghanistan, we discussed the challenge of terrorism,” he said.
Jaishankar said he got the impression that the current administration was envisaging expanding their discussion with India in a number of areas.

“At this time, a lot of it was conceptual. When we have ministerial visits then people would deal with it in greater detail,” he said, adding that on the economic side there was great interest in growing trade, increasing investment and in finding various ways of cooperating with each other.

Teotia said the plans being announced by Trump presents an opportunity for Indian companies in the US.

“Our investment into the US gas (has) been growing,” she said.

The growth in American economy would present more opportunities to Indian companies, she asserted.

“At the same time, we felt through all interactions that there is an appreciation of the acceleration of reforms in India,” she added.

Responding to questions, Teotia said there was no specific suggestion on a free trade agreement with India.

“At this moment, I think, the focus of the administration would be in immediate neighbourhood, NAFTA. At this point of time (there was) no such suggestion,” she said responding to a question on a possible bilateral free trade agreement between India and the United States.

Teotia acknowledged that there was a mention of the hefty import duty in India on Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

“Just an enquiry. We too are informed that Harley Davidson has set up its own plant in India already. It`s their first plant in Asia and they service much of Asia from this place. As of now, we do not think it’s an issue,” she said.

Jaishankar said he does not see any contradiction between Make in India and Hire America and Buy America.

“If there is a more robust growth in America, I don’t see how it is to the detriment of India. In fact, it can offer opportunity. We heard a sense of appreciation today that American companies are investing more strongly in India as well as an invitation to Indian companies to come and invest here,” he said.

-March 4, 2017, Washington


Indian origin businessman shot dead in Lancaster, US

Days after Kansas shooting, Indian-origin businessman shot dead in Lancaster, US

indian business man

 Indian origin businessman shot dead in Lancaster, US

On Thursday night, Harnish Patel, 43, had closed his convenience store in Lancaster County, South Carolina, at 11.24 pm and barely 10 minutes later, he was shot dead outside his house, a media report said. The store is about 6 km from his house.

The incident took place two days after US President Donald Trump denounced the killing of Srinivas Kuchibhotla in Kansas on February 22 and said the country “stands united in condemning hate and evil”.

Local officials in Lancaster, however, did not believe that Patel`s killing was a bias crime as investigations are on, The Herald reported

County Sheriff Barry Faile said on Friday that the Indian ethnicity of Patel does not appear to be a factor in the crime.

“I don’t have any reason to believe that this was racially motivated,” Faile said

In the February 22 Kansas killing, Kuchibhotla was shot dead by a man screaming, “Get out of my country”.

Another Indian Alok Madasani, who was with the victim at a bar, and an American, Ian Grillot, who tried to stop the shooting, were also shot and injured.

Adam Purinton, a white and a former Navy SEAL was arrested and charged with murder. He had reportedly said that he had shot two Iranians after shooting the Indians.

The hate crime was condemned by leaders in both the US and India.

In his State of the Union address to the joint session of the Congress on February 28, Trump said: “Last week`s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

Local WSOCTV said that in Lancaster there was a lot of anger over the killing of Patel, who was considered an important member of the community and a kind person who treated his customers as friends and helped law enforcement.

His store was close to the Sheriff`s office and deputies often frequented the store.

Faile said on TV that Patel was a “great family man” and a friend.

The station said that Patel was survived by his wife and child in elementary school, who were at home when he was killed.

People had created an impromptu shrine outside Patel`s Speed Mart store by leaving balloons and flowers in his memory, the station said. A sign on door read, “Store closed for few days because of family emergency. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

A tearful customer, Nicole Jones, told the station that when someone didn`t have money, Patel gave them food. “I would have no idea who would do this to him as good as he is to everybody,” she said.

A store employee, Keira Baskin, said that he only wanted the best for his employees and his family.

On Thursday night, a woman called the police and said that she heard screaming and gunshots and when sheriff`s deputies arrived there they found Patel dead from apparent gunshot wounds a few feet from his house, WBTV reported.

Police found two shell casings at the crime scene. A police dog could not pick up any scent to follow from there, WSOCTV reported.




-March 4, 2017, New York





Trump’s immigration proposal could benefit Indians

Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration proposal could benefit Indians


Trump’s merit-based immigration proposal could benefit Indians

US President Donald Trump`s proposal for a merit-based immigration system has the potential to benefit Indians, a large number of whom have high levels of education and skills.

But this will ultimately depend on the finer details of how the proposal is implemented.

In his State of the Union Address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, Trump said the US should give out green cards using a merit-based system similar to those of Canada and Australia in place of its current “outdated” programme.

“Nations around the world, like Canada, Australia and many others — have a merit-based immigration system,” he said.

“It is a basic principle that those seeking to enter a country ought to be able to support themselves financially.”

By not following such a system, he said the US was “straining the very public resources that our poorest citizens rely upon.

“Switching away from this current system of lower-skilled immigration, and instead adopting a merit-based system, will have many benefits: it will save countless dollars, raise workers` wages, and help struggling families — including immigrant families — enter the middle class,” he said.

Trump did not make any mention of those working in the US on temporary professional work visas known as H-1B.

In earlier speeches, he had said that he would root out abuses in that visa category and restrict them if they were to throw Americans out of work.

Those who qualify for H1-B visas under more stringent conditions either imposed by the Trump Administration or by a bill introduced jointly by a Republican and a Democratic in Congress would likely have a leg up in the merit system.

Any drastic reform of the immigration process will be a difficult undertaking for Trump.

Trump did not spell out how the merit-based system would work.

On the face of it, Indians would make a good fit for a merit-based system going by the community`s current profile.

According to a report by the Pew Research Center, 70 percent of Indians in the US are college graduates.

The US Census Bureau reported that in 2013, the median household income for Indian families was over $100,000.

But there are other factors such as whether the current national quotas or limits on people from any country who could be admitted in a year are retained could ultimately determine how it plays out for Indians.

The proposal will have to clear many hurdles.

First of all, it will run into opposition mainly from the Democratic Party which would argue that it would not help the poor and the unskilled immigrate to the US and discriminate against immigrants from Latin American countries whom the party counts as a key part of its base.

A way out for Trump might be to barter the merit-based reform for allowing some illegal immigrants to stay on in the country.

In Canada, applicants for immigration are given points for different qualifications like education, skill levels, employability, language and family ties.

They would have to meet a minimum score to be allowed to immigrate.

Currently, the US immigration system restricts the number of people who can immigrate from each country to seven percent of the total number allowed in except for immediate relatives of citizens.

This has led to several years` wait for Indians to get their green cards.

There is also an annual limit of 140,000 on employment-based green cards.

Because of the limits, most professionals from India have to wait as long as 12 years for a green card and those with “exceptional qualifications” nine years, according to the State Department visa availability data for March.

A merit-based system has the potential to cut down the wait.

How the reform would ultimately affect Indians could depend on how country limits and the cap on the number of employment visas are retained or handled and also on the retention of the immigration privileges for brothers and sisters of citizens and their families.

The reform may also affect the ability of brothers and sisters and elderly parents of citizens to immigrate if they are subjected to a points system.

“I believe that real and positive immigration reform is possible as long as we focus on the following goals: to improve jobs and wages for Americans, to strengthen our nation`s security, and to restore respect for our laws,” Trump said.

He appealed to the Democrats for bipartisan support for immigration reform.

“If we are guided by the well-being of American citizens, then I believe Republicans and Democrats can work together to achieve an outcome that has eluded our country for decades,” he said.

-March 1, 2017, New York


Trump’s immigration plan to impact 3 lac Indian-Americans

Trump’s immigration plans to impact 3 lakh Indian-Americans, EU ready to welcome more Indian skilled workers

Trump's immigration plans to impact 3 lakh Indian-Americans, EU ready to welcome more Indian skilled workers

Amid anxiety in India over the protectionist policies of Trump administration and possible clampdown on H1B visa, the European Union came openly expressing that it’s ready to accommodate more India-skilled IT professionals.

Nearly 300,000 Indian-Americans are likely to be impacted by the Trump administration’s sweeping plans that put the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation.

Pushing for deeper trade ties with India, a delegation of European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs also expressed “regret” over failure by both sides to resume the stalled dialogue to firm the long-pending EU-India trade and investment pact.

Criticising the new US government’s protectionist rhetoric which triggered fears in Europe as well, head of the delegation David McAllister said Europe is “open” for allowing more Indian professionals who are high on demand.

“Europe is open for people with high demand. Indian people are highly skilled. Our IT sector would not have been successful if we did not have skilled professionals from India,” he said.

Soon after taking over last month, Trump had decided to overhaul the work visa programmes like the H-1B and L1, a move that will adversely hit the lifeline of Indian tech firms and professional  in the US.

Pressing for early resumption of negotiations for the EU -India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA), McAllister said the delegation urged the Indian leaders to resume the talks as the pact will significantly boost two-way trade.

“We deeply regret that we are not being able to move ahead. We will use the visit to call for resumption of talks for the agreement,” he told reporters.

Donald Trump’s immigration blow

President Donald Trump has laid the groundwork for potentially deporting millions of undocumented immigrants by issuing new guidance that drastically broadens the ways in which federal immigration laws should be enforced.

“The Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement,” the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in an enforcement memo.

“Department personnel have full authority to arrest or apprehend an alien whom an immigration officer has probable cause to believe is in violation of the immigration laws,” it said.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued two enforcement memos, which among other things, tightens deportation of illegal immigrants.

The emphasis is on criminal aliens, though, but opens up the door for others too.

Indian-Americans as per unofficial figures account for nearly 300,000 illegal aliens.

According to the memo, the DHS Secretary has the authority to apply expedited removal provisions to aliens who have not been admitted or paroled into the US, who are inadmissible, and who have not been continuously physically present in the US for the two-year period immediately prior to the determination of their inadmissibility, so that such aliens are immediately removed unless the alien is an unaccompanied minor, intends to apply for asylum or has a fear of persecution or torture in their home country, or claims to have lawful immigration status.

The memorandum said when illegal aliens apprehended do not pose a risk of a subsequent illegal entry, returning them to the foreign contiguous territory from which they arrived, pending the outcome of removal proceedings, saves the government detention and adjudication resources for other priority aliens.

-February 22, 2017 | PTI | New Delhi


US should have ‘farsighted’ view on skilled professionals

H1-B visa row: US should have ‘farsighted’ view on movement of skilled professionals, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pressed the US to have a “balanced and farsighted perspective” on the movement of skilled professionals, remarks which came against the backdrop of the Trump Administration’s move to curb H1B visas that will hurt India.

H1-B visa row: US should have 'farsighted' view on movement of skilled professionals, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pressed the US to have a “balanced and farsighted perspective” on the movement of skilled professionals, remarks which came against the backdrop of the Trump Administration’s move to curb H1B visas that will hurt India.

He made the comment while receiving a 26-member bi- partisan US Congressional delegation here.

Welcoming the Congressional Representatives to India, he said their visit augurs a good start to bilateral exchanges following the change in the US Administration and Congress.

He recalled his positive conversation with President Donald Trump and the shared commitment to further strengthen ties that have grown deeper in the last two and a half years.

In this regard, he recognized Congress’ strong bipartisan support for the India-US partnership, a PMO statement said.

Modi shared his perspective on areas where both countries can work even more closely, including in facilitating greater people-to-people linkages that have over the years helped contribute to each other’s prosperity.

“In this context, the Prime Minister referred to the role of skilled Indian talent in enriching the American economy and society” and “urged developing a reflective, balanced and farsighted perspective on movement of skilled professionals,” the statement said.

Soon after taking over last month, Trump had decided to overhaul the work visa programmes like the H-1B and L1, a move that will adversely hit the lifeline of Indian tech firms and professionals in the US.

At present, 65,000 H1B visas are issued by the US every year and Indians account for a major chunk in it.

-February 21, 2017, New Delhi

Trump and the bigots of ‘liberal’ America-By Balbir Punj

Trump and the bigots of ‘liberal’ America

By Balbir Punj 

Trump assumed office following victory in an election held under an established procedure. A majority of the US electorate has endorsed his policies, but is it fair to pre-judge him even before he has settled into office?

Within two days of Donald Trump becoming the  45th President of the world’s leadership country, protests against him broke in over 600 cities across the globe. Most vocal and densest protesters are in the US itself and most of them claim to be ‘liberals’. They have no tolerance and patience for an individual who differs with them since he has been elected inspite of them.

TrumpTrump assumed office following victory in an election held under an established and accepted procedure. A majority of the US electorate has endorsed his policies, which obviously sound weird and outlandish to the established ruling elite. But is it fair or democratic to pre-judge and berate him even before he has settled into office?

Nearer home, we too have a similar experience. Self-proclaimed ‘liberal’ cabal and the Left pack have been on war against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for over a decade. Defying prophets of dooms, Modi not only won the 2014 Lok Sabha election hands down, but continues to hit the popularity charts (as the latest survey in a weekly magzine India Today show), as a successful leader with ever increasing mass support. His ideological foes have been reduced to stitching alliances to combat him.

But what about Trump? The new President of the world’s largest economy that also has high average per capita income ($15 trillion in GDP and $35,000 in per capita income roughly with no country coming even anywhere near both) is elected on a platform of turning back on globalisation. Trump is telling even his traditional allies to mind their business themselves, pay for their security themselves, it is now ‘America First’.

Jobs in America will be for only Americans. The Mexicans, hoping to sneak into next door US, will soon face a real concrete wall reminiscent of the hated Berlin Wall, the source of terrorism world-wide is one religion and we shall destroy the terror merchants and block anyone bearing the stamp of that religion from getting into the Trump territory etc.

Many analysts are warning the new President that his policies would only result in facilitating China to tighten its grip over Asian satellites and pursue its ‘Silk Road’ truly ‘One Belt, One Road’ under Chinese hegemony. Will economically strong and prosperous South Korea and Japan be forced to accept the leadership that China wants to impose on the vast conglomeration of Asian countries —the very thing American Presidents so far wanted to avoid? We have to wait for an answer.

Both US Presidents viz, GW Bush and Barack Obama sought to strengthen American presence in East and South and South-east Asia and the Pacific by building up regional powers like India and Indonesia, South Korea, Japan and underline Washington’s strong backing for weaker nations like Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia in standing up to China’s assertive power bullying.

The internal forces in Hong Kong for greater freedom from Chinese control are asserting themselves. The Chinese roughness is demonstrated in the country’s refusal to accept the international court’s rejection of its claims in the South China Sea islands and continuing to build new Air and Naval facilities there ignoring the claims of seven adjoining countries.

If Trump wants to withdraw from South-east Asia, South Korea and Japan at a time when nuclear and missile armed North Korean communist regime directly threatens Japan and South Korea, the entire balance of power in east Asia would be upset and China, of whom the rogue regime in North Korea is a cat’s paw, will become even more intransigent in disputes with its neighbours, especially our own. How Trump will deal with such a complicated situation with serious security implications, is yet to be seen.

It is to be hoped that President Trump not only says good things about India, as he did when he made a phone call to Prime Minister Modi the other day, but also endorses the policy of his predecessors in the strategic role of India in the emerging containment of China, and will be more innovative and aggressive in dealing with Pakistan where the civil society is in retreat and fundamental Islamic forces are calling the shots.

What ought to concern Asian policy-makers, more concerned about the uncertainties that Trump in America is reputed to bring about is the context, both global and local. Amidst these uncertainties — Thailand sees an era has ended with the passing away of a long reigning King and no possibility of the country’s military rulers vacating for a truly elected Government. In Burma, democracy has returned but Buddhist irredentism also with it creating an anti-minority stir.

There is an undercurrent of unrest in Indonesia also on communal lines, in Taiwan and South Korea ruling Presidents are under a cloud with popular demands for their resignation and in Japan all the formulas for lifting up of the economy simply are not working casting a shadow on Premier Shinzo Abe’s popularity.

Fortunately, India alone is now under a strong and stable leadership that has successfully worked out abiding relationship with a growth-oriented economic policy over riding all political differences internally. That New Delhi is widening and stregthening its say among West Asia’s rulers in Afghanistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel as well as Palestine despite these rulers themselves are having conflicting relationships among them assures a lead role for India to play within emerging Trump radical policy changes.

It was a UAE Prince who was India’s guest at the Republic Day function in New Delhi. The one exception to these concatenation of West Asian relationships is Pakistan where the power structure is an unstable triangular contest between the civilian power, the military and the clerics, each one of whom keeps several terrorist groups as their weapon against a relentless pursuit of destroying India as their sole purpose in life.

Even in a context where Pakistan’s trained and nurtured militancy everytime is poking Indian social and economic and political infrastructure to look for soft spots, the political leadership in New Delhi has signalled a total overhaul and cleansing the country through applying a surgical operation in the currency affecting almost everyone, speaks of political determination of a clear headed regime.

As we watch the headlines in newspapers every day, the comparative stability is a reassuring sign of hope. So far it was China continually overtaking China. Now international institutions are saying that India will remain a country with a potential to overtake China. Prime Minister Modi’s distracters are licking the dust. We will have to wait for a verdict in case of Trump, notwithstanding continued witch-hunting by his warped baiters.

(The writer is former Rajya Sabha member from the BJP and Delhi-based political and social analyst)

-30 January, 2017 | The Pioneer

Donald Trump sworn in as 45th President of United States

Donald Trump sworn in as 45th President of United States

Donald Trump was on 20 January, 2017 sworn in as the 45th President of the United States during a historic transfer of power. The Republican leader will succeed Democrat Barack Obama, who served two terms as president of the nation. In his swearing in speech, Donald Trump addressed the challenges ahead of him and vowed to get the job done as he thanked outgoing president Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for being “magnificent” during the presidential transition.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump reassured the citizens that he was going to get power back to the American people. He focused on the people and promised to get their wealth back. He claimed that the inauguration day was not just a transfer of power for him but a transfer of power to the people who have long borne the ills of the wealth and power being concentrated in Washington.

“We are not merely transferring power. We are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people. For too long, a small group has reaped the rewards while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished but the people did not share in its wealth. The establishment protected itself. There was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land; that all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment and it belongs to you and to everyone gathered here. This is your day,” he said.

Emphasising on people having the power while he is President, he said, “Our government is now controlled by the people. January 20, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. Forgotten men and women will no longer be forgotten.”

Reiterating his campaign stance, he vowed to ensure that jobs for Americans come before jobs for foreign nationals. “That is the past, now we are looking only to the future,” he said, adding, “From this day onward, it’s going to be only America first. Every decision will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

Addressing the “reasonable” demands of a “righteous” people, he also acknowledged that for many Americans the reality is different. He said that many are still living in poverty, factories have been shut amounting to lack of jobs, education system that is inaccessible to some and the young lives that have been robbed of opportunity due to drugs, gangs and crimes will all be taken care of in his regime, saying he will fight for them all with every breath in his body.

“I will fight for you with every breath in my body and will never ever let you down. America will start winning again like never before. We will follow two simple rules: Buy American and Hire American,” he said.

Trump also talked about the military and said they will no longer be protecting other people’s borders and lives and that the safety of Americans will come first. He also said that subsidies to other countries have helped make the world better but at the cost of America and that will stop with him.

“For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry. Subsidized the armies of other countries while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military. We’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend our own, and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength, and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world. But that is the past. And now we are looking only to the future,” he said.

He reinforced the importance of being loyal to the country and being patriotic, regardless of what colour they are. “It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag,” he said.

Addressing Radical Islamic Terrorism, he also vowed in his speech to eradicate is completely. “We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth,” he said.

He promised safety to Americans and said that if they all are united, America will be unstoppable. “At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America, and through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, “how good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable,” he said.

He ended his speech by summing up his speech by promising again full attention to the people, their hopes and dreams, their voice and hailing his campaign promise of making America great again.

“So to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, and from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams, will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. Together, We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Wealthy Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again. And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, God Bless You, And God Bless America,” he ended.

Hours before his swearing-in ceremony, Trump tweeted, “It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES – THE WORK BEGINS!” The President-elect also met outgoing President Barack Obama at the White House. Obama told Trump that it was good to see him. They exchanged pleasantries, and Melania Trump brought a gift for Michelle Obama.

–  New Delhi | January 21, 2017|