IndiaPark. It has swings, nature trails, flowerbeds, sports
facilities and walking tracks. Everything is wonderful, except for one thing:
Kids don’t come to play there. This is because the park is mostly used by
senior citizens, whom the kids refer to as ‘uncles’.
Over a hundred uncles use the park for their
morning/evening walks, society meetings and yoga classes. Each uncle also
carries a stick, and uses it on the few kids who happen to venture into the
park. If a kid jumps too much, squeals in delight, climbs up a tree or plays
cricket, the uncles whack the kids. After all, the uncles feel, the park must
be kept in order. There is even a microphone system installed that warns kids
As expected, the kids soon abandon the park. They go
across town to ChinaPark,
where they are made to feel welcome. There are rules in that park too — kids
are told to keep the place clean and not hurt anyone. But apart from that, they
are encouraged to have fun. The only few kids who still use IndiaPark are those who have figured out how to manage the
uncles. Whenever they come to play, they bring treats for the uncles — a box of
sweets, cold drinks or newspapers. Uncles then leave them alone for a bit.
However, the number of kids doing this is small, as bribing uncles is not what
most good kids do. IndiaPark, hence, is mostly empty and under-utilized.
Then the uncles of IndiaPark start wondering why so few kids come to play there
while twenty times the number go to ChinaPark? Uncles have meetings, sticks kept in their lap, to
discuss the solution. They put up huge signs outside the park saying ‘Kids
Welcome’. However, nothing seems to change.
In the above story, replace uncles with the Indian
Government, kids with Foreign Direct Investors, fun with legitimate profit and IndiaPark with India. This sums up how we approach the global investor
community. We want them here, but we want to beat them with a stick and shout
at them the moment they start having some fun (or earn a reward, in terms of
This is why we have a long way to go to achieve the
PM’s ‘Make in India’ slogan. The hardest part in achieving this is not the manufacturing
infrastructure we need to set up; it is the ‘control freak’ mindset that exists
in our power corridors (or rather in any Indian entity with power).
So we say we will never use the retrospective tax
laws (which effectively allow the government to change tax laws for previous
years and take more money), but we don’t remove the law either. The uncles say,
‘We will keep the stick, but we will never use it’.
Well, maybe not today but what if another uncle comes
tomorrow? Are the rules going to depend on the uncle’s personality? We want
companies across the world to invest here, but the government places so many
controls and permissions that it effectively controls every business. We call
it free-market capitalism, but in reality it is state-controlled capitalism.
The only way the uncles will let you do business is if you keep giving them
enough treats. This is how India has been run since Independence, and that is why it is difficult to change the
The unfortunate part is this uncle-and-stick model
keeps the park empty. If investors don’t come, we don’t have jobs or growth.
Kids can play in other parks. Asian economies, Eastern Europe and Latin
America are all competing
for investor dollars and to be manufacturing hubs. The only way the investors
will come is if the rules are clear, simple and not
politician-personality-dependant — in spirit, writing and practice.
If we really want Make in India, the government has to let go. Keep business rules,
but according to international standards. Get the government out of business,
not just in terms of selling PSUs, but also having no arbitrary or
discretionary control over individual businesses. All this should be
personality-proof. The current FM may be investor friendly. The next one may not. If I have invested money in India, how can I be sure the new guy won’t come behind me
with a stick?
All these issues have to be addressed if we want
economic and jobs growth which, come to think of it, is what makes ‘acche din’
happen. Let go of the sticks uncles; let the kids come and play.
By Chetan Bhagat - 24 Aug 2014 – The Times of India
Chetan Bhagat is a bestselling
author and a popular newspaper columnist.
Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of
It is the result of long and patient effort in
self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a
more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.
A man becomes calm in the measure that he understands
himself as a thought-evolved being, for such knowledge necessitates the understanding
of others as the result of thought. As he develops a right understanding, and
sees more and more clearly the internal relations of things by the action of
cause and effect, he ceases to fuss and fume and worry and grieve, and
remains poised, steadfast, serene.
The calm man, having learned how to govern himself,
knows how to adapt himself to others; and they, in turn, reverence his spiritual
strength, and feel that they can learn of him and rely upon him. The more tranquil a man becomes, the greater
is his success, his influence, his power for good. Even the ordinary trader will find his
business prosperity increase as he develops a greater self-control and
equanimity, for people will always prefer to deal with a man whose demeanor is
The strong calm man is always loved and revered. He
is like a shade-giving tree in a thirsty land, or a sheltering rock in a storm.
Who does not love a tranquil heart, a sweet-tempered, balanced life? It does
not matter whether it rains or shines, or what changes come to those possessing
these blessings, for they are always sweet, serene, and calm. That exquisite
poise of character which we call serenity is the last lesson culture; it is the
flowering of life, the fruitage of the soul. It is precious as wisdom, more to
be desired than gold - yea, than even fine gold. How insignificant mere
money-seeking looks in comparison with a serene life - a life that dwells in
the ocean of Truth,
beneath the waves, beyond the reach of tempests, in the Eternal Calm!
"How many people we know who sour their lives,
who ruin all that is sweet and beautiful by explosive tempers, who destroy their
poise of character, and make bad blood! It
is a question whether the great majority of people do not ruin their lives and mar
their happiness by lack of self-control. How few people we meet in life who are
well-balanced, who have that exquisite poise which is characteristic of the
Yes, humanity surges with uncontrolled passion, is
tumultuous with ungoverned grief, is blown about by anxiety and doubt. Only the wise man, only he whose thoughts are
controlled and purified, makes the winds and the storms of the soul obey him.
Tempest-tossed souls, wherever ye may be, under
whatsoever conditions ye may live, know this - in the ocean of life the isles of
Blessedness are smiling, and sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming. Keep
your hand firmly upon the helm of thought.
In the bark of your soul reclines the commanding
Master; He does but sleep; wake Him.
Self-control is strength; Right Thought is mastery;
Calmness is power.
International law is the law governing relations
the benefits of international law?
Without it, there could be chaos. International law
sets up a framework based on States as the principal actors in the
international legal system, and it defines their legal responsibilities in
their conduct with each other, and, within State boundaries, with their
treatment of individuals.
Its domain encompasses human rights, disarmament,
international crime, refugees, migration, nationality problems, the treatment
of prisoners, the use of force, and the conduct of war, among others. It also
regulates the global commons, such as the environment, sustainable development,
international waters, outer space, global communications and world trade.
much conflict in the world, how can this really work?
International law does work, at times invisibly and
yet successfully. World trade and the global economy depend on it, as it regulates
the activities required to conduct business across borders, such as financial
transactions and transportation of goods.
There are treaties for roads, highways, railroads,
civil aviation, bodies of water and access to shipping for States that are landlocked.
And as new needs arise, whether to prevent or punish terrorist acts or to
regulate e-commerce, new treaties are being developed.
international treaty law impinge on a nation’s sovereignty?
To become party to a treaty, a State must express,
through a concrete act, its willingness to undertake the legal rights and
obligations contained in the treaty – it must “consent to be bound” by the
treaty. It can do this in various ways, defined by the terms of the relevant
How does a
state express its “consent to be bound”?
A State can express its consent to be bound by a
treaty in several ways, as specifically set out in the final clauses of the
relevant treaty. The most common ways are: definitive signature, ratification,
acceptance, approval, and accession.
The three terms ratification, acceptance and approval
all mean the same thing, particularly when used following “signature subject
to….” Member States may use one or another of these terms in their
documentation, but in international law they all mean the same thing – that the
State has agreed to become a party and thus be bound by the treaty upon its
entry into force.
Signing a treaty is one of the most common steps in
the process of becoming party to a treaty. However, simply signing a treaty
does not usually make a State a party, although in some cases, called
definitive signature, it might. A State does not take on any positive legal
obligations under the treaty upon signature.
Signing a treaty does, however, indicate the State’s intention
to take steps to express its consent to be bound by the treaty at a later date.
Signature also creates an obligation on a State, in the period between
signature and ratification, acceptance or approval, to refrain in good faith
from acts that would defeat the object and purpose of the treaty.
Multilateral treaties contain terms that indicate
where the treaty is to be available physically for signing and for what period
of time. Multilateral treaties often provide that they will be “open for signature”
only until a specified date, after which signature will no longer be possible.
Once a treaty is closed for signature, a State generally may become a party to
it by means of accession. Some multilateral treaties are open for signature
Most multilateral treaties on human rights issues
fall into this category, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms
of Discrimination against Women, 1979; the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, 1966; and the International Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Racial Discrimination, 1966.
There is no over-arching compulsory judicial system
or coercive penal system to address breaches of the provisions set out in
treaties or to settle disputes. That is not to say that there are no tribunals
in the international legal system.
For example, the Charter of the United Nations
established the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial organ of
the United Nations, as a means by which Member States may settle their disputes
peacefully, in accordance with international law. The Court can also give
advisory opinions on legal questions referred to it by duly authorized
international organs and agencies.
Member States of the United Nations, in cases to
which they are parties, are obliged to abide by the Court’s decisions. However,
before a case can go before the Court, a State must have accepted the
jurisdiction of the Court, either in general or in relation to a specific case.
A State that has not accepted the Court’s jurisdiction cannot be forced to
appear before the International Court of Justice.
States may also entrust the settlement of specific
disagreements to other international dispute resolution mechanisms established
by treaties such as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, the
Permanent Court of Arbitration and the dispute settlement bodies of the World
Trade Organization, among others.
Different treaties may also create different treaty
body regimes to encourage the parties to abide by their obligations and
undertake actions required for compliance.
For instance, the Human Rights Committee monitors the
implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination monitors implementation
of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination; and the Committee against Torture monitors implementation of
the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment.
The Security Council can also adopt, under Chapter VII, measures to enforce its decisions regarding threats to international
peace and security, breaches of the peace or acts of aggression. Such measures
may include sanctions or authorizing the use of force.
Addressing the nation from the iconic Red Fort on Independence Day, Prime
Minister Narendra Modi sought to invigorate the spirit of the nation with an
impassioned appeal to the people to rise above petty issues and move forward as
one unified unit.
He also laid
out the agenda of the government and its main goals.
Here are the top 10 quotes from
the PM's address.
1. I can promise you. If you work 12 hours, I will work for 13. If you work 14
hours, I will work for 15 hours. Why? Because I am not a pradhan mantri, but a
2. I am an outsider in New Delhi. I have stayed away from the elite in this city.
In the 2 months I have been here, I now have an insider view. I was astonished.
I saw many governments functioning within a government. One department is
fighting the other. So, we are trying to break this wall; we want to have one mission
and target: Take the nation forward.
3. I come from a poor family and I want the poor to get dignity. We want to
start a movement for a clean India. If we have to build a nation, let us start from
4. Be it caste or communal violence, they stall the growth of the nation. Let
us affirm that we will be free from these tensions.
5. Can someone
tell me, whatever we are doing, have we asked ourselves if our work has helped
the poor or come to benefit the nation in any way? We should come out of the
'Why should I care' attitude and dedicate ourselves to the nation's progress.
6. India used to be known as the land of snake charmers.
Today, our IT professionals have left the world spellbound.
ramparts of the Red Fort, I would like to call people of the world to 'come,
make in India'. I want to tell the global companies that we
have skill, talent and discipline... From electronics to electricals, from
chemicals to pharmaceuticals, come, make in India. Paper to plastic, automobiles to agricultural
products, come, make in India, from satellite to submarine, come, make in India. We have the capabilities. Come here and
manufacture in India. Sell the products anywhere in the world but
manufacture here... we have the power, come, I am inviting you.
8. The mantra
of our country's youth should be to at least make 1 product that we import.
Don't compromise in manufacturing; Stress on Zero defect, Zero effect (impact
of environment). Our manufacturing should have zero defects so that our
products should not be rejected in the global market. Besides, we should also
keep in mind that manufacturing should not have any negative impact on our
9. I want to
ask parents, when daughters turn 11 or 14, they keep a tab on their movements.
Have these parents ever asked their sons where they have been going, who they
have been meeting? Rapists are somebody's sons as well! Parents must take the
responsibility to ensure that their sons don't go the wrong direction.
10. India's sex ratio is 1000 boys for 940 girls. Who
creates this disparity? It isn't God. Don't fill your coffers by sacrificing
the mother's womb. People feel that sons will take care of them when they are
old. But I have seen aged parents in old-age homes. I have seen families where
one daughter serves parents more than five sons.
I am in total
agreement to the points raised by Sri Narendra Modi, and we, Indians, must
ensure that the ideals and principles thereof are adhered to for the welfare
and progress of the people of India, and India – Prathapan Gopalan – Prathap G., Sharjah,