Modi-Xi 2nd Informal Summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who reached the heritage town of Mamallapuram ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping in a chopper, welcomed the leader at the monument called Arjuna's penance in the seaside town on Friday.

"I am delighted that President Xi Jinping and I are spending time in this commerce, spirituality and is now a popular tourist centre", PM Modi tweeted after dinner with Xi Jinping.

The Prime Minister and the Chinese President held informal talks on Friday as they took a walk around ancient monuments at the 1,400-year-old temple complex by the sea. At the temple complex, PM Modi and President Xi visited three monuments - Arjuna's Penance, Panch Ratha and the Shore Temple. They also watched a cultural programme before attending the dinner at the Shore Temple complex.

In Chennai for his second informal summit with PM Modi, President Xi Jinping opted to travel to Mamallapuram by road instead of a helicopter since Chinese leaders, as a matter of polity, shun travel by choppers. On his way to Mamallapuram, alone the picturesque East Coast Road, the Chinese leader was greeted with traditional music and folk artist, who performed at a number of locations to welcome Xi.

The Chinese President covered the 57 km journey to the seaside town from Chennai, where he is staying at the ITC Grand Chola (Guindy), by road travelling in a specially flown in Hongqi limousine. The "Hongqi" is a luxury Chinese car used by leaders of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) from the time of its founder Mao Zedong. In Chinese, "hongqi" means the red flag.

"The discussion stretched over 150 minutes and it was well beyond the planned time for conversation. The discussions were very open and cordial. This was quality time that the two leaders spent together one-on-one". Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said in a press briefing.

Xi's  visit to hold the second informal summit with PM Modi comes at a time when the ties between the two Asian countries were strained over India's decision to withdraw the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir.

Gokhale said both the sides had promised to work together so that radicalisation and terrorism did not affect the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies of the two nations.

The Chennai meet is the second edition of the informal summit.
A Reader

Collapse of Our Civilisation
Today, after a long pause. I want to inform you about two texts I wrote recently and posted on my blogsitc: (1) For quite some time now, we have been hearing of the danger of climate catastrophes, environmental collapse etc. Sincere scientists and radical environmentalists, even school children - organised in new movements called Extinction Rebellion. Fridays for Future, Sciencetists for Future etc. - are demonstrating for their demand that governments of the leading nations of the world take urgent and serious steps to contain the dangers. Otherwise, they fear, it would be too late and civilization itself may collapse.

I am one of those few who are rather pessimistic. I think it is already too late and that the current civilisation of ours cannot he saved.

Against this background, I was requested by the editor of an Indian political weekly to explain why I think so. The result is the essay entitled is Collapse of Our Civilisation Unavoidable?

(2) Neo-fascists of today are among those who deny that human activities are responsible for the undeniably accelerating global warming. They are posing a danger to the social, humanitarian, and cultural achievements of our current civilisation. Against this background, I recently read an excellent essay, in which the author Luis Gonzalex Reyes describes the factors that are contributing to their recent rise. In view of the subject's importance to our cause, I have posted, under the title Fascism's Recent Resurgence, the link to his essay and my comments pointing at a few deficiencies in his analysis and suggestions regarding our response to the phenomenon.

I hope you would be interested to read the two texts and consider them as deserving wide distribution among your political friends. With best wishes.
Saral Sarkar

Revamping Heavy Boots
The Army's top commanders will congregate in Kashmir next week for a conference that will see them discuss a raft of issues including the situation in Kashmir, emerging security challenges, the ongoing restructuring exercise, operational readiness and the scenario along the country's western and eastern borders, two officials familiar with the move said on Friday.

The Army Commander's conference, a biannual event, will be held in Delhi from October 14-19.

The apex level leadership of Indian Army will brainstorm on emerging security and administrative challenges and chart the future course for force, an army spokesperson said. "The conference facilitates conceptual level deliberations culminating in important policy decisions... Discussions on ongoing contemporary issues are also scheduled", he added.

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat will address the top Commanders of the opening day of the conference.

The Army is in the midst of a revamp that will bring about some far-reaching changes, including a troop cut, improved tooth-to-tail ratio, and several technological advancements.
A Reader

Back to Home Page

Vol. 52, No. 19, Nov 10 - 16, 2019