Indo-Bangladesh Border
A year ago on 7 September, 2022, a joint statement was released by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, where they expressed satisfaction on the matter that the number killings along the Indo-Bangladesh border had been reduced significantly. They also praised the border guards of both the countries for their efforts to stop smuggling and trafficking across the border. However, ironically after a few hours after the release of that statement, Minarul Islam, a minor Bangladeshi school student was shot dead at the Dainur border in South Dinajpur district by the Indian Border Security Force.

It has been a matter of disgrace that the number of killings perpetrated by the border guards at the Indo-Bangladesh border has drastically escalated this decade. The Manmohan Singh government in July 2011, made an effort to reduce border killings by introducing non-lethal weapons to the BSF patrolling at the border. With the Modi government taking charge in 2014, the decision was made to revert back to the use of lethal weapons by the BSF, which resulted in rampant killings at this border.

An estimated population of around 60 thousand families resides in West Bengal within the Indo-Bangladesh border fence. This population despite being bona fide citizens of India are living under constant threats, physical torture and degrading treatment from the border guards. Even after the joint statement issued by both the Prime Ministers last year there are reports of many incidents of killings by the border guards along with inhuman torture perpetrated by them, upon the residents of the Indo-Bangladesh border villages. Therefore, praising the border guards’ actions by the Prime Ministers either reflected their naivety on the issue or their political intention to subdue the illegal actions of the forces of these neighbouring countries.
Kirity Roy
Secretary, MASUM
ASM Nasiruddin Elan
Secretary, ADHIKAR

‘India’ and Jinnah
"Nationalists in Pakistan have long argued that Pakistan has rights on the name as it refers to Indus region in".
The government in India is set to change the name of the country from India to Bharat in an attempt to "decolonise" India.

It is to be noted that the Indian government has not made any official statement on changing the name of the country. The name Bharat has roots in Sanskrit.

India refers to Indus region, basin of mighty Indus River, spanning much of modern day Pakistan. Jinnah had objected to British India adopting "India" as its name for newly independent country and had suggested Hindustan or Bharat instead.

In 1947, a month after India's Independence, Muhammed Ali Jinnah had refused to accept an invitation from Louis Mountbatten to be the honorary president of an art exhibition because the invitation used India instead of Hindustan to refer to the country. “It is a pity that for some mysterious reason Hindustan has adopted the word ‘India’ which is certainly misleading and is intended to create confusion’’, Jinnah had then written to Mountbatten.

For one thing Indian rightwing has long detested name "India".

Meanwhile, former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan claimed that the original name of the country was "unquestionably" Bharat and it was the British that started calling it India.
South Asia Index

Summer 2023
The summer of 2023 was the hottest on record, according to data from the European Union Climate Change Service released on September 6.

The three-month period from June through August surpassed previous records by a large margin, with an average temperature of 16.8 degrees Celsius (62.2F)–0.66C above average.

Last month was the also the hottest August on record globally, the third straight month in a row to set such a record following the hottest ever June and July.

August is estimated to have been around 1.5 degrees Celsius hotter than the pre-industrial average for the 1850-1900 periods. Pursuing efforts to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius is a central pledge of the Paris international climate change agreement adopted by 196 countries in 2015.

July 2023 remains the hottest month ever recorded, while August's record makes the northern hemisphere's summer the hottest since records began in 1940.

"Global temperature records continue to tumble in 2023", Copernicus deputy head Samantha Burgess said.
"The scientific evidence is overwhelming; we will continue to see more climate records and more intense and frequent extreme weather events impacting society and ecosystems, until we stop emitting greenhouse gases”.

‘Bharat, not India’
Here some detest the word India as they were not part of the people who secured and built this nation, while their political cousins across the border are eying to grab the name. No wonder that the Pakistani rightwing was elated at the election success of Modi–who wouldn’t love the idea of someone else fulfilling one's desire of destroying their enemy country at no cost to themselves.
Faizi S

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Vol 56, No. 13, Sep 24 - 30, 2023