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India’s Show Of Strength

In the last few days, India has sent a strong message to international media and businesses that it should stay away from hurting its interests by indulging in petty propaganda or unfair trade practices.

Unfortunately, the Lutyens media has been busy with creating a wedge between Hindus and Muslims in the name of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Shaheen Bagh protests and JNU violence.

China Outwitted

India’s strong diplomatic relations with most of the countries has helped India get four of the five UNSC countries with veto power on its side, to thwart China’s third attempt to pressure the country into restoring the special status of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed prior to the abrogation of Article 370.

They said the issue of Kashmir did not need to be discussed at the UNSC and should instead be settled by India and Pakistan bilaterally.

China had pitched for closed-door UNSC meetings on Kashmir in August and December 2019 but was foiled by US, UK, France, and Russia, who wield veto power. They also asked Pakistan to avoid such global embarrassment by refraining from such acts in the future.

Pakistan earlier had suspended trade, diplomatic relations, and communication links, with India after its decision to abrogate Article 370.

India has played a very crucial role in dousing tensions between the US and Iran, which could have created economic havoc across the world.

Iran had launched missiles, in retaliation to US killing of its supreme military commander Qasem Soleimani, from its land on airbases of Iraq where US armed forces were stationed.

Malaysia Relents

Firstly, India forced Malayasia not to take retaliatory trade action against it over its boycott of palm oil purchases.

Earlier this month, India had stopped imports from Malaysia following Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s comments attacking India’s domestic policies.

Mahathir had criticised India’s Citizenship Amendment Act and Kashmir policy at the United Nations.  He had also refused to revoke permanent resident status for controversial Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, who faces charges of money-laundering and hate speeches back home.

Following these remarks, the Narendra Modi government curbed imports of palm oil from Malaysia, which is the largest supplier to India and the world’s second-biggest producer. Between January and November 2019, as per the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, India has imported about 42.7 lakh MT of palm oil from Malaysia.

With a huge challenge facing Malaysia following import curbs on palm oil, Mahathir said Malaysia will not take retaliatory trade action against India over its boycott of palm oil purchases because it is too small a country to take such action. “It is for us to find ways and means to overcome the problem,” he said.

Bezos Snubbed

The Indian government also showed Amazon and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos his place as Union Minister Piyush Goyal and Modi refused to meet him during his three-day India visit, amidst a vicious campaign launched by Washington Post against abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir and CAA.

Washington Post harbors a deep hatred for Modi and wrote baseless articles to malign India and his government.

Other than the hate-Modi stance of Washington Post, Amazon’s market practices are another factor that prompted Modi and Goyal not to meet Bezos.

The government and e-commerce players are at loggerheads over their malpractices such as deep discounting and tie-ups with preferred sellers on their platforms, besides making efforts to gain a backdoor entry into the multi-brand retail space.

Moreover, the government has initiated an inquiry into the working of Amazon and further snubbed Bezos by saying that the fresh one billion dollar investment in India is not doing a favor to India, but to reduce billion-dollar losses incurred by the company every year.

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