[Diplomacy] Syrian Unrest explained, Assad’s Friends and Foes, Kofi Anna’s Peace plan

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  1. What is the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims?
  2. Syria
  3. President Assad Family
  4. Syrian Unrest
  5. Who supports Assad and why?
  6. Who is against Assad and why?
  7. Reaction of the world
  8. Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria
  9. Houla massacre
  10. UN General Assembly
  11. India’s problem

At the heart of most Political unrests in Middle east, lies the Shia – Sunni conflict. So first question

What is the difference between Shia and Sunni Muslims?

  • Both Shia and Sunni agree on the fundamentals of Islam and share the same Holy Book (The Quran), but Differences originate from the question of who would succeed the Prophet Muhammad as leader of the Muslim community after his death.
SunniShia
They chose Abu Bakr, a close Companion of the Prophet Muhammad, as the Caliph (politico-social leader) of Muslim community.They wanted Prophet Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali to be appointed as Caliph (politico-social leader) of Muslim community.

Syria

syria map

  • Damascus =Syria’s capital
  • Aleppo =Syria’s largest city.

President Assad Family

  • Bashar al-Assad’s father ruled Syria for nearly 30 years and died in 2000.
  • From 2000 to this date, Bashar Al Assad is the President of Syria.
  • al-Assad family is Alawite, a small branch of Shia Muslims.
  • But nearly 75% of Syria’s population is Sunni Muslims.
  • Bashar has filled key positions in his government with either his family members or the Alawite Minority Muslims.
  • Combined with rampant corruption, inflation, unemployment, Syria was sitting on a volcano about to erupt.

Syrian Unrest

  • In January 2011, revolution in Tunisia marked the start of the so-called Arab Spring.
  • In March 2011, violence broke out in Daraa, Syria, after a group of children and teenagers were arrested for writing political graffiti. Dozens of people were killed when security forces cracked down on protesters.
  • Demonstrators soon called for al-Assad to leave office, following in the footsteps of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia’s Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.
  • Al-Assad promised to make changes, and he lifted the country’s state-of-emergency law, which for 48 years gave the regime the power to detain anyone without charge and hold them indefinitely.
  • But just four days after the emergency law was lifted in April 2011, the Syrian regime sent thousands of troops into Daraa for a wide-scale crackdown
  • Since then, the violence has only increased, spreading throughout the country and becoming a full-fledged civil war between the regime and an armed resistance. More than 10,000 citizen had been killed by Assad’s Military crackdown.

 

Who supports Assad and why?

WhoWhy they support Assad?
IranBecause ruled by Shia
HezbollahBecause it is a Shia Militant group cum Political party based in Lebanon.
RussiaHas a naval port and large diaspora. [we already discussed that in detail, earlier Click ME]
China
  • Has massive investments in Syria, in energy sector [oil,gas etc.].
  • Assad has given major defense contracts to China. [missile Development etc]
  • Chinese Government doesn’t want Chinese protestors to replay the same events at home, demanding freedom of speech and democracy.
  • It doesn’t want America to dominate over this region.

Who is against Assad and why?

Who?Why against Assad?
Junta of SyriaCommon sense.
Saudi Arabiabecause ruled by Sunnis.
BahrainSame as above.
USA
  • Syria has been actively supporting Hamas and Hezbollah while sharing a border with Israel.
  • If America could somehow install a friendly regime (new President), then it’d help it gain absolute hegemony (domination) over the Middle East and further isolate Iran.

Reaction of the world

  • United States and many of its Western allies have imposed economic sanctions against Syria, condemning al-Assad and demanding that he leave power.
  • But they have not persuaded the U.N. Security Council [UNSC] to do the same.
  • China and Russia — two of Syria’s commercial partners — have vetoed several proposed resolutions on Syria in the UNSC.
  • OIC has suspended Syria’s membership.
  • Saudi and Bahrain are providing weapons to the Syrian rebels.

Kofi Annan peace plan for Syria

  • Also known as six-point peace plan for Syria
  • February 2012, Kofi Annan was appointed as the joint U.N.-Arab League special envoy to Syria to settle down the Syrian crisis.
  • March 2012, he submitted  6-point peace plan to UN
  • According to this plan, Assad would ceasefire and withdraw the troops and crackdown. Then Government and rebels would do talks, negotiation, allow more Sunnis in parliament. Foreign Reporters would be allowed to do news-coverage etc.etc.etc. but it didn’t materialize because

Houla massacre

  • it is a region in Syria, where 100+ civilians were killed in May 2012.
  • Syrian government alleged that Al-Qaeda terrorist groups were responsible for the killings
  • while Houla residents and opposition groups allege Syrian military’s hand behind the incident.

Why Kofi Annan’s Mission failed?

  • After this Houla massacre, the Rebels started attacking Government establishments again, and thus providing convenient excuse to President Assad to continue mass-murdering innocent civilians, again.
  • Kofi got frustrated and resigned from the envoy job after working for around 6 months. [From February to August 2012] and he gave following reasons why he couldn’t solve Syrian crisis
  • 1. Syrian government’s intransigence [stubbornness]
  • 2. the growing militancy of Syrian rebels [as long as they use violence, Assad gets convinient excuse to use military]
  • 3. Divided Security Council [UNSC] that failed to forcefully back his effort. Since Kofi took on the job, Russia and China have twice used their veto power to block strong Western- and Arab-backed action against President Bashar Assad’s regime.
  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he accepted Kofi’s resignation with deep regret, adding that the he’ll search for successor to Kofi, who will stay on until Aug. 31. 2012

UN General Assembly

  • Has 193 members.
  • In August 2012, it passed the resolution that denounced Syria’s crackdown on its people and demanded that the country lockdown its chemical and biological weapons.
  • India abstained from this voting.

India’s problem

  • India needs Saudi Arab for energy security and for keeping pressure on Pakistan over Kashmir and terror issues.
  • At the same time, India can’t ignore the strategic significance of Iran for its regional policy towards Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia. [recall the Chahbahar port article.]
  • Overall, India has signaled its broad support for the Arab League and its positions on Syria.
  • But India is reluctant to back any externally induced regime change in Syria.

All of the articles on [Diplomacy] are archived at mrunal.org/diplomacy

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
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  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha

73 Comments on “[Diplomacy] Syrian Unrest explained, Assad’s Friends and Foes, Kofi Anna’s Peace plan”

  1. Are you guys waging a war against coaching institute- the explanation is simple yet authoritative!!!!!!!!

  2. well this is the 1st article in which i see Mr. Patel taking a complete one sided stand!!!!
    all the Hindu articles nowadays are showing a diff picture of USA using all ways, even joining alquada to bring down syria.
    and also turkey(an earlier ally of syria) is now against them
    and also the opposition demanding assad’s resignation is the Muslim bro-hood on exile…

    1. I don’t read the Hindu [or Frontline]. They might even hail Joseph Koni as a hero for USA is against him.

      1. That’s understandable. You never went past the Prelims (never gave Mains) and Hindu and Frontline are useful for Mains. People who have appeared for Mains/interview will understand the relevance of taking a middle approach more than you.

        1. I gave mains in 2009. and I don’t read Hindu/ frontline anymore because I’m not a UPSC aspirant.

        2. Such disdain and belittling surely gives a glimpse of your acumen and “middle approach” you are talking about. Somehow it compels to conclude that you are the type who easily get personal. What purpose does it serve on your part to represent “people who” are more enlightened.

          Don’t you know how to read between the lines, the article clearly states Who supports whom table.

          On the “relevance” part it is one thing to be spoon-fed and other to gobble up the spoon for future use, which I am afraid is painful, hazardous and counter-productive.

          No body here is interested in your supposed higher trajectory till you add some value to the topic and make it “understandable”

        3. Mr. Mrunal is a great mentor & taking a lots of burden himself to simplify things for the prospective officers and bureucrats. No matter what he is reading either ‘the hindu ‘ or ‘bhagvad gita’. Nothing is perfect in any way but we could make it better, whether it is biased or not . above comments from Rahul ,Abhishek and superman ashwini kumar are telling their frustration and their comments are telling a lot about them and in my opinion these people are not suitable for civil service . Only for these people UPSC had inducted ethics syllabus .

        4. SORRY SHAKTIMAN . PLEASE TELL MRUNAL AND ME HOW TO GIVE MAINS AND INTERVIEW.

    2. @ankur
      Even late Gaddafi(Lybia) claimed that it is not his people fighting but the al-quida,

      USA joining Al-quida to topple Assad is just a conjecture(can’t be verified) what can be verified is the ground situation in syria(civilian videos on you-tube, international media, economic situatin and overall regional quest for democratization),

      If Turkey(a former ally) deserts Syria it is only itself(Syria to blame)-a forign policy/diplomatic failure or can say a US diplomatic sucess….if US is involved behind turkey

      Muslim Brotherhood(Sunni in doctrine) has opposed the senior Assad’s govt since 1980’s(so they have smelled blood now)….so was USA behind that also…

      the development in Syria is following a pattern, say Libia,

      Democracy is the new religion now…….

    3. .. my god .. RUDEST comment ever … sorry dude , u sound like a loser we keep hearing about on mrunal.org. ever heard of a thing called humility ?

      besides,its very unbecoming of the office you are going to hold … if ever u hold that is…

  3. why are the comments showing a time 6 hrs behind IST???

    1. The server’s timezone might be set to GMT or something else.

  4. SIR, PLEASE TELL US ABOUT THE RUSSIAN INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN.

    THANKS

  5. Thank you sir!! Great job done!!

  6. many hindu editorials show assad in good light

  7. @Mrunal ,i see in the above map that the part of jammu & Kashmir is being shown as part of Pakistan.please rectify it.You r doing a great job.Keep it up.

      1. LoL!! You took out whole India itself!! :)

        1. hahaha yeah it’s hard to find “correct” maps on Google, so I improvised.

  8. The so-called Humanitarians of Democracy what did they do in Iraq,Afghanistan?Still many are dying everyday.Peace was not even established.
    The USA,UK humanitarians just sound Humane not their actions.No external force has the moral right to involve in the Internal affairs of any country..It was a clear fact that Al-Qaeda rebels are on rampage supported and aided by external agencies.
    Atleast what hapened to the wars of peace in Iraq..Millions have died.
    India took and commanding stand.It was our principle not to involve in the Internal boundaries of any country,atleast when our country’s interests are sweet.The only aim of the West is to topple the Government for its Oil and cementing its stand in the Arab World.
    What happens when the Rebels are on rampage??Though,Asad may step down..The new headcahe to World starts in the name of Talibans same in the case of their establishment by USA 2 decades ago against the Soviets..
    Is my view not right Sir????

    1. Yes u r right… the work of USA in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya has not produced the results they said. Even the militancy and insurgency in Mali (destruction of UNESCO heritage sites in Timbuktu) is blamed on terrorist (Ansar Dine) who got armed during the rebellion in Libya. Now they are using those arms to terrorize the neighboring countries.

  9. The so-called Humanitarians of Democracy what did they do in Iraq,Afghanistan?Still many are dying everyday.Peace was not even established.
    The USA,UK humanitarians just sound Humane not their actions.No external force has the moral right to involve in the Internal affairs of any country..It was a clear fact that Al-Qaeda rebels are on rampage supported and aided by external agencies.
    Atleast what hapened to the wars of peace in Iraq..Millions have died.
    India took an commanding stand.It was our principle not to involve in the Internal boundaries of any country,atleast when our country’s interests are sweet.The only aim of the West is to topple the Government for its Oil and cementing its stand in the Arab World.
    What happens when the Rebels are on rampage??Though,Asad may step down..The new headcahe to World starts in the name of the Rebels same in the case of Taliban establishment by USA 2 decades ago against the Soviets..
    Is my view not right Sir????

  10. I second Ankur ! The article is heavily skewed and imbalanced. Wont recommend any Civils aspirant to be content with this information. And as you(mrunal) have already stated that you don’t read Hindu, Im sure your are also not reading The Guardian, NYT or watching Al-Jazeera. And I say this, with all due respect to your good data-mining capabilities.

    1. your are also not reading The Guardian, NYT or watching Al-Jazeera.

      That’s right. I haven’t been following the Syria topic for long.
      So, do point out whatever is missing from the picture.

      1. @ Mrunal – Relax dude!!! Some people dont realise that this blog is a goodwill measure and not based on the coaching institute business model. They dont realise that you are making enormous effort for giving all the readers a handholding support.

        @ All readers – If anybody wishes to know more about any topic, please indulge yourself in some data mining from the internet/books resources at your disposal. And be thankful that Mrunal showed you the way!

        1. Bang On !

        2. Mrunal U Rock,”When the Mango Tree is having Mangoes ,More peoples will be ready to throw stones on It”.I have started an ardent follower of u and Missing u as my Teacher.All the best Mrunaal,God will Bless you..

    2. You are free to supplement the article, it only requires your effort, and it would rather be a better job than to criticize.

  11. thank you

  12. awesome mrunal sir,very unbaised writing……..

  13. I too agree with Partho.
    Some people on this earth just do not leave any opportunity to criticize others, rather than appreciating rest 99.99999999% good things !!

    It is really wonderful the way Mr. Mrunal is giving his best to help IAS aspirants without expecting anything in return.
    Very hard to find people like him in today’s world.

  14. OMG what all has happened here!! :-o !!! no offence intended bro…

    1. tht smiley is supposed to look like exclamation and not happiness….

      1. You too relax!!! Am sure Mrunal would have taken the criticism in a positive way!!! :)

  15. Guys u cant give biased answers in UPSC….as mrunal has given -ve side of assad regime… u complement it with the article given in HINDU….

    1. As far as I have learnt, we CAN give biased answers in UPSC, PROVIDED we supplement our answer with evidence and critical analysis.

  16. Hello Mrunal sir..

    I am following your articles for last 10 days only…and i am very much impressed with the depth of analysis and information in your articles.
    Please keep on the great work :-)

  17. @ankur & @ rahul

    if you are such a bond then you can start your own website and spit what ever you want to, But please dont criticize the man doing such a great job for us.

  18. Great Job Sir !!!

    But can you throw some light on the relation between rise in fuel prices in India and Middle East Uprising.

    Thanks

  19. thank u for such a wonderful article..

  20. All readers are requested (not very kindly) to indulge in creative and useful discussion, addition and comments.

    1. hey!! i second you!
      And yes we can write biased answers, Provided we have enough data/knowledge to support it. We must after all be decisive, that is what is required from a prudent officer! Quick decisions and right decisions, an officer cannot keep languishing about middle path!

      1. Exactly. Thanx

  21. I wasnt hoping it will go this far.. anyways, pardon me for my brief absence.

    First the small missing things.

    Who supports Assad and why?
    Who Why they support Assad?
    Iran -Because ruled by Shia. Not just that — 1. Nobody likes to install a rival government next door 2.Will deteriorate the trade balance sheet of Iran 3. Biggest thing – Syria is only the beginning, the major aim of west is to take down Iran which is the biggest rival player in region.
    Hezbollah -Because it is a Shia Militant group cum Political party based in Lebanon + reasons I mentioned in Iran case
    Russia -Has a naval port and large diaspora. + big arms supplier. (There’s another view that Russia ‘should’ like to support west coz it will help it gain ground in oil market)

    what is 6-point peace plan of Kofi Annan —
    chk this — http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/mar/21/syria-crisis-live-coverage

    India’s problem
    Something was missing here — 1.India do not support 3rd party interventions because India is afraid of the same in Kashmir and Red corridor
    2.Indian traditional stand is – People should bring change not any third party. This is the ”official” reason as stated by PM in march (I guess) and I believe answer should begin with this only.
    BUT – Indian soft power is its moral stand (as it seems to those who dont go deeper). It cannot dissolve this power anyhow and so the voting pattern in UNSC and UNGA

    The Positive things jinpe yahan hungama ho gya ! :D
    Like any totalitarian country, even in Syria there are 2 groups – Pro-assad and anti-assad. (same is in Russia and China. Reason is that some people do gain from dictators also ). Pro-assad group has brought out rallies as well. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/15/us-syria-idUSBRE8280G820120315 last para)
    In May Assad even won an election, which of course was rigged but question is how much – 100% ? Secondly, we MUST not impose our views as last judgement on anything as a would-be bureaucrat !
    Like in India, media of the west of also biased in ‘my opinion’ ! The only good newspapers I have read – The Economist, Hindu, Guradian – have taken a balanced view !

    Now for the raging debate —
    I strongly feel that as would-be-bearucrats, we are not supposed to take any stand or be biased. The job of a bureaucrat is to give policy advise — and NOT to pick the policy himself !!! Picking policy is the job is elected representatives. The distinction must be understood clearly. (Pub-ad people must be knowing already)

    If the debate fails to cease even now, I’d like to say 1 last thing – Facts must be unanimous, only opinion may differ.

    1. @Ashwani Kumar-
      1) if thje article mentions Shia-Sunni divide as main reason behind Iran support. I don’t think it’s flawed. This Shia-Sunni is actually a big thing- the prime mover, so it takes precedence over other things(India’s foreign policy. eds. by Sumit Ganguly,OUP)
      2.West as such is not a united entity(politically and some would also cast doubt over EU’s future.)to have any grand design(topple Syria) that easily. Didn’t France oppose Iraqi invasion. EU has Human rights at its core in its constitution. So If they are together on this issue-there must something real in Syria(Organised use of violence by state)
      3.Again, the article does mention India’s stand “India is reluctant to back any externally induced regime change in Syria.” Does it not mean non-intervention.Also, the OIC has already backed Pakistan demand on Kashmir. So why are we pally(read indifferent) with middle east. The logic is simple- we have compelling energy needs(C.Rajamohan in “Does the Elephant dance ” by David Malone,OUP)
      4.UNSC is not a forum for projection of soft power,rather it reflects hard military and economic capabilities.
      a)Russia as a general rule opposes US because of US activity in Georgia and newly independent states.
      b)China also never misses a chance to oppose US because of US policy of containment. And when it comes to Middle East they to are indifferent because of its compelling energy needs.
      c)morality as India’s soft power ingredient is a very risky proposition because we are known for Big Brother Syndrome in the Subcontinent(intervention in Sri Lanka,Creation of Bangladesh. Stars in this category would be tourism,art, composite culture, Indian novelists and Bollywood. Democratic value is core to our soft policy, we sympathize with it, though not explicitly.

      Isn’t this a dubious statement-In May Assad even won an election, which of course was rigged but question is how much – 100% ?
      Fairness of election is an either or scenario. Either it is fair or it is not fair.

      on a lighter note-

      To Hell with politicians, let the bureaucrats cook some policy, yeh public hai kuch nahi janti.

      1. @Ashwani Kumar-
        1) I am not discrediting this point. Totally valid. No issues :)

        2.I have yet not taken my own personal stand. I am stating what has been reported.

        3.Thank you for additions.

        4.Agree on UNSC et al

        Isn’t this a dubious statement-In May Assad even won an election, which of course was rigged but question is how much – 100% ?
        Fairness of election is an either or scenario. Either it is fair or it is not fair.
        What I meant was – are 100% votes are carousal or just 60% or so to turn the tables ? Assad did not win by a margin of 100%. And no there are no black or white, there are shades of grey.

        on a lighter note-
        To Hell with politicians, let the bureaucrats cook some policy, yeh public hai kuch nahi janti.

        State that lighter note to the interview board and let them decide objectively on your truthfulness and let us see what they think. They must sympathise – they are bureaucrats themselves ;)

  22. @ PArtho- sorry I forgot to see your earliest comments. I must mention that the last line in my 1st comment was targeted not @ Mrunal but @ you and the likes. Let’s be rational and not emotional and try to see things as that.

    About criticism — If you can’t criticize something then you better read the whole thing again. Even the greatest heroes like Einstein, Newton, Gandhi (Simon for pub.ad folks) et al were criticised. And that because accepting criticism is the 1st step towards improvement. I advise we all learn it very well. (and now if you are angry with this comment of mine, you’re still oblivious to the advantages of criticism)

    :)

    1. Thank you! :)
      Till now i had the impression that the exclusive right to criticise was with the privileged class of people who had done something better than the act they are criticising or at least had the potential to do better.
      Now i see, how wrong i was. I forgot India is the largest democracy with free speech as one of its basic structure. Every one has the right to complain. ( for some time we can afford to forget the restrictions put on our FR, which anyways many people overlook.)

      And i see your point that you have been gifted with third eye which most of us dont have.
      Lets not get personal over an article.

      But i have a humble submission which i hope you will appreciate is , There are positive ways of criticism too, rather than being blunt. for Ex. let me rephrase your ‘Criticism’, Which many people ‘like you’ are ‘oblivious’ to, You could have said ” Many people would not agree with this article as it shows only one side of the coin, As we are supposed to give a ‘balanced answer’ in the mains it would be for our good that we throw some light on the other side as well. Hence it would be better for us if we critically analyse what HINDU and other News papers have got to say.”

      i hope you take my Criticism as your ‘1st step’ to improvement!

  23. @Mr. Ashwani Kumar..
    Without being emotional and getting personal, and trying to be 100% rational..
    As you suggested earlier that this article is HEAVILY SKEWED ETC.., let me also suggest that one may consider this article to be incomplete, rathar than ‘imbalanced”. We are not required to learn any topic with its timeline! That way, we will be nowhere.. There are lot many topics for any civil aspirant to prepare, Syria is not the only one.
    You began with an advice for civil aspirants, you also need one: Everybody here knows or can manage to learn what to read. UPSC is about WHAT NOT TO READ. Else one may spent a lifetime reading less important events at the cost of more important ones, from exam point of view.

    Next comes such a great opinion of yours: everyone in India as well as in US are biased!!!!!!!!! Ofcourse except You and guardian etc. I have no comment for your opinion. But lolz.

    As you rightly stated the job of BUREAUCRAT, you are correct as far as policy implementation is concerned. But that’s not the only work of a bureaucrat. What about taking decisions at crucial times?

    About criticism: we are here to prepare for a difficult exam, not to become expert critics! That’s not a prescribed way of reading, at least not ours. Only that we are prepared to supplement our study with as many sources as possible.., and of course with due respect to our mentor.
    Facts must be unanimous, opinions will obviously differ., that’s what we are stressing. Good that you got it.

    1. Dear Doc !

      Thank you for the prescription :)

      You are opposed to my view of calling it imbalanced. Well, lets say there are two aspects of the Syrian issue – +ve and -ve. Mrunal forgets the +ve part. There’s only -ve part now. How do you wish to define it — as imbalanced or incomplete. Choice would be subjective and open to your discretion.

      Yes you are right. There are endless number of topic for GS. Weeding out unimportant one is the best way out. But would you like to be less informed on issue of Syria ? Again, choice would be subjective and open to you discretion.

      Next we come to your smile. Your smile might have got its way but I just had to save my emotions and do a google check “us bias media” – Look what I found – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bias_in_the_United_States I mean seriously, I wasnt hoping people would write books on this issue (and people like you would be so oblivious). Oh and btw, if you like to find more about Indian media – I have good info on my own blog – http://thy-rising.blogspot.com/2012/06/reporting-standards-iii-regulation-for.html and http://thy-rising.blogspot.com/2012/06/reporting-standards-of-times-of-india.html .

      What about taking decisions at crucial times? Thats a really good question. But would you like to take a decision with asymmetric information. I, in my capacity as a citizen, would never like such a bureaucrat.

      we are here not to become expert critics! Wow, are you serious ? Check out previous years questions – UPSC DO LIKE you to criticize policies, thoeries, models et al. Excuse me if you the type who would learn something only if something is in books.

      And I am getting a hell lot about the whole mentor and ideal-worship things here ! And I am not amused. Well, here a thing we study in public administration about civil society – they lack legitimacy ! I mean why are they doing thing for public for free ? What is their motive et al ? I am not saying this – the theorists are ! Now apply that to Mrunal – the mentor, if you understand what I mean or I ll explain if this comment gets passed through moderation(n people dont get it) ;)
      And this last thing goes out for Shilpa as well !

      1. The Links provided are informative, but no thanks, since gratitude least appeals you.
        Some people really donot come out of their pub ad theories, for the rest, the world has much more to cherish with humility

    2. “Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance.”

      1. Thanx Partho,You are right,, but too difficult for me to follow..

  24. ..and in the end, contrary to my hopes, the discussion proved futile ! There is a still a lot to say/understand but that will not help now since the walls of prejudice are already too high. I take it as my own weakness for not being able to make things more clearer !

    30 days left for mains now. See ya on the other side.

    Goodluck !

    :)

    1. would have liked to know what kind of end to this discussion, according to you, would have made it successful?

      Anyways, all the very best for mains…

      1. A kind of end where I would have gained something at least in knowledge and perspective. And sometime after I wrote that comment I did realise the gains – that I still lack the ability to debate objectively with ideal-worshipers (this is second time a debate has ended abruptly with me.. I ll need to improve). I know the word ideal or hero-worship sounds too derogatory but trust me.. I am trying to find a better one ! : )

        And to make it look not very selfish objective, the end should have incorporated some gain by you as well.

        But more than ends, the means could have been better. I mean instead of judging the person, I would have liked the ideas to be debated. Conflicts are inevitable in this world and they must not be avoided. They must be used to improve oneself – I sincerely believe. : )

        1. Touche! No doubt, Your beliefs and motives are good. I think we all need to work on our actions and means. True!
          Well what i realised was; One starts judging people who judge you. A consequence to ‘Hero worship’ was ‘Attitude without Gratitude’. I personally feel, there is no infallible theory to explain anything in this world. So we must not depend on theories, rather we must try to live life adventurously.

          This whole episode was definitely an adventure to me. :)

          1. hushsh…..!!
            :)

  25. this article is completely biased and so out of tone with the website. Syria was not sitting on a volcano about to erupt. It was doing well on many MDG indicators.It’s another classic case of western induced “internal disturbances” in the region.

  26. Thank u brother. U r doing a great job

  27. I really fail to understand why some guys are arguing like-biased.or why Mr Mrunal is not reading The Hindu or Frontline as far as i know UPSC has no where mentioned that ur answers shall include all points from hindu or any magazine and more over The hindu has a little left orientation.So if u dont agree with Mr Mrunal on some accounts keep it to urself and find ur own way to answer.But plz dont argue with some one who is already putting a lot of efforts to give us as much as information in a clear ,comprehensive manner

  28. Some people have his this habit of locking horns with other people without any reason.They Also keep looking for reasons to insult somebody.One thing i want to say is that Mr Mrunal deserve the accolade for the hard work he is doing.Well done Mate.

  29. thanks sir for such a mine of info which u provide . u have the nack of making the info pretty simple – the quality of a good teacher. thumbs down to all the losers criticizing u ( sp those reading NYT and watching al jazeera ha ha )

  30. thankyou very much sir for such lucid explanation….went through some criticising comments above….they even dont know how to criticise and type of words that should be used for it….they just cant digest the enormous love and affection that you receive from the followers of your blog, hence doing blah-blah-blah…..

    please ignore them and continue the holy work…its very-2 beneficial for the aspirants like us….thanks again..!!!

  31. I do not understand the criticism here.
    If you feel the articles posted here biased, do not read the blog. In any case you do not pay for it.
    Above all as an UPSC aspirant you are expected to read from a plethora of sources.
    This blog is just one of the source (and probably best by a margin).
    If you do not like go read something else, why criticise and discourage somebody who is helping others.
    And if you want to help others nobody is stopping you from writing your own blog.

  32. Aswani Kumar. Are you a bureaucrat yet? Eager to know. Because you seem to read only wikipedia and other sources which are available on the internet. I think an aspirant needs book and the basic knowledge can be supplemented with internet. You seem to have a superficial knowledge and act like a hollow pot which makes the loudest noise.

  33. Aswani Kumar. Are you a bureaucrat yet? Eager to know. Because you seem to read only wikipedia and other sources which are available on the internet. I think an aspirant needs book and the basic knowledge can be supplemented with internet. You seem to have a superficial knowledge and act like a hollow pot which makes the loudest noise.

  34. Thank you Mrunal Sir. Your Articles might have not yet updated to its last happenings about the topic. But the explanations are crystal clear with all the rationale explanations. Thank you again sir. May God bless you.

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