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Friday, 18 April 2014

Essay on Piracy and anti-piracy

Piracy is a war-like act committed by private parties not affiliated with any government, especially by engaging in acts of robbery and/or criminal violence at sea. Although, the term can include acts committed in other major bodies of water or on a shore, it does not normally include crimes committed against persons travelling on the same vessel as the perpetrator. The term has also been used to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents. Piracy differs from privateering, which was a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors, authorized by their national authorities, until this form of commerce raiding was outlawed in the 19th century.
The acts of Piracy have risen in last few years, especially off the Somali coast. It has been a threat to international shipping and many international organizations, including the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), have expressed concern. Piracy has not only resulted in an increase in shipping costs, but it has also impeded the delivery of food aid shipments. Ninety percent of the WFP's shipments arrive by sea, and ships have required a military escort.
A UN report suggests that piracy off the coast of Somalia is caused by illegal fishing and the dumping of toxic waste in Somali waters by foreign vessels. These practices have severely constrained the ability of local fishermen to earn a living and have, thus, forced many to turn to pirating instead. This view has been supported by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) report of 2005 which states that, between 2003-2004, Somalia lost about $100 million in revenue due to illegal tuna and shrimp fishing in the country's exclusive economic zone by foreign trawlers.
In June 2010, allegations also arose suggesting that the European Union's operations in the waters of the Horn of Africa are actually a 'hidden mission' designed to protect European vessels that have been accused by both Somali seamen and international organizations of illegal fishing and toxic waste dumping.
Somali pirates have attacked dozens of vessels, but not all of them have resulted in a successful hijacking. In 2008, there were 111 attacks which included 42 successful hijackings. The rate of attacks increased in 2009 with the pirated increasing their range from the previously Gulf of Aden to as far south as off the coast of Kenya in the Indian Ocean. The change of range may be probably due to the establishment of a Maritime Security Patrol Area (MSPA) within the Gulf of Aden by Combined Task Force 150, a multinational coalition task force which took on the role of fighting Somali piracy in August 2008.
In India too, the increasing threat posed by piracy caused significant concerns since most of its shipping trade routes pass through the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy deployed a warship in the region on 23 October 2008. In response to the increased activity of the INS Tabar, India augmented its naval force in the Gulf of Aden by deploying the larger INS Mysore to patrol the area. At India's request, the government of Somalia added India to its list of states, including the US and France, who are permitted to enter its territorial waters, extending up to 12 nautical miles (22 km or 14 mi) from the coastline, in an effort to check piracy.
Russia and China have also joined international efforts to combat piracy. Russia chose to send more warships to combat piracy near Somalia, following the International Maritime Bureau terming the menace as having gone 'out of control'. In December 2008, China dispatched three warships—Haikou (171), Wuhan (169) and the supply ship Weishanhu—to the Gulf of Aden. A team of 16 Chinese Special Forces members from its Marine Corps armed with attack helicopters were on board. Since then, China has maintained a three-ship flotilla of two warships and one supply ship in the Gulf of Aden by assigning ships from the South Sea Fleet and/or East Sea Fleet to the Gulf of Aden on a three monthly basis.
It can be said that the military response to pirate attacks has brought about a rare show of unity by countries that are either openly hostile to each other, or at least wary of cooperation, military or otherwise. European naval vessels have operated against piracy either independently, or as part of CTF-150. Countries of the CTF-150 share information during the monthly Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (SHADE) meetings, a mechanism established in December 2008. As a result of increased piracy, the European Union (EU) has established Operation Atalanta, to co-ordinate the European naval response to piracy and to maintain international law in international waters in the region.
In 2009, Norway sent the frigate HNoMS Fridtjof Nansen (F310) to the coast of Somalia to fight piracy which joined EU's international naval force in August. Similarly, Australia pledged its support, re­directing Australian Warship, HMAS Warramunga (FFH 152) from duties in the Persian Gulf to assist in the fighting of Piracy. The South Korean navy sent the Chungmugong Yi Sun-sin class destroyer DDH 976 Munmu the Great to the coast of Somalia. The Cheonghae Unit task force was also deployed in Somalia under CTF 151. Bulgaria too joined the anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden by sending a frigate with a crew of 130 sailors.
In a highly unusual move, even Japan sent a naval task force to join international efforts to stop piracy of the coast of Somalia. The deployment was highly unusual, as Japan's non-aggressive Constitution specifies Japanese military forces can only be used for defensive purposes. The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) sent a fact-finding mission led by Gen Nakatani to the region prior to the deployment of the Murasame-class destroyer JDS DD-106 Samidare and the Takanami-c\ass destroyer JDS DD-113 Sazanami to the coast of Somalia. In their first mission, the Takanami-class destroyer JDS DD- 113 Sazanami was able to ward off pirates attempting to hijack a Singaporean cargo ship.
A maritime conference held in Mombasa discussed the rising concern of regional piracy with a view to give recommendations to regional and world governments to deal with the menace. The International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF) organized the regional African maritime unions' conference, the first of its kind in Africa. The regional Puntland government in northeastern Somalia has also committed itself to eradicating piracy, and begun construction on a naval base to facilitate the task. The US Government has changed its rules so that it is now 'best practice' for vessels to embark a team of private security guards. This has given birth to a new breed of private security companies such as Argos International, which provide training and protection for crew members and cargo.
In November 2008, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, a group of ship-owners representing 75 per cent of the world's independent tanker fleet, called on the United Nations to co­ordinate anti-piracy patrols, and suggested the possibility of a naval blockade of Somalia and monitoring all vessels leaving the country's coastline. It has also suggested that all home ports of Somali pirates be blockaded, or that ground forces be inserted in Somalia itself to destroy pirate bases. On 17 December 2008, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution allowing for the first time international land and sea occupations in the pursuit of pirates.
A Russian drafted resolution, Security Council Resolution 1918, adopted on 27 April 2010, called on all states to criminalize piracy and suggested the possibility of establishing a regional or international tribunal to prosecute suspected pirates.

Essay on the consequences of the Bhakti Movement

Medieval Bhakti Movement led to significant results. At a time when religious ideas tended to become dry, lifeless and static, rituals and ceremonies took the place of spiritual enlightenment, the teachings and personality of the saints galvanised the inert masses. First, the Bhakti Movement was a wide- spread movement and it covered the entire country. The main objective of Bhakti thinkers was to reform Hindu religion. It virtually created a revolution in Hindu society. Secondly, this movement broke the barriers of casteism. People began to realise that all are equal before God.
Thirdly, the Bhakti Movement tried to achieve two practical objects. The one that it tried to reform Hinduism by discarding image worship and the caste system. The other objective was to promote a feeling of brotherhood among Hindus and Muslims.
Fourthly, the preachers of the Bhakti Cult attempted to bridge the gulf between Hinduism and Islam. Fifthly, the Bhakti preachers restored the loyalty of low class Hindus to their religion by preaching equality of all men. Their strong protest against Brahmini calorthodoxy led to a major reform in Hindu society. The simple idea of the Bhakti Movement that God is kind to all devotees destroyed the basis of orthodox Hinduism.
Sixthly, the Bhakti Movement promoted tolerance and synthesis between Hinduism and Islam. Instead entering into conflict, with each other they tried to understand the philosophy of their respective religions, their ceremonies, and tried to ensure harmony. A new cult known as the Cult of Satya Pir appeared under the initiative of king Husain Shah of Jaunpur, and both sects started worshipping it and this paved the way for the liberal ideas of Akbar, the great Mughal emperor.
Seventhly, the Bhakti Movement made a great impact on vernacular literature and language. The Bhakti preachers used to preach in the language of ordinary people. So everywhere local languages began to develop. New devotional books were written in local languages, Kabir, Nanak in Hindi and Gurumukeri respectively, Sri Chaitanya in Bengali, thereby local languages were enriched. In Bengali the Chaitanya biographies like Chaitanya Charita Mrita, Chaitanya Bhagabata are very important works. Many Muslims writers translated Sanskrit works into regional languages like Marathi, Maithali and Braja Bhasi. One of the famous contributions of Bhakti movement during the medieval period in Orissa was the literature produced by the Pancha Sakhas.
The five associates i.e. Achyuta, Balarama, Jagannath, Yasobanta and Ananta created this new Oriya literature by absorbing the influence of medieval Vaishnavism and Bhakti Movement. Finally, Bhakti Movement by laying stress on the moral values of life not only improved the general character of the society as a whole but also changed Muslim rule in to a national Government under Akbar the Great.