Ashwin Krishna 11, Vik.Samvat 2074, Yugabda 5119: 16 September 2017

1. FESTIVALS: Karva Chauth 2. FIJI: Devotees Gather To Mark End Of Days Of Prayer
3. Modi invokes Vivekananda to spread message of harmony 4.  SEWA VOLUNTEERS BRING SMILE ON THE FACE OF HURRICANE VICTIMS IN USA
5. Sewa International Takes on The Irma Challenge 6. 'Hinduness'  isn’t about what one wears or eats:  sarsanghchalak
7. FIJI NATIONAL HINDU YOUTH CONFERENCE 8. 150th birth anniversary of sister Nivedita
9. Need To Overhaul bharatiya Education System: Mohan Bhagwat 10.  Three-day RSS SamanvAya Baithak calls for an egalitarian society
11. Sangh Shiksha Varg 2017 12.  Guru tradition combines BHAKTI AND Shakti
13.  MARTYRS’ WIVES START NEW LIVES AS ARMY OFFICERS 14. Swayamsevaks take up flood relief works IN WEST BENGAL





1. FESTIVALS: Karva Chauth, the fourth day of Kartik Krishna Paksh corresponding to October 8 this year, is observed by married women with a fast from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and longevity of their husbands. The festival is celebrated by most Hindus all over Bharat and the world. While the women pass the day listening to mythological stories, as the sun sets; they wait anxiously for the moon to appear. When the moon is sighted, the terraces of houses are a spectacle in themselves. All the women who fasted during the day, after sighting and worshipping the moon, take the first bite of food for the day from their husband’s hand. This fast thus becomes a romantic festival, symbolizing love between husband and wife. It is believed that no other fast equals this where praying for longevity of husband is concerned. -GoTop


2. FIJI: Devotees Gather To Mark End Of Days Of Prayer: Ganesha Utsav is now an annual event in Fiji and the number of devotees taking part in the Ganesh Utsav throughout Fiji has continued to grow. Joining the Attorney-GeneralAiyaz Syed - Khaiyum at the festival was Minister for Local Government, Parveen Bala, and other dignitaries who participated in final prayer and BhagwanGanesh Puja on Ananta Chaturdashi, September 5.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum acknowledged the efforts of the Fiji Sevashram Sangha, which has been organising Ganesh Utsav the past 16 years. Since 2011, the Sangha's efforts and dedication has resulted in this auspicious event being celebrated nationwide with participants from all economic and all ethnic background all around Fiji.

"All religions and certainly Hinduism, emphasise the central importance of the caring for the needy andworshiping together as a family. The fact that you are here, young and old, together with family members and friends, shows us that if we are all united and continue to persevere for the good of all, then our nation will be united as Fijians regardless of our different religious or cultural backgrounds," he said. -GoTop


3. Modi invokes Vivekananda to spread message of harmony: Calling upon the youth to "let our creativity also strengthen our nation and fulfil the aspirations of our people," Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi on September 11 batted for innovation and promoting skills towards building a modern Bharat. He was addressing a students' convention to mark the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago and BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya's centenary celebrations on the theme- "Young India, New India" in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

Modi began by saying that the biggest takeaway from Swami Vivekananda's speech of September 11, 1893 was the message of love, harmony and universal brotherhood. He reminded the youth that public service is the highest service. "Swami Vivekananda said that only rituals will not connect an individual to divinity...," he said, adding "Jan Seva is Prabhu Seva". "More than being in search of a Guru, Swami Vivekananda was in search of the truth," said the PM. -GoTop


4.  SEWA VOLUNTEERS BRING SMILE ON THE FACE OF HURRICANE VICTIMS IN USA:  They stand for Selfless Efforts for Welfare of All (SEWA) and their efforts in the crisis during Hurricane Harvey proved this beyond doubt! Yes. The young volunteers of Sewa International, a not for profit charity in USA, committed as they are to serve the victims of the Hurricane, exhibited excellent spirit of selfless service and strong determination to help those even risking their own welfare.

"This is the spirit of service", says Arun Kankani, Executive VP of Sewa International in his email message. “Rescue and relief work done by team here, with minimum resources and no experience and expertise, is beyond my expectation and imagination. It is amazing. I think this is a great live example of how passion, perseverance, kindness, dedication and desire to serve can compensate for the skills and experience", Kankani adds.

Many international students from Bharat at the University of Houston have had their first-floor apartments completely flooded and they have had to move in with their friends on second and third floors.Sewa has rescued and relocated many such students. The Sewa volunteers handled 452 requests for rescue and relief received over phone, whatsapp, facebook and twitter. With a battery of over 500 volunteers they rescued 613 people including students, and senior citizens, and served 2500 meals in just two days. -GoTop


5. Sewa International Takes on The Irma Challenge: The "Monster" Hurricane Irma measuring 400 miles wide after wreaking a trail of death and destruction through the Caribbean, moved inwards into Florida prompting mandatory evacuation of over 6.8 Million people. Sewa International's chapters in Tampa and Atlanta swung into action as a precaution. "Sewa International's recent experience in rescue and relief in Hurricane Harvey where we rescued 687 people working has been key in fine tuning the plans to deal with Irma," said Swadesh Katoch, Sewa Director of Disaster Relief. Vishwanath Koppaka, Sewa's Coordinator of Hurricane Irma relief in Atlanta, explained "Sewa is leading a coalition of twenty temples, professional, linguistic and religious Bharatiya-American organizations in the Greater Atlanta region."

Together Sewa and partner organizations have provided shelter to over 2,000 families. A number of Bharatiya and Hispanic families have taken advantage of the service. Prof. Sree N. Sreenath, President of Sewa International visiting from Cleveland, OH  made a visit to the Hindu Temple of Atlanta and spoke to some of the displaced families personally.

"We commend the enlightened Board and the Executive Committee of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta who not only open the facilities, but also are providing fresh cooked healthy meals to the families. The folks are scared about what will happen to their homes, but are grateful to the larger Bharatiya community that has stepped up to receive them as guests." -GoTop


6. ‘Hinduness’  isn't about what one wears or eats:  sarsanghchalak: Hinduness is not about what one should wear or eat but accepting others as they are, RSS Sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat said on September 12 at Delhi. In a rare meeting, Bhagwat spoke to a group of ambassadors and diplomats from around 50 countries at an informal gathering organised by India Foundation. Shri Bhagwat spoke on the activities of the organisation, spoke at some length on "Hinduness", which he said accepted everyone, irrespective of what the person wore or ate.

Several questions were posed, including what kind of work RSS swayamsevaks do. Bhagwat replied that RSS was in the work of "man-making", and runs 1.7 lakh service projects in health, education, rural development. He invited the diplomats to visit RSS shakhas as well as the projects undertaken by RSS. Bhagwat told the gathering that RSS swayamsevaks were free to work anywhere, and were, in fact, also in other political parties. The session attended by large diplomatic community was part of a series called "Breakfast Briefings" hosted by India Foundation every month for diplomats and policy advisers in foreign missions. -GoTop


7. FIJI NATIONAL HINDU YOUTH CONFERENCE: The inaugural Fiji National Hindu Youth Conference was organized by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (Fiji) from August 5-6, 2017in Suva. The theme of the conference was "Dynamic Youths Fostering National Development". With development taking a center stage in the national affairs; it was only prudent to bestowsound recognition of this subject as the theme of the conference. The two-day conference congregated more than 200 delegates with 20 eminent speakers who deliberated on a range of issues impacting the Hindu community. The youth wing of VHP Fiji, the Hindu Youth Fiji (HYF), played a pivotal role in organizing this national summit with preparations commencing three months prior to the event. Chief-Guest at the Conference was the Bharatiya High Commissioner to Fiji Vishvas Sapkal. The Keynote Speaker of the conference was the National Federation Party Leader and Opposition Member of Parliament Prof. Biman Prasad.

The sessions saw some of the successful Hindu youths deliberating on their journey to the ladder of success and importantly how dharma had played a vital role in shaping their prosperous journeys. Another session comprised of representatives of Government agencies who outlined their roles and how youths could access their services. One of the resolutions of this Fiji National Hindu Conference was implementing the idea of networking between our respective Hindu denominations.  -GoTop


8. 150th birth anniversary of sister Nivedita: "Swami Vivekananda had brought Bhagini Nivedita to Bharat for generating awakening among women. She did the work with perfection which is still relevant. The granddaughter of Nivedita (granddaughter by relation with her sister) was surprised to see the impact of Nivedita in Bharat when she was in Kolkata this year to attend a function at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture. Nivedita sacrificed every drop of her blood for Bharat and for upliftment of the womenhood of Bharat," said Sanyasini Nirbhikprana, head of Ramakrishna Sharada Peeth of Dakshineshwar, Kolkata, while addressing a function organised to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Bhagini Nivedia on September 3. Around 2,000 women joined the function jointly organised by Bhagini Nivedita 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration Committee and Siliguri chapter of Vivekananda Kendra. -GoTop


9. Need To Overhaul bharatiya Education System: Mohan Bhagwat: RSS Sarsanghchalak  Mohan Bhagwat said that there is a need to overhaul the existing Bharatiyaeducation system on the lines of Finland, which is based on ancient Bharatiya Gurukul system.There is a "consensus in the society" that the education system needs to be revived, Bhagwat said at the launch of the Bhartiya Shiksha Granth Mala by Ahmedabad based think-tank Punarutthan Vidyapeeth in New Delhi. "Every time whenever there is a talk of progress or development, one looks at U.S. or U.K. On the other hand, in the area of education, Finland has the best school education system in the world, which is similar to ancient Bharatiya Gurukul system," said Bhagwat, and added that "Finland education system is vastly different from that of U.S., U.K. and other European countries". -GoTop


10.  Three-day RSS SamanvAya Baithak calls for an egalitarian society: The three-day Akhil Bharatiya Samanvya Baithak of RSS concluded on September 3 at Keshavdham, Vrindavan. Briefing media persons about the meeting, RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Dr Manmohan Vaidya said the heads of RSS inspired organisations exchanged their experiences during the meeting and discussed certain vital issues concerning the society. Dr Vaidya said the global scenario is fast changing and Asia and particularly Bharat are going to play a decisive and significant role in the world in coming days. He pointed out that the issues prominently discussed in the meeting included social harmony, Kutumba Prabodhan, need to generate awareness in border areas and also the economic challenges before the nation.

He said RSS is closely connected with the social life and works in various fields like education, health, self-reliance, arts, etc., through the swayamsevaks. He said the representatives of 35 Sangh inspired organisations attended the meeting. -GoTop


11. Sangh Shiksha Varg 2017: The SSV 2017 by HSS UK, a course to train the volunteers in shakha activities, concluded on 6th August with many achievements tomark its success on. A total of 177 shiksharthis, shikshaks andkaryakartas were present fulltime at the SSV.  Similar varg took place for sevikas also. Of the many distinguished visitors who graced SSVwas Lord Jitesh Gadhia who spent an afternoon observing SSV training and interacting with karyakartas. Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara also visited and addressed the whole of SSV.

The chief guest at the SSV Samarop was Acharya Vidyabhaskarji of Switzerland. Acharyaji is a scholar of Advaita/Advaya, Comparative Religion, Organisational Psychology. -GoTop


12.  Guru tradition combines BHAKTI AND Shakti: "Whenever the nation was in trouble, our great Gurus came forward with solutions. The Guru tradition has unique combination of bhakti and shakti. The Gurus have curbed the troubles in every segment of the society. Guru Govind Singh has immensely contributed in uniting the country," said RSS Sahsarkaryavah V Bhagaiah, while speaking at the 350th birth anniversary celebration function of Shri Guru Govind Singh at the Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya in Haridwar. Gayatri Parivar Pramuh Dr Pranav Pandya and Uttarakhand Mukhya Mantri Trivendra Singh Rawat were also present. Dr Pranav Pandya said there are three aspects of a great personality - saint, reformer and martyr. Guru Govind Singh was the combination of all of these three qualities.  He sacrificed his entire family for the nation. He declared to include the teachings of Shri Guru Govind Singh in his University syllabus. -GoTop


13.  MARTYRS' WIVES START NEW LIVES AS ARMY OFFICERS: After marching to 'Auld Lang Syne' at Chennai's Officers' Training Academy, 332 candidates broke ranks and hugged to celebrate becoming officers of the Bharatiya Army. Among them were Swati Mahadik, wife of Colonel Santosh Mahadik who died fighting terrorists in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir in November 2015, and Nidhi Misra, the widow of a naik who died in 2009. Both were commissioned as lieutenants in the ordnance wing.

After her husband died, Swati would look at his uniform hanging in the wardrobe. "That inspired me to join the Army," she said. "I trained on a par with gentlemen cadets. Everything was the same. So I am waiting for the Army to allow us to take up combat roles," added Swati.

The route to OTA was tougher for Nidhi Misra, whose husband, a naik, died of cardiac arrest in 2009. Nidhi, who holds an MBA, worked in an HR firm before teaching in Army school. She was inspired after she read about Priya Semwal, wife of a martyr, joining the Army. Priya passed out of OTA in 2014. Swati and Nidhi have joined the Army a day after the force, under new defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, gave finishing touches to a plan to induct 800 women in the military police. "If I become a colonel like my husband one day, it would be great. But my immediate focus is to learn new things under the guidance of my superiors," said Swati. -GoTop


14. Swayamsevaks take up flood relief works IN WEST BENGAL: North Bengal was under terrible flood for some time after massive rainfall from August 10 to 16 in North Bengal, Bihar and Nepal. Some districts including Alipurduar, Coochbehar, Paschim Coochbehar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Malda and North Malda are facing severe condition of flood. Many people have been rendered homeless andkinless. People have taken shelter along the Railway lines, in relief camps and also under open sky. Transport and communication network were badly affected. Majority houses were destroyed. Since crops were badly damaged, the farmers are the worst affected. From very first day, the RSS swayamsevaks rendered relief in their all possible ways. Over 1,100 swayamsevaks joined the relief operation in 2,138 villages, eight cities and 52 localities. From August 12 to 25 huge quantity of relief material including chura, sugar, roties, rice, pulses, biscuits, milk, water, medicines and tripal were distributed. -GoTop


15. BULLET TRAIN PROJECT INAUGURATED: Speaking at the inauguration of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on 14thSeptember, Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi said Bharat has taken an important step towards fulfilling an old dream. Describing the project as human-friendly and eco-friendly, he added that the project will generate employment and ensure high speed transportation in the country. Modi, along with Japan PM Shinzo Abe, laid the foundation stone for the bullet train project in Ahmedabad.

Thanking Japan and Abe for contributing towards the development of the bullet train project, Modi said, "Japan has shown that it is a true friend of India. Japan has given Bharat a loan of Rs 88,000 crore at 0.1 per cent interest for the construction of the highspeed bullet train network." Abe, who also spoke during the event, said if Bharat and Japan work together, nothing is impossible.

The bullet train which will cover a distance of 508 kilometres long will run between Sabarmati Railway Station and Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai. A ticket for the train will cost between Rs 2,700 and Rs 3,000 - by air, travelling the same distance costs Rs 3,500-4,000. -GoTop


16. AHMEDABAD GETS BHARAT'S FIRST WORLD HERITAGE CITY CERTIFICATE: UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova handed over the certificate of inscription as world Heritage city to Ahmedabad to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Nitinbhai Patel on 6th September.

Rupani said that our Pradhan Mantri Narendra Modi did a lot of hard work to get the heritage city tag for Ahmedabad from the UNESCO. He said that in 1411 the Ahmedabad city was built by Ahmed shah and world prestige of those architectures, artistic buildings, poles, Hindu, Jain-Islamic places are now accepted with heritage city.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitinbhai Patel said that the city of Ahmedabad was previously known for trade and commerce across the globe. But today, it acquired one more tag of 'World Heritage City' and gained recognition worldwide. DG of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova said that Ahmedabad is the first Heritage city of Bharat. -GoTop


17. BHARAT DECIDES TO STAND BY MYANMAR IN INTERNATIONAL FORUM: In a show of solidarity with Myanmar, Bharat refused to be a part of a declaration adopted at an international conference as it carried "inappropriate" reference to violence in Rakhine state from where 125,000 Rohingyas have fled to Bangladesh.

A Bharatiya parliamentary delegation, led by Speaker Lok Sabha Sumitra Mahajan, dissociated itself from the 'Bali Declaration' adoped at the World Parliamentary Forum on Sustainable Development held in Indonesia.

Bharat reiterated its stance that the purpose of convening the aforesaid forum was to arrive at mutual consensus for implementation of SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which requires inclusive and broad-based development processes, it said. "Therefore, the proposed reference to the violence in Rakhine state in the declaration was considered as not consensus-based and inappropriate," said a press release issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat. -GoTop


18. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Manyavar Suresh (Bhayyaji) Joshi, RSS Sarkaryavaha is visiting Nepal for 3 days. Shri Bhagaiah ji, sahsarkaryavaha will return from his US tour by end of the month. Visitors:

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: "It is the same Bharat which has withstood the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign invasions, of hundreds of upheavals of manners and customs. It is the same land, which stands firmer than any rock in the world, with its undying vigour, indestructible life. Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country." - Swami Vivekananda. -GoTop




Mumbai-based Rugna Seva Sadan, which serves hundreds of patients and their attendants every day in different hospitals of the metro city, received a strange visitor from Siliguri in the last week of September 2016 who insisted that the wedding of his son would not be solemnised until the Sadan staffers and authorities attend the ceremony. He even offered air tickets to those from the Sadan who would join the wedding.

When asked about the reason of his eccentric insistence, the visitor, Bikas Chakravarthy, revealed that it was because of the care and timely help from the Sadan that the life of his son, Biduran Chakravarthy, could be saved 18 years back. Biduran is now an IIT engineer in Bengaluru and the family feels that his wedding should be solemnised in the presence of those, who literally gave him new life.

This incident shows the impact of the initiative taken in 1968 under the banner of NPSS to help the patients visiting different hospitals of Mumbai from various parts of the country for specialized treatment.

There are now thousands of other Bidurans of all age groups who got new life during the last 50 years with the help of dedicated and caring NPSS volunteers for whom 'Service to Sick is Service to God'.

The NPSS was formed in 1968 after untimely demise of RSS Pracharak Shri Narayan Hari Palkar in 1967 to carry forward his service sprit.

A gifted writer and poet Narayan Hari Palkar, popularly called Nana Palkar, was Zilla Pracharak of RSS in Satara. He was also Pracharak in Raigarh. Throughout his life he strove to alleviate the pain and suffering of the sick and needy. His birth centenary year began on August 26 this year. Incidentally, this is the golden jubilee year of the NPSS.

"Our objective is to ensure complete care to the patients. There are plas to improve the facilities through the existing projects and also through several new projects to be started during the Golden Jubilee of the NPSS and also the birth centenary year of Nana Palkar" said AlkaA Savarkar, Joint Secretary, Nana PalkarSamruti Samiti"

How the Idea got Shape

The work of caring the sick was started from a three-room flat situated at SitaSadan, Mumbai. The persons who materialised this idea included  Narayan Bhide, Dr Madhavrao Paralkar, Umesh J Nerurkar, Shri Anantrao aka Mama Sawarkar and Krishnaji Chhatre, etc. Veteran Sangh Pracharak Moropant Pingle also played a key role in giving shape to this project. Later, noted urologist of Mumbai DrAjit G Phadake took it forward. In 1968, the people coming from outside Mumbai did not know much about the city and also how to and where from to get treatment. "The work basically began only to guide them in receiving the treatment. After getting a flat in Sita Sadan on rent, we started providing them accommodation also. We could then accommodate hardly 15 persons, that too was not much comfortable. After construction of Rugna Seva Sadan at Parel in 1997, we started providing accommodation to 76 patients. In the beginning we had only seven floors in the building. Additional three floors were added in 2004 on the suggestion of the then Commissioner of BMC, Karuna Shrivastava, who even named the street as Rugna Seva Sadan. The same year, a dialysis centre and a pathology lab were started," says Alkatai Savarkar.

At the moment, the total capacity of Rugna Seva Sadan is 228 persons. Most patients come from Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, etc. The number of patients coming from Maharashtra is very small. Most patients come for treatment at Tata Cancer Hospital. There are many hospitals in nearby area, which include Wadia Children Hospital, Tata Memorial Cancer hospital, KEM Hospital, JJ Hospital, St George's, Nair, etc. Tata Hospital is at the distance of just 10 minutes walk from the Sadan. The Ambulance service provides low cost transportation to patients for connecting them to key Railway stations. It also has a pick up and drop facility for patients going to Tata, KEM and Wadia hospitals in the vicinity. This facility is provided free of cost to the patients.

Some other services provided by NPSS are dialysis every day at Rs 350 per dialysis, Financial medical aid aggregating Rs 7 lakh to needy patients per month, Blood tests at subsidised rates in the Path lab, Counselling to TB and HIV patients, Free medicines to needy, Meals and breakfast to patients and their attendants at the Sadan, Free lunch to patients in various hospitals etc. There are a total of 39 paid employees and many volunteers at Rugna Seva Sadan in Mumbai. The volunteers are attached to the project very emotionally.

Plans for Golden Jubilee Celebration

At the moment, the NPSS provides shelter to 228 persons in Rugna Seva Sadan. Hence, the waiting list is very long. Those who do not get accommodation anywhere stay at the temporary shelters built on the footpath outside hospitals. Many times police and BMC authorities raze their shelters and harass them. Keeping it in view, the NPSS is in the process of purchasing a piece of land so that more patients and their attendants could be provided with accommodation. During the birth centenary of the late Nana Palkar the Samiti has also decided to re-print all his books. "Nana has written the first authentic biography of RSS founder Dr Hedgewar. His book on Israel is still a fascinating one for the readers. Many Jews returned to Israel after reading that book. There was a street in the name of Nana Palkar in Israel," points out Alkatai. (Organizer Weekly, 17 September 2017) -GoTop



Shyam Saran

The stand-off between India and China over the Doklam plateau near the India-Bhutan-China trijunction has eased. Both sides have issued statements announcing that they have come to an understanding. What these mean and how its implications will play out will be speculated for some time. What is clear, however, is that the limited objective which Bhutan and India had - restoring the status quo which China had attempted to alter through its road building activities - has been achieved. At least, for the time being.

Why did China agree to restore the status quo after having insisted, repeatedly and threateningly, that it was the Indian side which should withdraw its forces before there could be any talks at all? Obviously, the fact that an understanding was eventually reached points to a continuing dialogue, perhaps behind the scenes despite the public posture adopted by China.

There may have been two factors which led China to alter its position. One, the continuing stand-off would have disrupted the BRICS summit at Xiamen. If India's Prime Minister absented himself because of the unresolved crisis, then the summit would have been a failure and this would have embarrassed China and its top leadership.

Furthermore, the very important 19th China Communist Party Congress is to be held in October where key leadership positions and policies will be decided. President Xi Jinping's ability to consolidate his position may have been impacted adversely if he were unable to resolve the Doklam crisis.

Where do we go from here? It is encouraging that Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit and judging from the optics, the atmosphere was generally positive and cordial. The two leaders decided to strengthen mechanisms to manage issues which may arise at the border. The foreign secretary claimed that the two leaders adopted a forward-looking approach to developing bilateral relations. These are good signs.

Perhaps China may also wish to keep its western flank with India relatively peaceful while it confronts what could become a much more dangerous situation on the Korean peninsula, the latest being North Korea's test of a hydrogen bomb. China's preoccupation on its east may relieve the pressure on India in the west and that would be welcome.

The BRICS summit declaration carries a strong condemnation of terrorism and names several terrorist groups operating in our region, including Pakistan-based groups such as the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad. These statements were included in the context of the Afghan situation but are nevertheless to be welcomed. Pakistan has already reacted strongly.

What lessons may be drawn from recent events from the Indian perspective? One, while the Doklam issue has been defused, this does not mean that similar issues will not arise in the future. There is greater likelihood of more frequent encounters between Indian and Chinese forces at the border simply because both sides are improving border infrastructure and communication links, making it possible to undertake patrols in hitherto remote areas with greater frequency. This new situation needs to be acknowledged and existing mechanisms to ensure peace and tranquillity on the borders strengthened. It may be necessary to establish new mechanisms as well.

Two, despite the rhetoric at the BRICS summit, it is unlikely that China's support to Pakistan and involvement in its economy as well as security will diminish.

Pakistan will likely continue to treat cross-border terrorism as an important part of state policy and if US pressure against it increases, it will hide behind the Chinese shield. We will have to deal with the challenge of cross-border terrorism mainly on our own.

Three, China will continue to benchmark itself with the US and pursue policies which reflect its hierarchical way of approaching inter-state relations. It believes that it is rightfully the dominant power in Asia and that other countries should acknowledge this, including India.

What is the essence of this dominance? China would like to be in a position to have a veto over decisions which other countries take on security or economic issues and which it considers important to its own perceived interests. To some extent, it has already achieved this in Southeast Asia and will try to use this template in South Asia as well. Doklam should be seen in this larger context.

Therefore, while welcoming the resolution of the Doklam issue, India must be clear that China will continue to pose a significant challenge to India and handling this challenge will only become more complex.

But at least one thing is clear after the Xiamen summit. Regular engagement at the leadership level plays an important role in keeping India-China relations on an even keel. (The writer is a former foreign secretary. His book, How India Sees the World, has just been released, Times of India 10th September 2017) -GoTop

Shri Vishwa Niketan,