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Their view




A HIGH-MAINTENANCE PARTNER?
In the context of the US president Barack Obama's first state visit to India in November, scholar and academic, Sumit Ganguly, writes in Newsweek that India has failed to fully grasp the meaning and significance of a strategic partnership. "Indian elites have a litany of demands they would like the Obama administration to fulfill. They have loudly proclaimed that Washington must move with dispatch to remove a host of Indian firms from the "entity list" that constrains the transfer of a range of potentially dual-use technologies to India. A significant segment of the Indian elite also remains fixated on the fraught terms of the U. S. -Pakistan relationship and how it affects India's security concerns, so they insist the US increase its pressure against Pakistan to end that country's dalliance with jihadi organizations. Finally, India's foreign-policy elite wants the Obama administration to squarely support the nation's longstanding quest for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. " While Ganguly admits that these demands are not unreasonable, there are inherent contentious issues to consider. For instance, "while seeking relief from US high-technology export controls, the Indian Parliament passed a nuclear-liability bill in August that all but scuttled the mutual benefits of the US-India civilian nuclear agreement. " Similarly, berating the US for not bullying Pakistan enough into flushing out jihadis from its soil overlooks all the help India got from US after 26/11 attacks. The demand for US support to get a permanent seat in the UNSC, "fails to take into account serious American concerns about such a gesture. India's stance on a host of issues of concern to the US at the Security Council gives the Obama administration pause about supporting India's aspirations. "

SPEAKING A NEW LANGUAGE

Andrew Bumcombe in The Independent reports on the discovery of a new language in Arunachal Pradesh. "Researchers who had used bamboo rafts to ford surging rivers and climbed steep mountains in the remote north-east of India were rewarded for their toil with the discovery of a rich new language spoken by fewer than 1, 000 people. The linguists had travelled to Arunachal Pradesh, a state that requires a special permit to visit, in order to investigate two little-known tongues. But while speaking with members of a hill tribe they discovered a third "hidden" language. "

While interacting with members of the tribes living in Koro, the researchers realised that they were using different sounds which did not belong to the spoken languages in the areas - Aka and Miji. Which meant this was a new, undiscovered. "Writing of their discovery in a new book, The Last Speakers, which documents their find, David Harrison, a linguist at Strathmore College in Pennsylvania, said: 'Koro could hardly sound more different from Aka. They sound as different as, say, English and Japanese. '"

"Their location in the West Kameng and East Kameng districts, where a myriad of tribes and cultures exist, is considered one of the world's richest linguistic hot-spots. It has also remained largely protected, partly as a result of its remoteness and also because the Indian government's sensitivity over its proximity to China means outsiders requires a special permit to visit. The researchers' discovery of Koro in 2008 brings the number of documented languages in the world to 6, 910. While previously unnoticed tongues are found "from time to time" and are not considered rare, linguists estimate that a language dies every two weeks with the death of its last speakers. "

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