India-China Standoff – Checkmate – Part 2

In this post, we will further explore the strategic implications of the ongoing standoff and look at the broader perspective. We covered initial ground in the part 1 of this post which you can read via the link.

It’s all about CPEC (OBOR)

Analysts have been speculating about the reason and timing of the Doklam standoff for more than two months now. Several scenario outlines pointed out in my last post have become reality, for example the statement from Chinese military that they don’t foresee a military engagement specially the short border war that the Chinese media had been hyping up. Is that the acceptance of defeat we have been looking for? Not quite. Doklam for both China and India is not as important as the CPEC and both countries are at poles end on the subject. China understands how critical it is for them to bypass the Indian Ocean in Indian control to keep their economic growth in the right trajectory. At the same time, for India it is violation of the disputed territory of Kashmir which India claims in entirety. China has been “Salami Slicing” it’s way into Kashmir and anyone with enough interest can check border regions with China on Google maps in Satellite view and clearly see how China is encroaching upon Indian territory year by year. Go zoom in on Demchok and you will see their roads being built well inside undisputed Indian territory. Why are the Chinese doing this? It’s all about CPEC. China understands that to continue its dominant economic rise it needs to export more and export faster and of course, cheaper is always better. CPEC forms a large part of that equation. It reduces it’s bottleneck on South China Sea and Indian Ocean’s straits of Malacca. Looking at the other way round, oil imports of China go predominantly through the straits of Malacca, a spot the Indian Navy dominates due to its strategic positioning in the Andamans.

Why does CPEC terrify India?

Not in 5 years, not in 10 years however in 20 years CPEC can eventually become the lasso on India’s neck. Anytime India does something against Chinese whims and fancies, the lasso can be tightened and India can be brought to it’s knees. China’s biggest pain point in its North Western theatre is supply lines and local support. CPEC changes that by making the region economically active and more and more establishments sprouting up to support the supply lines. The local population which is largely anti-China then starts tilting more towards Beijing due to the economics of scale. If ever China decides to help and support Pakistan, India would stand lesser chances to last than it does today.

What can India do today?

India has already done something today to at least begin addressing the issue. Firstly, it has called China’s frenemy bluff. China has spewed venom all over India via its state controlled media exposing the dragons true intent all along. China has always considered India a rival and always considered Pakistan a puny pawn in the game. Its philosophy has throughout been that of keeping India at bay letting it tackle Pakistan while it itself gets to silently upgrade infrastructure and boost trade. If India has to rise, it has to take the dragon head on, and the Doklam standoff is towards that eventual goal.

How will things turn out from here on?

China will remember Doklam. It will certainly loose the Doklam battle but it won’t forget it that easy. Depending on Xi’s fate, China will either respond militarily in another sector where it has the military advantage or it will make mends to show the world, and slowly light up the “insurgency fire” in the north eastern states. It would get its little pawn in the game called Pakistan to play terrorism in the Kashmir valley.

What if there is a Short-war?

Both sides will be affected even if it’s a short war. China’s economy maybe the second largest but it is in tatters. The GDP to Debt ratio is unrealistically piling up on them and the gamble can totally backfire. If China had to do a short war, it would have done it by now. It knows the risk. Very less is known about the real state of Chinese economy but it is by no means doing good. Figures known to the public tell a grim story. Is it a balloon set to explode? Possibly. But so is India’s. India isn’t doing all that well itself, but clearly in a far superior position than that of China. Militarily China will loose and there is a simple explanation to this. India is positioned strategically, and has supply lines closer to mainland. China on the other hand will have to fetch supplies from exorbitant distances, rendering it easier for India to break its supply lines. In fact Doklam standoff is just to ensure India’s supply lines are never lost control of.

Even more, India may want to use a Chinese first shot aggression as an excuse to render CPEC unstable and useless. How? Siachen. We do control the highest battle grounds in the region and could use that to our advantage giving the Chinese a tough time with CPEC. If India can stay afoot on it’s recent statement about re-acquiring PoK, and put the plans in action, it would be a disaster for China. It would loose straits of Malacca as well as CPEC leading to an eventual crash of the Chinese economy. It would be far more dangerous for China to attack India than merely using it as rhetoric.


While India may rest assured of victorious outcome in a short war, it does need to worry about China’s increasing military supplies to insurgents and the Maoists. A proxy war is what India is really bad at fighting. We will have to invent and invest into our own bag of proxy wars against China specially with Tibet and Xinjuang. We will then have to brace for the long haul and patiently wait for India to fight it out. Highly unlikely if the Modi government succumbs to defeat in the 2019 elections, though.

India-China Standoff – Checkmate – Part 1

India and China have been on a military standoff in the Doklam region and tri-junction area in the Sikkim Sector. The disagreement from China’s angle is that Indian troops entered undisputed Chinese territory and blocked their road construction. They also claim that the Doklam region is disputed between itself and Bhutan and India has no part to play in a bilateral dispute. India’s angle is not very clear to the public apart from defending the Siliguri corridor, also known as the Chicken’s neck. Arguments from both the sides, in my humble opinion, are foolish because both governments have strategic objectives. For China, building a road leading to no-where, is foolish and serves no other purpose than sending military equipment out to the front more quickly and effectively. India too, is giving unwarranted importance to the Doklam plateau because in the event of a full scale military confrontation, China would loose Doklam first due to clear advantages that the Indian military has in the region.

It is imperative we look at what the geography of this region looks like and what may or can happen in case of a full confrontation or a limited tactical confrontation.

India - China border standoff 2017
India – China border standoff 2017

The interesting bit is, that this standoff has two very distinct sides, one public, and the other private yet strategic. We will be exploring the strategic angle in this post series, because in all honesty, that is the angle government is unable to disclose publicly, yet is what it has in mind as the primary objective. Being no expert by any means on military strategy, I would still like to make a humble effort at decoding the strategic angle. Here goes the outline from India’s perspective:

  • A strong protest by India (read Prime Minister Modi) against China’s dual play – play with us or play against us – pick a camp and stick to it
  • We will block any attempts by Chinese at “Salami-Slicing” tactics
  • If we can’t have a full scale confrontation with Pakistan due to Nuclear deterrence issues, neither can China with India – hence – the checkmate
  • Force China to up the ante and explore all confrontation options – come to the realisation it can’t do much – and then get to the negotiation table to re-build the entire partnership
  • Realising a full scale confrontation will destroy India and severely damage China, tame the dragon to play along bilaterally, because China isn’t a Kamikaze state but a mature world power
  • Having a humungous trade deficit between the two countries, let China know it has the lions share to loose even in case of a limited conflict war-theatre
  • Send a message to all countries having disputes with China specially in the South China Sea, that the dragon has met it’s match in India, regardless of Chinese rhetoric about how inferior the Indian Military is in comparison to the Chinese Military
  • Exploit the negative rhetoric against China in India to push the manufacturing sector in India
  • Let China be very well reminded of how upset (and terrified) India is of the CPEC/OBOR because of the easy troop movement it allows for China en-circling India
  • Let the reverse of the above also be known that it is China that will have much to loose if India starts exploring pre-emptive blocking strategies against CPEC/OBOR

I hope to cover each of the strategic objectives in detail in subsequent posts and play out mock confrontation scenarios. Much of this has probably already happened and discussed behind closed doors on both sides, however it is not in the open or public domain.


And I am back!

Fellas! My blog is back after being dead for more than a year. It took me some maintenance and technical fixing to get the website back up and running. I intend to be more active with my blogging from now on, and talk about subjects that I care about from the bottom of my heart. The latest edition to my loved subjects is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and my work with a new startup called Karmaloop AI (

Post your comments!

C# dynamic objects

The best use of dynamic variables in C# I have found in use with deserializing JSON data for which I may not have the schema, or I know is a frequently changing schema.
For everything else I just avoid using it.

What do I use? Well, NewtonSoft’s JSON deserializer and this simple statement:

dynamic apiData = JsonConvert.Deserialize<dynamic>(jsonData);

Simple and neat.
#CSharp #dynamicvariables

Linux Mint / Ubuntu – Beats Audio on HP Laptop

I am glad someone figured it out!! I will repost him so that all those stuck with crappy sound without Beats on their HP laptops while using Ubuntu get a breather.

Please note – if you are using Ubuntu 13.10 or above, you do not need to install hda-jack-retask separately, its a part of the alsa package. Install alsa-tools-gui in that case using the standard software manager.

Follow these steps (skip installing hda-jack-retask if Ubuntu 13.10 or higher)

OK! I figured it out! It sounds *awesome*!

Step 1: Install hda-jack-retask from here: (ppa:diwic/hda)

Step 2: Open hda-jack-retask

Step 3: Select the IDT 92HD91BXX codec (may be different on other models)

Step 4: Check the “Show unconnected pins” box (the internal speakers do not show as connected)

Step 5: Remap 0x0d (Internal Speaker, Front side) to “Internal speaker”

Step 6: Remap 0x0f (“Not connected” but is the under-display speakers) to “Internal speaker”

Step 7: Remap 0x10 (“Not connected” but is the subwoofer) to “Internal speaker (LFE)”

Step 8: Apply now, then test with your favorite audio program (some may not work due to Pulse reset, so find one that does, verify sound is coming from all speakers).

Step 9: If it works, select “Install boot override” to save the settings to apply at boot time.

Step 10: Reboot. When it comes back, you should have full sound from all speakers. Also test headphones. Plugging in headphones should disable sound from all internal speakers.


This worked awesome on my laptop! If you have questions just post in comments here.

Few tips on improving speed of your MongoDB database

Those of you who have done a project with MongoDB will notice that it functions and behaves quite differently than traditional RDBMS systems. From super fast queries to all of a sudden taking forever to return 10 documents is something beginners always face with MongoDB. I am no expert but these are the steps I took and Mongo worked much nicer than it had earlier.

  • Configure “Mongod” to run as a service Many beginners make this mistake and its a very common one. Make sure you run it as a service which allows MongoDB to do better performance management and handle incoming queries a lot better.
  • Indexing This should not even need to be mentioned, but with Mongo don’t do a blind indexing. Think of the fields you group the documents the most in your queries and set the indexes with that in mind. This will do a lot to speed up your MongoDB
  • Start using _id Again this is something people do a lot, i.e. they don’t use the inbuilt _id field. You should using that over your own ids. Since it’s an ObjectID, it indexes better and is truly unique reducing programmer headache of creating unique id fields
  • Create a re-indexer service Like any other database MongoDB needs to be re-indexed occasionally. One of the easiest ways is to create a daemon or service in your favorite language and make it do some maintenance like re-indexing and data cleanups.
  • Implement Paging in your queries This is good to do in most projects. When showing large data sets, try to page your data so that you only show enough to start with, and then fetch more as you go. Mongo has an advantage over other databases in this regard in terms of speed. Please keep in mind the field you page on is a unique index

So these are a few observations I had while designing my project in MongoDB. I will be adding more improvement techniques as I go forward. If you think some of my above points are erroneous do let me know. Also share your tricks with me!

Secret of the Romani People

A few years back when I used to be big on finding out about the origins of Indo-European people/community, I had learned about the gypsies tracing their roots back to India. Yesterday I stumbled upon the history of Romani people who are a part of the gypsy tribe and have lived in Europe for centuries not really knowing their place of origin. It will be surprising to a lot of readers that the Romani people have been genetically proven to be a race of the North-Middle-Indian territory but have lived across Europe for at least a 1000 years. The language they speak is very closely related to Hindustani or the Hindi language of India which is another startling fact.

What probably remains a big mystery is how did the Romanis or the Gypsys get to Europe from India? What made them forget the land they came from and what made them never make an effort to go back. It is a mystery even the Romani people may not know the answer to. Someday their history and their historic connection to India will be lost in the annals of time and it is unlikely if anyone will be interested in finding out the real reasons.

Do the Romani people consider themselves Indians and would they ever want to come back to India? Hmm interesting question and only a Romani connected to the roots can answer…

Linux Saga: Fixed the long standing bug of WiFi not connecting after sleep/suspend

Now this was a weird one which I later read on other forums that it was a common problem on most HP laptops. Well finally I got to fix this with a very simple fix!

Added a line in /etc/modprobe.d/iwlwifi.conf
options iwlwifi bt_coex_active=0

Getting your cheap Android Phone/Tablet to get detected for Debugging by Linux (Mint or Ubuntu)

Welcome to a post another road block I recently solved on the Android development saga. I got myself a cheap Android tablet (Byond Mi-1). In an effort to use it for Android Development with Linux Mint / Ubuntu, I had to get across quite a few steps other than what is normal. Lets go step by step:

  1. Figure out your Tablet’s Vendor ID – Use the lsusb command. It will dump out the details of all the USB devices connected to your machine. Usually your cheap tablet will not show up with a name on the dump, however in most likelihood it will be the last item on that list. To be sure, copy the output of the lsusb command into a text editor or spreadsheet. Then connect your Tablet with the computer and turn on Mass Storage (on the tablet). Run lsusb again and grab the dump and put it into a text editor or spreadsheet. There should be an extra line pertaining to your device. There will be an ID in the form of ID 1234:5678. 1234 will be your Vendor id. Take a note of it.
  2. Run the command:
    sudo gedit /etc/udev/rules.d/51-android.rules
    Copy paste these lines:
    SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ATTR{idVendor}==”1234″, MODE=”0666″, GROUP=”plugdev”
    SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, ENV{DEVTYPE}==”usb_device”, ENV{PRODUCT}==”1234/*”, MODE=”0666″
    SUBSYSTEM==”usb”, SYSFS{idVendor}==”1234″, MODE=”0666″ 

    Please appropriately change 1234 to your correct device id.

  3. Run the following command to create a adb_usb.ini file in your .android folder in your home.
    sudo gedit ~/.android/adb_usb.ini
    Simply write your device id in this format:
    Save and exit
  4. Reboot your computer
  5. Unlock your tablet and go to settings. Find Developer Settings and switch on USB debugging. This step will depend on your Android version.
  6. Connect your tablet to the computer
  7. Get to your android sdk’s platform tools folder and run the command:
    ./adb devices
  8. If your device is listed, then yuhoo you got your cheap tablet ready for development.

Pretty cool eh!?