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The Unknown Caucasus War- Azerbaijan & Armenia



The Unknown Caucasus War- Azerbaijan & Armenia

Nestled between Georgia, Iran, Russia, Turkey and two other disputed enclaves, Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakchivan lies Azerbaijan and Armenia. The two former Soviet Union states have been fighting a brutal, century-long war on territorial and ethnic lines. Except the local Azeri & Armenian media houses, the media in those nations who either hold interests in these countries or have extended support to one or the other of the two parties involved and have a solid, vocal stand in the war, the minimal to absolutely no media coverage about this war by the international media is precisely why the war between Azerbaijan & Armenia is shockingly unknown.

After the downfall of the Russian empire, Georgia declared itself as an independent state following which both Azerbaijan & Armenia also declared themselves as independent nations on the same day. But independence was a very short-lived phenomenon for all the three countries because now they were being integrated into the USSR which was essentially the successor of the Russian Revolution which overthrew the Russian Empire.

The Nagorno-Karabakh region, during the Soviet times, was officially under the Azerbaijan SSR though they were predominantly inhabited by Armenians. Apart from a few confrontations during their stint in the USSR, Azerbaijan & Armenia largely maintained cordial relations if not peaceful. As the end of the Soviet Union kept getting more & more imminent, clashes between Azerbaijan & Armenia started getting deadlier and bloodier eventually resulting in a mass exodus of Armenians in Azerbaijan and Azeris in Armenia back to the lands they belonged ideally. Both the sides accuse each other of severe ethnic cleansing and Azerbaijan has been repeatedly accused of destroying monuments which served as testaments of Armenian heritage in the Nakchivan enclave. The war that began in 1988 ended in 1994 with a Russian-brokered ceasefire. Armenia took over the control of not only the Nagorno-Karabakh region but also seven other districts around leaving Azerbaijan with 15% of less territory.

Today, Azerbaijan & Armenia have absolutely no diplomatic relations, whatsoever. Threats of taking over Nagorno-Karabakh from Armenia fly very casually from Baku to Yerevan. Nagorno-Karabakh is a de-facto independent state run by an Armenian majority government and backed by the Republic of Armenia but internationally recognised as a part of Azerbaijan. Nakhchivan, on the other hand, is not a disputed enclave but is an autonomous region, under Azerbaijan and is a breakaway from mainland Azerbaijan surrounded by Iran, Armenia and Turkey. This is the closest Azerbaijan gets to Turkey, one of its most important ally.

Citizens of Armenia, individuals with Armenian descent and people whose passport clearly displays a proof of their visit to Armenia can never visit Azerbaijan. During Eurovision, a pan-European music contest is when the mutual hostility between Azerbaijan & Armenia get more and more glaring. It is often said that every time a contingent from Armenia performs on stage no television set in Azerbaijan would dare to telecast it. In fact, the state will ensure the performance never finds its way to Azeri households. Azerbaijan won Eurovision in the year 2011 because of which they were now going to host the 2012 edition of the contest. The 2012 edition saw the Armenians withdrawing from the contest citing security concerns. Also, if a citizen of Azerbaijan or anybody from Azeri territory even goes ahead and votes for the Armenian contingent, he can be reprimanded or arrested by the state on charges of espionage and for being a potential security threat.

There was a time when Baku’s defence expenditure was more than the whole of Yerevan’s national budget. With low oil prices and not so very good global economy, oil & gas rich Azerbaijan is now forced to slash its defence expenditure which may or may not be great news for Armenia. When compared, Azerbaijan seems to be doing relatively better economically. 2016 saw fresh clashes between Azerbaijan & Armenia. This time Azeri forces not only tried to attack Armenian forces but also recapture territory.

One must keep in mind that if the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia gets blown out of proportion it can lead to a regional catastrophe. One may ask how? Azerbaijan is backed by Turkey and Armenia is backed by Russia. Azerbaijan continues to co-exist with Russia bilaterally with a sense of great distrust. Meanwhile, relations between Turkey and Armenia have always been strained on lines of the Armenian genocide and also Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan. Armenia struggles without energy sources because both Turkey & Azerbaijan boycotted supply to the nation and a lot of transnational energy projects have been stalled or shelved because of territorial and diplomatic disputes.

Efforts to garner peace in the region have failed miserably and the two nations continue to remain at loggerheads with the potential of a war breaking out literally at any given time doing nothing but threatening the already threatened global peace & security. As for Azerbaijan and Armenia, a miracle is what we await!

Motor Mouth. Language Enthusiast. Lover of the Middle East & Turkey. Foreign policy & politics aficionado.


Ram Mandir Opening For “Darshan” In 2023



Ram Mandir Opening 2023 | News Aur Chai

The Ram Mandir in Ayodhya is expected to allow visitors by December 2023, with the completion of construction only in 2025.

Sources in the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra have revealed that the colossal project of building the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, will be opening for devotees towards the end of 2023. In contrast, the project’s entire construction completion is expected towards the end of 2025. The sanctum sanctorum (Garbha Griha), along with the mandir’s first floor, will be ready by December 2023. Devotees will be allowed to visit the long-awaited mandir soon after the construction is completed.

An ANI report said, “The grand Ram Mandir being constructed in Ayodhya will be opened for devotees from December 2023. Sources told ANI that Garbhagriha, all five mandaps and the first floor will be ready by December 2023 and the mandir will be opened for devotees”.

The sanctum sanctorum will be as high as 161 feet and built using Rajasthani marble and stones. Engineers and architects are taking all measures to ensure the longevity of this enormous project. The second stage of construction is expected to begin in December this year. Currently, the structure is at a standstill as a result of monsoons. Another reason for the delay is the coronavirus pandemic that depleted the force with which the mandir’s construction was expected to go on.

The announcement of the mandir being opened to visitors in 2023 has brought up questions about the political agenda. It is believed that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aims to use the mandir to catapult themselves into a position of advantage during the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Opening the mandir to devotees in December 2023 will give the BJP an easy 6-month gap to the general elections in 2024.

The opening of the long-awaited Ram Mandir in Ayodhya could be the factor that diverts the public, at least the Hindu’s in favour of BJP. Thus, securing them a vote bank based on religious sentiments upheld by the party in their previous tenure as the ruling party.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir will be 360 feet long, 235 feet wide, and 20 feet high mandir will be completely ready by the end of 2025. The project will include amenities and structures like museums, archives, research centre, Sant Niwas, gau and Yagya shala, Etc. The main attraction is the Ram Mandir.

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How SEBI’s New Margin Rule Is Affecting Retail Traders?



SEBI Margin Rule | News Aur Chai

Securities and Exchange Board of India has introduced new margin rules for traders. Traders and Brokers are not happy with the new regulations because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trade.

SEBI had introduced the new margin rule in the year 2020 for intraday traders. It is being implemented in a phased manner. Traders were supposed to maintain 25 per cent of the peak margin in the first phase; the margin was raised by 50 per cent in the second phase. In the third phase, as per the new margin rule, intraday traders will have to pay a 100 per cent upfront margin. According to new norms, the margin requirements will be calculated four times during every trading session because the money margin must be greater than the need.

As per the new rule, brokers must collect margin from investors for any purchase or sale, and if they fail to do so, they will have to pay the penalty. Thus, brokers will not receive power of attorney. Brokers cannot use power of attorney for pledging anymore.

Those investors who want to make use of margin will have to create margin pledges separately. As per the new rule, investors will have to pay at least a 30 per cent margin upfront to avail a margin loan. Shares brought today cannot be sold tomorrow. Funds from shares sold today cannot be used for new trades on the same day.

The market experts said that there must be proper adjustments for implementing new rules, or it may create chaos, trouble and disturbance to the market participants. The CEO and founder of Zerodha broking firm, Nithin Kamath tweeted that, “the day when the new rules came into effect was the dreaded day for brokers, exchanges, intraday traders”.

Traders Are Not Happy:

Changes in rules have evoked strong reactions from traders because they will have to invest a large amount of cash in fulfilling margin requirements for trades as per new margin rules. Even the trading in futures and options will become more expensive. Traders are disappointed because they will have to pay up more money to bet in stock markets. As per new margin rules, Traders are also liable for the penalty if the rules are not followed during the trading session. If a trader wants to buy Nifty worth Rs 10 lakh, he will have to pay a 20 per cent margin of around 2 lakh. If the margin of the trader does not meet the need, he will be penalized. Traders will have to pay the minimum amount for opening the Multilateral Trading facility account, and they have to maintain a minor balance at all times.

Why Gas SEBI Introduced A New Margin Rule?

SEBI has introduced new rules to protect retail investors from purchasing difficulty. The intended goal of SEBI behind new margin rules is to bring down the difficult market situation and avoid huge fluctuation in stock markets during extreme stress. The new margin rules are likely to bring transparency to the market; it is expected to strengthen the market’s safety.

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Escalation Of COVID-19 Cases Across The Globe



COVID Case Spike 2021 | News Aur Chai

The United States, India, and Brazil have the most confirmed cases, followed by France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. There are very few locations that have remained undisturbed.

Since the middle of last year, confirmed cases have been increasing. Although the actual scope of the first outbreaks in 2020 is unknown because testing was not generally available at the time. The 100 million COVID-19 cases were discovered at the end of January, over a year after it was first diagnosed. As of 6:30 p.m. CEST on July 30, 2021, WHO has received reports of 196,553,009 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,200,412 fatalities. A total of 3,839,816,037 vaccination doses has been delivered as of July 28, 2021.

After reaching a record high of over 0.9 million cases on April 28, 2021, new daily instances of the coronavirus continued to decline, reaching a low point on June 21, when over 0.3 million cases were reported. Since then yet, there has been a global increase in cases. On July 15, 0.53 million daily cases were reported, and over three million new cases were reported in the second week of the month. As of July 15, 188.9 million patients have been recorded worldwide. The transmissive Delta form accounting for most infections in 111 countries. Most instances were recorded in Brazil, India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Colombia in the last week. With the steepest increases in Zimbabwe (72%), Indonesia (44%), the United States (38%), Bangladesh (35%), and the United Kingdom (30%). Many Asian nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, have reported many daily cases. However, the spread was under control.

The number of new cases in Indonesia has been on the rise, with each day seeing a significant increase over the previous day. Indonesia is now the new Asian epicentre, with 56,757 cases recorded on July 15; India reported 39,000 patients on the same day. COVID-19 fatalities are high, according to WHO. After decreasing for nine weeks, with the highest increases in Africa and Southeast Asia. COVID-19 fatalities worldwide surpassed four million on July 7. The last million deaths occurred in under 90 days, the lowest time interval for every one million deaths ever recorded.

High vaccination coverage has been shown in the United States and much of Europe to lower fatalities and even hospitalizations. For example, United Kingdom rises in incidence. There has been fewer hospitalizations and deaths over 87% of the adult population, as they are vaccinated with one dose and over 67% with two doses. In the United States, the increase in cases is concentrated in states with low vaccination coverage, with unvaccinated people accounting for most deaths. Over 55% of Americans have received one dosage, and 48% are completely immunized. It shifts the focus back to improving vaccination coverage and achieving global vaccine equality to avoid fatalities and the spread of dangerous strains. Some nations debate a booster dosage. Even though many African countries’ healthcare professionals have not been completely vaccinated, booster injections have begun to be given to patients with weakened immune systems in Israel.

In comparison, booster shots have been ruled out in the United States for the time being. With vaccine shortages reported in many Indian states. Even among the vaccinated, rigorous adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour is the only option to postpone and mitigate the consequences of a third wave.

This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. But the global numbers continue to grow. The Delta variety leads them to well-vaccinated regions such as Western Europe and the United States, low but rising infections. This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. Vaccine doses have been given to over 4 billion individuals globally (52 for every 100 people), yet the discrepancy is striking. More than 80% of the population had at least one shot in some wealthy nations. In contrast, the proportion is as low as 1% in many of the poorest.

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