Win Some, Lose Some

Stalemate on relations with neighbours but some progress in defence indigenisation in 2022

Smruti Deshpande


Defence Policy Making

CDS and More: The newly created position of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) had been lying vacant since the first CDS General Bipin Rawat (Retd) died in a helicopter crash in December 2021. Unable to find a suitable replacement, the government amended the service rules of the army, navy and air force in June 2022, allowing retired service chiefs and three-star officers to be eligible for consideration for the country’s top military post.

CDS and More:

According to the amendment: “…The Central Government may, if considered necessary, in public interest… appoint as CDS, an officer who is serving as Lieutenant General or General or an officer who has retired in the rank of Lieutenant General or General but has not attained the age of 62 years on the date of his appointment.”

Thereafter the government appointed Lt Gen. Anil Chauhan (Retd) as the second CDS on September 28. He had retired from service as the Eastern Army Commander in May 2021. Interestingly, like his predecessor, General Chauhan was also commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles. And in an uncanny coincidence, like General Rawat (Retd), he also hails from the Pauri Garhwal district of Uttarakhand, which incidentally is the native place of the national security adviser Ajit Doval too.

In another key appointment, the then vice chief of the army staff Lt Gen. Manoj C Pande was elevated as the Chief of the Army Staff on April 30. General Pande took over from General M.M. Naravane Retd). In the rank of Lt Gen., General Pande had served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Andaman & Nicobar Command and GOC-in-C of the Eastern Command.


India and World 

Xi Rules: Chinese President Xi Jinping was re-elected as the general secretary of the Communist Party in October for a historic third term, the first leader after Mao Zedong to get a third term. Xi, who first assumed power in 2012, was elected by a new seven-member Standing Committee.

While Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were the first to congratulate Xi on his re-election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not congratulate the Chinese leader.

At the concluding session of the Congress, Xi said, “We must be ready to withstand high winds, choppy waters and even dangerous storms. Confronted with drastic changes in the international landscape, especially external attempts to blackmail, contain, (and) blockade… China, we have put our national interests first.” This was regarded as a reference to the growing negativity against China in the US and West.

However, from India’s perspective, more critical was his exhortation to the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). While laying emphasis on the “reunification with Taiwan,” Xi, as part of theory-building, instructed the PLA to be prepared for “regional wars.” According to him, “We (PLA) need to be able to stage military operations readily, create a secure environment, deter and control risks and conflicts, and win regional wars.”


Border Talks: On January 12, the 14th round India-China Corps Commander level meeting was held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side. Representatives from the defence and foreign affairs establishments of the two sides were present at the meeting. Even though the two sides had a ‘frank and in-depth exchange of views for the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the western sector’, nothing much came out of it.

The 15th round was held at the same location, but this time on the Indian side on March 11. The two sides agreed to maintain dialogue via military and diplomatic channels to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.

Thereafter, the 16th round of talks were held on July 17. Following this, the Indian and Chinese troops started disengagement from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot springs area of eastern Ladakh in a ‘coordinated and planned way’.

On October 14, during the 25th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), India and China agreed to hold another round of talks between senior military commanders to take up remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control and ‘create conditions for the restoration of normalcy’ in ties.

‘The two sides agreed to continue discussions through diplomatic and military channels to resolve the remaining issues along the LAC at the earliest so as to create conditions for restoration of normalcy in bilateral relations,’ read the statement issued by the external affairs ministry.

However, on December 1, quoting sources in the security establishment, the Telegraph reported that the Chinese Army has bolstered its presence in the ‘occupied’ territory of Depsang in eastern Ladakh and has pitched over 200 tents over the past one month, besides building additional bunkers and military camps.

At Depsang, a 972sqkm plateau 16,000ft above sea level, the People’s Liberation Army is estimated to be entrenched 18km inside India-claimed line.

Russia’s Special Operations in Ukraine: Though there were warnings and counter-warnings for several weeks, nobody believed that Russia would invade Ukraine on February 24. Not only it did that, but even 10 months hence, it remains unrelenting. While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claim that up to 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed so far, no credible figures are available for the Russian troops.

With massive propaganda by both sides—the US-led western world (with Nato as the front) and Russia—credible facts have been a casualty, adding to a total fog of war. The only fact is that the war, which Russia calls special operations, is being fought on the Ukrainian territory between the US-led Nato and Russia. While the US and the Nato countries are supplying weapons and other equipment to Ukraine, Russia, heavily sanctioned by the West, is being helped by China and Iran.

Interestingly, in retaliation to the western sanctions, Russia first threatened, and then closed down its biggest pipeline Nord Stream that supplied gas to Germany and other western European nations. It continues to supply gas through the Ukrainian pipeline which also caters to east European nations, many of whom are either neutral or quietly supporting Russia. Moscow is also demanding payment for the gas in roubles instead of dollars. If the western pressure does not relent, Russia threatens to shut down this pipeline too, forcing a freezing winter upon most of Europe.

The ostensible reason for Russian invasion of Ukraine was to liberate the Russian-dominated Donbass region of east Ukraine, which Moscow alleged was being subjected to neo-Nazism by the US-influenced Ukrainian government. But as the war unfolds it is clear that the long-term objective is to arrest the eastern creep of Nato, debilitate the US influence in the region and force a new geopolitical order on the world, led largely by China with Russia as a close partner.

Between 15 and 30 million people have been rendered refugees since the start of the war. And according to western estimates, over 6,000 civilians have died. Given that both Russia and the West have dug in for a long haul, it is unlikely that the war is going to end any time soon.


India-Pakistan Limbo: After Shahbaz Sharif took over as Pakistan’s Prime Minister in April, Modi congratulated him within minutes of his being sworn in. He also said India desired peace and stability in a region free of terrorism.

In his maiden address to the House, Prime Minister Sharif, the younger brother of former three-time Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, said, “We want good ties with India, but durable peace is not possible until the Kashmir dispute is resolved.” He further asked the Indian Prime Minister to come forward to address the Kashmir issue so that the two countries could concentrate on tackling poverty, unemployment, shortage of medicines and other issues on the two sides of the border.

This, however, was the end of it. There has been a complete deadlock between the two neighbours for more than five years, with observers calling it ‘historic low’. Both the sides do not even have envoys in each other’s capitals.


Quad Leaders’ Meet: On 24 May 2022, the leaders of the Quad nations—the United States, Australia, India and Japan—met in Tokyo for the fourth time and the second time in person.

The four leaders discussed the impact of Russia-Ukraine conflict on the Indo-Pacific region. Expressing concern, the four countries affirmed that the principles including rule of law, sovereignty, and territorial integrity must be upheld.

The four leaders affirmed the importance of adhering to international law, in particular the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and the maintenance of freedom of navigation and overflight, to meet challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the East and South China Seas.

The four leaders also condemned North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile development in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions, and reaffirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

On the situation in Myanmar, the four leaders expressed deep concern over the current situation. They called for the immediate end to violence and the release of all political detainees and affirmed the necessity of humanitarian access and the swift restoration of democracy.


Exercise Malabar: Later in November, Japan hosted the naval exercise Malabar, which has now been elevated to a Quad exercise comprising the four partner countries. Exercise Malabar had started off as an Indo-US naval exercise in 1992.

The sea phase of Malabar-22 was conducted over a period of five days near Yokosuka, in which 11 surface ships including the US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan, and the Indian Navy’s frigate, INS Shivalik and corvette INS Kamorta participated. The sea phase witnessed live weapon firings, surface, anti-air and anti-submarine warfare drills and tactical procedures. Another highlight of the sea phase was the conduct of ‘War at Sea’ exercise which enabled all four navies to consolidate interoperability and hone their tactical skills.

The exercise was preceded by International Fleet Review (IFR) conducted by the Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force at Yokosuka on November 6, 2022 to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of its formation. Indian Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, visited Japan from November 5-9 to attend the IFR as well as witness the inauguration of the exercise.


New Assets

INS Vikrant: The year’s biggest highlight was the commissioning of INS Vikrant on September 2, India’s first indigenously designed and built aircraft carrier. The namesake and successor to the nation’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, which took around 17 years to fructify since metal cutting, is 262-metre-long, 62-metre-wide and cost over Rs 19,500 crore (USD 2.5 billion). It has a displacement of over 40,000 tonnes. With indigenous content of around 76 per cent, the carrier was built at the government-owned Cochin Shipyard Limited.

In January 2022, the Indian Navy confirmed that the IAC-1 had completed a series of sea trials ahead of its scheduled commissioning in August 2022. In July 2022, it was handed over to the navy by the Cochin Shipyard Ltd.

INS Vikrant has a complement of 1,600 sailors and officers, 2,200 compartments including specialised cabins to accommodate women sailors and officers, an endurance of 7,500 nautical miles. INS Vikrant’s air arm will have 30 fixed and rotary winged aircraft, including the Russian origin MiG-29K and Kamov-31 helicopters, and the US origin MH-60R multi-role helicopters, in addition to indigenous Advanced Light Helicopters and Light Combat Aircraft Tejas (Navy).


Light Combat Helicopter: Four indigenously designed and developed Light Combat Helicopter (LCH), christened Prachanda were inducted into IAF’s 143 Helicopter Unit Dhanush at the Air Force Station Jodhpur on October 3. This helicopter unit was raised on 1 June 2022. The Indian Army, too, raised its first LCH squadron on the same day in Bengaluru. The army was handed over its first the LCH by the Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) on 30 September 2022.

The multi role attack helicopter, developed by the HAL, is meant to be deployed at high altitude regions. The Cabinet Committee for Security (CCS) led by Prime Minister Modi in March 2022 had cleared the procurement of 15 Limited Series Production (LSP) LCHs at a cost of Rs 3,887 crore along with infrastructure sanctions worth Rs 377 crore. Of the 15 LCHs, 10 are for the air force and five are for the army.

The LSP LCH is an indigenously designed, developed and manufactured, state-of-the-art modern combat helicopter containing approximately 45 per cent indigenous content by value, which will progressively increase to more than 55 per cent for the Series Production (SP) version. The LSP LCH will allow the HAL to obtain user feedback and make necessary changes before it begins the manufacturing of the SP LCH. A total of 145 series production helicopters are slated to be built giving the LCH a production run of at least 160. The HAL is planning to manufacture 30 helicopters annually when it attains peak production capacity. It has also built four prototype helicopters for the design and development programme.


HTT 40: Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the HTT-40, the indigenous trainer aircraft designed and developed by the HAL at the India Pavilion during the DefExpo-2022. The aircraft has state-of-the-art contemporary systems and has been designed with pilot-friendly features.

The HTT-40 will be used for basic flight training, aerobatics, instrument flying and close formation flights whereas its secondary roles would include navigation and night flying. The HTT-40 is an example of cutting-edge technology designed to meet primary training requirements of the Indian defence services. Built around-tested, turbo-prop engine, it is equipped with the latest avionics, an air-conditioned cabin and ejection seats. The HTT-40 boasts of unique features like running change-over of pilots, hot-refuelling and short- turnaround time.


Tejas Mk-II: The indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Mk-II was given the green light by the CCS on September 1, 2022. The CCS has approved Rs 6,500 crore to design and build prototypes, test flights and certification for the fighter jet.

The Tejas Mk-II, described as a 4.5-generation fighter aircraft, will fall in the middleweight category. It will be 70 per cent indigenised, more than the Mark-IA’s 62 per cent. It will have advanced technologies made in India. This is a single-engine, multi-role, supersonic fighter plane developed by the state-owned HAL.

The Mk2’s preliminary design studies were finished in 2014 and were in the detailed design phase in 2015. The redesigned fighter was first displayed at the Aero India in 2019. It was a 17.5-tonne-class fighter with close-coupled canards and an integrated IRST system. The metal-cutting for the Tejas Mk-II started in February 2021. The first prototype was supposed to roll out in August 2022, but it was later moved to the end of 2022. It should take off for the first time in late 2023. Four prototypes are planned. The Mk-II version will also be able to be used in both defensive and offensive operations.


Tata Airbus consortium: Prime Minister Modi laid the foundation stone for a manufacturing facility of the Tata-Airbus consortium. This is the country’s first aircraft manufacturing facility in the private sector. The C-295 aircraft—which would be manufactured at the facility—aims to modernise the Indian Air Force (IAF) fleet. The total cost of the project is said to be around Rs 21,935 crore.

The unit will undertake aircraft manufacturing and assembly and will deliver a mission-ready aircraft in transport configuration, equipped with an indigenous Electronic Warfare Suite to the IAF.

In September 2021, India formalised the acquisition of 56 Airbus C-295 aircraft to replace the IAF legacy Avro fleet. It is the first ‘Make in India’ aerospace programme in the private sector, involving the development of a complete industrial ecosystem—from manufacture to assembly, test and qualification, to delivery and maintenance of the complete lifecycle of the aircraft.

The IAF became the 35th C-295 operator worldwide. The C-295 is used for tactical transport of up to 71 troops or 50 paratroopers, and for logistic operations to locations that are not accessible to current heavier aircraft.


Capacity Building

On the Road: In October alone, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dedicated 75 infrastructure projects. including bridges, roads, helipads and ‘carbon neutral habitat’ built at a cost of Rs 2,180 crore in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and other border states. Twenty of these projects are in J&K, 18 each in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, five in Uttarakhand and 14 in other border states including Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

He inaugurated the projects at a function held at the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DS-DBO) road that provides connectivity to India’s northernmost outpost of Daulat Beg Oldi in eastern Ladakh. The 120-metre-long class-70 Shyok Setu (bridge) on the DS-DBO Road at an altitude 14,000 feet was inaugurated onsite by the minister. Other projects inaugurated virtually by Singh included two helipads, one each in Hanle and Thakung, in eastern Ladakh. The motive in building the helipads is to enhance the operational capabilities of the air force in the region.

Describing connectivity with border areas as one of the focus areas of the government, he said, “Now, due to the government’s efforts, the region is witnessing a new dawn of peace and progress. Our aim is to continue with the development of all states/UTs of the country,” he said.

Earlier, the ministry of defence had announced that in the last five years, the Border Roads Organisation had constructed 3,595 km of roads along the line of actual control with China, to facilitate all-weather access to forward areas. The overcall cost of the roads was Rs 20,767 crore.


New Weapon Systems Branch: On Air Force Day, the government approved the creation of a new branch called the Weapon Systems (WS) branch. The creation of the WS branch will entail the unification of all weapon system operators under one entity dedicated to the operational employment of all ground-based and specialist airborne weapon systems.

The branch will encompass operators in four specialised streams of surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles, remotely piloted aircraft and weapon system operators in twin/multi-crew aircraft.

During the Air Force Day celebrations in Chandigarh, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Vivek Ram Choudhari said that the creation of the branch would result in savings of over Rs 3,400 crore because of the reduced expenditure on flying training. The existing branches of the IAF include the flying branch, engineers, administration, accounts, logistics, meteorology and education.



BrahMos Misfire: On March 9, 2022, a supersonic cruise missile BrahMos crashed 124-km inside Pakistan. It originated from Sirsa, Haryana. Following a court of inquiry headed by an Air Vice Marshal, which found that “deviation from the standard operating procedures (SOP) by three officers” led to the accidental firing of the 290-km range missile, the IAF sacked the commanding officer (CO) along with two other officers of the BrahMos unit.

While the unarmed BrahMos crashed harmlessly near Mian Chunnu town in Pakistan within seven minutes, Defence Minister Singh told parliament that Indian missile systems were ‘safe, secure and reliable.’


Helicopter Crashes: Barely a few weeks after the HAL-built Light Combat Helicopter Prachand was inaugurated, the HAL’s other helicopter ALH-WSI, called Rudra, crashed in the Upper Siang region of Arunachal Pradesh near Tuting village. All five personnel onboard the helicopter, Major Vikas Bhambhu, Major Mustafa Bohara, CFN Tech AVN (AEN) Aswin K.V., Havildar (OPR) Biresh Sinha and NK (Ppr) Rohitashva Kumar died in the crash.

Since its induction in the armed forces in 2002, the ALH variants have had 16 accidents, not all of them fatal though. Following the Tuting crash, over 300 ALH variants with the services have been ordered to be thoroughly checked before they can be flown again.

A month ago, the Indian Army’s Cheetah helicopter flying in the Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh had also crashed during a routine sortie on September 5, killing one of the two pilots. The deceased pilot was Lt Col. Saurabh Yadav.

In a statement, the army had said, “An army aviation Cheetah helicopter flying in the forward area near Tawang has crashed on 05 October (today) at around 10 AM during a routine sortie. Both the pilots were evacuated to nearest Military Hospital. No visuals of the same have been released.”


Tank Barrel Burst: During the annual firing at the Babina Field Firing Ranges on October 6, a T-90 tank barrel burst took place. The tank was manned by a crew of three personnel. The crew was provided immediate medical aid and evacuated to the Military Hospital, Babina. Subsequently, the commander and the gunner succumbed to their burn injuries.


MiG29K Crashes: On 12 October 2022 a MiG 29K crashed over the sea off Goa after it developed a technical malfunction while returning to base. The pilot ejected safely and has been recovered in a swift search and rescue operation. A board of inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the incident.

The Navy spokesperson said on Twitter, “A MiG 29K on a routine sortie over sea off Goa developed a technical malfunction while returning to base. The pilot ejected safely & has been recovered in a swift SAR ops. Pilot reported to be in stable condition. BoI ordered to investigate the cause of the incident.”


Tech Update

Rudram Missile: The IAF moved a proposal worth over Rs 1,400 crore to the government for acquiring the Rudram next-generation anti-radiation missiles (NGARM) to search and destroy enemy radar locations.

The anti-radiation missiles are designed to detect, track and neutralise the adversary’s radar, communication assets and other radio frequency sources, which are generally part of their air defence systems. Such a missile’s navigation mechanism comprises an inertial navigation system—a computerised mechanism that uses changes in the object’s own position—coupled with GPS, which is satellite-based. Rudram-1 missile aims at Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD).


BrahMos NG: On October 18, BrahMos Aerospace CEO Atul Rane announced that the qualification trials of the BrahMos-Next Generation (NG) missile were likely to start in early 2024 and the IAF would get it in two to three years for its LCA Tejas.

The BrahMos-NG will be a scaled-down variant of the current missile. It is expected to be 50 per cent lighter and three metre smaller than the current BrahMos. But it will have the same 290 km range and the speed of Mach 3.5. It will weigh around 1.5 tons.


DRDO Tests: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) tested several missiles in cohesion with the services this year. Along with the Indian Army, it successfully completed six flight-tests of ‘Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile’ QRSAM system from Integrated Test Range (ITR) Chandipur off the Odisha coast in September.

In August, the Indian Navy successfully flight tested the Vertical Launch Short Range Surface-to-Air Missile (VL-SRSAM). The missile was carried out from an Indian Naval Ship (INS) against a high-speed unmanned aerial target for demonstration of vertical launch capability from the ITR.

Also in August, the Laser-Guided Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) were successfully test-fired from the Main Battle Tank Arjun. The DRDO also conducted two successful test flight of Very Short-Range Air Defence System (VSHORADS) missile on 27 September 2022 from a ground based portable launcher at the Integrated Test Range, Chandipur, off the coast of Odisha.


Internal security

AFSPA: The central government extended the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh and nine districts of Nagaland for six months from October 1 to March 30 next year. According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the AFSPA was extended in three districts of Arunachal Pradesh, including Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts.

The government also extended the AFSPA in the areas falling within the jurisdiction of Namsai and Mahadevpur police stations in Arunachal Pradesh. Furthermore, the AFSPA was extended in nine districts of Nagaland for a period of six months.

It was also extended in eight districts and one subdivision of Assam for six months. The government, however, lifted the controversial law from West Karbi Anglong district as the situation there has ‘considerably improved.’

Meghalaya-Assam border dispute: On November 22, five villagers from Meghalaya and an Assam forest guard were killed and several others were seriously injured in a firing incident along the boundary between the two states—West Karbi Anglong district of Assam and Mukroh village in Meghalaya’s West Jaintia Hills. The clash occurred between the Assam police and an armed Meghalaya mob.

The Assam government said the incident happened after its forest guards tried to intercept a truck smuggling timber. According to Assam, when the truck was stopped, the forest personnel were gheraoed by unknown miscreants who resorted to violence. Assam also said the staff resorted to firing to save their lives.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on the other hand said the Assam police and Assam forest guards entered Meghalaya and ‘resorted to unprovoked firing’. While the versions differ, both states have instituted separate inquiries. Assam and Meghalaya have a five-decade old boundary dispute. Meghalaya, formerly part of Assam as an autonomous region in 1970, became a separate state in 1972.

In March, Assam and Meghalaya resolved the boundary dispute at six out of total 12 such locations along their 884.9 km boundary, and the next round of talks was to take place soon. Even as the latest flare-up did not arise out of this dispute, it happened along another disputed border stretch. The incident comes ahead of the second phase of talks scheduled for this month-end between the two states to resolve their boundary dispute.


Kashmir: The Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir continued to live through the dark winter imposed upon it in August 2019. It also continued to figure in different state elections as proof of government’s nationalistic drive. It also provided enough grist for the government to repeatedly draw attention to terrorism, labelling it as a grave threat to the world. In October, India hosted the special session of the UN Counter Terrorism Committee in Mumbai and Delhi, as well as ministerial conference on ‘No Money for Terror’, which was attended by representatives from 75 countries.

Meanwhile, human rights activist, Khurram Parvez, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) last year remains in prison, despite global outrage and calls for his release.

However, the big news on Kashmir was the movie, The Kashmir Files, written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri, which was released in March. The film portrayed the 1990 killing of Kashmiri Pandits, which led to their exodus from the Valley. The government threw its weight behind the film, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that, “Some people speak a lot about freedom of expression, but no film was made on Emergency because there was a continuous effort in the country to bury the truth.”

The movie was declared tax-free in several states, all of which are ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Uttar Pradesh, Goa, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat and Uttarakhand. Going a step further, the Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that his government will provide land for ‘genocide museum’ in his state. No wonder that film was the biggest hit of the year.

However, not everyone saw the same merit in the film. At the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa in November, Israeli filmmaker Nadav Lapid who was invited as the chairman of the jury called the film ‘vulgar and propaganda’ at the closing ceremony of the Festival. “All of us were disturbed and shocked by the 15th film, ‘The Kashmir Files’,” he said. “That felt like a propaganda, vulgar movie, inappropriate for an artistic competitive section of such a prestigious film festival. I feel totally comfortable to openly share these feelings here with you on this stage. In the spirit of this festival, can surely also accept a critical discussion, which is essential for art and life,” Lapid added.

Interestingly, the Israeli government was quick to denounce Lapid, in support of the film. This was a first in international diplomacy, where the government weighed in on the merits of arts in another country.

Interesting year it has been.


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