Showing posts from 2019

The Economic Slowdown Needs Immediate Address

The Buck Stops With the Duo (Courtesy: Bloombergquint) The fracas in Maharashtra notwithstanding, things are at a critical juncture with respect to the economic scenario. Not undertaking critical labour and land reforms in the previous terms of course have contributed; however, the lack of steps is not really the problem right now. The real problem at this stage is a dampened sentiment about the state of the Indian economy. This sentiment has essentially been harmed by a handful of reasons that are not being addressed suitably: GST – yes, it is proving to be a dampener. While I had back then too stated that its benefits were being overstated, the GST mechanism per se needs fixation. While tax collection is immediate and even before payments are received by the suppliers of goods and services, the input credit necessary to keep many businesses afloat and flush with working capital is taking unduly long. Steps have been announced to attempt tax reform; however, this step is y

What Being Hindu Really Means to Me

It is still clear in front of me. Daytime had started to make way for evening on a December day. I and my family stood in front of BrajRaj Swami ji in Nurpur in Himachal Pradesh Legend goes that the idol, worshipped by no less than Mirabai herself, was brought to this land from Chittorgarh. Mirabai herself was the consort to this idol, perhaps the only place in the world of its kind. Even as we stood there to partake of the caranAmrita, thoughts of all that I had read and learnt about my ancestors came rushing back. This very idol was nearly a victim of iconoclasm, and my ancestors were among those who fought to save it, to protect it till their last breaths. Was it just another idol anymore? Something that invoked reverent love among one and all could not just be another museum piece - it was rather a living being for us, whose protection and upkeep was our responsibility.  Even as I had gone there after visiting my ancestral village, where we had prostrated before our clan d

Six Quick Takes from Today's Results of Maharashtra and Haryana

Results Have Thrown Up Some Trends (Courtesy Indian Express) 1. People are really upset on the issue of jobs. They won't vote for others, but they sat out on BJP. Hence the reduction in the vote share also can be seen compared to even last Vidhan Sabha elections. Many people have tried to cash upon it, but with limited success. 2. Caste factor wasn't entirely a problem, since voteshares haven't swung as much compared to the previous assembly elections. Sena and NCP don't get any more or less than each other. Clearly the vote shares haven't entirely changed for the smaller ones. BJP won more seats frankly last time because Sena caused four way fights. Similarly in Haryana, while Congress did gain compare to 2014, the real loss was for OP Chautala's INLD, which bled votes to everyone else. 3. Miracle leader Mr. Fadnavis should be credited to have managed three digit seats in Maharashtra despite two way fight this time. However, some of his wife's s

Why the Rama Mandir Matters to Me

As the arguments come to a close and a judgment is given, I cannot but marvel how defeatist I feel about the entire subject of the Rama Janmabhoomi dispute. That the word dispute is attached to something that archaeological and historical references prove beyond doubt is beyond my comprehension. Even with mountains of evidence, I have to prove that my deity, my Bhagavana was born there, at that very spot, where a building was repurposed to use the liberal and Marxist historian lexicography, to become a symbol of power, of slavery, which continued to rankle people even after coming down. I do not have anything new to say, I guess, to add to the importance of the Rama Mandir. It is NOT (emphasis added) a political issue for the likes of me. It is a civilizational issue, one that literally goes to define who I am. Whatever may be the geography internally, that temple is a mark of my identity as a Hindu, whose ethos has long been lost somewhere. Fightbacks and heroics of the battl

China-India Powwow - Smart Diplomacy on Display

Narendra Modi with Xi Jumping at Mahabalipuram (Source:MEA on Twitter) The informal dialogue between Indian Premier and the Chinese President is going on even as we speak. Few people will note the subtlety with which Communist China's civilizational claims have been shown a mirror of reality check by Modi's foreign policy tonight at Mahabalipuram. China's entire 'legitimate claim' to a high seat on the global power high table is surmised from the basis of its ancient civilizational glory and past, which is extended to every sphere of their diplomacy, even border dispute resolution. What people often ignore is that the Chinese mentality often needs to be confronted to some extent with a dose of reality check and nerves of steel. China only respects countries and people who actually demonstrate a spine and also play the game on equal footing with a genuine challenge to their ancientness. Some time back, Modi was taken once to Xi'an and once to Wuhan by

Observations from Srinagar, Two Months into the Post 370 Situation

I visited Srinagar briefly, and I must say that what is visible on the ground is something the government should be brave about and confront, instead of hiding behind statistics and numbers, which, while true, are still not representative of the Kashmir valley’s reality in its entirety. Interestingly, security forces seemed somewhat relaxed in some of the areas like Parraypora, Hyderpora, Raj Bagh and Lal Ded hospital belt, though by the evening their numbers were up. However, it did seem like there was a terror threat or some input, given how checking and frisking picked up, with cars being stopped for verification of the passengers. There is a tenuous peace clearly visible in the Valley’s capital, especially areas like the Lal Ded Hospital, Rani Bagh all the way up to the airport. Shops are mostly shut, clearly the sign of a civil lockdown. The odd shop seems to be open, indicating a kind of bravado that may prove fatal from these people. However, what is driving this lockdown

Article 370 May Finally Deliver Justice to Those Who Need It the Most

The Redrawn Map (Courtesy: India Today) In 1947, the violence singing Hindus in the newly created West Pakistan had forced a whole bunch of them across the border with the then independent state of Jammu and Kashmir. The forces of then Maharaja Hari Singh halted their progress, and had started to deliberate on the potential rehabilitation, given cultural affinities, when the invasion of the Pakistani army irregulars happened, leading to an imbroglio on their status that was never resolved completely. They got the right to vote for the Lok Sabha elections, but under the then extant Article 370 and the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir, they had no resident status in the state. Their only crime perhaps was to choose to be Indians. Cut to the 1950s, with the renewed status of the Wazir-e-Azam of Jammu and Kashmir of Sheikh Abdullah, and Valmikis were called into the state to be sanitation workers. Incidentally, the idea must have spawned from how Pakistan even today only hir