Showing posts from March, 2020

Government of India Announces Major Relief on Deadlines and Compliance

Nirmala Sitharaman and Anurag Thakur at Yesterday's Press Conference (source: PIB) In yesterday’s press conference via video conferencing, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in English and her deputy Anurag Thakur addressed the media and clearly stated that the aim of these announcements was to help companies and individuals to ease out worries sitting in the mind of the people with respect to various kinds of regulatory requirements. Ms. Sitharaman noted that as efforts of the lockdown to flatten the curve for the Covid-19 spread are being undertaken, she also assured everyone of an upcoming economic package. The first step however, as Mr. Thakur stated, was to ensure that the first step is taken in the direction of addressing statutory and regulatory compliance related issues. Relief on Income Tax Compliance and Regulation Deadline for filing IT returns for FY18-19 have been extended to 30 June 2020. Moreover, a reduced interest rate of 9% shall now be levied till 30 June 2

India Discovers Its Innate Hinduness in the Garb of Janata Curfew

The Janata Curfew witnessed on 22 March 2020 was more than a success. Glitches here and there apart, the manner in which an entire nation chose to stand up and acknowledge the people who help it was truly unprecedented. This is a moment that will be remembered in popular history and will become a part of folklore in the years to come, and will perhaps make Narendra Modi into a tour de force, a legend in some senses. What made is very interesting to note however was the innate Hinduness of society that came out that evening at 5pm. It started five minutes earlier, but went on fifteen minutes. Whatsapp groups had already started to circulate the temple aarti bell and shankha sounds to play - not suprisingly, that was the predominant sound that people responded to with enthusiasm. The atmosphere was nothing short of eclectic. Those who have attended vibrant aartis would recall how the powerful sounds really vibrate with the aatma, making you go into a deep meditative state. People jo

Rama Lives in Penury While Jesus Thrives in Jagan Reddy's Andhra Pradesh

Jagan Mohan Reddy and his YSR Congress party has time and again shown its keenness to prop up Christianity, which Jagan personally adheres to. However, when it comes to celebrating the native Hindu traditions of Andhra Pradesh, it seems the government develops an ostrich like mentality, and buries its head in the proverbial sand. The annual Bhadradri temple’s Sita-Rama wedding festival, celebrated on Rama Navami, has always been a sight to behold. Lakhs of devotees from across the country throng the temple in Bhadrachalam Andhra Pradesh to view this divine sight. The Jagan Reddy government has apparently declined to allocate funds for the Kalyana Mahotsavam this year, despite being a state festival for Andhra Pradesh. Speaking to a  Hans India reporter , a senior temple official was quoted that even though the Seetha Rama Kalyanam was declared as state festival, all they get is a pair of silk robes and pearls costing about ₹20,000. The temple, the official said, earns about ₹

How Maulana Kejriwal Stoked Delhi's Communal Cauldron

Picture Credit: Abhijit Majumder Several news media establishments were gloating over the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) victory, and making pointed references to Hanumana bhakti of Arvind Kejriwal. References were being made about Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) being happy about this demonstration of Hindu-ness by Arvind Kejriwal. Truth, however, could not be farther away from facts. Arvind Kejriwal and AAP indulged in minority appeasement and communal polarization to secure minority votes in Delhi. They seemed to have repeatedly engaged tactics to fan communal passions, both in Delhi and in Punjab. Here are some instances that highlight their efforts. Frankly, this emboldening came at the back of the continued hankering for Muslim votes. Kejriwal left no stone unturned with his tacit involvement, a few instances of which are shown below July 2014 - Posters came up in Okhla with Arvind Kejriwal’s photos, saying he will ensure a re-investigation of the Batla House encounte