Home > Opinion

Opinion

It's rightists vs left-liberals in media slugfest
Amulya Ganguli, A major reason the media is being targeted by right-wing establishments in both India and the US is the belief among the "official" ideologues that large sections of the newspapers, magazines and TV channels are dominated by left-liberals, a legacy of Nehruvian times.Hence, the derogatory terms of "presstitudes" and media workers (apropos of sex workers) coined by the saffron brotherhood to describe journalists and the charges of dishonesty and fake news levelled by US President Donald Trump against the scribes in America.The media is certainly not blameless, depending as it often does on sensationalism to outdo rivals while the TV "debates" are marked more by rancour than reason. But since it has rarely been under such sustained attacks as now, it must have touched a raw nerve among present-day politicians.It is no secret that a long-standing grouse of the Hindutva Parivar in India has been that the years of dominance by the secular, left-...




How minority NGOs are specially targeted in Modi regime
George Abraham, During the recent confirmation hearing for the job as the U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson was urged by Cory Gardner, the Senator from Colorado to take up the issue of ‘Compassion International,' a Christian Charity that operates 580 centers in India for destitute children, with authorities in India.   ‘Since 2014, Compassion (International) has been the target of multiple coordinated governmental attacks because of its unapologetically Christian belief, but it has been delivering humanitarian services to hundreds of thousands of Indian Children. But due to restrictions by the Indian Government, they have been unable to fund its India operations since February 2016, despite having broken no laws. I believe the State Department should take notice that this ill treatment of Compassion International should stop, and it is a broader pattern by the Government of India, where other NGOs have seen similar problems', Senator Gardner said...




Cultural nationalism premised on religious majoritarianism is against accepted philosophy of liberal nationalism: Vice President
IndiaTomorrow.net, New Delhi, Feb 15: “The existential reality of modern India is a plural society of immense diversity…but some “want to modulate or amend it and espouse instead an Indian version of ‘cultural nationalism’ premised on ‘religious majoritarianism’”, said Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari adding that it would be against the philosophy of liberal nationalism.   “The existential reality of modern India is a plural society of immense diversity devoted to the realisation of the objectives and ideals enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution. It is premised on the individual as the basic unit of citizenship on terms of equality with every other citizen. It therefore aspires towards a form of citizenship that is marked neither by a universalism generated by complete homogenisation, nor by particularism of self-identical and closed communities’ The operative principle for this is &l...




Rising inequality leads to rise of authoritarian leaders with divisive agenda: Vice President
IndiaTomorrow.net, Bengaluru, Feb 11: Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari has warned of public despair and social conflicts if rising economic inequality, which is the number one risk, is not checked.  He was delivering the inaugural address, titled ‘Living in Febrile Times', at the First Edition of the Huddle, a three-day conclave organised by The Hindu newspaper, here on Friday.  The Vice President said that the improving living standards, in segments, have perhaps masked a dramatic concentration of income and wealth over the last 30 years.   "The improving living standards, in segments, have perhaps masked a dramatic concentration of income and wealth over the last 30 years. A number of studies have come to the distressing conclusion that despite the increase in the number of people coming out of abject poverty, the majority of people on the planet today live in countries where economic disparities are bigger than they were a generation ago,...




Muzaffarnagar: People apprehensive atmosphere may be vitiated
Brajendra Nath Singh,  Muzaffarnagar, Jan 31: People in Muzaffarnagar have not yet overcome the stress and strain of the 2013 communal riots that left over 60 people dead. They fear that vested interests may try to vitiate the atmosphere ahead of the February 11 election."Sarhado par tanav hai kya, kuch pata to karo chunav hai kya," Faizal Jameer (30), a Urdu graduate, quoted well known poet Rahat Indori's lines to describe the situation in this town.Muzaffarnagar, where the 2013 riots left over 60 dead and more than 50,000 displaced, will vote in the first phase of the staggered Uttar Pradesh polls.Expressing his apprehension, Jameer, who left his studies midway to earn a living, told IANS: "We can never forget the riots. Both the BJP and SP were responsible. They are political parties and can do anything for their political gains."Hafiz Abdul Kaddus remembers a midnight of August when a crowd set fire to a weavers factory in Muzaffarnagar district's Khatauli ...




By including Ram Mandir in manifesto, has BJP violated SC order on use of religion in elections?
Day after the apex court order, BSP of Mayawati had issued list of its candidates and mentioned their religion and castes. IndiaTomorrow.net, Lucknow, Jan 30: Are political parties really respecting the January 3 order of the Supreme Court against seeking votes in the name of religion, caste or language - it is an open question for all to find answer.   On 4th Jan, just day after the apex court verdict, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati while releasing the list of party candidates clearly mentioned religion and castes of the candidates. She announced that her party will field 97 Muslims along with 113 candidates from upper castes, 106 candidates from backward castes and 87 Dalits in the upcoming Assembly elections.   Many observers saw it as violation of at least the spirit of the apex court order.   But now, BJP has gone much ahead and announced to build Ram Mandir.  Screenshot of the page from BJP manifesto where it mentioned Ram Temple.  Releasing...




Security with Development is key concern of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh
Shafeeq Rahman, Security with development remains the clear concern of Muslim in Uttar Pradesh at the time of taking decision to vote for any particular party in the upcoming Assembly Election 2017. Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have been their preferable alternative choices for the last four assembly elections in the state. However, these two parties haven’t so far satisfied the Muslim in respect to their concern about safety with development. Muslims have rotated their choices towards SP and BSP in hope to resolve their concern.   BSP led by Mayawati was of course successful in ensuring security to all by maintaining the law and order and keeping the state free from communal violence during her regime (2007-2012). But she was not able to show any notable achievement for the welfare of Muslims except some extension of central government schemes in education. While Akhilesh government (2012-2017) has increased the budget for welfare of minoritie...




Donald Trump, riven by rage and petulance, invokes despair
Ashok Easwaran,  If innocent souls had nurtured a sliver of hope that the evolution from campaigning to governing would even marginally transform President Donald Trump, his inaugural speech would have been the unequivocal denouement. If Trump's election campaign effectively leveraged fear, suspicion and fanaticism, his first speech as President left little doubt that he had spiced that potent brew with another ingredient -- despair.Parts of his 16-minute speech were almost cinematic in the stark description of a decaying America -- rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape; an education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.The former reality television star might as well have been reading from the script of the iconic "Mad Max" 1979 Australian film about a dystopian society.His performance made for a detour from history. American presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama h...




SP-Congress alliance: Will 'hand'-shake warm up UP voters?
By Mohit Dubey,Lucknow, Jan 20: The electoral pact between the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress is a done thing now. But as both parties work out the finer details of the alliance, likely to be announced any time now, the winnability of the combination in a state as complex as Uttar Pradesh is in question.Will the combination keep the Muslim vote in toto? Will the alliance's premise of preventing fragmentation of Muslim votes not polarise the Hindu community in favour of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)? Will Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati be a mute spectator and allow her minority vote bank to slip out of her hands?The jury is still undecided on the likely effects of the alliance. Though it has raised many questions, it has, nevertheless, given a head-start to both the beleaguered parties caught in problems of their own.While SP national president and the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, through the tie-up ,has emerged as the new strategist in his par...




Will Muslims emerge as kingmaker in UP Assembly Election 2017?
Shafeeq Rahman, The Uttar Pradesh assembly election 2017 is being widely seen as semi-final of General Elections 2019 and as a gateway to reach the throne of Delhi. Instead of policies and performances of political parties, voting behaviour in India's most populated state is mainly influenced by religious and castes affiliations. BJP would try to polarize the voters on communal lines as happened in the parliamentary elections 2014 while the SP, BSP and RLD will try to bag the maximum vote of their castes i.e. Yadav, Scheduled Castes and Jats respectively. Muslims are by default considered as the vote bank of all non-BJP parties and as a tool for each of them to blame for their defeat while the community is never given credit for victories.   Muslims who constitute 19.26% of total population of Uttar Pradesh are the pivot in such a communal and caste divided atmosphere. Around 152 Assembly Constituencies have sizeable Muslim population of more than 20% which could be the de...




Gita Hindu holy book, not national book
Ram Puniyani, The Haryana government organized Gita Festival in Kurkshetra with a budget of Rs 100 Crores. This was to celebrate the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. This is the place where Lord Krishna is believed to have delivered the sermons that form the core of a version of Hinduism. The celebration of the Gita Festival has been very meticulous to involve most of the districts of Haryana and is replete with seminars and cultural programs around the teachings of this holy book. As such it is a Holy Scripture, which has been most in news from last quite some time. Those taking part in the festival include the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), yoga guru Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Yog Peeth, Ram Krishna Mission, and ISKCON.   This state funded festival comes in the backdrop of the Modi Sarkar coming to power at the centre. Modi, in his innumerable trips abroad has been gifting Gita to the dignitaries overseas. Also his foreign minister Sushma Swaraj had once proclaimed that Gita should...




Is Demonetization prelude to a Cashless future?
George Abraham, When Dr. Manmohan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, criticized the ongoing demonetization program championed by the Narendra Modi Government as "organized loot" and "legal plunder", it struck a cord with many of the skeptics including me, who felt initially that if this program could reduce corruption and eliminate black money, it would be well worth the effort. Then again, it was quite uncharacteristic of Dr. Singh to use such strong words without reason. He called the whole initiative a ‘monumental management failure.' It is noteworthy that this rebuke comes from a person who had served the centre as chief economic advisor, finance secretary, the finance minister, deputy chairman of the planning commission, and RBI Governor.   There is little doubt that what is unraveling in today's India is a near disaster probably not brought upon the nation with bad intentions but certainly with botched execution by the Modi administ...




What good monsoon brought, demonetisation snatched away
Saurabh Katkurwar, New Delhi, Dec 31: A "normal" monsoon brought much-needed relief to farmers after two consecutive years of drought. However, the demonetisation drive during the harvest season has devastated them, with one expert estimating they would need a bailout package of a staggering Rs 3 lakh crore ($44 billion), slightly less than India's defence budget.India received 862 mm of rainfall this monsoon, just three percent less than the average of 887.5 mm, spelling good fortune for farmers who had suffered losses and agony in the past few years due to insufficient crop yield.Barring exceptions in a few states, the average rainfall translated into surplus agricultural produce.However, farmers' hopes of earning profits or compensating for the losses they incurred during past drought years were wiped out due to a huge dip in the prices of agriculture produce -- a fallout of the tremendous cash cruch that followed the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.Accord...




The most momentous year for RBI since Independence
By Biswajit Choudhury, Mumbai, Dec 31: The year 2016 has been the most momentous since India's Independence for the Reserve Bank on account of a trinity of events -- Raghuram Rajan's exit from the governorship, the decision on interest rates for the first time by a Monetary Policy Committee and the demonetisation of high-value currency last month.This last also put a question mark on whether the RBI knows its math -- as several analysts found, the many figures it put out about disbursal of new currency notes simply did not add up.Rajan's term was due to end in September and the preceeding months passed amid speculation about whether his term would be extended, punctuated by attacks on him and his policies in the media voiced by prominent people close to the ruling BJP.Rajan himself ended the suspense by announcing he would quit at the end of his three-year term because he had decided to return to academics in the US. It also ended up as being the first time that a government had not ex...




Surgical strike on black money or carpet-bombing of the poor? Next few months will tell
Sarwar Kashani,New Delhi, Dec 30: "Failure", "chaotic", "immoral", "unsettling", "revolutionary", "brilliant". Opinions about the effects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's November 8 midnight bomb wrapped in nationalistic garb differ, depending on whom you are talking to.But the radical decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in its third year of power to recall 86 per cent of currency in circulation has resulted in unprecedented disruption -- both in the economic as well as political narrative of India.The Prime Minister declared that Rs 500 and 1,000 notes would become "worthless little slips of paper" from that night. People were given until December 30 to swap their spiked bills for new bank notes. Modi said the move would cause inconvenience but promised that the short-term pain would be over in a "few days", leaving the country to reap long-term gains.He later changed the deadline and ...




RBI, Urjit Patel should speak up or lose credibility
Vatsal Srivastav, Central bankers are often called Masters of the Universe. No period in financial history has proven this more than the aftermath of the global financial crisis (GFC). It was the unorthodox methods of the central bankers -- especially those of Western, developed economies -- that saved the financial system from falling off a cliff and, in turn, saved the real economy from The Great Depression-like economic circumstances.Within this economic landscape, came more power. Central banks in advanced economies became more political and their supervisory and regulatory powers greatly expanded. Central bankers now routinely try to influence and shape economic policies well beyond their mandates and competence. Many central banks have increased the scale and scope of their (quasi-) fiscal and redistributive operations including, in the case of the European Central Bank (ECB), redistribution between the tax payers and beneficiaries of public spending of different nation states.Si...




Cashless queues and a Million Pound note
Saeed Naqvi,Consider this very plausible rumour I picked up at the Times Lit Fest in Mumbai: Some Bollywood bright sparks are developing scripts around demonetisation in double-quick time.One of them has, in a moment of inspiration, turned to the 1954 Gregory Peck classic, the Million Pound Note, to enable the storyline. The film is based on a Mark Twain masterpiece.Oliver and Roderick Montpelier, eccentric millionaire brothers, spot Henry Adams (Gregory Peck) who has suddenly fallen on penury because of an accident. Unknown to Henry, the brothers place an unusual bet on him. They obtain from the Bank of England a Million Pound note and place it in an envelope. This is handed to Henry.Oliver's wager is that Henry will be able to buy everything he needs, including luxurious accommodation, without the note ever being encashed. Mere existence of such wealth will obviate real expenditure. The magic of credit would suffice. Roderick's bet is exactly the opposite.In the envelope, Henry also ...




4 indicators of India's cashless growth - and hurdles to future expansion
Prathamesh Mulye,As Indias government - fronted by Prime Minister Narendra Modis Twitter account - announced a slew of incentives to propel Indians to discard cash, IndiaSpend found four signs of an expanding base: Five-fold growth in electronic bank transfers and doubling of ATMs and card-swipe machines over five years, and a 50 per cent rise in credit cards over four years. It has been 32 days since Modi announced the scrapping of 86 per cent of India's bank notes, by value, and IndiaSpend‘s special coverage of the move chronicles the widespread economic disruption-and how Modi has changed his rationale for the move from "black money" and "fake currency" to "cashless economy", which is the now the main narrative.The move to electronic banking - through debit and credit cards, bank transfers, Internet and mobile banking - will indeed accelerate. While the use of cash for retail transactions was 95 per cent, according to a 2013 report fro...




SC verdict on national anthem bad in law
Amulya Ganguli, It may not be entirely coincidental that on the day Donald Trump decreed that those who burn the Star and Stripes in the US will face "consequences", the Indian Supreme Court laid down that the national anthem must be played at the beginning of every show in cinema halls.Not only that, the doors must be shut during this display of loyalty to the nation.The diktat is not without reason. If it is played at the end, then there is the possibility of people leaving their seats and crowding near the closed doors.A similar order was passed at the time of the Chinese invasion in 1962 to instill love for the motherland. Since the anthem was played at the end of the show and the doors remained open, the government noted after a few weeks that the cinema-goers were walking out.So the practice of playing the anthem was stopped to ensure that no overt, though inadvertent, disrespect could be shown.It is not known whether there will be a similar realisation this time about ...




Demonetisation: It cannot be business as usual any more
Amit Kapoor, The Prime Minister's move on demonetising Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes is now slowly playing out. Apart from inconvenience which the move is causing, it is still early days to say what this really means for a large section of the population.But nonetheless, some things are becoming clear. First, the move is one of the most radical experiments in trying to solve the black money and counterfeit currency conundrum in not just India but across the world. Second, there is expected to be a demand-side shock which has the potential to impact business activity in particular sectors in the coming months. Third, with the parking of funds with the banking sector there is expected to be a drop in interest rates and moderation in prices in the medium- to long-term. Fourth, the move will also see a change in habits of people, probably reducing dependence on cash. Another change will be dependence on gold and housing as a stock of money. Finally, the move could have been done better and the...




<< Previous  1 2 3 4 5  Next >>
Page: 1 of 24