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Banks are easy targets for tapping huge funds, as influential politicians care little for irregularities

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By Adv Masood Peshimam*
The saying goes that there is always a crime behind every big money. Indeed, criminals care a hoot for law as they feel that they can play havoc with justice by purchasing it. They don’t fear the consequences as they know that they can be steered clear of the blame put on them as they have the potential and clout to grease the palm at the right corner. Those becoming rich overnight are least concerned with the devastating effects of their criminal acts, as the same can be neutralized with corrupt means.
Muscle power follows money power. The twin power of money and muscle draws its strength from proximity to the political class. In the given situation it’s easy to promote fortunes very fast. The story of rags to riches with an enormous speed reflects deceit, fraud and chicanery. Prominent poet late Zafar Gorakhpuri of Bollywood’s “Bazigar” fame can be quoted here:
“Kal tak jo the mere sath bhikh mangne wale,
Aaj ek raat me amir kaise ban baithe.”

(How is it that…

Mainstream media is not willing to reveal that racial hatred is used to divide people and destroy society

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By Asokan Nambazhikkad*
The right to dissent is supreme in a democracy. In its essence, democracy exists on the strength of the will of individuals and groups to dissent and disagree. It is this will, which even an individual in the lowest strata of society should be able to exercise, that is being hacked at its roots every day in contemporary India.
The government and the political parties which run them are trying to tame dissenters or to suppress them if they cannot; they will even take their life if these attempts fail. Individual liberty and fearless interventions are obstacles to governments to protect their secret interests and to parties to protect their vested interests.
Thus individuals, media and small groups which intervene independently and fearlessly against injustice and exploitation in society are perceived as threats by the state. The politics of hatred generated by the Sangh Parivar, which controls the Indian state today, divides and destroys society in various way…

How Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi, collaborators in Vibrant Gujarat 2017, fleeced state jewellery customers

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By Shaktisinh Gohil*
Nirav Modi ("chhota Modi") and Mehul Choksi ("hamare Mehulbhai") have not only siphoned off from India’s banks a sum of Rs 21,306 crore. A new layer of conspiracy has now been unearthed which discloses that India’s middle class and common people have also been duped of Rs.5,000 crore or perhaps more. A complicit Modi Government has even refused to publicly acknowledge this loot.
Gitanjali Gems Limited had floated three jewellery investment schemes, i.e. (a) Shagun, (b) Swarna Mangal Labh, and (c) Swarna Mangal Kalash. Modus operandi of the scheme was that an ordinary person, seeking to buy jewellery as also to earn a return on investment, was required to pay 11 installments of a specified amount. In return, the Gitanjali group offered to pay the 12th installment as free. Tenure of these installments could be 12 months, 24 months or 36 months. At the end of the tenure, the amount so accumulated could be redeemed for jewellery with an additional bo…

Vending pakoras can hardly be the real meaning of New India, yet Modi believes in it

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By Anand K. Sahay
‘New India’ is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s copyright. It wasn’t in the BJP manifesto in 2014. It is a powerful rubric with which to attract youth power, and harness it.
And yet, when nearly four years of the five are done, the best that Modi’s BJP can do to bring the young Indian on board is to cook up the idiotic notion of pakora growth, and pakora politics, when unemployment is rampant among all classes.
This little savoury on the snack menu can’t surely be the lead symbol of the Asian century in which India thinks it has a part to play. Vending pakoras can hardly be said to the real meaning of India in the new era.
But, surprisingly, Modi believes it does. When questions on rising joblessness were being flung at him, he was far from defensive. His instinctive- and instant and heartless- reply was that making pakoras was also work.
It is hard not to be reminded of the vicious mocking tone of Marie Antoinette- the French queen sent to the guillotine by the revo…

One has to be either a fool or a liar to try to project that saree is the only dress for women

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Well-known fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee, who has sold designer merchandise using the label Sabyasachi, and is an associate designer member of Fashion Design Council of India and board member of the National Museum of Indian Cinema, was recently engulfed in controversy following his remark before Indian students at the Harvard India Conference that if women do not know how to wear a saree, they should be ashamed. Mukherjee has designed costumes for Bollywood films such as Guzaarish, Baabul, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Raavan, and English Vinglish. Reacting to his remark, Rajni Basumatary, a Bodo woman has written an open letter. Text of the letter:
Let me begin by reminding you, saree is not a national garment for women in India neither it is any divinely ordained garment and those of us not proficient in wearing it are not ‘ashamed’ of it.
Speaking at the Harvard India Conference, you came out with an outrageous comment, “I think, if you tell me that you do not know how to wea…

For Modi, early election is a political compulsion, his story is different from that of Vajpayee

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By Anand K Sahay
"But something is happening here and you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mr, Jones?"
 -- Bob Dylan, 1965  Rulers seldom know what’s happening, do they? They have the intelligence apparatus and their party politicos feeding them whatever the powerful like to hear, but the assessment of the people can be in delicious discord.
Atal Behari Vajpayee ordered elections early because his India was shining. He paid the price. Through cries of policy paralysis and corruption, Dr Manmohan Singh went in expecting to be reasonably rewarded. After all, his government had delivered a nearly eight per cent (10 per cent by today’s yardstick) rate of growth over a ten-year period, unprecedented for a democracy. Yet, the result was a shock.
What was common between the two governments -- covering a period of about 16 years of elite section boy- scout optimism -- was bubbly talk for much of the time by economists, policy wonks, and the World Bank and the IMF. In the end, the politic…

When Nimo meets Namo: One could well ask if anything is ever fair in today's era of vendetta politics?

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By Rajdeep Sardesai*
One good thing in the often joyless times in which we live is the flowering of satire and cartooning on social media (yes, RK Laxman's legacy is alive and kicking) For the last week, my whatsapp has been buzzing, not so much with breaking news, as with 'breaking jokes'. Every few minutes there is a new Nirav Modi joke that enters my inbox which is then almost instantaneously shared with friends and 'contacts' since we all need a break from the tedium of our lives. Most of the jokes have a distinct Narendra Modi angle to them.  Now, it is purely coincidental that the latest swindler in town shares a surname with the prime minister and with another famous fugitive, but it clearly isn't a happy coincidence (bloody hell, even the acronym NiMo is all too uncomfortably close for comfort to NaMo). As the latest joke goes: 'the Congress gave us five Gandhis in 60 years, while the BJP has given us three Modis in four years so the BJP wins on the …

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