Showing posts from November, 2016

Project Remonetisation: Apogee of divisiveness amidst effort to paint Dubaiesque picture of India Rising

By Shantanu Basu*
In the myth-making, politics and economics of Project Remonetisation, all cash outside the banking system have earned the dubious moniker of being ‘black’. Nowhere in sight of discussion are fundamental issues of the future control of citizens’ moneys and their security, costs of currency replacement, legality and necessity, even constitutionality and limitations. Instead Indians are beamed TV images of Chief Vitalstatistix astride his throne, carried aloft by his minions, while holding the Roman Empire (of evil) at bay.

Castro: In lieu of a tribute

By Rajiv Shah
It was August first week, 1985. Strictly speaking, this my first foreign trip. Earlier, in late 1960s, I had been to Nepal in a school tour, but that was hardly foreign. I was sent to Havana by my bosses in “Patriot”, the former Delhi-based pro-Soviet daily, to cover world indebtedness conference, called by Cuba’s supreme leader Fidel Castro. This was my first assignment; the effort, apparently, was to ascertain if I could be transferred to the news bureau from the desk.
A semi-communist then, I held Castro in high esteem, and I was actually quite excited. Hardly a photographer, I even carried with me to Havana a heavy Nikon SLR, which my maternal uncle, settled in US – Bharat Kinariwala, 90, professor-emeritus at Hawaii University – had given me. I had hardly put to it any use till then. I was sure, I would be able to click some photographs of Castro, which I proudly did, after borrowing a zoom lens from a reluctant photographer in the press gallery.
Castro threw a hug…

To these professionals, Modi is a "nation builder", as if this is happening for the first time in independent India

By Sanjiv Bhatt*
There’s something to be said about Narendra Modi. Though he is a photoshopped demagogue, he has been able to dumb down the minds of people who I (mistakenly) thought would be able to have a more discerning sense of what’s going on. What I see now is a shocking case of brain meltdown. These people are not the street ruffians of the VHP.
They are also, at least ostensibly not, RSS brown shirts. They are professionally qualified people, with good life skills, and also reasonably honest in what they do with some sense of what constitutes ethical behaviour and practice In their respective professions. What beats me is the way in which these people have swallowed Modi’s hogwash hook, line, and sinker.

Demonetizing Rs 500 and 1,000 notes will lead to decrease in purchases, profits, investment, income

By Hemantkumar Shah*
The decision to demonetize Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from currency is a macho decision by the government which will have no positive impact on Indian economy.
(1) In 1978, a similar decision was taken by the Morarji Desai government. But the black money volume increased. It did not reduce. A same result will be there this time, too.
(2) In 1978, hardly 10% of people were using these notes. At present, almost all people use these notes. So they will be harassed for exchange.

Dismantling democracy: Today it’s not merely writing on the wall; freedoms are curtailed, dissidence quashed

By Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*
The way Fatima, the mother of Najeeb Ahmed (#najeebahmed) the missing JNU student was treated on November 6, 2016 evening by the Delhi Police was just appalling. She was at a rally peacefully protesting with several others about the mysterious disappearance of her son. They were demanding that the Police and the Central Government need to do much more to trace Najeeb. The rally was disbanded by the police. There is enough of evidence (viral on social media) to show how Fatima was dragged, manhandled and detained by the police. Several other protestors (including students) were also detained.
This is not the first incident happening this past week. Some opposition political leaders who were protesting the death of a retired soldier were also arrested and were made to stop their protests. The son of the soldier who had gone to meet these leaders was beaten up by the police.

Bellicose BJP and antsy AAP: Why Kejriwal's "surgical strikes" earned the ire of panick-stricken Gujarat rulers

By RK Misra*
Cats stalk quietly and wolves prey in packs but why is the behemoth of a BJP getting paranoid over antsy Aam Admi Party (AAP) and barking up all manner of trees?
Quite simply, because it’s iron clasp grip on Gujarat is slipping and a queasy national party leadership is stuck for options to reverse the trend.