Development and its false notions.


We as the citizens of this country has been aspiring for development, Everybody wants to see our country’s progress because right for a decent living with minimum amenities in place to satisfy our needs is democratic rights of each and every citizen of this country. We vote candidates from different political parties based on plank called “Development”. Have these representatives of the people do justice to their promise to the people, I think this question lingers large on everybody’s mind. The most recent stampede in Mumbai on the railway overbridge proves a point beyond doubt that Govt priorities changes once they are elected to power, they consciously forget their responsibilities towards common people of this country because either they have an agenda to pursue which has been far away from the realities on the ground or a misplaced notion for development . However, they pursue policies to favour the rich and corporates, help them gain maximum profits for the corporates out of it. In today’s environment, it has been increasingly evident that the Govt policy measures are not in sync with the reality, But politicians have consciously tried to pass the message to the larger audience that they are trying to build a new India. what is this new India means to common people, Is new India, govt talking about leave farmers to die because of not able to pay their debts, or children die out for not receiving the oxygen on time , or scores of people are left to die while standing in the queue to withdraw their savings from the bank,But frankly speaking all these campaigns by those in power is nothing but an effort to keep us living in fool’s paradise with hope that sometime someday something better would happen . Now, let’s take the incident happened in Mumbai around 25 valuable lives had been lost in the stampede, it is well known and many times it has been brought to their notice that the railway overbridge is 120 years old with the narrow passage which inadequate to handle the volume of passengers who commutes daily. But on the other hand, we have seen PM launching a bullet train project from Surat to Mumbai with a project cost 10,000 crores. But left to lurch in perennial neglect Do you think it is because of the misplaced priorities and opportunity for photo shots to be in the realm of public life as” Vikash purush “. I think beyond that govt’s has scant regard for the valuable lives of the common people. So it is quite natural to think that launching a bullet train project attracts more eyeballs, improve the optics than the repairing, improving the existing infrastructure of the railways. The major source of income to govt comes from the taxpayers money through direct and indirect taxes, Out of that major source of revenue comes from the indirect tax sources which you and I pay while purchasing our grocery or filling petrol in our vehicles , but the moot question is where do they spend the money collected from us ? Had they been spending the resources wisely frequent occurrence of rail accidents could have been avoided.

Misplaced priorities.

In the last several decades and increasingly so in the last three years, the optics of development for this govt has been through series of announcements of schemes, But very little budget or money has been allocated to improve the situation. Take in the case of rural distress and farmers problem, in the last three years we have not seen any concrete or well thought out plans to address the problem faced by the farmers, Now we have started debating whether the demonetization has delivered its objective , still many argue that the long-term benefits would overweigh the short-term problems. How is it possible when Govt allowed the daily wage workers, farmers to starve and die of poverty. When you have global oil prices at all time low, how can they still allow it to be costlier in India without passing the benefits to the common people? These issues need immediate address rather than ministers after minister trying to justify the move by showing very less importance to issues affecting the common man on the streets.

Optics matter more than the reality.

A responsible government and its administration should be spending the time to address the issues faced by the masses and how they could solve the issues faced by the public at large. In the case of demonisation as the biggest administrative act by the govt has failed miserably, because the reports are out in the open which states more than 90% of the money in circulation came back to the banks. So the purpose of the demo has failed completely. One shock after the other flawed implementation of GST has destroyed the backbone of the economy further, So serious of shocks had already put the ailing patient in ICU, which takes for the patient to come out of the danger. But the optics created by Modi government being that they are sincere in their efforts to attack the black money and GST has been hailed as the biggest reform since independence. If Govt has had any seriousness in curtailing the black money in circulation they should have acted with resilience in bringing the black money stashed abroad, And also should have imposed more taxes on the elites, If they had done any of these it would have signalled some credence to their sincerity in curbing the black money. . Job losses have hit economy badly which really pulled GDP growth down, overall distress in rural economy has taken the situation to such a low, perhaps it takes time to recover.

Inclusive development

You cannot have changed priorities once you get into power Because elected representatives carry the hopes of millions of people who daily fight to survive, lead a life of dignity. So any development for that matter should be inclusive in nature which takes care of the basic needs of the common masses. Take for instances the agriculture’s contribution towards GDP has been declining steadily for couple of decades , Govt, after govt promised to take care of the concerns faced by the farmers, But little has been done to improve the situation, like this many sectors be it education or healthcare which needs a lot of attention and care to improve it. So a real development is nothing but taking everyone together, For the last 3years we have seen hue and cry happening over cow vigilantism and nationalism, Do such priorities of the Govt do any good for the
80% of the population?

Cost of Bullet train

The project cost is expected to be Rs.110,000 crore ie is which works out to be Rs.217crore per km. In 2016 Indian railways reported 186 deaths which go up to 325 deaths, why Modi goes for this expensive project when the entire railway infrastructure meddles with problems of long-term neglect. so it has been the classic case of misplaced priority.

Source:  Frontline October 13, 2017.

https://twitter.com/search?q=Bullet%20Train&src=tyah

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The State of statelessness


 

History could have been much kinder to the Rohingya as a minority community. The hardship and despair the most prosecuted community in the world has been going through are beyond one’s imagination. I found it more surprised that their fellow majority Buddhist community is considered as the most peace loving religion in the world. In fact, throughout Buddha’s teaching, he embodied mercifulness, But the present action by the majority Buddhist community in Myanmar has been nowhere near what Budha taught or perhaps envisaged. The most prosecuted community in the world has been driven out from their state with no amount of humanity left from their fellow beings. They are left to sob in despair due to the losses incurred in their minds on account of most inhuman treatment meted out to them. They are now homeless, bewildered, raped both physically and mentally, now they are on their way to neighbouring locations in another country. How long it takes for them to recover from their unimaginable wounds, scars which have completely ravaged them. They might seek for refugee status in another country and it takes years striving for them get back to normal life forgetting all the pain they had been undergoing from their fellow beings. Their voices are being crushed with no one wishing to hear or no one forthcoming to heal their wounds. The state of their mind with statelessness is such harsh reality, very hard to imagine the predicament.

The atrocities committed on them just because they are being minority Muslim with flesh& blood, who has been living in the Rakhine state for many decades, have been trying to build their lives with hopes and aspirations like any other human being in this world , But now they are being rendered with no identity, experiencing the kind of treatment which is trivial and most unacceptable one, when human being as a species has been endowed with some many achievements since their evolution, But these actions are nothing but most heinous which takes us far behind from where we have evolved. With no element of empathy left in our souls. Destroying lakhs of people hopes under the pretext of being a minority community among the majority who follows different faith leaves us so small even less than the status of wild animals living in the forest. I don’t understand how a most evolved living being on this planet can act so cruel to their fellow beings.
Driving them out from their homes, physically exploiting them with retribution is nothing but an act of belittling our status as the most evolved species. The most interesting aspect has been the ruler himself who was the Nobel prize winner of peace completely seen dismissing the violence as fake news and false propaganda. Aung San Suu Kyi who has been considered as the most respected women leader under house arrest for many years in a military-dominated govt structure. However in all respects considering her stature, she should have stood strongly against the atrocities committed to “Rohingya”, But she seems to follow a deafening silence when the people of her country are driven from their homeland. Yes, terrorism has been plaguing the world for a quite some time, But viewing everyone through the same prism as a terrorist because they belong to a particular religion will be more counterproductive in the coming years. If world nations are aspiring for a peaceful environment, I think these actions would take us nowhere, perhaps amounts to create more breeding ground for the terrorist and terrorism to flourish. The most dangerous ideology floated by these groups gets shot in their arm to further gain strength. As responsible nations it is duty-bound to create an environment of trust, kindness, accepting everyone as equal.

The state of the statelessness is nothing but an act of denying them the permission to lead a decent and dignified life which every human being on this planet has the right to aspire for irrespective of their status as a minority, or the faith they follow. But when the state itself promotes hatred towards their citizens, promoting enmity within the same people. I think we as mankind we are only regressing not progressing.

Silencing the Alternative voices


The likes of Dabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi & now Gauri are the few lonely voices in our societal landscape, who had sounded different from the popular narrative, they all had sternly & firmly stood for the causes of very people, who have been pushed to the margins in the name of caste, religion and superstitious beliefs.

It is widely known, observed that mainstream media in the country is least bothered to take up the issues of these marginalised, ostracised people living in an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness. The motive to crush those lonely voices is nothing but an act of fascism to define an archaic idea of India which never falls into the premise of our constitutional principles of pluralism, freedom of expression, equal treatment for all.

Ever since Modi government came to the power with a strong majority, right wing forces have gathered the confidence to silence every voices those they believe has never fit into their idea of India. The dangerous trend of selective targeting of people who challenge & raise opposing views is being brought down by bullets.

The liberal space for such intellectual to discuss, to bring the valid issues to the limelight are being treated with disdain. But the real fact is that these attacks on such people are nothing but an effort to contain them with brutal force. The role of our mainstream media in today’s environment is limited to browbeating what has been propagated by the govt, instead of questioning the govt tendencies media amounts to create a climate of an unnecessary frenzy on issues like nationalism & patriotism. In the hindsight, underlying larger societal issues which are at play have been sidelined.

The intellectuals like Gauri spoke sense and fought for those class of people who have been living under constant fear and insecurity, it is the responsibility of journalist-cum activist like Gauri to bring such issues to the forefront for the Govt of the day to address it sensibly. I think most the issues raised by these liberal intellectuals are getting brushed aside with a scant regard of not getting heard. As an agenda to oppose anyone with such liberal voices are not through serious discussions, but finds an easy route of resorting to violence, vandalism and murder.

The idea of India has been inclusive in nature not exclusive. If we continue the way we are doing right now would turn our country into a theocratic state, which is against the principles enshrined in our Constitution. The fundamental existence of India as a nationhood doesn’t lie on the idea of majoritarianism, but an idea which takes everyone in the society together with an objective of empowering all to build a strong nation which celebrates its vibrancy in unity in diversity.

It is very sad to see how insensitive we have become as a society, the ideas and values these espoused by liberal intellectuals ought to be right normal which we as a nation need to imbibe. The idea of divisiveness, communal politics, the illogical embarrassment of past culture is not going to take us anywhere if we really aspire to become a powerful nation in the coming decade.

The culture we have inherited as a society thrives on accepting every faith & beliefs inclusively. In contrast to that what we witness today is nothing but the blatant violation of silencing them with out constructive engagement. The systematic destruction of institutions of excellence in the last three years clearly point towards a singular idea of a new normal, with limited possibilities of voices of dissent, Our strands of defining nationalism today is very skewed & myopic. The intolerance towards opposing views, alternate ideas needs to be promoted more than getting wrapped as anti-nationalist.

The one-dimensional view through a particular prism would turn our country into a bunch of aberrations. The ideas or voices should be three dimensional and should be allowed to be discussed and deliberated in a central space, because you cannot view or govern a nation with narrow-minded ideas, silencing those with opposing views, who tries to bring issues plaguing us into the forefront for a very long time. If we really want to take the nation forward to greater heights, the need for accommodating the sensibilities of each and every one in the society is a must. As a society needs the patience to hear their concerns with empathy, not as an enemy of the state.

In the contemporary society, or as a nation with a multitude of practices, belief systems and food habits, the responsibility of the govt ought to be the role of a facilitator in providing the space for them to debate, survive and sustain. The role of such individuals who raises their voices, concerns needs to be welcomed with an open mind. I believe in today’s India extreme leftist ideologies or extreme right-wing ideologies are dangerous to our nation’s existence, the relevance of strong personalities like Gouri need to be heard, welcomed, but the recent series of actions against them proves that as a society we have been becoming increasingly intolerant towards individuals who take up issues of wider importance, which I believe is a very dangerous trend.

 

Leaders&Leadership


Although leader & leadership is widely discussed and deliberated topic with various divergent opinions about how his or her leadership should be. Or the certain style of leadership traits are only more relevant to particular time periods in the history, or just because a particular type of leadership has granted success. so should that be all weather approach to success for ever?  Still, there are many instances for people to look back into the history and being hailed the likes of  Hitlers, Stalin, Mussolini’s success a leader who was all set out to conquer the world with their brutal force. Even today many of them believe that Hitler’s type of leadership is very much required in the contemporary world to over come the world is facing today. I think the world has moved a lot from the Hitler’s period. There are  examples of many political leaders  who had made significant changes , but it carried a huge cost by crushing many millions of peoples life, using most heinous methods of execution, gave scant regard for people’s concerns and feelings, Not providing any space for consultation, but only inflicting or pushing one’s idea and visions in to others throat. But in a way history has been benevolent to such extent by not allowing them to continuously be at the top. If you ask anyone today they have different perceptions how their nation’s  leadership should be.However,  if we have been flipping through the pages of world history, certainly most of the leaders and their leadership styles are more over similar ie is authoritarian style, but very few among the legacy of leaders stands rest from the crowd like great Mahatma Gandhi.

But in the present world order, I think we need a more inclusive style rather than one who pursue the exclusionary style of leadership. Because the exclusionary style of leadership is inherently creating a constituency which is more of a  people who fits into the narrative, by smartly excluding certain classes of people belong to certain caste, creed, race & religion. Although we have witnessed exclusionary style of leadership in the past, in the present global order begs leaders who ought to be inclusionary in nature. Other wise going forward our world is going to be a dangerous place to be in. The challenges faced by us has grown manifold, So to tackle all those critical problems, a new change in approach in leadership is more ideal in all respects.  Contemporary leaderships in the world needs a paradigm shift in thinking, The livers of wielding power over less developed nations through economic power or military power are not going to stay for ever. So today’s leader should embrace the quality of egalitarian society, sharing natural resources for everyone’s survival , New global order in the future shouldn’t be purely on the basis of economic supremacy, the GDP, driving stocks to new levels creating more wealth for the shareholders, creating policies for few  to get in to billionaires club. In the hindsight, such animal instincts of amassing more wealth & resources by hook or crook have a limit. Because we are living in a world of finite resources  But if world’s  has been thinking of making an infinite profit out from a finite resource is perhaps the most foolish decision one could ever think of, But corporation & business leaders& political heads has been pursuing the policy of morally equating success with profit.

Take for the instance in the world of politics  ,we have several types of  people who has been anointed as the heads of their respective countries, rulers after rulers who has been playing the role of state, elected leaders, military dictatorship,  business leaders becoming political heads., So in all these categories of leadership types,  predominance of certain  traits makes them stand apart from the rest. But common characteristics which include drive, motivation, energy, tenacity&intiative. But broadly we can classify leaders into six according to the leadership styles.

Source :Harward Business review ,website: hbr.org

How a leader should be?

Out of the six listed leadership style, As a leader to be successful and effective one should have the multiple characteristics styles according to the circumstances. He or she should adopt combined traits to be successful and take the nation forward. A leader with one type of leadership traits can no longer take the responsibility forward, they might be successful in achieving short term success , but as a person who governs the nation should adopt different types leadership styles to evolve and sustain as a true leader who can make significant strides for a countries facing multitude of problems.

Source of various leadership style: Harward business review, website: http://www.hbr.org

The Futile exercise called Demonetization.


 

 

When RBI published its annual report on August 2017, the writing on the wall met its true fate. The historic move by the Modi government to demonetize high-value currency notes was termed by many as a right move in the best interest of the nation, But it turned out to be historic blunder which has not yielded any significant results as expected. Every body has been waiting for the central bank to publish its report, Perhaps were hopeful that it would at least meet some of its objectives. But the finally the report from RBI showed that demonization exercise was completely ill sought and unwarranted. The Initial objectives behind demonetization were to clean the economy from counterfeit notes, black money, terrorism funding. Has our government stated objectives have been achieved? I think in the light of the RBI report the answer is an emphatic no.
However, BJP, as a national party has benefited heavily due to demonetization in the political sense, in contrast to the expected economic sense. In the hindsight the demonetization has been complete dampener for the economy especially in the informal economy, no surge in job creations but only aggravated the situation further, the unaccounted money held in cash is very minimal, so unearthing black money through this activity has been minimal , Terrorism and its funding has not seen any decline, the recent skirmishes across the border has only increased.

The shift in goal posts.

Since the report by RBI came out in the public domain, comments made by FM Mr Arun Jaitley is nothing but a laughing stock. Our honourable FM told that nobody understood the objectives of demonetization better than him, in his statement the foremost objectives expected from demonetization exercise is to convert cashless economy to digital economy. But however, the report suggests that Govt has fallen short of achieving even that also.

Highlights of the RBI report

1)99% scrapped note are back into the banking system ie means almost all the currency which was in circulation came back into the banks
2) Total number of fake 500 rupee (old series) and 1,000 rupee notes detected between April 2016 and March 2017 was 573,891
3) Withdrawn notes to the tune of 24.02billion, But in proportion to the identified counterfeit notes is close 0%.
4) Even in the previous year with out demonetization, the number of counterfeit notes identified was stood at 4404,794.

After effects  of demonetization

Even my personal experience with the many of the small scale shop owners during proved that their business activity has been steadily declining, even their average sales in provision stores & hard ware shops has been witnessing a steady decline in sales around 30 to 40% compared to pre demonetization months. The 80% cash economy in the upcountry market has been hit massively. more over people are worried pump money to start new ventures, even they had stopped taking more stocks for their existing business. Profit margins have been hit heavily, that is evident from their delayed EMI payments.
The most critically affected are farmers and construction workers, the move to demonetize the currencies of 500 & 1000 proved like adding insult on to the injury especially the crisis faced by farmers across the country. I think BJP as a party has seen a mercurial increase in their coffers with over flow of contributions into their party funds. I think more than any Indian, the benefit of demonisation has been completely utilised effectively by the present ruling party. The Govt of the day should take accountability for the failure of demonetization, Instead of that govt is busy shifting their goal posts very frequently to cover up their failure.
A lot of concerns has been raised on the performance of the economy, especially the GDP is below the expectation , Job losses are heading north, Low private investments, Govt’s start-up, Make in India plans never took off as expected barring few, perhaps we need to acknowledge the govt going gung ho for making tall claims, successfully running campaigns in social media, public image.

Media’S act as a lip service of the Govt

The Modi Govt could have done many things better as they have a strong majority in the centre, instead of that Modi dispensation has been busy whipping up passions on nationalism & patriotism, Cow vigilantism & completely overthrowing the democratic credentials of our nation. People have voted for a strong governance, but in the last 3 years, performance has fallen short of expectations. I think we need to put the blame squarely on the media also.The role of media houses owned by major corporates are doing the Job of mere Lip service, acting as a PR machinery of the Govt, Media’s role in a democracy is to constantly act as a countervailing force, how ever in the last 3years media has been dancing to the tune of the Govt.

Selfish Babas in India not Selfless.


baba ram rahim

As a precursor to this heading, let me tell you what propelled me to write this piece, The yesterday’s arson and attacks in Panchkula, Haryana throws us a grim reminder how law and order situations have been taken over by a large group of followers of Messanger of God (Baba ram Rahim). The self-styled godman’s, spiritual gurus in our country have been able to influence the mind’s of people a lot. India has been considered as a land of spirituality, So this self-styled Baba’s and gurus, know how to make best out of it by influencing people in the name of religion and faith. We, also shouldn’t forget that, we, need to be proud that the likes of Vivekananda, Sree Ramakrishna and many other spiritually enlightened souls walked, enriched us with their profound teachings in this great country, But, what we were witnessing today is a ,complete shift from true spirituality to an organized business where spiritual gurus were busy creating millions of followers, establishing their contact points in different parts of the country .

Spirituality and politics is a right mix

A country like India with sufferings, downtrodden people, casteism and much more social malice which even prevails after our 70th independence day, The self-styled God man and modern spiritual leaders knew that their nation is fertile ground for them to prosper in the name of being “spiritual”. We should think with a lot of seriousness, how can people in this modern century worship them equivalent to god, They listen to their speeches, obey their commands, prostrating in front of spiritual leaders who they see as a beacon of hope for their suffering. When politicians pay lip service to these babas at their abodes, the general public believes that his even more powerful than the govt. Even the comments from the top leadership of the ruling govt show, how dilly dally they seem to be.

Today’s spirituality means business.

A genuine spiritual leader or enlightened souls are not driven by any motive to institutionalise their teachings by setting up big ashrams or establishing centres across the world. But today’s spiritual leaders are similar to the likes of many business men setting up shops in many countries and wowing the consumers in that market to buy their products, similarly when a spiritual leader wants to reach to millions of people across the length and breadth of this country or even outside of this country they are in fact eyeing the business opportunity by creating more followers for him, More followers and believers means more money comes to their kitty. The valid example is yoga Guru Baba Ramdev , who has successfully created a business group called Patanjali, with in a short span of time the turn over of his entity has risen to more than 5000 Crores, another Guru, the proponent of Art of living has been planning to foray into manufacturing and selling ayurvedic products. We have seen spiritual gurus using expensive motor bikes, cars, enjoying the patronage of powerful politicians, getting fat checks from taxpayers money. Real spirituality, means living beyond the material pleasure with selfless dedication to mankind’s progress.
Time has come to educate the people to become more sensible and responsible citizens and they should be able to identify what is right and what is wrong with out the blind following, Supporting a rapist baba means our people’s moral ineptitude levels has touched its lowest level. I think already we are paying a huge price in the name of cultural past. Every wrong deed cannot be painted with the same brush if some one has committed a crime, instead of blindly supporting the act, people should come forward and support the law enforcing agencies to nail the culprit. I feel ashamed to say that in spite of having centuries old culture, teachings and other values, still, the act of going on a rampage to defend a culprit shows that how morally degrading society are we becoming.

Advani a Guru who got sidelined


 

The expectations on nominating MR  Lal Krishna Advani as the 14th president of India were doing the rounds when BJP came to power in 2014 under the leadership of  Mr. Narendra Modi. But on 19th June when BjP announced the Name of Mr. Ram Nath kovind as their presidential nominee has left many of the party supporters like me surprised and shocked , Certainly the move has created enough rifts in the opposition camps and would continue to happen in the coming days. The Congress the major opposition party has been harboring the hopes to make the presidential election a close contest through the support garnered from like-minded parties. But Modi and Amith Shah combine left everyone awestruck by choosing a not so familiar personality like Ram nath kovind .  The move to pick a  Dalit face is certainly aimed at sending a larger political message that, BJP as a national party cares for the interest of Dalit community.

But as a citizen of India and  BJP supporter, I had been admiring the leadership qualities of Advani well before the Modi’s rise to prominence. Mr. Advani worked strenuously to convert the  BJP from its incubation stage to a party of national stature, also successfully ruled the nation under the leadership of Mr. Vajpayee. As a leader, Advani played the second fiddle role, complemented well with  Vajpayee, also was successful in keeping the  NDA constituents together for 5 years.   If we take any high-profile leader now in the present cabinet, all of them grew under the wings of Mr. Advani , The Advani has developed and nurtured the second rung leadership in BJP when he was controlling or calling the shots in the party. So certainly as a token of dakishna to his Mentor  MR Modi should have shown the courtesy to return it back by supporting the candidature of Mr. Advani as a Guru Dakishna. It is well-known fact that after the Gujarat riots in 2008, Vajpayee had insisted  Modi to resign from CM post by following Raj Dharm, It was Mr. Advani who supported Modi to continue as CM. In the Book, “My country and My life” authored by LK Advani, the strong character and commitment to our Bharath was evident when he stood rock solid without moving an inch by not allowing the Agra summit to go through when Musharaf visited  India in July 2001. He is also one among the earlier RSS pracharak to travel across the length and breadth of this nation to strengthen the party to its present form.

 Advani is man of principles who is equally against promoting dynasty politics, He could have easily pursued her Son and daughter to join politics and later either of them could become a minister in Modi’s cabinet. When one of the reporters asked this question to  Advani why did your son or daughter become a politician? he strongly replied that he is against dynasty politics. Advani as a leader have passed his prime , he nurtured the dreams to become PM of India , hard luck when BJP lost to congress in 2009  and later  in 2014 when RSS was trying to project Modi as PM candidate Advani in very clear terms opposed  him  ,But ultimately RSS diktat finally came a cropper .

The change in Advani to project himself from a hardline hindutva leader to soft irked the RSS and the only mistake Mr Advani had committed in his long and successful political career was  his words of praise on Jinnah in Pakistan , which has really held Advani as a bad guy in the books of RSS, their after RSS had sidelined Advani to such an extent that he lost his say and prominence in the party. Once Advani was considered as the ultimate Voice in the party , Now things have come full circle that his blue-eyed disciple  Mr Modi has used everything under his command to side line his own guru who taught the tricks of the trade and party’s ideological moorings.  But as an individual, my  affinity  towards BJP and its ideology took birth when I found a bold and principled leader  like Advani . One thing is sure you cannot always reign like  a king , But Presidential post would have been the best gift Modi could have offered  to Advani when he is on the last leg of his political journey.

Three years of Modi govt


3years of ModiModi came to the national politics as one of prominent political personality who derives his strength from the earlier days as an RSS pracharak, Later became an undisputable leader for BJP in Gujarat,  ruled the state as  CM  for three consecutive terms. His rise to prominence in national politics was even more successful and illustrious in terms of carving out a biggest victory for BJP as a political alternative to congress. He is considered as the most effective campaigner for party, and also considered as powerful personality who repeatedly shown how to attract & address large gatherings in many parts of India with his effective oratory skills above all his penchant to sells dreams to the people of the nation, He promised  the people  to change the nation’s fate if he is elected to power  , His power slogans “Sab ka Saath sab ka Vikas “ roughly translates to being with everyone and development for all. Modi has completed three years in power, but still many of his promises still remain unfulfilled, but few areas in governance has seen some marked improvement compared to the previous governments. The expectation from this Govt is really huge, mammoth tasks to accomplish. But how far he is successful in fulfilling those promises is a million dollar question.

Corruption & red-tapism

We need to give thumbs up for the Modi government, that high-level corruption has reduced significantly, Because of the ultimate power, control vests in the hands of Mr. Modi. Highly centralized decision making,  absolute control over the governance & party leaves no room for his cabinet ministers to bypass. Right from planning to final roll out of schemes his signature is almost there in every decision govt takes. So in terms of control and direction, the PM scores high, which resulted in the corruption levels to come down. When previous UPA govt is marred with scams after scams, Govt under Modi is able to cultivate a neat and clean face in the eyes of the public.

Vision & agenda

I think Modi is successful in setting up a vision which sets everyone to appreciate him, He visualized& coined the initiatives like  Startup and Stand up India and Make in India which truly signifies the vision with a futuristic move to make India completely self-reliant and make our economy strong and vibrant. The idea to promote entrepreneurship and making India a manufacturing Hub are very much the right set of intiavies to take our nation to a force to reckon with.  However Modi promised to create two millions of jobs,  But ironically the the job losses are on an  alarmingly high rate, which might put the economy in  a state of paralysis.

Economy & Growth

GDP and others figures  shows a reason to be happy  , how ever  growth in agriculture is seeing steady decline with increasingly higher rate of farmer’s suicide. Informal sector economy is completely out of sorts and after demonetization   things have  only aggravated . The jury is still not out on demontisation, it seems to be that the benefit expected out of this drive  did  not yield results as predicted. But the successful  passage of GST bill in both houses is considered as shining one in its armory. There are disputable claims and doubts expressed on GDP figures and manner in which figures are arrived at. But generally the Modi is successful in creating an impression that he is honestly putting all his effort to take the country to growth trajectory.

Nationalism & unrest

I think ever since Modi came to power , the freedom of expression , voices of dissent are treated  with disdain,  stamped with the  tag of anti nationalist.  The culture of majortanism has taken control over the basic democratic principles of  tolerance , health discussions and deliberations. The self proclaimed vigilantism  on what to eat and wear became daily affairs in many of the BJP rules states. Modi so far is not successful in reining in those fringe groups who runs freely taking law on their hands. This approach of the govt has made  the minorities to feel  more insecure. The Kashmir issue has seen heightened tensions and deaths of locals after fighting with security personals. The Govt should have acted more responsibly in dealing with issues in Kashmir.

Foreign relations & forging ties

Modi is always in the news  while visiting foreign nations and  he is successful in forging some good relationship with foreign countries and continued to strengthen the relationship with USA  and other European countries . But on the flipside the relationship with china is certainly a reason to be worry for. As an amibitious and powerful nation in south Asia , Our relationship with close neigbours especially Srilanka& Nepal is not in best of it terms.

Conclusion

But overall if you take the last three years of Pm Modi , certainly this govt has done certain things right but  there are areas which need more to be done especially issues of   maintaining social harmony and Promoting consent in issues of national importance, Unilateral decision making without considering the views of opposition parties is not a good sign for healthy matured  democracy like Bharath.

Dark skin means failure?


dark girl 2

 

 

In the last 20 years globally the beauty market has grown by an average CAGR of 14.5% with annual growth rate range bound between 3% to 5.5%.Out of the total share, 72% has come from the mass segment and remaining 28% came from premium segment. Regions like north America, Latin America, and Asia pacific and western Europe contributed towards the major chunk of the sales, But sales of cosmetics have seen significant raise in the BRIC countries as well. The cosmetics brands globally spends huge sum of money to promote their products featuring favorite actresses and sports stars, Cosmetics brands is seeing phenomenal spike in their  earnings, which keeps them  throwing money on advertisements , As long as they believe their lies a  huge opportunity to make many of Women & man insecure about their look and skin colour, the market for their  products is still wide and large. Racial segregation based on skin, attributing success to people with more lighter skin are taboos getting more into the minds of the dark skinned people. So generally people with dark skinned complexion want to make their skin look lighter, or even getting to the skin tone of the white people. So the drive to make skin lighter is what drives the profits of these cosmetic manufacturing companies.

History is the major culprit

If you go back to the period of European colonialism , sowed the seeds of white supremacy over black, Those periods black skinned people were considered as only slaves  to the white dominating class, so structurally they  had treated black people as inferior in all aspects, given them fewer opportunities, employed them in farm fields followed by treatment which is inhuman in all respects.  This enslavement created the urge in their minds to raise from the lower position, The miscegenation is racial mixing of various social groups through sexual exploitation of white male slave owners resulted in mixed race individuals with more African & European ancestry. This is the most critical moment in history where supremacy for white skinned people over the black, The treatment they have meted out to their slaves, even light skinned people were given less strenuous jobs, and dark skinned people were given tough jobs. They started preference to white skin over the black skin. So the perception of success largely to lighter and white skinned people.

Beauty means white skin

Even though we are living in the 21st century with large scale advancement in technology and scientific progress, the stains of the past still is accepted as the trend for success, if you are white skinned your lifestyle, position and status in the society is almost guaranteed , that means naturally if you are white or light skinned your success ratio  is far higher than the black skinned people. This wrongly conceived narrative of success linked to skin color became the social norm. So for a cosmetic or beauty enhancement brands require just to brush up &  polish this old thinking, narrative to the best effect by converting them into sales.

The ingredients used in manufacturing skin bleaching cosmetics are harmful to the body and health. But the sad part of the story is the cosmetics industry globally thrives on the insecurity created in the minds of the people with a dark complexion. The psychological effect created by this false propaganda is to create heightened social insecurity, lack of self-esteem, low belief on their self-confidence. So high time we all need to be alert and believe that more than the external appearance, the real beauty lies in one’s heart, success is purely on ability and competency not to be judged by the color of your skin.  I think market forces wants you to think primitive, even though as a  human species we survived many onslaughts and came a cropper.

Source:

The Vanishing Black African Woman: Volume Two: A Compendium of the Global By Olumide, Yetunde Mercy

GLOBAL BEAUTY INDUSTRY TRENDS IN THE 21st CENTURY Aleksandra Łopaciuk Maria ,  Mirosław Łoboda Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland

Is Modi invincible?


Image source :Economic timesSince 2014 Everything is going right in favor of Modi his rise to the top at 7 race course road in new Delhi is marked with shrewd political acumen and whipping the air with changes and ideas. Many detractors of Modi were hoping that 2017 assembly elections in UP would put a stop to Modi’s winning streak, but eventually when results have announced the magnitude of his victory is more than the party has hoped for. All the anti-Modi factions including the congress cannot even put up any show of resistance to Modi’s popularity The only debacle Modi faced was in Bihar after swiftly formed Maha GadaBandhan played the spoilsport in Modi’s victory ambition, Now in recently concluded  MCD elections in Delhi, they have defeated Kejriwal by hands down. The success of BJP in making huge inroads in northeastern states where the party had no roots or presence, The clout, aura Modi commands among the public is a testament to his victories one after the another. If we closely analyze the success of BJP, it is purely on account of his personality and mass appeal due to his clarion call for a New India.

What is going right for Modi?

Since Independence no political leader other than  Indira Gandhi commanded such a mass appeal like Modi, He clearly shows that he is in control of the ship and like the true dictator he commands absolute control over the party affairs and his cabinet.

The Modi truly likes to speak in large gatherings, and proven many times he is versatile orator , knows what to speak and how to speak , He perfectly uses newly coined terms like Digital India, start up India , sabkha saath sab ka Vikas, he always speaks positively about change he wish to make for India . He is equally adept at taking the mass crowd along with him even while taking potshots against the opposition he uses his skills to the best effect.

The reasons are many but let me put across certain positive factors   largely in favor of  Modi

  1. Modi always speak about dreams  and ideas to change India, and he is able to connect his dreams to common people’s  sentiment effectively
  2.  People of this nation were fed up with kind of politics which is been played by the opposition in the last two decades, so everyone is hoping for change and people really started to believe that changes they expected are slowly started to fructify.
  3. Modi effort to demonetise the currencies went largely in favor to him which in fact helped him to consider by the people as a decisive strong leader, who would root out corruption.
  4. In the last three years, the role of the opposition is been limited, Modi is, in fact, successful in keeping the opposition as divided house, even when cow vigilantes running amok, no party in the opposition could raise it as an issue.
  5. The charisma modi commands is the major xfactor which other leaders in the opposition cannot match up, or no body could be seen on the horizon to challenge his popular image.
  6.  Modi likes attending public rallies and most of the time he uses rallies as a platform for making new announcements or taking the opposition down.
  7.  His attire, style and energy also earned him as hardworking PM who works 24×7 with unmatched energy and enthusiasm.
  8.  Inspite of RSS and other fringe elements running freely by making controversial statements , people are not bothered much about  beef ban , cow vigilantism or Anti Romeo squad , people’s belief on Modi is strong with a lot of positivity.
  9.  Even though in last three years this govt has messed up a lot of things , but the narrative popularized by Modi is widely accepted by the masses.

So I think at present Modi is invisible and opposition has run out of Ideas to pose as countervailing force to his popularity. So in 2019 elections to counter Modi the usual secular approach, minority appeasement will not find any favor, the more they point Modi stronger he becomes, So only hope to counter Modi is building up an alternative narrative.

 

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