Modi chariot’s galloping run


narendra-modi in a chariotModi steered his chariot’s to an unimaginable  victory, with no ominous sign of any major opposition to its dream run. As everyone termed the assembly elections in the largest state of UP as the biggest of all elections, where BJP has clearly emerged victorious with no contenders to challenge the thier  supremacy. Now with this Victory under its belt,  BJP as a party has successfully established its prominence in the Hindi heartland after a long period, the verdict clearly shows that 2019 national elections would become an easy cake walk for Narendra Modi. At least many of them expected that the triangular fight between BJP, SP-Cong, and BSP would be a close contest because UP as a state is known for its cast combinations and with significant Dalit and Muslim populations. But the final result clearly blown away all such assumptions, voters exhibited a greater confidence in the leadership of Modi.

Ever since after the Modi’s biggest and unexpected demonetization drive on November 8th, elections in UP was considered as the biggest referendum on the Demo, But Namo with his magic has  proved that everything is wrong, Still he enjoys a very popular support in the minds of the Voters, They still believed  had  faith in Modi’s leadership  even  though  people were put under  several hardships due to demonization.  Opposition parties were given an opportunity to rally the voters in UP against BJP, but the result has shown that BJP’s thumping victory is nothing but the lesser impact of demonetization on people’s verdict in favor of BJP.

Several exit polls and the pre-poll survey has shown that BJP was going to emerge as the single largest party in UP, But the final result proved everyone wrong, clearly the Modi’s charisma and personality has turned the tide into a larger tsunami in favor of  Lotus. Time and again Modi is been proving that  he is the poster Boy of  BJP, even after being in power at center for more than 2 &half years with no major achievements to be proud of , But  voters preferred  Modi, because it   is largely attributed to his unchallenging supremacy as a mass leader and no major opponents  at this moment  to dethrone his  popularity . Clearly, the victory shows that BJP would be the undisputable party while going to polls in 2019. It is going to take a lot of sweat on the opposition parties like congress and others to challenge Modi’s dream run.  Currently, no opposition parties both national, as well as regional parties, has the ammunition to challenge the larger development-oriented agenda put forwarded by Modi,

But the reality is that economically demonization drive had already done enough damage to the rural and small scale industries, but turning it politically against Modi didn’t find any favor among the masses. People still believe that the decision by Modi epitomizes the characteristics of a  strong and decisive leader,  which was a right move to arrest the flow of black money.

The biggest irony is that as an age-old party congress is down and out in the electoral landscape of Indian politics, Rahul Gandhi as a  leader is proving no match to his rival Modi’s popularity, to counter his growing popularity it takes congress and other opposition parties a hell  lot of hard work to be  done,  if they want to be  in the reckoning  at least in the 2024 Loka sabha elections.

The people of this country wants change, development, Modi as a leader has everything going in his favor to sell exactly the right flavor the way people expects. The alternate narrative of a strong and decisive leader in Modi is what people expects, Modi had proven to them that he is the most bankable leader who is ruling the nation at present, continues to do so in the coming years.

I think the trend of vote bank politics in India is fading away, people of this nation needs change, tinkering with minority vote bank politics is no more going to be the rule but an exception. The aspirations are slowing growing among the common people, so any leader who can match those expectations is the real favorite, Modi is really successful in catapulting himself into that league steadily, The real success of the BJP is the Modi’s  command and control mode of functioning.

Unabated exploitation for water


When we are going through severe drought crisis and farmers suicide across India,  to impose a ban on the US-basedbeverage manufactures  Coco cola and Pepsi in Tamil Nadu is nothing but a decision in the right direction to signal an end to the exploitatation  done to natural resources by these  Global manufacturers.  But certainly these big corporate has the wherewithal to fight a legal battle against the ban, probably they might win the battle to continue their operation of exploiting the groundwater,  commodifying & selling at a higher price and make the profit out of their operation. The long-term threat posed by these companies is unimaginable and might seriously lead to a severe water crisis. Although it is well-known fact due to over-exploitation of water resources, deforestation and global warming the climatic conditions across the world has seen serious changes, which resulted in the severe shortage of fresh water. The move to ban coca cola and Pepsi in Tamil Nadu is in the larger interest of the society, traders across the state of TN has decided not to the promote the products manufactured by these companies .Both these companies earn more than 1400 crore yearly from southern state alone, they have four manufacturing units across the state of Tamil Nadu.

Over the past two decades the sale of bottled water consumption  has seen significant increase and in the coming years it would double its consumption , such is the opportunity these major brands see in a developing country like India, Our economy is vastly acquiring the status of consumption driven nation  with huge scope of growth and development in the next two decade or so, But we as a nation is also  facing   serious shortage of clean drinking water because of various reasons  post-globalization induced chase for  materialistic pleasure . Adding insult to the injury these companies are using every opportunity to drive home a point that it is always safe to drink bottled water which is full of minerals on another hand river water is contaminated and unfit for drinking. The growing middle-class population in India has started to spend more, they understands the importance of clean drinking water, so since they have disposable money to spare, they started depending on these bottled mineral water manufactured marketed by these companies under the brand name Aquafina and Kinley , they also seriously bought the culture of drinking carbonated drinks from their nation and tacitly placed those brands  in our society as aspirational   one , but on the other hand less privileged who can’t afford  ends up consuming  unsafe water.

These bottlers increasingly tap on the aquifers that feed rivers and lakes across the country, the cost of their operations has seriously lowered the water tables in the region. A liter of bottled water requires 1.6 liter of water to produce which makes the industry a serious consumer of water. They also want to  create the shortage of water making the people’s life more miserable, naturally when the demand for drinking water goes up they see an opportunity to manufacture and sell more, The post  world war 11 saw the industrialization gaining momentum , proliferation of industry had seen more usage of water resources and its subsequent increase in polluting the river and streams which were once used as a source of drinking water, More industrial and chemical waste degraded the water both surface & ground water sources.  Water is inevitable right of all  living creatures on this blue planet, But due to increased exploitation of ground water and other water bodies , the basic right of clean drinking water is taken away from them, Only source  as claimed by these MNC’s is  to depend more on them for  drinking water . They make most  lion share of their profit by selling these packed drinking water. Marketing of packaged drinking as mass produced commodity leads to plastic  bottle waste .  we have seen instances globally on the reported ruptured relationship between countries sharing common water resources, and several countries which are economically powerful are taking the fight to next well by building huge dams to restrict the flow of water to neighboring countries , So fight for water is becoming interstate & intrastate in nature. The era on fight for oil is over  as global community slowly moving towards a war on accessing water, which is fastly becoming a reality .

The Book by Brahma Chellany “Water peace, And water is good to read on the water crisis.

Jallikatu a Hysteria?

jallikattu-1After center’s intervention, the supreme court has delayed the verdict on the Ban of Bull taming festival “Jallikattu”. The petition is based on the 2014 petition filed by PETA. In the last couple of days, massive solidarity expressed by various well-known personalities from the film fraternity and people from other walks of life came openly to revoke the ban on Jallikatu imposed by the highest court of the land. But the recent days we are able to witness massive protest from the common people against the ban. I am surprised to see how did this huge support in favor of the ban got materialized. Is this becoming a political issue for the ruling party to make the protest so popular, or is this a carefully planned move to mobilize such support against the top court’s decision. The people expressing the Jallikkatu event as traditional sports in rural parts of TamilNadu, they are of the opinion that it is been ages since Tamil community as a part of their tradition is been conducting the local sports, so now such an imposition of ban on this local sports amounts to loss of their tradition and their centuries long identity.  How far this popular narrative is true is something which needs to be introspected.  Was there a deep-rooted political interest in mobilizing the public support for such an issue, I think the answer to such question is yet to come out in the open. But one thing why do we need such a sports which treat animal badly, whether be it in the name of sports or tradition such way of treating an animal shouldn’t be allowed to continue. The justification to support the Jalikkatu as a sport is not right, when something is wrong means it is necessarily wrong. Every year when this event takes place many people who took part in this event got hurt or dead, more over the bull which runs when released among the close crowds gets injured, So when this happens every time why does the people still wants to continue supporting the event.  The responsibilities of the govt in Tamilnadu irrespective of their ideology never wants to go against the popular sentiments of the people, the party in power wants to take political mileage out of it by conveniently forgetting the lives which had lost during the event.

When the top court of India banned the sports suddenly people starts protesting against the ban and have started invoking the issues like the pride of the state, the tradition so on and so forth As per observation by the court this sport is  dangerous both for the human and bull, Most of the people who came out in the open to support is middle class and younger population . The most interesting part of the protest is that large number of people congregated in Marina beach are not even aware of the traditional sports and its origins, moreover this sports is played only in certain parts of Tamilnadu.

To preserve the native breed of Bulls.

Another logic to support the Jallikatu, which is famously doing rounds is to retain the native humped bull called Zebu, So to keep the bulls in existence the Jallikatu is very much needed. But the massive support erupted even from cities like Chennai shows that show of strength was not actually sentimental but most of the crowds who came to the marina beach are purely whipped up passion due to wide-scale circulation in social media and twitter handles. No support is seen forthcoming to support the cause of farmers in Tamil Nadu there are reports of wide scale farmers suicide due to crops failing due to bad monsoon and or not releasing the water promised to TN from Cauvery. These incidents show without any substance people and youngsters seems to be going behind emotions.

Remonetization still a distant dream?


PM’s 50 days timeframe  is over  which had  started on  November 8th  and ended on December 31st midnight , when the nation watched and listened carefully his public  address that 500 and 1000 rs  currency was no more a legal tender, People waited and clapped both their hands that  demonetizing  high valued currency was a good move to address the plaguing issues like  black money, counterfeit notes, and terrorism funding . Yes well said  Mr. PM, We all believed that by all accounts those menaces should be addressed hands down, the action by Modi, in fact, was a step in right direction.  But people were expecting the announcement from PM on the December 31st, 2016 that PM will address the nation with actual facts and declare the success rate in countering the issues for which people have waited patiently in queues n spite of the difficulties by keeping the national interest in mind. Now the deadline announced by PM has passed, still, the cash crunch is continuing unabated with no respite on the immediate horizon. But carefully worded PM minced no words on the success of his massive reform. Instead as usual at his best, he eloquently announced several sops to divert the attention from the core issue. The last 50 days more than 100 lives have been lost while standing in the queue to draw and exchange money which is legitimate right necessarily to buy things like medicine, groceries and pay their rents. But no word of assurance from PM when the crisis is going to end, and how far they have to wait in long queues to get to their cash lying in their respective bank accounts. People have patiently digested the change in rules which roughly got changed more than 15 times in last 50 days.

Carefully catapulted narrative to shift the attention to digital transactions

The war cry to address the black money is slowly pushed to backburner , and new found enthusiasm to promote the cashless transactions had started finding more traction , the most visible attractions is the launch of Bhim App which is linked to adhaar, everybody in govt and others who supports Modi started favouring the use of digital transactions as the best possible remedy to tide over the crisis which was self-inflicted by the elected govt  who is supposed to take care of the people’s wellbeing . Now the government being tactical is puts the burden of its own decision back to the same people who had voted them to power.The irrational responses from the ministers without understanding the hardships of the informal sector is the biggest despondency shown by the ruling government.I think those rich and elites are watching the hardships of the common man on the streets laughing at the plight of the poorest of the poor.  In the last 50days, we have seen how bad and severe was the impact of demonization on the informal sector. The livelihood of the casual laborers, small farmers who depend on cash to manage their daily household expenses was left in the lurch, Govt is busy vouching for cashless transactions through mobile wallets and electronic banking, a complete insensitive approach to common man’s sufferings.

 Push for a digital  economy with no logic

I am not qualified economist nor having any deep understanding about the undercurrents of our macroeconomic system, But as laymen, if I apply simple and straight forward logic of how a normal consumption happens in the economy, especially in the rural sector, one should really find the economic logic of demonetization falls flat. The cyclic effect of such a large disruptions even if for a shorter duration has the potential to create large ripple effects which might pull down the economy to a state of decline. Like adding woes to the injury, this massive reform is going to severely hemorrhage the country’s economy in the months to come.  Last week I was having a word with one of my friend who is a wealth manager in one of the leading financial conglomerate  , he is of the opinion  that economy would pick up in the long term and what telling effect it had on the economy takes more time to judge, I asked him how his wealthy customers are responding to the demonetization ,he laughed  and said my customers don’t keep anything in cash their money is held in other various asset classes other than cash.  He also admitted that  a lot of consumption has been displaced because of this move, but somehow  due to the relaxation in taxable income, salaried class, and middle-income groups would be left with more disposable income than usual which will fuel more  consumption, in the  hindsight spending will pick up, I asked him about the state of informal economy  , he has no answer to that specific question . I think I felt the same when PM or FM speaks to media on demonetization.   It remembered me the act of robin hood who stole from the wealthy and gave to poor, But here PM  sucked  in what little is left in the hands of the poor and passed  the benefits to mobile and E-wallet companies, certainly provided on a platter   a real harvesting time for the many of the startup wallet companies. Last but not the least if the govt is so serious about curbing black money, the first step should have been on  addressing the issue of political funding  manner of spending it during elections, But no serious attempt to address the donations to political parties, but if they had shown some spine in  addressing the  naked truth with seriousness then the whole demonetization drive  would have created some  semblance of credibility.