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>
OPINION 9
STAY INFORMED THROUGH THE DAY @ WWW.BUSINESS-STANDARD.COM

Volume XXVII Number 27 ILLUSTRATION: AJAY MOHANTY

NEW DELHI | TUESDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2020

Fix a sunset date paid by the telecom companies have compromised


Open-ended tariff protection will affect competitiveness their viability.
Sealed bid auctions for resources are more com-

T
he government has been increasing import tariffs and other barriers mon. Auctions for oil exploration have been con-
in recent years to protect Indian industry. The idea is that higher ducted in India with blocks being awarded to com-
prices of imported goods would push Indian consumers to buy panies offering a maximum share of oil and gas to
domestic products, which will increase output and employment. the government. More recently, blocks in little or
This would also incentivise foreign producers to shift production to India. unexplored basins are being awarded to companies
offering to do maximum exploration. The impact
However, this is not exactly how things work in the real world. Higher tariffs
on public revenue will depend on the actual imple-
and other trade barriers tend to increase costs and affect the overall compet- mentation of the exploration licence. A first sealed
itiveness of the economy. In this context, the government is reportedly plan- bid auction was held recently for commercial coal
ning to introduce a sunset date for tariff protection in various industries. This blocks on the basis of revenue-sharing for 38 coal
should be welcomed. The government would do well to implement it at the mines, of which 15 did not receive any bids. Here
earliest. This would make it clear to all manufacturers that they will face more too, the impact on public revenue will depend on
competition from a specific date, which hopefully would force them to become implementation.
Are auctions that maximise the return to public
competitive. For instance, the government has introduced production-linked
revenue the best way of allocating publicly-owned
incentives for a limited period. It should follow a similar policy for tariff pro- resources to private users? There is an impression,
tection. Open-ended protection would affect competitiveness and potential after the Supreme Court’s judgment in the 2G and

Auction of public
growth in the medium to long run. coal mining licences case that open auctions are
The government has also introduced non-tariff curbs to restrict imports of the only legally approved route. However, on a ref-
various items. This should have been avoided. India has tried the strategy of erence made to it in 2012, the Supreme Court clar-
protecting domestic businesses from international competition in the past, ified: “Auctions may be the best way of maximizing
revenue but revenue maximization may not always

resources and profit


which resulted in inefficiency and subpar growth. There is no reason why the
be the best way to subserve public good. ‘Common
outcome would be any different this time around. Thus, it is reassuring to see good’ is the sole guiding factor and a norm under
there is some re-evaluation of the tariff policy. It is also important to recognise Art. 39(b) for distribution of natural resources. It is
that the drive for self-reliance should not take India down the wrong road, and the touchstone of testing whether any policy sub-
make consumers hostage again to inefficient producers. Consumers are entitled serves the ‘common good’ and if it does, irrespec-
to what an open economy offers: The best products at the lowest price. Besides, Any sale must be designed to serve the common good, not to tive of the means adopted, it is clearly in accor-
in terms of economic activity, India benefited from trade openness in recent dance with the principle enshrined in Art. 39(b).”
decades and its weaknesses cannot be addressed by higher trade barriers. As
maximise revenues It went on to say that “mandatory auction may be
contrary to economic logic as well. Different
former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian and Shoumitro Chatterjee

A
uction theory has attracted a great deal of dependent items like geographically distributed resources may require different treatment.” But
of the Pennsylvania State University have shown in a recent research paper, attention from economists since William telecom spectrum for simultaneous bidding by eli- any alternative method “has to be fair, reasonable,
India’s overall exports registered an average annual growth rate of 13.4 per cent Vickrey, who got the economics Nobel in gible bidders. Second, the bidding takes place over non-discriminatory, transparent, non-capricious,
between 1995 and 2018. This was the third best performance among the top 50 1996, wrote his pioneering article on the subject in several rounds, with the auctioneer making known unbiased, without favouritism or nepotism, in pur-
global exporters. During the same period, India’s manufacturing exports went 1961. Last week, the 2020 Sveriges Riksbank Prize the bids to all participants. The process continues suit of promotion of healthy competition and equi-
up by over 12 per cent annually. Higher exports contributed to high growth. in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel till there are no new bids for any item on offer. table treatment.”
However, one of the biggest policy failings of India is that it has not been (popularly known as Nobel Prize for Economics) was Third, the bidding is not closed item by item but It is possible that in certain cases like, say the
awarded to Paul R Milgrom and his remains open on all items till the auction of Treasury bills, the common good is best
able to take advantage of its labour force to increase exports. As Dr Subramanian
PhD supervisor at Stanford, Robert end. Fourth, to prevent bidders promoted by maximising the return to public reve-
and Dr Chatterjee have shown, India’s share in global low-skill exports is about B Wilson. They have made many from using a wait-and-watch nues. But alternatives need to be considered and
15 percentage points less compared to its share of labour force. Thus, India’s contributions to auction theory; but strategy, to remain eligible they have been used, for instance, in the recent oil explo-
low-skill exports are about $60 billion less annually than they should be. It is they are best known for designing must put in new bids or hold the ration auctions.
also losing economic activity worth about $140 billion on this account per year. an innovation in auction methods high bid on an item on which new The 2012 Supreme Court response to the refer-
India has not been able to capitalise on labour-intensive production and exports for the Federal Communication bids have stopped coming. When ence from the government means that any alter-
over the decades because of a variety of domestic factors. Higher tariffs are Commission in the US called the interdependent items are on offer, native to revenue maximising auction must be rules
Simultaneous Multiple Round this means that someone who is based and have no scope for discretionary decisions,
unlikely to help. On the contrary, it would affect exports. With higher import
Auction (SMRA). losing out on an item he prefers so as to rule out corruption and crony capitalism. It
restrictions, India will not be able to integrate into the global value chain in a big Open auctions have two modes can step in and get another one has to be transparent, which an open auction pro-
way, which requires seamless movements of goods across borders. India’s par- — an ascending mode in which the NITIN DESAI by putting in a new bid for an item cess is, and must involve terms that are fair to the
ticipation in the global value chain has declined in recent years. Increasing auction ends when all except one where the bids were static. So bidders. Given this, one can conceive of bidding
tariffs would only make things worse. Thus, policymakers must review the tariff bidder drop out and the winner pays someone who wants Maharashtra being based on social ends? For instance, the bidding
policy. Putting an end date for tariff protection would be a good starting point. only what he bids to top the second highest bidder and Mumbai region spectrum on offer but is losing for auction of urban land could be on the basis of
and not what the item is worth to him; and a out in Mumbai can seek compensation by bidding offers of the number or area of low-cost houses guar-
descending mode where the auctioneer starts with for the Gujarat region spectrum. There are later vari- anteed by the bidder in return for getting the land

Preventing another peak a price and reduces it till he receives the first accept-
ance, so that the winner pays what the item is worth
to him. Sealed bid auctions also have two modes
ants that make linkages easier by allowing bidding
for combinations of items.
The first use of this SMRA method in India was
at a fixed reserve price. The real challenge is to define
a common good metric that is measurable and ver-
ifiable and relevant for the resource that is to be
State govts must be more vigilant during festivities where the highest bidder wins at the price he quoted in the 3G auction in 2010, when three-four generic transferred to private companies or individuals.
or at the second highest price. The second highest licences in 22 telecom circles were put up for The auctioning of publicly held resources is wel-

T
he committee of scientists appointed by the Union government’s price option in sealed bids encourages the bidder to simultaneous auction that stretched over 34 days come as it ensures transparency and reduces the
Department of Science and Technology in June to construct a fore- bid what the item is worth to him as he does not and 183 rounds and generated ~670 billion of reve- scope for corruption. But auctions must be designed
casting model for the spread of the novel coronavirus has suggested have to pay that but only what the item is worth to nue for the government. All the items on offer were to serve the common good, as required by the
that the pandemic has reached a peak in India in September. If pre- the second highest bidder. This result is similar to sold at above the reserve price. However, the sub- Constitution, and have clear safeguards against col-
cautionary measures are retained, the committee suggests, the pandemic would the open ascending auction. sequent five SMRA auctions for telecom spectrum lusion and manipulation.
be largely brought under control by February next year. The notion that the The SMRA modality departs from this in several from 2012 to 2016 were less successful. Moreover,
significant ways. First, it puts a whole set of inter- there is a widespread belief that the high prices nitin-desai@hotmail.com
spread of the virus has reached its first peak in India has also been put forward
by government officials, and seems to be broadly reflected in the national aggre-
gate figures for new infections and recoveries. The committee has also been

The dark side of low interest rates


quite clear that, according to its model-based analysis, the lockdown in March
helped control the spread of the virus and the reverse migration to villages
observed during the lockdown did not have an immediate effect in extending
the spread. Certainly, it seems to be the case that it was only after the resumption
“We should wonder whether lower and lower interest It may be argued that high inflation can be good for fall in stock prices. So, we can have a rise and then
of much economic activity that rural India began to be hit by an increasing
rates are in fact part of the problem …” output and employment. However, public also a fall in stock prices over time — thanks to the
number of cases. —Raghuram G Rajan, Frankfurt, 2013 authorities have already debated the reliability of interest rate policy. Neither fundamentals nor sen-
However, the committee is right to warn that the next few weeks will be that argument over the period 2013-16 before infla- timent are involved!

T
crucial. As Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan pointed out recently, India he Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did not make tion targeting was adopted. So, it is not advisable to It is one thing to maintain credit flows in a reces-
must heed the warning example of Kerala, which had successfully controlled any cut in interest rates in its announcement invoke that argument again — at least not at this sion, it is another to keep interest rates low. We do
the virus’ spread till crowds gathered for the Onam festival. Since then, there on October 9. However, the fact remains that stage. Then, why the high inflation? need the first but not so much the second. What is
has been a spurt in cases. Dr Vardhan described the Kerala government’s allowing the inflation-adjusted repo rate in India is currently It is doubtful if supply side issues have been happening is somewhat the opposite. Also, it is one
anyway minus 3.34 per cent, which is less than the serious and persistent enough to warrant the high thing to lower interest rates for borrowers through a
crowds to gather for the festival as “negligence”. This may appear harsh but is
corresponding rates in the US, Europe and Japan. It inflation observed for a year now. Notably, the reduction in the big interest margin that banks keep
also, given the outcome, justified. Yet, other state governments have also faced is true that the inflation-adjusted rates for borrowers reserve money has expanded by 13.9 per cent for the in India and another to lower interest rates through
popular pressure over festival permissions. The Gujarat government has banned in the market are not that low but year ending October 9, 2020. This is the RBI. We are focussing too much on the latter and
garba gatherings during the current Navaratri festival, but community prayers they are low enough. The low inter- very high, given all the slowdown in not worrying adequately about the former. It is time
and other events will be permitted. In Uttar Pradesh, Ramlila festivals will con- est rate policy may be popular but general and the Covid-19 situation in to rethink.
tinue, limited to a crowd of spectators of 100 people, in keeping with the Union there is a dark side to it. The interest particular. This suggests that the high Is it all the doing of central banks? It is true that
government’s “unlock” guidelines. rate policy is “very, very blunt”. inflation is also, if not primarily, a there is in any case, in a broader perspective, a long-
Low interest rates (and related monetary phenomenon related to the term worldwide trend of falling real interest rates
In West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court has stepped in to prevent a festive
concessions) are supposed to push low interest rate policy. in the market, and currently even the estimated
surge in Covid cases and has ordered that no visitors will be allowed inside spending and investment. But it is, It is true that we have had the neutral rate of interest is low. However, these out-
Durga Puja pandals in the state. Governments may worry about a social backlash as John Maynard Keynes had problem of a huge dollar inflow; the comes are not independent of the policy frame-
resulting from controlling crowds during the festive season. But it is important emphasised, doubtful if this policy RBI tackled this by buying more than work. So, broadly speaking, low interest rates are
to understand that the consequences of a spike in virus cases would be even works in a recession/crisis. Whether $50 billion and in the process issuing indeed related to policy.
worse. According to the official sero-surveys, less than 7 per cent of the population or not low interest rates push spend- GURBACHAN SINGH more base money. However, that The ratio of public debt to GDP is likely to touch 90
has so far been exposed to the virus. In other words, there is plenty of room for ing and investment, they certainly problem could have been handled dif- per cent in India; the ratio of public debt to total gov-
the number of cases to grow — unless precautionary measures continue to be imply low interest income for pen- ferently. But it was not. The RBI ernment receipts is well above 500 per cent. For debt
sioners, charitable trusts, widows, middle class apparently wanted to issue more money to maintain servicing, it helps to have low interest rates. It is hoped
taken. The experience of many areas which had controlled the virus only to people with savings, local public bodies, non-gov- low interest rates. that the government does not develop, what may be
grow lax reveals the danger of complacency. Not just Kerala, but even some of ernmental organisations, endowment funds in edu- While the low interest rate policy may or may not called, a vested interest in low interest rate policy.
the richest and best organised parts of the world — Belgium and the Netherlands cational/research institutions, and so on. help with investment, output and employment, it There is a world of policies once we start thinking
— have seen sharp resurgences of the virus. If India has peaked once, it must The RBI is supposed to target 4 per cent inflation can aggravate, if not cause, financial instability. With outside of the low interest rate option. It is time we
maintain the flattened trajectory of the curve. Neither the economy nor the rate with a leeway of 2 per cent around that target. the low interest rates and participation of took a hard look elsewhere —never mind what the
health care system would be able to deal with another peak. The next few weeks However, for a year now, inflation has been above 4 “Robinhood investors”, there has been an upward developed countries are doing.
would be a big test for both state administrative agencies and citizens in general. per cent and for many months, it has been above the movement in prices of stocks in general and “growth
upper limit of 6 per cent. It touched 7.34 per cent in stocks” in particular. As and when the interest rates The writer is visiting faculty, Indian Statistical Institute,
September. So, the high inflation is hardly transient. rise to more normal levels in future, we can have a Delhi Centre

Questioning the Silicon Valley ‘gospel’ Steve Jobs founded Apple at 21, Bill Gates
founded Microsoft at 21, Mark
Zuckerberg started Facebook at 20. In a
sense, Silicon Valley's ageism, the belief
India as well: Rashmi Bansal’s Connect
the Dots,Robin Sharma’s The Monk
Who Sold His Ferrari and Larry
Sambas’s From Startup to IPO, to name
that the Silicon Valley may be about to M-PESA, a Kenya -based mobile points out that the term unicorn does in startup’s founded by a 20-year-old is just a few of the many.
have its “Detroit Moment”: The phone -based payment platform is his not simply mean the end-result of not statistically true, the author points What makes this book different? For
disappearance of Detroit, which in the first example. Gojek, from Indonesia is having a $1 billion valuation but out. He quotes data showing that most one, most startup books follow the
1950s had the world’s top three global a ride-hailing service, targeted at that “represents a philosophy, an ethos and successful startups in the United States same Silicon Valley cliché: That the
companies Ford, General Motors and unique Indonesian phenomenon, the a process of building startups...and are founded by entrepreneurs in their goal of a startup founder has to be to
Chrysler, but which has since then been “Ojek”, a low-cost motorbike taxis, serves as a rallying cry...” mid-40s and they started their grow quickly and sell the business for
BOOK REVIEW superseded by Japanese (Toyota), which quickly get It symbolises businesses after 20-plus years of an eye-watering amount to whoever
German (Volkswagen) and Korean you to where you OUT-INNOVATE: How a startup’s work experience. you can find, which are often American
AJIT BALAKRISHNAN (Hyundai) companies. want to go, Global Entrepreneurs single-minded Again, as the author points out, entities, and which is also why the
The discussion in this book is weaving in and - from Delhi to goal of growing what is not often reported or sung to is Indian startup scene essentially feeds

S
ilicon Valley, that geographic urgently relevant today, more so in out of Jakarta’s Detroit - Are fast, an all-or- that 80 per cent of all unicorns in the the expansion plans of US companies.
stretch of the San Francisco Bay India, because the word “Startup” is on chaotic, super- Rewriting the Rules nothing focus. United States so far have had an Mr Lazarow looks at broader issues
Area, is to the computer technology every policymaker’s lips because they congested traffic. of Silicon Valley In practice, as immigrant in a key executive position, so his book is likely to be of interest for
world what Rome is to the Catholic world suddenly see them as solving the The author Author: Alexandre the author and this includes Uber, WeWork and policymakers and thinkers as well. He
or Mecca to the Islamic world: Anything problem of highly educated graduates analyses some of Lazarow points out, this Zoom, among others. has several excellent ideas for re-
that the seers there say is treated as not getting jobs either in the shrinking Silicon Valley’s may not only be Let us pause for breath here. The inventing finance, for example, that
Publisher: Harvard
gospel and above questioning. That traditional Indian engineering myths that have
Business Review Press impractical but world is as full of “How To” books on will help finance escape its moronic
should not be a surprise since the Silicon industries or in that great job- become religion- unjustifiable. making a success of startups as there goal of shareholder value
Price: ~1,250
Valley is the home of Facebook, Google, palliative of the early 2000s, the IT like beliefs in The other are startups. Some of the more maximisation. He also has suggestions
and Apple, not to mention a vast number service body shops. venture investing stereotype that prominent ones are: Peter Thiel’s Zero for societal-level initiatives that will
of other world-leading tech businesses. This book is filled with inspiring circles throughout the world. Silicon Valley thrives on, as the author to One, Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing help lay the foundations of an
Early in this book, the author, examples of technology company The “unicorn” is one such all- points out, is that of a 22-year-old college About Hard Things, Jim Collins’ Good entrepreneur- fostering ecosystem in a
Alexandre Lazarow declares the success stories founded in places other pervasive myth and refers to the dropout building a gigantic company to Great: Why Some Companies Make country like India.
intention to “Question the Silicon Valley than in Silicon Valley and countries elusive object, a startup that quickly starting in a garage: The examples that the Leap...and Others Don’t.
Gospel”. In fact, he goes so far as to say other than the United States. achieves a valuation of $1 billion. He support this stereotype are real enough: There have even been a bunch from ajitb@rediffmail.com
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1DWKPD\FODLPWKHPRUQLQJDIWHUWKDWKHGLGQ·WQDPHDQ\ERG\EXWFRQVLGHULQJWKDWKH he recent judgement of
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T the Supreme Court on
the petitions pertaining
to the three-month
protests, held in Shaheen
Bagh in South Delhi earlier this year,
should clear the air in respect of the
prevailing debate on how far one can
FLDQWRKDYHPDGHPLVRJ\QLVWLFVWDWHPHQWVDJDLQVWZRPHQEXWWKDWGRHVQ·WH[FXVHKLV go while exercising the right to dis-
sent. The key point is that the occu-
ODWHVWJDIIHQRPDWWHUKRZELWWHUKLVDQLPRVLW\ZLWK'HYLPD\EHSROLWLFDOO\,IKHJHWVDZD\ pation of public thoroughfares while
ZLWKRXWUHSHUFXVVLRQVWKHQWKHUH·VDORWWKDW·VZURQJZLWKQRWMXVWWKHV\VWHPEXWFROOHF registering a protest is not acceptable
WLYHFRQVFLHQFH+HZDVH[SHFWHGWREHSDUWLFXODUO\DWWHQWLYHFRQVLGHULQJKHZDVDGGUHVV indefinitely.
This judgement will have long-
LQJDUDOO\MXVWDIRUWQLJKWDKHDGRIWKH6WDWH·VE\SROOVFUXFLDOWRKLVDQGWKH&RQJUHVV· term implications on how political
UHFRYHU\LQWKH6WDWHSRVWWKHUHYROWRI-\RWLUDGLW\D6FLQGLDDQGWKH0/$VWKDWKHWRRN battles will henceforth be fought
DZD\ZLWKKLPWRWKH%-3&OHDUO\DOOKHKDVGRQHLVVFRUHDVHOIJRDOE\JLIWLQJWKH%-3 when they spill out onto the streets,
DQLVVXHRQDSODWWHUZKLFKKDVORGJHGDFRPSODLQWZLWKWKH(OHFWLRQ&RPPLVVLRQIRU´PDN because if the right to protest is an
untrammelled right, the constitu-
LQJGHURJDWRU\UHPDUNVDJDLQVWD6FKHGXOHG&DVWHFDQGLGDWHµ+HLVQRZEHLQJFDOOHGRXW tional scheme could get disturbed. 15, 2019, onwards. demnation of the Constitution methods of revolution. It means
DVEHLQJDQWL'DOLWDQGDQWLZRPDQERWKFRQVWLWXHQFLHVKLVSDUW\GHSHQGVXSRQ%HVLGHV The judgement of the three- The central argument of those largely comes from two quarters, that we must abandon the
KHVKRXOGKDYHEHHQFDUHIXOFRQVLGHULQJWKDWWKH*DQGKLVFLRQV5DKXODQG3UL\DQNDPDGH judge Bench, comprising Justices who objected to the Shaheen the Communist Party and the method of civil disobedience,
Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Aniruddha Bagh protest, including Dr Nand Socialist Party.” The commu- non-cooperation and satyagra-
+DWKUDVFHQWUDOWRWKHLUERXQFHEDFNLQWRSROLWLFDOUHOHYDQFH7KH\EUDYHGSROLFHEDUULFDGHV Bose and Krishna Murari, said that Kishore Garg, who petitioned the nists do not like it because they ha.” These methods were okay
DQGDQRSSUHVVLYH83DGPLQLVWUDWLRQWRPHHWWKHJLUO·VIDPLO\DQGFRPPLVHUDWHZLWKWKHP Article 19 was one of the corner- court, was that the protesters had 8=BC403>5 want a Constitution based on the when there were no constitution-
7KHVHDVRQHGDQGPDWXUHSROLWLFLDQWKDWKHLVVXUHO\1DWKGRHVQ·WQHHGDQ\FRDFKLQJLQ stones of the Constitution which blocked an important thorough- principle of dictatorship of the al methods of protest. “But where
KDQGOLQJSROLWLFDOVHQVLWLYLWLHVDWWKLVWLPH2QHFHUWDLQO\GLGQ·WH[SHFWKLPWREHHLWKHULQWHP
conferred two treasured rights on
citizens — the right to freedom of
fare and caused enormous incon-
venience to commuters. The
?A><>C8=6 proletariat. “They (the commu-
nists) condemn the Constitution
constitutional methods are open,
there can be no justification for
SHUDWHRULQGLVFUHHWLQDPDQQHUWKDWZRXOGFRVWKLPSROLWLFDOO\,WKDVFOHDUO\SXWWKH&RQJUHVV speech and expression under Article right to protest should not result BD27270>B because it is based on parliamen- these unconstitutional methods.
RQWKHEDFNIRRWERWKDWWKH6WDWHOHYHODQGQDWLRQDOO\ 19(1)(a) and the right to assemble in the infringement of the right tary democracy.” The Socialists These methods are nothing but
1DWKKDVDQD[HWRJULQGZLWK'HYLZKRLVD-\RWLUDGLW\DOR\DOLVWDQGGHIHFWHGZLWK
peacefully without arms under to free movement of other citi- 5>AB4E4A0; want to nationalise all private the grammar of anarchy and the
Article 19(1)(b). “These rights, in zens. Dwelling on this issue, the property without payment of sooner they are abandoned, the
KLPWRWKH%-3,QIDFWWKHVH[LVWUHPDUNFRPHVGD\VDIWHUDQGSUREDEO\DVDKLWEDFNWR cohesion, enable every citizen to court said: “We have, thus, no <>=C7B8C compensation. Second, they want better for us.”
'HYL·VDFFXVDWLRQWKDW1DWKEULEHG0/$VZKHQKHZDV&KLHI0LQLVWHUWKDWKHJDYHFDVK assemble peacefully and protest hesitation in concluding that
F>D;370E4 fundamental rights in the The Shaheen Bagh mode of
against the actions or inactions of the such kind of occupation of pub- Constitution to be absolute and protest falls into the category
GROHVRICODNKWR&RQJUHVV0/$VZKRFRXOGQRWEHJUDQWHGPLQLVWHULDOSRVWV$ERXW
$VVHPEO\VHDWVDUHDWVWDNHLQWKHE\SROOVDVL]HDEOHQXPEHUIRU1DWKWREHWKLVFKDQFHV
State. The same must be respected
and encouraged by the State, for the
lic ways, whether at the site in
question or anywhere else for 144=14CC4A5>A without any limitations, “so that
if their party fails to come into
mentioned by Dr Ambedkar —
organising a blockade to prevent
RQ7KDWVHHPVWREHDWDOORUGHUQRZ'HYLLVQRZSOD\LQJXSWKHZURQJVGRQHDJDLQVW strength of a democracy such as ours
lies in the same.” However, it noted
protests, is not acceptable and the
administration ought to take C74?A>C4BC4AB power, they would have the
unfettered freedom not merely to
people from using an important
public thoroughfare and dis-
KHUDVNLQJLIVKHVKRXOGEHGHQLHGDSROLWLFDOUROHVLPSO\EHFDXVHVKHLVSRRUD6FKHGXOHG
&DVWHDQGDZRPDQ"6KHHYHQPDLQWDLQHGWKDW1DWKKDGDFRQVLVWHQWELDVDJDLQVWKHU
that these rights were subject to rea-
sonable restrictions. Referring to an
action to keep the areas clear of
encroachments or obstructions.”
C><>E4C74 criticise, but also to overthrow the
State”.
rupting normal life. And let
there be no confusion about the
LJQRULQJKHUDWSDUW\PHHWLQJVVOLJKWLQJKHUUHIXVLQJWRJLYHKHUDGHFHQWKHDULQJ$QG earlier judgement of the court, it
said, “each fundamental right, be it
The court recalled the history
of protest during the freedom
BD?A4<42>DAC Just substitute the Congress
party for the Socialist Party and
primary intent of those who
promoted this “grammar of anar-
WKHQVKHILUHGWKHPRVWSRWHQWVDOYRDVNLQJLIKHZRXOGEHKDYHOLNHWKLVZLWK3UL\DQND*DQGKL
&OHDUO\1DWKKDVVOLGRQKLVRZQVOXGJH+LVQHPHVLV-\RWLUDGLW\DWRRKDVMRLQHGLVVXH
of an individual or of a class, does movement. It said: “What must 0608=BCC74 it will appear as if Dr Ambedkar chy” — their dissatisfaction with
not exist in isolation and has to be be kept in mind, however, is that is talking about what is happen- the peoples’ verdict of 2014 and
IDVWLQJZLWK&KLHI0LQLVWHU6KLYUDM6LQJK&KRXKDQIRUWZRKRXUVGHPDQGLQJWKDW1DWKEH balanced with every other contrast- the erstwhile mode and manner ;0F<0341H ing in India in the year 2020 2019 — more than anything else,
ing right. It was in this respect, that of dissent against colonial rule where political parties, which and their desire to unsettle a duly
VWRSSHGIURPFDPSDLJQLQJ7KLVGLVWDVWHIXOUHPDUNKDVUREEHG1DWKRIWKHPRUDOSLWFK in this case, an attempt was made by cannot be equated with dissent in C74?0A;80<4=C have been rejected by the elec- elected Government. The objec-
WKDWKHKDGZRYHQKLVFDPSDLJQRQDVDYRWHDJDLQVW´&RQJUHVVUHEHOVµZKRKHVDLG
KDGGLVUHVSHFWHGWKHSHRSOH·VPDQGDWHDQGFURVVHGRYHUWRWKH%-3VHOOLQJRXWWKHSDUW\
us to reach a solution where the
rights of protesters were to be bal-
a self-ruled democracy. Our con-
stitutional scheme comes with C70CF>D;3 torate, want to foment trouble on
the streets to disturb the demo-
tions to the Citizenship
Amendment Act were just a
,QVWHDGKHLVQRZDWWKHUHFHLYLQJHQGIRUEHWUD\LQJWKH'DOLWFDXVH7KH%-3FXUUHQWO\ anced with that of commuters”.
The court declared that democ-
the right to protest and express
dissent but with an obligation 14C74 cratic process. Let us not forget
that the Congress party’s vote
façade.
Instead of promoting such
KDV0/$VDQGWKH&RQJUHVV7KHUHDUHIRXU,QGHSHQGHQWVWZR6DPDMZDGL3DUW\
63 DQGRQH%DKXMDQ6DPDM3DUW\ %63 0/$7KH&HQWUDOSDUW\HIIHFWLYHO\KDVWRZLQ
racy and dissent go hand in hand,
but then the demonstrations
towards certain duties.” This is a
significant observation by the
0??A>?A80C4 share has crashed to less than 20
per cent and the vote share of the
chaos for several months, it
would have been better for the
VLQJOHGLJLWVHDWVWRUHWDLQSRZHU%XW&KRXKDQZKRLVEDWWOLQJFKDOOHQJHUVIURPZLWKLQKLV expressing dissent have to be in des-
ignated places alone. “The present
apex court. In fact, Dr BR
Ambedkar, who headed the
2>=BC8CDC8>=0; two communist parties has hit
rock bottom and touched a low
protesters to move the Supreme
Court against the law made by
RZQSDUW\DQGWKHGLVFRPIRUWRIKDYLQJWRFUHDWHVSDFHIRUDGHPDQGLQJ-\RWLUDGLW\DZRXOG case was not even one of protests Constitution Drafting A4B?>=B4 of 2.50 per cent. the Parliament. That would be
LGHDOO\OLNHWRJHWDWOHDVWWZRGLJLWVRQWKHWDOO\WRUHWDLQKLVFKDLU7KH&RQJUHVVZRXOG taking place in an undesignated area, Committee, dwelt on this very The second aspect Dr the appropriate constitutional
QHHGWRZLQDOOVHDWVWRPDNHLWWRWKHKDOIZD\PDUNDQHDULPSRVVLEOHWDVN,W but was a blockage of a public way issue in his concluding remarks C70CF>D;3 Ambedkar highlighted relates response that would have passed
which caused grave inconvenience in the Constituent Assembly on to the modes of protest. He told muster with Dr Ambedkar.
QHHGVSOXVVHDWVWRVWLWFKXSDFRDOLWLRQEXWZLWK%-3ZDLWLQJLQWKHZLQJVZLWKUHVRXUFHV to commuters. We cannot accept the November 25, 1949, before the 70E4?0BB43 the citizens what they must do if Hopefully, the apex court’s
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plea of the applicants that an inde- Assembly put its final stamp of they wish to maintain democra- judgement should put an end to
UHDOPRISRVVLELOLW\QRZ%HVLGHVZLWKPRVWRIWKHVHDWVJRLQJWRWKHE\SROOVEHLQJORFDW terminable number of people can approval on the Constitution. cy not merely in form but also in the Shaheen Bagh mode of
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assemble whenever they choose to
protest.” The blockade had resulted
In that speech, Dr Ambedkar
made two observations, which 3A0<143:0A fact. The first thing we must do
is to hold fast to the constitution-
protests and restore some order
in the way we express dissent.
YLROHQFHDQGZKHUHWKH'DOLWYRWHVZLQJPDWWHUVSROLWLFDOO\'HYL·VYLFWLPKRRGFRXOGSURYH in the closure of the Kalindi Kunj- are very relevant to the present al methods to achieve our social (The writer is an author special-
WREHFUXFLDO'DOLWVXSUHPR0D\DZDWLKDVILHOGHGKHUFDQGLGDWHVLQDOOVHDWV$VIDUDV Shaheen Bagh stretch, including the debate on democracy and dissent and economic objectives. “It ising in democracy studies. Views
Okhla underpass, from December in the country. He said: “The con- means we must abandon bloody expressed are personal)
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Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s letter to ment on whether she would
VLELOLW\ZD\EDFNJLYHQWKHVWLIISHDNVDQGKLJKLQIHFWLY Chief Minister Uddhav 8]SXPaP]Zb(#cWP\^]V &R^d]caXTbX]cTa\b rule alone or form a coalition.
Thackeray on re-opening tem- ^U Wd]VTa P]S R^]cX]dTb c^ QT X] cWT °bTeTaT± Khushboo Ved
LW\<HWZHFDQQRWDIIRUGWREHFRPSODFHQWDERXWWKHGLV ples in the State was meant to Wd]VTaRPcTV^ahCWXbbTaeTbPbP]X]SXRPc^a^UcWTR^d] Ujjain
HDVHULJKWQRZDVLQ(XURSHWRRWKHFDVHVVSLNHGH[SR serve two purposes — to draw cah³b_^^a7d\P]3TeT[^_\T]c8]STg738;PbchTPa
QHQWLDOO\DIWHUWKHVSUHDGVORZHGGRZQIRUDELWJLYLQJ the Hindutva concept of religious 8]SXP³b678aP]ZfPb !^dc^U &R^d]caXTb8]SXP
identity back to the discussion, aP]Zb[^fTacWP]\^bc^UXcbB^dcW0bXP]]TXVWQ^dab 4U\XYcd_hYSQYb
SHRSOHDIDOVHVHQVHRIVHFXULW\DQGWKHGU\ZLQWHUZHDWKHUDJJUDYDWHGVXVFHSWLELOLW\WR and the other, to bolster the core P]S ^][h 0UVWP]XbcP] UPaTb f^abT 0RR^aSX]V c^ cWT Sir — With the onset of winter
WKHYLUXV7KH8.LVLQDVHULRXVORFNGRZQPRGHDJDLQ%HVLGHVZLWKHFRQRPLFDFWLYLW\ pitch of the BJP. In truth, his aT_^ac #_TaRT]c^UcWTR^d]cah³b_^_d[PcX^]Xbd]STa begins the yearly theatrics of who
RSHQLQJXSDVSDUWRIWKHFRXQWU\·VXQORFNLQJHIIRUWVDQGFLQHPDKDOOVPXOWLSOH[HVHQWHU words give credence to the sus- ]^daXbWTS8cXbXa^]XRcWPcSTb_XcT^dabRXT]cXUXRP]ScTRW is responsible for the rising pol-
picion that the values enshrined ]XRP[ PSeP]RT\T]cb fT PaT d]PQ[T c^ P[[TeXPcT cWT lution in Delhi. While the BJP
WDLQPHQWSDUNVVZLPPLQJSRROVIRUVSRUWVSHUVRQVIXQFWLRQLQJWKHIHVWLYHERQKRPLHWKLV in the Constitution of India are Wd]VTa^UP[[cWTRXcXiT]b>da_^[XRh\PZTab]TTSc^fPZT claims that there is more pollu-
ZHHNHQGFRXOGMXVWDERXWWULJJHUDYLUDOVWRUPWKDWFRXOGUHYHUVHWKHVLWXDWLRQLQQRWLPH under siege indeed. The French d_c^cWTaTP[Xch^UcWTbXcdPcX^]P]SPS^_cPR^]eTa _^^a?dQ[XR3XbcaXQdcX^]BhbcT\?3BCWTaTbW^d[S tion due to local factors, the State
2QHKDVWRORRNDW.HUDODZKLFKZDVVHHQDVDPRGHORIYLUXVFRQWDLQPHQWDWRQHWLPH adage, “the legislator becomes the VT]cP__a^PRWc^cPRZ[TcWXbXbbdT QTP]Pdc^]^\^db?3BQPbTS^]R^\\d]Xch[TS_a^ Government blames the ruling
transgressor”, aptly describes the CWT_a^Q[T\^UWd]VTaX]daQP]P]SadaP[PaTPb\dbc RdaT\T]cP]Sbc^aPVT0[b^0]VP]fPSXRT]caTbRP] party at the Centre and Congress
VOLGLQJGLVDVWURXVO\SRVW2QDP,QD6WDWHZKHUHSHUFHQWRIWKHUHSRUWHGFDVHVZHUH Governor’s epistle, as he had QTP__a^PRWTSbT_PaPcT[hPb]d\Ta^dbUPRc^abR^] _[PhPeXcP[a^[TX]_a^eXSX]VTPa[hRWX[SW^^SRPaTCWTaT of forming an alliance to allow
IURPRXWVLGHWKHWUHQGUHYHUVHGWRSHUFHQWRIWKHLQIHFWLRQVEHLQJORFDOO\WUDQVPLWWHG come close to denouncing the caXQdcTc^8]SXP³b°bTeTaT±Wd]VTabcPcdbCWTaTXbP[PRZ P[b^]TTSbc^QT]TV^cXPcX^]bQTcfTT]cWT2T]caTP]S stubble burning. Amid all this
-XO\RQZDUGV Constitution. ^UbcPQ[TT\_[^h\T]cP]SSdTc^UaT`dT]c\XVaPcX^] cWTBcPcTb^]U^^SP]S]dcaXcX^]bTRdaXch\TPbdaTb political gamble, the rising air
Koshyari’s letter unsettles even \P]hPaT]^caTVXbcTaTSfXcWcWTbhbcT\P]SWT]RTS^ ET]d6B pollution continues to affect the
:HPD\VORZGRZQWLUHRXWDQGFKDVHWKHYLUXVEXWKDYHDORQJZD\WRJREHFDXVH the ardent believers of Hinduism. ]^caTRTXeTcWT]TRTbbPahQT]TUXcb=^cc^U^aVTccWT :^[[P\ quality of life and subsistence of
SHUFHQWRIWKHSHRSOHDUHVWLOOVXVFHSWLEOHWRLQIHFWLRQ6RLQVKRUWWKHUHLVQRURRP He declares one is not a Hindu the city’s inhabitants. The Centre
IRUFRPSODFHQF\RUOD[LW\,QWKLVUHVSHFWWKH&DOFXWWD+LJK&RXUWUXOLQJWKDWSXMDSDQGDOV until and unless he or she should initiate a joint plan with
embraces the Hindutva doc- political system was introduced pers at two Christchurch the support of the State
LQWKHFLW\ZKLFKKDYHEHHQPRXQWHGRQWKHXVXDOODYLVKVFDOHFDQQRWDOORZDQ\YLVLWRUV trine. Koshyari told Thackeray <Q^Tc\YTUfYSd_bi in 1996. On the other hand, the mosques and a fatal volcano Governments of Delhi, Haryana,
LQVLGHH[FHSWWKHRUJDQLVHUVLVPXFKQHHGHGWRDYRLGDPDVVFRQWDJLRQ2QO\WKHQFDQ that the latter had become a “sec- Sir — New Zealand’s Prime opposition National Party was eruption. Having a solid interna- Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to
ZHIODWWHQRXWE\)HEUXDU\%HFDXVHWKHVRFLRHFRQRPLFLPSDFWRIWKHVHFRQGZDYHRI ular” Hindu, and thus, forsaken Minister Jacinda Ardern deliv- able to secure only 26.8 per cent tional following with her promo- make Delhi pollution-free. They
WKHYLUXVRQDQDOUHDG\RYHUZKHOPHGZHDNHQHGDQGWRWWHULQJKHDOWKFDUHLQIUDVWUXFWXUH his claim to be in the Hindutva ered the biggest election victory and just 35 seats in the 120-seat tion of issues, including women’s should also have a permanent
stable. The country is now in dire for her Labour party in half a Assembly. The resounding victo- rights, social justice and multilat- ban on firecrackers and not just
DQGHFRQRP\ZLOOEHWRRJUHDW:HKDYHWRVWRSSRLQWLQJILQJHUVDWWKH*RYHUQPHQWDQG need of a collective Opposition century. With all votes tallied, ry is due to Ardern’s progressive, eralism, Ardern has become a for the festive season.
HYHU\RQHHOVHRQWKHSODQHWIRURXUSOLJKW:HQHHGWRJURZXSDVDQDWLRQDQGWDNHUHVSRQ forum and a stable, cogent leader Ardern’s party won 49 per cent, democratic governance, her lead- role model to many. However, Amit Singh Kushwaha
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racy. parliamentary majority. This is spread of COVID-19 in the her economic policies. Also, a
VLEOHWRDYHU\ODUJHH[WHQWIRUPDQDJHPHQWEXWLWLVWLPHZHKROGRXUVHOYHVDFFRXQWDEOH Haridasan Rajan the highest result that any party country, as well as her handling summer season with no interna- BT]Shh^daUUTTSQPRZcc^)
WRR,IWKLVPHDQVEHFRPLQJRQOLQHFHOHEUDQWVIRURQHVHDVRQVREHLW Kozhikode has achieved since the current of the massacre of 51 worship- tional tourists will be a major test [TccTabc^_X^]TTa/V\PX[R^\
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T 15th Finance Commission (15th FC) to allow
greater flexibility while fixing the fiscal deficit
(FD). It wants to adopt a flexible, range-bound FD
IRUWKHVPDOODQGPDUJLQDOJURZHUVZKRFRQVWLWXWHSHUFHQWRI target instead of a fixed number. With this aim in
mind, the Modi Government is reviewing the Fiscal
WKHIDUPLQJFRPPXQLW\7KH\DUHQHLWKHUDEOHWRLQYHVWLQWHFKQRO Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act.
RJ\EHWWHUVHHGVDQGRWKHULQSXWVQRULQLQIUDVWUXFWXUH0RVWRI The issue was discussed at the Economic Advisory
WKHPDUHDWWKHPHUF\RIWKHUDLQJRGZKRLVQRZSOD\LQJWUXDQW Council (EAC) of the 15th FC, wherein the chair-
ZLWKWKHPGXHWRFOLPDWHFKDQJHFRXSOHGZLWKSULFHLQVWDELOLW\DQG man, NK Singh, cited a similar practice followed by
LQGHEWHGQHVV7KHULFKIDUPHUVDUHDEOHWRPDQDJHVRPHKRZEXW the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) with +/- two per
WKHSRRUJHWIXUWKHULQGHEWHGDQGWUDSSHGLQEDGORDQV cent inflation target while deciding its monetary pol-
<HWDQRWKHUSUREOHPLVWKHUHOXFWDQFHRIWKH\RXQJHUJHQHUD icy. The immediate prompt for this is the sharp con-
WLRQWRFDUU\RQVXEVLVWHQFHIDUPLQJ7KH*RYHUQPHQWPXVWODXQFK traction in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by
DFOLPDWHDGDSWDWLRQVLWHVSHFLILFSURJUDPPHIRUWDFNOLQJWKHK\GURO about 24 per cent in the first quarter of the current
RJ\RIWKHDUHDWRUHWDLQVRLOPRLVWXUH,QFUHDVLQJSURGXFWLYLW\LV financial year (FY) and a corresponding steep reduc-
tion in tax collections even as the expenditure com-
WKHRQO\ZD\ZHFDQGRXEOHWKHIDUPHUV·LQFRPH7DNHIRUH[DP mitments are on the upswing (courtesy the two stim-
SOH&KLQD,QLWSURGXFHGPLOOLRQPHWULFWRQQHV 07 RI C74
uli already given). As a result, on May 8, the
JUDLQIURPPLOOLRQKDRIQHWVRZQDUHD,Q,QGLDWKDW\HDUWKLV Government raised its gross market borrowing tar- 8=2>A?>A0C8>=>5
ZDVRQO\PLOOLRQ07ZLWKWKHVDPHVRZQDUHD1RZZLWK get for the FY 2020-21 to C12,00,000 crore, up from C7453A0=64
PLOOLRQKDLQZHKDYHLQFKHGFORVHUWRPLOOLRQ077KRXJK the C7,80,000 crore provided for in the Budget on 3>4B=>C>554A
WKHFRQWULEXWLRQRIWKHIDUPVHFWRULQWKH*'3LVDURXQGSHU February 1. 0=HC78=614CC4A
FHQWLWVXSSRUWVWKHOLYHOLKRRGRISHUFHQWRIWKHZRUNIRUFHRI Of this, the Government had already borrowed C70=F70C8B
,QGLD7KH*URVV9DOXH$GGHG *9$ E\DJULFXOWXUHIRUHVWU\DQG C7,66,000 crore during the first half of the current 0;A403HC74A48=
ILVKLQJZDVHVWLPDWHGDWCODNKFURUHLQWKHFXUUHQWILQDQFLDO FY and plans to borrow the remaining C4,34,000 C745A1<;0F¯
\HDU )< 7KHJURZWKLQ*9$LQDJULFXOWXUHDQGDOOLHGVHFWRUVVWRRG crore by January 2021. At C12,00,000 crore, the bor- 58G43=D<14A53
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rowing limit is already set at about 5.8 per cent of C0A64C?;DB
the GDP — 2.3 per cent higher than the budgeted 4B20?42;0DB4¯ 20 from 3.3 per cent Budget Estimate (BE) Government has a lot of leeway — explic- up to one year), not a range.
DWULOOLRQHFRQRP\ZHPXVWOLIWWKHDQQXDOJURZWKUDWHRIDJUL FD target of 3.5 per cent. With this and demand for to 3.8 per cent in the Revised Estimate it as well as not so explicit. On the explic- It is argued that a range brings an ele-
FXOWXUHE\DWOHDVWHLJKWWRSHUFHQWLQWKHQH[WIHZ\HDUVDQG yet another Stimulus III gaining ground, it is not sur-
D=;4BB8C8BC74 (RE) and for FY 2020-21, from three per it side, we have seen the fiscal consolida- ment of predictability in knowing how far
WKHQDLPIRUPRUH7KLVZLOOUHTXLUHDFRQFUHWHDFWLRQSODQ prising that the Finance Ministry is building pres- 8=C4=C>5 cent as per the glide path required under tion glide path made fairly liberal to suit the Government can go in expanding its
$VDILUVWVWHSWKHUHVKRXOGEHSODQQHGQHWZRUNLQJWRLQWH sure on the 15th FC. During the current year, we have <0=30A8=B8=C74 the Act to 3.5 per cent. The one big thing the budget math as also the revised FD borrowing programme and the resultant
JUDWHODQGXVHZLWKWKHDGMRLQLQJIRUHVWVWKURXJKWKHFUHDWLRQRI an extraordinary situation, so one can understand 58=0=24<8=8BCAH that she did last year was reducing the being significantly higher than the target impact on crucial parameters like bond
ZDWHU ERGLHV DQG LPSOHPHQWDWLRQ RI ZDWHUVKHG PDQDJHPHQW the desperation. But it is important to recall here that C>70E41>C7 Corporate Tax rate, which meant a rev- — yet going unpunished (for instance, yields, interest rate; hence helpful in
VFKHPHV7KLVZLOOKHOSWDFNOHFOLPDWLFYDJDULHV7KHQH[WDSSURDFK in his budget speech for 2016-17, the then Finance =0<4;HA0=640B enue loss of close to C1,50,000 crore annu- during 2008-09, the actual FD was six per boosting investor confidence. This is a friv-
LVWRRSWIRUKLJKYDOXHFURSGLYHUVLW\IRUEHWWHUSURGXFWLRQVRWKDW Minister Arun Jaitley had announced the F4;;0BC74 ally. The reform was far-reaching and cent against the target of three per cent as olous argument. Whether it is one fixed
WKHUHWXUQSHUXQLWRIODQGXVHGLVHQKDQFHG7KHIDUPHUVZRXOG Government’s intent to review the FRBM Act 4B20?42;0DB4 structural but one wonders whether this per the FRBM Act, 2003). On the not so number or a range, there is predictabili-
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(2003) with a view to make the target flexible (that C70CF>D;314 was an event not anticipated by the explicit side, DSPs and EBRs have been ty in both the scenarios. The difference is
the announcement was made following the year 38B8=64=D>DB Government. used to camouflage the true deficit. notional as in a range, one looks at the
$JULFXOWXUH3URGXFH0DUNHWLQJ&RPPLWWHHV $30&V FDQQRORQJHU 2015-16, when it had achieved the FD target of 3.9 Ironically, the above numbers do not If the FD range gets embedded in the upper end. Unpredictability arises when
FRQWUROWKHIDUPHUVWKH\FDQVWLOOEHXVHGIRUEHWWHUSURFXUHPHQW per cent, sounds a bit anomalous). He had set up a
C74 $C752 give the true picture of the FD as a lot of FRBM Act, this will amount to giving legal things such as DSPs/EBRs are done out-
WKURXJKWKH063DQGFDQEHFRPHFRPSHWLWLYHZLWKUHIRUPVLQWKHLU committee under NK Singh (it included among oth- B7>D;3A45A08= expenses, despite being a liability of the sanction to slippages. It will defeat the very side the FRBM framework; sadly, those are
IXQFWLRQLQJVSHFLDOO\E\FUHDWLQJPRUHIDFLOLWLHVIRUWKHIDUPHUVLQ ers, the then Chief Economic Adviser, Arvind 5A><6>8=65>A0 sovereign Government, are kept off its bal- purpose of fixing a target which is to oblig- swept under the carpet.
WKHFRQWH[WRIWKHFKDQJHGFLUFXPVWDQFHV Subramanian, and the then Deputy Governor, RBI, A0=641>D=353 ance sheet. These are deferred subsidy pay- ate the Government to keep the excess of Another argument in support of
7KH*RYHUQPHQWVKRXOGSURPRWHFRQVRUWLXPVRILQYHVWRUVDQG Urjit Patel) to examine the issue. C744GC0=C ments (DSPs) and extra-budgetary its expenses over revenue within a spec- range is what some experts describe as
IDUPHUVZKLOHWKHVPDOODQGPDUJLQDOIDUPHUVVKRXOGIRUPFRRS The committee recommended a “glide path” for 0AA0=64<4=C resources (EBRs), a nickname for borrow- ified limit. The moment the law itself pre- reinforcing “counter-cyclical” objectives.
HUDWLYHVIRUQHJRWLDWLQJZLWKWKHVSRQVRUVIRUXQGHUWDNLQJFRQWUDFW the next six years, beginning 2017-18. It recommend- B7>D;32>=C8=D4 ings by Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) scribes a range, say of three per cent-3.5 Put simply, when the economy is on a
IDUPLQJ,QWKLVYHQWXUHWKH$30&·V0DQGL6DPLWLV FRXOGDOVRFKLS ed a FD target of 2.5 per cent, revenue deficit 0.8 per F8C7BD8C01;4 and other agencies of the Government on per cent, even the most discerning downswing, then the Government needs
LQWRSURYLGHLQIUDVWUXFWXUHDQGKHOS7KHVHFRRSHUDWLYHVFDQFUH
cent, combined Centre-State debt ceiling of 60 per 8=2A40B48=C74 its behalf. Including these off-balance sheet Government will take the higher end of to undertake major investment to rein in
cent and a Central debt ceiling of 40 per cent for ?4A<8BB81;4 items, the FD for 2017-18 and 2018-19 the range as the benchmark as from a legal the slide and put the economy back on the
DWHLQIUDVWUXFWXUHDQGLQSXWVIRULQFUHDVLQJSURGXFWLYLW\DQGKHOS 2022-23. Further, it fixed three per cent FD to be 1A4027D=34AC74 would be about 5.9 per cent and 5.7 per standpoint, violation will happen only growth trajectory. It is primarily to tack-
VPDOOIDUPHUVLPSURYHVRLOFRQGLWLRQVDQGPLWLJDWHZDWHUVFDUFL achieved during 2018-19. It also allowed the cent respectively. For 2019-20, including when the actual exceeds 3.5 per cent. le extraordinary situations such as during
W\WKURXJKZDWHUKDUYHVWLQJ7KLVZLOOVRUWRXWWKHWZRPDMRUFRQ Government to breach the target — by up to 0.5 per 4B20?42;0DB4 DSPs alone, FD would be 5.1 per cent. Add To put it differently, providing for a the current year that a 0.5 per cent cush-
VWUDLQWVLQLQFUHDVLQJSURGXFWLRQ<HWDQRWKHUKHOSIDUPHUVQHHGLV cent — in case of “far-reaching structural reforms 0;;78334= EBRs and the deficit will gallop. For 2020- range is a more subtle and sophisticated ion is permitted as per the 2018-19
WRPLWLJDWHZHDWKHUUHODWHGULVNVDQGIRUWKLVFURSLQVXUDQFHSROL with unanticipated fiscal implications.” B;8??064BBD27 21, the likely deficit of 5.8 per cent is exclu- way of embedding in the legislation a more amendment to the FRBM Act.
FLHVPXVWEHPDGHIDUPHUIULHQGO\:KDWGRZHGRDERXWWKHGHWH In the amendment to the FRBM Act vide 0B3B?B 0=341AB sive of DSPs and EBRs. relaxed target without catching the atten- The incorporation of FD range does
ULRUDWLQJVRLOKHDOWKGXHWRWKHRYHUXVHRISHVWLFLGHVDQGIHUWLOLV Finance Bill 2018-19, even while retaining the “escape B7>D;314 There is a short provision in the tion of the not so discerning eye. not offer anything better than what is
HUV":HPXVWSXVKIRUVXVWDLQDEOHIDUPLQJDQGWKH&HQWUHDQG clause” to cover unanticipated events, the ?A>7818C43 Budget: Food subsidy about C1,03,000 The comparison with inflation target- already there in the FRBM law—fixed
6WDWHVPXVWSURYLGHDVVLVWDQFHWRRUJDQLFIDUPLQJDQGFRQVHUYD Government adopted the glide path of achieving crore and fertiliser subsidy around C80,000 ing under the monetary policy to justify number FD target plus escape
three per cent FD by 2020-21 instead of 2018-19 crore. Plus, there will be a huge shortfall FDI range is not all fours. While, the FD clause—unless it is the intent of mandarins
WLRQDJULFXOWXUH$VSHUWKH&RPSRXQG$QQXDO*URZWK5DWHWKH mooted by the committee. Further, it set the debt limit in proceeds from disinvestment by at least target has a direct bearing on budgeting in the Finance Ministry to have both,
RUJDQLFIRRGVHJPHQWLVOLNHO\WRJURZIURPCFURUHLQ of 40 per cent for the Centre to be reached by 2024- C1,50,000 crore as big ticket sales such as by the Centre (a swing of 0.1 per cent namely range as well as the escape clause.
WRCFURUHLQ 25 instead of the committee’s mandate of 2022-23. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited either way makes a difference of C20,000 That would be disingenuous. The 15th FC
7KH*RYHUQPHQWPXVWWDNHSURDFWLYHVWHSVWRUHIRUP,QGLDQ This cherry-picking may be seen in the back- (BPCL) and Life Insurance Corporation crore in its borrowing limit), inflation tar- should refrain from going for a range-
DJULFXOWXUHWRKHOSSURGXFWLRQFURVVPLOOLRQ07LQWKHQH[WWZR drop of the Government missing the FD target for (LIC) are unlikely to go through during geting by the RBI does not impact the bound FD. The extant arrangement
WRWKUHH\HDUV2QO\WKHQFDQWKHIDUPHUV·LQFRPHEHGRXEOHG7KH 2017-18 by 0.3 per cent and seeing no hope of achiev- the current year. This adds up to two per finances of banks. For a proper compar- should continue with suitable increase in
ILUVWWKLQJWRGRLVWRRSHQWKHGRRUWRDJLWDWLQJIDUPHUV$IWHUDOO ing three per cent during 2018-19 as recommend- cent, taking the total to 7.8 per cent. ison, we need to look at the RBI mandat- the permissible breach under the escape
LWLVWKH\ZKRKDYHEHHQIHHGLQJWKHQDWLRQ ed by the committee. While presenting Budget 2020- Including EBRs, the FD could touch 10 per ed “provisioning” for a loan that becomes clause. All hidden slippages such as DSPs
7KHZULWHULVDIRUPHUFLYLOVHUYDQW 21, Sitharaman has already invoked the escape clause cent. Already, under the existing dispen- an NPA. That is a fixed number, say 25 per and EBRs should be prohibited.
of the FRBM Act to relax the FD targets for FY 2019- sation of FD being a fixed number, the cent (for an account remaining unpaid for (The writer is a policy analyst)

3RZHULQJWRZDUGVJOREDOHQHUJ\JRDOV 5>A486=4H4
/TJOGNGYSGJKSGPUXVXUMXKYYOTJKRO\KXOTMKTKXM_KLLOIOKTI_/ZNGYJUTKHKZZKXZNGT)NOTGZNK;98[YYOGGTJSGT_+[XUVKGTTGZOUTY
States such as Uttar Pradesh (UP), lenge. Even Kerala, despite its high liv- sions grew 1.7 per cent in 2018 to India’s share of renewable energy in its the GDP, where a smaller value is
Jharkhand and Odisha still lag behind ing standards, has witnessed glaring- reach a historic high of 33.1 gigatons final energy consumption stands at always desirable, as it points towards
the national average. Rural areas of UP ly low progress in this aspect. Also, as of CO2 globally. It was the highest rate 32.2 per cent as of 2017 and has been greater energy efficiency.
and Jharkhand are most deprived with per NSS-76, there exists a blatant, of growth since 2013, and 70 per cent suffering a decline for the last many India has made significant
80 and 85 per cent access to electric- countrywide rural-urban divide in the higher than the average increase since years. Even though India’s share of progress in delivering energy efficien-
ity respectively. access to clean fuel. 2010. However, the global energy renewable energy is higher than coun- cy. It has done better than major
According to the National Family On average, the beneficiaries of demand in the first quarter of this year tries like Russia, the US, China, Japan economies, namely China, the US, 1A8=60<0I>=
Health Survey (NFHS)-4, in 2015-16, the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana declined by 3.8 per cent relative to the and Europe, the decline in this share Russia and several European countries. C>744;
B1385< >1>4<1< Bihar ranked at the bottom of all States (PMUY) go for only 3.1 LPG cylinder first quarter of 2019, resulting in five must be controlled. Whereas for It has showcased exemplary perfor-
608:F03 <8B7A0 with just 60 per cent of its households refills in a year. For the year 2019-2020, per cent lower CO2 emissions as well. countries mentioned above, in order mance on this front and achieved an 8cXbP]X]c^[TaPQ[TbXcdPcX^]
having access to power. Since then, it around 4.14 crore families never But this seemingly desirable change, to be able to sustain the share of energy intensity level of 4.1 to 5.1 cWPcPR^\_P]hcWPcST_T]Sb
has made significant progress in opted for a refill of more than three that was mainly caused by the nation- renewables in their total energy mix, megajoules per US dollar (MJ/$) that ^]cWT_dQ[XRbTaeXRTbad]Qh
he United Nations’ Sustainable expanding its electricity access to cylinders. Madhya Pradesh, UP and al lockdowns, may not continue for intense efforts for increasing that is even lower than the global average

T Development Goal (SDG) 7.1


aims to ensure universal access
to affordable, reliable and modern
near-universal coverage in the last
three years. But despite attaining
near-universal electrification for the
Rajasthan fared the worst in this
regard. According to the information
given in the Rajya Sabha recently, since
more than a few months.
To sustainably move towards a
better future, it is now essential that
share must be realised too.
The Energy Statistics 2020 has
reported a substantial growth in the
of 5.4 MJ/$. Energy efficiency and
increasing share of renewables are fun-
damental in achieving several other
cWTBcPcTS^Tb]^c_Ph
P__a^_aXPcTcPgTbC^PSS
X]bd[cc^X]YdahcWXbfTTZXc
energy services by 2030. India’s jour- majority of States, securing continu- the beginning of the new financial year we cope with our energy needs, giv- renewable energy share in the total sustainable development goals. fPbaT_^acTScWPc0\Pi^]
ney so far has been remarkable in ous and quality supply of power to in April till August, around 1.84 crore ing due consideration to the environ- installed electricity generation from Without accelerated clean energy
achieving near-universal access to remote villages and poorest house- families refilled their LPG cylinders ment that has been long neglected and 13.4 per cent (2015-2016) to 17.7 per innovation and transition towards fX[[P[b^]^cQT_PhX]V
electricity in the last one decade. As holds still remains a big concern. only once. This information came in continues to be so. The energy tran- cent (2017-2018), owing to significant renewables, the 2030 agenda seems 1aXcPX]³b]TfSXVXcP[bTaeXRTb
per the “Saubhagya” dashboard, 99.9 Compared to electricity access, even as the Government claimed of sition from conventional to renewable investments and expansions made in far-fetched. cPgQTRPdbTcWTDBf^]³cS^
per cent of rural households in the larger variations can be observed in the providing free cylinders to the poor sources is the biggest need of the hour. wind and solar power generation. A As the nation faces the grim eco- PcaPSTSTP[XUcWTD:fTaTc^
country have been electrified and less access to clean fuel among the States. during the lockdown. Hence, the Owing to this, SDG target 7.2 aims to recent International Energy Agency nomic impact of the pandemic, ener- X\_^bTcWXb1dcb\P[[
than 20,000 homes lacked electricity Meghalaya, West Bengal, and challenge further remains to not only increase the share of renewable ener- analysis shows that in 2018, India’s gy efficiency offers several opportuni-
access as of March 2019, but as per Empowered Action Group (EAG) increase the access to cleaner fuels for gy in the global energy mix by 2030. investment in solar energy was greater ties to provide the much-needed caPSTabP]SPSeTacXbTab
NSS-76, more than six per cent house- States, excluding Uttarakhand, still lag households, but to increase the over- Among the BRICS nations, Brazil than in all fossil fuel sources of elec- boost to the economy in the form of dbX]VcWTbXcTfX[[QTcPgTS
holds in rural areas and one per cent in providing universal access to clean all consumption per family. has been leading the way in the share tricity generation put together. SDG- employment generation and so on, CWTXbbdTXb^]T^UUPXa]Tbb
in urban areas had no access to elec- cooking fuels, and every second Energy production of all types of renewable power in its total ener- 7.3 aims to double the global rate of although a great deal of uncertainty P]S]TTSbdaVT]c
tricity till December 2018. household has no access to it. This sig- contributes to about 70 per cent of car- gy mix, drawing advantage from its energy efficiency by 2030. Energy exists with regard to SDG-7. 6^eTa]\T]cPccT]cX^]
A majority of the States have nificantly low national average poses bon dioxide (CO2) emissions across high potential of electricity production intensity indicates the amount of (The writers are researchers,
above 97 per cent access, but larger a core developmental and health chal- the globe. Energy-related CO2 emis- from wind and solar energy sources. energy needed to produce one unit of International Institute for Population) CWT6dPaSXP] TSXc^aXP[
EDIT
THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL
MUMBAI | TUE S DAY | OC TOBE R 20, 2020
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.
— Arthur Rimbaud

Koshyari-Thackeray dustoff
SINCE 1928

may reset Guv-Oppn CM ties


FOUNDER EDITOR: S SADANAND

Covid-19: Thus far so good


but don’t drop guard now
Long Shot
and what to keep shut, the governor Nevertheless, even if Shah’s remark is

H
ere is a piece of good news in these grim chose to wade into another row. an exceptional case of disapproval of a
times. India is past the Covid-19 peak. That op- Everyone knows that the unlocking has NDA-appointed governor, it does hold out
timistic finding is based on the study con- been a matter of consternation even a big message to all occupants of the Raj
ducted by a 10-member multi-disciplinary panel, SHEKHAR IYER This is the among the ruling partners, particularly Bhavan. Many of them have given an im-
after liquor shops and bars have got pression that they are under pressure be-
headed by a professor in the Indian Institute of Tech- first time greater priority in opening up for rev- cause their political loyalties override

U
nology, Hyderabad. Though the virus is still raging, it nion Home Minister Amit Shah’s signal a new approach by not only dis- disapproval enue reasons— notwithstanding the fear their constitutional obligations. It would
had reached the peak in September and is now in a
slow fade-out. We might have a number of cases even
disapproval of Maharashtra Gov-
ernor Bhagat Singh Koshyari’s
tancing but expressing disagreement
with the governor’s remarks could mark
for a of spread of the disease.
Koshyari sent the controversial letter to
be good for them now to introspect
whether they should actually be seen to
in February next year, but the pandemic curve by choice of words in a communication with a new beginning in governor-chief min- governor’s the CM in response to an announcement be interfering in a day-to-day issue of gov-
then would have reached the baseline. For the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray — on ister relations as well. utterances made by Uddhav Thackeray on October ernance when the matter is clearly in the
the issue of opening up of places of wor- Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi 11, that the government would not open domain of the elected government.
scourge to stop completely, it would take eight to ten
ship — has opened up the possibility of took office in 2014, many governors ap- has come religious places because of the risk of For all you know, the Centre, which ap-
months, but the worst may be already behind us. The
study, 'Progression of the Covid-19 Pandemic in In-
resetting ties between the Centre and the pointed by his government have been at publicly from Covid-19. He taunted the CM and Shiv pointed them, does not always expect
states. loggerheads with non-BJP governments. Sena president, questioning if the latter them to function as its political agents—
dia: Prognosis and Lockdown Impacts', clarifies a few This is the first time disapproval for a They have stood accused of acting to fur- Union Home had “suddenly turned secular”, by refus- though they have obligations to be vigi-
other aspects about the handling of the pandemic. governor’s utterances has come publicly ther the political interests of the BJP in Minister Amit ing to open up the places of worship. lant to see that the state governments do
from Shah, when several NDA appointees their respective states and seeking to un- Chief Minister Thackeray had to retort not cross the line. True, the Constitution
One, the migrants did not spread the virus in signif-
have had run-ins with chief ministers be- dermine elected chief ministers belong-
Shah, when that he did not need certificates of Hin- empowers the governor to ask for infor-
icant numbers. Two, it was correct to ensure that several NDA
longing to the opposition parties. That ing to the opposition parties. dutva from the governor as his predeces- mation on administrative matters from
they stayed put wherever they were in the initial few
days of the Lockdown-I, because it helped contain the
Shah chose to send the missive in the
first-ever interview he gave after his re-
On their part, many governors like
West Bengal's Jagdeep Dhankar, who has
appointees sor and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis,
rose to Koshyari’s defence. NCP chief
the chief minister. After all, every gover-
nor knows that, as the constitutional fig-
virus at a time when it was spreading like wildfire. covery from Covid-19 has not gone unno- had issues with Chief Minister Mamata have had run- Sharad Pawar too wrote to the Prime urehead of the state, he is to act on the ad-
Three, the stringent lockdown helped prevent the in- ticed because it has also signified that the Banerjee since his appointment in July ins with chief Minister, objecting to the language of the vice of the council ministers though he
fections from rising and causing deaths in mind- Narendra Modi government may itself 2019, have raised the ante over the occu- letter. Given this background, Shah went is not constrained from proffering advice
be in a mood to repair its relations with pants of the respective Raj Bhavans being ministers on record to state that Koshyari could to the CM in office.
numbing numbers. The study conducted various
lockdown scenarios to come to the conclusion that
the opposition-ruled states. denied even basic courtesies. belonging to have chosen his words better. With more vacancies to be filled, some
It is no coincidence that Shah’s state- In the case of Koshyari, he has had more Naturally, many political analysts have Raj Bhavans are likely to see new faces.
without the first stringent lockdown, the total num- ment came soon after the Centre sought than his quota of controversies, begin- the sought to read a bigger objective in The Centre is likely to fill the positions for
ber of cases would have peaked in June at 14 million to bring down the curtains over meeting ning with the early morning swearing-in opposition Shah’s rather soft approach (compared to Madhya Pradesh and Goa, where the gov-
with 2.5 million deaths by August. The steps taken by the shortfall in the GST revenue collec- of Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar as his earlier avatar as a tough-talking BJP ernors of Uttar Pradesh and Maharash-
tions. It was a departure from the Centre's CM and deputy CM a year ago, followed by
parties. That strongman) for reasons due to realpolitik. tra, are holding additional responsibility.
the Centre and the states ensured that at the end of
September, we had but one million symptomatic cas- earlier stance that the states should un- the subsequent, swift collapse of the hur- Shah chose to Some have read it even as a sign of anxi- Karnataka and Jharkhand Governors
es and one lakh deaths. Since then, the daily numbers
dertake market borrowings to bridge the
�1.1 lakh crore of GST compensation
riedly sewed-up arrangement. This had
raised serious questions about the con-
send the ety in the BJP because it has lost allies
one after another despite the huge man-
Vajubhai Vala and Draupadi Murmu, re-
spectively, are on extensions.
of infections are on a downward curve. Some parts of shortfall this year. Now, it has expressed duct of the Raj Bhavan. However, once the missive in the date of 2019. The possibility of a political A relatively new governor like Arif Mo-
the country may have already attained herd immuni- willingness to undertake the required Maha Vikas Aghadi government took of- first-ever realignment in the future cannot be ruled hammad Khan of Kerala, has shown that
ty. Here is a warning, though. The coming festival borrowings in tranches and pass these on fice with the coming together of the Shiv out. If this is the case, the governor could he has managed to have a better working
season can cause havoc unless citizens at every level to the states as a ‘back-to-back loan’ that Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party interview he be the scapegoat and expendable, accord- relationship with Marxist CM Pinarayi
take simple but absolutely necessary precautions. will reflect on their own books. (NCP) and the Congress under Uddhav gave after his ing to them. Vijayan after initial spats with him about
The move is seen as a way to break the Thackeray, it appeared that the governor Already, Pawar has noted, it is up to the Citizenship Amendment Act. Per-
This warning was earlier sounded by Union Health impasse between the Centre and opposi- and the CM were willing to settle for a sta- recovery Koshyari whether to stay on in the post or haps, that is the way forward—even if po-
Minister Harsh Vardhan. He had pointed out how af- tion-ruled states over the issue of bor- ble, if not a very cosy relationship. from Covid- resign. Pawar also stated that “a person litical roles of governors are not bound to
ter initially succeeding admirably in keeping the in- rowings to recompense the latter, with But, with Maharashtra seen to be strug- with self-respect may step down”. Shiv end soon because of the nature of the
fections down, Kerala saw a huge spurt following un- consensus remaining elusive despite ex- gling to bring the ongoing Covid-19 pan-
19 has not Sena MP Sanjay Raut has appreciated polity.
restrained celebrations of the Onam festival in Sep- tensive parleys over three meetings of the demic under control and the “unlocking” gone Shah’s response, saying that, as the coun- The writer is a former senior associate
tember. Epidemiologists will have their fingers firm- GST Council.
Given this scenario, Shah choosing to
or easing of restrictions in a phased man-
ner, raising questions about what to open
unnoticed. try’s home minister, he has spoken with
responsibility and caution.
editor of Hindustan Times and political
editor of Deccan Herald, New Delhi
ly crossed as the nation enters the peak festival sea-
son in the coming days. Durga Puja, Dusshera and Di-
wali, etc. will be celebrated in the shadow of the
ONE FLEW OVER THE NEST #WhatWomenWant TUESDAY'S SWIPE
LETTERS
Covid-19 virus. So long as celebrants keep that up- TO THE
permost in their mind and respect social distance,
hand-washing and mask-wearing precautions, it
Delhi Mahila Congress launches online campaign called 'Meri Ikshayen-What Women Want' for young girls and women to express their
views about a Delhi they want for themselves -PTI
EDITOR
should pass without inflicting much damage. Here, Women want freedom from misogyny! Here’s a toast to those women from different parts of the world who twisted the neck of misogynists Screen thyself
we can do no better than to note the journey of the with their tongue. Thank you ladies Ref.: 'Regulate TV news or
virus in Europe to buttress the need for utmost care desiobstinate@desiobstinate entire system will fail, warns
during the coming festival season. Most European No sexual exploitation
HC' (October 17). There is no
nations are clamping down on free movement of peo- Opportunities worth our merit no more no less. doubt that electronic media
No staring eyeballs and molestation. today are the most effective
ple and imposing restrictions on bars and restau-
No sexism. Well it's basic but still it's still too much to ask for from 5,000 year old civilisation. means to bring information
rants following a huge resurgence in infections. De- Beeno Heisenberg's Uncertainty@RebelGeek1111 to the public; in fact, the
spite severe resistance from groups of people, stiff scope is unlimited. With such
curbs are back in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the WHAT WOMEN WANT is equal opportunity to let them get a chance. People calling women Gold diggers and all that ********. You don't mind power in their hands, in all
when there's reservation based on caste right? Unless you're from general category. Treat Women with respect, let them feel safe in their own
Czech Republic, the UK etc. In the US, 44 states are in country fairness, they ought to act
the grip of a huge surge, largely due to the open re- Be the Manav to my Archana@ManavKiArchana responsibly. But over the past
couple of years, TV channels
sistance against even basic precautions such as
have been putting out biased,
masks, social distancing etc. Overall, India has not speculative reporting on
fared badly in containing the virus, especially if, till
the end of the festival season we can conduct our- The capital market’s resilience seems illogical & the paradox of modern economics is glaringly obvious various social and political
issues. These channels are

Glaring dissonance between


selves with much-needed restraint and caution. playing the role of judge,
TRP scam: Let him who has not sinned… jury and executioner, all in
one! Yes, the system has

T
he so-called Television Rating Points scam was broken down, they have

the economy and market


all along a motivated exercise to fix Arnab failed us and are indeed in
Goswami and his Republic TV and Republic need of 'self-regulation'!
Bharat. The activism of the Mumbai Police Commis- MelvilleXD'Souza
sioner was matched by the celebratory response of a Sense prevails
newspaper group, which also runs a couple of news At last better sense seems to
television channels of its own. Despite the group ed- than the RBI’s recent projection of 9.5 per cent sistently been going down since Q4 of FY18, when have prevailed and the Centre
itorially adopting a moralising tone and highlighting
the alleged wrong-doing by Republic TV, a study has
Comment contraction and also gloomier than the World
Bank’s forecast of 9.6 per cent decline in FY-21. In-
it touched 8.1 per cent and went down to 3.1 per
cent in Q4 of FY19-20. At that time, Covid-19 was
will now borrow from the
market to pay the GST
found that its lead TV news anchor left behind even dia’s contraction of 10.3 per cent, going by the mainly confined to China, Iran, Italy and some compensation due to states.
Arnab Goswami in whipping up an irrational mass
A L I CHOUGULE IMF forecast, is going to be the third sharpest fall stray cases in a few more countries. Political lead- The critical issue now is: how
in the world after Spain and Italy; it will also be erships of most countries, including India, and much of the total Rs. 2.3 lakh
hysteria over the alleged deep-rooted conspiracy in the starkest decline among developing nations market observers were focused on encouraging crore will be paid thus, as

L
the suicide case of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput. ooking at the equity market these days, it and emerging economies, according to the IMF signs that the virus outbreak would be contained. states would like to get it all
From June 16 to October 6, 2020, Arnab spent 65 per appears that Covid-19 has not been much report which also says that in the current fiscal, The Indian government’s reaction to the pan- at once, rather than the Rs 1.1
cent of the so-called debate time on the SSR conspir- more than just a short-term disruption. The the Indian economy is set to shrink the most demic at the time was that there was no threat lakh crore, as proposed by the
acy, while the rival channel, competing for the same economy, however, tells a different story: as un- since the 1990-91 crisis. from the virus. Since then, according to latest Centre. This move will help
pro-government eyeballs and belonging to the group certainties around the pandemic continue to What this means is that during the Covid-19 data, 1.15 lakh people in India have died due to the the states' finances and they
abound, the economy is projected to contract any- pandemic, the economy is suffering severely, at virus; total cumulative cases are at 75.5 lakh and can begin revival of the
taking the high moral ground in the TRP scam spent where between 9 to 11 per cent in FY 20-21 and the least in the near-to-medium term; recovery is still active cases 7.95 lakh. Currently India is Asia’s economy through spending
over 69 per cent of airtime on the subject. Signifi- consensus among the IMF, World Bank and inde- some distance away as the phased opening of the hotspot, with the world’s second highest number more now, rather than
cantly, in the petition filed by various film industry pendent economists is that it’s going to be a long, economy is still underway and the health crisis is of total and active cases and the third highest worrying about borrowing.
associations, both these channels and their loudest winding and uncertain road to recovery. Clearly not over yet. But the question is: when will India number of deaths. Bal Govind
two different narratives are being told by the get back to pre-Covid 2019 levels? That, in the The market’s current overconfidence seems to
anchors have been listed as respondents. Ironically,
the group relies on one of the more compromised pro- stock market and the economy. The question is: IMF’s view, will take longer, even beyond 2021. In be driven by hope of a recovery in economy and Public wealth
which one is accurate? The evidence is certainly other words, as the IMF’s chief economist Gita business sentiment, excess liquidity, as also the What's the use of a $5 trillion
moters of another television channel to buttress its on the side of the IMF, the World Bank and inde- Gopinath has said, ‘like many other countries, In- gradual decline in new infections reported daily economy if money is
undeclared crusade against Arnab and his Republic pendent economists. and a spike in recovered cases over the last three concentrated in the hands of a
TV. The truth is: 'Iss hamam mein sab nange hain.' The current economic picture is nothing short weeks. While a government expert panel’s report few industrialists? In the last
The motto is: 'TRPs ke liye sab kucchh maaf hai'. of a big concern. Even though government inter- The market’s current overconfidence that India may have passed the Covid-19 peak is eight months of the corona
vention may prevent a further slide, a recession seems to be driven by hope of a likely to have a positive effect, another factor re- pandemic, more than 17 crore
FPJ ARCHIVES OCTOBER 15, 1962 is a foregone conclusion. The pandemic has recovery in economy and business sponsible for the market’s V-shaped recovery is people lost their jobs. Millions
caused a world of hurt to small and medium busi- the desire among investors to take on risk, even of lower middle class people
nesses and the large firms are not immune to it ei- sentiment, excess liquidity, as also the in the time of high market volatility, as interest have been pushed below the
ther. Larger companies in hard-hit industries gradual decline in new infections rates have fallen and, therefore, the attraction of poverty line. Meanwhile,the
such as retail, airlines, hospitality, automotive, reported daily and a spike in recovered the equity market has increased. Adanis and Ambanis have
banking and non-banking services and infra- But when India is in an economic downturn, gone from strength to
structure are facing mounting pressure to their cases over the last three weeks can risk aversion and liquidity alone be the rea- strength. Jawaharlal Nehru
top and bottomlines. With unemployment rising sons for the sustained spike in stock prices? Not had nationalised the then
around the world and in India, many will be un- dia won’t get back to 2019 levels before 2022’. really. The stock market tends to be what is re- privately held railway
able to repay their debts, resulting in consumer Therefore, the capital market’s resilience seems ferred to as a leading indicator of the economy. companies and opened them
loan defaults. The World Bank, in its Global Eco- illogical and the paradox of modern economics is However, it’s not a parallel representation of the to all. Similarly, he
nomic Report of June 2020, had said that the glaringly obvious. When the economy is tanking economy, but can give a preview of where things nationalised private
world economy was facing the worst recession because of the pandemic restrictions, stock mar- may be heading. insurance companies, opening
since World War II and that growth was expected kets are booming and except for the blip in March, But what if the pandemic sustains for over a up this sector for the common
to shrink by 5.2 per cent in 2020. It projected the the grim reality of economy has escaped capital year? Given that India is a resource-constrained man. Indira Gandhi
US economy would shrink by 6.1 per cent in 2020 markets despite the fact that the lockdown has hit nation, it has limited resources to spend. So far, nationalised private banks
and that of India by 9.6 per cent in FY 2020-21. In the economy hard and growth is expected to be the two stimulus packages have had limited im- and thereafter, branches were
addition, the World Bank also observed that the negative for at least two quarters. Just as it has pact on economic recovery. The biggest uncer- opened in rural areas,
situation in India is ‘worse than ever’. happened in the US, the Indian market has rallied tainty is around private demand, or consump- opening up this sector for the
Close on the heels of the unprecedented GDP nearly 60 per cent through the lockdown, after a tion, recovery. The fall in market indices in Feb- common man in terms of
hit in Q1 of the current fiscal, some more sober- dip in March. What explains this dissonance? ruary and March were because of the looming employment, deposits and
ing news has come India’s way from the Interna- One reason for the resilience is said to be in- pandemic crisis, falling corporate profits and a loans. Ultimately, the wealth
tional Monetary Fund’s latest World Economic vestors’ behavioural biases: when investors are limping economy. All three are still big concerns. of this country must be
Outlook Report. According to this report, India is overly confident about the future, they tend to But the market didn’t stay at those levels but ral- deployed for the welfare of all
Grenade attack on Dhola post likely to slip below Bangladesh in per capita GDP
in the 2020 calendar year as a result of the lock-
look for evidence that affirms their bias, such as
economies reopening and vaccine progress. Be-
lied more than 60 per cent in six months. Can the
market sustain at current levels? Ideally, the good
the citizens, and that can be
done only by government
NEW DELHI, Oct. 19: Chinese intruders in NEFA last evening down impact. If the IMF's forecast hits the mark, havioural bias is likely to have played a role in the times should not last long and the reality might intervention, especially in the
launched a grenade attack on one of the Indian positions in the it will leave India just ahead of Pakistan and equity market hitting its all-time high on Janu- catch up soon with indices and stock prices. fields of education and health.
Dhola Post area. There were no casualties on the Indian side. Nepal in the regional GDP sweepstakes. The ary 17, 2020, with the Sensex closing at 42,062, Biju Cherian
Guns on both sides remained quiet. (The FPJ News Service) IMF’s de-growth projection for India is worse though the quarterly GDP growth rate had con- The author is an independent senior journalist

Letters to the editor should be sent to: The Free P ress J ournal, Free P ress House, Free P ress J ournal Marg, 215 Nariman P oint, Mumbai. 400021; Fax: 22874688, e-mail: mail@ fpj.co.in; Type letter, leave space, write your views and name. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
4 EDIT ������������������������������

Will Nepal realise movement targeting China. Most political analysts


agree that it is not Nepal but Oli personally who is
the government preferred ignoring it while fanning
opposition to India over Lipulekh, Kalapani etc. by

what China is up to?


behind the developments. Oli has manipulated the including the areas in its map. Of late, an army post
UML and MC merger process to capture both posts too is established in the area. India has never been
of Party Chairman and President. While applying the aggressor nor has ever occupied a foreign coun-

I n a fitting lesson to Nepal, China has not only en-


croached upon the former's sovereign area in the
Limi region of Nepal's Humla district, but also has
one man one post principle for everyone, Oli re-
fused to follow it himself, leading to opposition
from other leaders. He also made his close confidant
try's territory.
On the other hand China is known only for that.
China has done the same to Bhutan. The less said
blocked all access of the Nepalese people to it in- as President. about the other countries land that China is salami
cluding its officials. It is a lesson to Nepal for trust- When there was opposition by Madhav Nepal and slicing, the better. Nepal should note that it is not
ing China over India. The political situation in Nepal Prachanda to his leadership of the Party, Oli ap- just this Humla area that is lost to China. The latter
is somewhat precipitous. proached the Chinese Ambassador for help. Then has recently staked a claim to the Everest itself. The
In early May, the political crisis had deepened in Chinese Ambassador pressurized Madhav Nepal and ruling Oli government which has been accused of
Nepal and senior leaders of Nepal Communist Party
had publicly demanded Prime Minister KP Sharma
Prachanda to back off and save Oli. Now Oli is paying
back for this help. However, Oli's silence on Chinese
being pro-Chinese denied all allegations of en-
croachment. It has always used Pakistan against Pak tells Hafiz Saeed to
push militants into Valley
Oli ‘s resignation. At the time when political turmoil occupation of its territory is beyond any logic. India and now, it is planning to use Nepal against
was on the peak, Oli approached China which is said How would the Prime Minister of a country cede India.
to have played a significant role in saving his gov- land to the neighbour over a political favour? A team Nepal and India not only share good political
ernment. Chinese Ambassador Hou Yanqi held a Nepalese of officials and politicians recently visited friendship, but also people to people contact. India
series of meetings with senior Nepal communist the border region and confirmed the Chinese en- will always be its friend. If Oli is playing a diabolic SUMIT KUMAR SINGH
Party leaders and resolved the crisis. She also croachment. There were protests in front of the Chi- game, it is time the Nepalese people wake up to the
sought the support of Nepal against an international nese embassy in Nepal over it sometime back. But, reality in the best interests of their own country.
A s India enhanced its infiltration grid at Line of Control, Pak-
istan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) held a meeting with
Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen head Syed
Salahuddin to push militants into Kashmir to carry out unrest in
Are complaints against judiciary prohibited by law? the valley, a top government source said.
Salahuddin and Saeed are Specially Designated 'Global Terrorist'
by the US Department of State.

3 possible actions of CJI on Jagan’s letter


To execute this, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) held
a high-level meeting with heads of terror organisations at Kotli on
October 4, 2020 and at Nikial on October 7, 2020, the source said.
The meeting was attended by Syed Salahuddin and Hafiz Saeed, all

T
launch pad commanders and guides of various tanzeems.
he question The source said that each tanzeem has been allotted Rs 20 lakhs
before people and an additional Rs 30 lakhs have been promised, if successful op-
in general is erations are conducted by them. Around 270 to 300 terrorists are
whether an accused camping in various launch pads across the Line of Control in Pak-
in dozens of cases istan-Occupied-Kashmir. Sources further pointed out that they are
file a complaint making infiltration attempts before winter sets in the valley.
against the Judge of It was also found that infiltration along the Line of Control with
High Court and Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir has stopped substantially. The Line
Madabhushi Supreme Court? Is of Control is a de facto border between India and Pakistan in the re-
Sridhar there a prohibition gion of Kashmir. Last year, there were 130 infiltrations that took
Acharyulu of such complaints? place and this year 27 have been reported so far.
It is not important to It was also found that Border Action Team (BAT) actions have
discuss the names of complaining and been activated at some launch pads near the Line of Control. "A
complained. For complaining one cannot group of 80 terrorists have been seen at launch pads of Athmuqam,
condemn Jaganmohan Reddy, and be- Dudhnial and Thandapani areas opposite Keren Sector. Presence
cause of his complaint, one cannot as- of Pakistan Army Pakistan Army Special Service Group (SSG) has
sume that Justice N V Ramana is wrong. been indicated for carrying out BAT action," source said.
To complain against is the basic right of A group of 10 terrorists opposite Tangdhar sector near Neelam Val-
every citizen. To consider the complaint ley with Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists is plan-
who ever has given or against whom so ning for infiltration and they have also planned BAT action. Further,
ever it was given, is the legitimate duty of a group of 40 terrorists were found opposite Poonch area camping at
appropriate authority. Pakistan villages in Sujian area having groups of Jaish-e-Mohammed
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan- and Al Badar. Sources also stated that a group of 20 terrorists were
mohan Reddy made several allegations defamatory? It depends upon strength of Court and some of his close associates ourable Court. spotted opposite Krishna Ghati camping at Madarpur and Nattar ar-
against sitting judge of Supreme Court evidence he might advance. Jaganmohan and relatives are beneficiaries of various Roster for sitting of benches and taking eas. Another group of 35 terrorists was spotted opposite Bhimber Gali
and some Judges of AP High Court that Reddy in his eight-page letter initially ex- questionable transactions of land within up matters is power with the Chief Jus- camping at the general area of Lanjot planning for infiltration. Pres-
former was influencing and the later were presses his belief in Constitutional insti- the area which came to be eventually no- tice, which was point of criticism of four ence of SSG personnel indicated the intention of BAT actions and
got influenced unduly influencing, that tutions including judiciary and then be- tified as a location of the new capital pro- SC judges who revolted against Chief Jus- also stando� fire at some locations.
a�ected some of his decisions as an gins his ‘unpleasant duty’ to place on posed by Sri Chandrababu Naidu. The tice of India. But how can anybody say

Water proofing in
elected Chief Minister. More than com- record the complaint to the Chief Justice said transactions took place in the inter- that someone from Delhi has influenced
plaining, putting all the allegations with of India. In paragraph (a) he exposed regnum period between Mr Chandrababu constituting the benches and allocating
detailed annexures in public domain malfeasances and misfeasance of Chan- Naidu’s swearing in as CM of AP and the the matters?
raised several questions of propriety and drababu Naidu leading to the amassing public announcement of location of the Enclosures to letter contain opinion on
possibility of contempt action. It is said
“Justice must not only be done but must
also be seen to be done”. Lord Hewart,
huge wealth during his rule between
2014-19. Jagan stated he believed that
such a course of disapproval of Naidu’s
new capital. From the records it appears
that a few transactions were routed
through Mr Dammalapati Srinivas who
candidates proposed to be elevated as
judges of High Court from Chief Minister
Chandrababu Naidu and Justice N V Ra-
today’s times
the then Lord Chief Justice of England misdeeds was perfectly within the Con- at the relevant point of time was func- mana, senior member of Collegium, W CHANDRAKANTH
said it in Rex v. Sussex Justices, [1924] 1 stitutional authority vested in an elected tioning as Additional Advocate General which were verbatim same, though given
KB 256.The King also has certain duties,
as it goes the Caesar’s wife must be above
suspicion.
Government.

��������������������������
of AP. It is a notorious fact that said Mr
Srinivas is too closely associated with Sri
Justice N V Ramana and N Chandrababu
separately. This is quoted to establish
proximity between the two. Is that
enough to prove the continued proximity
T his is just too much, one would muse. Looking at the landscape
awash in the never ending rains both seasonal and cyclonic, one
would only wonder as to what could be the reason for the punishment
Basis of criticism against this com- �������������� Naidu with whose blessings he eventually between former CM and SC Judge? pouring in from the skies. It is not just the Telugu States that are
plaining Chief Minister Jaganmohan The letter explains that the Committee became the Advocate General of Andhra Another set of enclosures are claimed dripping constantly but also their neighbours.
Reddy is that he has more than dozen headed by him prima facie found that var- Pradesh”. to be meant for media, which listed the It sometimes drips and drips by the day and in between gains mo-
criminal charges pending to be tried. The ious individuals and bodies corporate The main part of the complaint is ex- orders of High Court judges that were al- mentum to make the 'nalas' and drains run onto the streets of our
complaint was against No.2 Judge, Jus- closely associated with Chandrababu plained in this paragraph: “Around Jan- legedly given to protect the interests of cities, be it Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Guntur or
tice N V Ramana. Point to be noted is that Naidu and his government purchased uary 2020, it was in the public domain Telugu Desam leaders. The orders of HC Warangal only to create a strange spectacle of unholy confluence of
he is monitoring speedy trial of such cases considerable extent of land (approxi- that high functionaries of various insti- to stay the investigation into deaths in mud and filth, sending the waters into the houses and the residents
against political leaders, some of them are mately in the order of 4000 acres) by tutions, have purchased lands in Amara- Ramesh Hospital, insider trading allega- on to the roofs of their shelters. Who is to be blamed for the travails
against Jaganmohan Reddy. Whether AP adopting various illegal means. He stated vati. A series of Writ Petitions were filed tions and gag order on media from report- of commoners these days? Gods in the skies or the planners in the
Chief Minister’s scathing letter of com- that the report was such committee was since January 2020 challenging the Bills ing the contents of FIR were criticised as cities? All those who allowed encroachments of the water bodies and
plaint to the Chief Justice of India is an placed before the Legislative Assembly, passed by the Assembly providing for unreasonable and biased. permitted constructions in the lake beds? Oh no! Waters are not en-
‘attack’ or ‘declaration of war’ against the which opined deeper enquiry was needed three capitals and one of the key points croaching upon the cities. It is the other way round. Waters are only
judiciary. The AP CM’s letter is very se- into the allegations, and the government discussed in the Assembly, was the stake ������������������������� attempting to reclaim their bodies. It is not just us, even the fictional
rious, sensational, its consequences could forwarded the report to Union of India of vested interests in Amaravati capital The controversy kicked o� by the Jagan characters fought their wars with water.
be quite unusual or extraordinary. seeking CBI investigation into it. and agencies reports indicated that the government quoting orders against the With no one around him in 1719, Robinson Crusoe on his island,
The action of Jaganmohan Reddy can Jaganmohan Reddy explained that protests organized in this regard, were government allegedly supporting inter- was similarly attentive to the problem of keeping out the rain. How?
be classified as primarily a complaint with though his Government was competent funded and organized by such vested in- ests of opposition TDP, will have a direct He underwent an intensive training self-training programme in the
a strong suspicion of undue influence. enough to take up appropriate action on dividuals. Nearly 30 PILs were got filed impact on functioning of the High Court most primal and sophisticated of arts – the art of building shelters.
The CM has every right and authority like these illegalities, he preferred inquiry by at various stages of legitimate govern- in Andhra Pradesh. Whether the High Crusoe, Defoe says, constructed first a double-layered tent and
any citizen to file a complaint in such cir- a body over which he would not have ad- ment functioning, impleading the Chief Court benches should go ahead with hear- then, in time, a "fortification" as stout and impermeable as he could.
cumstances. As a party to dispute, who ministrative control, to avoid the criti- Minister as party respondent, with the ing of the cases or not? Or should the AP It was not watertight, of course, but he engineered a drainage system
does not get justice or feels strongly that cism of political vendetta. The paragraphs choicest of abuses”. HC look to Supreme Court for the guid- to let any excess water out. In his dizzying state of solitude, unsure
he did not get justice, he has a right to from (a) to (c) of CM’s letter reflect no ance? Dozens of petitions which are in dif- which of his perceptions can be relied upon, he worshipped the firm
complain. The allegation is not just problem or illegality at all. It was a right �������������� ferent stages of hearing will depend upon walls, which promise certainty. Was Crusoe far ahead of his times in
against the Supreme Court judge but also move of the CM to hand over the investi- Main allegation is that the SC Judge is the response to the Chief Justice of India. meditating on a drainage system to save him? Seems so, isn't it so?
against specifically named judges of AP gation into the acts of former Chief Min- influencing the AP High Court’s judges to An atmosphere of uncertainty and con- Why cannot our governments make us water proof in these modern
High Court. This assumes serious propo- ister and leader of opposition to the CBI give pro-TDP orders. The letter pointed fusion is prevailing over the adjudication days? Crusoe, in the absence of any help from anyone or any authority,
sitions, that is the reason for the serious instead of retaining it with his own police out three aspects in support of his alle- of the cases in Andhra Pradesh. The na- makes himself waterproof. He became a designer of rain gear. He
debate that is going on all over the coun- administration. gation- The course of influence was in the tion looks to CJI to clear this confusion made a fur hat "to shoot o� the rain" and finally, after much trial and
try. In paragraph (d), the CM stated: “it is areas of: 1) Roster for sitting of the Hon- by considering Jagan’s complaint. It could error, he made a giant umbrella which "casts o� the Rains like a Pent-
my painful duty to place on record that ourable Judges, whereby important mat- be rejected as without substance, or con- house". Maybe we all have to take a cue from him and become Crusoes
���������������������� in the course of enquiry by the Cabinet ters of policy and protection for Chan- sidered if there is substance, and be sent of the day with little to expect from the governments. When Crusoe
While Prashant Bhushan made a criti- Sub-Committee and also during the drababu Naidu’s interests were posted to Parliament, if the allegation is substan- leaves his island he takes three things with him as souvenirs. One is
cism on the role of judiciary and democ- course of preliminary investigation con- before a few Honourable Judges (names tial and serious enough to warrant im- the parrot, who has been his constant companion; the other two are
racy, Jagan made an allegation. Prashant’s ducted by the Anti-Corruption Bureau in given), 2) The entertaining of PILs low- peachment. his hat and umbrella. These portable shelters are Crusoe's emblems.
comments were considered contemptu- a complaint, it came to light that two ering the threshold for acceptance of PILs (The writer is Dean, School of Law, They are the signs of human craftsmanship and ingenuity combined
ous. Whether complaining or putting it daughters of Honourable Sri Justice N V by the High Court on the judicial side, 3) Bennett University, and former Central in the struggle against water. Or else one has to fall in love with moist-
in public domain is contempt? Or is it Ramana, a sitting Judge of Supreme Some specific orders passed by the Hon- Information Commissioner) ness as in The Mill on the Floss.

LETTERS methods of giving approval for construction in low-lying areas


which were previously tanks and water bodies that left no room
for the excess water to drain away, during heavy rains and spare
structions which includes apartments and individual houses.,
construction of rain water harvesting pits etc.
The municipal authorities need to make construction of Rain
fying and delimiting religion. Core issues of Uniform Civil Code,
temple control by governments, and proselytization become
key sore points in the discourse of secularism in the country.
the localities from watery graves must be the top priority by Water Harvesting mandatory for all new apartment buildings Historically, Indian society was far more tolerant and liberal
Hy’dar’abad! the concerned authorities in future.
There are problems of encroachment on all available places
& if possible urge the old apartment builders, & owners of indi-
vidual houses to take up construction of rain water recharging
than any society so far. For over a millennium, India had presence
of Vedic, non-Vedic, and even atheistic traditions living with

T his has reference to the editorial – It is time the civic body


acted right; city is under threat. (October 19).It is time the
Hyderabad city planners rationally focused their attention and
on the banks of Musi, in parts of the old city, preventing free
flow of flood water, said to be the main reason for the inundation
of localities. The open uncovered drains, and bad roads took
pits. This will save enormous quantity of runaway rain water
which otherwise gets wasted. It’s high time the civic adminis-
tration gets its act together to ensure the safety of citizens.
Zoroastrian Parsis, Muslims, Jews, and Christians in mostly
peace. Indian society never disintegrated despite the diversity;
hence it must have known successful practices and mechanisms
creativity, learning from the monsoon fury feedback, to pru- the toll of several unwary lives and vehicles in the past. There N R Raghuram, Hyderabad of coexistence. The assumption that all conflicts are in support
dently gear up to face the flood situation in the twin cities. have been many such incidents in the Hi-tech city area, when of ‘ultimate ideals’ and ‘truth value’ of individual groups is bril-
I lived in Secunderabad for over 30 years of my life, and con- people were sucked into them. The AIMIM, on its part, should liantly wrong in the Hindu-Muslim conflicts in India. Di�erent
tinue to visit the place; every year and I love the city of my birth. play a constructive and cooperative role for the welfare of all. Time to ‘traditionalise’ religions from religious conflicts between Christian confessions or be-
The city has undergone tremendous change by way of infra-
structure development as metro rail began the service on routes
and malls and multiplex cinema halls mushroomed in the city.
S. Lakshmi, Wayanad
T he controversy from a simple and beautiful advertisement
points to a deeper problem in understanding Indian society.
Defining religion in Indian context through a book, a God, a
tween Islam and Christianity in the West, these conflicts have
been more socio-economic and political. There are no attempts
to study this. Due to an inappropriate secularism, a flexible, ab-
The Hyderabad Municipality did not care for the removal of II doctrine, a Temple is problematic. India does not have religions sorbing mass of traditions slowly converts to a religion in trying
encroachments to the tune of 28,000 in number, in several parts
of the city that included dargahs and mosques, located in the
middle of several busy main roads, creating bottlenecks for
A lmost every year the twin cities and its suburbs receive
heavy downpour. The misery faced by the denizens on ac-
count of flooding of low lying areas, water logging, overflowing
but a huge number of traditions (sampradayas) with rituals as
its foundational basis. Rituals unite people and religions divide
people. The defining aspect of any traditional culture is an in-
to define holy books, principles, and ideals. Starting with the
Arya Samaj and the Brahmo Samaj, through Savarkar’s writings,
through the political movements post-independence, a rich mass
smooth tra�c flow. The devastation in the city should make drains are , not to mention, a common feature. And with it loss di�erence to di�erences going beyond the standard tolerances of pluralistic traditions stringently defines itself, crystallizing
the GHMC and the State government sit up to avoid similar ca- of lives due to wall and roof collapses, people being swept away or acceptances. It is a metaphysical and sociological impossi- into ‘Hindutva’, which the critics want to eagerly label as the al-
tastrophes in future. This must be a single point of agenda to by the swirling surging waters is heart rending. The time for bility that Indian culture knows of religions as reasoned by em- most oxymoronic ‘Hindu fundamentalism’ or even ‘fascism’.
save places that are vulnerable to water logging, due to inade- the city's civic body to take measures on war footing is all the inent scholars. Dr Pingali Gopal, Warangal
quate drainage. The existing nalas (canals) in many areas of the more a dire necessity These are : Levelling of roads especially Ironically, secularism seems to be generating fundamental-
twin cities which are not properly maintained as domestic and in low lying areas, repairing of pot holes, keeping ready a disaster ism instead of being an antidote to it. No state or court possesses
city waste is callously dumped into them. The bad town planning team from the SDRF, demolishing unauthorised & very old con- an impartial uniformly applicable scientific criterion of identi- thehansreader@gmail.com
millenniumpost| NEW DELHI| TUESDAY, 20 OCTOBER, 2020 mp editorial 7

For a free
EDITORIAL
Beleaguered Pakistan
Despite attempts by successive administrations, the Pakistani military establishment
Indo-Pacific remains the true governing power in the nation, in one form or another

S H
istory for the last congregations are planned in
ignalling a coming together over the common threat 73 years has wit- Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.
of China, this week Japan and Vietnam agreed to nessed Pakistan Using a platform called Paki-
strengthen economic and military ties. Among these SHANTANU MUKHARJI falling under mil- stan Democratic Movement
agreements is one that in principle would allow Japan itary rule at regular intervals. (PDM), Fazal-ur-Rahman is
to export military gear and technology to Vietnam. A civilian rule, in letter and optimistic on his mission to
As Japanese PM Suga explained, “Vietnam, which is serv- in spirit, had never gotten the unseat Imran.
ing as ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian nations) chair chance to succeed. Even if it Meanwhile, on October
this year, is key to realise a free and open Indo-Pacific.” The was in place for some time, it 15, 14 members of the Pak-
two nations also used the opportunity to reiterate their com- was merely notional and it’s the istan security forces includ-
mitment to ensuring peace and freedom of navigation in the military which called the shots ing seven private guards were
South China Sea, a region where many South Asian nations and wielded authority with the killed by deadly terror attacks
have disputes over with China. To be clear, despite the clear civilian regimes remaining a in two separate locations.
undertones, Suga was careful to not use blatantly anti-China silent spectator to the succes- Crucially, the scene of devas-
rhetoric. He instead emphasised a peaceful approach for the sive military regimes. tation is in Ormara in North
South China Sea area that is based on resolutions coming To quickly recapitulate, Waziristan and close to Gwa-
from international law. Ayub Khan, the first self- dar. As expected, Prime Min-
Regardless of its subdued tones, the agreement to export declared Field Marshal in ister Imran Khan and other
military gear and technology is a significant step for Japan the world, usurped power in Government leaders have con-
considering that its Government only ended the decades- 1958 and remained in power demned the incident, insin-
long ban on exporting military tech in 2014. Coming hand in till 1969. He unseated Iskan- uating the masterminds of
hand with the Abe administrations drive to change the paci- dar Mirza — owing lineage to the terror assaults to their
fist Constitution of Japan, this decision saw Japan entering the Sirajuddaula of the Plassey “hostile neighbour”. It’s com-
talks with regional partners such as Vietnam, Indonesia and
Critics of Imran fame, who also grabbed power mon knowledge that Baluchis
Thailand for the sale of military equipment. The pushback also estimate from the back door. Later, have been vehemently oppos-
against Japan’s increasing willingness to develop its military that his single Ayub Khan was replaced by ing the China Pakistan Eco-
complex has complicated such sales. Even now, the Foreign General Yahya Khan (1969- nomic Corridor ( CPEC).
Ministry has issued statements like “We have to make sure point agenda 1971) overseeing the liberation The religious clerics, political adversaries, the homegrown terror groups, and the all-powerful military are all The lethal incident once
the equipment and technologies transferred to Vietnam of uprooting of Bangladesh or dismember- mounting pressure on the amateur PM again proves that the coastal
(are) to be used peacefully and contribute to regional peace.” ment of Pakistan. Earlier, his highway passing through
Even leaving aside the military aspects, these agreements corruption and senior Ayub Khan launched rules for a number decades, are contrary to the country’s strengthen these non-civil- Ormara and the stretch
are also a sign that Japan is actively searching for ways to dis- targeting political Operation Gibraltar, send- the intelligence agencies, espe- constitution and democratic ian powerful institutions thus between Karachi and Gwadar
tance the Japanese economy from its significant dependence ing infiltrators into Kashmir. cially the Inter-Services Intel- principles. We, therefore, see a aborting all chances of demo- remain vulnerable. No amount
on China. Vietnam has always been an attractive alternative opposition has All misadventures under him ligence (ISI), always gained an voice of dissent rising against cratic approaches to address of vigil or intelligence gather-
for the major Japanese firms, many of which have shown a
marked preference for the nation as targets for investment.
forced Imran failed including a defeat in the
1965 war. General Zia ul Haq
upper hand carving a distinct
niche for itself for activities not
Imran Khan and his party.
Imran detractors also allege
the problems.
Imran would also do well
ing is paying off making pos-
sibilities of more such attacks
Indeed Suga and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Khan to become was another military dicta- always in the larger interest. that the Prime Minister has to reinforce civilian presence in the future.
Phuc oversaw the signing of MOUs for a USD 1.3 billion more reliant tor usurping power, dislodg- Very recently, Prime Minister to make the political climate in the various lucrative bodies The dragnet in Imran is
investment in a power plant in Vietnam’s Can Tho province ing and hanging Zulfiqar Ali Imran Khan who is struggling in the country more condu- which are currently occupied steadily closing in. The reli-
and another USD 1.9 billion joint investment for the devel- on the military Bhutto and ruling Pakistan with nearly 26 months in office, cive. Alas, it’s not there. The by heavyweights from the mili- gious clerics, political adver-
opment of a gas-fired plant in Vietnam. establishment for 11 long years till 1988 till averred good things about the PM and the ruling PTI have tary. The PIA, the sick mills like saries, the homegrown terror
This coming together can only be credited to concen- he exited following a fatal air ISI. Such an open clean chit was to shun the ongoing confron- SUPARCO, WAPDA, PCSIR, groups, and the all-power-
trated efforts by the Abe Government to court the Viet- and the ISI, in crash. perhaps avoidable but this noto- tation politics with the oppo- etc., have retired and are serv- ful military, whose roles have
namese Government over the last few years. When Abe left particular Pervez Musharraf is yet rious intelligence arm being sition. Daily, there are angry ing military officials. What’s been discussed time and again,
office, there were doubts regarding the capabilities of his another military villain who an appendage of the military exchanges between the ruling needed is professional compe- are mounting pressure on the
successor to carry on his legacy, particularly in foreign rela- unseated Nawaz Sharif in a has to be kept in good humour dispensation under Imran and tence to beef up the economy amateur PM who is finding
tions. There was little doubt however that the relationship coup in 1999 and held on to by Imran the PM, perhaps to the political opponents. Nawaz and keep the military Interven- the statecraft too difficult to
between Japan and Vietnam could only go up from this point power till 2008. The ultimate remain in office. Sharif, the ex-PM has declared tion in check. comprehend under the pres-
based on their many shared interests and concerns. Both sufferers in the military reigns However, his forthright an open war against the Imran As a confused Pakistan ent circumstances.
strongly complement each other on many fronts. While an have always been the civilians remarks in support of the ISI regime and Imran has become is struggling to deal with the Noted poet Sahir Ludhi-
advanced economy, Japan faces an uncertain future with its who remained stifled with their that it acts as a check to polit- vehemently vocal to criticise opposition diatribes and mili- anvi, at the time of the cre-
rapidly ageing population with a smaller future domestic freedom of speech abrogated. ical stakeholders and poli- Nawaz and others. This is drag- tary pressure on Imran Khan, ation of Pakistan, had told his
market and labour force. Vietnam, on the other hand, is a Under the military rules, ter- ticians, has evoked sharp ging on, further vitiating the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) friend Hameed Akhtar “Yehan
relatively young nation with a huge labour force and a sig- rorism flourished with the state criticism from many. Talat political scene, diluting the Chief Fazal-ur-Rahman has mullah, maulavi aur jagirdar
nificant capacity to act as a major market for Japanese prod- support as also promotion of Masood, a very knowledge- democratic values and possibly fired a fresh salvo, threatening ki hukumat ho jayegi” (Reli-
ucts and technology. religious fundamentalist activi- able commentator on Pakistan, weakening the Parliament too. to dislodge the Imran Govern- gious zealots and the affluent
Suga’s trip to Vietnam is part of a four-day tour that will ties seeing mushrooming of while reacting to Imran Khan’s Critics of Imran also estimate ment from power by Decem- will rule over the nation in days
next see him go to Indonesia for the express purpose of radicalised religious extremist utterances said that though ISI that his single point agenda of ber this year. This is quite a to come). It now seems Sahir
gaining meaningful economic and military ties amongst the groups taking the state head- has its own role of ensuring uprooting corruption and tar- challenge to Imran and the was not off the mark.
nations of the Indo-Pacific. These developments are a clear on. Tolerance reaching its nadir the security of the country, it geting political opposition has Cantonment. Labelling Imran The writer is a retired IPS
sign that many of the regional players are now invested in with sectarian clashes and vio- is endorsed on the quality of forced Imran Khan to become as the agent of international officer, security analyst,
developing supply chains that do not rely on China. While lence targeting the minorities governance or on politicians more reliant on the military establishment, Fazal-ur-Rah- and a former National
the nations of the greater ASEAN grouping are wary of be it the Hindus, the Ahmadi- (as articulated by the PM) establishment and the ISI, in man has announced to hold Security Advisor to the Prime
China’s economic and military intentions in the region, yas or the Shias. and doesn’t serve the coun- particular. This looks a dan- anti-Imran rallies in Gujran- Minister of Mauritius. Views
ultimately their economic dependence on its supply chains With the seamless military try’s interests. Such statements gerous trend as it tends to wala on October 16. Similar expressed are personal
makes any meaningful anti-China groupings unlikely. It is

Last straw to stubble burning


in this regard that Japan’s efforts to establish supply chains in
link with Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, India, etc., become a
major priority. For India, this provides an avenue to counter
Chinese attempts to surround India with a ‘string of pearls’
strategy and achieve its new directive of weaning away its
market dependence on China. Overall, the strengthening of
ASEAN on several fronts counters an approaching future
where all of the Indo-Pacific region languishes under the
undeniable power and influence of China. Straw can be converted into fuel for use in vehicles — it can also replace
coal in old power plants, reducing the environmental cost
Dear

S
TOGETHER THROUGH
Editor hould farmers get machines had been given at
THE STORM
SUNITA NARAIN
paid for not burning
their fields? This is an
extremely contentious
PADDY STUBBLE BURNING 80 per cent subsidy to custom
hiring centres and individual
farmers. Tilling biomass back
Kerala, at present, is paying the price for its gross
issue today as the northern Between Oct 1 and 14 (No. of residue burning) into the ground would also
negligence regarding the rapid spread of COVID contagion Indian region stares at another improve soil fertility.
in the state. The state which had very good control during winter when stubble is burnt 2019 2020 The second part of the
the first six months since the advent of the virus in the in fields and winds bring the solution is to provide value to
state lost its restraint during Onam. The government had
3,029
pollution to cities like Delhi
— already choking from
% CHANGE the biomass — farmers will not
burn if they can be paid for the
total hold till August but during the Onam celebration
when some relaxations were given the public without any the spit of vehicles and local straw. There is huge potential
sources of pollution. The logic here — from generating power
fear ignored COVID protocols which have now resulted behind this is that rewarding to using straws to make com-
in the situation going from bad to worse. The same state farmers with cash would dis- pressed biogas (CBG). Much
that was praised worldwide for showcasing the ‘Kerala suade them from burning their 992 is happening here as well. The
model’ of fighting the Coronavirus is reeling under pressure fields. 856 737 first CBG project should go
now mainly due to laxity and dereliction of the authority, My logic, as an environ- online by early 2021; many
negligence on the part of the public and that ‘come what mentalist and campaigner for more are in the pipeline.
may, we don’t bother’ attitude in all. The exponential rise By the beginning clean air, is that this will be a 271 249 Last month, the Reserve
perverse incentive. In other Bank of India included CBG in
in cases happens when mandatory steps to be followed of stubble- words, it will get easily abused its list of priority sector lend-
are simply ignored. The condition is frightening as the burning season so that there is more stubble ing; the State Bank of India
COVID graph of the state shows how things have gone burning as there will be the PUNJAB HARYANA UP has circulated a loan scheme;
out of track. During January and May there were around 2020, in Punjab promise of the reward; and and, oil companies have agreed
500 cases and few deaths due to COVID and now alone, some each year the amount of the
253.86 -25.71 -8.12 on a buy-back rate of Rs 46
between September and October COVID positive cases reward will have to be raised. per kilogramme for five years.
50,000 machines The incentive will become So, straw burnt today will be
have gone to an apprehensive number- more than three
lakh positive cases and 95,200 people under treatment as
had been given the perverse reason for doing SOURCE: converted into fuel for use in
what is wrong. But, I am being vehicles.
on October 18, sending alarm signals on how the public at 80 per cent screamed at in social media 2,119 4,015 INDIAN AGRICULTURAL
Then there is also the
have to be careful especially as the festive season has subsidy to custom platforms; the taglines being TOTAL 2019 2020 89.48 RESEARCH INSTITUTE (IARI)
option of using straws to
DIVISION OF AGRICULTURE
begun. The health department has sounded caution to the that “I am elitist, ignorant, out replace coal in old power
hiring centres of touch with reality” and, of
PHYSICS
plants — this would not only
citizens and directed to follow COVID protocol rules very Graphic: Millennium post
strictly. Union Health Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said and individual course, “anti-farmer”. help to extend the life of the
That said, it is a fact when built infrastructure but will
that the worsened condition of Kerala should serve as a farmers. Tilling the reward was given last year The writer is the Director-General of CSE and editor of Down To Earth. Views expressed are personal also reduce environmental
warning to other states and they should be careful with biomass back into — the Punjab government costs.
their planning during the ongoing and upcoming festival the ground would disbursed some Rs 29 crore to way ahead — one that pro- You can argue that farm- The answer then is three- The third option is to wean
period. Other states should learn a lesson from Kerala’s 31,231 farmers — the number vides income to farmers and ers should not plant paddy in fold: One, use machines to farmers away from growing
spurt in COVID cases due to negligence. The public need also improve of stubble fires went up from improves environmental these water-scarce regions. plough back the straw into paddy and to diversify their
to be careful during the festival season and ensure COVID soil fertility the previous year. But that is sustainability. You would be correct. But the the ground and do so with- cropping options. This, obvi-
not even the point. We know farmers burn answer is complicated as gov- out impinging on the time ously, is more challenging but
appropriate behaviour is followed diligently. Let us at least Farmers need assistance — stubble because they have a ernments procure paddy with that is needed for sowing the needs to be done.
for now celebrate festivals in our beautiful homes and there is no question about that. short period between when an assured minimum support wheat crop. But these agricul- The fact is that we need
avoid outdoor celebration that only makes way for huge I am not even talking about the they harvest paddy and when price (MSP). tural equipment are expensive to do much more to provide
congregation and movement which in a way is like asking larger problem of agrarian dis- they have to sow the next Farmers then are caught (they were not available also real options to farmers. For
the fatal virus to stay longer and making our very lives so tress, where farmers are caught wheat crop. We also know that in the pernicious pecuniary till a few years back). So, in the instance, they could be paid
hopeless and dangerous. in the pincer between high this period has been short- trap — the stubble of basmati past two years, the Union gov- for their ecosystem service of
prices of inputs as against the ened because the govern- paddy is not burnt as it can ernment has provided funds soil organic carbon sequestra-
....M PRADYU, KANNUR via email need to depress food prices for ment has notified a delay in be used for fodder. But bas- so that state governments can tion. But all this needs to be
consumers. This system that planting paddy — postponed mati paddy is not under MSP procure these machines and done in ways that it builds the
millenniumpost.in discounts the labour of farm- by roughly a month so that it because it can be traded inter- make them available to farm- foundation for doing what is
ers ends up discounting their is planted closer to when the nationally. So, farmers still ers at no cost or a minimal cost right. DTE
Log on to write letters to the editor or send them to soil and water systems as well. monsoon arrives in the region; grow non-basmati paddy for of operation. The writer is the Director-
letter2editor.mp@gmail.com. You can also send your comments to The Editor, It needs to be fixed. all this has been done so that MSP and then have no alter- By the beginning of stub- General of CSE and
Millennium Post, Pratap Bhawan, 5 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi 110 002 We need to recognise farmers do not overexploit native but to burn the stubble. ble-burning season 2020, in editor of Down To Earth.
the problem and find the groundwater. They choke, we choke. Punjab alone, some 50,000 Views expressed are personal
06 OPINION THE TRIBUNE
JALANDHAR | TUESDAY | 20 OCTOBER 2020

What Pakistan really wants


THE TRIBUNE established in 1881
It is interested in theatre, not popular welfare or in normalising ties with India
minister level on Kashmir. The
administrative steps that were taken
in J&K after August 5, 2019, attracted

More effective FATF adverse attention, but now that too


has muted. It is unlikely that any
country will pay attention to the wild
Pakistan will mend ways only if pushed to brink assertion that the Kashmir situation is

F
imploding. The Pakistani establish-
ORMER US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright once called VIVEK KATJU
ment has succeeded only in instilling
Pakistan an ‘international migraine’. The failure to fulfil six EX-SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS this belief in its country’s public for
key obligations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) only its own institutional interests and to

M
indicates Islamabad’s lack of commitment in the fight against mon- OEED YUSUF, special divert attention from the sharpening
ey laundering and terror financing. Terror groups operating from its assistant to the Pakistan of the domestic political situation.
soil continue to be provided immunity. The virtual plenary of the PM ‘on national security Pakistan’s claim that it has fulfilled
FATF from October 21 to 23 is likely to retain the country on its grey division and strategic ICJ’s order to ensure that consular
list. However, if the adverse economic ramifications the tag entails policy planning’, gave a long inter- access is given to India to meet Jad-
have not pushed Pakistan to mend its ways till now, there is little view to a well-known Indian TV per- AGENDA-DRIVEN: NSA Moeed Yusuf is being lauded in Pakistan for strongly hav is simply wrong. The meetings of
hope that the desired global standards would be met in the future. sonality last week. Yusuf, an academ- conveying ‘home truths’ to India, and that too on Indian media. consular officials and their nationals
FATF’s ability to secure concrete results is under the scanner. ic with a background, inter alia, in in a foreign state’s custody cannot be
Pakistan has been repeatedly red-flagged on issues of terror India-Pakistan studies, has been in Pakistan is taking comfort in the unhappiness in some monitored by officials of the foreign
his job since December last year. Ear- state. If they are, the purpose of giv-
financing and for not acting against proscribed persons and entities,
lier, he had a long stint with the US liberal global circles at the social and cultural direction ing an opportunity to the national to
but to no avail. The failed mandates include action against all UN-
designated terrorists and the sudden disappearance of the names of
Institute of Peace, a US Congress
funded think-tank in Washington DC.
of the Modi government. be able to talk to his government’s
representatives freely and in confi-
more than 4,000 terrorists from the original list of 7,600. Given the Yusuf had sought an Indian media dence is lost. The Jadhav case is
geo-political complexities involved, any switch to the black list, with platform since some time to assert his somewhere’. He expressed the appre- Pathans and Balochis. It wishes to do before the Islamabad High Court, but
stringent restrictions, is difficult. Arming FATF with powers to establishment’s propagandist views hension that India only wished to talk so to dilute the international focus on its judges too have not ordered such
impose severe sanctions under the grey list could be a plausible to an Indian audience. His offer was to show the world that everything is Pakistani terror in its neighbourhood. access, despite all their attempts to
option in a country like Pakistan, which lacks the will to implement ignored till he was interviewed recent- ‘settled’ between India-Pakistan. In The entire purpose of the Jadhav show that they are acting impartially.
and refuses to act despite repeated assurances. New Delhi needs to ly. He used the interview to peddle the addition, he laid down the condition abduction and putting him on display It is impossible to believe that any
take keen interest as the international watchdog undertakes the themes in a highly offensive manner that talks would only take place if was to convince global opinion that Pakistani court can show the courage
process to increase its effectiveness by reviewing the methodology that Pakistan has been pursuing Kashmiris were a party to them. The India was undertaking terrorist acts to do justice in the Jadhav case; cer-
of risk-based assessment. Under the proposed approach, critical fail- against India, especially since the con- Ministry of External Affairs did well to against Pakistan, but it has simply tainly, the Pakistani judiciary’s track
ing in even one criterion can lead to black listing. stitutional changes in J&K in 2019. set the record straight by categorical- made no headway in this propaganda record is largely one of bending
These themes are: the illegitimacy of ly denying that messages for talks exercise. Now, another attempt has before its country’s establishment.
After prematurely taking Pakistan out of the grey list in 2015, the
the constitutional changes, allega- were sent to Pakistan. begun with direct allegations that Pakistan is taking comfort in the
FATF put it back in 2018, with more regular periodic monitoring and
tions of India supporting Pakistani Yusuf is being lauded in Pakistan Yusuf made in the interview, including unhappiness in some liberal global
stricter deadlines. No genuine policy action has been forthcoming. Taliban and Balochi nationalist for succeeding in strongly conveying the charge that Indian representatives circles at the social and cultural direc-
Unless non-cooperative regimes are made to pay a high cost for their groups that Pakistan claims have ‘home truths’, and at substantial were in touch with the mastermind of tion of the Modi government. It obvi-
inaction, mere listings will be inconsequential. Islamabad’s expecta- undertaken terrorist acts on its territo- length to India, and that too on an the horrific Army Public School terror- ously wishes to align the liberals’ crit-
tion of being let off lightly for playing a favourable role in the US-Tal- ry, the nature of the Sangh Parivar’s Indian programme. While this may ist attack in 2014. This particular refer- icism to its own stands on the J&K
iban peace agreement only points to the need for a more effective FATF. ideology, which it claims is casting a give the Pakistani establishment ence is an attempt to shift attention issue, and also on terrorism. What
malign shadow on the region, and some satisfaction, will it succeed in from the Mumbai attack and Pak- Pakistan is overlooking is that there
Pakistan’s adherence to the Interna- effectively pushing forward globally istan’s continuing sponsorship of ter- is, to put it mildly, scepticism about its
tional Court of Justice’s ruling in the the Pakistani line on India? This is rorism through tanzeems like the LeT internal and external policy choices.

Agitation impact Kulbhushan Jadhav case.


After spouting venom against India
on all these issues, Yusuf claimed that
doubtful, not only because the facts
are at odds with Pakistani assertions,
but also because Pakistan lacks cred-
and JeM that are based on its soil.
Pakistan’s continuing anguish is
that except for China, all major coun-
This will be enhanced by it giving a
clean chit to China on that country’s
treatment of Uighur Muslims.
Punjab hit hard by impairment of economic activities Pakistan had received Indian mes- ibility on issues relating to terrorism, tries have not been bothered by the As long as Pakistan does not change
sages expressing a desire to have a social harmony and democratic val- J&K constitutional changes, and course fundamentally, it has no real

T
HE effect of the agitation over the farm legislation is being felt conversation between the two coun- ues and on J&K-related issues as well. except for Turkey and Malaysia, no future. The Yusuf interview is a confir-
acutely in Punjab, with both industry and agriculture getting tries. As he put it ‘…in the past year, This also applies to the follow-up on important Islamic country has spoken mation that the Pakistani establish-
affected. Industrial production has shrunk badly due to a we’ve got the messages about a desire the Jadhav matter in the ICJ. against it. The Arab peninsular states ment is interested in theatre, not pop-
shortage of raw material because of the obstruction caused to railway of (sic) conversation….’ He said Pak- Pakistan has, for long, emphasised have ignored Pakistan’s desire for a ular welfare or in normalising relations
traffic by the protesters, while the farmers are staring at unfair com- istan would like to first ascertain that India is involved in sponsoring ter- meeting of the Organisation of Islam- with India, despite his repeated claims
petition because of the crop, procured at cheaper rates in other ‘whether there is intent to talk to get rorism on its soil through disaffected ic Cooperation meeting at the foreign that it seeks peace with India.
states, being brought for sale in Punjab by the traders. It is an irony
that the ‘rail roko’ stir should push industry in the state off track,

The cool magic of comic books


for when the lockdown had begun, the railways played a critical role
in ensuring the supply of essential commodities to ensure a sem-
blance of normalcy. The ‘rail roko’ agitation is familiar to Punjab,
with farmers having resorted to it in the past, too, but care is usual-
ly taken to ensure that it is only for a fixed duration and that no dam- Raaja Bhasin sold. We children were not allowed to in black and white, through World War Illustrated series that introduced me to
age is caused to railway property. With passenger services yet to read comics as my parents’ genera- II. There were ‘westerns’, where the some of the best reading in the world.

O
resume fully, it is only the movement of goods trains that will get PENING to the wide road and tion, and academics at that — who had good, the bad and the ugly were clear- Long before one gathered the courage
affected, thus impacting economic activities adversely. located where the office of the been raised on classics and fine lan- ly defined – though today, the lines to tackle the book, one knew the story
The outcome of the special Assembly session called by the Punjab general manager of the ele- guage — were convinced that reading would have been more blurred and the of A Tale of Two Cities, or of the art of
Cabinet remains to be seen. While the state government says it is gant Cecil Hotel in Shimla stands, was comics was harmful to young chil- native Americans — who were mostly Cellini and Michelangelo.
mulling legislative and legal action, the farmers have been insisting on once a small shop named ‘Broadway’. dren. Big blurbs of ‘Ow!’, ‘Pow!’ and portrayed as bad — would have Steadily, the collection of Amar
talking to the Centre to find a way out of the impasse. The priority, both Decades back, the Cecil would open ‘ Kerplam!’ were not considered emerged in a far kinder light. Chitra Katha stories built up —
for the government and the farmers for now, especially with the festi- only for the summer months, and desirable additions to our vocabulary. Archie’s were filled with flirting and largely thanks to my much-relented
val season approaching, should be the smooth lifting of paddy crop matching step, ‘Broadway’ would I managed to retain those two prized silliness; with Reginald’s machina- mother to whom the knowledge of
raise and lower its shutters according- items, which would have been worth a tions and Jughead’s insatiable one’s own culture and language was
this season and prepare the fields for the rabi crop.
ly. This little shop sold toothpaste, fortune had I had them today. appetite. Hanna-Barbera cartoons and all-important.
The Centre needs to take the farmers into confidence and allay
shaving cream and other such essen- Gradually, my parents relented and Walt Disney’s brilliance came out on Then came a time when this some-
their apprehensions over protecting the MSP and the mandi system. tials that hotel guests may have forgot- now, decades later, it was the response paper — which steadily moved to what unwieldy collection had to be
The unrest is only increasing as farmers are stopping trucks bringing ten to carry along. It also attracted a to a social media post by a much- screens and TV sets. The newspaper sorted, and in keeping with a trend of
crops from other states and demanding the registration of cases fair bit of custom from passers-by. younger cousin that made me remem- man, along with the dailies, twice a the times, a selection of the not-so-tat-
against those involved in this trade. The agitation also has implica- Returning from a birthday party and ber the hundreds of comic books that month, brought the latest Phantom tered ones was bound into sets of
tions for the law and order situation in the state. All political parties with a king’s ransom of an unspent had been collected by the time I exited comic and that of Mandrake the Magi- hard-backed volumes. These are still
need to come together to find a way out of the imbroglio. Rs 2 burning a hole in my pocket, I my teens. What a trove it was! There cian, who, with the help of the trusty with me, and the cupboard that holds
surreptitiously bought two Superman were the small-sized Commando Lothar, sorted out the world. There this treasure of a long gone time is
comics from a stack that ‘Broadway’ comics which moved back and forth, were the absolutely wonderful Classics only opened to be dusted.

❝ ❞
thought for the day letters to the editor
History teaches us that war begins when governments Exempt 6% farmers the government must listen to indeed, a bare necessity (The Sun- awarded the strictest punishment.
believe the price of aggression is cheap. — Ronald Reagan The best solution to the ongoing them and resolve the matter forth- day Tribune; ‘When pandemic SANTOKH SINGH, JALANDHAR
problem created by the new farm with. Farmers are very important to forces…’). During the litfest, the
Acts is to exempt Punjab, sustain the economy of India. plight of millions of migrant Demand for democracy
Haryana and western UP from the Farmer-friendly laws are needed to labourers was also highlighted, In Thailand, there is a big agita-
on this day...100 years ago new laws for five years. The above enhance their income, as promised which, with the passage of time, tion against the monarchy. People
region consists of only 6 per cent by the Prime Minister. has been forgotten in the wake of are on the roads, seeking the
of the total farming population of KARNAIL SINGH, KHARAR the Bihar Assembly elections. As implementation of democracy. In
the country. Let the private play- of now, the political parties are modern era, there is no place for
ers prove during the next five Will it yield anything? not concerned about the distress monarchy. Britain also has monar-
years the benefits of the new Acts This refers to the appointment of of the workforce of the state and chy, but its powers are limited. In
lahore,wednesday, october 20, 1920
to the remaining 94 per cent farm- the toothless Justice Lokur Com- other burning issues. Thailand, too, the king should
ers. There would be a healthy mittee aimed at containing envi- SHADI LAL, BY MAIL make way for democracy. He will
AN IMPERIAL PARLIAMENT. competition between the old ronmental pollution due to unabat- earn the respect of his people.
SIR Sam Hughes’s motion in the Canadian Parliament “advocating an Imperial APMC Acts and new farm Acts to ing crop residue fires. It is a moot No end to rape incidents ROHAN KUMAR, MOHALI
Parliament in which the whole Empire might be represented to deal only with prove which is more beneficial to point why the apex court should Every other day we read news of
imperial and international questions, over which it might exercise authority the farmers’ community. take on itself the responsibility of rape, murder, loot, snatching etc. Power of youth
without infringing the material privilege at present enjoyed by various parts of the NARESH MOHAN JOHAR, AMRITSAR the executive? There are instances Despite stringent laws to curb rape October 20 is observed as National
Empire”, raises a question of interest, which has again been discussed in the past, when orders of the SC have incidents, they are still occurring. Youth Confidence Day, which cele-
but the solution still seems distant. Except in form, the present proposal is identical Resolve farmers’ issues remained on paper only, with no Even the execution of three rapists brates the energy, spirit and
with that made by Seeley in his lectures on the expansion of England in the Refer to ‘No minister, angry farm- heads rolling for defiance — block- was not a deterrent. In the recent potential of youth, and encourages
eighties and by Mr. Forster even before Seeley. And many of the considerations that ers walk out of meet’; the issues ing of rail track by protesters Hathras rape case, the girl’s fami- us to connect and inspire today’s
weighed with the thinking British and colonial public in those days in practically raised by the agitating farmers are against the new farm laws is the lat- ly says that she was raped, but, sur- youngsters for tomorrow’s suc-
rejecting the proposals are still operative. There are still the same difficulties about serious and need immediate est example, despite the mounting prisingly, the charge has been cess. India is home to a fifth of the
the constitution of the Cabinet responsible to that Parliament, and the sanction redress. Widespread agitation is public inconvenience and loss to denied by the police. It is also world’s youth, while the rest of
behind any degree, levy or ordinance of the Imperial Executive or the Imperial causing heavy loss to the economy. the economy. Vote bank politics is shocking that the police cremated the world is ageing. From a young
Parliament. How are countries differing so widely from one another as the Humiliating treatment was meted the culprit. But, who bothers? the body by stealth at night against student’s perspective, I know how
component parts of the present British Empire do, in so many of the elements that out to the farmer leaders who visit- LALIT BHARADWAJ, PANCHKULA the family’s wishes. The police’s hard the path to success is, but
make national life what it is, to be fairly represented at the Imperial Parliament? ed Delhi for talks, but no minister apathetic attitude is condemnable. with confidence and hard work,
Are they to be represented according to their respective populations or according turned up to listen to them. This Migrants forgotten Such rape incidents bear testimo- there are no limits. The youth of a
to the stage of political development that each has reached, or according to the attitude must be condemned. If the The lone wish expressed by Sud- ny to the fact that women are not nation are trustees of prosperity.
interests they have at stake, or is the representation to be of Governments and not new farm laws are really beneficial ha Murty at the first digital KSLF safe anywhere and they are being So, what we invest into young peo-
of peoples and each Government to count for one and none for more than one? for the farmers, why has the gov- that poor kids should get three objectified. Mindsets need a mas- ple will impact their success in
Secondly, what is to be the relation between the new Imperial Executive and the ernment failed to convince the agi- meals a day, have three sets of sive change. At the same time, the future, which, in turn, will impact
present British Cabinet? Will the latter consent to be reduced to the position of a tating farmers? And if the fears clothes, get education till class 12 perpetrators must not be allowed the success of the country.
subordinate, a merely State executive, if the Imperial executive is to be worth raised by the farmers are genuine, and learn survival skills is, to go scot-free and should be BEEFATHIMA, VIA MAIL
anything? And lastly, how is the Imperial Parliament to deal with any member of
the Empire who refuses to carry out the behests of the Imperial authority? Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com
THE TRIBUNE
JALANDHAR | TUESDAY | 20 OCTOBER 2020 OPED 07

Why Army shuns local high-altitude clothing


this month, Lieutenant-General Saini over, it further stretches disbelief that
reiterated the need for collaborative
efforts under the Atmanirbhar Bharat
Desultory endeavours to locally India, which designs and manufac-
tures long-range nuclear and other
or self-reliant India initiative to meet source special clothing and missiles, nuclear submarines, fighter
critical SCME requirements, which aircraft, helicopters and tanks, simply
have astonishingly endured since 1984, mountaineering equipment were cannot make SCME.
after the Army took control of the repeatedly rejected by the Army, Around 2006-07, the Army instituted
17,000-foot high Siachen glacier. buffer stocks of certain SCME items, but
RAHUL BEDI
Despite India being one of the world’s which is somewhat incredulous puzzlingly, a suggestion to recycle huge-
SENIOR JOURNALIST largest garment and footwear produc- ly expensive down feathers from dis-
ers, it had failed miserably in making
as manufacturing winter clothing carded clothing into locally manufac-

T involves no advanced technology.


HE Indian Army’s near com- clothing items like Down jackets, insu- tured high-altitude clothing was
plete dependence on import- lated trousers, gloves, socks, mittens, rejected on specious grounds. In short,
ed high-altitude clothing and caps or even triple-lined snow boots for Such tactics only ensure the such tactics only ensured the continua-
associated mountaineering its soldiers to combat temperatures tion of overseas visits by the MoD and
equipment for nearly four decades averaging minus 20 degree Celsius.
continuation of overseas visits for Army personnel for expensive SCME
will be highlighted yet again when its These drop precipitously further to costly SCME purchases. purchases which, surprisingly, were also
troops deploy against the irredentist minus 40 degree in the upper recently revealed to be in short supply.
People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Himalayan reaches, accentuated brutal- LAMENTABLE: 80 per cent of special clothing In February this year, the Comptroller
eastern Ladakh during winter. ly by the merciless wind chill factor. for soldiers at heights is imported. and Auditor-General (CAG) censured
After mid-August, when the PLA’s The Army was also wholly dependent the Army for enduring shortages of
pullback from the occupied Indian terri- on imported Arctic tents, sleeping bags, essential SCME that had persisted for
tory along the Line of Actual Control backpacks, ice-picks and associated essential for soldiers at climatically mur- manufacturing and testing facilities for had not evoked interest as its success four years till 2018 and included snow
(LAC) appeared doubtful, the frantic and rudimentary mountaineering survival derous heights continue to be imported. SCME, ahead of finalising contracts for would have obviated the need for visits goggles and multi-purpose boots. The
costly procurement of special clothing equipment, essential for survival at Attempts to domestically acquire such kit, these items for the Army, are instructive. by Indian officials to European coun- national auditor disclosed that the
and mountaineering equipment those vertiginous heights. The limited he regretted, had not met with the He said a Swiss vendor, who was a regu- tries to source SCME. He was dead paucity of snow goggles ranged from 62-
(SCME) began. It was done to equip the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB)-made Army’s ‘acceptable standards’. lar SCME supplier to the Indian Army, right as several years later, high-alti- 98 per cent, whilst those of multi-use
over 40,000 troops positioned at heights extreme cold climate clothing and The officer was merely echoing what told him that he had advised the MoD tude clothing procurement missions snow boots had compelled soldiers on
between 12,000 and 18,000 feet to pre- equipment (ECCCE) supplied to the the MoD and the state-owned OFB that most of the high-altitude gear it continue their overseas travel uninter- Siachen to use ‘recycled’ footwear.
vent further PLA ingress. Ministry of Army, like jackets, trousers and boots, responsible for equipping the Indian imported recurrently could easily be ruptedly, even more assiduously in The CAG further castigated the Army
Defence (MoD) and Army officials were not only ill-fitting and operational- military with weapons and materials, made indigenously. He indicated his recent months to meet the Army’s for purchasing 31,779 ‘substandard’
fanned out across Europe, Australia, ly restrictive, but also inadequate too, told the committee of their inabili- willingness to collaborate in a venture to requirements for its pan-winter deploy- sleeping bags at inflated rates, in addi-
Canada and the US to procure assorted against the cold even at heights far less ty to kit out the Army in such a testing domestically kickstart winter clothing ment along the LAC till April 2021. tion to acquiring ‘inferior’ backpacks
high-altitude gear under ‘emergency than that of Siachen or the LAC. environment. Thirty-six years after the units after visiting a potentially capable Desultory endeavours to locally source that had failed to meet stipulated speci-
purchase’ procedures in times of mas- Sporadic attempts over the decades to Army had installed itself permanently manufacturing unit near Agra during SCME were repeatedly rejected by the fications. Army personnel, the CAG
sive financial indigence of kit that can indigenously source SCME through a at Siachen, the MoD and OFB said tech- one of his India trips. Army, which sounds somewhat incredu- added, had to make do with ‘older ver-
easily be sourced locally. handful of collaborative ventures had nical collaborative efforts with techni- Thereafter, he said that the MoD con- lous as manufacturing winter clothing sions’ of essential items like face masks
The Army’s Vice-Chief of Staff, Lieu- come to nought. Deposing before the par- cal institutions were still under way to tinually prevaricated on the project, involves no advanced technology or and jackets, instead of the better and
tenant General SK Saini, stressed as liamentary standing committee on develop electrically heated vests, but before eventually letting the proposal knowhow. Besides, it’s a goal not impos- more modern varieties at high altitudes.
much recently when he lamented the Defence in late 2019, an Army representa- little had emerged. lapse. But in a telling and somewhat sible to achieve for the Army’s much- Let’s hope that with a bit of luck, per-
fact that the force continued importing tive declared that some 80 per cent of the The experience of a senior MoD offi- embarrassing comment, the Swiss deal- feted Directorate of Indigenisation, spicacity, and possibly hindsight, such
SCME due to lack of ‘viable indigenous essential three-layered special clothing cial, who travelled to some European er candidly told the visiting MoD official mandated over a decade ago to propa- circumstances will not be perpetuated in
solutions’. Speaking at a webinar earlier with thermal insulation and other items countries a decade ago to inspect the that the putative collaborative project gate product import substitution. More- the ongoing LAC deployment.

Mapping of victim data can help reduce crime


T
HE incident of murder and In fact, the socio-economic back- stand that crime is independent of the
alleged gangrape of a Dalit ground and occupational characteris- law as well as the institutions mandat-
woman in Hathras has tics of a person influence their lifestyle. ed by law to enforce itself. The crime
brought simmering tensions Such a lifestyle, according to victimol- rate will automatically go down if vic-
to a boil. It is unfortunate, however, ogists, is a crucial factor in exposing tim-proneness — the factors affecting
that instead of examining the issue such persons to several high-risk situ- victimisation — are reduced and vice
from a novel lens, all actors and reac- ations. This knowledge would explain versa. The police have failed in the
tors have chosen to blow the dust off the victimisation incident of Hathras. past and will fail again in the future,
GS BAJPAI
musty old narratives and re-purpose Vulnerability or risk of victimisation unless factors of victimisation are
PROFESSOR, NATIONAL LAW them to the particular facts of the is not limited to such individual factors addressed and criminogenic condi-
UNIVERSITY, DELHI
case. History is proof that neither of alone. Geographical locations also tions are controlled.
these actions or reactions will restore determine the likelihood of proneness There are potential victims and
this particular victim to her rightful to crime due to environmental vulnera- offenders and there is need to identi-
The core issue is that place, nor will the same succeed in bilities. This also means crimes are not fy them before the commission of a
victimological data and deterring future occurrence of these random probabilities, but are bound by crime. Every person becomes vulner-
and other crimes. temporal and spatial constraints. The able to crime before becoming a vic-
information remain Like Nirbhaya, the Hathras case will ‘Broken Window’ theory in the US tim of crime and if the interventions
be forgotten soon. The lessons we became very attractive inasmuch as it are deployed at the former stage,
undeveloped and under- choose to learn from such cases are spurred the police towards locational crime can be averted.
utilised by the police. There lacking in terms of a significant impact AVERTING CRIME: Police should carry out risk surveys to check vulnerability. and situational crime prevention plan- As a measure of crime prevention,
on our criminal justice system (CJS), ning in neglected localities. this is more effective than deterrence
are potential victims and other than continually ineffectual Hathras case occurred in a vacuum or nerable to crime. The profiling of the The core issue is that victimological through harsher punishments. As
penalty enhancements. Nobody asks if that the choice of victim and her vic- victim in the Indian society is crucial. data and information remain undevel- much as 45 per cent crime in every
offenders and there is need the police or other agencies had any timisation was coincidental. Victimo- It can be inferred from the Hathras oped and under-utilised in this coun- society is situational. The remaining
to identify them before the role to play before such incidents occur. logical research proffers that several incident that the victim came from a try by the police. There are ways and crime is due to fundamental reasons
Over reliance on post-incident trajecto- unnoticeable interactions take place humble background, was a Dalit and means to collate and use such infor- linked with the motivation, socialisa-
commission of a crime. ries than pre-crime ones only ensures a before the incidence of crime. In had a relatively lower socio-economic mation to plan effective crime preven- tion and personality of the offenders.
free flow of the spate of such incidents. Hathras, the process of victimisation profile. Poverty and disadvantage tion and victimisation reduction pro- The former can be controlled more
Every person becomes And, hence, incidents like Nirbhaya, must have occurred subtly and must make people vulnerable to all manners grammes by the police. easily than the latter.
vulnerable to crime before Unnao, Kathua and Hathras recur. be chronologically traceable. The and forms of suffering. Poverty is not For example, the police can map vic- Situational crime prevention (SCP)
There are three aspects of Hathras- families of the accused and the vic- merely about a lack of financial tim data and information to carry out is now the default approach in several
becoming a victim of crime like incidents, an understanding of tim were known to each other. resources but also about a weakened risk mapping and analysis of vulnera- countries. SCP is a crime-reduction
and if the interventions are which can have fundamental implica-
tions upon improving our CJS.
Reportedly, they also had interaction
at several levels. This process also
ability to resist. Access to justice and
exercising of fundamental rights is dif-
bility. There are potential victims every-
where. There are victimological condi-
technique based on the premise that
by plugging the opportunities of
deployed at the former First, is there any process of victimi- includes various subtle and minor ficult, if not impossible, where a person tions which have reached their ‘tipping crime commission, crime can be
sation in such type of cases where developments until the incidence. lacks resources. All such factors of dis- point’ and are likely to culminate into reduced significantly. Crimes are com-
stage, crime can be averted. multiple processes culminate into the Generally speaking, casual friend- advantage converge to make a person full-fledged incidents. If such mapping mitted if they are easy to commit. It is,
This is more effective for occurrence of the incident? Secondly,
who are the likely victims, what is
ships, conflict in relationships, or other
aspects in relationships are crucial in
vulnerable. One would hardly find a
resourceful person confronting such
and risk surveys are carried out by the
police to identify vulnerable groups or
therefore, important to make the
occurrence of crime difficult. To do
prevention than deterrence their profile and how do they become forming a chain, culminating into an risk exposures in India. Those working individuals, prevention plans can be that, a ‘target hardening’ is necessary
vulnerable to such victimisation? incidence of crime. This is how a target under poor conditions in unorganised used to avert such incidents. — victims must be better guarded and
via harsher punishments. Thirdly, do our police have the compe- of crime becomes a ‘just’ target. sectors —labourers, domestic servants, Both crime profiling or victimisation more empowered. If we do not take
tence for crime prevention? Victimology pre-supposes a set of fac- and contractual workers — have profiling are yet to reach the shores of note of these lessons from Hathras, its
It is naive to believe that the tors which tend to make a person vul- greater chances of being victimised. our nation. There is a need to under- recurrence is inevitable.

quick crossword su do ku calendar forecast


ACROSS OCTOBER 20, 2020, TUESDAY SUNSET: TUESDAY 17:45 HRS
1 Receive academic
degree (8) 5 3 4 7 ■ Vikrami Samvat 2077
SUNRISE: WEDNESDAY 06:29 HRS

5 Largest continent (4) ■ Shaka Samvat 1942

8 3
9 Praiseworthy quality (5) ■ Ashwin Shaka 28 Sunny Partly Cloudy Cloudy Rainy Foggy
10 Falsehood (7) CITY MAX MIN
■ Kartik Parvishte 4
11 Suddenly from
nowhere (3,2,4,3) ■ Hijari 1442 Chandigarh 34 16
13 Really (6)
14 Appoint to a task (6)
6 2 5 ■ Shukla Paksha Tithi 4, up to 11:19 am New Delhi 35 16
■ Saubhagya Yoga up to 9:48 am Amritsar 33 15
17 Finest French
cooking (5,7)
20 Made different (7)
4 1 9 ■ Jyeshtha Nakshatra up to 2:12 am

■ Moon enters Sagittarius sign 2:12 am


Bathinda
Jalandhar
34
33
13
14
21 Become mouldy (2,3)
Ludhiana 33 16
22 Dutch portrait painter (4)
23 Detested thing (8) 8 6 YESTERDAY’S SOLUTION
Bhiwani 34 17
8 1 2 7 4 9 5 6 3 Hisar 35 13
DOWN
1 Willing and eager (4)
2 Stranded (7)
4 8 1 5 6 4 2 8 3 9 7 1
Sirsa
Dharamsala
34
25
15
14
3 Deeply involved 9 7 3 1 6 5 2 4 8 Manali 25 04
(2,2,4,4)
4 Dependable (6)
1 7 4 4 5 9 8 2 1 7 3 6 Shimla 24 13
6 US composer of Srinagar 25 04
3 2 7 4 5 6 8 1 9
marches (5)
7 Follower (8) 2 6 6 8 1 9 3 7 4 5 2
Jammu
Kargil
33
16
16
01
8 Prima facie (2,5,5)
YESTERDAY ’ S SOLUTION 12 A jumble (8) Leh 21 --05
Across: 1 White flag, 8 Again, 9 Admiral, 10 Finish, 11 Asylum, 12 Emphasis, 15
Mainstay, 18 Shrimp, 20 Sloppy, 21 Ecstasy, 22 Tutor, 23 Be all ears.
15 Dishonourable (7)
16 Oppressive duty (6)
6 5 7 3 1
7
3
9
8
5
5
6
9
1
4
2
6
3
2
8
7
4 Dehradun 31 17
Down: 2 Hades, 3 Triple, 4 Fragment, 5 Garish, 6 Matisse, 7 In the soup, 11 Animosity, 13 18 Up to such time as (5) Mussoorie 23 13
Physical, 14 Riposte, 16 Superb, 17 Writhe, 19 Miser. 2 4 6 3 7 8 1 9 5
19 Notion (4) HARD TEMPERATURE IN OC
6

EDITORIAL
“The goal of the operation
is to send Gaza back to the Middle
Ages. Only then will Israel be calm
TUESDAY 20 OCTOBER 2020
for 40 years.”
CHANDIGARH E LI YI SHA I

ILLEGAL RICE India’s response to China is


We have heard of illegal drugs, we have heard of il-
legal buildings and we have heard of illegal or rather
illicit liquor. But now it is illegal paddy that Punjab
comprehensive, effective, wise
has to deal with. In the last two days alone cops

F
have filed 13 FIRs and arrested 20 persons while 32 / DC PATHAK /
vehicles have been impounded for carrying paddy
from other states into Punjab. In Fatehgarh Sahib ROM WHAT has ap- assets. Coordination for all intelligence
peared in the pub- production, collation and analysis has
farmers have led protests and even gheraoed farm- lic domain, India is acquired added importance. Safeguard-
ers and transporters bringing in trucks full of paddy dealing with China, ing economic security is now integral to
from other states. Among the culprits are traders a neighbour who has national security and India has to watch
turned progressively out against Sino-Pak mischief of hurting
from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and some other hostile in the post- India economically. Counter-intelligence
states all driven by the lucre lure that they will get Doklam months, with operations have to be taken closer to the
the genuine promised MSP or Minimum Support a matching firmness on the LAC while ground so that the invisible forces and
keeping the doors open for bringing agents provocateurs behind politically
Price that the government pays while procuring about de-escalation through border instigated protests, demonstrations and
paddy. Unfortunately it seems other states are not talks. An accelerated diplomatic effort agitational violence at local levels can
designed to keep the international com- be exposed.
being able to implement this or there is a difference munity informed of the ‘expansionist’ India is vulnerable to sectarian, com-
in the price which is leading to the smuggling of profile of China facing an advocate munal and ethnic divides in the mainland
paddy from other states to Punjab. What is needed of global peace like India, is yield- as well in the peripheries which gives
ing results. Also, a comprehensive our adversaries a handle to fish in our
immediately is a hotline between all the states in- strategy of checkmating China’s plans troubled waters. Also, deviants, loiter-
volved to sort out the problem of illegal paddy being in Indo-Pacific, in India’s neighbour- ers and whisper mongers should be
shipped to Punjab. hood and in the area of influence of under the umbrella of security watch. It
China’s all-weather friend, Pakistan, China land border. The four nations military build-up in Ladakh, which should be disseminated through various
Punjab has a very efficient and agile police force in the so-called ‘Muslim world’, is on agreed to step up coordination in creat- was necessitated by the aggression means that since ‘security is for all’ there
and bureaucracy unlike most states of the North. The the anvil. India has maintained the ing a free and open Indo-Pacific. Mike shown by PLA since the Galwan inci- should be an awareness of the ‘duty of
states of Uttar Pradesh have inherited a system from pace of strengthening of its defence Pompeo, US Secretary of State taking a dent of June 15, has predictably seen all’ citizens to contribute to it by being
forces, particularly in the sphere of hard line against China asked the Asian a further deepening of the Sino-Pak alert about the environ around. It is not
regional parties which was more towards following mountain warfare, and taken care allies to unite against Beijing’s ‘exploi- military and operational coordination a day too soon that India has activated
limited agendas like building parks or memorials of the new situation created by the tation, corruption and coercion in the pitched against India. India has done its diplomatic effort to see that the cur-
Sino-Pak axis that was militarily and region’. He denounced China’s actions well to tell Pakistan that the only ‘un- rent Intra Afghan Negotiations move
or expressways. The routine work of improving operationally pursuing its hostile plans in Hong Kong, Himalayas and the Tai- finished agenda’ on Kashmir was the towards ensuring a democratic future
electricity supply which has improved considerably against this country. The twin threats wan Strait. In this second meeting after restoration of POK to India and also for Afghanistan, rightly described as
during Yogi’s time and the work of procuring grains from Pakistan and China now seem to 2017, Quad has evidently acquired teeth remind China of its illegal occupation ‘the geographical pivot of history’. A
represent a lasting security challenge against a growing belligerence of China of Aksai Chin. India’s potential for hit- country that was central to the Great
from farmers was very neglected then. However the for India and it is as well that we do in the Indo-Pacific region. Jaishankar ting the ‘illicit’ infrastructure of CPEC Game of the Cold War era has once again
present government in Uttar Pradesh is trying to sort not allow any wishful thinking on the has stated upfront that India’s objec- erected by China on POK territory become a fulcrum of Chinese attempts
out this problem. It is now up to the states neigh- intentions of these adversaries to affect tive was to advance the security and should be put out as a part of India’s in collusion with Pakistan to dominate
our strategic planning. economic interests of all countries right to re-take that land by extending this region in a situation of rising US-
boring Punjab to sort out the matter and take steps India is taking timely initiatives to having legitimate stakes in the region. counter-terror measures in Kashmir China contestation at the global level.
to ensure that paddy harvested in their territory is counter balance China geo-politically, Quad will check ill-conceived moves beyond the LOC. China cannot have The current dispensation of Afghanistan,
firmly deal with the new offensive of China in the Indian Ocean also -- any advantage over India in mountain as also the US-led West, wanted India
bought up by the government agencies there. For of Sino-Pak combine and reach out India should anyhow make its Naval warfare -- we must, therefore, steadily to be amongst the regional neighbours
the state is a matter of giving the right orders and to Afghanistan to keep this crucially presence felt here to deter any such improve our capabilities to take on the supporting the negotiations -- overriding
for the state police it is a matter of ensuring that no located neighbour within a friendly Chinese designs. two adversaries together. In sectors the Pak objections to India’s presence
orbit. Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar’s As indicated earlier, the most seri- other than Ladakh, India can stretch -- and India appropriately responded to
truck carrying paddy moves out of the state. Today participation in the meeting of Quad ous threat to India’s national security the PLA at points of its choosing. the invite of the host country Qatar by
Punjab is known for a neat and clean government at Tokyo on October 6 announced today is from the Sino-Pak alliance It is significant that the Pak army deputing its External Affairs Minister
which is doing its best to deliver even though there India’s full-fledged role as a member that is now operating at a new level of -- an old practitioner of ‘proxy war’ to address the opening session of the
of this forum of four major Indo-Pacific collusion in so far as its hostile plans against India -- has found it easy to negotiations at Doha on September 10.
are challenges on the stubble burning front which democracies including US, Japan and against India are concerned. This is be in cahoots with the PLA that was There was also an assurance from Zig-
need to be sorted out. Australia. In the backdrop of India’s visible in Jammu and Kashmir where trained in ‘deception’ -- the war strat- may Khalizad, the chief US interlocutor,
border dispute with China and the Pakistan has stepped up infiltration of egy of Sun Tzu favoured by President that the talks will be ‘Afghan-owned
latter’s aggressive behaviour in the terrorists into the state from across the Xi Jinping. A new challenge for India’s Afghan-led and Afghan-controlled’ and

Working from
Indo-Pacific and South China Sea, LOC as well as the international border security set-up is to comprehensively will work for an ‘inclusive’ solution
Jaishankar’s emphasis on ‘rule-based in Jammu -- evidently with instigation counter the joint covert offensive of notwithstanding the participation of
international order, territorial integrity from China -- judging from the fact China and Pakistan in Kashmir and else- Taliban in any future set-up.

home
and peaceful resolution of disputes’ at that Chinese firearms have surrepti- where -- in spheres ranging from cyber
this meeting would send a message to tiously been dropped in the Valley attacks to subversion for creating inter- THE WRITER is former Director, Intel-
China that India was willing to take on using drones and hexacopters made nal unrest and acts of sabotage against ligence Bureau. The views expressed
China in theatres outside of the India- available to Pak ISI by China. India’s this country’s military and economic are strictly personal.

SIGNALLING THE future of work by telecom issues by 42 per cent.


in the pandemic times, nearly one The study found that while 61 per

‘Holistic message of Islam much more than ritualism’


in three call centres (27 per cent) cent call centre agents were happy
in India will switch permanently with work from structure initially,
to work from home as a viable gradually their motivation levels
long-term strategy, a new report dropped. In spite of all challenges,

I
said on Monday. Amid the WFH most companies continue to realise VISHNU MAKHIJANI so many binding instructions phenomena, to act on reason, of their ‘understanding and prayers, they built mosques”,
strategy, 53 per cent businesses the risk that commute and working which are human-centric and to observe things carefully, and practice of Islam’, people got Parvaiz said. Thus did this
also reported a drop in productivity from of office pose. 55 per cent call SLAM IS not confined teach its followers to be re- reflect on the whole scheme divided along their followings book come about in an attempt
of call centre agents. Some of the centres are letting agents opt for to ritualistic ‘prayers’ spectful and nice to all,” Par- of things. “Yet, there is no sin- of these clerics and focussed to clear these misconceptions.
challenges listed were internet con- work from home, while 16 pc are and an appearance. A vaiz told IANS in an interview gle platform which is shared on the literature generated Like any child born to a Muslim
nectivity, telecom issues, practical not opening of?ces, and keeping scientific study will un- of his book, “The Scientific by those who memorise the by them. “The Quran got family, the author said, he was
constraints such as lack of privacy, work from home mandatory. Many veil what is elaborated Muslim - Understanding Islam Quran, religious preachers and shelved and people followed introduced to the Arabic Quran
space, noise cancellation, lack of call centres have seen the value in in the Quran and what in a New Light” (Konark). leaders to instruct and guide what their clerics told them. and was taught to identify the
desktops and laptops, according creating a robust work from home is binding on all those who “These commands are as the community in this noble They divided the education alphabets, how to join them
to the study by on-demand cloud process even if they do not switch claim to be Muslims; to absorb binding as five-time prayers direction,” the author said. system into religious and and how to pronounce them.
communication and telephony to work from home permanently, this and put it into practice is and so on, but are not followed In the initial phase, he worldly, religious seminaries “So, I learnt to ‘read’ the Quran
solutions provider Ozonetel. “The or if they are still undecided. what makes us good human because people don’t under- pointed out, people stuck to flourished and ‘devout’ Mus- but without understanding its
pandemic has made contact cen- Nearly 38 per cent call centres beings, says noted education- stand the Quran and ‘religious the Quran and as per it’s di- lims preferred them over con- message. I was taught how to
tres look at the services that they said they will create a robust work- ist and science communicator scholars’ rarely take them up rectives, strove to learn new temporary education,” Parvaiz offer ‘prayer’ (Namaz) and
provide and how they provide it,” from-home process. “We have ana- Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz in as they have so many ‘other’ things, learnt different lan- explained. Regretfully, “of so when old enough, how to
said Chaitanya Chokkareddy, Chief lysed various metrics to determine a new book that aims at un- things to discuss in their ser- guages, translated books into many mandatory instructions keep the fast (a better word
Innovation Officer, Ozonetel. and understand trends in customer derstanding the religion in a mons. The holistic message Arabic, established libraries of Quran, that included nature to describe is ‘abstainment’)”,
“At the start of the lockdown experience as well as agent effi- new light. “There is the blind of Islam is much more than and institutions like Sankore exploration, discoveries, sci- but his questioning mind, as
in March, we promptly assisted ciency as call centres switch to belief among a majority of ritualism,” Parvaiz, who has a University (circa 1100) in Tim- entific attitude, use of reason- he grew up, “had many ques-
many of our clients to move their work from home,” Chaitanya said. the Muslims that Islam is all doctorate in plant physiology buktu, Mali, and the University ing and logic in every issue, tions related to various rituals
agents to a work from home mode The study was done on 50 organ- about praying in mosques, from the AMU and is a former of al-Qarawiyyin, established peaceful coexistence, service and practices, but nobody
to help with business continuity isations to uncover the state of the fasting, giving 2.5 per cent of Vice Chancellor of the Maulana by a rich woman in Faiz, Mo- to humanity and respect to all could give a satisfying and
plan very quickly,” he added. call centre agents during Covid-19 their earnings to charity for Azad National Urdu University, rocco in 859, being just two people, their faith and gods, logical answer”, Parvaiz said.
Nearly 71 per cent of call centre lockdown. Many of the productivity needy, called Zakat, and if one Hyderabad, said. For instance, examples. “Later, for many clergy opted to focus on what At a later stage he decided to
agents mentioned internet con- challenges that call center agents can afford it, a pilgrimage to of the 6,000-plus verses in the reasons, including political, they defined as ‘prayers’ and understand the Quran bet-
nectivity as the biggest barriers face can be solved when provided Makkah. In contrast to this Quran, more than 700 exhort and emergence of clergy and to learn this system they cre- ter and picked a translation.
to agent productivity, followed with better hardware. ‘ritualism’, the Quran gives the people to study natural their infighting for supremacy ated madrasas and to ‘offer’  /IANS/

Bird’seyeview
India’s nutrition experts on what could boost public health delivery

I
NDIAS PUBLIC health public health and nutrition the POSHAN Maah (Nutrition now more than ever before and WASH (water, sanitisation tation, along with ensuring the instance, the expert points to
and nutrition efforts infrastructure has positioned Month) there was reiteration to has to be on strengthening and hygiene) -- can set back the convergence of service delivery ensuring quality of counseling
are differentiated by dedicated frontline workers as continue focusing on the basics the implementation,” shares healthy physical and cognitive for the core target of mother the mother receives, from the
an enterprising early its pillars, making it one of the of prevention of maternal and Dr Alok Ranjan, Country Lead development of a child. At the and child. “In the maternal and day her registration is done
start going as far back few countries to achieve this child undernutrition and focus (Nutrition), Bill and Melinda macro level, undernutrition child health program, globally under both Health and ICDS
as 1975 with the begin- scale and intensity of human was also brought on new areas, Gates Foundation. impairs public health levels and as well as in India, quality of in- systems for various Antenatal
ning of Anganwadi centres and resource support. such as children with Severe Setting foundations of the future of a nation.Highlight- tervention is already a priority services.
Integrated Child Development For every 1000 population, Acute Malnutrition (SAM) and health and cognitive devel- ing the multi-sectoral aspect of focus area. There’s no similar “Community and household
Services (ICDS). Lauding this there is one Accredited Social promotion of locally-sourced opment in a child, the first nutrition, Dr Ranjan builds on momentum around quality of counselling, if not done prop-
SIDDHI strong, continued focus on
maternal and child nutrition,
Health Activist (ASHA), one
Anganwadi Worker (AWW) and
nutrient-rich foods grown in
kitchen gardens. Food fortifi-
1000 days (from pregnancy to
first two years of life) are often
his experience like the Polio,
Routine Immunization and Vi-
nutritional intervention glob-
ally or in India. As the cover-
erly, will not lead to the kind of
impact we are aiming for. For
JAIN experts specialising in India’s one Anganwadi helper, and cation, too, has gained good neglected, visible in the abys- tamin A supplementation work age numbers are increasing instance, if iron and folic acid
nutrition space prescribe in- one Auxiliary Nurse Midwife momentum in India over the mally low levels of minimum in states like Bihar and Uttar with the Poshan Abhiyaan, we (IFA) supplementation tablets
JOURNALIST
tegration of three key factors (ANM) for approximately every last few years. I feel a larger adequate diet received by chil- Pradesh, and points out that the need to start looking at it, right have been made available till
like quality of services, conver- 5000 population. Under the number has been added to dren between 6-23 months of nutrition program implementa- from the quality of training the last mile in a village and
gence of healthcare services Poshan Abhiyaan, key pub- the people consuming forti- age, as shown by the 2016-18 tion can borrow few key factors frontline workers, to quality in are distributed to pregnant
at the household level, and lic programs and outreach fied products in the world Comprehensive National Nu- from successful public health food supplementation as well as women then they must also be
strategic use of data at vari- schemes make nutrition-based from India, than any other trition Survey (CNNS). Failure programs like polio, routine quality of the counselling ses- counselled adequately around
ous levels to improve program interventions to lift nutritional country in the last few years. to nourish the mother-child immunization and vitamin-A sions at anganwadi centers or how and when to consume
implementation, that could well-being for all. “India has India has almost everything dyad in accordance with the that could aid transforming during home visits. Thus, focus those tablets, what side effects
further advance public nutri- a well-funded program for (policies, human resource, five components of Poshan India’s nutrition landscape - on improving the quality at all they should be aware of, what
tion service delivery in India. various nutrition-specific and funding and political will) in -- the child’s first 1000 days, such as improving the quality levels would go a long way in is the benefit of these tablets
Committed to a malnutrition- sensitive interventions cover- place in terms of what needs anaemia prevention, diarrhoea of services and using data for helping us achieve our nutrition for them and their next genera-
free India, the country’s robust ing the entire country. During to be driven and the focus management, nutritional foods improving program implemen- targets,” says Dr Ranjan. As an tion.  / IANS /
THE SIKH TIMES EDITORIAL New Delhi, Tuesday, 20 October, 2020 6

Breast Cancer Awareness In Hathras case, narcoanalysis further victimises the Dalit
Month 2020: Are you
carrying it because of woman’s family by publicly contesting their version
your genes? The brutal killing and alleged gangrape of
a 19-year-old Dalit woman in Hathras,
Uttar Pradesh, has renewed attention on
than a coercive and unreliable medico-legal one.
By mentioning the use of narcoanalysis on the
accused, the victim’s family and the
how narcoanalysis remains central to police/officials, the UP Government is inviting a
policing in India. Widespread outrage public/media trial which utilises science in its
erupted as the police initially considered
it a case of murder and later sought to Narcoanalysis would invite a popular construction and will inevitably favour
those who are dominant in society. As Dalit
deny the rape. The Uttar Pradesh feminists have noted, provisions of the
government announced on October 2 its
intent to use narcoanalysis on the
public/media trial which Prevention of Atrocities Act have to be central in
the Hathras case against the upper caste men
victim’s family, the accused and involved in the alleged gang rape and those state
negligent state officials. Narcoanalysis is
the use of a drug — sodium pentothal —
manipulates science, favours officials who were negligent in their duty. While a
media trial is already visible, and medico-legal

Did you know that breast cancer is the second


on a person to ostensibly induce truth
with the help of forensic psychologists.
The lack of validity and reliability of
the dominant. evidence of rape is already subject to
manipulation, mention of narco is notable since it
stands in for the voice of science and the expert
most-fatal health issue in India after narcoanalysis is well known, though claimed by the government to proclaim
cardiovascular diseases? With over 1.46 rarely acknowledged. truth even as the technique is rejected by
million cases worldwide, India, too, has The notification of this desire to use the scientific community.
witnessed a surge in breast cancer cases, narcoanalysis despite disavowal by the The discussion on narco often tends to
affecting at least one in 22 women in the scientific community is not just about reinforce the legitimacy of techniques that
country. While women are predominantly the technique itself. It is symptomatic of coerce information from the bodies of the
affected by the disease, regular cases of male the investigative practices of Indian persons, sometimes in conjunction with
breast cancer have also been reported, shares policing. Narcoanalysis functions to torture or through a process of hypnotic
Dr Niti Raizada, director, Medical Oncology create a public spectacle of “truth suggestions. These tests are by themselves
and Hemato Oncology, Fortis Cancer Institute claiming” in the garb of science, thereby coercive and often used to get
in Bangalore. reinforcing the role that coerced confessions/information in the
Dr Raizada says that at least “five to 10 per cent confessions play in media trials and the investigative process itself and, like
of breast cancer cases are known to be legal system. In the Hathras case, it physical torture, are unreliable. Thus, each
hereditary, caused by abnormal genes passed further victimises the Dalit woman’s time narcoanalysis is mentioned in a high-
from parent to child. Individuals with family by publicly contesting their profile case, it reactivates a tendency of
hereditary breast cancer (HBOC) inherit the version.Popularised in the US in the Indian policing to precisely highlight
germline mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene 1920-30s by Dr Robert House, the US techniques that force the body to betray
or some form of rare genetic mutations like criminal justice system had a brief itself.
PALB2TP53, ATM, PTEN, CDH1, etc.” The fascination with narcoanalysis. It was The popular campaign to challenge the trial
risk of particular cancer, however, accumulates rejected by the CIA after experiments in court verdict in the Aarushi-Hemraj case
over a lifetime. Dr Raizada breaks down how a the 1950s, and it continues to make rare The lack of a decisive rejection of narcoanalysis that had similarly highlighted the narco results of Hemraj’s
larger number of inherited cases of breast appearances. The Indian fascination with narcoanalysis medical ethics scholar Amar Jesani calls friends as a way to strengthen their arguments, thereby
cancer are associated with mutations in two began in the late 1980s in Ahmedabad, appeared in pharmacological torture has allowed the spectre of this contributing to the relegitimising of these
complaints to the National Human Rights Commission technique to haunt different sites of policing in India, in techniques.The Hathras case, in highlighting
genes: BRCA1 (Breast cancer gene one) and
about lie detectors being used alongside a drug in the turn encouraging coerced information or involuntary narcoanalysis, reminds us how confessions/information
BRCA2 (Breast cancer gene two). confessions.Narcoanalysis (alongside brain scans and
1990s, but gained prominence in the 2000s. Almost all are often a part of a media trial, and techniques that
Both these cancer genes are known to repair cell major cases involved its use, including the Aarushi- lie detectors, that I term “truth machines” in my book) is enable the body to forcibly betray itself are violative of
damage and provide the boost to help in the Hemraj murders in 2008, Mumbai blast case in 2006, represented often as a scientific solution to police human dignity and should be disallowed. Asking the
growth of breast, ovarian, and other cells. Telgi scam case, and Nithari 2005-2006, with videos torture. Reports of custodial violence in Maharashtra victim’s family to undergo narcoanalysis in a context
“However, when these genes contain often leaked as “truth”. resulted in senior police officers sending out a memo where Dalit victims are often disbelieved is primarily
mutations that are passed through generations, In 2010 the Indian Supreme Court ruled that consent was urging the use of truth machines. The Delhi High Court meant to contest or proclaim their narratives publicly as
the genes are unlikely to function normally required for the use of narcoanalysis, lie detectors and has recently asked the Delhi Government about the lack a lie — victimising them once again. Saying that
increasing the risk of breast, ovarian, and other brain scans and made evidence as a result of the of narco test facility in the capital and the suspects are police/officials are to be subject to the same technique is
cancers. That said, women who are diagnosed techniques inadmissible. The Court stopped short of taken to Ahmedabad for narcoanalysis. Recently, the reflective of a desire to restrict the negligence to a few
with breast cancer and have either of BRCA striking them down as inherently unacceptable under the Aam Aadmi Party Government has promised the High bad apples — as opposed to the recognition of a
mutations are likely to have a family history of right against self-incrimination (Article 20 (3)) and right Court that arrangements have been made to set up this systemic injustice, making justice in this case even more
breast cancer,” says Dr Raizada. to life and liberty (Article 21) of the Indian Constitution. narco facility, as if it is a state of the art technique rather elusive.
She explains that the chances of breast cancer
whether ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer or
even prostate cancer in men, increases in case
you have inherited a mutated copy of either An incomplete solution: On Centre borrowing for States
gene from one of your parents. “If you have a The past week witnessed some with interest and principal general government debt. economic activity and revenue
BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, the chances
of breast cancer increase is likely by age 80. �The forward, albeit inexplicably
delayed, movement towards
payments to come from future cess States and economists have
collections; or borrow the ?2.35- welcomed this change of heart,
sources dry up, and States have only
received ?20,000 crore from the
Furthermore, the risk also depends on the
number of family members who have had
Centre breaking the deadlock between lakh crore, but bear the interest especially as it helps bring in much GST cess. Kerala, which was
breast cancer,” the doctor says. Unfortunately, must the Centre and States on bridging
this year’s shortfall in cess
from their coffers. By Wednesday,
21 States had agreed to the
needed cash for States to fight the
pandemic. However, it is odd that
considering a petition in the
Supreme Court with other
this very gene mutation also increases the
chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer
assure collections to recompense States
for adopting the GST. Following
Centre’s first option and were
permitted to raise about ?79,000
the ‘administrative ease’ of the
Centre borrowing and lending to
Opposition-ruled States, has cooled
off on the legal route, but sought full
at a younger age.But, it is equally important to States on a lack of consensus at a third crore (0.5% of their gross State States, had not struck North Block payment of the ?2.35-lakh crore
understand that the majority of the women who meeting of the GST Council on domestic product) as additional mandarins earlier — given that the shortfall this fiscal. On Friday, Ms.
are diagnosed with breast cancer do not hold a the the issue last Monday, Finance borrowing linked to their cess collection worries surfaced Sitharaman wrote to Chief
family history of the disease; it is the women
who have close blood relatives with breast
timeline for Minister Nirmala Sitharaman
said States that had agreed to the
acceptance of the option. On
Thursday, however, the Centre
soon after the lockdown was
imposed. Over the course of the
Ministers suggesting that the ?1.1-
lakh crore, in addition to the 0.5% of
cancer that have a higher risk like. If a woman payment of Centre’s proposal could begin
borrowing from the market. To
changed tack and said it was now
willing to borrow the ?1.1-lakh
negotiations, States had urged the
Centre to borrow and pay them,
GSDP borrowing, would give them
?2.16-lakh crore, or almost 90% of
has a first-degree relative with breast cancer or
someone who has a father or a brother with the GST recap — the Centre had argued crore and lend it onward. Calling but the Finance Ministry had the compensation shortfall. Cash
breast cancer, they are at a higher risk of
developing breast cancer.
compensat that just ?1.1-lakh crore of the
estimated ?2.35-lakh crore
this an administratively easier
measure to ensure States do not
repeatedly stressed that this would
push up interest rates and upset its
flow assurances aside, the Centre
must now talk to States to ensure
“In case you had cancer in one breast, the risk of ion due shortfall in GST cess inflows was
due to GST implementation; the
end up borrowing at different fiscal math. Precious time could
interest rates, the Ministry have been saved had the Centre
greater clarity on the unanswered
questions — including when the
you developing new cancer in the other breast rest was due to COVID-19. States asserted this would neither made this offer earlier — seven States will get the balance GST
or another part of the same breast is high,” adds could borrow ?1.1-lakh crore increase the fiscal deficit nor the months into a year that has seen compensation.
the doctor.

Agricultural bills will provide legal framework for contract-farming


This is the essence of the situation where horticulture is saddled with
unviability for the farmer and unaffordability for the
consumer.I asked Ganar, that if someone offered to
reform, not the invest in a mango orchard in his land, pay him what he
loses in not planting rice till the mango trees gave fruit
circumventing of mandis and agreed to buy all the mangoes that grew on his tree
five years later, how much discount would he give his
benefactor? Without batting an eyelid Ganar said that
or the ECA. And it will he’d happily give a 40 per cent discount and still earn
Rs 3 lakh. He would still make 10 times more than he
benefit everyone — makes today. But his investor, an expert in mango
cultivation with better access to markets (and
farmers, industry and doubtless better methods to shoo away monkeys)
would make the full potential of the acre — Rs five
lakh. After paying Ganar and accounting for a return
consumers. on investment the investor would still be left with a
surplus. In a competitive market, the consumer would
Santosh Ganar owns two acres of land in Raigadh in get cheaper mangoes.
coastal Maharashtra — home of the Alphonso mango. This is an example of “contract-farming” — one that
Yet he chooses to plant cheap rice rather than lucrative would benefit the farmer, the investor, and the
mangoes. When I asked him why he replied that he business that you or I would. As a consequence, they the old laws did not result in fruit being available at a consumer. An acre of land yielding Rs 30,000 starts
would love to plant mangoes. Rice gives him just Rs remain stuck in a poverty trap, growing cheap rice low price for consumers. Quite the opposite. yielding Rs 5 lakh. But for all these years why would
30,000 per acre while mangoes would earn 10 times as instead of valuable mangoes. Policymakers the world Fruits are not just expensive compared to other either Ganar or the investor have agreed to a “contract”
much. But he could not afford the initial investment of over have come up with a variety of capital investment carbohydrates in India — A 100 Kcal of energy from that was not legally binding? Ganar could cheat the
an “elevated bund” for the mangoes, nor survive the and risk mitigation instruments — such as micro- fruits costs five times that from rice — but they are also investor and decide to sell the mangoes at full price
five-year waiting period for the trees to yield fruit. credit loans — for the poor to make money while 20 per cent more expensive than even the western five years later. The investor could cheat Ganar and not
He also added, with a hint of schadenfreude, that his protecting them against risk. The tragedy of the Indian world. As a result, Indians eat fewer fruits than most buy the mangoes he finally produces. And in a year of
friends who have orchards complain of wasting almost farmer — who constitute 40 per cent of the country and others. Based on a NIN-ICMR report of 2019, I mango glut, when forced to buy all of Ganar’s
half their mangoes since they are not able to reach the an even higher percentage of its poor — is that India’s estimate that Indians eat only 32 grams of fruit a day mangoes, how could the investor have stored it for the
markets on time. This COVID-filled year was the farm laws have prevented these risk-mitigation versus the recommended amount of 100 grams. And next year, if mangoes were suddenly listed under the
worst, as most mangoes remained unsold. Ganar told instruments from reaching them.Under the laws that this acute deficiency in fruits is much more Essential CommoditiesAct (ECA).
me how he saw pot-bellied monkeys, surrounded by governed India until the third week of September, pronounced among the poor. The three agriculture bills change all this by providing
half-eaten mangoes, snoring in his friend’s orchard. farmers could only sell to the local mandi or This is a particular tragedy because fruits provide the the legal framework for contract-farming. This is the
His friend didn’t find it necessary to shoo them away agricultural market. The risk-mitigation methods that most benefit of all food classes — they give protection essence of the reform, not the circumventing of mandis
with catapults. “contract farming” provide were illegal. The old laws and immunity through vitamins and micronutrients. or the ECA. And it will benefit everyone — farmers,
The biggest problem the poor in India face is risk — enacted to protect farmers like Ganar — ensure that Indians are deficient in Vitamin A, zinc, Vitamin C and industry and consumers. All except the monkeys who
mitigation. Since they do not have savings, they are they never make enough money to leave poverty. iron. The last two make anaemia the number one have grown fat on years of antiquated agricultural
reluctant to undertake even the minimally risky Ganar’s sorrow is also the sorrow of the consumer since public health challenge that India faces. We have a policies.
06 NEW DELHI, TUESDAY 20 OCTOBER 2020 Vol. CXXXXXI 248

Incorporating and directly descended


from THE FRIEND OF INDIA - Founded 1818
Catalyst for Change A MEMBER
OF THE

In agriculture, AI can help us handle the complexity and uncertainty associated with ASIAN VOICES
Turmoil in Pakistan production, making better sense of problems associated with epidemics, price volatility It is now or
T he coming together of political parties of raw materials and optimal usage of resources such as water, energy and fertilisers.
opposed to Prime Minister Imran Khan and It can empower farmers to deploy tailored interventions ranging from predictable crop never

I
by extension to the Army which supports him
planning to precision farming n 2003, when much of the Thim-
was on view at a massive protest rally organised in phu valley we know today were
Karachi on Sunday, the second such event after an paddy fields and our planners had
equally large rally in Gujranwala two days earlier. a grand vision for developing the capi-
The 11-party alliance called the Pakistan Democra- tal city, there was an obstacle. Plan-
tic Movement was formed last month and alleges ners needed landowners to contribute
that the present government was installed in 2018 land to create public amenities. Some
after an election rigged by the Army and the coun- agreed. Others resisted tooth and nail.
try’s intelligence agency. It wants Mr Khan to step Those who agreed, especially farmers,
down immediately. While exiled former Prime Min- were convinced by the greater good a
planned city would bring. Those who
ister Nawaz Sharif, who played a key role in the for-
did not were smarter. They knew the
mation of the alliance, has accused Army chief value of land and loopholes in the
Qamar Javed Bajwa of orchestrating his ouster in planning process. The city corpora-
2017 and rigging the election that saw Mr Khan tion, as it was known then, didn’t have
assume power, his daughter, Maryam Sharif while the legal teeth. Nor did the parent
maintaining that the opposition is not against the ministry, the works and human settle-
military, has refused to accept those “who crush ment ministry. Six Thimphu residents
ballots under their boots.” In response to the first filed a case against the land-pooling
protest rally at Gujranwala, Mr Khan had promised plan. The High Court ruled that the
he would get “tougher” on his opponents. A rattled concept was in violation of the law.
The urban development and mu-
establishment reacted by naming Maryam’s hus- nicipal authorities suffered a blow to
band Captain Mohammad Safdar in a First Infor- their credibility after losing the case.
mation Report alleging sedition and inciting hate It was not a total loss. Planners beca-
against the Army on Friday. He was accused of me wiser. They wanted an Act to im-

T
exhorting followers to topple the provincial and ing share in GDP. In the transport placement and by extension, uncertainty associated with pro- plement the grand Thimphu Structur-
federal governments by force. The next day it he use of automation was sector, as per a Government of unequal growth. The ongoing duction, making better sense of al Plan 2002-2027. Without legislation,
slapped fresh charges against Safdar and Maryam - one of the trends acceler- India report, road accidents led Covid 19 pandemic seems to gen- problems associated with epi- it was difficult to push the rich and the
of violating the sanctity of the mausoleum of the ated by the pandemic. to 17 deaths on roads every hour erally have dispelled a few hard- demics, price volatility of raw powerful to agree to the concept of a
country’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, in The adoption of Artificial in the year 2016, outlining the ened organisational “myths” (for materials and optimal usage of well-planned, beautiful city, the capital
Intelligence (AI) is not limited to urgent need for smarter infra- example, large scale work-from- resources such as water, energy city. Nearly two decades on, we are still
Karachi. The latest reports from Pakistan say that businesses, but economies have structure. home is not possible) and forced and fertilisers. It can empower talking about the same issue. In the
Captain Safdar was arrested early on Monday from also turned their focus on build- Traditionally such problems companies to relook at how they farmers to deploy tailored inter- meantime, the capital city has become
his hotel room. This may well lead to an escalation ing up their AI capabilities as a require building massive hard work and interact with key stake- ventions ranging from pre- the opposite of what many dreamt of.
of the political turmoil for he is reported to have means to augment growth. infrastructure, which needs sig- holders. Companies, and subse- dictable crop planning to preci- The grand master plan for the capital
warned that his followers would besiege the home Developed economies like the nificant capital expenditure. quently employees have been sion farming. In India’s smart city, some concluded, is an example of
of senior Army officers if he was arrested. US, China and EU countries are Therefore, supply perpetually compelled to innovate-on-the-go cities, AI algorithms in collision policy implementation failure. Noth-
The political discourse in the country has already in the race. Now, India lagged demand, and vast ineffi- (for example, quickly shipping avoidance systems can give an ing much could be done. The plan ba-
plummeted in recent weeks and especially after the too is set to join them. In the last ciencies were created. Today large screen monitors and print- approximate 1.5 seconds advan- sed on what is called intelligent urban-
Opposition decided to come together. At Sunday’s couple of years, the Government advanced research is shining a ers to the home of employees ce notice to drivers to avoid 93 ism remained on papers. The works
of India had established a Task light towards a path to address before lockdowns closed the per cent of road accidents. and human settlement ministry draft-
rally, Maryam taunted Mr Khan that kids should Force on Artificial Intelligence such challenges through AI and markets). Perhaps, it would not AI, therefore, provides a ed a Bill in 2015, the Spatial Planning
keep away from the fight between elders, suggest- and mandated the NITI Aayog to computing to enable effective be an exaggeration to say that strategic instrument in the hand Bill. It was to guide urban develop-
ing that the real battle was between her father and prepare a National strategy on AI interventions that even the best draft- of government to address monu- ment and prevent a planning disaster.
the Army establishment. Another Opposition with a view to leverage it for can grossly reduce ed Business Conti- mental challenges of unprece- It never made it to Parliament to
leader, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, told General Bajwa inclusive growth. However, AI capital expenditure. nuity Plans (BCPs) dented scale, and an opportunity
to stay away from “foolish friends”, suggesting that adoption remained at a nascent Amidst the for most companies for global leadership by creating
the Army had backed the wrong horse in its choice stage in India. India’s first Artifi- accelerated adop- were stretched to foundational technologies and
of Prime Minister. Just two years old, the govern- cial Intelligence summit, Respon- tion of AI-based the limit and yet digital infrastructure. India has become an Act providing planners
ment has faced increasing criticism for double digit sible AI for Social Empowerment technologies, India struggled to cope been a pioneer in bringing power with a basis to implement and stick by
(RAISE) 2020 has turned the pos- seems to stand at with the rapid and of technology at a population the grand plan envisioned. Without an
inflation and negative growth, and for increasing
sibility of AI adoption into an the precipice of the unpredictable evo- scale of 1.3 billion citizens with Act, planning it is said, is sabotaged by
intolerance towards critics and the Press. The gov- imminent reality. fourth industrial lution of the pan- deployment of Aadhaar based the landowners. The landowners don’t
ernment has also been accused of mismanaging Over the last couple of years, revolution. The demic. services, highest mobile penetra- want to part with their land. The land
the coronavirus epidemic, for while the case load is Artificial Intelligence (AI) has competitive advan- From the evi- tion, UPI and largest medical is a valuable asset in the land-scarce
nowhere near India’s, the government has been changed from a technology with tage of low-cost dence available coverage programme in Ayush- capital city and those who know the
ANUPRIYO
accused of both under-reporting numbers and potential to an instrument of labour may fade MALLICK thus far, it seems man Bharat. Now, with the power loopholes resist urban planning,
inadequate testing. While the next elections are national importance across the away in the near apparent that the of AI, it can help the world rei- notwithstanding the general benefit.
only due in 2023, it is clear the Opposition is not world. The first demonstration of future as econo- The writer is with Eastern world will have to magine implementation and Today, some of the harshest critics of
Institute for Integrated
prepared to wait that long, nettled as it is by allega- applications of AI happened in mies begin to reap Learning in Management learn to adapt swi- delivery of public services in the the ill-planned city are those who out-
tions of corruption against leaders of its two most the consumer space, and signifi- the benefits of AI in (EIILM)Kolkata. The views ftly and significant- 21st century.With the underlying rightly resisted the plan knowing there
are personal
cant economic value has been the form of increas- ly to a “new norm- values of social empowerment are loopholes. Without an Act, the
prominent leaders, Mr Sharif and former President
created, mainly through targeted ed productivity and al” of work to deal and inclusion, and building upon thromde or the ministry couldn’t do
Asif Ali Zardari. In the ultimate analysis, though, advertising by internet giants in cost advantages, and become with the current (and potential the data empowerment mind-set anything. The farmers believed in the
Mr Khan’s fate will rest in the hands of the powerful the US and China. According to a more profitable than labour. future) phases of Covid-19. Auto- (Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas), Zhung (planners). Ironically, we need-
Army. report by PwC, AI could con- Hence, it would be a timely move mation and Artificial Intelligence India is now embarking on a bold ed an audit observation to point out
tribute a whopping $15.7 trillion for India to build its AI capabili- (AI) can play a very important and ambitious journey to bring the flaws. Still, a legal backing for plan-
Performance rewarded to global GDP by 2030. However,
for India, AI is much more than
ties, lest the global digital divide role in defining this “new nor-
widens even more and we are left mal” of work in the Covid-19
the power of AI to billions of citi-
zens of this planet and meaning-
ners is not ensured. The Spatial Plan-
ning Bill should have been an urgent

A s politicians around the world fight against


falling popularity ratings in the wake of rav-
ages wrought by the coronavirus epidemic,
the return to power of New Zealand’s Jacinda
just a piece of this pie.
For India, the real power of
AI lies in its transformative pot-
ential to address massive societal
challenges that were traditionally
behind. (and post-Covid-19) world. More
A report titled “Rewire for specifically, automation and AI
Growth” by Accenture estimates can help companies infuse three
that AI has the potential to add key attributes of agility/flexibility,
$957 billion to India’s economy responsiveness, and frugality,
fully improve people’s lives. All
this, while upholding the foun-
dational principles of individual
privacy, security and user con-
sent. The first step in this direc-
Bill if our decision-makers were wiser.
It was drafted in 2015. Even today, it is
not sure if it has caught the attention
of the policymakers. Such a Bill has
become a priority. We see no reasons
Ardern with a record-breaking majority suggests
considered to be beyond the in 2035. As the post-Covid econo- enabling companies to better tion was taken when, as part of to stop planners from having legal
that voters are prepared to reward good perfor- purview of computing. For exam- my begins to rebuild itself, AI will adapt to the fast changing situa- the Union Budget 2020, the backing in implementing their deci-
mance. The irony is that Mrs Ardern was trailing in ple, India stands to lose $4.58 tril- present an opportunity to tions in the times of Covid-19. finance minister set aside $1.14 sions. Thimphu, it is said, has been
opinion polls last February until she used her lion before 2030 due to non-com- leapfrog by opening up newer Non-communicable dis- billion to invest in artificial intel- damaged beyond repair. We have sev-
robust handling of the epidemic to force a change municable diseases and mental sources of value and growth, eases like depression can be ligence (AI), quantum comput- eral other towns. They should not
in her fortunes. While her Labour Party’s 49.1 per health conditions. Cardiovascu- beyond the physical limitations treated by achieving a better ing, machine learning (ML), and repeat the Thimphu mistake. We see
cent vote share is its best performance since 1946, it lar diseases (accounting for $2.17 of capital and labour. However, understanding of the brain and data analytics. It is important to no reason why such a good idea
also means Mrs Ardern will have few excuses to trillion) and mental health con- AI elicits excitement and appre- mind using AI and computing. mention that AI is not a silver should be stopped. An elected govern-
offer should her government fail to meet ambitious ditions (accounting for $1.03 tril- hension in equal measures. As With the rise of wearables, AI can bullet. Tackling these challenges ment need not worry about not mak-
social and economic goals, which include afford- lion), will lead the way in eco- much as AI and machine learn- allow individuals much greater requires a concerted, collabora- ing a populist decision for enacting an
nomic loss. In rural India, ap- ing (ML) hold immense possibili- control over their health and tive effort across all sectors of urban planning Act. For instance, in
able housing, an increase in minimum wage and proximately 70 per cent of house- ties for the future of the econo- empower them to make better society - academia, the engineer- the capital city, only 2,557 people
creation of jobs in environmentally-friendly pro- holds still depend primarily on my, there are a number of issues decisions about their well-being. ing community, government offi- voted for the Thrompon whose deci-
jects. Already, the severe lockdowns that New agriculture for their livelihood, and apprehensions surrounding In agriculture, AI can help us cials, policy-makers and other sion affects more than 100,000 people
Zealand announced as part of Mrs Ardern’s “go with agriculture having a shrink- it, and one of them is job dis- handle the complexity and stakeholders. in the capital city.
hard, go early” approach have resulted in plum-
meting revenues from tourism, an important com-
ponent of the country’s economy that once used LETTERS TO THE EDITOR editor@thestatesman.com
to contribute about 10 per cent of GDP. Unemploy-
ment, currently at four per cent, is expected to dou-
ble by next year. Mrs Ardern had assigned a whop-
ping NZ$62 billion to bail out the economy and this
Court’s credibility at stake protected forest area in
India, spanning Tamil Nadu,
Karnataka and Kerala. In the
ment. However the court
has rejected such claims
and has made its stand
of conserving an endan-
gered species and ‘man
must make way for the ele-
money was mainly in the form of wage subsidies. SIR, This refers to the editor- process, the apex court affi- clear: this is not a matter of phant’.
With public debt having risen hugely as a result of ial ‘Storm in court’, ( The rmed the order of closing all development, sustainable Yours, etc., Khokan Das,
this bailout package and with no plans for tax Statesman, October 17). The resorts etc. that are operat- or otherwise.This is matter Kolkata, October 17.
reforms, her government’s options have shrunk sig- judiciary has hit the head- ing in the area.
nificantly. Efforts to bring tourists back will have to lines for the wrong reasons The fight against hum-
be tempered by fears of a recurrence of the virus, once again. In an unprece- an encroachment in pro- WELCOME INITIATIVE
now almost entirely under control in the country. dented move, Andhra tected ecosystems and in
Thus, even in victory, Mrs Ardern will have her Pradesh chief minister YS this case elephant corridors SIR, In a society where professional career counselling
Jagan Mohan Reddy has isn’t a new one or even limit- is a luxury and students remain befuddled with multi-
hands full. Yet, New Zealanders can take pride in a written to Chief Justice of ed to the Nilgiris. In In- tude of career options, the strengthening teaching-
Prime Minister who has been hailed around the India SA Bobde, levelling dia,100 plus such corridors learning and results for States (STARS) project has come
world for her decisiveness and for the empathy she serious allegations against have been estimated of with a new ray of light.
has displayed in dealing with challenging situa- NV Ramana, the senior most which 70 odd are used by The Ministry of Education recently took to Twitter
tions. Even as her peers around the world have Supreme Court judge and elephants every day. For to announce the STARS project envisaged under the
pushed increasingly divisive agendas, she has dis- some judges of the state years, urbanisation encroa- national education policy (NEP) which aims to "revo-
played an inclusive approach to governance as in high court. ched into these corridors. lutionise the educational kaleidoscope" by emphasising
the wake of the horrific mosque attacks last year He has talked of court restrained the media tempt proceedings from the Mushrooming of hotels and on local school governance, entrepreneurship, appren-
that saw a white supremacist gun down 51 Mus- attempts to “destabilise” his from reporting about allega- Supreme Court. What is at resorts in the corridors had ticeship, internships and most importantly introducing
government alleging that tions of corruption in Amar- stake is the very credibility severally restricted the a proper "career counseling programme".
lims. But for her handling of the aftermath, New Justice Ramana is close to avati. But the issues involved of the judiciary as an insti- movement of animals and CBSE and ICSE had made it compulsory for their
Zealand could easily have been rocked by turmoil. TDP leader Chandrababu are far more serious than the tution. caused an increase in inci- schools to appoint a full-time professional counsellor,
The Kiwis can also take credit for having voted in Naidu. Reddy wrote to the corruption charges. Justice Yours, etc., N Sadhasiva dents of human-elephant however students from various state boards remained
the most diverse Parliament the country has ever CJI that “Justice Ramana has Ramana is likely to be the Reddy, conflicts. deprived of any professional career guidance.
had. More than half the MPs elected on Labour tick- been influencing the sittings next CJI in April 2021, after Bengaluru, 17 October. As regards tte demoliti- Students after 10th and 12th class exams are con-
ets are women, as many as 16 members of the 120- of the high court, including Justice Bobde demits office. on of the commercial estab- fused by varying opinions of their parents, teachers and
seat House hail from the indigenous Maori com- the roster of a few hon’ble Mr Reddy’s letter raises seri- WELCOME REPRIEVE lishments including 39 hotel the so-called counselling portals and apps and are
munity, and the country for the first time has an judges and instances of a ous questions which can’t be SIR, Upholding a 2011 order and resorts, the defendants unaware of the admission notifications of colleges of
MP of African origin. Adding to its diversity is the few matters important to simply termed as an attempt of the Madras High Court on argue that they are part of an their interest, weightage of their extra-curricular cer-
Telugu Desam have been to scandalise the judiciary. the Nilgiris elephant corri- eco-tourism effort and as tificates, proper approach for the career of their choice
fact that 10 per cent of the House is made up of
allotted to a few judges”. He is neither an activist like dor, the Supreme Court in a such cause no major harm and viable alternatives. Career counseling will help
members of the LGBTQ+ community. These are sig- Chandrababu Naidu advocate Prashant Bhushan welcome verdict last Wed- to the animals. Additionality, these students make a judicious career choice. STARS
nificant achievements, and Mrs Ardern can expect and his close associates are nor disgruntled judge like C nesday affirmed the right of many have claimed that will greatly benefit all sections of students.
the support of right-thinking people around the facing charges in connection S Kannan who levelled passage in favour of the ani- these resorts provide valu- Yours, etc., Aryaputra Parthasarathi Das,
world as she sets about governing her country with with land deals. Last month mindless allegations against mals in the Nilgiri biosphere able employment in the re- Bhubaneswar, 17 October.
compassion and a humane approach. the Andha Pradesh high several judges, inviting con- reserve which is the largest gion and promote develop-
NEW DELHI, TUESDAY 20 OCTOBER 2020 07
A battle won, a war lost?
100 YEARS AGO

OCCASIONAL NOTE
The European Association is frequently
HARSHA KAKAR adventures. charged with doing nothing. Another
The Indian deployment on the charge brought against the Association

C
hina waded into Ladakh hop- Kailash Ridge has placed both nations is that it does nothing to find out the
ing to regain its claim lines, on a level platform in the ongoing views of individual members on mat-
involve India in endless rounds talks. India is no longer discussing ters of public importance in which they
of negotiations and project resolution from a position of weak- may be interested. The charges are jus-
its power across the globe. It sought to ness. Its current deployment enables tified, but this is really due to the atti-
warn India that the PLA is powerful it to reject Chinese demands which tude of Europeans in the past towards
enough to inflict punitive damages in do not suit its own stance. It is China political problems generally. The ordi-
case India seeks to assert itself and refus- which has suggested that military and nary European has had no vote, he has
es to accept Chinese supremacy. India’s diplomatic talks continue to seek a had no means of giving expression to
rejection of the Chinese-proposed Belt resolution. his political opinions, and it has there-
Road Initiative (BRI) and the Region- Chinese has three reasons to fore been assumed that he has none. In
al Comprehensive Economic Partner- continue talks. Firstly, it has no other fact it seems to have been considered
ship was an affront to its status. option left. It cannot attempt to attack bad form to have any. He has been con-
It was also irked by Indian politi- Indian positions, where soldiers are tent in the past to allow his interests to
cal comments on regaining Aksai well entrenched and prepared for be safeguarded by the Indian Civil Ser-
Chin and Gilgit Baltistan, which escalation. Indian warnings on break- vice, and by the President and Vice-
remain its weakest links in the ing the protocol on firing in case President of the Chamber of Commerce.
Himalayas. The creation of Ladakh China crosses Indian red lines has Times have now changed: the non-offi-
into a UT directly under the Centre been registered by China. Secondly, it cial European must now come forward
enables enhancement of military is now seeking a face-saving solution, and take his share in the responsibility
deployment in the region. No nation which cannot include moving back. for the future political progress of the
that invests 60 plus billion dollars in To avoid losing face, it must have country and in the welfare of its inhabi-
developing a trade route (CPEC) some gains to display. Thirdly, China tants. The Calcutta Branch of the Asso-
would seek to place its very source at cannot risk another Galwan or occu- ciation has taken up the matter and is
risk of intervention by hostile forces. pation of positions akin to the Kailash endeavouring to arouse an interest
China is aware that India is not a Ridge and heights on Fingers. amongst the Europeans in Calcutta. The
current threat but could become one The ongoing military talks, at lev- policy that has been put forward is one
as its military power develops. els where there can be no decision, of co-operation. It is hoped that non-
Enhancement of infrastructure in have a reason. In every set of talks, official Europeans who are interested in
Ladakh was a worry as it opened its both nations are placing their view- the future of the country will attend the
strategic highways to Indian interdic- points on resolving the standoff, new meeting and give the Calcutta Commit-
tion. Hence, it sought to grab territory confidence-building measures and tee their support.
that threaten its vulnerabilities before iStock protocols to avoid clashes. These are
Indian military power grew. China had not envisaged the but to no avail. The global support more damage than benefit. The few subsequently discussed by decision- NEWS ITEMS
It was also irked by growing Indo- speed with which India countered the India received has resulted in China fingers into which it has advanced making bodies in national capitals
US relations and the QUAD, which
could pose a challenge to its sea lines
aggression and deployed forces to
block the advance. It had never
being diplomatically sidelined.
Within India, possibly for the first
north of Pangong Tso have been ren-
dered worthless with Indian forces
and decisions conveyed. While cur-
rently all suggestions are being reject- RENT
of communication in the Indo-Pacific.
The closer India moved to the US, the
expected Indian troops to display lev-
els of violence which occurred at Gal-
time in decades, the support to Tai-
wan on its national day was resound-
deployed on heights overlooking
them. It only holds some ground in
ed, however, they are leading to a nar-
rowing down of differences. As these RESTRICTION
greater would be its role in the region, wan. Nor did it anticipate Indian quid ing. In addition, there is the growing Depsang, which remains way behind reduce, they open doors to enhanc- An interesting case, revealing a signifi-
which could be a major challenge to pro quo actions by occupying heights hatred for procuring anything even its own claim lines. Domestically, ing levels of dialogue to announce an cant defect in the Bombay Rent Restric-
China. If it subdues India it could on the Kailash Ridge, which placed remotely linked to China forcing China has projected this small gain as agreement. tion Act, has been decided in the Court
place its terms and conditions on their camps and deployment under China to change labels stating, ‘made a victory, though aware that it remains Enhanced distrust is the primary of Small Causes. In this case the plain-
Indo-US ties. Indian observation and possible in China’ to ‘made in PRC.’ While the on a weak wicket. concern on both sides. There is always tiff, a tenant, sought to recover from the
Chinese operations in Ladakh interdiction in case China escalated government, possibly for diplomatic China has been forced to main- a perception that territory vacated by defendant, the landlord, excess paid by
were planned months in advance and the situation. reasons, continues with its One-China tain its forces through the winters in one would be grabbed by the other, him over the standard rent. The plain-
had concurrence of its top leadership. Indian political and economic policy, there is a growing voice within Ladakh, again a first. This confirms creating new regions of conflict. tiff’s case was that he had paid at the
Its soldiers came prepared for vio- countermeasures were also not part India to discard this. At some stage, that its plans have gone awry. With Resolving this will be a priority. rate of Rs 800 per month for a godown,
lence, within the agreements but of their plans. While economic decou- the government will be compelled to winters yet to set in, the Chinese are China waded in hoping to win while the standard rent for it should be
armed with handheld weapons, pling and banning of Chinese apps by bend. Such anti-China sentiment has experiencing medical casualties with the battle of Ladakh, but in the bar- Rs 522-0-0. The defendant-landlord
which were first displayed at the clash India may not have a major impact, never been experienced in India. reports from the ground stating daily gain was stalled, forced to remain in admitted the standard rent, but con-
at Galwan. It occupied areas north of however, with other nations following China has been stalled in its evacuations. As winters become Ladakh, lost the Indian market and in tended that the defendant, having sub-
Pangong Tso and in Depsang. It had suit, China has begun feeling the tracks. It can neither move forward severe these cases will increase, com- the overall context lost the war. let the premises to another firm on Rs
planned to occupy its claim lines pinch. They have regularly sought to nor retreat, without escalating levels pelling the PLA to rotate troops. China The writer is a retired Major-General of the
1,000 per month was not entitled to
without firing a bullet. push India to reverse its measures, of conflict, which in turn could cause has begun paying the price for its mis- Indian Army. claim any excess. The judge, in giving
his decision, granted the refund of
excess rent paid, and remarked that

Over-reacting to GDP numbers?


there was nothing in the present Bom-
Bangladesh’s success in social indica- bay Rent Restriction Act which would
tors is also well known to the world. enable him to refuse the relief claimed
The country has been an impressive by the plaintiff.
FAHMIDA KHATUN only projections and they keep performer in achieving several Mil-
changing as economic performance lennium Development Goals (MDGs). RETURNING
T
he latest report on World Eco- changes. Sometimes they change rad- In continuation to the MDG achieve-
nomic Outlook by the Inter-
national Monetary Fund (IMF)
ically due to circumstances beyond
our control. Who could predict that
ments, Bangladesh is committed to
implementing the Sustainable Devel-
“MUHAJARIN”
published in October 2020 has the world economy would struggle to opment Goals (SDGs). By achieving Parties of Muhajarin are still making
created a lot of noise both in Bangladesh survive in 2020? Who could foresee higher per capita gross national their way to Peshawar, despite the
and India. To recap, the IMF has pro- the deadly coronavirus pandemic income and meeting the human publication of the Amir’s firman dis-
jected that in 2020 per capita GDP of coming? Haven’t all projections made assets index and the economic vul- couraging Hijrat. At this moment, the
Bangladesh will be $1,887.97 at current last year been revised? nerability index of the United Nations, movement, though existing in same
prices. India will have a per capita Fourth, feeling competitive with Bangladesh has also fulfilled all three tahsils of Peshawar district, is on the
GDP of $1,877 in 2020. These changes neighbours is politically unhealthy. criteria to graduate from an LDC to a whole less marked, but there are signs
in the respective economies will be due India is the largest democracy in the developing country by 2024. Also, in of its spreading to outlying centres,
to a 3.8 per cent increase in Bangladesh’s world. It is a much larger economy 2018 Bangladesh achieved the status such as Jhelum and Rawalpindi. Small
GDP and 10.3 per cent decline in India’s than Bangladesh. Still, having eco- of a lower middle-income country numbers of Muhajarin are beginning
GDP in 2020. nomically stronger neighbours is graduating from a low-income coun- to return, with graphic stories of hard-
The IMF outlook also indicates good for India. Higher purchasing try, according to World Bank’s classifi- ship endured after passing Landiko-
that in 2021 India will see a rise of its power of Bangladeshi people will cre- cation criteria. tal, up to which point they state they
per capita GDP by 8.8 per cent while ate higher demand for Indian goods However, Bangladesh should not were well looked after. A strong barrier
iStock
Bangladesh will see a rise of 8.0 per and services. This will in turn increase be complacent about the projections has been erected, so they say, across
cent. As a result, in 2021 India’s per ing their views on the IMF’s projec- without global effort it is not possi- India’s export income from of per capita GDP. Despite high the Khyber Pass, owing doubtless to
capita GDP will reach $2,030 and tions. While interpreting the num- ble to root out religious extremism. Bangladesh. Medical tourism to India growth, various weaknesses within t h e h i g h s t a t e o f e xc i t e m e n t i n
Bangladesh’s $1,990. IMF’s projection bers, they stretched their words to For both countries, there is no by Bangladeshi patients is increasing the economy are obvious. Low rev- Pe s h a w a r. T h e a i r i s t h i c k w i t h
till 2025 indicates that in 2024 India undermine Bangladesh’s achieve- reason to overreact to these projec- every year. Many Bangladeshi stu- enue generation and investment are r u m o u r s t h a t t h e A m i r’s e a r l y
will surpass Bangladesh and in 2025 ment. They referred to non-compli- tions on per capita GDP for several dents are also pursuing education in major challenges. The IMF report also favourable reception of the Muhajarin
Bangladesh will be ahead of India in ance in the readymade garments reasons. First, using GDP as an indi- India. As a big neighbour India’s mentions that Bangladesh’s revenue- has now changed into an attitude of
terms of per capita GDP. (RMG) industry, violent political con- cation of achievement has been criti- responsibility also lies in working GDP ratio will be only 8.17 which is severity and sternness.
Reactions to these estimates frontation, corruption and Islamic cised by economists for long. The very towards removing tariff and non-tariff the lowest among South Asian coun-
have been divergent in both the
countries. In Bangladesh, the govern-
radicalism.
But not all of it is correct. Also,
method of calculating GDP is flawed,
and it fails to show the real health of
trade barriers for Bangladeshi prod-
ucts. Water sharing is a long-standing
tries. Due to low revenue generation
the government has limited expendi-
A WARNING
ment is understandably happy and these are not unique to Bangladesh. the economy. To avoid repetition, I agenda to be resolved between the ture capacity. Total government In view of the forthcoming elections it
proud of this accomplishment. Some Many countries around the am not discussing those here. Second, two neighbouring countries. expenditure is also lowest in South was thought desirable to draw the
analysists have credited the govern- world which have much higher comparing nominal GDP of one For Bangladesh, higher per capita Asia and stands at only 14.97 per cent attention of all grades of Government
ment for its efforts while many others incomes than Bangladesh are facing country with another is not correct. GDP than India is a noteworthy of GDP. Investment-GDP ratio is 27.73 servants in the province to rule 23(a) of
have suggested it should do better by various types of limitations. Political One dollar does not have the same achievement indeed. India is a devel- per cent, much lower than Nepal and the Government Servants Conduct
addressing existing challenges. violence and corruption are typical value across countries. For example, oping country while Bangladesh is Bhutan and close to India (27.77 per Rules, which runs as follows:- A Gov-
In India, many media outlets to all least developed and developing one dollar in Bangladesh will not buy still a least developed country (LDC). cent). As a result, the economy is con- ernment servant may not, by canvass-
have lauded Bangladesh’s achieve- countries including the South Asian the same amount of goods and ser- Bangladesh has been experiencing strained when it comes to creating ing or otherwise interfere or use his
ment and suggested that Indian poli- countries. During the last several vices in another country. The cost of steady and high growth over the last adequate employment. High growth influence in any way in an election to a
cymakers reflect on what went wrong years, Bangladesh’s RMG entrepre- living varies from country to country. decade. At the same time, Bangladesh has not been able to reduce inequali- Legislative Council except that he may
in India and what worked for neurs have been working hard to That is why GDP based on purchasing has been successful in reducing pop- ty. Strong measures are needed to record a vote if he is qualified to do so.
Bangladesh. Indian opposition polit- improve compliance and have been power parity (PPP) is used while mak- ulation growth since its independence improve governance and establish In that case he should as far as possible
ical party saw it as the failure of the successful in earning buyers’ confi- ing GDP comparisons among coun- through active interventions. This has rule of law. Institutional reform to avoid giving any indication beforehand
current Modi government. Many dence by doing so. The current gov- tries, instead of nominal GDP. Hence helped increase its per capita income. improve transparency and efficiency of the direction in which he intends to
have blamed the weak management ernment of Bangladesh has been in terms of PPP based GDP India is Even during the pandemic is still an unfinished agenda. vote. A case has recently been brought
of Covid-19 which had a negative strongly controlling Islamic radical- still ahead of Bangladesh. India’s GDP Bangladesh has been able to maintain to notice in which a circular has been
impact on the Indian economy. ism in the country after a few inci- at PPP is $6,284 and Bangladesh’s growth. This has been possible due to The writer is the Executive Director at the sent round to Patwaris, asking them to
Centre for Policy Dialogue. The views are
Yet another group of Indian dents. One should not forget that this $5,139. bumper agricultural harvest, good personal. let the sender know whether they are
media was rather unkind in express- is a global problem and therefore, Third, these GDP numbers are exports and high remittances. The Daily Star/ANN. in favour of a certain prospective
candidate.
CROSSWORD NO 28109
SANTAL MISSION
The Santal Mission Council propose to
ACROSS joint (9) 6 English charitable foundation
erect a gravestone to mark the place
YESTERDAY'S SOLUTION 25 Produce bake with light crust and endlessly preserves old
1 Cameron, perhaps fated to spill
a very soggy bottom! (4,3) Europeans (9) where the late Dr. Andrew Campbell is
daughter's secret (11)
7 Dinghy for one dropping off old
26 Optical illusion on a butterfly's 7/18 Cliff Richard's last after Sandie buried at Pokhuria, and, if funds are
wing? (7) Shaw on the radio ... yeah, weird available, to provide also a memorial
fly-by-night? (3)
27 Tarnish articulate BBC politics (6,4)
9 ITV say Detective Charlie
presenter (3) 8 Warning nurse about hospital (6) tablet in the local church. It is proposed
McCluskey's retiring (7)
28 Secret coup I organised, being 14 Fiancée regularly skipped that the gravestone should consist of a
10 Pirate singing bawdy sea shanty (7)
11 Naval officer to requisition one
fixated on sovereignty (11) introduction to fairy tale – slab of grey granite with a simple
beyond words! (9) inscription recording the name, age,
leaving base? (9) DOWN 15 They traffic sheepskin boots in all
12 School with American vowel
1 About to probe Chanel, the sizes all over Queens (9) and date of death, with possibly an
sound? (5)
French globally-recognised brand 16 Court impounding cheapo plastic appropriate text of Scripture. The
13 Neil got ugly freckle (7)
15 Rump steak's prime cut to
(4-4) vase from France (8) memorial tablet in the church would
2 Marginal difference causing 17 Tyrannical Democrat in charge contain a short statement regarding his
swallow (4)
concern (8) detaining, torturing poets (8)
18 See 7 Down
3 Summer party Ms Summers set 20/21 UK releases my work – I'm not missionary career. The council believe
19 Eclipse London-bound coach (7)
up (5) welcome here (6,6) that many of Dr. Campbell’s friends in
22 Will the writer – asks Connery –
store books here? (5)
4 24ct, very aged cover, good lining 23 Chap stowing away boy-king? (5) India, Scotland and elsewhere will be
(5,4) 24 Bottomless sea motif (5) glad to contribute towards the cost of
23 One anchored at sea sparks up
5 Suffer a bit of pain currently (5)
these memorials. It is estimated that a
granite gravestone would cost over Rs
NOTE: Figures in parentheses denote the number of letters in the words required. (By arrangement with The Independent, London) 600, and the same amount would have
to be allowed for the tablet.