IN­SIDE THE BULL RING

IN­DIA’S TOP MINDS GATH­ERED AT THE 2019 IN­DIA TO­DAY CON­CLAVE, MUM­BAI, TO DIS­CUSS THE BURN­ING IS­SUES OF THE DAY

India Today - - REPO RATES - By Kaushik Deka Pho­tographs by BAN­DEEP SINGH

ow can In­dia beat the eco­nomic slow­down? How se­ri­ous is the coun­try’s jobs cri­sis? What is the fu­ture of Kash­mir without Ar­ti­cle 370? How pre­pared are In­dia’s armed forces? Is In­dian democ­racy in dis­tress? Who will win the assem­bly elec­tion in Ma­ha­rash­tra? Why is the coun­try star­ing at a mas­sive wa­ter cri­sis? Whose right is more im­por­tant—im­mi­grants’ or cit­i­zens’? How does one achieve per­fect mindbody bal­ance? How do we deal with teenage de­pres­sion? Is sex with a robot the fu­ture? How do you be­come a so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer? Who and how is the new hero in In­dian cinema?

These and many other weighty is­sues came up for charged dis­cus­sion at the two-day 2019 In­dia To­day Con­clave in Mum­bai, with 55 in­flu­en­tial and in­sight­ful lead­ers in the mix. The spot­light was cer­tainly on the In­dian econ­omy, val­i­dated by the fact that within the first hour of the con­clave news came of the big­gest eco­nomic booster yet from the cen­tral gov­ern­ment—re­duc­tion of cor­po­rate tax rates. Union min­is­ters Piyush Goyal and Nitin Gad­kari, RBI gov­er­nor Shak­tikanta Das and NITI Aayog vice-chair­man Ra­jiv Ku­mar af­fected op­ti­mism, say­ing this could be the be­gin­ning of an up­turn, while econ­o­mists and in­dus­try stal­warts of­fered their own as­sess­ments of the econ­omy. The other big de­bate was Ar­ti­cle 370 as Union MoS for home Ji­ten­dra Singh and Iltija Mufti, daugh­ter of in­car­cer­ated PDP leader Me­hbooba Mufti, ex­plained the two sides of the Kash­mir story.

“All forces to­day are con­spir­ing for faster eco­nomic growth... when you’re deter­mined, even the uni­verse is out to help you suc­ceed” PIYUSH GOYAL Union Min­is­ter for Com­merce

“The gov­ern­ment is the sov­er­eign, you can’t stop talk­ing to it .... But in de­ci­sion­mak­ing, the RBI is more than 100% au­ton­o­mous” SHAK­TIKANTA DAS, Gov­er­nor, RBI

“We ac­cept that there are prob­lems in the econ­omy, but it should be seen as part of the global slow­down, de­mand-sup­ply mis­match and is­sues re­lated to busi­ness cy­cles” NITIN GAD­KARI Union min­is­ter for Road Trans­port and High­ways

“Buoy­ancy in growth will be achieved through tax and dis­in­vest­ment rev­enues. Tax col­lec­tion is on the up, while Rs 52,000 crore can be raised from dis­in­vest­ment of 24 PSUs” RA­JIV KU­MAR Vice-chair­man, NITI Aayog

“Un­less you have clear, hon­est in­for­ma­tion flow­ing to the democ­racy, it can­not be a true democ­racy…there are warn­ing signs that In­dian democ­racy can get washed away. The way Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi con­ducts pol­i­tics opens In­dia up to that pos­si­bil­ity” BRIAN KLAAS, au­thor of How to Rig an Elec­tion; The Despot’s Ac­com­plice and The Despot’s Ap­pren­tice “The BJP won the elec­tion with just 37 per cent votes. The ma­jor­ity of In­dia re­jected Hin­dutva” SHASHI THA­ROOR MP, Congress

“The 2019 elec­tion was not a ref­er­en­dum on Hin­dutva... po­lit­i­cal will de­fines Modi’s In­dia ” SWAPAN DAS­GUPTA Ra­jya Sabha MP, BJP

“Pak­istan was al­ways mis­cal­cu­lat­ing...their im­pres­sion was that our lead­er­ship will not per­mit a strike” B.S. DHANOA, Air Chief Mar­shal, on the cross-bor­der Balakot air strike af­ter the Pul­wama terror at­tack

“In pol­i­tics, you should not run af­ter your own dreams. If you ful­fil oth­ers’ dreams, peo­ple will ac­cept you” AA­DITYA THACK­ERAY Pres­i­dent, Yuva Sena

“High achiev­ers can also be highly de­pressed in­di­vid­u­als and the two can co­ex­ist…just be­cause you are men­tally un­well, doesn’t make you less suc­cess­ful at the work­place” NEERJA BIRLA Founder & chair­per­son, MPower

“IF MY LEAD­ERS TELL ME TO GO TO DELHI THEN I WILL GO... WE DON’T HAVE ANY CHOICE, WE ARE PARTY WORK­ERS” DEVEN­DRA FAD­NAVIS Chief Min­is­ter, Ma­ha­rash­tra

“If it (ab­ro­ga­tion of Ar­ti­cle 370) has been done for the wel­fare of the Kash­miris, why were they not con­sulted?” ILTIJA MUFTI Daugh­ter of Me­hbooba Mufti

“Par­lia­ment rep­re­sents the 1,300 mil­lion peo­ple of In­dia. Both its houses passed the res­o­lu­tion (on Ar­ti­cle 370)” JI­TEN­DRA SINGH Min­is­ter of State, PMO

“The mind­set has pro­foundly changed over the past 5-7 years. Ex­treme risk­tak­ing, the abil­ity to ac­cept fail­ure and move on, In­dia is up for it” RISHAD PREMJI Chair­man, WIPRO

“Naren­dra Modi is pretty saatvik (pure) be­cause he does sad­hana. He has a bal­anced life in pol­i­tics and health” YOGI CAMERON Yoga and ayurveda prac­ti­tioner

“WE ARE NOT ISO­LAT­ING PEO­PLE. THERE ARE SOME WHO MAY BE LIV­ING WITH MANY PEO­PLE, BUT THEY MAY STILL FEEL ISO­LATED. RO­BOTS MAKE PEO­PLE LESS SHY, MORE SO­CIA­BLE. BY SPEAK­ING WITH RO­BOTS, YOU CAN AC­TU­ALLY GAIN MORE CON­FI­DENCE” ALLYSSON SILVA Lawyer, co-founder of Nex­tOs, AI & Tech-in­ti­ma­cies ex­pert

“The in­ci­dent in Go­rakh­pur, where chil­dren died from en­cephali­tis, was pre­ventable with bet­ter sur­veil­lance .... We need to look for sam­ples even af­ter the agent is gone, to help us track the virus bet­ter” DR W. IAN LIPKIN Virol­o­gist

“The brain can be mapped us­ing brain­imag­ing tech­nol­ogy, and one can de­tect early signs of dis­eases such as Alzheimer’s— decades be­fore they hap­pen” DR MU­RALI DORAISWAMY Physi­cian and fu­tur­ist, Duke Univer­sity School of Medicine

VIKRAM SHARMA

THERMOSTAT READ­INGS: IN­DIA’S IN­DUS­TRIAL CLI­MATE

OPEN WIN­DOW (From left) Nilesh Shah, MD, Ko­tak Mahin­dra Mu­tual Fund; Ra­jnish Ku­mar, Chair­man, SBI; In­dia To­day TV’s Rahul Kan­wal; Piyush Goyal, Com­merce Min­is­ter; Sa­jjid Chi­noy, Econ­o­mist, JP Mor­gan; Neelka­nth Mishra, MD, Credit Suisse; Prakash Hin­duja, Chair­man Europe, Hin­duja Group

RACHIT GOSWAMI

JUMP­START­ING THE IN­DIAN ECON­OMY

Pho­tographs by MANDAR DEODHAR

PARTY WISE (From left) Shiv Sena MP San­jay Raut, ex-Ma­ha­rash­tra CM Prithvi­raj Cha­van and Dalit leader Prakash Ambed­kar

IN­DIA’S MEGA-WA­TER CRI­SIS WA­TER WAR (Left) P. Sainath, founder-ed­i­tor of Peo­ple’s Archive of Ru­ral In­dia; Parameswar­an Iyer, sec­re­tary, depart­ment of drink­ing wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion, Jal Shakti min­istry

ROBOT RAGE (L-R) Au­thor Neil McArthur, sex robot ‘Har­mony’ and Allysson Silva, co-founder of Nex­tOs

MAN OF AC­TION Ut­tarak­hand chief min­is­ter Triven­dra Singh Rawat

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