Why Rafale Not Catch­ing Eye­balls Like Bo­fors?

The Day After - - FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK -

In the com­ing UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, I am ex­pect­ing a dif­fer­ent line of ap­proach by both Pak­istani and the In­dian gov­ern­ment as their re­spec­tive ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ters is go­ing to meet on it the side­lines. To cre­ate a con­ducive mi­lieu for this meet­ing, nei­ther Pak­istan nor In­dia would chant the ‘K’ rants, which has been the cyno­sure of the var­i­ous speeches of lead­ers of both the na­tions. But, what will they speak about mi­nus Kash­mir? Few years ago, I had sug­gested that if the Congress Party wants to con­tain BJP, it needs to be­have like ‘party with dif­fer­ence.’ Re­cent trip of Rahul Gandhi to UK and Ger­many, where he fired on mul­ti­ple cylin­ders across a wide spec­trum of top­ics, rang­ing from Is­lamic State to RSS, Doka La to de­mon­e­ti­za­tion, lynch­ing to women’s rights and farms to fac­to­ries, re­flects this spirit. His scathing attack un­set­tled the BJP, which was re­flected by the counter of its spokesper­sons and their tweets. But, the BJP is also ready with its poll recipe and I strongly be­lieve that in com­ing days, BJP will be up its ante on Bo­fors, 1984 Sikh Ri­ots, Hin­dutva, Mandir and Masjid etc. How­ever, the ‘Grand Old Party’ is look­ing con­fi­dent this time and their mood sug­gests that Rafale De­fense Deal is go­ing to be­come one of the ma­jor poll is­sues in 2019 Gen­eral Elec­tions. Go­ing down the mem­ory lane, when Bo­fors took place, it was talk of the town and the me­dia pro­fes­sion­als were quite en­thu­si­as­tic in show­cas­ing it in their re­ports. I don’t un­der­stand why Rafale is not gain­ing that kind of foothold among the me­dia pro­fes­sion­als?

In re­cent all party meet­ing, the Chief Elec­tion Com­mis­sioner has cat­e­gor­i­cally re­jected the ‘one na­tion one poll’ idea, op­pos­ing the no­tion floated by the Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. In spite of this there are sec­tions in lead­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties that are fore­cast­ing that the up­com­ing four state elec­tions may as well take place along with the 2019 Gen­eral Elec­tions. Fur­ther, four po­lit­i­cal par­ties, in­clud­ing Congress, have sug­gested that the Elec­tions Com­mis­sion of In­dia to go back to bal­lot polls in 2019. In fact, some of the po­lit­i­cal par­ties have sug­gested that slips com­ing out of the VVPAT should also be counted and when both EVM elec­tronic count­ing and VVPAT count­ing matches, then only the elec­tion re­sults be de­clared. Hence, there is huge con­fu­sion pre­vail­ing over the 2019 Lok Sabha polls and up­com­ing assem­bly elec­tions in com­ing one year. What­ever be the out­come of these con­fus­ing de­vel­op­ments, my gut feel­ing is that the up­com­ing three state polls — MP, Ra­jasthan and Ch­hat­tis­garh — won’t be the nor­mal one. This feel­ing got fur­ther re­in­forced when the Ra­jasthan CM Va­sund­hara Raje’s state visit got sab­o­taged with peo­ple started wav­ing her black flags. The sit­u­a­tion fur­ther wors­ened when her con­voy was stone pelted as if it was not Ra­jasthan but J&K.

Non-per­form­ing as­sets (NPAs) has be­come a bad word in the world of fi­nance es­pe­cially for In­dia where there are ex­treme sen­ti­ments on both sides. The lack of ac­tion ig­nites crit­i­cism of the high­est or­der and the RBI is in­vari­ably the cen­ter of dis­cus­sion. When there are strin­gent but prac­ti­cal mea­sures taken to re­solve the is­sue, there is the same level of um­brage as the one that spurred with the 12 Fe­bru­ary cir­cu­lar which spoke of res­o­lu­tion within 180 days. From the RBI per­spec­tive, there has to be stern ac­tion taken by banks in en­sur­ing that bor­row­ers re­pay the money. The se­quence is that the mo­ment there is one day of de­layed pay­ment, there has to be a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the bor­rower and lender which should lead to a res­o­lu­tion within 180 days or else it goes to the Na­tional Com­pany Law Tri­bunal (NCLT) and the process is stream­lined. Let’s see, if there is a way out or it re­mains a ‘Jumla’ of the Modi gov­ern­ment?

Com­ing three months would be full of fes­tiv­i­ties from Dushehra to Christ­mas and both Ama­zon and Wal­mart have read­ied their free­bees for their cus­tomers both on­line and off-line. So, in com­ing fes­tive sea­son, hike in our ex­pen­di­ture is al­ready be­ing planned by the mar­ket strate­gists of var­i­ous com­pa­nies. Is the gov­ern­ment hav­ing any plan for us to raise our in­come too be­cause in last few years in­come of In­dian masses have nose­dived like rat­ings of Naren­dra Modi.

Jai Ho!

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