By Sunil Dang, Editor-in-Chief
When majority of global leadership were out with scabbards against one another, either it was Syria issue or unrest in Korean Peninsula, international observers had their fingers crossed as to why China was sitting lull. But, they suddenly got an answer to this question when China retaliated strongly against Taiwan and Philippines when the later nations tried to showcase their presence in the South China Sea. What the observers thought was a Chinese lull finally turned out to be a lack of Chinese interest due to which it chose to not engage or f provoke any State parties in recent the global geo-political tug of war. In fact, it played a pivotal role in keeping North Korea and the US dialogue open even after the sudden back out by Donald Trump. Beijing, again, played an important role in placating the fuming Moscow after the US aggression over Syria. But, the sudden change in Modi’s diplomacy, especially in his recent tour of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore suggests that New Delhi is in full swing to play out and take forward its Act East Policy. However, it is yet to be seen whether this firefighting by Indian regime against Chinese regional domination would help avoid and/or better prepare for a future Doklam like situation.
In last fortnight, Indian polity witnessed an unexpected development when the RSS sent an invite to the former President Pranab Mukherjee to be the chief guest at their event. Commentators who were well versed with the political journey of Pranab Babu believed that the senior Congressman would Jebi Veto to this invite. However, to their surprise, the former Indian President gave his nod to attend the RSS event as their chief guest. Leaving aside the political hullabaloo over his acceptance, I just want to air a question whether RSS wants to send any message to the Congress Party through this invite or does Pranab Babu want to convey an even stronger message to the BJP?
After Karnataka Assembly Polls, the focus has now shifted to three state polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as it would be the last assembly polls ahead of 2019 grand finale. The Congress Party believes itself to be in a comfortable position t in Rajasthan and having an edge over the incumbent BJP in MP and Chhattisgarh. To make this initial edge into a considerable lead, the grand old party is in mood to forge an alliance with BSP and Gomantak Gantantra Party. These small players can win a few seats on their own but can ensure defeat of the Congress candidates to the tune of near 70 seats in MP and Chhattisgarh. So, thinking of an alliance with BSP and GGP is a good move by Kamal Nath as it would help Congress to ensure clean sweep in three state elections to motivate the party workers just ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha Polls. However, both BSP and GGP are aware of the Congress’ desperation, especially after it ceded the CM post to HD Kumaraswamy in Karnataka, and hence both parties are in mood to bargain hard with Congress. So, it’s up to the Congress Party as to how they would tackle this mood of BSP and GGP.
The Modi government has made habit of showcasing FDI and FII as an indicator of sound health of the national economy. From economic perspective, FII’s come in as portfolio investment that can be fished out any time on a particular day. This is why they are often referred to as an umbrella that will disappear on a rainy day. It should be noted that a foreign fund coming inside the border as institutional investment is an indicator of good health of the national economy. It helps create new job opportunity, better business environment and growth with positive trajectory. Overhead capital such as infrastructure, electricity and communication help attract institutional investment which is known to be an excellent driver of growth. Instead of making tall, but false, claims it would benefit the government to work at removing infrastructural bottlenecks that plague the growth of the country.
In the wake of rising mercury, many people seek the refuge at the mountains. However, with Himalayan ecological and sustainability barriers being constantly challenged with unchecked urbanization of valleys, there are now pile up of an assortment of urban issues such as urban sanitation and water availability. A case in point is the popular tourist destination of Shimla where severe water shortage has resulted in the High court passing a judgment that hotels will not receive water supply till the crisis is resolved. Let’s all be mindful of water wastage this summer.