By Sunil Dang
In a dramatic reverse from three-year downward trend amid India’s clampdown on suspected black money stashed in the Swiss banks, money parked by Indians in Swiss banks rose over 50 percent to CHF 1.01 billion (Rs 7,000 crore) in 2017. Ironically, it has happened after mere one and half years of demonetization — a step which was meant to crackdown on black money. This rise of Indian money in Swiss banks is like rubbing of salt in wounds as it came immediately after the Indian rupee hit its all time low of Rs 68.79 per dollar on June 28th. Apart from this, gold prices in domestic market too have gone northwards, which is an indicator for black money hoarding on rise. The government can give any alibi against these economic developments but in actual, it reflects that Indian economy is in bad shape and the government has no concrete road map to heal the national economy. All their efforts against black money were of the short-term perspective, which includes demonetization too.
In Indian politics, suddenly talks of ‘grand alliance’ have stopped. Thanks to NCP chief Sharad Pawar, who timely advised Congress Party and some regional leaders of national repute to stop approaching regional parties for the formation of Mahagathbandhan. His advise that ‘every political party knows where they are in winning condition and where they are vote cutters.’ Hence, if they want to stop BJP gaining from the split of opposition votes, they should carve themselves away from pitching unnecessary voter cutting candidates. Hope his advice will go down well to the regional parties, especially BSP who is trying to blackmail Congress Party in MP, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Delhi, Haryana and Karnataka with its vote cutting ability.
In coming months, two states — Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir — are expected to boil on emotions. While UP will boil on Ram Rant as the Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict in Ramjanmbhoomi Case, Jammu and Kashmir may have to witness various old RSS jibes like separation of Jammu and Kashmir into three parts (separate Jammu and Kashmir state and Ladakh as Union Territory) to send a clear message that J&K is directly under the New Delhi’s rule and article 370 can be abolished any day the national government would want. Whether the BJP government in New Delhi would do it or not, is in the womb of time, but it would certainly boil the whole nation politically. Hope, opposition parties, especially Congress, have their eye on it because these developments may turn the tide in favour of the ruling party just ahead of the state assembly polls in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
For the first time in my life, I want to praise the Pakistani Election Commission and the Judiciary of Pakistan for showing their spine against the Pak army. In coming Pakistani general elections, the Election Commission has become pro-active to ensure higher poll turnout so that the new government should have more support of the people of Pakistan. It has extended poll timing by one hour in evening so that more elderly and women could come out and vote. This move will ensure that newly formed government doesn’t have the support of working males only. Similarly, the Judiciary of Pakistan is in full swing to weed out the corrupt politicians who have made habit of engine-bogey system with the Pakistani army. Overturn of a Pak tribunal verdict disqualifying outgoing Prime Minister ShahidKhaqanAbbasi from Murree, where Abbasi was running against cricketer turn politician Imran Khan, is a glaring example of Pakistani Judiciary standing against the Pakistani army for the sake of healthy democracy being restored in Pakistan. Will the Indian Judiciary and Election Commission follow shoot?