By Sunil Dang, Editor-in-Chief
In 2014, Iranian currency was at around 28,000 per dollar while few months ago, the Iranian currency was at near 32,000 per dollar. But, ever since the US came out of the Iran deal, it has slumped to near 44,000 per dollar. The future ahead seems bleaker as we inch towards the November deadline given by the US president Donald Trump. Now, my question is, can Indians afford to remain a mute spectators to these developments or is there some Plan B to safeguard the diplomatic investment in Iran made over last few years, especially in Chabhar port, which is considered India’s answer to China’s OBOR. As of now, given the stark silence of the ministry of external affairs, it seems that there is no such fall back office. . But, Russia and China have started to cool down the cold and trade war, which has engulfed in entire world. The Russian President Vladimir Putin has met with his US counterpart once and two more such meetings are expected. But, one thing which has come out of the recent Sino-Russian initiatives is their acceptance of the US might, whether it is governed by Trump or by Obama.
The Congress Party has snubbed the demand for accepting either Mamata or Mayawati as Prime Minister Candidate of the joint opposition. In my opinion, they have done the right thing because even at its nadir, its numbers in Lok Sabha are still the second highest after BJP. But, the Congress Party needs to realize that alone it can’t stop its principal rival BJP. To stop BJP, it needs regional partners to stop diversion of the opposition votes. Today, BJP is an expanding political force while Congress Party is a shrinking force. Barring Kerala, Congress can be dubbed as a ‘Cow Belt’ party — a tag which was once given to the BJP. The BJP is gaining states from the regional and left parties while Congress once lost a state to regional satrap, it never get it back to its hold. We saw it happening in West Bengal, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and now in Delhi. But, it doesn’t mean there should be abject surrender towards its regional allies as we saw recently in Karnataka. If BJP has emerged a threat to the Congress, it’s equally a threat to the regional parties batting for ‘grand alliance.’ Congress can afford to sit in opposition for long but not these regional parties. A ‘Grand Alliance’ is possible only when both Congress and the regional parties demand seats and portfolio in accordance with their actual strength.
In 2015, the central government had told the Supreme Court that River Ganges would be cleaned by 2018 but I was not surprised to see that NGT reprimand to the governments in February 2017 that ‘not a single drop of Ganga has been cleaned.’ This is happening because the state’s governments are providing lose canons to the violators of environmental laws. Rather forcing the industrial units to install STP, they are busy crating bonhomie with the industrialists and providing loop-holes to seep through like a rat. But, those state governments must realize that their act is against the nature, their future generations will also pay the price for it as nature doesn’t differentiate between rich and poor. At the same time, central government will have to realize that simply showing project expenditure won’t be able to clean Ganga. What they have done in last four and half years is misuse of funds in the name of Ganga, which exposes their will towards the River Ganga.
When I sat to write this editorial, the Sensex touched its highest peak that forced me to remember the news that broke the headlines few days ago that India has become sixth largest economy in the world. However, to my surprise, if the Sensex is scaling new high and national economy is expanding that fast, why India still at 100th place in 119 nation’s hunger index? Actually, the gap between India and Bharat has further widened. Urban India which comprises near fourths of the national population is doing better on economic and business front but when we come to rural India, which is near three fourths of the national populace; it is an image of poverty and unemployment. Hence, giving stats won’t be enough. India needs a concrete road map for the nation as a whole that have solutions for both rural and urban populace issues. Only then, a sustainable growth can be achieved. Hope, the Indian Prime Minister has idea of this and he comes up with some announcements from the Red Fort related to this upcoming Independence Day.