By Sunil Dang, Editor-in-Chief
China has yet again thrown a spanner in India’s efforts of getting Masood Azhar designated as a Global Terrorist. In exercise of its power to Veto this critical move by France, UK & the US, It (China) has once again shown the propensity to stand by its all weather ally, Pakistan, despite the latter’s admonition by the world for its complicity in state sponsored terror activities. It is no brainer though that China’s thumbing nose at the world is only to secure a counter guarantee by Pakistan to protect its colossal investment & economic interest in the region. China also has its own share of unrest fomented by Muslim radicals in the Uighur province to worry about. Hence this posturing by China may not be so shocking, given that it wants to keep its wounds wrapped as long as it can, with the assistance of Pakistan.
US did voice it’s frustration on the development terming China’s action being against the interest of Washington & Beijing both. That doesn’t help India’s own inability to get the better of China even when the government has been glorifying its achievements on the diplomatic front as well as flaunting Mr. Modi’s excellent personal chemistry with world leaders including Xi.
In a significant development that would have serious implications for the ongoing investigations of Russian meddling in the last US presidential elections, Paul Manafort, Ex- Campaign Chairman for Trump has been indicted by two different courts & sentenced to 43 months of Jail sentence. Manafort had incidentally pleaded guilty last September to two felony counts; conspiracy against the US and conspiracy to obstruct justice, related to his lobbying. Poetic justice some would say. I wonder if we in India would have any parallel to count, given the way how our criminal justice system operates.
India though has its own intriguing battle playing out in the court rooms involving purchase of Rafale jets by this BJP government. The latest we hear is that the Attorney general wants those who have stumbled upon some precious information, to be tried & charged under the official secrecy act. A beautiful prescription, of shooting the messenger; While India wouldn’t be surprised at this new found tactic of hoodwinking the court & stalling the logical course; On the contrary the court may like to rummage deeper into the dirt & maybe find something amiss, the antithesis , the government may be thwarting, using all sorts of wily shenanigans. But how long, I ask? Shouldn’t this government & particularly Mr. Modi be more than keen to clear all the smog & the smoke screen that is perceived to have blackened the canvass further?
With election schedule out, the whole of India is waiting with bated breath for the ultimate outcome. Clearly we see no wave this time around; even when I concede that the opposition to Modi isn’t getting any swifter or sharper. We almost have a similar situation today as we had in 1977. Back then the disparate opposition had united under one banner despite their ideological & political differences. It had found common ground to course correct, what they thought was a daylight murder of democracy by the Indira government. They had accused the Congress of highhandedness & disproportionate use of the government machinery against the opposition. We hear the same chorus today. The difference though, is that both the protagonists & the antagonists have switched sides. It is the Modi led BJP government that is accused of being drunk on power, of having unleashed all its sate machinery after most of the opposition leaders. However for the results to also follow suit, like its historical parallel & precedent, the realignment & grouping together by the opposition must also happen accordingly.
The spate of fake & substandard goods & services has engulfed us on all the sides. Rising online businesses may have sure offered us the convenience of shopping from our bedrooms, but these have certainly not offered us the satisfaction of a real product guaranteed for its price & performance. Almost every platform from Amazon to flip kart, myntra to Make My Trip, Go Ibibio, Swiggy, has devised its own ways & methods to make hay at the expense of an unsuspecting yet lethargic consumer.
India’s ODI & T20 series loss to Australia has exposed some chinks in our armour. Can we fix these in time for staking our claim to the world cup?