By Sunil Dang, Editor-in-Chief
The writing is on the wall. India is singing in unison ‘Apna Time Ayega” & come 23rd, we may well have written some great history. While BJP & Modi would be hoping that their ploy of fielding hand-picked candidates who have no previous allegiance with the party nor they have any knowledge of its functioning, succeeds. Yet the odds have evened out entering into the 7th & last phase of the election & it is highly unlikely that the Hindutva party shall muster any decent numbers. In as far as running such high on drama, high octane media blitzkrieg, BJP was naturally in a much advantageous position having benefited big way by donations received through electoral bonds. Curiously it was Modi who had pledged “Na khaonga, Na Khanedoonga”, (Meaning I shall not allow corruption in any form) & yet when it came to electoral Bonds , his government sought to legitimize what used to be backdoor, clandestine, hush hush channels of funding by corporates to various political parties.
It appears that BJP & Modi have shifted goal posts from Vikas (Development) to Vivaad (Controversy) & ugly samvad (Discourse). Perhaps realizing that there were no more takers for his 2014 poll rhetoric, team BJP has digressed from real agenda & substituted this with sharp tongue lashing, personal attacks, below the belt accusations & playing hapless victims. My gut feeling is that we are headed towards a dawn when India is ready to pass on the baton to someone not so known, yet so sure. A dark horse who would be singing ‘Apna Time Ayega” in the hinterland & waiting for the counting day; who would that leader be, is a highly tricky question to answer.
It is ironic how the national media & mainstream national parties have sought to project the regional parties as villains of the puzzle. In our earnestness to be showing our proclivities to one particular party or ideology, I am afraid we are leaving an unhealthy precedent that can prove disadvantageous in the long run. End of the day, it is not who you like or who you don’t that should determine your attitude towards any state or the party in power there. That shall be detrimental to the federal structure of our polity. I am already beginning to imagine states like West Bengal, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra & Bihar sending more parliamentarians to Delhi than ever before & therefore they may together cobble up enough support to form the next government. In such a scenario cherry picking by BJP shall be seen as a selfish maneuver & may prove counterproductive for the Saffron chances of forming the government.
In the ICICI- Videocon case, the Kochhar couple continues to be perused by the ED that quizzed them again in connection with an alleged quid pro quo for Rs. 64 cr. Yet again this underlines the fragile & audacious misuse of public money that could have been used for the larger public good. Even when few of the defaulters have been pursued by the authorities & few more put on notice, I am afraid such action has come too late in the day. It is time that the nexus between politicians, bankers, accountants & fixers is broken once & for all & the exchequer saved the ignominy of having to empty the coffers for fraudsters. Similarly we must strive to save our navratnas & Mahanavratnas from falling by the wayside due to unwanted interference & indifferent attitude of the people at the helm.
China & the US have escalated their trade tariff negotiations that have thrust the world’s two largest economies back into confrontation. With China raising tariffs on a wide range of American goods to 20 or 25 percent from 10 percent, this increase will affect the roughly $60 billion in American imports already being taxed as retaliation for Mr. Trump’s previous round of tariffs, including beer, wine, swimsuits, shirts and liquefied natural gas exported to China.
Lastly let us hope that all radars are put in service by the EC for the last phase followed by the D day of 23rd. By the time we are seen on the stands again, India would have had its new Government at work. Hopefully, there would be no more clouds of uncertainty hovering overhead.