Modi-bhakth responds to Modi-basher! Rushing to Peril? Letter to Editor

George & Varghese is always entertaining & instructive to watch friends in happy combat, with no love lost & new insights gained! Was ‘Demonitization’ DeMon a Deamon,  ‘a killing vires like Covid or a Life-savor’ is the heart of the question. 

Correct by laughing at!

“FCTS ARE SACRED, OPNIONS ARE FREE!” Weigh them, I don’t say Judge them — on facts!  “Who am I to judge” – to quote Francis – them or anyone for that matter! “Ridendo  Corrigere!” – ‘Correct by Laughing at’ is 0ne of the main functions 0f constructive journalism!

While George displays what “I believe” or “assume”, Varghese sets out fact galore which speak for themselves! He writes Modi sent draft of the 3 detested farm bills  to all states 6 moths ahead without date or proof.

Personally I haven’t heard it, but I have  read several reports bitterly criticing Modi government for not consulting the victimized farmers, insted for abandoning to the whims and fancies of the corporates and Big bissiness to amass money.

Few stunning Examples!

It all started with Modi’s  first Flight from Gujarat to Delhi to assume PM’s post  in Ambani’s plane, later to Australia as well, where people showed placards “Ambani go back” and to many other countries.

As for promises he became the unbeaten PM of a litany of unfulfilled promises, starting with posting Rs. 14 or 17 lacks or crores in each “Aam Aadmi’s newly opned accounts” for which they had to pay penalties for not maintaining enough balance. Forget, they got no penny

 From the promised stoked up funds in foreign banks. 

50 Farmers dead already!

From farmers  50 dead already you can count countless promise – an ending litany in fact — he made and still continues to make. I wish some smart guy like Pamplani does that to wake us all up. Promise don’t fill the starving stomachs of jobeless migrants and striking farmers for over 40 days and more than 50 dead already. 

They are all our own  sisters and brothers of the same family, “Fratelli tutti!” in Pope’s words.

I do not know much about Mandi system and if the present farmers’ strike is promoted by mandi barrons. All I know is more than 40% Idians are engaged in agricultural sector and all governments have neglected the qgricultural sector. IF they are not fostered and built up  there will not be enough food on our tables, especially in states like Kerala. 

Discuss Mandi system & Agricultural sector!

These are things to be discussed threadbare in Parliament where discussion alone never takes  place. The present government, it looks is all concerned about  building up another showpiece of a parliament building like the statue of Patel. What is more important? To make function our present one or put up a show piece of concrete  beyond our means  during these Corona infected lean years?

So I invite better informed persons to throw light on points raised by George and Varghese. That way, at least we may set in motion to discussion and parliamentary process central to strengthening Indian democracy!. james kottoor ccv editor.

Pleae read George’s response to Varghese. 

Dear James, 

This is in response to Varghese Pamplany's article titled Rushing to Peril.  

First thing first. Yes, I am a fan of Modiji!   

I will now touch upon DeMon(Demonitization). Where he failed is in implementation level. DeMon failed because of sloppy implementation. I believe that 113% of bank notes in circulation turned up!! If this is true, then it signifies that substantial amounts of counterfeit currencies were in circulation. Assuming fresh counterfeit has not got into  circulation, DeMon  may have succeeded in weeding out this evil.  The fact that there was an overall crash in small business and job losses following DeMon are proof enough that India's economy is run anywhere between 40 to 60% on a cash basis.  It does not signify DeMon was bad.  

It simply meant that these businesses had to turn accountable, respecting Indian's taxation laws.  On the government's part DeMon should have followed with actions incentivising business men by bringing down taxation rates in this country.  This is yet to happen.  To that extent the Modi administration has so far failed to appreciate that lower taxation will give a big boost to business and go white in all their dealings.  

My conclusion is that the intent behind DeMon was good but Modiji didn't anticipate all the problems upfront and it failed through sloppy implementation. 

As for farmer's stir it is still work in progress.  I do not expect Modiji to withdraw the bill and the stir may go on.  I believe that the draft was circulated to all states six months in advance and none came back with a response.  I also understand that the provisions of the bill were much the same as what the Congress have promised in their manifesto that they would accomplish.  Now they are opposing it on account of political expediency. All other parties are also in the same boat as Congress.  Somehow Modiji has to be unseated.  I must confess that I have not read the text of the three farm bills but  have read some comments made by various people for and against.  Those against claim (and the farmers echo it) that Corporates will take over farming and decide what to cultivate, when to cultivate and the purchase price.   

Present Mandi system is controlled by select agents and they too fear they will go out of business.  No one is talking of the interests of consumers. I believe that on occasions, tomatoes are traded at Rs.2 a kilo at the farm  and when they reach Delhi the consumer pays Rs.40 for it.  As a student of Economics I am inclined to believe competition in the market place is good for both farmers and end consumers.  Unless Mandi bosses and Corporates bond together to fleece the farmer, the intended opening up of the market gives choice to the farmer and that is good.   

I would think that the stir is Mandi barons sponsored and the strikers are having good food with their own medical camp.  India is a country where thousands of farmers commit suicide every year due to corp failure or abundance of corp resulting price crash.  How could then the farmers sitting in Delhi be living it up at the strike camp.  Has anyone asked them what happened to their farms?  For all I know, they must have made arrangements for farming activity to continue as usual while some of them sit it out in Delhi. If they are truly honest about their stir, they must declare  "we have decided to leave our farms fallow" and then end the strike and  vacate from Delhi.  

 Is it not a better option for the farmers to make the government capitulate and agree to whatever the demands.  But the truth is that using tax-payers' money FCI had had to buy their products and stock them in godowns where the wastage is reported to be large. Farmers know that FCI will start releasing stocks and leaving land fallow is going to hit them hard.  Politicians of all hue and cry including the CPM whose top honchos are merely self proclaimed intellectuals and think-tanks sitting in Delhi and have precious little to do at ground level having been booted out of most states are also in the bandwagon.  It is comical that Kerala government has gone to Court on agricultural bill.  Toi my best knowledge, there is no Mandi system in Kerala and whatever little is done by way of farming is sold by farmers themself with some paddy lifted by private mills and the rest by the government and payments delayed forever in the latter's case.  

GST is yet another good initiative that failed due to sloppy implementation.  Incidentally, I believe that Congress has been advocating for it for a long time.  Last month's mope up was reported to be 1.15 lakh cr.  So, it seems that teething troubles are behind.  

Hindu Rashtra.  I am of the opinion that on partition of the country then leaders should have declared India as Hindu rashtra just as Pakistan did it.  But our leaders were too idealists in their outlook which is good provided the people at large shared the same sentiment.  A large number of Muslims were left behind and their numbers are growing by leaps and bounds and it looks like that in the not too distant future India may have to divide the country again.  When religion was the basis for partition, there is no justification for having allowed a large number of Muslims to remain in India.  I believe that currently 80 to 83% is the share of Hindu population in India.  India is their homeland. What is wrong in declaring India a Hindu Rashtra?  Simultaneously, provisions should be made where minorities enjoy "equal opportunity citizenship".  Varghese has made some valid points against the minorities.  But I believe that you missed out on the conversion fervor practiced by Evangelists in the hinterland of India. To my best knowledge and belief, BJP's main grievance against Christians is their drive to convert as many Hindus as possible. They must cease this enterprise.   

As for Government officials, such as the PM,  presiding over religious functions. I don't see a problem there because the temple foundation stone laying ceremony is done by a Hindu, traditionally a high caste Brahmin.  The fact that Modiji is not Brahmin but a lower caste person presiding over the function signifies a departure from Vedic tradition for the better.  As for the stone laying ceremony of the new Parliament building, Modiji presided  in the Hindu  rituals, it is to be noted that  there were priests representing other religious groups to offer prayers and blessings. I think that it is secularism in indian context, no total abandonment of faith.  A true separation of church from government as is the situation in Europe is going to take time.   

Achievements of Modi

 – GST was in the pipeline for 17 years, he got it done.

 – Introduced Insolvency and Bankruptcy Laws.  It is considered a silver bullet to tackle India's chronic bad loans at our banks.  Since introduction, it is reported that banks have begun recovering non-performing loans.  

– Swachh Bharat mission.  Though it has its origin in the Nirmal Gram mission of PM Manmohan Ji, it was left to Modiji to take it to ground level in a big way.  He was determined to end open defecation in rural India. The campaign was one of the biggest socio-political achievements of Modiji's government.  The toilet construction programme under the Swachh Bharat mission played a significant part in giving Modiji a re-election with a thumping majority. People sitting in Kerala cannot appreciate it as they already have toilets at home thanks to Keralites leaving en masse seeking employment opportunities within and without India.  

– Cleaner and Healthier Kitchen.  The government freed crores of women from the rigmarole of having to collect firewood and burn them to cook food with the unavoidable smoke inhalation resulting in lung diseases in rural India.   The government target was to provide 8 cr free gas connection and it is reported that this target has already been overshot. This was done under the Ujjwala Yojana scheme.  Official data show that Ujjwala Yojana accounts for over 70 per cent growth in total domestic LPG connections in the country.  Hereagain people sitting in Kerala cannot appreciate it as they already had gas connections.  What they can appreciate but would not say it loudly is the fact that delivery time for supply of gas cylinder stands reduced to just one day.  An extra cylinder is a miss call away.   

– In terms of political achievements,  Modiji accomplished some of the long  standing demands of BJP such as revocation of 370 for Kashmir, beginning constructions of Ram Mandir, abolition of triple talaq. 

There are challenges ahead. Covid 19 has not left the country.  With the benefit of hindsight one could argue that Modiji should have done this or that but the fact is that he had to make a decision.  He made it. These decisions were in the light of advisory from the medical field and those emanating from abroad. Nobody had any clear idea. It goes to his credit in spite of having more than four times the population of the USA the number of dead as well as infection remain low in India in comparison to the USA.  Going forward the challenges are one too many with job losses and a sagging economy.  The economy seems to be picking up slowly.  I am not sure why the stock market has been skyrocketing creating record after record.  Is it simply euphoria or the players see something that ordinary people don't.    

(I have largely relied on an India Today post available on the net to come up with Modiji's' hits). 

In conclusion, it is my opinion that Modiji is the best thing that could have happened to India.  No one knows it better than the opposition.  We have a motley of parties (in fact a curse for India) many are simply family business.  All these parties have ganged up against Modiji because they know that one more term for Modiji, it is going to be a trip down into oblivion for them.  

George Nedumparambil

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