Editorial By- Sukhpreet Giani
World leaders have taken certain unprecedented decisions affecting millions of the people worldwide. Taking a stock of such moves as we move to a new financial year would not be an easy task, as the expected outcome of those decisions are not favorable.
Just under six months after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden decision to markedly reduce the amount of cash in circulation, the dust is now beginning to settle on one of the boldest moves in Indian financial history. The move came a day before President Donald Trump assumed charge at the office. While Prime Minister Modi seems to be sitting pretty comfortable with his move, the same can’t be said for the millions of Indians. At the same time, President Donald Trump whose series of bans are not appearing to be giving good results. From banning Muslims from certain countries to enter United States, to banning Laptops on flights bound for United States, the impact is being felt internationally, however the imposer of the ban President Donald Trump appears not interested in taking a second look. The proposed wall is likely to see close to 1000 people being made to sell their land to the government, leading to loss of land holding, revenue and gainful employment. The impact of the bans and the wall proposed are going to be many folds that are going to impact generations to come. The influx to Canada already is cause of concern, with many Americans dreams moving north.
On the other hand, media in India that seems to be sold to the ruling party is being used in to feed information to fleece public in such a manner that all moves of the government seem to be hitting bull’s eye. The most striking aspect of the demonetization process has been its execution. The government has gone hyper in presenting that move has delivered results. The ground reality seems far away from what the Modi government is trying to project. The rich have been able to convert their black money into white money, the poor have been left with cash that is of no use and the same is true for a large number of Non Resident Indians.
Another move that has been in limelight has been taken in a communal sensitive state. Ban on Illegal slaughter houses in Uttar Pradesh, has affected the legal ones too, and has taken out a good 50,000 people from gain full employment. Indians in that part of the country have to eat what the administration wants. These houses have gone “illegal” some 15 years back, the then ruling party BJP didn’t renew their licenses. Presently, the illegality is being presented as if these slaughter houses were in trade of beef and beef products. In the name of “Anti Romeo Squads”, goons have been left loose and the daily lives of normal human beings have been brought to stand still. The police in Uttar Pradesh that was known to be inactive, in order to prove they are active and alive, have taken the route of kicking, shaving the heads of couples found together. Story of brother sister duo, which had to miss their final school exams as they were taken to task by the cops and the Anti Romeo Force is heart wrecking. This ban has resulted in –you can’t move out as per your will and wish. Not to forget certain sections of minority community are the worst hit. From controlling how the Indians spent their money, to curbing their choice of food and the way they move out, the ruling BJP has done all. At the same time, the party is finding itself, to be on sticky ground as it has announced that if voted to power in North East India, it will not ban beef there. The tongue in cheek comment by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi “BJP’s hypocrisy is that in Uttar Pradesh cow is mummy but in the Northeast it’s yummy,” not only mocks the BJP on its contradictory stance on cow slaughter but also exposes the will of the party. It clearly shows the action in Uttar Pradesh was not to address the illegality or the hygiene but to appease its supporters.
Authorities in India have been facing flak from the judiciary for failing to impose ban on the sale of acid. The order was passed four year back, but the cases of acid attacks on girls are still continuing. Last month, Supreme Court in order to curb drink and driving and the subsequent accidents on highways has banned all liquor vendors and other restaurants and hotels serving liquor within a distance of 500 meters from the national and state highways. The reaction from the various state governments in India epitomizes the famous saying, “Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” Sensing that the state governments face a huge loss of revenue, and employment it has “de-notified the national highways and state highways as local roads. While doing so, the authorities have not taken a look at the data. Nearly one life is lost every four seconds in drink driving incidents on highways every day in India. Instead to taking that into consideration, authorities that had issued err fully licenses to such vendors and hotels have now chosen another way that simply suggests that none in India care too hoots for the lives and safety of public.
The actions for imposing bans against meat shops, and to de-notify national and state highways reminds one of the famous quote by Voltaire- “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”!