One of the first appeals of Prime Minister Modi to the people of India after introducing demonitization process is to bear the temporary pain for a major gain! While the definition of “temporary pain” was shifted several times over the course, which now stands at 6 months wait or more, one thing remains true: common women and men are put under tremendous stress and pain to access their own money in lieu of a promise of a better future.
Heart-wrenching stories of poor and elderly losing their lives in bank queues has deeply moved lot of people that those who were strongly in favor earlier are also changing their minds and questioning whether implementation was thought-through at all and if there were any better alternatives that were not considered. However, it is too late for such logical analysis with people suffering for 40 days already with no end at sight.
Worst of all is the latest announcement by finance ministry that “Political parties depositing old notes are exempt from tax”. While Tax exemption on donations to parties is an existing process, allowing parties to deposit old notes without any scrutiny is alarming and raises several ethical and moral questions. Will this give oppurtunity to black money holders to strike a deal with a political party to convert their black money to white, given almost all major parties, with the exception of Aam Aadmi Party, don’t declare three-fourth of their donation sources under the premise that those donations are less than twenty thousand rupees?
Moreover during such difficult times, when the Prime Minister is asking every citizen including poor, elderly and children to sacrifice, including their livelihood and daily meals, shouldn’t political parties also sacrifice something? At the very least, will the political parties promise full transparency by declaring all sources of income and not get a blank check to exchange all old notes to new by default? Otherwise it is nothing short of back-stabbing the common people!
Over last few decades, upper-middle class individuals have become an influential voice in setting the agenda for the nation. Be it screaming news hours or prime time shows in mainstream media, it is all catered towards this elite group of citizens. Successive Government continued to focus and cater to their needs more than large section of poor and rural communities in fear of antagonizing this group. With Twitter in picture, an unduly large influence of this small group continues to grow. With just over 2.2 crore users, which is only 2% of India’s population, Twitter is now the new political and social battleground of ideas and propaganda. What’s important here is that a very big majority of twitter users are of same demographics: someone with college degree and decent paying job or own a business. In other words, they are not just any 2% of India’s population, they are top 2% of India’s economic pyramid.
Due to the structure of the platform, where any user can directly question or tag anyone with their criticism, big celebrities including political leaders and news editors get a quick feedback on their every stance and statements. Many a times it may be an unfair and biased criticism but they do have an impact and incessant attack makes the receiver weary.
Unfortunately, this new class is majorly skewing the agenda in favor of urban elites and gives policy-makers and leaders a very biased opinion. Best example of this is demonitization. They are one of the least impacted section of society because they usually have a credit card or two and part of mobile payment system. They can survive with little cash for lot longer than most of their fellow compatriots. However, they are loudest when it comes to feedback on this policy. While millions of countrymen suffer terribly due to cash crunch and resulting loss of wages and inaccessibility to food, this group continues to shower praise on governing party and leaders on their “vision”, which sends a myopic feedback to those in power: a big majority is supporting this move and they should continue ahead with more vigor. They may miss the pulse of common wo/man and would not come to their aid in time. This is certainly unhealthy and harmful in long run as the leaders will continue to live in a bubble until the elections. Hope powers-that-be listens to the rest of India as much as they do to Twitter-class.
In a stunning move and yet another “Surgical Strike” on root of corruption, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that his party BJP will take only check or online funds and will publish the entire donation lists for last three years. In a major reversal of its stand, BJP will publish every donation, not just ones over 20,000 rupees and thereby for first time will make donor list 100% transparent.
BJP will publish entire donor list making it 100% transparent
While this may be only a wishful thinking at this point, we hope this announcement will come soon if everyone starts demanding the same.
There a lot of debate on whether odd-even formula will work in Delhi but unfortunately, most of them are missing the main point: how did we let the pollution level so severe and what else we can do to reduce it in war-footing!
This NYTimes article hits the nail: “The World Health Organization said last year that New Delhi had the most polluted air of the nearly 1,600 cities it studied around the world. A monitoring station at the United States Embassy here recently recorded an air quality index of 372, according to Reuters, meaning the air was “hazardous,” the worst category. By late Friday, the reading had improved a bit, to 247, which the embassy classifies as “very unhealthy”. An international study released earlier in June, indicated that Air pollution from respirable particulate matter (PM2.5) could be responsible for 10,000 to 30,000 premature deaths in Delhi — up to 80 deaths each day.
If this doesn’t alarm the car-owning class of Delhi and the argument is still about commute inconvenience, something is seriously wrong with us. Below is a pictorial representation of what we can achieve by forgoing current one-car-per-individual model.
Let us make an honest attempt to reduce ‘severe’ pollution levels in Delhi instead of trying to find cheat codes or shortcuts to avoid the rule. Let’s remember: health of future generations, including your children and mine, is dependent on things we do today!
Bihar election results in one picture!
Hate is BJP’s formula to divide our nation and to win elections!
Unilever, a large multinationalcompany, polluted the lake and waterbodies near their kodaikanal plant by dumping heavily toxic mercury into it. What this young team fighting for justice for the factory workers and the environment is so cool! This video has went viral and you have to see why! #UnileverPollutes