Monday, 5 December 2016

Demonetization: Detailed Drama of How Modi Checkmated Pakistan’s Devastating Assault – by Desh Kapoor

All the chairpersons and MDs of India’s top banks were meeting at Reserve Bank of India’s headquarters on the 15th floor of the Mint Street office in a special session that started at 7 pm.  In Delhi, on the other hand, the top Cabinet ministers of the Modi government were meeting over an agenda regarding MoUs between India and Japan.
None of the top bank chiefs or the ministers of the government were aware of what was to happen.
The Cabinet meeting ended at 7.30 pm and the PM went to meet the President to inform him about the plan.  The ministers were instructed to remain in the meeting hall.  The bankers on the other hand, were discussing the situation from the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in the economy.
Just before 8 PM, the TV sets were switched on to listen to the PM, with the understanding that the meeting would continue after the PM address.  Of course, the announcement from the PM was going to be earth-shattering for most bankers who had to rush back to their offices to handle the situation arising from the ban of Rs 500 and Rs 1000!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Indian Pseudo-secularism – by Rajiv Malhotra

Given the mistranslation of dharma as religion, the Western idea of no religion in the public square has been interpreted by many Indians as no dharma in the public square. Secularized Indians have failed to appreciate that a dharma-nirapeksha society – or a society lacking dharma (as secularism has often been translated) – would be dangerously ambivalent toward ethical conduct. Nirad Chaudhuri warned against India’s adopting secularism of even the highest European type, because without dharma’s moral and spiritual qualities, society would become immoral and culturally debased. Being irreligious still allows for ethical behaviour, but being un-dharmic equates with things like corruption and abuse. The result of importing secularism into a dharmic society has thus been disastrous in many ways.  (extract from the book Being Different)

Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Case for Secular Hinduism – Raman Reddy

The desperate attempts to declare Hinduism as a religion and not “a way of life”, as the Supreme Court had observed twenty years back in 1995, has obvious political motives. It is basically to prevent Hindus to unite under one banner and weaken the BJP’s hold on the electoral politics of India. But the impression given by those who raise the bogey of Hinduism is that it is the biggest threat to the nation since the Partition of India. I have often asked myself what exactly are the dangers of Hinduism to the nation, and in this regard a clear presentation of this perceived threat is long overdue. Secular scholars do make a lot of noise about unimportant issues such as beef-eating and the compulsory singing of Vande Mataram, but when it comes to going beyond these trifles and getting into the nitty-gritty of their accusation, they simply vanish from the public domain. But before I speculate further on the underlying reason for feeling threatened by such a harmless religion as Hinduism, let me repeat an old argument in its favour.