Pursuing his own line and pace

first_imgLooked at from one angle, the six months of Narendra Modi’s tenure may be a cause of disappointment for some. For the corporate sector, for instance, the absence of ‘big ticket’ reforms is bound to detract from the prime minister’s go-getter image. The business houses may not have said anything as yet about their dissatisfaction, but it is clear by now that Modi is not an ideologically-driven right-winger like Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher.?? Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceInstead, he evidently likes to pursue his own line and at his own pace. He will not be hustled, therefore, into drafting a hire-and-fire labour reforms policy which is favoured by industrialists, nor into a return to land acquisition laws reminiscent of the 1894 rules which have now been scrapped.??What is more likely is that he will tweak these laws, including those on environment, and not opt for drastic changes. In this respect, Modi is a reformer, not a radical.??Any expectation, therefore, that his party’s majority in the Lok Sabha will make him ride roughshod over the existing rules and regulations will not be fulfilled.?? Also Read – Turning a blind eyeOne reason why such dramatic changes have been expected since Modi appeared on the scene like a ‘rock star’, as even the foreign media describe him, is the pent-up frustration in the last years of the previous government among both businessmen and ordinary people caused by the stalled reforms and policy paralysis. It was hoped, therefore, that Modi’s changes would be in the nature of a no-holds-barred recourses to a fast-growth path.??Since this hasn’t been the case, the belief is that he is as much of a pragmatist as any other politician who will not like to unnecessarily overturn the apple cart.??As a result, while avoiding major changes, the prime minister is currently focussing on what can be deemed small things, such as toilets, cleanliness, e-governance, encouraging the underprivileged to open bank accounts and the celebrities as well as the MPs to ‘adopt’ villages. The last venture has even persuaded a well-known Communist economist to mock the projects as being aimed at turning the people into ‘mendicants’.?? There is also another kind of disappointment for some people with Modi. It is the result of the fact that there hasn’t yet been what Mani Shankar Aiyar called the ‘Godhra moment’. According to the former Congress MP, Modi is waiting for such an outbreak of communal violence to reveal his real self just as Hitler used the Reichstag fire to impose one-party rule on Germany.??Although the recent riots in Trilokpuri and the communal tension in Bawana on the outskirts of Delhi have been seen as examples of the local foot-soldiers of the saffron brigade fishing in troubled waters, especially with next year’s elections to the Delhi assembly in mind, there haven’t, mercifully, been any major incident.??What is more, the likes of Yogi Adityanath and Sakshi Maharaj have not only fallen silent, they have desisted – or have been prevented – from carrying on their earlier vicious propaganda on ‘love jihad’ in Maharashtra on the eve of the polls as their followers had threatened to do. It is not impossible that Modi is more serious about his proposed 10-year moratorium on sectarian animosity than what his hotheaded followers had assumed.??It is noteworthy that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief, Mohan Bhagwat, did not mention the phrase, ‘love jehad’, in his customary Vijaya Dashami speech as he did on earlier occasions. Nor did he set any deadline for the construction of the Ram temple, or say that all Indians are Hindus.??Interestingly, the BJP has indicated that it will go soft on the question of scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution which confers a special status on Jammu and Kashmir.Evidently, the hopes which the party entertains of scoring an unlikely victory in the impending assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir have persuaded it to dilute one of the key items on its pro-Hindu agenda. Not only that, the BJP has even said that ‘Islam will prosper’ under its rule, a claim which is likely to baffle both Hindus and Muslims, especially the bigoted among them.??There is little doubt, therefore, that Modi has decided to follow a path of moderation which cannot but have a calming effect on the saffron brotherhood. From the standpoint of at least curbing, if not ridding society of any innate communal poison, this evidence of sobriety can be considered to be one of the major features of his first six months in office. Its value is much higher than any achievement, or lack of it, in the economic field.??That the country is advancing even in the economic sector is however evident from the projection of a 6.3 percent growth rate next year by Morgan Stanley. If the trend continues, then Modi can further consolidate his position at the national level even if there are setbacks like the possibility that the BJP may flounder in Maharashtra because of its failure to get a majority in the state legislature.??One reason why Modi’s first six months in office have been relatively trouble free is that the Congress not only continues to remain in the doldrums but also that its ‘internal tensions’, as Rahul Gandhi once said, have not subsided, as was evident from the virtual boycott of the party’s observance of  Nehru’s 125th birth anniversary by party stalwarts like A.K. Antony, P. Chidambaram, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Kamal Nath, Ghulam Nabi Azad. IANSlast_img read more

Wealth and wellbeing not necessarily at logger heads

first_imgEnterprise of the Soul, a book written by R P Singh, Chairman Board of Governor, IIT-Guwahati and former CMD of Power grid Corporation of India Ltd., was launched yesterday in the Capital at the India International Centre by Suresh P Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways. Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways was the Guest of Honour present at the occasion.  Deliberating the wisdom of wealth and the piety of prosperity, Singh has embarked on the exploration of the philosophical roots of Indian business in this book. It is a well researched study of the Indian conceptualisation of wealth and well being, of social implications of enterprise and of spreading of prosperity as opposed to the mere making of profits.  The book suggests that happiness of sharing is far greater than the happiness of accumulating wealth and that creation of wealth and spirituality are compatible and not opposed to each other. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Addressing the gathering, Prabhu praised the book and the writer for his attempt to dwell upon on a unique subject of interlinking soul to the mind.  He said that while wealth is being created by the enterprises, the soul in the form of sharing the benefit with the stakeholders is yet to take root.  The book has come up at an appropriate time and raises some fundamental issues of wealth creation and its utilization. It is also a timely reminder for solving the problem of income disparities and unrest prevailing around the globe. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPrabhu said that we should draw more from the power of the soul than that of mind. He also stated that the book has raised many questions with answers; he expressed the hope that it will raise many more questions and more answers shall emerge.The book also mentions the numerous scams and scandals of the past decade which have led to the distrust of business organisations among the populace and suggests that it is important for the corporations to introspect and take steps to regain trust of the society by migrating from conventional philosophy of profit for stockholders to the philosophy of catering to the interest of the stakeholders.   The book draws heavily from the wisdom contained in scriptures of different religions to emphasize upon the point of view of sharing. Manoj Sinha, Minister of State for Railways in his brief address spoke about the excellent work done by the author, R P Singh in his stint as CMD of Power grid in building the National Grid which led to stability of the grid due to which there was no incidence of grid failure for a number of years since 2002.  He agreed with the view expressed by the author in the book that wealth and spirituality are both compatible.Padamshree Pritam Singh, former Director, IIM Lucknow also spoke extensively on the contents of the book and the need for balanced growth of the mind and soul.  Over the past, the strength of mind has grown manifold at the cost of the soul, shifting the focus of the enterprise to only wealth creation. The book has been published by the Penguin Enterprise and is priced at Rs. 399.last_img read more

Brave ITS officer takes on molesters gets shot at

first_imgGoons opened fire on an Indian Telecom Servers (ITS) officer, who tried to save the girls they were harassing and molesting on the road side on Saturday night in Noida’s Sector 62. The officer posted in Delhi, was travelling with his family in a car, when he saw two girls being molested by three men. He intervened to save them.The molesters fired around half a dozen of bullets, most of which hit his car, save one that gashed his cheek. The official sustained injuries and was admitted to the Fortis hospital, while his wife and son, who were also in the car when the incident took place, escaped unhurt. The police have registered a case, but no one has been arrested yet. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe incident was reported late in the evening on Saturday, when DGM Sushil Kumar, with his son, Kunal and wife, were on the way from their Telephone Exchange’s residence to Shipra mall in Ghazaiabad in a Swift Dzire car. When their vehicle was somewhere between NRI and the Model town police post, Kumar saw two girls being molested by three youths. He stopped his car and warned them to let go of the girls. On being opposed, the molesters fired shots with the motive of killing them. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedKumar suffered an injury on his face as one of the bullets hit him. Four other bullets hit the car door before they escaped from the spot. The passers-by made a PCR call, after which Kumar was admitted to the hospital. “They tried to kill us for trying to stop them from molesting women! Although we chased the assailants, they managed to flee,” said Kunal. The girls also preferred to go home after witnessing scuffle and firing.The police immediately cordoned off the area, but failed to catch the accused persons. A case has been registered against the unidentified youths under various Sections of the IPC at the Sector 58 police station. “We have been scanning the CCTV footages of the area so as to identify the accused persons. We are also taking the help of surveillance to carry forward our investigation. Although the girls did not register a complaint, we have slapped molestation charges on them,” said Anoop Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Noida).last_img read more

Delightful kebab

first_imgDilliwallas most cherished food fantasy comes alive as Paatra -The Indian cuisine restaurant at Jaypee Sidharth as it announces special Kebab and scotch promotion from April 24 to May 23. Spike up your summer evenings with Scotch served with succulent and mouthwatering kebab dishes, at Paatra. Relish unlimited quantities of six vegetarian and six non vegetarian kebabs along with Saundha gosht, dal, breads and desserts accompanied by scotch at just Rs 2199 plus taxes . Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The fare is a culinary delight for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. A selection of delicious Dakshini tali macchli, Shammi kebab , Ambi mahi tikka  Shikampuri, Tawa marua macchli, Tofu ke pasandey, Jaitooni paneer tikka , Haaq ki shaami, Aloo aur akhrot ki seekh etc combined with sparkling scotch. Come cheer your favourite teams during the IPL matches with your family and friends while enjoying this gastronomic feast. Where: Paatra, Jaypee Siddharth, When: April 24 to May 3, Price: RS 1499 onwardslast_img read more

Battling odds 6 tribal girls crack Madhyamik examination with flying colours

first_imgKolkata: What does Preeti and Kichku, Sefali Desra, Seema Marandi and Kakkhimoni and Purnima Tudu have in common?These tribal girls are the first generation learners and they have all successfully passed the Madhyamik examination whose result was announced on Wednesday.Madarpur village under Rajnagar block in Birbhum district is around 40 km from Suri and is a tribal-dominated village. Along with poverty, the illiteracy rate is also very high.Festivities began early in the village when news of the girls clearing the Madhyamik examination poured in on Wednesday afternoon. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe girls were given coaching by Bulaki and Sushmita Chakraborty, two members of Shreeja India.Taparada Mardy, a local youth and a WBCS aspirant gave them coaching in Mathematics. Chakraborty taught them other subjects like English, History, Geography and Physical Science too. Chanda Marandi, a local of the village, gave two rooms of her house for their coaching classes. Chakraborty stayed in the village for four days to coach the girls. Shreeja got immense cooperation from local teachers who allowed the girls to attend the coaching classes on Mondays and Tuesdays without attending school on these two days. When Tapan Roy, Shreeja coordinator, approached the school authorities with the request to send the girls to coaching on school days, the teachers accepted it as all wanted them to clear the first public examination. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedShreeja India has been set up by Shib Shankar Dasgupta, an engineer from Jadavpur University now settled in the United States. Shreeja’s purpose is to make girls self-reliant and encourage them to devote their spare time in playing games like football. In Birbhum, a football coaching centre was set up in 2017.The girls come and play football and within a few months, the game became very popular among the girls in the villages.”The game helps them to improve their physical fitness and at the same time their sense of cooperation went up fast,” Dasgupta said.It may be mentioned that the Kolkata Police in collaboration with Shreeja have introduced Damini, a project where football coaching is provided to the girls with a view to make them self-reliant.Two football coaching centres have been set up in Park Circus and the other one in North Kolkata. The girls who come to play football will be given coaching in studies later.last_img read more

Bengal govt to come up with more predelivery huts in remote areas

first_imgKolkata: Bengal government aims to set up more ‘pre-delivery huts’ in the far-flung areas, to provide better health care facilities to pregnant women free of cost.The scheme was started by the state government, which was later announced as a model project by the Centre. After seeing the success of the scheme, the state Health department is planning to set up more pre-delivery huts in remote areas.Otherwise known as ‘waiting huts’, these pre-delivery huts have turned out to be extremely beneficial for the pregnant women who often face difficulties in reaching the district hospitals, as they stay in far-off areas. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe project was started by the state Health department in the rural areas, following instruction from Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who laid enormous emphasis on institutional deliveries in remote areas.It is the Chief Minister’s relentless efforts, that have brought about significant changes in this field. The project was initiated so that expectant mothers from South 24-Parganas and particularly areas surrounded by various rivers, do not face any difficulties in giving birth to their babies. It is not always possible to transport the patients from the farthest corners to the city. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe main purpose of setting up the ‘waiting huts’ was to reduce infant mortality rate and also the death of mothers before or after delivery. It has often been seen that it becomes difficult for women to travel long distances to reach a health centre for an institutional delivery, as their families fail to pay for vehicles. Even health check-up of expectant mothers belonging to remote areas is not done.Earlier, it was seen that many expectant mothers would die along with their babies, while being transported to a hospital from their native place, due to lack of transportation infrastructure. People had to depend on mechanised boats to ferry a patient to the block primary health centres.Keeping this in mind, the state government is keen on constructing more such huts in the remotest areas. These huts are equipped to keep pregnant women for observation and total care for 7-10 days prior to the expected dates of delivery.The patients in these huts are kept under constant monitoring and are provided with good quality food free of cost.It may be mentioned that the parliamentary committee on the empowerment of women at the Centre has also showed interest in the project. It has been learnt that the Centre has proposed to consider it to be a model project.last_img read more

PWD takes up repair work of Diamond Harbour Road after rain subsides

first_imgKolkata: The state Public Works department (PWD) has taken up the repairing work of the stretches on Diamond Harbour Road that got badly damaged due to heavy downpour.The department has started repairing the roads adjoining Taratala Flyover. Braving rains, the engineers of PWD worked throughout the night on Tuesday to complete the work.Engineers feel the Mastic Asphalt coating that has been used to repair will keep the roads protected for the next six to seven months. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe road was heavily damaged due to the incessant rainfall. The top surface of the road got washed away, resulting in potholes and craters.The potholes pose a serious threat to the two-wheeler and auto rickshaw drivers as they often fail to gauge the depth of the crators. Recently, two autos overturned near Taratala intersection causing injuries to the passengers. PWD has also started covering up the potholes near Behala Chowrasta and once the sunny spell starts, through repairs will be carried out. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe engineers said the entire stretch of Diamond Harbour Road upto Joka has been damaged due to construction of BBD Joka Metro railway. The drains have been clogged resulting in waterlogging.Meanwhile, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has started filling up the potholes on eastern Metropolitan Bypass as it has slowed down traffic movement from Monday and many airport-bound passengers have missed their flights.Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA) has begun repairing roads in Sector V that got damaged due to rainfall. High-level meeting has been held between senior NDITA officials and police to chalk out the plan.In sector V and its adjoining areas, the construction of East-West Metro has resulted in waterlogging. People can now lodge complaints in respect of damaged roads, bridges, culverts and buildings belonging to PWD for early repair on Whatsapp — ‘9073362000’.last_img read more