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Rule of the ugly Indian



New Delhi : Citizens hold placards during a silent protest " Not in My Name " against the targeted lynching, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Shahbaz Khan(PTI6_28_2017_000202B)
New Delhi : Citizens hold placards during a silent protest " Not in My Name " against the targeted lynching, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI Photo by Shahbaz Khan(PTI6_28_2017_000202B)

The steady rise of the ugly Indian since 2014 has gained traction. The organs of the body politic have begun to atrophy. State-craft based on media hype, blatantly partisan electronic media channels disseminating views not news and frequent public announcements with much fanfare, have begun to sound hollow. Democracy is being tested. Vigilantism across the country has several manifestations.

The manner in which Gauri Lankesh was murdered was strikingly similar to killings in the past of rationalists who were ready to stand up and be counted. Narendra Dabholkar, out on a morning walk, was murdered in August, 2013 near Omkareshwar temple, Pune. Govind Pansare was killed in February, 2015 when he was out on a walk with his wife Uma. The miscreants came on a motorbike. M.M. Kalburgi suffered a similar fate in August, 2015 at Dharwad. The killers have not been traced till date. Either the police is inept or is not willing to effectively investigate.

The “anti-Hindu” rationalists are being taught a lesson. Similar lessons are taught by lynch brigades. They attack Dalits and Muslims for transporting cows or dealing with them as part of their occupation. Even when caught, prosecutions are few and far between. When prosecuted, the wheels of justice show no alacrity for closure. Bail is granted routinely. The ugly Indian in politics seeks blood for blood. Violence has become the norm.

We have ugly Indians on TV channels ranting and raving to further a particular mindset. Shrill opinions receive vocal support from anchors. Reason has no place and there is no virtue in dialogue. Drowning the voices of reason and seducing people to listen to senseless soliloquies makes for entertainment. Large sections of the electronic media are not interested in disseminating facts. Opinions based on fiction carry the day.

Yet another genre of the ugly Indian is the one who trolls on social networking sites. He is abusive, arrogant, muscular, intolerant, dismissive and condescending. Where he finds the discourse inconvenient, he diverts the dialogue. The uninformed do not seek truth. Repeated lies by paid trollers bury voices of sanity. Attack is the best form of defence. It is hazardous to challenge or question trollers, paid only to vilify. The ugly Indian is gaining ground and we are silent.

The death of children in Gorakhpur and Farrukhabad is yet another example of the ugly Indian symbolised by the state, apathetic and heartless. Its rationale: Encephalitis has taken lives before. If lack of oxygen is the cause of deaths, facts are twisted, the media managed. The state continues with business as usual. The ugly Indian looks on, untouched and unperturbed.

A poor man served food on the floor of a hospital does not shake our conscience; nor are we appalled when the dignity of the dead is desecrated. We see images of the dead carried to hospital in pushcarts, bicycles and on the shoulders of the grieving survivor. Despite the December 16, 2012, rape case in the capital, and the ensuing death sentence, the incidence of rape has not decreased.
Contract teachers serving the state are paid Rs 10,000 per month, or even less, as salary.

Teachers are the least regarded assets. They are ill-quipped to nurture the young. The student-teacher ratio in some instances is 90:1 in rural India. Absentee teachers are the norm. Children of Class V are only able to read books for children of Class II (ASER Report). The ugly Indian is not committed to teaching the young. Higher education is replete with issues of institutional corruption. Medical education is controlled by an ugly cabal, manipulating the system in admissions to medical colleges.

For those rolling in wealth, over-invoicing and under-invoicing is the way to heavenly riches. Statutory orders are passed overnight to declare over-invoicing legal. Over-invoicing is also a means to transfer wealth abroad. Entrepreneurs beef up project costs for loans to siphon off money for personal gain. The resultant NPAs cost the country and tax-payers. The rich get away while the cash in the hands of the poor is frozen. The country suffered a loss of at least Rs 3 lakh crore by paralysing 86 per cent of the cash economy. The ugly Indian defended it. Economists around the world considered it an unmitigated disaster. The poor lost out while the rich retained their ill-gotten wealth by banking their black money, converting it into white. The ugly banker allowed that to happen. For the ugly Indian, politics, not economics, holds sway.

The ugly Indian refuses to give the farmer his due. In times of drought, he commits suicide, unable to repay his loan to moneylenders. With excessive rainfall, his crops are flooded and he has no roof over his head. Even the few with crop insurance are caught in bureaucratic wrangles. The ugly bureaucrat makes sure that he tells his boss what he likes to hear. For the ugly professionals, making money is an end in itself.

The judicial system is often manipulated. Investigating agencies take U-turns to help the guilty. They listen to their masters in the corridors of power. Perpetrators of violence are rewarded by the state. The shameless say they don’t buckle under pressure because they are different. Morality is not a word that finds place in their political vocabulary.

Communities are being torn apart and the voices of sanity are being silenced. Women and children are the least protected. The poor and the marginalised are voiceless. The ugly Indian rules. Vigilantes are at large because they know that no harm will be done to them. I hope someone rises to the occasion to put a stop to this atrophy. Somewhere, the state is failing us and we the state. For the ugly Indian, “achhe din” have arrived.

(Credit: This Article was first published in  Indian Express   Dated 11/09/2017)

The Author is former Union Minister and Member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.



World gearing up for a third world war : UK warns of Russian threat




There is a growing unease in United States and Britain about Russia  progressing in achieving “Eurasian Union” of former Soviet republics along the lines of the European Union under Vladimir Putin. Britain has warned that Russia is the biggest threat to UK’s security since the end of the Cold War. Drawing similarities with the 1914 First World war, UK defence secretary Gavin Williamson has equated Moscow to North Korea after Russia has threatened to unleash nuclear war.

Due to the Russians’ presence in the Mediterranean region and the Kremlin’s “increased assertiveness,” it is time Britain gets stronger, he said. This comes just a week after Britain ordered ships to pass the disputed South China Sea, much closer to the Chinese coast than the white cliffs of Dover.

General Nicholas Carter has also warned that Britain will be unable to preempt or respond to Russian aggression unless its military capabilities are overhauled to match Moscow’s military capabilities. Since 2000, Putin has been Russia’s most powerful man after the resignation of Boris Yeltsin, holding positions of both prime minister and president and had been consistently working to achieve superpower status for Moscow and global hegemony equivalent to US.

The West became cautious of Puin moves after the Russian seizure of Crimea in March 2014, followed by its annexation. UK former defence secretary, Sir Michael Fallon issued calls for increased defence spending, citing growing threats from Russia and cyber-attacks.

Fallon admitted that Britain has all the evidence of Putin’s intent to subvert western democracies, from the Netherlands to Montenegro, from Germany to even the United States.” “Through cyber, our enemies can target us anywhere on the planet: not only stealing our information, but exploiting us, coercing us, disrupting our energy supplies, our armaments, even our governments. Almost anybody can become a cyber-warrior: a laptop and some smart software can inflict enormous financial and physical damage on individuals and entire countries.”

To establish foothold in Middle East, Russia has significantly increased its military operations to Syria. Taking forward the geopolitical and ideological idea, Putin called for the Eurasian Movement of the Russian Federation, and said that there is a unique “Eurasian” civilization in Russia and its neighbors, distinct from both East and the West.

To pursue his goal, Putin clinched free trade pacts with countries to form Eurasian Union. The Russian leader is aggressively trying to achieve Eurasian integration process due to many common factors binding Russia and the European countries together : common history, geographical proximity, massive amounts of trade, etc. But confrontation is most likely between Russia and Europe.

The tensions between Russia and the West escalated after Russia air force purchased 10 of the strategic TU-160M nuclear bombers, code named Blackjacks by NATO. The TU-160M worth 15 billion rubles ($269 million) is capable of carrying 12 cruise missiles or 12 short-range nuclear missiles and can fly 7,500 miles non-stop without refuelling. US, UK and Europe are worried over Putin standing for re-election on March 18 – a poll showing he is likely to win.

Russia has deployed over 330,000 soldiers on its western border while NATO has stationed biggest military build-up on Moscow’s borders since the cold war. Moreover, Russia carried out simulated attack exercises across northern Europe, from Kaliningrad to Lithuania, as part of a new tactic in exploiting the gray areas between peace and war.

Talking about the military hardware, Britain fighter jets are stationed in Romania, US tanks, troops, artillery has been deployed in Poland to counter the Russian warships armed with cruise missiles in Baltic Sea.

An armada of Russian ships from the Baltic Fleet have been dispatched from Baltiysk naval base, in Kaliningrad Oblast, for large scale military exercises. Sweden, whose eastern coast borders the Baltic Sea, is issuing the advise for the first time since 1961 – the height of the Cold War.

U.S. National Security Strategy released by Trump’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster states Russia and China are “revisionist” powers, genuine geopolitical rivals to the United States that “challenge American power, influence and interests,” while “attempting to erode American security and prosperity.”

Russia military has been deeply engaged in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine since April 2014, where fighting has claimed 10,000 lives. The United States, European Union and other Western countries are continuing to put political and economic pressure on the Kremlin. Putin’s Russia is active today. “Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, and Ukraine—he is either trying to get those countries back into his realm .

Washington approved for the first time lethal weapons sales to Ukraine in its fight against Russian-backed militias and the announcement of a new U.S. sanctions list that targets Russians such as the Kremlin-appointed strongman in Chechnya.

Russia denounced the American strategy document as an “imperialist” relic of a delusional superpower that persisted in acting unilaterally on the world stage.


By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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Royal Orchid announces the opening of group’s newest hotel in Nashik




 Royal Orchid Hotels, the fastest growing hospitality chain in India today announced the opening of its new hotel in Nashik named ‘Regenta Resort Soma Vine Village’. Nashik popularly known as the wine capital of the country has gained immense popularity among the tourist in India.

Regenta Resort Soma Vine Village, with 32 rooms offers boutique accommodation with varied dining and banquet facilities. The glorious property will give travelers a mesmerizing experience and contemporary luxury.

On-site amenities at the hotel include a completely refreshed restaurant, a winery, a state-of-the-art fitness center and outdoor pool, as well as a business centre, and spa services. The hotel has a wide range of facilities that let the guests choose from various room categories designed in keeping the touch of the city with elegance and relaxing atmosphere.

Located in the northern part of the state of Maharashtra, Nashik is developing as a lively city with a blend of the ancient and modern touches attracting tourists from across the country. The city has numerous forts, temples, historic sites as well as a home to industries. The city offers green pastures, mountains and tours of the wine yard.

The most important attraction of the city includes Vineyards and Hindu temples situated in and around Nashik. May it be an important corporate event or a business meet or a simple getaway to explore nature and feel the essence of spirituality, Regenta Resort Soma Vine Village allows enormous options to its guests. The guests can experience the beauty and culture of Nasik just by availing one of the several facilities that the hotel provides to its patrons.

Chander K. Baljee, Managing Director, Royal Orchid Hotels said, “The hotel is the perfect complement to our recently refreshed Regenta portfolio of hotels across India. We are taking continuous steps towards expanding our presence all over India. The new hotel in Nasik is one such move towards achieving our aim. The government push toward tourism sector is giving us the much needed enthusiasm to go aggressive in adding new properties to our bouquet. Going forward we will continue to add more properties to both-explored and unexplored tourist destinations”

By now we have added eight properties – Mysore, Ahmedabad, Dehradun, Kanpur, Dwarka, Indore, Pushkar and now Nasik in the current fiscal year taking the number to 49 hotels. We will continue our efforts in expanding our presence all over India”.

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Nationalism of Narendra Modi is under question



The economic bungling by Jeweller Nirav Modi, Business tycoon Vijay Mallya  and Lalit Modi has put a serious  question mark on the nationalism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. His conspicuous silence on  India’s largest banking fraud to the tune of Rs 11,400-crore and still counting is shocking as he repeatedly claimed to have won the huge mandate on the basis of giving achhe din to the people of India but crony capitalists have escaped India with taxpayers’ money and there is no clarification from Narendra Modi who has taken the voter for a ride.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi advised Prime Minister Narendra Modi  to speak on  the Nirav Modi and Rafale scams rather than seeking suggestions for his Mann Ki Baat programme from the general public.

The intentions of Modi government are also conspicuous when the central government  opposed a plea seeking an independent Special Investigation team ( SIT )probe and deportation of billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi in the Supreme Court,citing an FIR has already been filed and that a probe was on.

The Supreme Court has already admitted the PIL, filed by lawyer Vineet Dhanda in the Rs 11,400 crore PNB fraud and has now been listed for further hearing on March 16.The PIL has made Punjab National Bank, Reserve Bank of India and the ministries of finance and law and justice as parties.

Modi has been touring the world citing that his government is enhancing the status of India as an investor friendly country and where there is an ease of doing business. On the contrary, his reforms of demonetisation and GST has benefitted selected Business people having links with the ruling party and crony capitalists and general public has been made to bear the burnt. The economic frauds have dented the image of India globally and these types of  incidents would amplify questions about distress in the country’s financial sector reeling under bad loans.

What type of image is being projected when the  picture in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi is seen with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Davos where the 48th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum took place  from 23 to 26 January 2018. The summit was attended by world’s leading figures .

On January 31, PNB filed a case of “criminal conspiracy and cheating” against the gem trader, members of his family and others two weeks ago alleging a 2.8 billion indian rupee ($44m) fraud.

The Modi government is busy creating eyewash by deploying agencies to probe the scandal  and the Central Bureau of Investigation  on Tuesday arrested five senior executives in connection with the multi-crore PNB fraud including Vipul Ambani (President, Finance, Firestar International/Diamonds group), Kavita Mankikar (executive assistant and authorised signatory of 3 accused firms), Arjun Patil (senior executive, Firestar group), Kapil Khandelwal (CFO, Nakshatra and Gitanjali group) and Niten Shahi (Manager, Gitanjali).

Modi asked people of India in 2014 to vote out corrupt UPA regime then how he and his government is defending the scandals that have occurred under his tenure of just four years . Modi is even trying to bring back the culprits to India .

The question should be asked to the ministers of Modi government what type of nationalism they carry with them when they do not value the life of Indian citizens ,when Dalits are being thrashed ,security personnel get killed on the border when our ruling political class provokes the enemy country just to showoff the Indian voter (woo voters) that they are superior than other political parties. Modi should have strengthened  the country militarily, economically and cohesively as an answer to the huge mandate given by the voters on trust.


By: Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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