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Friday, July 6, 2018

Nine months

Exactly nine months from now, India will face another general elections. Nine month is symbolic equal to the labor months of pregnancy. The situation now is of pregnant uncertainty as proclaimed by opposition or of pregnant optimism as proclaimed by incumbents. Though bit away from ground reality lets assess key points which matter.

We start with initial gains and publicity of Scheme like Swattch Bharat Abhiyaan (no past govt even addressed those issue , Beti Bachao, Make in India , Jan Dhan yojana and many more ground level schemes involving irrigation, education, social justice etc. Also there was change in functioning pattern of bureaucracy.

The focus on infrastructure was evident especially visible in Road construction, Railways modernization, electricity, airport modernization etc. Science and Technology missions like those by ISRO, DRDO, Universities and Institutes, healthcare  

Then came big ticket policy of Demonetization. It was a political move. The overnight transformation was almost impossible so a big risk. But men on streets accepted the problem and pain for larger picture. But ultimately things did not result in much significant step against corruption though actual statistics show some significant improvement in govt revenues. Those who suffered were most who had some vested interests, opposition to PM personally due to agenda difference or opportunism.

GST was discussed at all level during previous regime but finally it was implemented in this tenure. There were many technical glitches but finally people accepted and govt revenues improved at Country , state  and local levels. Those opposing were claiming negative imppact on Manufacturing etc which is a fact but reasons is not GST alone there are many global, local , and simple business feasibility factors.

Established and sold media left no stone unturned to create negative perception of govt and people of India. List started with Award wapasi, Anti dalit vs others division led by pro naxal/jihadi nexus of individuals in JNU, Hyderabad, leftist authors, foreign elements. Then there was  Intolerance based on politicization of issues like cow protection lynching, Rape, selective treatment of activist murders etc , Aslo there were political criticism equating PM as a Dictator, lack of his democratic values, lack of team work.

But impact of social media might help incumbents as they have their followers who are more active, techno-savvy and vociferous on most of the popular social media platforms. After having fed up with lopsided coverage laced with bias towards establishment, social media found a relief vent for those who wanted to  be heard and influence opinions.

Alliance with PDP ensured entry of BJP in J& K. Though it complicated matters in the valley, it mattered in Jammu and Ladakh the neglected population. Kashmir problem created by past regimes immediately after Independence need some harsh decisions like total authority to armed forces, constitutional changes in treating it as any other state, focus on tourism and economy, focus on education, infrastructure, rehabilitation of those forcefully displaced.

There are some Allies in NDA who feel they are neglected and wronged be it: TDP, SS, SAD and others. How will that impact depends on influence of each in their region but can emerge as factor to reduction in votes

Now one trend that was set after Karnataka election is so called Opporsition Unity. This is an opportunistic coalition of few very notorious dynastic. Ultra corrupt  national and regional politician. If they manage to avoid ego clashes and field a single candidates then there might be significant impact.

Inflation has hurt back of common people. Be it rise in oil prices, basic household purchases, housing, transport, entertainment and so on. That might bee serious impact issue

One of the biggest challenge before incumbents  were the High Expectations people had from incumbent when they took over. They wanted end to corruption, they wanted better and cheaper living, they wanted strong India in world order. How did they fare on those expectation is relative individual perception which will define votes after Nine months. Interesting all these factors make 2019 election a black box though expressed electronically.

Finally there is TINA effect. There is strong mistrust towards opposition which leaves incumbents as only possible and capable party to govern. TINA stands for There Is No Alternative

Very Interesting Nine months. Nine months is long time in Politics but for now its a literal black box though electronic one.

Author runs a blog

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Your Friendly Neighborhood Detective

This is a fictional story contributed by Citizen Journalist urging importance of community vigilance  in neighborhoods.

I accidentally ran into an alternate occupation which I had I never dreamed. As a child, like a majority of kids, I had dreamed of being a truck/bus driver or wanted to be a policeman. But the events unfolded in the month of March actually found a hidden talent in myself. You can call this entire episode as Serendipity amid ides of March (only for those studying for verbal MCQ competitive tests).

It started with the housing society committee meeting held in August earlier year. I am part of managing committee. Our society is complex of 8 building each having 11 floors and each floor having 6 “luxurious flats with latest amenities and facilities” as published in ads and brochure published by the promoter” . Thus we were a village of 528 families. In first two three years of completion all flats got sold thanks to a new planned 80 ft wide road access and social establishments coming up. So we are one of the prestigious residential complex in the area. Committee meetings are stormy with various issues, personal grudges, egos and rules termed as society by laws which are unclear to most.

In that meeting, we had an agenda of granting NOC of sale of flat which was exactly one floor below that of mine. The current owner an IT professional had his GC filed in US for long term assignment. The buyer was a party from Mumbai. We deliberated with a letter to owner to pay transfer charges, and let us know details of new owner for records. The owner then provided the detailed paid and their registration documents were submitted for records. As per details provided by current owner, Mumbai based party had multiple business interests. This flat purchase was personal investment as and also they were planning to have a unit near Pune in future.

Marching Ahead