Compiled by Aakash Joshi
The editorial in Organiser attacks Manmohan Singh and his invocation of John Maynard Keynes while criticising demonetisation in Parliament. It says, “as expected, the proceedings in Parliament are halted for obscure reasons… The most surprising part is that the usually silent voice in Rajya Sabha made the allegations of ‘organised loot’ and ‘legalised plunder’ of the common people. The problem is not with raising the common man’s concerns; the issue is carrying the moral responsibility to do the same that is also based on Keynesian wisdom.” The editorial, gives “the benefit of doubt” to the former prime minister on his personal integrity, but claims that “the government under his (Singh’s) leadership faced the biggest anti-corruption movement”. It says: “It was the coal block allocation and 2G spectrum allocation scams that changed the contours of politics. 2G is believed to be the biggest scam involving the process of allocating unified access service licenses to the telecom companies involving the estimated losses of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Another feather in the cap was the Commonwealth Games scam, which depicts corruption not only in economic terms but also credibility terms. The inefficiency shown in allocating the coal blocks is another example of mismanagement by the economist.” “The most unfortunate part”, the editorial goes on to say, is “to express his (Singh) role as an opponent; the pioneer of liberalisation in Bharat has quoted Keynes to justify his argument. That is another reflection of his poor understanding of pulse of Bharat.” Organiser argues that “when people are giving overwhelming response to the decision” it “constructive suggestion” not “criticism” that is called for. “For Keynes, being a western economist, life is limited. For us individual life may be limited but the national life is immortal and more important,” Organiser concludes.
An opinion piece in Organiser by Karan Kharab says under the Congress-led UPA government “a regime that was fighting for its own survival and with no indigenous manufacturing facility for the sophisticated modern warfare requirements, the armed forces were left crying for making up their critical deficiencies”. He argues that there has been a paradigm shift in the security strategy of the country since Narendra Modi became PM. While Pakistan and China constituted external challenges, “the remnants of insurgency in the North-east, the Maoist violence that had spread in the hinterland states of the country often echoing in universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi and Jadhavpur University in Bengal” constituted internal challenges. The article argues that the prime minister faces complex challenges and claims that “Ajit Doval — the man envied by the world intelligence services for his rich experience in the field of security and negotiations” was inducted as the new national security advisor to address these. The final success and departure from the previous government came when “India shocked Pakistan by launching lightening commando raids on the Pak army controlled terrorist launchpads across the LoC. Cross-border firing also was retaliated with punitive bombardment causing heavy losses to the errant Pakistan army. The unprecedented military response, bold assertion about Pakistan-occupied J&K and Gilgit-Baltistan being integral part of India and an unequivocal declaration of moral and political support to the Baloch struggle marked an eloquent departure from the erstwhile indifference of India towards these issues.”
The editorial in Panchajanya criticises the media for not picking up and publicising stories of how the rich and corrupt are trying to circumvent the rules of the demonetisation drive. It claims that “on November 17, a prominent English daily carried a story on its front page on how rich businessmen are using their labourers as mere tools to stand in queues to withdraw money from banks and ATMs. The truth is that this story’s reach and echo is limited in the media.” The editorial goes on to say that the “media is under socialist influence. But reasonably, this story should have angered socialists as well, yet it wasn’t picked up. Ideally, the destruction of black money through demonetisation and the exploitation of workers in this manner should have brought all parties together. But who has ideals any more?” After accusing Mamata Banerjee for being hypocritical over the Sharada chit-fund scam and the Narada News sting and Arvind Kejriwal for “going against Anna Hazare’s legacy” by attacking the “attack on black money”, the editorial blames the media for propping them up and going against “its core principles of impartiality and patriotism”.