Batting for FDI
Organisations affiliated to the RSS may be opposed to increasing FDI in various sectors, but the Organiser has praised the government’s move to increase FDI in railways, insurance and defence. “FDI ensures a huge amount of domestic capital, production level and employment opportunities in developing countries, which is a major step towards the economic growth of the country,” an article in the weekly says. It states that the decision to raise the FDI cap in defence will “hugely help in reducing the import bill for defence equipment, and will help in boosting manufacturing and creating jobs”.
It notes that bullet trains will not be possible without FDI in railways, and that foreign funds are required for help in the modernisation and expansion of the railway project, boost infrastructure development and generate jobs. In the insurance sector, it argues, higher FDI could provide a fillip to job creation. More capital, it claims, will help insurance companies tap under-insured markets through better infrastructure and more manpower. While the article calls for more investment in the telecom sector to create jobs and improve connectivity, it warns against FDI in retail because it will “drain out the country’s share of revenue to foreign countries, which may have a negative impact on India’s economy”.
The Organiser’s cover story on Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him “the Pied Piper” who has mesmerised the Japanese people. Arguing that Modi’s Japan visit was as historic as the BJP’s 2014 electoral victory, an editorial says the prime minister’s decision to make Japan his first major foreign visit was motivated by a “historical cultural connect”. The editorial points out that culture formed an instrument of foreign policy much before the emergence of modern nation states. “India has been using it effectively for ages… for hard elements of diplomacy to work, soft power of diplomacy needs to be installed,” adding that Modi’s Japan visit was more than just a business endeavour. “The clear message from Modi’s Japan visit is that while acquiring hard power and sustaining economic growth, it is the ‘power of culture’ that India should use efficiently to further its national interest,” it concludes.
An editorial in the Panchajanya praised the NDA government and criticised Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for his remark that the prime minister was enjoying beating drums in Japan without solving the country’s issues. Praising Modi’s Japan visit, the article says that the cultural connections between India and Japan are delightful. “But… Rahul Gandhi is angry,” remarking that the Gandhi scion always seems to focus on the wrong side of the story. The editorial also wonders “how the country’s oldest party manages to be sarcastic in such a way that no one appreciates it”.
It goes on to appreciate the government’s efforts to end red-tapism and delays in key projects in its first 100 days. But, the editorial cautions: “the journey is long and it’s just the beginning. Irrespective of what the media says, it is time for the BJP and NDA to introspect”.
Compiled by Liz Mathew