The editorial in Organiser assesses the impact of the goods and services tax (GST) in India. As “a new tax regime is set to unfold on July 1,” it says, “there are many concerns and confusions about the system and its implementation and like any major changes, it is going to be disruptive in many ways”. It notes that “starting with France in 1954, more than 160 countries have adopted the system of unified taxes”. The GST will be replacing as many as 13 indirect taxes with one simple tax, creating a boundary-less and unified national market”. Underlining the structural changes the GST requires, it stresses that “not only the government agencies but our traditional business houses will have to adapt to the new regime”.
“There are apprehensions among people, especially the business community, and there are reasons for it,” it says, stressing that “implementing such an overhaul exercise in a massive country like Bharat is not an easy task”. “The account books will have to be revamped,” as “traditional family businesses that are used to manual accounting will naturally face difficulties”. The editorial says the real concerns are for small and medium businesses who always face a credit crunch. Therefore, the government will have to “devise mechanism to address their issues… and valid apprehensions”, the editorial argues.
Rohingyas in J&K
The cover story of Organiser is on the “presence of Rohingya Muslims in Jammu and nearby areas”, who pose “a threat” to “national security”. The Rohingyas became homeless in 1982 when the Myanmar government denied them citizenship rights. While countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan refused them asylum, their “illegal” settlement across India started in 2008, the report says.
In Jammu, they earlier lived “in tin-roof shanties, but now they are converting them into permanent brick houses”. “Who permitted Rohingya Muslims to settle down in Jammu when Article 370 of the Constitution of India doesn’t allow even an Indian citizen from other states to settle down in J&K?” the report asks. It quotes a local resident who claims that “their (Rohingya Muslims) agenda is to encroach the whole Jammu in small pockets”.
According to the government data, the article says, “13,400 Myanmari and Bangladeshi illegal migrants are living in various parts of the State of J&K”. It also quotes a “senior police officer of Jammu”, who claims that the crime graph is rising in Jammu and alleges that the Rohingyas are “directly or indirectly involved in the crimes”. “There are some reports which say that terrorist organisations have made attempts to radicalise sections of the Rohingya youth,” says the officer.
The “larger threat”, the report claims, is that many “illegal immigrants have acquired ration cards, voter cards, Aadhaar cards as well as permanent resident certificates illegally”.
An article in Panchjanya terms a recent public appeal by 65 retired bureaucrats, which talks about a “growing climate of religious intolerance that is aimed primarily at Muslims” as yet another “secular mischief”. According to the article, “someone like Harsh Mander” prepared this document and others “merely signed it or gave their consent on phone”. Terming the appeal as a “pro-Muslim, anti-Hindu political propaganda”, it says the document makes the same “false and exaggerated allegations” that had been raised since the 2002 Gujarat riots to 2014. This “selective display of secularism” confirms a “pro-Muslim” attitude that does not “even take notice of infinite massacres of the Hindus in India”.
The publication of such documents is an old technique of anti-Hindu leftists, according to the article. Questioning the veracity of this appeal, it contends that “no officer writes such language, cannot write such language”. This document was written by shrewd politicians. It talks about “neutrality” and “commitment to Indian constitution”, but only gives instances of “atrocities on Muslims”. Is it neutrality to not talk about jihadi terrorism that has hurt the maximum number of people? the article asks. It also criticises these former officers for being quiet on Kashmiri Pandits, Indian soldiers killed while on duty, and attacks on Hindus in West Bengal.