Compiled by Pradeep Kaushal
An editorial in Organiser, “Disciplined Development, Not Doles”, says the Union budget, instead of being populist, seeks to promote transparency and growth. It says: “Overall, the budget has been welcomed by experts, all important organisations and masses; even the Opposition also could not give any substantive negative remarks, except usual formal reaction of it being ‘visionless’, ‘anti-poor’ and ‘lost opportunity’.” This, according to the weekly, “reflects the general faith in the intention and integrity of the government. And the main reason for this is political will to deliver the mandate for bringing transparency and inclusive growth, going beyond the electoral considerations”.
In election season, a budget is expected to be ‘populist’, at least, that has been the norm in Bharat. Not surprisingly, all Opposition parties, especially the Congress and the communists, tried their best to halt the advanced budget presentation through the Election Commission and Supreme Court, on the ground of ‘ensuring free and fair elections’.” They failed, the editorial says. The government also, remaining committed to the broad agenda of bringing transparency and inclusive growth, kept the budget to primarily a financial statement rather than a political one, according to Organiser.
Victimising the Hindu
An Unholy Alliance” is the title of an article in Organiser. The writer, Anurag Saxena, while “Deconstructing the Sanjay Leela Bhansali and the Dholkal Ganesha issues”, sees both as “attacks on Hindus and Hindu Dharma”. “One was sophisticated, under the garb of a progressive filmmaker; the other, by a bunch of frustrated Naxals, was crass,” he observes.
Saxena also mounts an attack on the mainstream media. “Here’s some proverbial crystal-gazing… Very soon, the Lutyens media will crowd around Sanjay Leela Bhansali and make a victim out of him. Very soon, the Lutyens media will forget the Dholkal Ganesha. Oh! Wait a minute! They already have. Very soon, TV anchors from their air-conditioned studios, will set up ‘debates’ on the right of expression and artistic freedom. Token historians will opine that Khilji was just a ‘romantically-inclined’ ruler and that after all he was human. Token legal experts will argue that Bhansali’s film comes with a ‘fiction’ disclaimer. Token victims from Bollywood will claim how they feel trolled and abused. This assorted panel will conclude that intolerance is spreading in the country. Token journalists, conducting these debates, will sprinkle liberally (pun intended), the broad spectrum refuge of journalistic incompetence: ‘allegedly’, ‘reportedly’, ‘it is felt’ and ‘many people believe’,” he writes. Both incidents, in Saxena’s view, “spark a provocation, only to benefit financially from it. Both (Bhansali and Maoists) of them (probably) want to get slapped around once in a while. After all, sympathy is a huge currency. It is sad, but that’s how it works”.
India-US bhai, bhai
The foundation of friendship will get strong,” a Panchjanya report on India-US relations, after Donald Trump’s assumption of the American presidency, says.
The report expresses this optimism on the basis of “initial indications” emanating from the White House and the Trump administration. “Defence and fiscal system will be the two pillars of this strategic relationship,” the report says, adding that the issue of climate change, “which was one of the important aspects of the India-US relationship during the regime of President Barak Obama, can be put in the cold storage”.
The writer says there should be no surprise if spy drones are included in the initial defence purchases. “The US administration believes that a militarily strong, democratic India is in the national interest of America,” he claims. However, the report points out that the activities of Christian missionaries can be a cause of conflict between the two countries.