End Modi-baitinghttps://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/end-modibaiting/

End Modi-baiting

Both RSS journals,the Organiser and the Panchjanya,have focussed on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi,projecting the SIT’s verdict on the communal riots that followed the Godhra incident as a big boost for him.

End Modi-baiting

Both RSS journals,the Organiser and the Panchjanya,have focussed on Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi,projecting the SIT’s verdict on the communal riots that followed the Godhra incident as a big boost for him.

The Panchjanya editorial says that the conclusion of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up by the Supreme Court and headed by former CBI director R.K. Raghavan,that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and his administration could not be charged,is a slap on the face of those who had campaigned against him for the last 10 years. The 5000-page report has,therefore,recommended the closure of the investigations,says the Panchjanya. It claims that Modi-baiters like Teesta Setalwad even attempted to influence witnesses and prop up false witnesses. It is time to end this negative campaign against Modi,who has continued to selflessly serve Gujarat with his good governance,says the editorial. The Organiser also carries a full-page article praising this “clean chit” to Modi. It maintains that he played an “exemplary role” during the riots and “performed his rajdharma like no other leader of state in independent India.”

Water for all

an Organiser editorial has raised concerns over a tilt towards privatisation in the Draft Water Policy 2012 recently unveiled by the UPA. Charging the government with making a veiled reference to the idea in the draft water policy as well as at the India Water Week held last week,the RSS says that placing this resource in private hands would be disastrous. “Water,unlike minerals and spectrum,is not merely a national resource: it is an essential requirement for life. A divine gift. Giving control of it,even partly into private hands,would create havoc,” the Organiser said.

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“The draft policy,as some social activists have pointed out,clearly favours privatisation. It advocates the withdrawal of the government from the role of ‘service provider’ and gradually shift [sic to being a mere facilitator,leaving the field open for ‘citizens and/or private’ players. This is nothing different from the IMF-World Bank sponsored ideology of commercialising water. The draft policy wants water to be treated as an ‘economic good… priced to promote efficient use and maximising value’,which when translated means that water would be a commodity which can be bought by those who have the means,” the editorial says.

It points out that the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh in 1998 gave away a 23-kilometre stretch of the Sheonath river to a company called Radius Water Ltd (RWL) to build a dam and reservoir to supply water to the Borai industrial estate. “The local population has ever since lost access to water in the river in that stretch. This happened when Digvijaya Singh was chief minister. What a sham it is. Privatisation of water has been introduced in various other pockets in India on an experimental basis. If they had their way,politicians are capable of selling away everything,” says the Organiser. It contends that if this policy is adopted,it will “shove millions of farmers in the country further into a vortex of poverty,where agriculture will no longer be a viable livelihood”.

No FDI from Pakistan

A “special focus” article in the Organiser has voiced concern over recent reports that the government intends to allow foreign direct investment from Pakistan (so far prohibited under FEMA rules). It says that such a decision would be “seriously flawed and would pose formidable challenge to the internal and external security of the country” and that it would prove to be “an altogether myopic misadventure”.

The article contends that there will no reciprocation from Pakistan,which has neither has the requisite funds to invest,nor technology to bring to India. It claims that Pakistan will use the FDI route to fund ISI activities,organise separatist movements and terrorist training camps. “Moreover,Pakistan would attempt to spy,abet terrorism and carry home dual-use sensitive technology by establishing workstations to hire Indian scientists for all its ostensible and clandestine motives,” claims the article.