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Sunday, February 23, 2020

View From The Right: Paradise Papers

One article in Organiser mentions that after the revelation that 714 Indians named in the documents, the government “swiftly” switched into action, and “ordered a multi-agency probe, within hours of the eruption of names of 714 Indian entities”.

Updated: November 15, 2017 12:45:42 am

The global investigation into the offshore accounts and companies by International Consortium of Investigative Journalists in the recently released Paradise Papers finds multiple mention in Organiser. One article mentions that after the revelation that 714 Indians named in the documents, the government “swiftly” switched into action, and “ordered a multi-agency probe, within hours of the eruption of names of 714 Indian entities”. The articles emphasise that mere presence of a corporate body or an individual’s name on the list does not necessarily mean malfeasance.

One article, though, mentions that Ziqitza Healthcare Ltd — a company linked to Sachin Pilot, Karti Chidambaram and former minister Vayalar Ravi’s son — is already under the scanner of Indian agencies. Similarly, the financial dealings between Vijay Mallya, Diageo and USL were also being probed.

Another article says that while Minister of State Jayant Sinha is also named in the Paradise Papers, if one were to go by the “rule book” then transacting through a tax haven is not “illegal” if disclosed to relevant authorities. “If anyone named has done legitimate transactions through tax havens and it has been properly disclosed then there is no point sensationalising this leak,” the article says.

The articles also mention that round-tripping of money through tax havens is also a problem and how governments across the world are trying to bring more transparency to check the issues of tax avoidance and black money.

Organiser’s editorial also mentions Paradise Papers in passing, saying, “The greed and exploitation-based progress is leading us to regression. Unearthing of Panama and Paradise Papers is just tip of the iceberg of this mindless model of development.”

Tipu’s Tale

Organiser’s cover story continues the magazine’s focus on the former ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. It starts by saying that “Marxist historians, media and successive governments for the sake of appeasing their vote banks have hidden the atrocities carried out by Tipu on Kodavas and the people of Malabar.”

It states that Kodavas are regarded as one of the smallest communities in the world and Tipu’s “barbarism” is considered as the reason for it. Between 1760 and 1790, the article claims Tipu destroyed over 600 temples across Kodagu and “massacred” or converted lakhs of Kodavas. After losing to Kodava kings 31 times in 25 years, it says, Tipu sought revenge for his humiliation.

Further, the article says that Tipu wanted to abolish Kannada and introduced Persian language in his administration.

Calling him “an invader, a dictator, a coward and a tyrant”, it says the Congress regime celebrating “Kannada-hating” monarch’s birth anniversary in the state in the same month which also featured Karnataka’s founding day is ironical. “Glorifying such barbaric despots for political gains is an absolute shame and disgrace to humanity.”

Gujarat Elections

A story in Panchajanya this week discusses the upcoming Gujarat elections. It states that when the Congress is using separatism and casteism to win the electoral battle in Gujarat, the BJP has made a place for itself in the hearts of Gujaratis through development.

Rahul Gandhi’s “unsuccessful” attempt to create a coalition with Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakore and Jignesh Mewani, the article says, points towards the Congress’s attempt to create an alliance based on caste. The author says that the Congress believes that the caste communities of the these three leaders, which account for 60 per cent of Gujarat’s population, stands behind them. Through Rahul’s regular visits to temples recently, the author says, the Congress doesn’t want to be seen to close to Muslims and create polarisation among the Hindus because it believes it already has the state’s Muslims vote.

Comparing it to the BJP’s campaign, the author says Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Vijay Rupani are all stressing on the politics of development.

The absence of common people in Rahul Gandhi’s rallies, the Congress’s manifesto of empty promises and its softness on terrorism and separatism has not gone down well with the state’s patriotic citizens, the article claims “They are appreciating the development work of Modi’s government in the Centre and Rupani’s government in the state. It is a question of Gujarat’s pride.”

Ease of Business

Panchajanya’s cover story looks at India’s improved rankings in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business. The article mostly looks at the various parameters that the World Bank looks at while judging each country. The 10 parameters include, ease of starting a business, ease of getting loans, security of small investors, issues related to electricity, among others. The author then provides details for each of those points as to how doing business in India has improved in the last few years.

It states that economic and business experts know the significance of India jumping 30 places in the year’s rankings. Even though those who want to politicise will find issues in this too, the elevation of India’s business community, even if slow, it says, is beneficial for the country.

Compiled by Krishn Kaushik

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