The editorial in Organiser questions the timing and methodology of the three recent surveys related to the safety of women in India, Kashmir and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). The editorial claims that all objective economic indicators, internal and external, are favourable to India. However, the findings of these subjective surveys, coming close to the 2019 general elections, have pressed the alarm bells.
The editorial says it is a matter of concern that some sections of the media, intellectuals and political parties are celebrating the findings of these surveys — Organiser lists the Thomson Reuters Foundation survey, which ranked India as the most dangerous country for women, the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner’s (UNHRC) report on Jammu and Kashmir and a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report on the VHP. The editorial wonders if it (the celebration of the surveys) is akin to Jaichand approaching Mohammad Ghori to destroy Bharat for selfish power interests. “Which are those forces in our country who work against its unity and dignity?” the editorial asks.
Organiser says the timing of these reports and surveys, which usually precede crucial elections and democratic engagements, is suspect. The editorial also puts forth a slew of questions: “Is it only for shaming an effectively working democracy like Bharat as a whole or just to corner the ruling dispensation?”; “Why was a survey on women safety by Thompson Reuters conducted after a gap of seven years?”; “Did the survey also ask questions on the involvement of Christian pastors and illegal migrants in the rape cases?”
The editorial claims that the more alarming sign is the way the Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his allies did not miss the opportunity, yet again, to politicise the issues flagged by these surveys and exult, “What a shame for our country!” The editorial goes on to say: “Not only do we have the Jaichands, we also have glorious tradition of ‘Vayam Panchadhikam Shatam’ (When we are fighting amongst ourselves it is okay for five Pandavas to fight against 100 Kauravas, but when it is a matter of fighting with outsiders, all 105 will fight together), propagated by Yudhisthira. By and large, barring communists, we have followed this tradition while dealing with external interventions. It is a testing time for a national party like the Congress — whether to follow the path of Dharmaraj Yudhisthira or that of Adharmi Jaichand.”
A year of GST
A report in Panchjanya on the completion of one year of GST describes it a big achievement. A cover story in Panchjanya says there may have been debates at the political level on GST, but the fact is all the decisions taken in relation to GST were consensual — the Union and state governments were in agreement on all tax-related decisions. The report points out that consensus building was not easy. Some state governments were opposed to the Union government, but the finance ministers of these states agreed with the decisions of the GST council. The report argues that this proves GST is moving in the right direction and will accelerate once a few minor hurdles are removed.
The report says the next meeting of GST council, scheduled on July 19, is expected to take some important decisions. GST, the report says, will continue and speculations about its rollback are not to be taken seriously. It recalls that GST was referred to as “Gabbar Singh Tax” during poll campaigns. Though aspects of it need to be improved, no opposition leader today claims that GST will be scrapped, the report says.
(Compiled by Lalmani Verma)