Showing posts with label Sonia Gandhi. Show all posts

Is India Heading Towards the Best Decade For Investors?

A congruence of recent political development in 
India auger a period of stability and growth 

Despite the relative success of the first UPA government of Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh, heralding reforms and forward looking policies encouraging foreign investors, the second term which will end this year had shaken investor confidence in India.

The bottom line is, unlike their first term in power, albeit with the support of the Indian Left, the UPA is a minority government without real law-making clout in its second term which will end this year.

The government was virtually handicapped warding off waves of anti-corruption sentiment, set off by an irresponsible CAG who went on presuming mammoth losses on the Government's populist policies, which the opposition rode to stall law making and policy implementation, abetting national growth.

Despite all this, the UPA2 still has produced an impressive above 5 percent GDP growth while the U.S. and Europe by and large reeled under a double dip recession.

A congruence of recent political developments in India, however, auger a period of stability and growth in the coming decade which savvy investors will look forward to.

India, a Democracy of the People, for the People, By the Gifts.

Allegations of bribery of the electorate by Obama administration were raised by Romney after he lost the last US Presidential election. He might have been very close to be true had it been any election in India.

Electorate in India are won by timely gifts of anything from a kitchen grinders to a laptops to the electorate or even promises of such gifts if elected to power. In every state election, political parties declare the gifts in their manifesto.

In a national election, gifts are more subtle and the UPA chair person Sonia Gandhi has understood this weakness of the Indian electorate more than anyone else.

Sonia won the last election by forcing the Finance Minister Chidambaram to divert $ 13000 Million to write off farmer loans and distribute unemployment benefit under a minimum work assurance scheme.

Sonia and the UPA has put in place measures to capitalise on this by ensuring direct credit of cash subsidies in to bank accounts and the food security bill (which the BJP has stalled so far) which will be put in place well before the election by an ordinance if everything else fail.

There are however other reasons why the UPA will return to power and possibly with a better mandate, ensuring good investment climate and growth rate.

Corruption has different meanings in Indian Politics and Indian Life.

For 1.3 billion people of India, corruption is a way of life and something they can't live without. Paying a few bucks to get a rail ticket or cooking gas or college admission for a child is taken for granted, which the most agitated anti corruption protestor can't deny not having ever done.

Again, Sonia Gandhi has learned this truth and has put in to great use, to win regional elections, by supporting tainted popular leaders accused of corruption, though not always proved and punished.

Though no leader has ever lost an election in India because he or she is accused of corruption, fight against corruption is the only activity of parties in opposition, to stay alive and relevant till the next election, creating hurdles for governance at the cost of growth and development of the country.

Despite all the moralistic clamour by the urban elite, privy to high wages, who can't get the benefit of infra structure and services from the lower paid public sector, which the political opposition plan to ride on and use as an election plank, as corrupt leaders have been re elected in several states.

With administrative reforms within the party and better care in choosing candidates, UPA is closing this electoral ploy of the opposition, determined not to lose the election on this account.

Next Indian Election of 2014 Already Won by the UPA!

BJP sort of lost the election when, propped up by the Hindutwa organisation RSS and an Indian origin business lobby in the US, Narendra Modi, self proclaimed architect of development and BJP leader foisted himself as the next Prime Minister of India.

As a matter of fact the next election has already been won by Sonia and her UPA by a sort ofHara-kiri conducted by the BJP recently in their conclave in Goa, also saving the US administration a major dilemma.

Despite propaganda by thousands of misguided urban Indians who hang around social media and have no clue of reality of a billion villagers, Modi's ploy backfired when one of the real architects of BJP and its perennial Prime Minister in waiting , Advani revolted.

The problem is the anti Muslim tag of Narendra Modi by condoning a riot in 2002 leading to the death of thousands of Muslims has stuck with Modi, no matter what development he has claimed.

The Goa episode resulted in the split up of the NDA alliance , destroying any chance of BJP putting up a fight to regain power from the UPA. The departed partner JDU has claimed :

People are scared of even talking of Bihar's asmita (pride). This is not good for democracy. I say this with a sense of responsibility. An entire party has been bulldozed in the name of workers and cadre. Whoever criticizes gets abused on Twitter and Facebook. Abuses are heaped on journalists as well as others, who don't agree with a particular viewpoint or join in the propaganda. Is this democracy? What happened to right to dissent?

Monsoon Havoc Is More Votes for the Ruling Party In Disguise.

The Indian Monsoon, which bring in the rain every year to sustain agriculture has a great effect not only the economy, but also the national elections.

Traditionally, If the Monsoon is good in an election year, a happy electorate will be with the government with lower food prices and all round prosperity. As the Monsoon this year is more than good, despite havocs and death, the UPA can rest assured of a cheerful mood with the electorate.

Pending Reforms and Projects Can Only Move Forward.

Dr Manmohan Singh and his government which is on a life support by warring local parties with vested interest to complete the current term, in fact has a free hand now to push reform agenda and stalled projects. With nothing to lose and only an election to win, such actions will fill the rest of the term, paving sound foundation for economic development.

Things can go wrong in political calculations. However for India, if the pro capital BJP will somehow garner the power and win the election, Indian business will only stand to gain.

Either way the coin flips in the Next election, foreign investors with capital stand to gain in the India Story , at least for the next decade.


Reach Author Shred Pillai On Google

White Goat and Caged Parrot - How the Indian Media Failed to See Facts From Fiction.

Like the rest of the industrial sectors which see a future in the huge untapped Indian Market, the Western Media has also partnered with Indian upstarts. However, unlike in other industries, the lack of substance and quality in the daily output of the Indian brands, which carry names like CNN-IBNcan actually dent the credibility of the western Media very quickly.
Though in a country of 1.3 Billion people, the direct influence of these channels remain restricted to the urban elite and is minuscule, their viewership and influence now stretch globally thanks to the internet. Besides what they show on a daily basis becomes the fodder for a huge number of local channels and printed media the next day, often adding more colour and crazy interpretation when translated in to local languages, as can be seen from some weird postings on facebook.

The Indian Supreme Court and The Caged Parrot.

During a hearing last week on the progress of investigation by CBI (Indian equivalent of the FBI) the Supreme court of India made a few euphemistic references to assert that the CBI should operate independently, comparing it to a caged parrot which merely repeats the voices of its different masters, the supreme court itself also being one of them.
The Indian media at large latched on to the 'Caged Parrot' euphemism, for its dramatic and mass consumption effect, merely repeating it like a parrot though the reference itself doesn't mean anything in itself without the reference to the masters or the events leading up to it.
Though agencies like Reuters reported factually, no one in the Media had shown any understanding of the deeper and under lying checks and balances of the Indian constitution which squarely place the agency under a government of elected representatives, to ensure its power is limited and subject to control.
In fact only a few months back, the independence of the CBI was the bone of contention of the anti graft agitators and the opposition who wanted to place it under the Lokpal, a new constructional body with unlimited powers, clearly removing all powers to control it from the elected representative of the people and subverting the essence of Indian democracy.
Though the current government led by Sonia Gandhi's UPA and Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh has adopted a ' laissez-faire ' policy with the agency, overseeing the work of CBI is clearly the prerogative of the government despite instances of nepotism, which the CBI is investigating. Its director had asserted that neither the central theme of status reports got changed after meetings nor any deletion of any evidence against any suspect or accused took place.
The Media has failed to impartially report the whole issue, which has relevance to the so called Coalgate scam and loss to the government, which in itself is wrong interpretation by the CAG of government policy of allocating coal resources without auction, which began way back in 1993.
The government actually has every right to see that the investigating agency take cognisance of these facts in its reports and has only ensured that as was done in all previous cases before the supreme court.
The fact that the CBI is investigating execution of a government policy for incidence of corruption can't take its democratic duties away as being demanded by the judiciary.
As the fourth pillar of democracy, it is the duty of the Media to expose and bring such anomalies for public scrutiny and debate and there is no sign of such mature conduct other than blatant sensationalism.

White Goat which has gone viral!

No one knows if a goat which was noticed in the compound of the Indian Railway Minister Bansal only a few hours before he was sacked has anything to do with Goat sacrificed for Chicago Cubs curse.It probably had more to do with Hindu astrology and its remedial measures of donating animals to ward off evils. But this goat whether it knew or not, soon became not only a 'scape goat' for the minister's sins to be fed first and then to be sacrificed by him but also internationally famous!
The sensation hungry India media, showed live coverage of the goat and the video reporting by leading channels, who had no clue of what was going on but chose to assume and report it as some sort of animal sacrifice went viral.
Such reporting, which was clearly intrusion of privacy of the minister, without permission and devoid of facts was clearly unprofessional, even if such acts are part of a culturally diverse Indian life.
http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/390829/railway-bribery-case-pawan-bansal-feeds-goat-to-ward-off-bad-luck.html

Timing and political intrigue of last week's events.

While drawing conclusions, the channels have clearly failed to analyse the week's events in context and look deeper in to why they happened, choosing for wild guesses instead.
IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai says that by sacking Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal, the government has made a last ditch attempt to restore its fading credibility. Clearly serious questions will be asked as to just why the Prime Minister took so long to take this decision to sack his ministers. "Clearly there will also be questions as to whether the Prime Minister can completely insulate himself after the sacking of Ashwani Kumar,"
A deeper analysis would have proved that , the government action was a well derived strategy in the wake of the regional elections in the state of Karnataka. which took place in the week.

The fact that the opposition which lost the state election had every reason to draw political punches to upset the Government on the eve of the elections and the UPA government managed to successfully thwart the opposition ploy and win the election can explain last week's events more logically.

The media would have done much better by digging in to those questions of why the CBI chose to bring out the Bansal case which they had been investigating for long just on the eve of the election rather than surmising on the plight of a Prime Minister who had no compunctions to resign from his post for lesser things like getting his way on the Nuclear Pact with the USA against stringent parliamentary opposition.



Is Sonia Gandhi a Real Indian Saint Accused as an Italian Carpet Bagger?

Rajiv - Sonia File Photo Courtsey https://www.facebook.com/malayalamlive
Few women in history had to undergo a life as dramatic as that of Sonia Gandhi, the Italian born Chair person of the United Progressive Alliance, which had been governing India for the last 7 years.
In fact, the personal and emotional turmoil Sonia was forced to face on account of her own personal choices are harsher than those experienced by many of India's great saints.

Today, Sonia Gandhi, like her countryman Caesar, had to do the ultimate sacrifice by taking a double stab for the sake of India, a country of saints, which must earn her sainthood.

In a single speech, Sonia had to acknowledge the cause of the Tamils who murdered her husband for their cause and denounce Italy, her country of birth which is in a dispute with India, a country she has adopted.

Italian waitress

Many in India believe, based on the western media which has proclaimed her the 4th richest politician and powerful woman in the world, that Sonia is a corrupt foreign intruder, out to destroy India. Her detractors however cannot explain what she and her family are doing in the heat and dust of Delhi, leading a frugal lifestyle, rather than basking on a sunny Mediterranean Island if she owns billions.

Not a lot is known about the circumstances in which Sonia met Rajiv, the scion of the Gandhi family and agreed to marry him despite great cultural and social differences. For a young Italian bride, hardly aware of the prejudice and taboo of archaic India, the very thought should have given nightmares.

Three Reasons Why Two Italian Marines Can Smile While India is Burning.



Are the Italians ruling India now? That is what a growing number of Indians start to ask themselves even though there is no government in Rome. However two Italian marine commandos, whose life has been ruined, have reason to smile.

The amazingly plight of two smart Italian naval commandos, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, whose freedom is in peril for doing their duty, has grown from a storm in a tea cup to become the hottest political furore and diplomatic stand off of recent times.

When they fired a few round of warning at an approaching boat, which they mistook for a pirate vessel, they thought they were doing a heroic job while earning a decent livelihood! Surely they would have defied orders even from the pope if they knew what they were getting in to!

They probably knew nothing of the little Indian state of Kerala, the only place still left in the world which believes in the ghost of communism, which turned the death of the two dead fishermen to a worthwhile cause to hammer the political opposition in power.

They certainly knew nothing of the Indian paranoia about all Italians. They had no clue how the fairy tale romance and marriage of an unfortunate Italian girl called Sonia to an even more unfortunate Gandhi scion has turned in to national Italian phobia.

They didn't know that the Somalian pirates, from who they were protecting their ship, don't count in India even if many Indians have been taken hostage or killed by the pirates.

That, it is nearly impossible to shoot to kill from a bobbing ship to accurately hit two fishermen on a bobbing boat and that the boat was listing towards the ship with a sleeping driver, defying warnings by the marines also didn't cut mustard with the Indian public.

So the Italian government had so far put up with the Indian claim of "wrongful" murder of its citizens in its territory and let the Indian police retain the two marines pending painfully long and inefficient judicial process of India.

Diplomatic and other conciliatory efforts had lead the Indian Supreme court to grant bail and permission for the two marines to leave the country for Christmas and more recently for voting in the Italian elections and celebrate Easter. So what has changed now and why the commotion and turmoil in India and the Indian parliament?

The obvious cause of the recent furore is the refusal of the Italian government to send the two marines, who are currently in Italy, back to India to face trial, raising a dispute as to India's right and demanding International mediation.

However or Machiavellian minds and probing observers there could be several plausible reasons behind the current development

What is election for Italy is election for India.

The ruling UPA bashing power of the shooting incident with an Italian connection, rampantly used by the Indian political opposition during the course of last year, and being ruthlessly used before the elections due in a year, is pretty evident.

However, that, there was political mileage to be made also in Italy was not clear until the high profile Italian rescue kicked in before Christmas, eventually securing bail and homecoming for the two marines.

The pomp and circumstances with which the marines were given a heroic welcome back home, turning a relatively minor incident to a major national issue, whipped up enormous national pride. The national heroic welcome which reflected the sentiments in India defied any signs of electoral campaign, but was part of one none the same. In the confusing political landscape of Italy, it is not clear who was the major beneficiary.

It looks like the same political forces are having a second go at the "national pride" commodity by whipping up and creating a stand off with India, posturing a protective role for the benefit of Italians. The timing, before another round of elections, is what gives the clue, as the Italians could have refused to send the marines back when they visited in December, if it were for the reasons now being bandied.

Augusta Westland Helicopter Scam

A raging storm of a major scam, which most likely have political reasons and justifications to surface just before the Italian elections, unfortunately and most inappropriately is also most ill timed for the ruling UPA of India, due to face elections soon.

A major diplomatic stand off, blocking revelations and communications can seriously benefit the two governments. It is mere commonsense to attribute reasons to a foreign country when you can't give explanations and justifications, at least until the elections are over.

Besides diplomatic stand offs, when it creates uproar in the parliament prompting stern warnings from the country's prime minister and creating a huge bump in the media and social web, have an amazing capacity to drown the fall out from major scams in both countries.

Hot potato for the Indian Government.

However, the most ludicrous explanation going the rounds on the social web, yet so plausible is the Indian dilemma of having to make a judgement in the case. Knowledge and cogniscence of the unreasonableness of the case makes the judiciary and the government look ridiculous before an international audience to give a guilty verdict.

On the other hand, the political fall out if the marines go un punished, especially in an election year could be costly in the best of times.

In an year, when the Italian phobia is whipped up by new scams with in India and in Italy, resurrecting old ones like the Bofors, settlement of something like the shooting incident, even by absconding of the culprits can be a blessing in disguise. Chances are both governments have decided to bite the bullet and forget.

In reality, it could be all of these which has put a smile on the faces of the hapless young men, whose life is being ruined by powers they have little control of.



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