Issue :   
November 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.         November 2018 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:November' 2018

EDITOR’S MAIL

Timely warning !

The October issue of your magazine is highly analytical and commendable . Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his chosen ministers and advisors are never weary of patting the current National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre on its back for what they brand as historic achievements in India's socio-economic sphere. But the ground realities are far different.
The rise of oil and natural gas products has been an all- time high. The rupee has continued depreciating against dollar . Farmers continue to be in a bad shape. They have occasionally held rallies, including the recent on at the Kisan Ghat in the national capital, to voice their genuine demands for economic justice. The successive governments at the Centre and in the States have cared a fig.
You have rightly highlighted the crucial areas of concern in our economy and timely warned that the Government has a tough task ahead. One hopes the Government at the Centre would take cognizance of it and do the needful to improve the general economy that touches the life of the masses. Besides, the Government should also see to it that there is no threat to the life and liberty of any sections of our society. The growing incidents of rape and murder across the country are very alarming.

K J Vishnu
Kochi

Don’t overlook terror

Sushma Swaraj India must act to combat terrorism from across the border . We have known what Islamabad has been up to since Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu and Kashmir acceded to India . Yet New Delhi has continued just criticizing Islamabad for India's problem . At the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) the other day ,our External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, “The most startling evidence of Pakistan’s duplicity in terrorism against India was “Osama Bin Laden, the architect and ideologue of 9/11, was given safe haven in Pakistan" even though Pakistan " claimed to be America’s friend and ally.” She added ,“The killers of 9/11 met their fate; but the mastermind of 26/11 Hafiz Saeed still roams the streets of Pakistan with impunity.” It is really strange that New Delhi still looks for an Sushma Swaraj international agreement to combat terrorism. At the United Nations Assembly session Swaraj said that the international community had become increasingly aware of Pakistan’s role in promoting terrorism. Swaraj said the world was no longer ready to believe Islamabad. This was evident in the recent heightened scrutiny on Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force or FATF for its terrorism financing . This was not sufficient. She said accountability through international law was needed. It is time New Delhi stopped expecting much from the international community in this regard. India has long been demanding a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN General Assembly. As early as in 1996, India proposed a draft document on CCIT at the United Nations. The draft is still a far cry . The world has hardly cared. Terrorists with a price on their head are being celebrated, financed and armed as liberation heroes by several members of the United Nations. New Delhi must defend itself.

Krishna Mukherjee
Kolkata

Why shield merchants ?

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has just been singing the song the her government’s virtue and not talking sense. The other day, she claimed that her Ministry was working without brokers and dalals (middlemen) and hence why she should "order a probe [into the Rafale deal]?” She blamed the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for failing to conclude the Rafale agreement and causing a reduction in Indian Air Force (IAF) squadrons from 42 to 33. She said, “Dassault and HAL [Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.] were talking to each other for the manufacture of Rafale [fighter jets]. But they did not conclude the agreement. They did not tie it up with HAL. ” She added that she cared more for HAL. She said , “ Every year, I have given ₹ 20,000 crore worth of projects to HAL. …the previous UPA government gave just ₹ 10,000 crore projects.” Sitharaman said, “We are only talking about getting 36 fly-away condition Rafale aircraft. As regards the rest of the aircraft … , the government will float another global tender. ” Sitharaman must be fair to the nation .
She must explain why the price of the system has been raised astronomically and why the Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested the newly- founded Anil Ambani defence company to France to comply with the offset clause obligations that any defence supplier nation has now to meet. There is something terribly objectionable about the the Ambani partnership in the deal.
Our public sector undertaking company Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd has long been doing such partnership effectively since long. Sitharaman must come forward with a convincing explanation as to why the HAL has been left out of the offset deal in the procurement of the Rafale system and how the Anil Ambani company, which has had no experience in defence manufacturing, has come to enter this field .

Cauvery Krishnan
Cuttuck

Waterways effective

waterway transportation of goods from Kahalgaon in Bihar to Pandu port in Guwahati covering a distance of over 2,085 km has already been operationalized. Recently, 1233 tons of fly ash bags from the National Thermal Power Corporation’s plant were loaded at Kahalgaon to reach a cement plant based near Sonapur, about 30 km east of Guwahati. The vessels crossed over Bangladesh waters and entered Assam . This transport system had came to a halt with the Partition of 1947. It caused a lot of loss to Assam . At the time of Independence, Assam’s per capita income was said to have the highest in the country. It had access for its tea, timber, coal and oil industries to seaports via the Brahmaputra and Barak river systems. After Independence the river routes got cut off . The rail and road through the Chicken’s Neck, a narrow strip in West Bengal, had been very costly .
The inland waterways, National Waterway- 1 ( Ganga) and National Waterway- 2 (Brahmaputra) are technically feasible for transportation through the India-Bangladesh Protocol route. The Government must promote the waterways transport system. It saves a lot of time. It is economical too.