Issue :   
Happy Dussehra and Diwali to all Readers.          November 2019 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:June' 2019


Uniform Civil Code a must

The cover stories in the October issue of your magazine on the need for a Uniform Civil Code in India, the fears of recession in the country and the Houston mega show 'Howdy, Modi' are very enlightening. You have rightly suggested there is no point delaying the introduction of the uniform civil code. There has to be some common civil code for citizens belonging to different cultural and religious groups in the country. Without this there could be a complete anarchy in the common civil realm.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi did well during his recent US trip to pin down terror backers . His Government deserves applause for the abrogation of Article 370. The Government did well to send additional troops into Jammu and Kashmir to strengthen the security grid ahead of the moves on Article 370 and Article 35A. They must be careful in handling the situation in the region.
Pertinently, New Delhi must be vigilant about the activities of the establishment in Pakistan. In February, the Modi government boasted the Indian Air Force bombed Balakot and took out about 300 terrorists being trained there. It was a punitive response for the Pakistan-sponsored Pulwama attack which killed 40 CRPF personnel earlier. But it does not seem to have worked. The Jaish-eMohammed, the mastermind of the Pulwama attack, seems to operate with impunity. The other day, our Army Chief General Bipin Rawat said that the terrorist camp in Balakot has begun functioning again. There are 500 terrorists ready to infiltrate into Kashmir. The Army has hence “thickened” its presence along the Line of Control.

P K Ramaswamy

Culture of environmentalism

At the UN Climate Action Summit in New York in September , Prime Minister Modi did well to assert the need for all countries to walk the talk on the Paris Agreement of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). All nations must cut their greenhouse gas emissions. India has had a culture of environmentalism . India’s per capita emissions remain below the global average.
However, New Delhi , too, must contribute to the aim of reduced carbon emissions. India needs to scale down its coal-based generation of electricity and boost solar and wind power. Ironically, the Modi government has recently opened up coal mining to 100 per cent foreign direct investment.

Madhav Pawar

Trade friction

Not with standing our Prime Minister Modi’s much-publicized mega Houston show, there is little movement forward in reducing the current U.S.-India trad friction. Reports suggest that ever since the United States imposed tariffs on Indian steel and aluminum imports, the Modi government has been looking for ways to decrease its trade frictions with the Trump administration and stimulate fresh investment in India. But New Delhi and Washington have so far failed to arrive at even a limited trade deal . The deal has stumbled over duties imposed by India on ICT (information and communication technology) products. The Trump administration wants the 20 per cent duty on mobile phones and ethernet switches to be reduced or eliminated.

Washington demands greater access to the Indian market for medical devices such as stents and knee implants apart from its dairy and agricultural products. India wants back the Generalised System of Preferences for its products in the U.S. A full scale trade agreement might pose bigger challenges on intellectual property, e-commerce and H1B visas.

K Ramalingam

The mega show

At his Houston show with Prime Minister Modi, American President Donald Trump spoke very high of the estimated 4 million Indian Americans living in the United States. He said, “You enrich our culture, you uphold our values, you uplift our communities and you are truly proud to be American — and we are proud to have you as Americans... We thank you, we love you, and I want you to know my administration is fighting for you each and every day.” This must have won him many Indian hearts. Already, many Indians have of late become his admirers. In his Houston speech, Trump received a standing ovation when he denounced “radical Islamic terrorism.

It would , however, be naive to assume that this would expand his share of support among Indian Americans in his 2020 re-election. The Indian American community in the United States is highly liberal- minded. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump won the support of roughly 14 per cent of Indian American voters while Hillary Clinton bagged over 84 per cent.

Baljeet Kaur

Multi-facility cards

Union Home Minister Amit Shah has suggested the 2021 census exercise would be carried out digitally, and we would have one card for all utilities in future. Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony for construction of a new building of the Registrar General of India (RGI) Shah said the digital census had the potential to bring all cards such as Aadhaar, passport, bank account, and driving licence on one platform. Shah said the National Population Register (NPR) would be updated.
The Government must move forward in the digital direction. It would help us in tracking criminal activities and ensuring better execution of government schemes. The NPR links biometric and demographic details of residents. It is different from the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The NPR is about a person who has resided or intends to reside in an area for six months or more.

T K Menon