The Supreme Court has set the right precedent by ruling that Sanjay Dutt, who was convicted for a serious crime and handed out a six-year prison sentence, cannot contest the Lok Sabha elections. Till now, courts have been lenient and have allowed him to be free on bail and have permitted him to travel and carry on with his film career. Many others convicted under similar circumstances are not so fortunate. They usually find themselves in jail, waiting for a final verdict. Dutt’s situation was for long an example where the saying that “all people are equal, but some are more equal” held true. The apex court’s verdict will set a precedent and filter out and keep away many undeserving candidates keen to contest parliamentary elections.
— K. Venkataraman
In times when we only get to read about falling numbers—be it those of profits, income, employment or spending, the case of “Bharat Shining” (as opposed to “India shining” which went on to become the much controversial slogan of the National Democratic Alliance government) comes as a bit of a surprise.
Is it true that all of a sudden, Indian companies have turned their attention to the potential contained in our villages? Or is it just that for the time being, we are viewing the relatively brighter side of Bharat, which was always characterized by low income, low productivity and viewed as being riddled with debt? In my view, one needs to go beyond numbers to measure the progress index of an average rural consumer.
Despite the large financial network of complex financial instruments in our country, farmers lack access to basic timely and adequate credit, insurance against market risk and, most of all, good connectivity to urban markets, which will guarantee them a better price for their products. They do not have the basic literary skills to obtain commercial credit and are still largely dependent on moneylenders. Secondly, the dropout rates are extremely high for children belonging to rural households, and more so for girls, reflecting the fact that consuming modern products may not be necessarily associated with modern and progressive views.
— Tanya Sethi
Land owners in Singur in West Bengal, in particular, and development-oriented people, in general, are lamenting the launch of the Tata Nano rather than welcoming it.
Had everything gone according to plan, the small car would have rolled out from Singur by now. However, the forces opposed to development came in the way and stalled the project. Now they are repenting because West Bengal has lost a good opportunity to attract investment and talent.
An almost identical state of affairs prevails in Maharashtra.
There is a lobby that systematically opposes all industrial projects and power generation plans in Maharashtra. Although the state is suffering from growing unemployment and extreme shortage of power leading to loadshedding for hours together every day, this lobby is not ready to relent. It continues its anti-development activities.
The unfortunate part is that the state government is a passive spectator. Instead of maintaining law and order with a firm hand, the state government has preferred to turn a blind eye towards these anti-development activities. In the long run, it will be the people of Maharashtra who will pay the price since industrial investment will be diverted to other states. After a few years, the present leaders will have retired. But the youth of Maharashtra will be jobless and aimless. Hence, this decline must be dealt with ruthlessly. No economy can survive without a manufacturing sector. Maharashtra will not be an exception to this rule. Politicians should remember that.
— Aditya A. Shinde