The truth that’s not trending

The 2016 Tamil Nadu elections, Brexit Vote, American Presidential elections and finally Sasikala becoming Tamil Nadu’s chief minister. One thing that is common between all of them is that they went against the popular belief on social media. The highest estimate of the number of facebook accounts in India is 125 million. That’s only 10% of the total Indian population. Yet we the general public tend to make bold political predictions and define our reality based on what we see on Facebook , Whatsapp and other forms of mainstream social media.

I remember in December 2015 when Chennai encountered the biggest disaster to have hit the city, the people rose up to the occasion and pulled the city from the hands of destruction and put it on the path of relief and rehabilitation. There was huge disappointment and anger on mainstream social media towards the then honourable chief minister Amma J Jayalalithaa’s way of handling the disaster. Newsfeeds were filled with hate posts, posts demanding her resignation and posts promising to vote her out the next elections. Cut to may 2016, honourable chief minister Amma J Jayalalithaa swears in for the second consecutive term as CM and for the first time in a while the ruling party succeeded in the battle against anti incumbency.

I remember before the US elections, my newsfeed was filled with hate posts against Donald Trump. I would see 100 posts against trump and 50 posts saying Bernie should have contested and 1 post that said Trump is not that bad which by the way  was by trump himself. I’m sure an average American’s newsfeed would have looked similar. Cut to Jan 2017, he is the POTUS.  There are many other examples as well.

As long as the information is spicy and sensational, we do not care about the source. We do not even care to think rationally for a minute to decide if it can be the whole picture or not. We do not care if the news is vetted and if the source is accountable. The best example I can think of is how almost half of us believed there would be satellite chips embedded in the 2000 rupee note. I saw at least 3 forwards on Whatsapp everyday . One listing out all these futuristic features, One with justification as to how these features will help the economy and One explaining in detail how these chips work. I really want to know who these creative minds are that came up with all this. If bollywood scriptwriters had 10% of the creativity these guys have, We will be making movies that will make Inception and Martian look like Humshakals and Dilwale .

We accuse the national media of focusing only on the capital and on the north while comfortably ignoring South India. Well that makes us the biggest hypocrites on this planet. They are at least considering half of India while presenting their opinions. We define our reality based on the opinion of 10% of the population.

However the sad truth is that the fourth estate which is supposed to be the most credible source of information does not provide information any more. It provides sensation. So we are not at blame if we do not trust these channels. However we should not be stupid to trust facebook polls and twitter polls over these. We need to find out genuine news bodies. We need to do research from our end. We need to study the trend and behaviour of politics and politicians over a period of time. That is when we can even think of putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Revolutions aren’t brought out on social media. Governments do not fall because of social media posts. Change cannot be brought through social media alone. The Jallikattu protests are proof of my concept. People came out in huge numbers in support of Jallikattu. Of course there was tremendous support on social media as well. However the protests were successful because the sentiments of Jallikattu actually reached out to people’s hearts and did not just stop at their mobile laptop and TV screens. Even after so much hate and so many online trolls, Trump won because he appealed to most real Americans and not just the ones online. Modi won the 2014 elections because of his speeches,rallies and his interviews, well also because of Rahul Gandhi’s speeches, rallies and interviews but not because of his facebook posts.

So to all the leaders who think they can win elections based on social media interactions, good PR and social image, you can’t. Its high time people also realise social media is just a mirage. The lake is somewhere near but its a lot more deeper.

To all those people who are furious about Sasikala becoming chief minister, we had the chance to actually vote responsibly and make a difference. We chose to sit at home, eat curd rice and enjoy the holiday.  Of course we did not foresee such a situation would arise but again, you only reap what you sow.

Next time we form an opinion or make predictions, lets not be ignorant and stupid.

Thank you for bearing with me for so long. Any suggestions/comments will be deeply appreciated.
Jai Hind

K. Phani Krishna

Feminism

The following article is divided into 4 points. This article is my take on what feminism should be in India right now. Feminism much like the word politics has been misused and misinterpreted a lot nowadays and it’s not a good thing.

What is Feminism?

According to google, Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes. Nothing more, nothing less. Feminism is the fight for equal rights, equal pay, equal opportunities and equal social norms and acceptance for both men and women. A lot of people consider feminism the fight against atrocities against women. It is not. You don’t have to be a feminist to condemn rape. You don’t have to be a feminist to realize if a woman is raped every 30 minutes in India, it’s the man’s fault. Feminism and fight against rape are two different movements. One is moral while the other is both moral and legal. One aims to bring about a change in the thought process, the other aims to bring about a change in actions. The whole of India condemns rape and is furious about the rapes but that doesn’t make us feminists. It just makes us human. It is essential for us to not associate feminism with fight against rape.

Why do we need Feminism?

We need feminism because its 2016. Gender should not be a factor in judging one’s abilities or talents. There is nothing a woman cannot do that a man can. This includes both good and bad. PV Sindhu, Priyanka Chopra, Dipa Karmakar and many other women over the last few years have shown us that given the same facilities and opportunities, women can do as good as men. We need feminism because its high time we left the medieval principles of a patriarchal society and moved towards being a more modern and accepting society.

The two sides of the coin 

Just like any other issue in India, even Feminism is highly polarized and the state of feminism is completely different in urban and rural India. In rural India where people still are skeptical about sending their daughters to schools. Where people prefer to educate their son over the daughter. Where young girls are denied access to education and are forced into other activities or even marriage. These are the places where reservations for women and aid for education of girls are required. In urban areas, not so much. In urban areas where girls have access to the same schools and same facilities as the boys, there is no need for reservations or aid. What was intended as aid ends up becoming privilege and in a way hinders further growth.

However in urban areas we need to ensure at a higher level, women are paid as well as men provided they do the job as well as the men, if they do it better, pay them better. Serena Williams raised an issue in tennis. She said the prize money for the ATP (men) and WTA (women) tours was different. To which she got a reply stating the moment WTA tours attracted the kind of crowd and viewership ATP tours did, the prize money would be equal. There was widespread debate on this topic. My personal view is that it’s fair enough. You cannot expect the organizers to pay you more even though their investment recovery is generally less, just because the men are paid more. So my point here is we obviously need to pay both men and women on the basis of the merit of their work and the number of hours they have put in for work and not gender. If a woman is better than a man at a job, you pay her better. If she works much harder, pay her better. The most important point here is that the converse also has to be accepted. If a man is better at his job than a woman and if he is putting in more hours, he deserved to be paid more. If we understand this logic, we are good to go as far as feminism is concerned.

Solution

The most important role in this fight for feminism is of the urban women. The uplifted women. Women who have rational parents. Women who are educated. Women who can stand up for themselves. You need to let go of these privileges. You will have to stand up for yourselves. If we scrap all the reservations or aid for women after a certain economic level of their parents. We can channel all that money into the upliftment of women in rural India. We can build more girls schools and colleges. We can bridge the gap between an urban girl and a rural girl. If we manage to accomplish this, we have won half our battle.

The men have to realize that women are no less. We must respect them, treat them equally and most importantly not discriminate them because of their gender. We must not let their gender be a factor in determining their abilities nor their worth (salaries).

Together we need to educate our future generations about equality and we must ensure we leave the world to be a better place than when we inherited it from our ancestors. There is change coming up slowly. Its high time we accelerated the pace.

The most important point I’d like to make is India has so many issues like Gender discrimination, communal violence, violation of freedom of speech. There is only one common solution to these problems and that is rational thinking. If each and every Indian develops rational thinking right from their childhood, feminism, gender equality, communal harmony and freedom of speech will be eventualities.

Thank you for bearing with me for so long. Any suggestions/comments will be deeply appreciated.
JAI HIND.

K. Phani Krishna

Freedom of Speech

What does our constitution say about freedom of speech?

As per the Indian constitution, an Indian citizen has every right to express his/her opinion on any matter in the country. However the government is allowed to impose any law in the interests of

1) Sovereignty and integrity of India.
2) Public order.
3) Security of the state.
4) Friendly relations with foreign states.
5) Decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court.

Dr B.R. Ambedkar in his famous speech in 1949 said “The socialists condemn the constitution and demanded absolute rights free of any limits because if their party fails to come to power, they had the right not only to merely criticize the existing government but also have the power to overthrow the existing government.”

So the current constitution not only has a clear rule as far as freedom of speech is concerned but was also made keeping the future in mind.

 

What is the current situation?

Is freedom of speech currently curbed beyond reasonable limits? No. The main reason for this chaos and confusion is the reactions to comments made rather than the comments themselves. The first reaction is, the person who are in no way involved in the incident making death threats and then followed by the same people turning to violence. It is due to this reaction that there is a perception that freedom of speech is curbed. Freedom of speech is not curbed by the government in any way.

Do people have a right to get offended? Yes, in a country as diverse as India pleasing all sections of the society will be a problem. However, we need to realize there is a way to show our anger or our difference in opinion. We can take legal measures. If any statement made is degrading or if anyone is speaking ill about a community, then the Indian Judiciary has provisions to help you voice out your opinion and make your case. If you win, the courts direct the individual you filed your case against to retract the statement and to issue a formal apology.

One more important point is that if there is a statement or a video or any content that is insulting some individual in particular, it is the individual and only his/her right to take action against it. You simply cannot take offence on behalf of someone. That is absolutely absurd. Like what happened in the Tanmay Bhat case. Both Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar did not say a word, but people took offence on their behalf and starting sending death threats to Tanmay Bhat. The video was derogatory but if Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar themselves did not find a point in responding to Tanmay Bhat, we have no business doing that for them. By doing so, we just give these people what they want, Prime time on national Television. Silence is gold cannot apply better to any situation. Now, of course you can trash that video and say it was the most horrible piece of content to be ever produced. You have every right to say that but you cannot expect Tanmay Bhat to be behind bars unless either Sachin or Lataji files a defamation suit.

So is freedom of speech denied to an Indian citizen? Absolutely not. Freedom of speech is denied in countries like North Korea where if you speak against the ruling government, you can be executed. That is denial of freedom of speech. In India, we are looking at it from the wrong side. We are not punishing those who commit crimes just because they got offended by something someone said. That is what we have to do. Freedom of speech is still applicable for every Indian citizen.

People claim they are offended and often resort to vandalism. This kind of behavior should be strictly dealt with so that we have a check in place for these radical groups. That’s the need of the hour.

Look at what happened to Sona Mahapatra. She very rightly spoke against Salman Khan for his ‘raped woman’ comment and as soon as she spoke up, she was flooded with rape threats, death threats, her face got morphed in pornography websites and what not? We must weed out people who make such threats. The internet slapped Salman Khan for the remark, but you can’t expect him to go to jail for this and by the look of things nowadays you cannot expect him to go to jail for anything 😛 .

However, it’s completely not our fault. The media shares the blame too. How often do you see the media covering a peaceful protest continuously? The media craves for sensation. Sometimes people are put in a position to sensationalize the topic just to get the media’s attention. Once you get it, the media takes over and blows everything out of proportion.
What are the limits for Freedom of Speech?

Should every citizen have a right to express their opinion? Of course yes. However, can hate speech ever be free speech? Can sedition come under free speech? No.

We as humans know all our rights and remember them very well but unfortunately we forget our duties.

So, people can exercise their right for freedom of speech or for that matter any fundamental right, as long as they carry out their duties to their maximum potential which include:

1) To uphold and protect the sovereignty, unity and integrity of India.
2) To promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people of India transcending religious, linguistic and regional diversities, to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women.
3) To safeguard public property and to abjure violence.

We need to keep in mind our fundamental duties given by the same constitution that gives the fundamental rights. We can’t expect rights without fulfilling our duties.

Summary

When we are expressing our views on a public platform, we must ensure we do so with a certain decorum. We must keep in mind our duties and must be as rational as possible. The media also has to fulfill its responsibility and stop encouraging sensationalism both directly and indirectly. Most importantly the media should not encourage people who make sensational statements and eventually end up giving them what they exactly need, publicity.
Together along with the media, I believe we can bring about a huge change in the country if we just develop rational thinking and learn what to discuss and what not because some things do not deserve our time and energy.

My suggestion to the media and also my fellow citizens of India is simple, ignore sensational remarks or comments made just to gain publicity just like how Modi ignores Kejriwal.
Thank you for being with me for so long. Any suggestions/comments will be deeply appreciated.

Jai Hind

K. Phani Krishna.     

GST: All you need to know

gst-1

The following article is divided into 5 points. The objective of this article is to give an overview of what is GST, why it is important, what are the hindrances its facing currently and how is it going to make indirect taxation much better and less confusing. In a few years we will all be tax payers and therefore we must be fully aware of the taxation system that will be in place then.

1) Cascading effect of taxes

Before I explain the GST structure, it is important to let you know why we must have GST and for you to understand that, you must know about the cascading effect of taxes. To understand the cascading effect of taxes let’s assume an automobile company ‘A’ in India decides to import only engines from another country. The remaining parts are manufactured in India, all parts are assembled and the cars are sold in India. Here are few of the taxes the company A must pay

  • Custom duty:
    Now, because A is importing engines it has to pay the government Custom duty. Let us assume the cost of the engine is Rs 50,000 and A pays 10% custom duty. So the total cost of the engine is Rs 55,000.
  • Excise duty:
    Since A is manufacturing the remaining parts in India, it has to pay the Excise duty on the value of the finished good. Let’s assume the manufacturing of the remaining parts costs Rs 3,50,000. So therefore the total value of the finished car is 3, 50,000 + 55,000= Rs 4, 05,000.
    Let’s assume an excise duty of 10%. Therefore the new cost is 4, 05,000+40,500= Rs 4,45,000.
  • VAT:
    Let us assume A wants a profit of Rs 55,000 on each car. So selling price is Rs 5 lacs. Since it is selling its goods in India, it has to pay the state government VAT on the selling price. This being an Indirect tax, the customer only has to bear the price, as always. So assuming VAT at 10 %, final selling price is Rs 5.5 lacs.

There are many other taxes also. In spite of so many taxes, on whatever little profit A manages to make, it has to pay Income tax and other direct taxes.
Now, if you have noticed in the above example, the manufacturer and the consumer is not only paying taxes on value addition but also tax on tax.
This situation of tax on tax is called cascading effect of taxes.

If we assume 15% GST on these goods it will be 15% (50,000+3, 50,000+55,000=4, 55,000) =68,250. The total Selling price=Rs 5, 23,250 instead of Rs 5, 50,000.

 You will save Rs 26, 750. These are all rough figures taken to explain to you the impact of GST. Ideally you must end up saving more than what I have actually projected.

GST, because it has a single taxation structure ensures the cascading effect of taxes is abolished.

 

2) Structure of the Proposed GST

The NDA government of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed the Kelkar commission in 2003. Dr. Chidambaram introduced the GST during his budget speech in 2006 and an empowered commission was setup comprising of all states’ finance ministers. There was a bill in 2011 on GST which was reviewed by both the standing and the empowered committee and a few changes were proposed. GST is not an NDA-UPA issue but a Centre-State issue. This Kelkar commission has passed through 4 governments (NDA, UPA-1, UPA-2 and now NDA) and it has had heads across various parties like Congress, BJP, National Conference and the CPI. The discussion and debate happened for a good 12 and half years. I don’t think any other bill was discussed at this length. Now, after 12 and half years of discussion, after a consensus was reached by the Standing commission and the empowered commission and after the changes suggested by the commission have been incorporated into the bill, the revised structure is: 

There will be 3 indirect taxes:
1) CGST: Tax levied by the Centre.
2) SGST: Tax levied by the State.
3) IGST: Tax levied on movement of goods. Here an extra 1% tax levied upon interstate movement of goods for the first 2 years will go to the producing states.

4) Not all goods are included. Portable Alcohol is not included. Industrial alcohol is included. Petrol is not included.

5) There will be a GST council comprised of 1/3rd central representatives and 2/3rd state representatives. Any disputes between Centre and state will be settled by the GST council with the 3/4th mandate. As in, a 3/4th majority must be there in the council for any changes to be made.

The exact figures of the CSGT, SGST and IGST have not been determined yet.

3) What are the differences between 2011 and 2015 bill?

 

  • According to the 2011 UPA bill, the committee formed for GST must be headed by the Supreme Court judge. Upon the recommendation of the Standing commission and the empowered commission, the new structure of GST council was proposed. It was the commission’s view that a dispute between Centre and state must not be solved by an independent man but by the Centre and state together themselves by reaching a mutual consensus through the 3/4th mandate of the GST council.
  • Exception of certain goods from GST. Both the 2011 and 2015 bill had exempted alcohol. The 2011 bill has not exempted petrol. The main idea behind not including these goods was that these are huge sources of revenue for the states now and the states want them to be so as including those in the GST might decrease the revenue they will earn on these goods. The current bill exempts petrol also from GST until the GST council deems fit because there was a bigger picture to look at, which was bringing all states together for GST. However, unfortunately just like any other policy, the Congress had failed to look at the bigger picture in front them. The current government now has lost one battle to the states just to ensure they win the bigger war of GST for the people of India and I can’t see why that is a bad thing.
  • The other difference was the additional 1% on the IGST for the manufacturing states for 2 years. Now, when the previous 2011 bill was presented, the manufacturing states like Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat and a few others were not very happy with it. Their reason was that they have invested so much in industrial development and the manufacturing sector in general and it is only natural for them to expect huge revenue from it. To which the 2015 bill on recommendation of the Standing and the empowered commission states the following things,

1)  There will be an additional 1% on the IGST for the manufacturing states for 2 years.
2) The service tax which was earlier levied by the Centre, will now be shared with the states also.

3) The states already have Alcohol, petrol and other exempted goods for their revenue.

4) In spite of all this, if there is a loss to any state government, the central government will bear that loss for 5 years.
Now, these changes are again brought in by looking at the bigger picture of satisfying the manufacturing states, which obviously the congress party was not able to see back then.

4) Why is Congress stalling the bill?

The reason they are giving is that they want the government to send the revised bill back to the standing commission for another examination on the changes made upon the recommendation of the standing commission. Yes, you read it right. To give you some perspective on what they are asking, ill break it down for you
1) The standing commission takes 2 and half years to study the 2011 bill and it had recommended a few changes.
2) The then Finance minister Dr. P Chidambaram acknowledged the fact that these changes were necessary.
3) The present government accepts those changes and incorporates them into the new bill.
4) Now, the congress party wants this bill to go back again to the standing commission for another 2 and half years for them to approve the changes, they had proposed in the first place. Rahul Gandhi and his party currently are hitting the nadir as far as this is concerned.
Or, in another 2 and half years elections will happen again and they want to make GST an electoral issue in which case they are just being cheap.

5) Summary                                 

GST has a many major impacts on the economy. Some of them are as follows

1) Cascading effect of taxes will be removed.

2) Prices would go down. Consequently, inflation will go down.

3) Manufacturing sector will have a huge boost.

4) Consuming states will generate more revenue.

5) There will be smooth transportation of goods without any delay.

6) It is projected to affect the growth rate by 0.9-1.8%.

The one point of the government, I disagree on or rather I don’t understand is when the government gave the exemption of alcohol and petrol as one of the measures taken to ensure the manufacturing states dint suffer loses. Let’s assume that Petrol and alcohol before GST give a state a revenue of 1000 crores. Now even after implementing GST, they will give the state 1000 crores because they are not included in GST. So where exactly the state government is benefitting extra from this after GST and how is this compensating for the other losses?

One more point is that you might say the whole point of GST is to have one single tax but here again we are paying 3. In a country like India, having one single tax is not practically possible but having said that 3 is any day better than 10-15.

Also, I would like the government to show the people of India how it is ensuring that the extra 1% in IGST doesn’t have cascading effect. The standing commission has appointed another small commission to look up this issue and we wish to soon hear from the government regarding this.

So at the end of the day, GST is a pretty solid bill and is very important to the economy not only on a macro level but also for each individual as this directly affects the pricing of most goods. I hope we have a unanimous yes for GST but if the Congress is still adamant, I sincerely hope the BJP finds its numbers in the Rajya Sabha and pass it through vote by the next session of parliament.

Thank you for bearing with me for so long. Any suggestions/comments will be deeply appreciated.
JAI HIND.

K. Phani Krishna

 

Two years of NDA at centre

The following article is divided into 5 points. I had asked a few people (some NDA supporters, some not) their problems/issues with the NDA government that completed two years in power. These are the most common points raised by all of them and these are the issues I’ll go on to address.

  • Price rise:

    Now the two main areas where the price rise has been an issue are
    1) oil
    2) food
  • Oil: The issue here is that globally there is a huge decrease in oil prices, yet not so much in India.There are a few facts you must be aware of before I address this issue. The global economic winds have been against us. The general economic growth of every country is very low. Despite this, among all the countries, India has the highest growth rate of 7.9%. US has 1.8% and China 6.6%. This is a huge economic advantage for India. So why not decrease the oil prices when we are doing economically well? The answer is simple. 7.9% is not enough. China grew at 9-10% every year for 33 years to get to where they are now and if we do not take utmost advantage of this situation, we will never end up becoming the greatest country in the world. The decrease in Oil prices globally has 4 effects in India:1) One part of the fall goes to the consumer as prices are lowered (not to the extent one would like to fall).
    2) States: When the Centre reduces the prices for oil, the states increase VAT. On top of it an extra 42% of the total excise duty the Centre enforces, goes to the states. This money is used for various developmental purposes.
    3) One part of the fall goes to the Grameen Sadak Yojana and various other schemes that are aimed at constructing roads, highways and increasing connectivity of the roads. The consumer of petrol and diesel uses these roads and therefore must pay for it.
    4) The last part of this fall goes as aid to the Oil companies. These companies buy oil for let’s say $80 per barrel. By the time they sell it the price becomes $60 per barrel. The oil companies are estimated to be at a loss of around 40,000 crores.

    India under the UPA government was achieving fiscal deficits through stagnation of growth and development schemes. Now, for the first time we are achieving fiscal targets without any fiscal cuts and because we are making more money, we are able to channel more money into developmental schemes.

  • Food:
    This is one area where the Modi government hasn’t been able to deliver as expected. Yes, the droughts have affected the yield and there is only so much a government can do but the government has performed below par as far as food prices are concerned and the worst part is they don’t even have a plan of action that they propose to the public for this issue.

2) Taxation:
The introduction of the Swachh Bharat tax and other taxes has invited a lot of criticism against the government. The Swachh Bharat is a very important and essential policy the government needs to implement. Having said that, introducing a Swachh Bharat tax isn’t the way to go about things. The government must aim at spreading awareness and penalizing heavily those who pollute the country (both literally and figuratively) rather than having a tax for it. A better option could have been introducing an optional donation to Swachh Bharat for every online transaction made. The government is just antagonizing itself to the common man by increasing taxes on policies like Swachh Bharat, which is more of an idea than a policy.

3) Intolerance:

Dr Joseph Goebbels once said “Tell a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth”. Nothing explains the situation of intolerance in India better than this quote. This is an issue where the opposition and the media conspired together to make a mountain out of a molehill. Intolerance is not new to India and it has been around for quite a while in India but because the opposition cannot find faults with the major economic and social reforms the government has brought in, it has been taking small acts/protests and blowing them out of proportion with the media’s help of course and made intolerance seem like such a foreign aspect of Indian society that is slowly creeping its way into India to tarnish the secular image that this great nation of ours has.

For instance let us look at the Aamir Khan issue. Had he not said that “leaving India” part, he probably would have been the face of the fight against intolerance in India. I agree he is a star and has a social responsibility and hence he should not have made the statement. Having said that, the reaction from the people and the government was so full of hate and intolerance that he was the victim here of intolerance and not the perpetrator.

The JNU incident is an even better example. Afzal guru was prosecuted by a congress government and was sentenced to death by a congress president. So I don’t know why congress would support the mourning of the death of a terrorist they put away. They were being accused of judicial killings. In fact they must be more furious than the BJP regarding this. The biggest mistake the government made was to arrest only Kanhaiya Kumar and not anyone from the ABVP. Yes, they filed sedition charges against him, arrested him, gave him a fair trial, he was found not guilty and he was let go which is what was the right course of action.

To summarize, the BJP must be very strict against any act of intolerance even when it is caused by organizations like the ABVP. It must be very strict on members of its party like Sakshi Maharaj who makes atrocious statements just to stir public controversy making him the Communal Rahul Gandhi. In short The BJP is not intolerant and it is certainly not making India intolerant but it definitely is soft on some who are, which must change. The Congress however needs to find better issues to raise against the government.

4) Curbing of Artistic freedom:

If there is one thing with the government that needs to be changed completely and immediately, it is their practice of denying artistic freedom. The I&B ministry is spineless and the certification board is just a puppet in its hands. The certification board has one job to do i.e. to give films a suitable certificate and it manages to do everything other than that. It manages to criticize the artists and order unnecessary censor cuts and what not. The Modi government needs to be more liberal and needs to respect the artist’s creativity and needs to let the public decide what they want to watch and what they do not.

5) Promise Vs Performance:

The most important problem a lot of people mentioned was that there was a gap between what was promised and what has been done.

Especially bringing back the black money that Modi had promised. First of all, we need to understand that this is a long process and can’t be done in a span of one or two years especially because we are dealing with international entities here. If we go ahead and do anything without solid concrete evidence and proof, it will tarnish India’s image. So what is the government doing? Under the four-month compliance window announced by Dr Arun Jaitley during the Union Budget people with domestic black money can come clean by paying 30% tax and 50% penalty on it and get immunity from prosecution. After the 4 month window, the government will take legal action against them if they do not disclose their illegal assets and wealth.

Breaking out of Policy Paralysis is one of India’s best steps forward. However, the occasional political oppression of bills like GST affect India’s pace of growth.

Schemes like One rank one pension have to be implemented at a greater pace. The status of OROP as of now is that the idea is approved however the formula for calculation is being tested and finalized and I expect the government to pass the bill for this scheme in the next parliamentary session.

Foreign relations have improved by leaps and bounds. There are a lot more Foreign Direct Investments pouring into India. However we must ensure what happened with Nepal never happens again with any other country.

Schemes like Make in India, Startup India, giving up of LPG subsidies and the management of oil prices have accelerated India’s growth and most importantly changed India’s image and mindset.

Overall we would be fools if we are satisfied with where we are now or for that matter ever. We must be hungry for more and must aim at getting better. With only a few changes to the way this government is functioning coupled with constructive criticism from the media and the opposition, we can tell the world India is coming.

JAI HIND.

Thank you for bearing with me for so long. Any suggestions/comments will be deeply appreciated.

K. Phani Krishna