Tuesday, 9 August, 2022
HomeThoughtShotArun Anand on Hedgewar’s freedom struggle, Naushad Forbes on reviving 'animal spirits’

Arun Anand on Hedgewar’s freedom struggle, Naushad Forbes on reviving ‘animal spirits’

The best of the day’s opinion, chosen and curated by ThePrint’s top editors.

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Assam’s humanitarian conundrum

 

Udayon Misra| Former National Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla

The Hindu 

Misra writes that as the final date of the NRC draws near, “dividing lines” become sharper. Minority organizations feel the NRC is a way to extricate ‘Bangladeshis’ from the large Bengali Muslim community. But no political parties, student organisations or civil society groups has yet considered the impending humanitarian crisis when lakhs of people will be declared foreign nationals by the Foreign Tribunals (FTs),if they are excluded from the NRC.

Despite assurances from the government that “immediate detention and scrapping of rights” will not occur, no one has worked out a “humanitarian plan” for the stateless. BJP leaders claiming this move will rid the “termites” has added to panic. With only 70 out of its 100 FTs functioning in Assam, and the state’s promise to create 200 FTs by September looking unlikely, there are concerns of how people will actually be able to seek judicial redress.

Assam is heading for a “humanitarian challenge of massive proportions, one for which it seems least prepared”, concludes Misra.

It is time to recognise Hedgewar’s contribution to the freedom movement

 

Arun Anand |  CEO, Indraprashta Vishwa Samvada Kendra, and author of two books on the RSS

Hindustan Times

Anand writes that Keshav Baliram Hedgewar may be remembered as the founder of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), but his involvement in the freedom movement is little known. After joining the movement as a young man inspired by Lokmanya Tilak’s nationalism, he joined the freedom fighter group Anushilan Samiti.

Arrested on grounds of “sedition” and giving “objectionable speeches” in May 1921, he pleaded his own case. But the judge felt his defence proved his sedition even more and ordered him to write an undertaking stating he would not give religious speeches for a year and would pay a bail bond. Refusing to pay the bond and insisting he was innocent, he was sentenced to a year of rigorous imprisonment.

Celebrating his release from jail, a public reception was organized by senior Congress leader Motilal Nehru and Hakim Ajmal Khan. He was happy with Congress’s resolution for  “Samprana Swatantrya” (complete independence). Hedgewar wrote a circular to his shakhas urging the people of the Sangh to support the Congress in achieving this goal, writes Anand.

A blunt reminder

 

Arun Prakash |  The writer is a retired chief of naval staff.

The Indian Express

Prakash writes that Kashmir move might have been welcomed by some with enthusiasm, but looking at Kashmir’s history might teach us some lessons. Almost 72 years ago, faced with a Pakistani tribal invasion, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession that integrated J&K with India. Prakash writes that when he grew up in the 1950s and 60s, there was harmony between Kashmiri Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs, but there was still an understanding that Kashmir was not India. J&K had its flag and own leader in PM Sheikh Abdullah, “Sher-e-Kashmir. When he was arrested in 1953, the Valley erupted in violence and massive anti-India protests. “The CRPF opened fire, and many were killed, before the Valley relapsed into sullen silence”, writes Prakash.

Decades later not much has changed.  Pumping money into Kashmir which goes into corruption, by supporting the “wrong dynasties” to rule, India alienated Kashmir. By not creating a national strategy, it enabled Pakistan to “sow the seeds of discord and sedition”.

The state has two possible options to offer Kashmiris. One, an “inclusive, open and liberal India” that will economically prosper. Two, an India that will resort to force whenever dissent is expressed.

Any decision we take on internet platforms should put people first and not data miners: American, Chinese or Indian

 

Mishi Choudhary | Technology lawyer

The Times of India 

Choudhary writes that internet platforms that were once given ‘safe harbour against third party content’ under the clause that they would self-regulate, have now begun to ‘centralize power’ by acquiring competitors or “copying their features”. Facebook’s acquisition of both Whatsapp and Instagram has made it a “communications behemoth”. As these platforms have become bigger, self-regulation falters while governments and political groups have taken advantage of these tools to influence public discourse.

Misuse of data, widespread misinformation online have led to crises like the spreading of dangerous anti-Rohingya threats, or the data breach during the 2016 US election. In democracies like Brazil or India, WhatsApp has been a major means of campaigning. With complete encryption there is no track of what is said, who is incited, and this is dangerous for democracy. When our do governments choose to negotiate with these companies they must not let “economic nationalism” guide policies or take away the freedoms granted by the internet.

Misuse of data, widespread misinformation online have led to crises like the spreading of dangerous anti-Rohingya threats, or the data breach during the 2016 US election. In democracies like Brazil or India, WhatsApp has been a major means of campaigning. With complete encryption there is no track of what is said, who is incited, and this is dangerous for democracy. When our do governments choose to negotiate with these companies they must not let “economic nationalism” guide policies or take away the freedoms granted by the internet.

More Informed Opinions

 

Hemant Manuj | The writer is area head, finance, SP Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai

Economic Times 

Hemant Manuj discusses a recent SEBI circular – Guidelines for Enhanced Disclosures by Credit Rating Agencies (CRAs). He says that while it is “a welcome move to ask CRAs to increase the level of disclosures in standardised formats,” some issues in the circular need review.

First, he writes that many terms in the circular have not been defined – “default, marginal default rate, cumulative default rate, etc.” He argues that in the absence of standardised definitions, it will be difficult to compare the data disclosed by different CRAs.

Second, he discusses a conceptual flaw as “the benchmarks for the probability of default (PD) for rating categories of AAA, AA and A have been stipulated at 0% for a one-year time horizon”. He writes that this is against the basic principle of risk assessment as only a risk-free asset can have a zero probability of default.

Rid educational institutions of interference and corruption 

 

Anurag Behar | The writer  is CEO of Azim Premji Foundation and also leads sustainability initiatives for Wipro Ltd

Mint 

Behar discusses the corruption which exists in India’s higher education institutions (HEIs). He writes that the appointment of many of the heads of these HEIs usually involves corruption and external influence. He writes that HEIs are “enfeebled by external forces that have no educational or institutional commitment”.

He writes that the draft National Education Policy (NEP) directly addresses this problem. He cites an excerpt from it to highlight his argument – “Leaders of institutions are often not the people who should be in these roles… these processes are prone to all manner of influence—ranging from political influence to downright corruption in many cases”.

He writes that the NEP aims to transform the leadership and governance structure of HEIs. To achieve that purpose, he mentions the NEP wants all HEIs to governed by independent boards which can select their members and heads of institutions, and which will have complete autonomy.

Reviving animal spirits

 

Naushad Forbes | The writer is co-chairman of Forbes Marshall, past president of CII, and chairman of the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Economic Research (CTIER)

Business Standard 

Naushad Forbes describes how the “animal spirits” were revived in India in 1991. At that time, he writes, India was the 19th poorest country in the world and its foreign reserves were down to just two weeks of imports. But in just 100 days, he recalls, everything had changed, and there was a sense that “our time had finally come”.

He argues that the credit for this change in sentiment must go to the government at that time. He remembers Finance Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s budget speech from that time in which he had said, “Let the whole world hear it loud and clear. India is now wide awake”.

Forbes writes that the present mood everywhere is very different and full of despair. He says that in 1991 a difficult reality was suddenly matched with perceptions of a bright future. Today also, we need to revive our perceptions of the future, he says.

The scale of India’s economic challenge

 

Dhiraj Nayyar | The author is Chief Economist, Vedanta

Business Standard 

Dhiraj Nayyar writes that more than the latest quarterly GDP growth figures or the latest monthly IIP release, two other factors better describe the source of India’s economic problems – the mere 15 per cent share of manufacturing in India’s GDP and the country’ low agricultural productivity. These two factors, he notes, have hardly changed in the last 30 years.

He makes a few recommendations to overcome these problems. He says that we need a “Make in India For the World”. Also, to create a globally competitive manufacturing sector, India must participate in global and regional value chains. He adds that India needs to give up its romanticisation of small industries. The present tax and labour law regimes, he argues, deter firms from becoming large in the country. He concludes by saying that the government “needs to do the right kind of structural reforms to realise the promise of sustained high growth and well-paid jobs”.

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