Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Bits and Pieces – As I Please – 5

Bits and Pieces – As I Please – 5

Cashless transactions: - PM Narendra Modi and FM Arun Jaitley and other ministers and functionaries of the government preached and propagated cashless transactions by electronic means to the perceived advantage of the common man and the financial system of the country. The loud pitch has died down as the dust raised during the demonetization has slowly settled down. These cosmetic
steps remained for sometime in the media and the government tended to claim lot of mileage of these facilities and reforms. But the situation on ground has not changed at all. The vested interests say the tax evaders and the corrupt are interested in this. They have failed the system. There is no body to check. It is unfortunate. Let me mention about one of my personal experiences in this regard. Most of the restaurants do not accept cards. During one of my visits to an old and established restaurant in Jalandhar at the time of demonetization, it was found that there was a notice to say “Sorry. We do not accept Credit/Debit Cards” kept at the entrance.

Will the authorities look into some of these irritants being faced by the people? It goes without saying that it will be difficult to curve these unethical practices and tendencies as long as easy cash generated through corruption and other illegal means remains in circulation. Corruption is the mother of all these ills.

Insensitive Media: - Over the last week, there have been reports in the media that somebody is chopping the hairs (choti or hair buns) of ladies for some ulterior purposes in some towns of UP and in and around Delhi. One does not know the veracity of the news but the rumour mongering had a field day. There was a news item in the Tribune of August 4 with the caption “Braid Cutter Dalit Lynched in Agra”. Yet another paper, Hindustan Times carried a
story “”Braid Chop Hysteria: Agra Villagers Lynch Dalit Woman”. I was wondering why the reporter has identified the old lady as a “dalit”. Was the word dalit needed to explain anything which could not be done otherwise? Did the reporter feel that such activities could only be done by dalits?  I think it is nothing more but a Manuwadi mindset of the insensitive media. Dalits are, of course, being lynched by anti-social elements mostly belonging to upper castes everyday in one pretext or the other in the caste ridden society. Generally, these stories are ignored by the biased and insensitive media. It is an unfortunate ground reality.

Chanakya Niti:- Saam-Daam-Dhand-Bhed: Chanakya  also known as Kautilya whose name was Vishnugupta was a philosopher adviser to Chadragupta Maurya in the 3rd-4th century BC. His political treatise ‘Arthashastra’ provides tenets of good governance and also advice on strategic and tactical approaches to deal with various aspects of governance and diplomacy. The crux of Chanakya’s philosophy is as valid today as it was before.  One of these dictums is the famous “Saam, Daam, Dhand and Bhed” The meaning of this is: -

Saam: to advice and ask or to express commonality with your counterpart.
Daam: to offer and buy or to offer monetary compensation.
Dand: to punish or threaten of harm.
Bhed: exploiting the secrets or try to single your opponent from his associates and cause division and dissention.

It is a considered and well thought of strategy to deal with ones opponents or enemy. In the present context in India, PM Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah are skillfully applying and practicing this Chanakya policy to deal with their political opponents. The recent developments in, inter alia, Gandhinagar,
Bengaluru, Lucknow, Patna to deal with Shankar Singh Vaghela, D.K. Shivkumar, Mayawati, Akhilesh Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav are some of the clear pointers in this direction. There is no harm in practicing the traditional Indian wisdom in politics, diplomacy and governance. But I think it should not be done sparingly and selectively. Moreover, the same very Shastras also teach matching morality and Dharma. As Dr. Ambedkar also said, ‘Gyan without Sheel is dangerous’.

Incidentally, PM Narendra Modi in his message to a multilateral meeting – Sambad – Global Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environmental Consciousness the other day referred to yet another traditional gem from the Tarka Shastra to fight with the global challenges of terrorism, climate change and to eradicate religious prejudices that cause conflict across the world and said, “The ancient Indian concept of Tarka Shastra is founded on dialogue and debate as the model for exchange of views and avoidance of conflict.” May the traditional Indian wisdom finds favour with the Chinese leadership to end the ongoing standoff at Doklam – India-China-Bhutan border tri-junction.

Without Comment:-

“Fallout of Doklam may be that China will now openly back Pakistan in border disputes.”

Will There Be War – a story in India Today, August 15, 2017 issue.

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