Showing posts with label India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label India. Show all posts

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Although the opposition parties in India have tried to elicit a Parliament Veto for the foreign direct investment in the retail sector which only needs a Cabinet decision and no Parliament approval, by moving motions against it in both houses, the operation back-fired when in both houses the opposition motion was rejected. The whole exercise, consuming two weeks’ Parliament session, thus ended in anti climax for the opposition parties and Instead  of  Parliament disapproval the game  ended in reinforcing the Government decision.

 The opposition parties have nothing against the retail giants as such, they only want to garner the votes of Indian retail merchants who have been propagandized to believe that the foreign retailers would decimate them. The political parties when go out of power use all tactics for votes to get back  to power and it is more glaring in Indian politics. It is unknown how the entry of retail giants would fare in India, however the present economic scenario makes it imperative for the continuation of economic reforms to boost the economy and foreign investor confidence.  

It does not need a big intelligence to imagine that the small merchants are not going to affect as big a way as the political parties’ project by the opening up of a few foreign retail shops in big cities. Actually it is not the merchants' business that would affect with the arrival of retail giants but the business ethics that would have to undergo a forced change and that is indeed a welcome factor for the people and for the nation as a whole.  In plain words, the traditional hoarding, black-marketing and artificial price rising would not be easy any more when foreign shops arrive on the scene as they are unlikely to join in such games and the pricing will be left to the market forces ultimately.

To cite an example, the price of rice, the staple food of Kerala, is increasing by leaps and bounds now. The price hike is merchants-created and not on account of lack of stock of rice. A news report said that tons of Rice was destroyed in the Food corporation godowns due to lack of  storage space. The merchants leave no chance to make a profit.

(The Congress party while explaining the benefits of F D I did not go in to such facts in order not to further antagonize the merchants)

What makes the Congress party to carry forward the reforms ?

In the first place there is a section of population in India that looks upon Congress and Dr Manmohan Singh to carry forward the reforms for economical growth. If the Congress Party evades it, the result will be disastrous for it. Though B J P is also a national party it has not ruled the Nation long enough to break a path of its own and as a result of it the party is confused of its mooring ground. Though called as a rightist party it stood with the leftists in the F D I issue.

In spite of the  approval of Parliament for the F D I,  it may take time for retail Giants to start operation  in India as a number of amendments to existing laws in areas like labour etc  have to be made before they can operate here.  


Thursday, March 29, 2012

India, Sri Lanka and the Geneva Resolution

India has supported the resolution against Sri Lanka at the U.N. Human rights council for its alleged human right violations and crimes during the war with the Tamils. Out of the 48 members in the Council 24 Member nations voted for the resolution and 15 against it while 8 abstained. It was not an easy decision for India, for if India stood against the resolution it will be an injustice to the Tamilians not only in India but to the entire Tamil Diaspora spread all over the world and if India supported U.S. stand it ran the risk of Sri Lanka’s displeasure when already India has few friends amongst its neighbors.  

 All nations surrounding India have stood by Sri Lanka.  China, Bangladesh and Pakistan have good trade relations with Lanka. China has invested more than $ 1 Billion for the Hambontota port and for other development works like roads bridges etc in Lanka and it has a long history of cooperation and friendship with Lanka. China bartered rice for Rubber when Lanka had excess rubber and shortfall of rice. Similarly Lanka has warm relations with Pakistan too especially in arms trade. All border countries of India like China, Pakistan and Bangladesh have voted in favor of Sri Lanka

Though India too is a trade partner of Sri Lanka, there are historical and political reasons against developing a lasting friendship between the two countries. Historically a major part of Sri Lankan Tamils are of Indian origin, immigrated to Sri Lanka (old Ceylon) over a long period.  The Tamils were part of the Sri Lankan history from Time immemorial along with Sinhalese people and the Tamils of Indian origin made the Tamil population significant there, making the people of Sri Lanka to view Tamils as 2nd class citizens and India as the originator of their Tamil problem. Even if India voted against U.S. resolution,  it would not have  made much difference in terms of India- Sri Lanka relation because of those preconceived prejudices.

 In the domestic scene a stand in favor of Sri Lanka would have created havoc. In the first place, the ruling Congress party would have lost the entire Tamils from their fold which in turn might have paved way for other alignments to take form rewriting the political map of the country. Besides, there is a general feeling in all of India that in the final phase of the war the Sri Lankan army did not even spare women and children  in their brute offensive against Tamil Tigers. As such it would not have been ethically correct or possible for India to take a stand in favor of Lanka.  

A report from Sri Lanka stated that by voting in line with the U.S. resolution India had actually failed diplomatically as it could not rope in a single Asian country with it. This notion is due to the ignorance of India’s unique position in the issue. India is the country of Tamils and it thus becomes imperative for India to stand by the Tamils  as countries small or big customarily stand to protect the interests of their citizens and ethnic origins living any where in the world. To cite a recent example, Israel got agitated over the Paris killing of School children of Jewish origin and demanded immediate action to find the perpetrators though they were French citizens. India has to show the same regard and sentiments over the problems of its ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka or elsewhere and Sri Lanka would also act the same way if any Sinhalese people are harassed elsewhere in the world.
All said, the passing of the resolution makes not much difference to Sri Lanka because apart from censuring Sri Lanka it only urges Sri Lanka to take action on the recommendations of  L L R C ( Lessons learned and reconciliation commission)  immediately. The L L R C is a domestic committee and to take follow ups on its recommendations is not such a big deal for Sri Lanka.

 In essence the resolution helped only to high-light the issue once again while the world was slowly forgetting about it.

Images:  Google