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Showing posts from January 27, 2017

The politics of demonetisation (the hindu)

As Parliament prepares to convene again after a winter session washed out due to the Opposition’s protest on demonetisation, it is worth asking why political mobilisation against the exercise is proving to be so difficult

Demonetisation has been the most hotly debated topic since November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the high-denomination notes then in circulation would cease to be legal tender. In a single stroke, nearly 86% of the currency in an economy powered by cash transactions, with 54% people without bank accounts, was wiped out. The move disrupted the lives of ordinary people, led to widespread hardship for the poor, major job losses and over a hundred deaths. Despite the huge distress and disruption, the general sentiment seemed to be in favour of the decision.

The shock move invited widespread criticism. It provoked protests and a lot of anger and agitation, but most of it was directed against local irritants, particularly banks. There are numerous r…

Getting ties with UAE on track(Hindu)

Even though the interpreter was missing at their joint appearance in Delhi’s Hyderabad House, there was no mistaking the rapport between the United Arab Emirates Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The two leaders have met three times in the last 18 months, each meeting more full of warmth than the previous one. That the UAE Crown Prince, who is also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Emirati armed forces, was invited as Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade, even though he is not a head of government or state, indicates the importance India invests in him and in ties with the Gulf country. India’s interest in the UAE rests on several pillars: trade ties of about $50 billion, energy and oil supplies from the world’s fifth largest exporter, the welfare of 2.6 million Indians who remit billions of dollars home annually, and defence and security. While bilateral ties have been robust for decades, the defence and security partnership is clearly…