Mystery Behind Vaidik’s Hafeez Meeting
The Congress mounted a fierce attack on the government bludgeoning it on the meeting of V.P. Vaidik with Hafeez Saeed at his house in Lahore. But Congress has been acting like a spoilt brat, having lived in power and pelf, as the saying goes, and now bereft of it all and dumped by the people, cries itself hoarse whenever it sees a chink in the BJP government.
But one does get curious about Vaidik’s meeting. The Congress says he is associated with International Vivekanand Institute with which all the three—Ajit Doval, Nripendra Mishra and PK Mishra—have been associated. True, in fact no delegation goes to Pakistan without the knowledge of the PMO. So the three must have known that Vaidik was one of its members. The delegation was reportedly headed by Mani Shanker Aiyer and Salman Khurshed was one of its members. The delegation returned after three days but Vaidik stayed back. Aiyer is known to be the strongest votary of talks with Pakistan and Khurshid agrees that there is no alternative but to negotiate. It would not be surprising if Aiyer had some inkling of Vaidik angling for a Saeed meeting. And if the three in the PMO also came to know about it, what they advised Vaidik, one does not know. But if they did, it was good that they let him go ahead. Any good diplomat or security strategists would have done that, hoping something might come out of Saeed’s future plans for India. Why is Sonia-led rump in the Lok Sabha making such a hullabaloo.
“I have been meeting all the PMs and President of South Asia for last 45 years. I have never met anybody as envoy, why should I meet anybody as Modi’s envoy? Congress should raise this issue in Parliament and Modi should clarify this.
“I believe the only way is dialogue, open to meet anyone as a journalist. I contradicted all his statements. Discussion was tensed initially, then his views were changed. He had seen my interviews and read my write ups. I met him as a journalist”, said Vaidik, admitting that he himself posted the picture of his with Saeed on social networking site.
So, let’s wait and see what is in the interview of nearly 47 pages.
Surprise, Churchill Left Club Bill Unpaid
During the second World War, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minster, kept the morale and the spirit of the British, battered by the almost daily nightly bombing by hordes of Luftwaffe. He of course considered Indians to be less than civilized and incapable of looking after themselves! He was sure that India would plunge into chaos once given freedom.
He also possibly thought that the British not only ruled but owned the country and all that was in India. Otherwise, what could be the reason to go back to Britain without paying his Bangalore Club Bill. Yes, the Club has an unpaid bill of his. And it has done well to frame it and hang it on a wall for everyone to see.
It’s a surprise that a Churchill kin coughed out to pay it off and save the daily humiliation of their elder. The moral of the story is that pay your Club Bill to save yourself from disgrace in posterity.
Sometimes It’s Unwise To Be Miserly
Narendra Modi has done the right thing by breaking the convention of prime minister taking a large entourage of officials when going abroad on an official visit. But like everything being miserly all the time could go horribly wrong. He went to attend BRICS summitl, his first multi-leaders meeting, where he was scheduled to meet for the first time with President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Fortaleza. Putin is said to be a bit annoyed at being ignored by India when the deal for arms and equipment was being negotiated. In Dr Manmohan Singh’s international relations, Russia was not given any importance. It was just Washington and Obama. Modi would have to bend a bit backwards to normalise relations. Putin is too important for India and should be neutralised. His meeting with President Xi Jinping known beforehand, was very important as well. Without his cooperation, it would have been impossible for Modi to bring the headquarters of the New Development Bank, an alternate to World Bank and promoted by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries to New Delhi.
It would be initially capitalised at $50 billion ($10 billion being contributed by each of the five countries)—the bank will have an authorised capital of $100 billion, and cater to the infrastructure and development funding needs of the five countries. An extremely important institution, with which, if located in New Delhi, India’s eminence will soar. It was, in fact, known before Modi left for the summit that the setting-up of the BRICS bank and that of a $-100 billion contingency reserve arrangement to meet short-term liquidity pressures of the developing countries will top the agenda of the BRICS summit. The five emerging economies—which together account for $24 trillion of the world GDP and 40 per cent of the population—were also expected to discuss the need for reforms in the United Nations Security Council.
The party of advisers for such an important summit comprised Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry (Independent charge), Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman, National Security Adviser AK Doval, and Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram.
Breaking “Rule” Naming Schemes After Nehru Gandhi
The Modi government has broken the tradition of naming every institution and projects after the members of the Gandhi Dynasty.
In the NDA’s first Budget, leaders, other than the Dynasty members, have been recognised and four big schemes have been named after them.
The programmes are named after Deen Dayal Upadhyay, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Jaiprakash Narayan and Madan Mohan Malviya. Upadhyaya and Mookerjee are ideologues of the RSS and BJP while Narayan, called ‘Loknayak’, is an icon of Indian politics. His stature or public esteem cannot be equalled by a Rahul or even by a Rajiv. Educationist Malaviya’s biggest and lasting contribution is the setting-up of Banaras Hindu University. The projection of these leaders is seemingly a deliberate move to rename or re-package flagship schemes of the UPA.
According to Jaitley’s announcement schemes allotted are: the Syama Prasad Mookerjee Rurban Mission to urbanise rural areas and the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana to augment power supply in rural areas. A national centre for excellence in humanities, to be set up in Madhya Pradesh, has been named after Jaiprakash Narayan. A Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya New Teachers Training Programme is also being launched. Some UPA flagship schemes like the National Rural Livelihood Mission, or Bharat Nirman, found no mention while the Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan has been repackaged as the Swatchh Bharat Abhiyan. Indira Vikas Patra is history with the launch of the Kissan Vikas Patra. The Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension Scheme has given way to the Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana while the Rajiv Gandhi rural electrification scheme has been replaced by the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. But it will take a long time to catch up with the number of schemes named after the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty members. In the decade that the UPA ruled, 11 Central government schemes were named after the Nehru-Gandhi family, mostly Rajiv Gandhi. Congress-ruled state governments had also launched 52 similar schemes. Over the years that the Congress ruled, more than 450 government schemes/projects were named after some member of the Gandhi—Nehru family, according to an estimate. The Congress Party’s desire to credit every social sector programme, every national institution and every national achievement to three individuals-Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru—seems strange. Never ever anywhere such a thing has happened. In the US, hardly one or two schemes are named after Lincoln or Kennedy. It is likewise in the UK. The Family seems to believe that the country belongs to them. A feudal mentality possibly makes it believe that it has contributed to the country so much that it deserves to have its names implanted on every major schemes.