THE Punjab National Bank scam is the most brazen and shocking case of defrauding in the history of Indian banking. Nirav Modi, reputed to be the 85th richest Indian and his uncle, Mehul Choksi are reported to have embezzled Rs 11,400 crores through the repeated issue of fake letters of undertaking (LOUs) by colluding bank officials.
That the fraud has been going on since 2011 and peaked in the year 2017 indicates the scale and ease with which such fraud was perpetrated. Does this what “ease of doing business” amounts to in Modi’s New India?
THE RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat, has stated in a speech to RSS workers in Muzaffarpur that while the army takes six to seven months to train its soldiers, the RSS can get its cadres ready for battle in two to three days.
THE prime minister and the BJP are keen to enforce simultaneous elections for the Lok Sabha and the state legislative assemblies. The president, in his address to parliament, has called for a sustained debate on simultaneous elections, so that political parties can arrive at a consensus on the issue.
PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has, in an interview last week with a private television channel, claimed that someone who opens a pakoda shop in the street is to be considered as employed. Further, his earning of Rs 200 per day is not reflected in any book of accounts. He said, “The truth is massive number of people are being employed”.
AS the country celebrates the 68th anniversary of the Republic, it is necessary to recall that it was the Constitution which came into effect on January 26, 1950 that made India a Republic. It is a sombre fact that this Constitution is presently facing the biggest threat ever in its history.
THE press conference by four senior judges of the Supreme Court on January 12 was truly unprecedented in the judicial history of India. Justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, the four senior most judges after the chief justice and who constitute the five-member collegium took this extraordinary step to complain about the way in which the chief justice was dealing with the administrative matters relating to the allocation of cases and the constitution of the benches.
THE prime minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting India from January 14. His official visit is not something which is to be welcomed. The coalition headed by Netanyahu is the most right-wing government that Israel has had. It consists of ultraright Jewish parties who openly advocate expulsion of the Palestinian people from the occupied territories and treating the Arabs within the borders of Israel as second-class citizens.
THE Tribune newspaper published an investigative report on January 4 about how its reporter could get access to details of more than one billion Aadhar numbers. The reporter paid Rs 500 through Paytm to a vendor after which a gateway was created with a login ID and password which enabled her to get any name, address, photo, phone number and email-id of a person registered with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).
THE details of the scheme of electoral bonds outlined by the finance minister in parliament have only confirmed what was apprehended when the proposal for electoral bonds was first announced in the January 2017-18 budget. The scheme is nothing but a way of harnessing corporate funding for the ruling party and facilitating the takeover of the political system by big money.
LOOKING back at the year 2017 that has just ended, there is an important aspect of the national situation that must be noted. The year unfolded with the forces of reaction on the ascendant. But by the last quarter of the year, the forces of resistance against the right wing offensive had begun to assert themselves and make their presence felt.