The non-performing assets of banks

The non-performing assets of banks

I will begin this chapter on our banking system, with former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. He demitted office on 4th September 2016, upon serving his tenure of three years. After Modi-led NDA government came into office on 26th May 2014, RSS hotheads and “loose cannon” BJP members began their tirade against Rajan. Particularly vicious were Subramanian Swamy, Swaminathan Gurumurthy and Arun Jaitley. Since he was an appointee of UPA government, even Modi didn’t trust him enough to offer him a second term. Rajan was an honest..[By Philip Mudartha]

A historical perspective of bank reforms

A historical perspective of bank reforms

During the virtual Rozgar Mela event on 24th July, PM Modi said that the previous UPA government “destroyed” the banking sector with scams. His government has restored its good financial health, with India now known for the sector’s strength. According to him, "phone banking" was one of the biggest scams of the previous government as it broke the back of the banking system. Under the phone banking scheme, thousands of crores of rupees were loaned to favourites of some powerful leaders and families. Those loans were never meant to be returned, he said...[By Philip Mudartha]

The politics of Uniform Civil Code

The politics of Uniform Civil Code

Only nine months to go for the 2024 general election. PM Modi and BJP have dusted off their divisive plan to enact a common set of personal laws for us irrespective of religion. Labelled as Uniform Civil Code (UCC), BJP had promised it in its 2019 LS Election manifesto. Speaking in Bhopal to his party cadre, Modi made a strong argument in favour of UCC immediately after he returned from visits to USA and Egypt. "Today people are being instigated in the name of UCC. How can the country run on two laws? The Constitution also talks of equal rights... [By Philip Mudartha]

Attacks on Democratic Institutions in India

Attacks on Democratic Institutions in India

In Namo’ste America, I wrote: “Ever since Modi came to power in 2014, India has attracted global attention on a range of concerns that indicate that some of its goings on are inherently undemocratic. Modi has regularly fuelled majoritarian sentiments in the country and has maintained silence on a range of human rights abuses, even as his government had passed one discriminatory order after another”....[By Philip Mudartha]

Namo’ste America: Modi’s date with the US

Namo’ste America: Modi’s date with the US

Our PM Modi was accorded the honour of addressing the joint session of US Congress for the second time. Before him, Manmohan Singh, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru had addressed the US Congress once during their terms. Modi’s high-profile visit to Washington which included his first state dinner at the White House, was very pompous. The pomp is remarkable because once he was denied a diplomatic visa...[By Philip Mudartha]

Travelogue: Voyage through Magnificent Historic Turkey

Travelogue: Voyage through Magnificent Historic Turkey

Agroup of 20 people from Karnataka, Goa and Maharastra started our trip on May 27, 2023. All the tourists reported at the Chatrapathi Shivaji International Airport. , Mumbai as per the scheduled flight departure time and proceed to Istanbul, a major city in Turkey that straddles Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait. Upon arrival Veena World Tour Manager would guide all guests for airport formalities and proceed to the city. (By John Tauro)

An Unfamiliar Portrait of Vajpayee

An Unfamiliar Portrait of Vajpayee

A new biography of our 10th Prime Minister (PM), Atal Behari Lal Vajpayee titled ’Vajpayee: The Ascent of the Hindu Right 1924-1977’, has just been released. Abhishek Choudhary, its author, presents the unseen side of Vajpayee and punctures several myths about him. There have been several biographies published before some of which bordered on sycophantic tributes. His biographer, Kingchuk Nag wrote and I quote: From being one of the earliest members of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS), Vajpayee blossomed into a leading opposition MP by the late 1960s, [By Philip Mudartha]

The Karnataka Story: Vocal for local

The Karnataka Story: Vocal for local

BJP may find solace that their vote share is marginally lower (-0.35%). Its core constituents have remained loyal. That is not really solace because not only BJP has lost power but the chance for its “Plan B” (of Operation Kamala) has very little chance of success. JDS has lost 4.91% vote share and INC has gained 4.74%. The gap between INC and BJP has widened to 6.88%. It may seem that vote transfer from JDS to INC has happened. But, that may not be entirely true. Parties and political pundits will analyze region-wise..[By Philip Mudartha]

Who will be Karnataka’s New Maharaja?

Who will be Karnataka’s New Maharaja?

The tenure of Karnataka Legislative Assembly ends on 24th May 2023. The previous elections were held in May 2018 which threw up a hung assembly. BJP secured 104 seats, Congress 80 and JDS 37. The state-wide vote share was 36.35% for BJP, 38.14% for Congress and 18.2% for JDS. Even though Congress emerged as the most popular party, in our first past the post Westminster parliamentary system, BJP emerged as the Single Largest Party (SLP)...[By Philip Mudartha]

The Kerala Story: My first day impressions

The Kerala Story: My first day impressions

The secular and left-liberal media described “The Kerala Story” as a propaganda film that uses art as a tool to propagate hate and crate division among communities. For the liberals like the communist rulers of Kerala, the movie presents distorted narrative of conversions of mainly Hindu girls to Islam by fraudulent means like allurement of marriage. The saffron parivar christens such interfaith marriage as “love jihad”..[By Philip Mudartha]

Random Weekend Bytes: Under 700 words

Random Weekend Bytes: Under 700 words

According to the UN data, India surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation on Wednesday, the 26th April 2023. By the end of this month, India’s population is projected to cross 142 crore. China’s population had peaked at 142 crore in 2022 and has been declining since then. This is not really good news. This is not a medal that we should be wearing with pride. For several years, Modi-led BJP government has been boasting about the demographic..[By Philip Mudartha]

Supreme Court verdict on ECI appointments

Supreme Court verdict on ECI appointments

Supreme Court has done what successive governments shied away from. Selection of CEC and ECs by government was problematic. With weighty decisions on conducting elections and adjudicating disputes between parties to be made by this high constitutional office, election commissioner selection is best taken out of Executive’s hands...[By Philip Mudartha]

Chemical Industry in India: An Overview

Chemical Industry in India: An Overview

he Indian Chemical Industry is an integral part of the Economy. In all different ways it’s a part of our lives. We are inextricably linked to the industry- be it be the furniture we use, cars we drive, garments we put on or the drugs we consume. Indian Chemical Industry is both capital as well as knowledge intensive. This industry is playing important role in meeting our basic needs and improving lives...[By Philip Mudartha]

Union Budget FY 2024: An Overview

Union Budget FY 2024: An Overview

Union Budget announced on 1 Feb 2023 was devoid of any big negatives, barring the cigarettes industry. It was continuation of the past. Government stuck to its script of being fiscally prudent. No major populist steps were announced. Budget tried to achieve a fine balance between growth of manufacturing, services, private consumption, long term vision and yet being prudent...[By Philip Mudartha]

Republic Day Holiday: Random Discussions

Republic Day Holiday: Random Discussions

Today, 26 January 2023, we celebrate the 74th Republic Day. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is the chief guest. The 68 year-old is one of most influential Arab leaders with a reputation as a moderate autocrat. As defense minister during Hosni Mubarak’s sunset years in power, Sisi overthrew his democratically elected predecessor, President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013. Morsi was a leading member of Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt..[By Philip Mudartha]

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