India has celebrated its 70th Independence Day, on 15th August, 2016

Editorial2 Wed, 17 Aug 2016

India has celebrated its 70th Independence Day, on 15th August, 2016

India has celebrated its 70th Independence Day, on 15th August, 2016. It was born as a Sovereign Democratic Republic, free from the stranglehold of the British colonial rule on this date, in 1947. On the eve of 15th August, 1947, the Indian flag was unfurled proudly by the first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, at the Red Fort in New Delhi. Nehru s landmark tryst with destiny has gone down in the annals of history of the independent India as the proudest moment for all Indians. Indian National Congress has functioned as a truly unifying force during the freedom movement and beyond it, despite a plethora of conflicting circumstances. The Indian National Congress was the true force behind the Indian national movement, which transformed the existing political structure into a truly democratic one. In this struggle, the state power was not seized through a bloody revolution but by prolonged stages of popular struggles. This mass movement was conscientiously built over a multiple politico-ideological levels to forge the sentiments of counter-hegemony against the British Raj. The Indian National Congress led an extremely extensive movements and fought valiantly for civil liberties, economic development on the contours of the Gandhian principles of non-violence, peace and truth.

Modi s Independence Day speech of 2016 is nothing but a mere rhetoric with half cooked facts. As expected, Modi in his Independence Day speech of 2016 overstated the achievements of the NDA government and kept silence on the issues, the government faced trenchant criticism. Most of his statements in his Independence Day speech, were replete with factual inaccuracies. Such factual inaccuracies involved exaggerated overestimation of NDA s achievements in financial inclusion under PMJDY, Rural Electrification, ‘open defecation-free villages’, road construction data etc. As expected, Modi was silent on serious issues.

20th August, 2016 marks the 72nd birth anniversary of our beloved leader Shri Rajiv Gandhi, the India s youngest Prime Minister. He left an indelible imprint of achievement, development and a constructive roadmap for a modern emerging nation to deliver in the 21st Century, with a strong foundational plinth. The Rajiv era can be regarded as the most remarkable period to set off, sets of reforms involving, India s modernization, economic liberalization, inclusive growth, decentralization, co-operative federalism, technological advancement, resource based agricultural growth; economic reform and the concept of India as an emerging global power technologically. It was the Congress party, which conceived, drafted and introduced GST and has been its ardent supporter in the interest of a ‘uniform tax regime’ and enhancement of India’s growth story. But, the Congress didn’t want the passage of a flawed bill, as introduced by the Modi Government, and we raised many concerns and suggested amendments which would improve the bill.

The Government conceded to our demand that the additional 1% manufacturing tax would have gone against the idea of a uniform GST. The Government even conceded to our second point that there must be ‘a third party dispute resolution mechanism’. The Congress has made a forceful plea for capping the GST rate of 18% maximum.

2016 may go down as the bloodiest year in the annals of the Indian democracy, as the official number of death toll reaches 65 and 4000 civilians stand wounded in Kashmir. Both the Central and State government have failed miserably to contain the violence and a policy of unmitigated oppression has exacerbated the already troubled situation in the valley. The Center exhibits an exceedingly callous attitude by not involving the opposition in any deliberation. The NDA government has shown little or no interest in accepting the political reality of Kashmir and has broken the bridge of trust, so carefully built by the Congress, over decades through a policy of development, confidence and dialogue. Unfortunately, rather than pursuing a political-socio-economic solution in Kashmir, the NDA government has continued to waste the public revenue to pursue a militaristic policy on Kashmir. An important dimension to the current problem is the failure of Modi government to craft a coherent policy on Pakistan. The PDP led state government has been unable to assuage the emotion s of the masses.

The government has failed to mitigate the miseries due to serious flood crisis ravaging the several parts of the country.

Congress President, Smt. Sonia Gandhi is recuperating, and we are all praying for her speedy recovery. She will return soon to guide us as she has been doing for the last 18 years since she became the Congress President.