From the Editor : Anil Tyagi

Jiss ka Raja vyapari, usskiPrajabhikari—it’s an old Indian saying. This is valid even now though monarchies have been replaced by democracies. There are no kings, emperors and aristocracy today; their places have been taken over by Prime Ministers, Chief Ministers, MPs, MLAs, corporators and sarpanchs. The former Prime Minister of India, Chandrashekhar, used to say, “Politicians should not have any businesses and businessmen should not have any political affiliations, both can’t go together.”

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Corruption : FROM RAJ TO RAFALE 9 Predators on the Prowl

IT started with a seemingly inconsequential policy to woo NRIs. In the 1982 Budget, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee allowed Indians settled abroad to buy shares in Indian companies. The idea was to replicate the Chinese investment model, which hoped to attract huge inflows from the non-resident Chinese. What Mukherjee never anticipated, or may be the decision was designed to achieve this objective, it led to hostile takeovers and corporate wars that dragged in the government, including the prime minister, financial sector, including the Reserve Bank of India, and most of the business community.

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COVER STORY : Political Catastrophe

India’s overall economic growth over the past three-four decades has had a negative side effect. As the country became a two trillion economy, the overall wealth grew. But it grew in a skewed manner, inflating inequalities—the rich became richer and the poor, poorer. The wealth got concentrated in the hands of few people, who could use it in different ways, including entry into politics. No wonder then, politics soon became business, resulting in exploitation and manipulation of the political system. The elections in the country, including the one currently on for the Lok Sabha, sees a large number of such candidates who have played the system to their advantage, even resorting to criminal means. These politico-businesses thrive at the expense of the common citizen of the country and this trend portends much disastrous future. Alam Srinivas analyses.

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COVER STORY : Will there be a Parliament for the People?

THE crawling process to elect the 17th Lok Sabha is nearing completion. Political parties are working overtime to capture power and manage India’s democracy and all that it entails. Ironically, since India became a democratic Republic it is these political parties that have diminished democracy, abandoned liberty, inclusiveness and justice, encouraged polarisation, promoted crony capitalism and pursued predatory policies and projects that has made India among the most unhappy and inequitable countries in the world.

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SCAM : Jignesh ‘Unfit and Improper’

On June 8, 2018, a National Company Law Tribunal division bench declared Jignesh Shah, chairman emeritus and mentor of 63 Moons, and nine other persons not fit to be directors, or hold any other office connected with the management of 63 Moons and its subsidiary National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL). It is reported that 63 Moons held 99.99% of NSEL’s equity.

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GOVERNANCE : India excels in environment Governance

India’s over 5000-year-old culture enjoins us to look at the whole world and all that it sustains—living and non-living—as a family, co-existing in a symbiotic manner. Following this path, India is maintaining a synergy between its rich traditional heritage and modernity while ensuring no negative impact on the environment.

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GOVERNANCE : Crime of 21st Century

The world’s fastest growing economic activity is unfortunately one that is having a detrimental impact on trade, employment, innovation, security and the health of people living across the length and breadth of the world. This activity is called ‘illicit trade’ and its tentacles have spread so far, that over the last ten years, it has grown from $650 billion to nearly $3 trillion. This illegal business operation represents 10 per cent of the global trade and has been termed as crime of the 21st century by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

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BOOK EXCERPT : The Pied Piper of BJP

A senior Congress leader, also an ex-chief minister, had once described India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as the BJP’s ‘Pied Piper’. The legend of Pied Piper of Hamelin is well known—a man who lured rats with his magical pipe. One could dispute the ‘rats’ analogy, but Jaitley can be described as the modern-day Piper because of the attention he gets from colleagues in the BJP, journalists and politicians across the board.

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Book Review : From behind the steel frame

THE British East India Company came to this subcontinent to trade and provide lucrative returns to its shareholders in London. In the process, the company came to be known as “Company Bahadur”; it assumed the role of governance, ultimately making way for the establishment of the British Empire. The development and role of the Indian Civil Service (ICS) was one of the dominant features of the period of history dominated by the East India Company. The evolution of the ICS, which transformed into the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) post 1947, is an extraordinary saga: how people employed by a trading company in a foreign land transformed into the most powerful civil service in the world. ICS was the first civil service in the modern world where recruitment was on the basis of open competition and not through patronage.

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Bric-a-brac : Cash no problem

THE BJP has spent whopping resources in this election. There is not a single street, circle, highway, Google, Facebook and other social sites, and newspapers across India which was not flooded with the pictures of Modi and his election slogans. All TV channels that are members of Indian Broadcasting Federation (IBF) were issued the release orders by the BJP; rest were told to carry the campaign on oral assurance.

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