Saturday, February 9, 2019

Rhetoric and Reality of Indian Foreign Policy under Modi: ‘Neighborhood First’?

Abdul Rahman

Modi led central government is approaching the end of its five-year term. At the time of its coming to power it had promised a significant change in India’s position in International politics. During elections campaign Narendra Modi gave the impression of a ‘tough’ leader who would keep “India First” and would never compromise on the issues of national significance‘unlike in the past’. The protection and promotion of ‘national interest’ was to be the sole motto of this government. After the election results were declared BJP got majority in the Lok Sabha making it the only party to do so in the last three decades. All these facts and declarations inflated the expectations of the analysts and common people from the government. In the initial months a kind of blitzkrieg of media campaigns helped in consolidating this image.Throughout his term Modi visited unprecedented number of countries (according to official data around 84 till 2018) apparently to pave the way for greater and meaningful engagements with them. Each time Modi visited a country Indian media went gaga about it selling the government version about its historicity and importance. On certain occasions such visits were prioritized even over critical moments at home. For example, immediately after announcing the demonetization Modi left for Japan in November 2016. However, despite all these hullabaloo and pomp the effects of all those visits on India’s status in international politics and in its economic development are invisible. However, most of the foreign policy commentators are yet not ready to call the bluff. Given the high expectations and high voltage campaign of a successful foreign policy carried out by this government it is pertinent to take a stock of the real situation now. In this context, present article is the first in the series of four articles attempting to analyze four different and defining aspects of India’s foreign policy-India and its Neighbors, India and China, India and the USA and Indiaand its anti-Imperialist Commitments-during Modi regime to put the record straight and clear.

In this article we are going to examine India’s neighborhood policy.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Unbelievable GDP Numbers After ‘Demonetisation’

Surajit Das 

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Govt. of India has released one press note on 31st January 2019 on the first revised estimate of India’s national income for 2017-18. According to this, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has increased by 7.2% in 2017-18 and by 8.2% in 2016-17 (second revised estimate). These annual numbers are important because the quarterly GDP estimates are based on many unrealistic assumptions and extrapolations and therefore are controversial. It is important to note that the growth rate of GDP in 2014-15 and in 2015-16 have been 7.4% and 8% respectively. Therefore, CSO claims that the country’s growth rate remained, more or less, unaffected by ‘demonetisation’.