Made in India matters, hugely

The PM during his speech on Independence Day, from the ramparts of the legendary Red Fort referred to ‘Import Substitution and Export Promotion.’  Of late, imports seem to be unduly on the increase in spite of the indigenous capability, thus ‘draining’ the precious foreign exchange reserves at a time when the stringency is acutely felt, with the CAD said to

be at  US$88.2 billion and a huge debt burden

in foreign exchange is scheduled for

repayment during  this current financial year, 2014-15.   Hence, as the new incumbent PM desired in his speech that there should be an earnest effort to manufacture items that are now being imported, there is an imperative need, as a first set of measures, to restrict or ban fancy imports like furniture and jewellery, for instance, and formulate a new import-export policy to streamline imports strictly through the earnings made out of exports, with due regards to the indigenisation of  those sought for import.  Thus, there is a possibility of the shift of emphasis on promoting exports, so as to be able to finance the essential import inputs.

Further, any hitch to the smooth functioning

of the manufacturers-exporters should be removed and the customs tariff need to be addressed periodically, so that they have an edge on Techno-Commercial aspects of the

end-products over their international competitors to promote the sales that will automatically strengthen the FE reserves of our country. This will also create more opportunity for the auxiliary domestic market for a remarkable turnaround of the demographic dividend.

T M Uday Shankar

Memorable speech

Is it a mere coincidence that the calendar of India’s Independence year, 1947, is repeated in the year 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a really visionary and historic speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi on the country’s 68th Independence Day? Such a speech could only have been expected from a person like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who deserved to be India’s first Prime Minister, as also echoed by majority members of the Constitutent Assembly, but unfortunately turned down by Mahatma Gandhi in favour of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.  Perhaps India would not have had to wait for Modi had we been fortunate to have Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel as our first Prime Minister!

His orange-green turban with his white national attire symbolised national tricolour. His avoiding a bullet-proof enclosure and mingling with the schoolchildren unhindered by security matched with his declaration of public participation and his being the ‘Pradhan Sevak’ in nation rebuilding.

It was another first that the President of India elected in a different regime had a similar vision on his eve of Independence Day speech like that of the Prime Minister, with words of praise for Modi.

Subhash Chandra Agrawal

Adivasi way of life lost

The new Palghar district came into existence from August 1, 2014. Originally, Thane district was created for the welfare of Adivasi community, but on the way that community was wiped out.

The government of Maharashtra first announced some 25 years ago, plans to form a separate Palghar district for the welfare of this community. However, during the last 25 years, most Adivasi land has been purchased by outsiders at throwaway prices. Now that the land transactions are done, the new district has been carved out just to create another cement jungle, marring nature’s beauty.

We have a law that no one can purchase

Adivasi land without proper sanction from the district collector. This law has been overlooked

in the interests of builder lobby. Now most Adivasis are landless, which is what I found during my trip to the area. United Nations wants the original population to remain with their culture and language, whereas state governments in India are destroying the

original population.

In America, Australia, New Zealand and other countries, care is taken of such communities, so what is preventing us from doing so? It is necessary that all Adivasi leaders come together and fight for the rights of this community, failing which, as in Mumbai, Thane and Vasai-Virar, their community will be annihilated  from Palghar district too.

 Marcus Dabre

Bharat Ratna for Dilip Kumar

Bharat Ratna is the highest national civilian award presented to a person for their exemplary contribution to the fields of science and technology, art and literature, music, sports, political service and so on.

All these areas are vital pillars of the building of the Indian nation.

Since, at present, there is a nationwide discussion in the country about presenting this award to the most appropriate personalities who could deserve this honour, I consider myself privileged to suggest the name of Dilip Kumar for this year’s Bharat Ratna Award. It is needless to elaborate his immense contribution to acting in Hindi cinema for over six decades, since the early 1940s.

A doyen of Hindi cinema, through his original acting, he symbolised the aspirations and dreams of free and modern India and has emerged as the actor of the century. In this context, I would like to mention that Pakistan has already awarded him with the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, the highest civilian award of that country for his contribution to acting and strengthening  Indo-Pak friendship.

Honouring  Dilip Kumar with the Bharat

Ratna award would also amount not only to honouring Hindi cinema, that has done yeoman service to the noble objective of national integration, but to the entire Indian film industry.

Professor Bhalchandra Mungekar

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