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In the Name, Politics and Sisi

by Priti Prakash | PUBLISHED: Jan 31, 2023, 2:00 am IST

Priti Prakash
Priti Prakash
What's in the name!. well, perceptibly the whole world. We are transitioning from the past to emphasise on living in the renewed present. There’s a message. Having lived for centuries under colonial rule its time we assert, recognize, and live our umbilical selves, our culture, our heritage, our roots. Renaming of roads, educational institutions, monuments, states and regions and even gardens may help posterity instill pride in themselves as ‘Bharatiya’ while some turn history pages to trace its glory. Although Mughal architecture, craftmanship, music and various forms of art shaped India’s culture and heritage that still stand tall after hundreds of years and we pride in them too. Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, Lodhi gardens, Qutub Minar, Buland Darwaza etc, etc. Interestingly, many may know that Mughal Gardens, as opposed to its name, were planned and made by Britishers in 1917….Edward Lutyen and William Mustoe borrowing the different landscapes from the Mughal Gardens in Kashmir. Call it a double whammy..two things wiped off with one stroke.  

Messenger or consumer, be cautious

On a more recent note… when a BBC Documentary scratches our wounds that has a particular narrative, we considered a snap response as the need of the hour. Given the fact that they colonized us like the rest of the world, the big brother nations don’t stop sermonizing and downsizing others even in contemporary times when we as a nation are equal players. India has overtaken UK to become the fifth largest economy when earlier we were ranking 11th. How we handle our issues is our problem, was the terse message, as other nations do too. This as far as foreign indulgence is concerned. Domestically, the issue of freedom of choice of what content to watch and its limits drawn by the state has seen an increasingly challenging trend lately. Despite the undeclared ban the documentary found its way in every digital medium. Media freedom is becoming a two edged sword, one may be on any side, the messenger or the consumer.

Egypt’s Sisi’s hand shake

This year we celebrated our 74th Republic Day. Inviting President Sisi of Egypt was not without reason. West Asia is a strategically important region of the world and in the prevailing global scenario, is of tremendous significance. India’s presence as a rising nation and importance has only but increased as we vie with China is the region as a power to reckon. With the dragons heavy economic presence in the region we stand apart for our developmental, humanitarian and sincere hand holding with nations across the world. Relations with Egypt have been historical. Sisi’s visit enhanced our relations to ‘Strategic Partnership’…. Significantly Suez canal development project, cooperation in Defence, Counter terrorism, cyber security, Investments and trade being major areas. The much needed leverage if we have to counter the dragon.

Yatra effect

As Rahul Gandhi’s yatra concludes in Srinagar with hoisting of the tri color in Srinagar, people wait to see whats next in Congress’s basket. Reports say perception about Rahul Gandhi has changed since he walked 4000 kms from South to North. Thousands of people walked with him in cold, rain and heat. The moot question still remains will this yatra effect remain till 2024 and in any ways help convert in votes. The fact that the grand old party is pitched against a solid, deep rooted organizational party is what the challenge is. Despite ‘yatras’ Congress’s Achilles heel is its lack of a grassroot organizational structure, serious infighting within and in states they are in power.  Country still lacks a credible opposition. The dynast may be responsible for Modi’s popularity but equally, some say, Modi’s centralization of power may be the reason for Rahul’s popularity. The disintegration in society, increasing social polarization, unchecked hate speeches, women crimes, unemployment, add to it the recent Adani scam report by Hindenburg and a Western documentary and to some extent Rahul Gandhi’s renewed image are making the powers that be sit back and respond. Brand Modi exclusively still remains unchallenged.   

Everything’s now moving for and towards 2014. We all have our own perceptions that will go a long way shaping our future of India. So exercise the rights given by our constitution wisely and don’t forget our duties towards the nation. Stay aware and informed. There have always been issues we have grappled with and which have only made us a stronger democracy. The buck finally stops at the people’s court.  
Priti Prakash
Priti Prakash

Political Commentator, Interviewer, moderator and Foreign Correspondent. With more than 20 years in journalism and experience of both print and electronic medium, she is Editor FacenFacts, news website.

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