By Kamal Morarka
The president has been elected. There were no surprises. Ramnath Kovind is a responsible senior leader. I am sure he will do justice to his position. Of course he is from the BJP side but that is how it should be. The ruling party is always sponsors the presidential candidate, on should have no grudge for that.
Other thing that is important is the GST. It is not easy to change the system in a short time. But a start has to be made which they have made. There is widespread resentment amongst traders. Whether it is genuine or whether it is because they have not understood the position or whether provisions need to be changed, the government needs to be more pro-active to assuage their feelings. You cannot have such a large scale demonstration of traders in the various parts of the country especially in Gujarat, where people are business minded, and if you not listen to it economy will suffer. I am sure people from Commerce Department and Industry Department must be putting their heads together with states’ Chief Secretary. But the GST is a tall order. You must understand that it will take time to settle down. For the sake of the country we hope it succeeds.
Then comes the issue of China-India standoff. Shyam Saran, the former Foreign Secretary has suggested that we should first come back to our own stated positions, both sides. China has changed its position by strained diplomatic relations. It is not in the interest in either India or China. The earlier position has stood us well for so many years. Confrontational armies face to face are not good from anybody. And I am sure Chinese are very sensible people and they will do what is required. We need not worry about Pakistan’s joining hand with China. Pakistan is an opportunistic power. Wherever they will see advantage to embarrass India, they will always do it. But the main thing is we must diplomatically engage China in a responsible way and resolve the issue without taking it to a confrontationist level.
There is no difficulty for any individual having his/her own flag. Nation is nation. Tamil Nadu has got a flag from day one. This is not the issue which should be escalated. Every issue you make Congress-BJP issue does not make sense. None of them has courage to ask Tamil Nadu to remove their flag. Kashmir, of course, has special position. Their flag is recognized by the constitution by article 370. For other states flag is only an emblem. Their flags cannot be recognized abroad. Our Union Government’s national flag, the tricolor, is our national flag. Anybody who want to have his own special identity within the Union, what objection you have? It is like language: Kannada Language is there, Marathi language is there. These issues should not be made bigger than what they are.
Of course the government has gone into election mode. They are only interest in winning 2019 elections. They are not worried about traders or farmers or anybody. Well, that is our misfortune people get the government that they deserve. Let us hope better sense prevail.