Last year we were told that demonetization is a magic wand that would wipe out black money and corruption in the economy. We were told that black money hoarders would get scared and large swathes of cash won’t even return back to banks thus wiping out black money at least in form of large cash holdings, resulting in a windfall gain to the government. After a long wait Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has finally clarified that more than 99 percent of demonetized cash has returned back to the banking channels, making a mockery of all these claims.
US President Trump’s declaration that his administration recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and plans to shift the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is a bid to confer legitimacy on Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine. This decision has rightly received condemnation from around the world, including from several member countries of the United Nations Security Council who condemned the decision at an emergency meeting of the UNSC.
In Rajsamand in Rajasthan, Shambhulal Regar cold-bloodedly lured an immigrant labour contractor Afrazul to accompany him, felled him with an axe to the ground and then burnt him alive – all the while getting the grisly murder video-taped by his 14-year-old nephew.
Shambhulal also penned a 3-page note describing himself as “Shambhu Bhavani” (Bhavani is the name for a form of the Hindu goddess Durga, who wields a sword and killed asuras), and other videos boasting of the murder and threatening other murders.
The Gujarat Assembly Elections 2017 mandate is notable not so much for BJP’s victory but for the sizeable shrinking of support for BJP, not only since the 2012 Assembly Elections but since the 2014 Parliamentary Elections.
The election campaign was marked by increasing desperation on part of the BJP and its leadership team of Modi and Amit Shah. The winter session of Parliament was postponed, the entire cabinet camped in Gujarat, neglecting every other issue in the country.