A weekly round-up of voices from the right.
Though the budget didn’t give much clarity about the Narendra Modi government’s overall revenue and expenditure, and been panned for incorrect estimates, right-wing leaning sites painted a rosy picture and largely hailed the budget as being “bold in its vision for New India”.
Headlines called it a revolution for this sector and that, cheered for the middle class and claimed the budget addressed the concerns of the Indian economy in every way imaginable.
After Rahul Gandhi finally pushed his resignation through as president of the Congress party, the critiques of the Gandhi scion have been endless. Reams upon reams were written this week – some called his resignation letter “arrogant” and an “insult to the Indian electorate”, others made sure to really put their vitriol for the Congress party on full display and slammed Rahul for his “sheer incompetence”.
The obsession over defending the film Kabir Singh from “pseudo-feminists and pseudo-sympathisers” is yet to have faded away. Article after article continues to laud the misogynistic film and take particular glee in calling out those who have criticised the movie for glorifying toxic masculinity.
Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s defence of his violent hero was also justified. In an interview last week with Anupama Chopra, Vanga had called anger the “purest emotion”, and actually condoned intimate partner violence by saying that a relationship isn’t entirely concrete if “you don’t have the liberty of slapping each other”.
Here’s a glance of what right-leaning websites had to say about the developments of the week.
‘An Indian Budget truly Bhartiya in letter and spirit’
For Amit Agrahari at rightlog.in, budget day went down very well.
The main reason has nothing to do with India’s economic future, but with the “abandoning of archaic traditions”.
According to him, the latest step towards ridding India of the stench of British colonialism, something he says the Congress perpetuated in its policies and thought processes, “the latest step towards this direction was seen when Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman broke the centuries old British tradition of carrying the budget speech in a leather briefcase. She carried the budget in bahi-khata (ledger)”.
“This was a small step but the symbolism of it towards Indianisation are far reaching.”
Agrahari presents the history of how the first budget of British India was presented by James Wilson in 1869 and was carried in a briefcase. This tradition was continued by India’s first finance minister R.K. Shanmukham Chetty in November 1947.
“Successive governments continued to present the budget in February despite the fact that Indian agriculture which was most important part of economy in initial 40 years is more fitted for July to December cycle.”
Most of Agrahari’s information for ceremonies surrounding the budget has been sourced from this Print article.
Even the Economic Survey, he says, was “Indianised” this year.
“The Economic Survey clearly says the Behavioral economics will be guiding force of policymaking in upcoming years which means the Indian traditions, popular imagination, literature, ancient wisdom on politics and economics will be used to bring positive changes in the life of the people.”
“Men in ancient Indian society were identified with their mothers, Yashoda-Nandan, Kaushalya-Nandan, Gandhari-Putra, as well as their wives/consorts, Janaki-Raman, Radha-Krishna,” the survey stated on the issue of women empowerment.
Thus, the writer says, both the Economic Survey and the budget “make a clear indication towards Indianisation of policymaking in the country”.
This, he says, is a “much-needed step for the de-colonisation of Indian mind”.
‘Is Rahul Gandhi trying to be clever by half?’
Balakumar Kuppuswamy, who writes on political developments for My Nation, took great affront to Rahul Gandhi’s resignation letter.
He begins by commending Gandhi for sticking to his decision to resign from the post of party president as “it would have been a travesty” if he had “continued to linger on”.
But, Kuppuswamy says, Rahul took it a step further by not placing the responsibility of losing the Lok Sabha elections on himself alone and by “implicitly blaming others” in his letter.
“I personally fought the prime minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being. I fought because I love India. At times, I stood completely alone and I am extremely proud of it,” Rahul Gandhi has said in the letter.
“By saying that he stood alone, is Rahul not accusing others in the party of not backing him up? Essentially, he is saying that the party lost because the party members did not support him adequately. Pray how this is owning responsibility for the defeat?
If anything, Rahul is surreptitiously distancing himself from the loss by clambering up on the moral high ground of verbal sophistry.”
What bothers Kuppuswamy most is that Rahul didn’t just pin the blame on other party leaders, but also on institutions like the Election Commission – which to be fair, has a very spotty reputation after this election.
“There were certainly instances in which the Election Commission could have been faulted, but to throw the entire loss at its doors is rather silly and reflects a mindset that steadfastly refuses to see the larger reality.”
The reason the BJP won such a resounding victory, Kuppuswamy reminds his readers, was not because of corrupt institutions, but because of “Modi’s brand of welfarism and nationalism”.
Pointing out how the Congress is a “disgruntled and disorganised outfit” in most states, he censures Rahul for not focusing on “these germane issues” in a “desire to paint himself as a martyr”.
“If anything, Rahul’s letter and his general approach, does not provide much hope on his leadership qualities. In that sense, it is good that he is leaving that job to someone else.”
Then in a reverse of the sentiment Kuppuswamy began the article with – that it is excellent Rahul has resigned – he says:
“But as a senior member of the party, he should not be seen as someone running away from it all as he has no stomach for a fight.”
Last, Kuppuswamy says Rahul must not be allowed to “operate from behind the scenes, reducing whoever becomes the president of the party to a mere puppet”.