Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Category: India

Raghuram Rajan and RBI

Raghuram Rajan not continuing as RBI Governor for second term has become international news. Many foreign channels have commented and discussed about it. BBC compared him to rock star. This has no precedent.
On 18/6/2016 Raghuram Rajan in his e-mail to RBI colleagues mentioned “While I was open to seeing these developments through, on due reflection, and after consultation with the government, I want to share with you that I will be returning to academia when my term ends on September 4, 2016.”
Raghuram Rajan was a UPA appointee. He did not have the best of relationship with Modi Government. Raghuram Rajan spoke on issues not connected to economy or did not toe the government line. That offended many in the ruling party.
Raghuram Rajan has many admirers. They were hoping he will get a second term. Once Subramanian Swamy started to attack Raghuram Rajan there was doubt over his continuance as RBI Governor. Swamy’s attacks were on issues as well as personal.
One issue on which many blame Raghuram Rajan is interest rates. They say he kept interest rates far too high and far too long to bring down inflation. This affected investment and growth. The critics are wrong. Raghuram Rajan was right to keep interest rates high. Zero interest rate or negative interest rate has not helped any economy. Euro zone countries or Japan have not made progress by having such rates.
Inflation affects Indians as a whole. Low interest rates could have benefitted few industrialists who anyway do not repay loans. They default and go for strategic debt restructuring and corporate debt restructuring which means public money is lost. Public sector banks have lost lakhs of crores of rupees. Raghuram Rajan wanted to make the names of defaulters public. Soon attacks on him began.
Some had predicted Raghuram Rajan’s exit will result in fall in FDI. Modi Government wanted to prove them wrong. So on 20/6/2016 there was clearance for 100% FDI in defence and some other sectors and 74% FDI in Pharma. Congress called it a panic reaction.
Under Raghuram Rajan rupee which had fallen to 69 per dollar had become stable and appreciated close to 55 per dollar and then depreciated and is now around 67 per dollar.
Some are happy and some are unhappy about Raghuram Rajan’s going. BJP members are generally happy. Some economists are industrialists are unhappy. The names of defaulters to public sector banks must be made public. Those who have left the country should be declared robbers and brought back.

2 Years of Modi Government

On 16/5/2014 Lok Sabha election results were announced. BJP under the leadership of Narendra Modi won 282 seats. Modi Government took oath on 26/5/2014. There were great expectations. Two years down the line there is great disillusionment. If Lok Sabha election is held in Varanasi today, Modi will lose his deposit.
Modi talked of good days and development. It is not good days for ordinary Indians. It is good days for industrialists who borrow thousands of crores of rupees from public sector banks and default.
Agusta case made news. Subramanian Swamy said there was complicity not to follow the case. Arun Shourie said it was NDA Government which did not co-operate with Italian authorities.
Rupee has lost its value against dollar and other currencies.
There were agitations for reservation by Patels in Gujarat and Jats in Haryana. Jat stir in Haryana was violent. There was arson, loot, rape and vandalism. Many expected Modi Government to put an end to reservations. After loss in Bihar, BJP is favour of continuing reservations. Many are disappointed.
Modi Government gave Bharat Ratna to Atal Behari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malaviya. Malaviya had died in 1946.
Lalit Modi continues to live abroad due to help by Sushma Swaraj. She should not have continued as External Affairs Minister.
Vijay Mallya is a defaulter of around 9,000 crore rupees to banks. He had defaulted on Income Tax and Service Tax deducted. He should have been in jail long back. He was allowed to leave the country. He lives in UK.
China has blocked India’s efforts against terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed. India announced and granted visas to Chinese dissidents to attend a conference in Dharamshala. It was said to be tit-for-tat. China protested and India later withdrew the visas. It was a shameful surrender.
Attempts to improve relations with Pakistan did not succeed.
India messed up with Nepal. It did not welcome Nepal’s Constitution. There was unofficial blockade of goods to Nepal. There was an attempt to topple K. P. Oli’s Government. There is anti-Indian feeling in a large section of Nepal. Nepal has moved closer to China.
CBFC Chairperson Pahlaj Nihalani angered many people including some BJP supporters in CBFC.
Modi Government toppled Congress Government in Arunachal Pradesh. Its attempt to topple Congress Government in Uttarakhand ended in a fiasco.
Rohith Vemula’s suicide became a political issue. BJP was accused of being anti-Dalit.
JNU leader Kanhaiya Kumar was attacked by goons, some of them BJP members and lawyers. He became famous
Some Congress appointees like Ram Naresh Yadav and K. Rosaiah continued as Governors.
Modi Government nominated Subramanian Swamy, Swapan Dasgupta, Mary Kom, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Suresh Gopi and Narendra Jadhav to Rajya Sabha.
Modi Government brought three ordinances on land. Congress opposed them. Bills replacing ordinances did not pass in Rajya Sabha. BJP gave up. This was a setback Modi did not anticipate. Industrialists who had hoped Modi will change land law had a reality check.
BJP while in opposition had opposed Congress GST bill. Now Congress was in opposition. It opposed BJP GST bill. Congress put conditions for support. BJP did not accept them.
There was talk of intolerance and returning of awards by many authors and some other people. Later some of them took back their awards.
FTII students opposed Gajendra Chauhan’s appointment as Chairman. They lost.
Judiciary encroached on the powers of legislature. Supreme Court struck down NJAC Act and Constitutional Amendment. Modi Government did not take on the judiciary.
Lowering the age of juveniles from 18 to 16 with certain conditions for certain crimes like murder is a good step. More needs to be done.
West Bengal and Bihar Governor Kesri Nath Tripathi did not follow the advice of Jitan Ram Manjhi to appoint 17 ministers and 17 parliamentary secretaries. Nitish Kumar made a comeback. He formed a coalition with RJD and Congress and trounced BJP and allies in Legislative Assembly elections. It is said Return of Jungle Raj.
Modi Government has failed in bringing back black money.
Jewellers are against BJP due to excise on jewellery. They were supporters of BJP.
Gold bonds succeeded because temples bought them.
Modi did not treat former General V. K. Singh fairly. BJP got many ex-servicemen votes due to him. He won Ghaziabad seat. He should have been made Defence Minister with cabinet rank. He was made Minister of State for External Affairs and continues as such. Smriti Irani at 38 who had lost Amethi was made HRD Minister with cabinet rank. Arun Jaitley who lost Amritsar was made Finance Minister with additional portfolios of Defence and Information & Broadcasting. Arun Jaitley was responsible for affidavit against V. K. Singh in Supreme Court. Later Manohar Parrikar who was Chief Minister of Goa was made Defence Minister.
BJP during elections and later Modi Government had promised One Rank One Pension with effect from 1/4/2014. It gave One Rank Many Pensions with effect from 1/7/2014. The excuse for change of date was BJP came to power on 26/5/2016.
Modi Government has promoted yoga. This year there is controversy surrounding chanting of Om and Vedic shlokas during exercises on Yoga Day. Some Muslims have said chanting Om is against Islam.
PM Modi has visited USA, Australia, Canada, Japan, China, Fiji, UAE, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Brazil, Russia, Iran and some other countries.
Defaults by borrowers of hundreds or thousands of crores of rupees from banks have gone up under Modi Government.
Modi had talked of 1200 years of slavery coming to an end in 1947. Not many paid heed to it. There are attempts to erase whatever reminds of Muslim rule. Name changes are suggested. Aurangzeb Road was changed to Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam Road. There is an attempt to rename Akbar Road as Maharana Pratap Road. If that succeeds there will be attempts to rename Babur Road, Humayun Road, Jahangir Road, Shah Jahan Road, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad, Hyderabad, Secundarabad and so on.
In 2015 BJP lost in Delhi and Bihar. In 2016 it won in Assam and formed government. It won three seats in West Bengal and its first MLA in Kerala. It did not win any seat in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry. Modi Government appointed Kiran Bedi as Lieutenant Governor of Pondicherry.
Celebrating anniversaries of government is a new phenomenon. It began with BJP celebrating one year of NDA Government headed by Vajpayee in 1999. That was because in 1996 BJP Government had to quit within 15 days. For BJP completing one year at Centre was a great achievement. After one month in April 1999 Vajpayee Government fell by one vote.

Restoration in Church

(This article is based on material from different sites.)
“Enter by the narrow gate, for broad is the road and wide is the gate that leads to destruction. There are many who choose it. But small is the gate and narrow is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Sermon on the Mount.)
Narrow gate leads to heaven. Wide gate leads to destruction.
Over the centuries leaders of the Church have made many changes and made the gate wide. Many popes have suppressed many practices or made many changes.
Dilutions have made many lose faith. Changes during and after Second Vatican Council resulted in many Catholics quitting the Church. The teaching of the Church changed. Some tried to justify changes by saying there is no change in teaching, it is better understanding. They were fooling themselves. Catholic Church had expanded till 1962. That year was the start of Second Vatican Council. Catholics were in high positions. John F. Kennedy was President of USA. Ngo Dinh Diem was President of South Vietnam. Both were shot dead in November 1963. Afterwards no Catholic became President of USA. Communist North Vietnam conquered South Vietnam in 1975.
I want many things restored in the Church.
Communion fast should be from midnight. Communion should be received kneeling. Churches should have communion rails.
Fulfilment of Sunday obligation should be on Sundays. Fulfilling Sunday obligation on Saturday evenings should go.
There should be restoration of octaves.
Many Octaves were abolished in 1568 or 1570. Seven of them are as below:

1) St. Francis
2) Clare
3) Anthony of Padua
4) Bernadine
5) Peter of Tolouse
6) Conception
7) Visitation

After 1570 and before 1903 there were following octaves:

1. Christmas
2. St. Stephen
3. St. John
4. Holy Innocents
5. Epiphany
6. St. Agnes
7. St. John the Baptist
8. Sts. Peter and Paul
9. St. Lawrence
10. Assumption
11. Nativity of Mary
12. All Saints’ Day
13. Easter,
14. Ascension,
15. Pentecost
16. Corpus Christi
17. Sacred Heart
18. Immaculate Conception
19. St. Joseph
20. Patron saint of nation/diocese/church

Pius XII kept Christmas, Easter and Pentecost octaves and suppressed other octaves in 1955. In 1969 Paul VI suppressed Pentecost octave. I want all the suppressed octaves back. Mass and readings need not be same on different days. When a day has multiple octaves, special prayers of all octaves should be said.

There should be Restoration of vigils.
There were 18 vigils, applicable to the whole Latin rite, for the feasts of:
Easter (Holy Saturday)
Christmas
Epiphany
Ascension
Pentecost
The Immaculate Conception
The Assumption
Eight feasts of the Apostles – St Matthias, SS Peter and Paul, St James, St Bartholomew, St Matthew, SS Simon and Jude, St Andrew, St Thomas
St John the Baptist
St Lawrence
All Saints.

Besides the above, religious orders and dioceses sometimes had their own proper vigils.

Easter vigil should have twelve readings as was before.

Pius XII in 1955 suppressed the vigils of all the apostles, except SS Peter and Paul, also suppressing the vigils of All Saints, and of the Immaculate Conception.

There should be restoration of holy days of obligation.
There were 36 holy days of obligation before 1911.

The Holy Trinity:

1. Nativity
2. Circumcision
3. Epiphany
4. Monday within the Octave of the Resurrection
5. Tuesday within the Octave of the Resurrection
6. Ascension
7. Monday within the Octave of Pentecost
8. Tuesday within the Octave of Pentecost
9. Most Holy Trinity
10. Most Holy Body of Christ
11. Finding of the Holy Cross

The Blessed Virgin:

12. Purification BVM
13. Annunciation BVM14. Assumption BVM
15. Nativity BVM
16. Immaculate Conception BVM (by Clement XI)

The Saints:

17. Dedication of St. Michael
18. Nativity of St. John Baptist
19. Ss. Peter and Paul
20. St. Andrew
21. St. James
22. St. John (the December feast)
23. St. Thomas
24. Ss. Philip and James
25. St. Bartholomew
26. St. Matthew
27. Ss. Simon and Jude
28. St. Matthias
29. St. Stephen (the December feast)
30. The Holy Innocents
31. St. Lawrence
32. St. Sylvester
33. St. Joseph
34. St. Anne
35. All Saints
36. Principal Patrons of Country, City, etc.

All who can attend mass should be asked to do so. There is no need to abstain from work.

There were Ember and Rogation Days.

Rogation days were Monday to Wednesday before Ascension.

Ember days were Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays – between
3rd and 4th Sundays of Advent
1st and 2nd Sundays of Lent
Pentecost and Trinity Sunday
Week following 14 September – Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

These were days of prayer and fasting. Lent was a season of fasting. Rogation days came during Easter season. These days may be restored as they were or with modifications.
There should be restoration of 40 days Lenten fast. Law regarding fast and abstinence during Lent and other days should be the same throughout the world.
Maundy Thursday washing of feet should be of 12 Catholic males.
Midnight masses should begin at midnight. If not possible for legal reason they should be at 6 a.m.
Easter house blessing should be by priests or seminarians.
Reading of marriage banns should be at all masses on three consecutive Sundays/holy days of obligation. In many churches banns are read during one mass only on two consecutive Sundays/holy days of obligation.
Many grounds of excommunications should be restored. Judges who strike down marriage as a union of a man and a woman should be excommunicated.
Diocesan Administrator during the vacancy of a bishop should be known again as Vicar Capitular.

There should be restoration of minor orders of porter, lector, exorcist, and acolyte and major order of sub diaconate.
There should be restoration of mass by one priest who may be assisted by a deacon and sub deacon who may be priests. End to concelebration.
Feast days should be as per date, not to be shifted to Sundays.
There should be restoration of pre-1969 dress for bishops and cardinals.
All cardinals should have right to vote in conclaves. Right of cardinals above 80 to vote in conclaves taken away in 1971 should be restored. Only archbishops should be made cardinals. There should be a limit on the number of cardinals.

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