Congress’ Hindu lifeline; Unveiling living wage; India’s tightrope in Maldives  

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Opinion Watch

Congress’ Hindu lifeline

AK Antony has for decades been the conscience keeper of Congress. He now lives a retired life in Thiruvananthpuram, Kerala. Once more, he has asked Congress to stay on correct course in Hindu outreach, asking that all those who sport sandal paste on foreheads are not communal. He represents a voice in contrast to the re-emergence of the left of the centre voices in Congress.

The Pioneer in its Editorial has sifted the imports of Antony’s advice to Congress, for the party is ebbing to the political irrelevance. The Himachal Pradesh saved Congress workers from slipping into depression. Yet, the journey is politically downwards. The Noida-based daily quoted Antony’s advice to Congress that the party should speak for Hindus, while reminding that the veteran leader who was Union defence Minister has in the past argued that the minorities should cultivate good relations with the majority community, for their wellbeing lies in harmonious ties with the Hindus.

Antony has argued on such lines in the past. But Congress heeds his advice half-heartedly, with party’s former chief Rahul Gandhi dashing to temples once in a while and sport ‘janeu’ and dhoti. Congress has lost political plot for being not honest in communication with the Hindu community, while bending excessively back to appease the minority for the vote bank politics. ‘Muslims have the first right on the national resources’ were the words of former PM Manmohan Singh. To stay on the right political course, Congress will need to return to the centrist politics and balance out the Leftists.     

Unveiling living wage

The economic normalcy is not yet achieved following the devastating trails of the Covid-19 pandemic. The real wages of the workers across the world have fallen. The purchasing power of the people is also under stress.

The Economic Times in an Editorial has weighed the idea of the Ministry of labour weighing a proposal to migrate to living wages from the existing minimum wages. The idea is with an aim to accelerate the path for poverty eradication. The daily stated that the real wages in advanced G20 economies contracted 2.2 per cent between January and June 2022, while it grew by 0.8 per cent in the emerging economies. The daily has opined that India stands to gain from the global experience with living wages, which subsume subsidies.

But one must be cautious, for enforcement of labour laws in India is horrendous. Laws in India decorate the statue books, and the corrupt enforcement personnel mock at them. Workers in India are already being exploited by thug employers. Union Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav will be well advised to not further compromise the interests of the workers.     

India’s tightrope in Maldives

China had made a massive inroads in Maldives. The people in the archipelago sought to retrieve the country from the clutches of China by ousting Abdulla Yameen, president of the archipelago between 2013 and 2018. He spearheaded ‘India Out’ campaign as an Opposition leader. Now, he has been convicted for 11 years by a criminal court. This debars him from contesting the next year’s elections.

The Hindu in an Editorial has claimed that it’s a full circle in Maldives, because yamen had served similar treatment to his predecessor Mohammed Nasheed. The Chennai-based daily has advised India to stay cautious, for the anti-India elements may further gain strength after the conviction of Yameen. Ibrahim Mohammed Solih, the incumbent president, and Nasheed have been India’s friends. But they too are feuding. India is heavily invested in the archipelago, besides building capacities among the manpower. India should proactively counter the anti-India elements.

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