Rahul Gandhi: Warming up Congress; Zelenskyy’s Indian spin; Fund drought for Startups

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Opinion Watch

Rahul Gandhi: Warming up Congress

Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is on a nine-day break in his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. He will set out to Srinagar on January 3. He looks different. He appears determined. Also, it looks as if he’s preparing Congress for 2029 Lok Sabha elections. So, there is no hurry. Former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has seemingly filled the intellectual void in Team Rahul.

The Hindu in an Editorial has called the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ an “audacious attempt to reimagine the politics of the country’. The Chennai-based daily has suggested that Rahul Gandhi should discover the “moral compass” for poll success. The daily has also claimed that Rahul Gandhi in the course of the Yatra has emerged as the staunchest opponent of Hindutva. Also, it opined that the Congress leader has taken the social harmony as the means and ends of politics.

Rahul Gandhi has been the foremost target of the spin machineries of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which destroyed his image with the powerful weapons of social media in the last nine years. In Ramesh, he has found ways to fightback. Timing of Yatra is also key, for a counter-BJP space had been void, which were occasionally being filled by regional outfits. The principal aim of Yatra to cast Rahul Gandhi in a new avatar is successful. Politics can wait. First, the communication is to be correct. Also, it’s not without basis that it’s said that “a week is too long in politics”.

Zelenskyy’s Indian spin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a master tactician. For ages, he will be known as a leader extraordinary, who pushed back the mighty Russian onslaught. But he’s now too ambitious, and wants to fire salvo at his foe, Russian President Vladimir Putin, from the shoulder of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian Express in its Editorial has sought to make a sense of the 10-point peace formula offered by the Ukrainian President during his phone call with Modi. Russian troop withdrawal, Russia’s recognition of the Ukrainian sovereignty, war reparations to be paid by Russia, a special tribunal to try Putin for war crimes constitute the wish list of Zelenskyy. Modi may not argue cases of all, but he certainly can push for first two conditions.

India with the G20 Presidency is raising the voice of global South, the developing nations, hit hard by the after effects of the Russia-Ukraine War. But the onus to end the war is not solely on Putin, and Europe and the US will need to work out actionable peace agenda.

Fund drought for Startups

There are over 84,000 Startups in India, including more than 100 unicorns, which are valued more than $1 billion. A large number of the tech-enabled startups are now struggling. Funds are drying. Some of them listed on stock markets, and destroyed the wealth of the investors, losing the trust of the people. Some of them were flimsy in their revenue excel sheets.

The Economic Times in an Editorial has stated that the fund houses are sitting on 40 per cent of unallocated funds for the startups. The daily quoted a survey to state that two of the three startups would be laying off next year, while four of five would be restructuring in 2023.

Indeed, ed-tech and tech-platform start ups have given a bad name. PayTM was the worst, which cleaned up almost 70 per cent of the investors’ money in its IPO. But Israeli economy is booming on the strength of startups only. The fund houses should finance genuine businesses.

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