Voting remotely; Terror blowback in Pakistan; Searching growth

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Opinion Watch

Voting remotely

The Election Commission (EC) has mooted the idea to allow migrants to vote from their remote locations. There are about 14 crore migrants, as per the Economic Survey, in the country at a given time. The personnel of the armed forces currently have the discretion to exercise their franchise through postal ballots. The political parties have to decide of disenfranchised migrants can take part in democracy.

The Hindu in an Editorial has argued that the suggestion of the EC should be weighed with safeguards. The Chennai-based daily also stated that migration doubled in 2001-11 Census. The 2021 Census by the way is a forgotten project. It also noted that a prototype of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) can allow voting from one polling booth for 72 constituencies. There are already demands for allowing the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to also vote in elections. The Hindu, while sharing facts in support of the EC idea, gave centre stage to controversies surrounding the functioning of EVMs.

After each elections, questions are raised on the functioning of EVMs. The EC has made several demonstrations, and India now has a long history with the EVMs. Even the US, the oldest democracy, is without the means of a quick conclusion of elections despite being a technology powerhouse. This should make it incumbent that the deep-rooted reforms in the EC be first carried out to scorch even the remotest possibility of the interference of the government, and let all possible means to allow ease of voting be examined fearlessly.

Terror blowback in Pakistan

Pakistan for decades told the global community that there exists good and bad Taliban. The western nations, including the US, compulsively ate from the gullible hands of Pakistani terror masters. Former Secretary of State of the US Hillary Clinton once admonished Islamabad for nursing ‘snakes in the backyard’. The snakes are now in the forecourt and biting the masters.

The Times of India in an Editorial ‘Terror Crisis’ has given an account of “daring attacks by the Tehreek-e-Taliban, the Islamic State and the Gul Bahadur Group” in Pakistan. The daily has argued that Afghanistan is now a terror hub, which is affirmed by reports coming from Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The daily reminded that the Taliban don’t recognize the Durand Line, while Kabul blocked the move of Pakistan to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Region with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It also argued that Pakistan state is also now faced with an existential crisis.

Pakistan is a failed state is a well-known fact. Islamabad has survived decades of moral and political bankruptcy solely because of its geography and utility for the US. Pakistan was born out of violence, lives by guns and may even die by bullets. India must stay alert to not allow the raging terror fire to cross the LoC.  

Searching growth

Rupee was the worst currency of Asia last year. Prominent dallies defended rupee depreciation, arguing that it would boost exports. The 4.4 per cent current account deficit (CAD) in the September Quarter, solely on account of dip in the merchandise exports, is a reminder that such economists should not repeat their stale arguments time and again.

The Economic Times in its Editorial has noted the services exports and remittances have ensured health foreign currency reserves, but they too face challenges in slowdown in major economies. The Indian Express in its Editorial has also taken stock of the growth prospects, while noting that the crude oil and food prices are down by 38 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.        

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