Should Narendra Modi be worried about the decline in popularity?

 Narendra Modi has been ruling the hearts of Indian voters for a long time. He has won two consecutive general elections on the basis of the financially and organizationally strong Bharatiya Janata Party.

Narendra Modi, in the name of Hindu nationalism, has created a strong political ground and defeated the opponents by wooing the voters with his charisma and political tact. But it also has to be believed that luck has also supported him a lot.

His supporters have forgiven him for his hasty decisions like demonetisation (sudden demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in 2016).

With the economy going through a relatively bad phase, especially after the pandemic, people's support for them does not seem to have waned. And the lack of a strong opposition has also proved helpful for them.

But in spite of all this, the immense public support that Narendra Modi is getting has started declining?


Huge drop in popularity

A survey by India Today Magazine has revealed that only 24 per cent people believe that 70-year-old Narendra Modi is a suitable candidate to be the new Prime Minister of India. 14,600 people took part in this survey.

The next general elections for the post of Prime Minister are to be held in the year 2024. This survey has registered a decline of 42 points as compared to a similar survey conducted a year ago.

Yogendra Yadav, a politician who has experienced such surveys for a long time, says, "In my 20-year-long experience of opinion polling, I do not remember a sentence when the popularity of a prime minister has seen such a drastic decline."

This year has been very challenging for Narendra Modi. Millions of people died in the second wave of corona virus. Appropriate steps were not taken by the government to deal with it, due to which the very carefully crafted image of PM Modi has been shaken at the international level.

Along with this, the struggle continues in the economy. Inflation is high, petrol and diesel prices are sky high and spending and jobs are falling.

 Public problems

Some problems and mistrust have also been revealed in this survey. About 70 percent of the people who participated in it have told that their income has decreased during the pandemic. And the same number of people believe that the real figure of people who died of corona is much more than the official figure of 430,000.

But 36 percent of the people said that PM Modi has handled the epidemic well.

At the same time, only 13 percent people believe that only the central government is responsible for the suffering people have suffered. And 44 percent of the people believe that the federal and state governments did not deal with Covid properly.

 Why is popularity decreasing?

Keeping the epidemic aside, all those things come to the fore in this survey, which shows where is the decline in Modi's popularity coming from.

Inflation and lack of jobs have emerged as the two biggest concerns. Nearly a third of people believe that the Modi government's failure to control prices has been the biggest failure of the Modi government.

"Modi's decline in popularity is not surprising," says Rahul Verma, a fellow at the Delhi-based Center for Policy Research.

Modi has been a polarizing leader. Critics say that the freedom of the press has suffered greatly under his rule. The Prime Minister has not held a single press conference since he came to power in 2014. And the protest against them is being crushed.

Modi and his party are accused of inciting communal tension by sending polarizing messages in gestures and gestures without provoking their opponents.

The vociferous protests over the citizenship law and the proposed agricultural laws have dented Modi's image of an invincible leader.

In the month of May, his party had to face a humiliating defeat in the assembly elections of West Bengal. This has played a part in boosting the morale of his opponents.

Many believe that a leader whose face is covered in everything from billboards to vaccine certificates and newspapers to TV commercials, such a drastic decline in his popularity could be a sign of the dissolution of the aura that surrounds him.


Can this survey be trusted?

But are these surveys, which capture voters' feedback in different ways, able to gauge the mood of a country?

According to Morning Consult, an organization that tracks national ratings of elected leaders in 13 countries, Narendra Modi's popularity has seen a decline of 25 points compared to May last year.

But even after this, Modi is far ahead of other leaders with 47 percent in mid-August.

A survey conducted by Indian polling agency Prasyanam in June revealed that in the year 2024, 33 per cent people consider Modi a suitable candidate for prime minister.

C Voter, the polling agency that conducts 10,000 interviews in 543 Lok Sabha constituencies of the country every week, has come to know that PM Modi's popularity rating was 37 percent in the month of May, which was 22 points down compared to August last year.

In May, his party lost the elections in West Bengal and India was in a state of panic due to the second wave.

Since then the rating of Modi has improved which is currently at 44%.

Yashwant Deshmukh of CVoter says, "I think the bad times are over. His ratings have never gone below 37 per cent because of a dedicated support base.

Deshmukh believes that public opinion about leaders and their work can be gauged properly by conducting surveys regularly.

Interestingly, the chief ministers of Modi's party have also lagged behind in these surveys. In a recent survey by CVoter, 9 out of the ten most popular chief ministers are leaders from non-BJP parties.

Modi has managed to save his place.

However, Deshmukh says, "many people still trust him and think his intentions are right."

A fall in these ratings will not be enough to throw Modi out of power. Even at its lowest level, his rating was more than twice that of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

In such a situation, the Prime Minister may be getting additional support in the absence of a strong opposition.

Rahul Verma says that, "Modi is still ahead in the race but the fall in ratings should worry him a bit." 

How important is Navjot Sidhu to Congress in Punjab?

 On Monday 27 September, just when the new Punjab ministers were taking charge of their new portfolios, Navjot Singh Sidhu stirred up the state politics by sharing his resignation from the post of Punjab Congress President on Twitter.

Two days later, he posted a video explaining the reasons for his resignation and said that he was upset with the appointments of "tainted" officials and leaders in the new Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi government.

Some party leaders are trying to persuade Navjot Singh Sidhu, but the question is whether the Congress party will remove these "tainted" leaders and officials to persuade Navjot Sidhu. And how far can the party go to convince Sidhu?

• Sidhu's friend is Pak PM, will oppose his name for CM's post- Captain Amarinder Singh

• Captain-Shah's meeting and the questions before the Congress 

Sidhu's stature

Navjot Sidhu was made the President of Punjab Congress just in July this year. However, the then Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was not happy with this decision.

For the last one year, Sidhu had been attacking him continuously for the decisions of Captain Sarkar, and not being able to take important decisions. Despite this, when Sidhu became the president of the party, it was bound to be a confrontation with Amarinder. But this happened that some other leaders also started speaking against the Captain and demanded his change. 

Charanjit Singh Channi to be the Chief Minister of Punjab, Dalit-Sikh face 'Masterstroke' of Congress?

Who is the next Chief Minister of Punjab, Sidhu, Bajwa or Randhawa? - Press Review

The party called a meeting of the legislature party without informing the leader of the legislature party, Captain, and in the end, Amarinder Singh had to resign from the post of Chief Minister.

Senior journalist Jagtar Singh says that when there was a crisis in the Punjab Congress, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa from Majha area started gathering MLAs.

He says, "Navjot Singh Sidhu was put forward. Since then Sidhu must have been apprehensive that people have come together because of me."

After the removal of the post of CM of Captain, Navjot Sidhu's post increased a lot in the party but not so much that he would have been made the Chief Minister.

• After the turmoil in Punjab, the crisis of the Congress deepened, the leadership is facing a challenge

• Charanjit Singh Channi: How much do you know the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab

What did Navjot Singh Sidhu say after resigning from the post of Punjab Congress President?

Sidhu Super CM?

However, it is believed that he also prevented Sukhwinder Singh Randhawa, the choice of MLAs, from becoming the Chief Minister. In the end, Charanjit Channi became the Chief Minister - the first CM of Punjab to come from a Scheduled Caste. Dalits constitute almost a third of the population in Punjab and this move of the Congress was seen as a good political initiative to influence the vote bank of the Dalits.

On the other hand, when Sidhu was initially seen with Channi and it seemed that he is the Super CM and Channi is just a face. But those who know Channi know that he is by no means a rubber stamp leader. And Channi did not delay in proving this.

First the names of cabinet ministers came in which it was clear that Sidhu did not do anything special. But when Sidhu's candidates were sidelined even in the Director General of Police and Advocate General, it was clear that what Sidhu is seeking is not happening at all.

 AG and DG

The present AG had fought the case against the Punjab government in favor of former DGP Sumedh Saini and also got him bail, which was a big blow to the Punjab government.

Without naming DGP Iqbal Singh Sahota, Sidhu says that such people have been appointed on special posts who gave clean chit to Badals (former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his family).

The Punjab Police, however, dismissed the allegation that Sahota had done such a thing.

The matter is of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib which is a big issue in Punjab and is related to the sentiments of the people.

In the year 2015, outside the Gurdwara Sahib in Bargadi village, posters were put up in derogatory language and sacrilege with the Guru Granth Sahib, considered the holy of Sikhs. After this incident, there was widespread anger among the Sikhs and there were protests in many places.

The sacrilege case was investigated by the Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota-led SIT. After this the investigation was given to the CBI. In the case, while arresting two Gursikh youths of the village itself, they were called accused, but later giving them a clean chit, 7 others were named and 5 were arrested.

In this case, Sidhu has expressed his displeasure over the wrongly being accused of two people.

They have also been saying continuously that the culprits of sacrilege will be punished. In such a situation, he says that when such officers have been imposed, then how can justice be expected.

Apart from this, Sidhu also has objections to "tainted" leaders. Although he has not named anyone.

Jagtar Singh says that this is also believed to be a reason for Navjot Sidhu's displeasure. "Channi should now clarify the appointments himself," he says.

Charanjit Channi says there is no "ego" in him and these decisions may be revisited. But will the Congress first change the officer and then the minister to persuade Sidhu?

 " Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi with Sidhu


Professor Khalid Mohammad of Chandigarh-based Panjab University says that if CM Channi cancels these appointments under pressure, then his own position will be questioned and a new crisis will arise. If he turns back on his decision, will he be able to gain public trust again?

Then what should the party do?

Professor Khalid says that the party should accept those who have resigned. He says, "The next elections are to be held in a few months and the government should take good decisions in the interest of the people."

Image caption

Navjot Singh Sidhu with Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi

How important is Sidhu?

There is no doubt that when Sidhu gives speeches, he still attracts people with his passionate, aggressive and interesting style. Now people's opinion can be different on how many of them vote for the party because of them or because of them.

Senior journalist Jagtar Singh says, "I personally feel that Navjot Sidhu has become the most famous leader recently but now he has lost his credibility by showing haste."

So Sidhu is important for the Congress, but some people of the party say that it is not that the party will suffer a lot due to his non-presidency or not being in the party.


Captain Amarinder Singh called Sidhu a fool and praised CM Channi

But at least this time the problem is that if the issues raised by Sidhu are not answered in time, it can prove to be very harmful for the party.

Opposition parties will also leave no stone unturned to capitalize on these issues during elections.






Electricity shortage in China, why can it affect the whole world

 Many factories in China have slowed down due to power cuts. China is facing severe power cuts and millions of homes and factories are facing this problem there. Power blackouts are not uncommon here but this year several other factors have added to the trouble for the electricity suppliers.

The problem in the 'industrial hub' of China's north-eastern part of China, which is facing severe power cuts, is getting worse as winter approaches and it is something that could affect the rest of the world as well.

Why was there a power shortage in China?

Over the years, China has struggled to strike a balance between demand and supply of electricity, which has led to power cuts in many provinces of China.

This problem of power cuts becomes even more serious when the demand for electricity is highest during summer and winter.

But in the year 2021, many more such issues came which made this problem even more formidable.

After the Corona epidemic, as the whole world started opening once again, the demand for Chinese goods also increased and the factories of China making them needed more electricity for this.

Coal production has already slowed down due to the rules China has made to make the country carbon-free by 2060, yet China is still dependent on coal for half of its energy needs. And as the demand for electricity has increased, coal is also getting costlier.

But the Chinese government strictly controls electricity prices there, so coal-fired power plants are unwilling to operate at losses and many of them have cut their production.

China still relies on coal for more than half of its electricity generation.

Who is being affected by the blackout?

This has affected homes and businesses in many provinces and regions of China where electricity supply has been limited.

According to China's official newspaper Global Times, power is out in four provinces - Guangdong in South China and Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning in Northeast China.

There are reports of power outages in other parts of the country as well.

In industrial areas, many companies are being asked to cut down on the use of electricity during peak times or reduce their working days.

Industries related to steel, aluminium, cement and fertilizers have been affected the most, where there is a great need for electricity.

 What has been the effect on China's economy?

Official figures show that in September 2021, China's factories fell to the lowest level since February 2020, when the country's economy was brought to a standstill by the lockdown following the corona infection.

International investment banks have downgraded China's economic growth rate in their projections following concerns about electricity supply.

According to Goldman Sachs, China's industrial activity has decreased by 44% due to the power cut. The bank estimates that the world's second largest economy will grow at 7.8% this year, as against 8.2% earlier.

This crisis of China can have an impact on the whole world, especially the supply of goods may be affected during the shopping season at the end of the year.

Vendors around the world are already facing difficulties due to the sudden surge in demand since the reopening of businesses closed due to Corona.

 What is China doing to solve the crisis?

China's economic planning body NDRC has suggested a number of measures in which it has been decided to give main priority to the supply of electricity in Northeast China in the coming cold season.

Under these measures, there has been talk of working together with power generating companies to increase production, for which steps like uninterrupted supply of coal and rationing of electricity.

The Association of Power Producing Companies in China has also said that coal-fired power companies are now increasing the supply of coal at any cost to keep the supply of electricity in winter.

But increasing the supply of coal is not so easy.

While Russia is already focusing on its customers in Europe, coal supplies have been affected by heavy rains in Indonesia and neighboring Mongolia is already struggling with transportation by road.


Is there any connection between the electricity shortages happening around the world?

Power cuts in China, long queues outside petrol stations in the UK, fuel price hikes in Europe, and a surge in oil, gas and coal prices in wholesale markets may make one wonder if there is a fuel shortage around the world has been.

But it's not that straightforward - different things are happening in different parts of the world.

For example, in Britain, oil at petrol pumps ran out because people started filling petrol in vehicles with panic thinking that the lack of tanker drivers would also reduce the supply of oil.

On the other hand, local factors are responsible for the increase in fuel prices in Europe, including low crude oil stocks, incidents of windmill and solar power generation and stoppages due to maintenance works.

How black money finally reaches Swiss banks?

Whenever there is talk of black money, then there is definitely mention of Swiss banks or Swiss banks. And when it comes to Indians' money in Swiss banks, our interest skyrockets.

The money of Indians deposited in Swiss banks was falling for three years but in the year 2017 the story has turned. Comparing on a year-on-year basis, Indian money in Swiss banks has increased by 50 percent to 1.01 billion Swiss francs (about seven thousand crore rupees) last year. 

These figures have been released by the Swiss National Bank, so there is little room for doubt. According to the figures released by the Central Bank of Switzerland (SNB), the money of all foreign customers in Swiss banks increased by 3 percent in the year 2017 to 1.46 lakh crore Swiss francs or about 100 lakh crore rupees.

This news can give tension to the Modi government as it has been promising to target black money since coming to power. Apart from this, those who give any information about those who keep money in Swiss banks, the government has been talking about benefiting them too.


Indian money in Swiss banks

According to Bloomberg, the year 2016 brought relief for the Modi government as the money of Indians in Swiss banks had decreased by 45 percent this year. Switzerland has been reporting these figures since 1987, and in the case of India, the fall in 2016 was the biggest. But recent figures have raised new concerns.

According to the SNB, the money held by Indians in Swiss banks has increased to Rs 3200 crores, personally deposited by other banks to Rs 1050 crores and Rs 2640 crores in the form of securities.

At the end of 2006, the money of Indians in Swiss banks was 23 thousand crores, but in the last decade it has decreased significantly.

Obviously, amidst these huge figures, two questions can definitely arise in the mind. First, why do most people choose Switzerland and its banks to deposit black money and second, how does this black money reach Swiss banks?

Why is money deposited in Swiss banks?


The answer to the first question is that the Swiss banks keep a lot of confidentiality about their customers and their deposits, due to which they are their first choice.

The Swiss bank or its employees appear in James Bond or other Hollywood films with a certain degree of secrecy. He does all the work from a computer device hidden in a black suit and briefcase.

In real life, Swiss banks operate like regular banks, plus the secrecy that comes with their affairs makes them special. Strict confidentiality rules for Swiss banks are nothing new.

And these banks have hidden these secrets for the last three hundred years. In the year 1713, the Great Council of Geneva made rules under which banks were asked to keep registers or information of their clients.

 Swiss Bank and Secret


But the same rule also states that information from customers will not be shared with anyone other than the City Council. In Switzerland, if a banker gives information related to his customer to anyone, then it is a crime.

These same confidentiality rules make Switzerland a safe haven for black money. It was not a long time ago when these banks did not ask any question on depositing money, gold, jewellery, painting or any other valuables.

However, due to rising cases of terrorism, corruption and tax evasion, Switzerland is now turning down requests for accounts that are suspected to be illegal.

Apart from this, he has also started looking into requests from India or other countries to share information which provide evidence that the money deposited by such person is illegal.

How is money accumulated?


Now the second question, how does black money reach Swiss banks? For this it is important to know that how to open an account in Swiss banks?

Anyone above the age of 18 years can open an account in a Swiss bank.

However, if the bank suspects that the person making the deposit is doing so for a specific political purpose or the money being deposited is illegal, then it can reject the application.

According to Business Standard, there are about 400 banks in Switzerland, of which UBS and Credis Suisse Group are the largest, and they both account for more than half of all banks' balance sheets.

And which accounts get the most privacy? These are called 'numbered accounts'. All the things related to this account are based on the account number, no names are taken.


There are only a few people in the bank who know whose bank account belongs to whom. But these accounts are not easily available.

It is said that those who do not want to be caught, do not take credit or debit cards or check facilities of the bank.

Apart from this, if you have an account in these banks and you want to close it, then it can be done anytime, that too without any cost. 

What is hawala, where did this business start, how big is its business?

 Transferring money from one part of the world to another and that too without moving it. For this neither banks nor currency exchange is required, neither any form is to be filled nor fee is to be paid. If so, then the one who will send the money, the other to whom the money will come and at least two intermediaries in between.

This is the hawala business, which was there even before the advent of the traditional banking system. And it has been going on for centuries because of its ease of use and the many benefits that are available to the people involved. Through this, millions of dollars can be moved around the world without knowing how much the amount is and who is controlling it.

Hawala is the name of the transfer of money from one place of the world to another illegally and in this the most important role is played by the agent or middleman or who can be called intermediary. Because these middlemen rarely leave the record of any transaction. So these are the ones who are the biggest obstacle in finding out from where the money is coming out through hawala. and may also hire themselves for potential money laundering, drug trafficking, and financing of extremist organizations.

Alberto Prego Moreno, Professor of International Studies at the Pontificia Comilla University in Madrid, told BBC Mundo: "Although hawala itself is not linked to these activities, it may be a tool used to achieve ulterior motives." In fact, it is spread in the Persian Gulf, East Africa, South Africa and Southeast Asia.


Understand  it like this

It is defined as a traditional and informal method that runs parallel to any other banking system and is based on the importance and trust of its intermediaries.

For example, someone from New York can send money to Islamabad without opening a bank account.

For this, he has to approach the local middleman and give him the amount in dollars and the password on which both the sender and the receiver of the money agree. That is, apart from both of them, this password is now known to middlemen as well.

Now the local middleman contacts the middleman there in the capital of Pakistan and tells him the amount and password. This second middleman gives the same amount of Pakistani Rupees to the person to whom the money was to be delivered. He makes sure that the money reaches the right person, he asks for the password.

This whole process is completed in just a few hours and the middleman keeps a small amount as a commission.

Where did the hawala come from?

It is not clear when hawala originated, but some people connect it to India through the Silk Route from the 8th century.

The Silk Route is known as the trading route of ancient Chinese civilization. The silk trade flourished during the reign of the Han dynasty between the two hundred years BC and the second century BCE. Earlier silk caravans went west from the northern end of the Chinese Empire. But then there was contact with the tribes of Central Asia and gradually this route reached Rome through China, Central Asia, North India, present day Iran, Iraq and Syria. It is worth mentioning that not only silk was traded on this route, but all the people associated with it used to trade their products.

But there was frequent theft and plunder on the Silk Route, so Indian, Arab and Muslim merchants adopted different methods to protect their profits.

Hawala means 'in lieu of' or 'in exchange for'

Merchants used a password, which was an object, word or gesture, and a corresponding supplement, word or password, had to be disclosed to the recipient.

In this way, he ensured that the transaction of money or goods reaches the right hands.

How old this system was, it can be gauged from this that the first bank in India was 'Bank of Hindustan' which was established in 18th century in Kolkata.

Today, the speed with which the world is progressing in terms of technology, it has become easier to do the work of hawala with the same ease. Today, instant messaging applications send codes instead of passwords. Therefore, middlemen can also carry out this very easily in parallel with their business activities.

But why are these transactions done secretly?

Professor Alberto Prego Moreno says that, "This happens because, sometimes they are not declared money, that is, they are not completely legitimate. Sometimes (the user) avoids paying tax. Whereas when he remits this money to another country." He wants to ensure that the commission as middleman keeps at least the money."

This happens because if a person wants to send money from America to his family located in another country in the traditional way, then for this he has to fulfill many demands.

If you use the banking system then you must have a certain amount. For you to open an account, you need some documents like your identity, your legal status there, etc.

Other money transfer services may charge you up to 20% commission for international transactions. Whatever the case, the user has to go through a number of controls to avoid activities like money laundering.

But nothing like this has to be done in hawala.

 Changing and evolving technology can make money transfer easier than non-traditional methods

Prego Moreno says, "It is so much more effective because the money reaches the recipient relatively quickly and the commission has to be paid less."

"It is very important for the middleman to have a good network. The more contacts you have, the better your business will run. So you charge very little and give maximum profit."

"The middleman should try his best to be trustworthy. Earlier, usury and interest were less prevalent and it was difficult for the middleman to make a lot of money. This was the reason why this system spread more in the Middle East and Asia than in Western countries where banking transactions But there is strict monitoring and control."

"In some places, people trust these middlemen more than banks because it is the family and ancestral business of middlemen that they believe to be more reliable than banks," says Moreno.

Marina Martin, coordinator of the Department of Legal History for South Asia at the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt, Germany, says, "Hawala and similar bills were a very popular concept in the past, and today its understanding has changed as they become a part of modern banking. work differently."

How big is hawala business?

The biggest advantage of the traditional hawala system is that who is doing the money transactions, it remains out of the grip of the government or international institutions.

The fact that there is little or no record of transactions is a deterrent in detecting these money manipulations.

Terrorists in the 9/11 attacks in New York are also believed to have been financed in these unconventional ways.

With the introduction of new and stricter rules, not only in the US but all over the world, international transactions of a few thousand dollars have become even more complicated.

"After the 9/11 attacks, the US has come to see hawala as a possible means of financing terrorists," says Martin.

"Hawala (and other non-traditional methods) have been linked to a range of criminal activities over the years, from money laundering and political corruption to human organ trafficking," she says.

An investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project in 2018 said that a large number of foreign workers in Dubai have been sending money to their families in countries like India, the Philippines, using untraditional systems like hawala. It was told that this amount is more than 240 crores.

In February 2016, the US Drug Enforcement Office (DEA) uncovered links between Colombia and the Hezbollah organization for money laundering and drug trafficking through Europe, reporting that millions of euros and drugs had been traded.

According to DEA documents, drugs worth millions were transported to the Middle East via Lebanon and in return were sent to Euro Colombia via hawala.

In East Africa, especially Somalia, arms smugglers use hawala to move millions of dollars around.  According to the World Bank, there has been an increase in the number of migrant workers in developing countries sending money to help their families through remittances.

Despite the impact of the Kovid-19 pandemic, according to official figures, remittances sent to low- and middle-income countries stood at around Rs 400 trillion in 2020. This amount is just 1.6 percent less than in 2019. In 2019, this figure was Rs 406.31 trillion.

However, the World Bank also clarifies that "the actual size of remittances, which are delivered both by conventional and non-traditional means, is much larger than the official figure."

With a possible global recovery in the economy, it is expected that the amount of remittances sent to low and middle income countries through traditional and non-traditional means such as hawala will increase even more in 2021 and 2022.