Corona: An Industry?

The heading of this article I know will thwart my reader’s perception. We all are now quite familiar about how the ongoing pandemic has become a big reason behind the collapse of firms, stalling of productions and thereby hitting hard to the employment scenario of the world. No silver lining is visible yet. Amid this near collapse of livelihood all leading elected governments across globe are in tug of war with the geo-political tensions. The defence industry and its allocations very shockingly are getting best attention by the best leaders. What is of highest need now? This basic question leaves us in a lurch.

Pix by Amit K Sikder
Industry since the beginning of its journey has made the concept of ‘division of labour’ more meaningful to livelihood. With the diversified need of human civilisation more and more specialisation of production styles have validated the concept to a newer dimension and given rise to a prominent concept of class hierarchy in industry, widened the domain of employment to a new level. And for long the world and its people are enjoying the industrial fruit. It has contributed to the growth of civilisation remarkably and made available the best comfort to livelihood. But after a certain point of time an aggressive practice of it has started to hit us adversely like by excreting health hazards, pollutions etc. A negotiable trade off between good and bad has always been a cause of concern and so countries gather together time to time under banner of ‘climate summit’ every year. To make a best consensus on it the globe unites and tries to find the best.
All apart excessive production of goods and services meanwhile has become a reason of a fierce competition among countries and beyond WTO’s existence and intervention an unwanted tariff war in between countries sometimes leave the whole economic system to an unexpected low. Though it is not going to serve anybody well. The cross-border politics thus often mislead the trajectory of industrial growth which was never intended at all.
With all these pros and cons industry today is in a critical fall out which never being perceived. The pandemic now has fully stalled it and how long it would lust can’t be predicted. The medical research is hurriedly trying to find out a solution. It is almost seven to eight months over the world is bearing the pain of quarantined life with an unending insecurity. It is such an illusory phase of life we are bound to bear the cost hygiene and allocating a portion of money to buy masks, sanitizer, disinfectants etc. The gradual fall of per capita income and bearing on an extra brunt of hygiene cost altogether hitting the normal demand for goods and services. This leaves scope a minimal for a lion share of firms in the field. Only a few big players are now steady.
So far we have seen the aspect of insecurity in most cases it has opened up scope in different way which may be either by recycling of waste or launching Green bond. Now the uncertainty of the pandemic has made a ‘bubble’ industry and ruthlessly guiding the stratification of class in society not the division of labour. We don’t know how long it would lust but in a radical way Corona is becoming a potential industry. Now to step into the industry can we think of launching a ‘Corona’ Bond?

When Dream Of Democracy Is In Doldrums!

Democracy today is in turmoil to fathom its own identity. The Constitution of our country during the time of its declaration very ardently put a holy thrust on preserving the essence of country’s fundamental deed. It’s more than seventy years back the gala event took place. Today the ‘Constitutional Democracy’ is thus matured seventy years old and now to take an account of the gap between ‘severe seventy’ and ‘successful seventy’ is very vital task. Meanwhile with the entrance in global field our fundamental parameters are very much prone to the aspect of ‘choice and uncertainty’.
The evolution of society at each and every point of time demands changes on different socio-economic dimensions, it’s quite natural. Simultaneously it’s a social responsibility of people and ‘class’ across board to allow society’s own manifestation besides required norms. A very judicious combination of both will auger well to bring a better livelihood and participation. Very awkwardly I am not demanding Max Weber’s ‘Ideal society’ but expecting the intervention of ‘invisible hand’ of democratic philosophy. Let it not die!

Pix by Amit K Sikder

Today the most economic parameters are in peril as a consequence of Corona pandemic and resulted in big social disarray. To bring together the whole demographic concerns we do need a cohesive effort. The arithmetic of calculating ‘who is responsible and who is not’ is subject to an unending debate. So let us move away and go for a better practice of humanity rather than policy and politics.
This moment Dr Ambedkar commits to my memory very prominently, the chairman of the drafting committee of the Constitution, who very strongly located the downtrodden of the society from the angle of caste. Gandhiji, the father of the nation, cited them on religious angle, the core of which was to look inward and feel the strength. Altogether both put special emphasis on bringing them to the mainstream so as to reap the best demographic dividend. They tested the Indian soil on a holistic plate and will never be forgotten for their keen to understand the ‘Vision India’, which is very much necessary today especially during the time of a radical paradigm shift of socio-economic parameters in an adverse manner and when the ‘real balance effect’ cries foul. 
The conjugated concern of socio-economy if bifurcated vehemently then the real growth of democracy gets hindered either on ground of economic policy or social programmes. Initiatives a galore we have seen since post-independence but where the lag lies? - A trillion dollar question. Is it a ‘failure of policy’ or ‘poverty of thought’?
To compensate the severe concern of pandemic the government has roped in on the grand policy of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ to facilitate the isolated distress of the country and its people. We Aaam Admi (general people) of the country are eagerly waiting to see a reflection of the policy in our life which every moment is about to die down at economic, social and psychological level. Above all the democratic government is highly responsible in delivering right norms for the society but today in this tumultuous time when the health sector of the country is a tremendous failure then at least issues like the mushrooming growth of intermediaries who are misleading people about diagnosis of Corona virus, its report etc and private hospitals’ confiscated bills may be monitored just for the electorate. The democratic demand of people today may be a distant dream but a minimal assurance of not being laundered from the part of the government will get blessings of ‘Ram Lala’ ( a major deity of Hinduism, 7th incarnation of God Vishnu), for sure. 

Raga Bhairavi - An Eternal Sound of Blessing

The classical music across board is the highest form of religion. It has the subtle trick to keep consciousness alive even in turbulent times of livelihood. To voyage into the world of classical music and to realise the soul is a definite path to salvation. The world today is crumbled with myriad troubles in all sphere of life. The growing menace of pandemic is throwing us to a world of uncertainties which never been perceived. What is the ultimate? - A billion dollar query of million minds.
Now what could be a best healing touch to livelihood? All ancient religious scriptures always has been very focal to the inner journey of mind and unveiled the way how we can control the outer world from within. Apparently it seems unrealistic but out of our accord when we stay at comfort everything around us seems so beautiful and pleasant. I think all scriptures very meditatively have decoded the science behind ‘the comfort’, the tranquil part of our attitude towards life. Music here plays a momentous role to keep us alive in consciousness. 
The raga Bhairavi which mostly being known as queen of all ragas and technically a Hindustani classical heptatonic (Sampurna) Raga of Bhairavi thaat is all beyond attributed to primordial mother goddess, the companion of Tripurantak Bhairava according to Puranas and Tantras and also called as Subhankari, who does auspicious deeds to her children. Playing and listening to the raga is a prayer to the divine which surely will heal us in this critical injecture of life.
When its raga Bhairavi I don’t like to lose the chance to share tales of Maihar, the home to one of 52 Shakti Peethams, and Baba Allauddin Khan, the Sarod player, multi-instrumentalist, a renowned composer of 20th century in Indian classical music and above all the founder of Maihar gharana often said as Maihar-Senia gharana as he learnt music under the tutelage of Wajir Khan of Senia gharana. Maihar’s Trikuta Mountain is also an abode of Sarada Mai where he used to visit every dawn to pay his homage. Tale has it that during one early dawn when Baba Allauddin Khan was playing raga Bhairavi mother goddess descended and dance.

Pt Prosenjit Sengupta (File Photo)
The raga has its speciality in the gharana and on later so many followers including legends Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt Nikhil Banerjee, Annapurna Devi, Pt Ravi Shankar have chanted the mantra of Bhairavi and lured the world. My Guruji Pt Prosenjit Sengupta, one of their prominent successors in recent time, has paid homage to mother goddess in a monkish solitude. Let us enjoy and feel the divine within. 

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Bad assets keep banks at bay

Last month RBI in its Financial Stability Report has clearly indicated that the gross non performing asset (NPA) ratio of all scheduled commercial banks may escalate from 8.5 per cent in March 2020 to 12.5 per cent by March 2021 under the baseline set-up. It further added that the ache may grow further if the macroeconomic environment goes downhill and in that case the ratio may shoot up to 14.7 per cent.

Pix by Amit K Sikder
In my last article on banking ‘Nim Bullies Bank’s Kismet’ I remained critical about the loath stance of government on Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), which worked well enough in countering the NPA concern of banks, as a measure to cushion the business environment on the onset of pandemic. The highly dormant demand side of the economy can never bode well to the revitalised supply front. Among all reasons the demand side of the economy always play a very decisive role on producer’s front to predict about their investment decisions and capacity to cover up the loans.
NPA is a long standing issue with banks. Post 1991, I mean the liberalisation phase, banks started to realize an abrupt accumulation of bad loans in its balance sheet as bit more intervention of externalities left manufacturers at loggerhead in regard of price fluctuations of commodities in overseas market.           

              GDP Growth Rate
Year         Growth (%)      Annual Change
2009            7.86                       4.78%
2008            3.09                      -4.57%
2007            7.66                      -0.40%
2006            8.06                       0.14%
2005            7.92                       0.00%
2004            7.92                       0.06%
2003            7.86                       4.06%
2002            3.80                     -1.02%

Data Source: Macrotrends
The magnificent GDP growth figure during fiscals 2006-’07 and 2007-’08 become a reason of higher volume of loan advances by banks. But an untoward global financial crisis of 2008 stagnated macros alarmingly to a low and which reflected to only a meagre 3.09 per cent of GDP growth.  And then the whole situation left corporations in lurch in terms of their repayment capabilities which reflected severely to the NPA figure of banks. So for long, NPA has been an unavoidable pain with the banking system.
Now to cope with the pandemic condition and to keep the economic activity alive the government has roped in on moratorium (EMI holiday) morale which altogether pushing banks to doldrums. According to the study of SBI research wing private lenders have 40 per cent (Rs 14.42 lakh crore) of credit under moratorium and Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have 41 per cent. Surprisingly 70 per cent of loan book for Small Finance Banks (SFBs) worth Rs 66,443 crore came under the moratorium out of total outstanding credit of Rs 94,919 crore. And the study also indicated about the true picture of NPA numbers, which currently in decline, would surface after second quarter of FY21 when the moratorium relief is poised to end.  Recently banks are very much vocal about not extending moratorium but changing NPA period from 90 to 180 days. In this period of uncertainty we are not sure about the normalcy when to come. So it could be a better judgement to go for a classification on industry so as to pick out those from the group who are not exactly in condition to have the moratorium relief. It will surely help banks to restore the lending capacity as well as counter the concern of interest payment.
Bad loans with a limit of approx 3 per cent is considered manageable. But compared with other BRICS members India stands at a very poor position with NPAs approximately at 9.85 per cent. Whereas NPAs figure of other members hover around 3 per cent with China only have 1.75 per cent.
Today the RBI in its policy announcement did not extend the moratorium rather specified the provision of loan restructuring which has made a good passage for banks and in near future hopefully could produce a better result.

Now all Rasikas churn ‘Charukeshi’

Indian classical music always stands tall while understanding the people and culture of our country. When its classical music all religions intermingled into the truth of humanity, delve deep into the core of human physiology. It’s a highest most chanted mantra of all ages since the beginning of the universe. But unfortunately today the massive sprouting of mechanisation of life (an inclination towards the mundane world) has left us far away from the subtle context. It is within us but in a burial. When this vibration comes by any chance we feel settled and peaceful unconsciously. The seven swaras of classical music are in firm knot with vertebras of our body and when they get chance to be tuned the third dimension of life transcended. All ragas thus have a greater influence in toning the aura of human body and healing the deadly diseases. Raga Charukeshi apart from rejuvenating the mind helps us to cure heart ailments evoking flavours of Sringara (Romance), Soka (Sorrow), Saantha (peace) and Bhakti rasa (devotion).
    Raga Charukeshi (literary represents one with beautiful hair) has its origin in Carnatic music. It is the 26 th Melakarta ragam in the 72 Melakarta ragam system of Carnatic music.
The raga on later has been imported into Hindustani music and being an entrant it suffers a state of gestation in the Hindustani style. With purely a new set of scale there are a number of ways in constructing the raga and applying even in film songs. The Hindustani instinct in one way has imbibed the constituent poorvanga and uttaranga portions of the scale in terms of familiar patterns. Whereas Pt Ravi Shankar, Vijay Raghab Rao has gone with an alternative style by advancing the gandhar to evolve a different swaroopa. Likewise the uttaranga scope enthusiastically hunted by the Hindustani cult are Asavari ( Darbari like behaviour) and Bhairavi. Charukeshi’s journey in Indian films reminds us of works of kalyanji-anandji, Shankar-jaikishen et al. It’s a big spread of beautiful hair from heart to soul.

Pt Prosenjit Sengupta (File Photo)
A convoluted journey on the raga is still predominant in Hindustani style of music. Among all leading Sarod players of India my Guruji Pt Prosenjit Sengupta of Maihar-Senia gharana has blended Raga Kausi and Bhairavi to rouse emotions in mind in an amicable way. His master strokes have evolved the aura (with beautiful hair) in a mesmerizing way and help us to dissolve into the divine of ‘Charukeshi’. In this turbulent time of pandemic his genius is a blessing to us to heave a sigh of relief and to travel within.