Cardboard Swadeshi

How "swadeshi" is the BJP? A checklist suggests maybe not very much.

India is India because of its rivers, forests, hills, beaches and biodiversity. The devastation of the environment is in fact the devastation of Bharat Mata. No government can call itself swadeshi if it promotes judicially documented, environmentally and socially destructive activities.

Two recent decisions of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Government in New Delhi have caused consternation in the minds of those who believed that the BJP would base its policies on a strong nationalistic plank. The two decisions involve the shifting of around 320 items on to the "free import list" and the revival of the Aquaculture Authority Bill (AAB) which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by the United Front Government to protect the interests of the environmentally destructive aqua farming lobbies but failed to go through because of protests by coastal villagers, fishing communities and environmentalists.

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Himal Southasian