Shift in balance: States to be watched are UP & MP

Tapan Misra

News is to be read between the lines, not along the lines. When Defence Expo was held in Lucknow in Feb 2020 and subsequent MOUs were signed by UP Government to start many defense related industries in UP, I could sense a shift in balance of industrial scenario in India in not so distant a future.

If you read the news buried under Covid related stories about success, dedication, cries, claims, fault findings, cover-ups or pure cacophony, you will see, a number of labour and agricultural reforms have been pushed in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. In post-Covid scenario, when India is expected to receive international shifting of production facilities, these two States (earlier falling under the BIMARU category- literally meaning sick but actually BIMARU was the short form for Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh – States that were considered the most backward) are preparing themselves to take the first advantage.

UP has just announced wide relaxation in labour laws and worker’s rights for next three years for establishing new industries. UP, along with Madhya Pradesh, is investing in ramping up consumption in the rural hinterland by minimising the role of middlemen, boosting competitive pricing of agricultural produce and ushering in an era of value added agricultural produce based economy. Significantly, State monopoly of determining the price of agricultural produce through state owned APMCs is being systematically demolished. MP also has allowed direct selling of agricultural products from the doorstep of farmers.

There is also a perceptible change towards no-nonsense law and order implementation in central and northern states. Law enforcement machinary is getting back the due respect it deserves. Long lost fear of law is making a reappearance. This change in perception augurs well for building up business and industrial climate.

Recent labour migration will also help these two States to avail trained labour force easily and profitably. All the states who did not take care of the labourers during lockdown period, took them for granted and consequently had to allow them to return to their home states, will have to rue the lost opportunity. They have to bear the wrath of spurned labour. Their construction and other industries will have to look towards a difficult future in the post-Covid scenario, leave alone to take advantage of International migration of industrial manufacturing facilities. Somebody’s loss is somebody else’s gain.

The author, Tapan Misra, is a distinguished scientist and Advisor with the Department of Space.

16 migrant workers run over by goods train in Maharashtra

Newsroom24x7 Network

Aurangabad: 16 migrant workers sleeping on rail tracks were crushed to death by a goods train in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra on Friday morning at about 5.15 am.

The migrant labourers, were returning home to Madhya Pradesh and they had been walking along the trailway track and were heading towards Bhusawal from Jalna in central Maharashtra.

According to police sources, they say down on the railway track for rest and fell asleep when they were run over by the goods train coming from Jalna.

The workers were working in a steel factory in Jalna and had been laid off due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Timeless poetry of Shilabhattarika – the 9th Century poet

Richard Holkar, the scion of the erstwhile ruling family of Indore, has quoted Willie Dalrymple, on his fb wall to highlight the literary glory and the timeless poetry of Shilabhattarika, the 9th Century poet.

Shilabhattarika is much quoted by critics of classical Sanskrit literature, and her verses appear in major Sanskrit anthologies. She is eulogised for few of the greatest poems ever written in the Sanskrit tradition. The 10th century poet Rajashekhara praised Shilabhattarika as a leading figure of the Panchali literary style.

We are reproducing Willie’s observations about Shilabhattarika from Richard’s post:

“During my research this week I came across the poetry of a 9thC Sanskrit poet, Shilabhattarika. She lived in central India between the Narmada and the Vindhyas at the turn of the first millennium. Some think she may have been a Rashtrakuta princess; other traditions associate her with the rasika/aesthete, polymath, architect and man of letters, the Paramara Raja Bhoja, who ruled in MP around Bhopal and Sanchi and whose court attracted the greatest literary talents in India.

Shilabhattarika’s work is much praised and collected by literary critics of the time and she is known to have written at least 46 poems on topics such as “love, morality, politics, nature, beauty, the seasons, insects, anger, indignation, codes of conduct, and the characteristic features of various kinds of heroines.”

Today only six of her poems survive. This is the most famous, translated by the amazing Andrew Schelling. Its just fabulous and Shilabhattarika would be remembered even if all that survived was just the first couplet:

Nights of jasmine & thunder,
torn petals
wind in the tangled kadamba trees.
Nothing has changed-
Spring has come again and we’ve simply grown older.

In the cane groves of the Narmada
he deflowered my
girlhood, long before we were
And I grieve for those far-away nights
when we played at love
By the water.