As the dust settles around the new Bharatiya Janata Party government in New Delhi, there's little that sounds new. There's supposedly a new order that wants to control the flow of information, and yet this doesn't seem that new. In any case, this control over information has not prevented the government from giving the impression that it is battling one crisis after another.
The previous government's crisis managers, who were clearly rather bad at their job, must be watching with some glee. If this is the state of affairs when Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is still on its 100-day honeymoon, what great governance can we expect will follow?
Take the rail fare hike. We should laud the government's efforts to cut back on expenditure but also condemn its hypocrisy in defending the increase when Modi had opposed the previous, Congress-led regime's attempt to raise rail fares.
Defenders of this government accuse the UPA of leaving the treasury empty, something that the Congress denies. Couldn't the government have handled this better? Did it really need to do this before the rail budget? It should have considered in advance the measures it is now planning, such as introducing the hike in phases. If the government is selling us a Congress decision to raise rail fares, why did we elect this government?
This is just one example of how the BJP government is beginning to look like the UPA: doing damage control when the damage has already been done, acting unthinkingly with the arrogance of power and blaming the Opposition and the media and everyone else but itself.
This is how it has been from the start. First, the government faced some embarrassment over Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani's educational qualifications. Second, it had to make a minister in the Prime Minister's Office retract a statement that Modi was rethinking Article 370, which grants autonomous status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Then it had nothing to say about the use of draconian laws to make out cases against and arrest people critical of the prime minister. As the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Modi had condemned the hate crime that had led to the death of a student from Arunachal Pradesh in Delhi. Niether Modi nor his home minister had anything to say about a Hindutva outfit in Pune killing a Muslim just for being Muslim.
The government issued a circular saying bureaucrats should use Hindi instead of English for Tweets and updates on Facebook and couldn't defuse the backlash for days. All it needed to do was to issue another circular saying the government would Tweet and post Facebook announcements in all 22 languages of the Constitution's Eighth Schedule.
The government has revealed no plan to curb inflation, only calling a meeting and passing the buck to state governments, saying that they should curb hoarding. Inflation will come down, the government promises, echoing the promise that the UPA made every month for five years.
While campaigning, the BJP attacked the Congress regime's immorality, nepotism and arrogance. But how moral is this government in not sacking a minister in Rajasthan accused of rape? How moral is it when it copies the UPA's immorality of sacking BJP-appointed governors in 2004, despite a Supreme Court judgement that does not appreciate such pettiness?
If the BJP government is going to defend all indefensible things by saying the Congress did it too, why indeed did we boot out the Congress? If the Congress victimised an IAS officer for exposing Robert Vadra's alleged corruption, this government is not letting a lawyer become a judge because he did things inconvenient to the party in the past: he argued in the matter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh's fake encounter.
If the Congress regime saw cases regarding Bofors closed, the NDA is moving to close cases against Modi's right-hand man, Amit Shah. What is moral about deliberately leaking an Intelligence Bureau report calling inconvenient non-profits anti-nationals and curbing their right to receive donations from abroad?
From day one, the prime minister has shown dynamism in his approach towards foreign policy and yet there's already a big crisis on foreign shores. Indian workers in Iraq are being kidnapped and the government has made little headway.
You can imagine what the Bhartiya Janta Party would have been saying if it had been the Congress handling that crisis. It would have been called a weak government that was making India a weak state, one with no foreign policy leverage. How exactly is a "nationalist" government's approach to this hostage crisis different from what any other?
The good days, it turns out, are just like any other day. The next election may be five years away, but that's what the UPA also thought.
Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival
We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.
The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:
Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app
Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.
Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.
Plan your shopping
The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.
Track the deals
There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.
Big discounts and top picks
The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.
Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.
There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.
There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are LenovoTab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch.
If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.
Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.
The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.
For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.
Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.
For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.
The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.
While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!
If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.
Check-out process and payment options
Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.
Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.
This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.