Marriage of convenience
With the Parliamentary elections and Assembly elections in some states fast approaching, some of the political parties in the Capital, it appears, are busy working out permutations and combinations to gain power. Which is understandable. The Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, however, is saying that the Third Front will be formed after elections, which sans logic. All alliances have to be pre-poll one so that the possible ideological differences can be meaningfully sorted out right away in a healthy and sustainable manner. Post-poll alliances are nothing but a marriage of convenience and a number-game, purely with an intention to acquire power. The Election Commission should not allow any post-poll alliance to take place. After all, we are a mature democracy now.
Apropos of the editorial “Pall Mall” (FE, October 21), it would be preposterous to say that the shining Indian retail story is over. The sudden boom in the real estate sector had lead to prices crashing through the roof while brands scrambled over each other to get space. Malls represent the makeover of typical Indian consumer moving on from local kirana stores to a more mature and organised platform. Over time, they have metamorphosed into hangout zones given the options for entertainment they provide. If footfalls are anything to go by, then Noida’s Great India Place Mall and New Delhi’s triad—Select Citywalk, MGF and DLF Place Mall—are the complete opposite of this report. It’s time for the mall owners to reinvent their offerings in a new fashion so as to woo the customer out of her home which will get the sales going again. The issue of exorbitant prices though definitely needs a rethink. Squeezing out big chunks of rent is no longer the fad. The real estate bubble is a worrying concern and should be contained soon. Vacancy in malls shows that the commercial bubble has burst in some areas. Although metros continue to defy this trend, it will not be long before it hits them too. Unbelievable housing prices all over the country indicate the same trend. A large number of houses will near completion in the future out of which a sizeable number are purely investment based. This trend needs to be controlled, for if it balloons, India risks a recession; this time on its own home turf.