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Demonetisation, surgical strikes and more discussed on Day 1 of HTLS 2016

india Updated: Dec 03, 2016 00:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Delegates during the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit at Taj Palace in New Delhi on Friday. (Virendra Singh Gosain/HT PHOTO)

Leaders talked change at HTLS on Friday. In the inaugural session, finance minister Arun Jaitley said his government’s demonetisation exercise will benefit the country in the long run. But Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav was not so optimistic.

Also in attendance at the event --- where leaders gathered to discuss the change India needs --- was defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who talked about “surgical strikes” across the Line of Control.

Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was candid. Sometimes taking a stand is difficult, he admitted.

Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and his political rival and Congress leader, Capt Amarinder Singh. shared the stage at the high-profile event.

Here’s how the proceedings unfolded.

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and director-producer Karan Johar

• Karan: What does it feel like to be Amitabh Bachchan? What do you carry with yourself?

Amitabh: I carry my night suit.

Karan: But, what does it feel like to be Amitabh?

Amitabh: It’s just a name... my parents gave me.

• “When a woman says no -- be it your girlfriend, your wife, or a sex worker -- understand that no means NO,” Amitabh says while talking about his last movie Pink

• Pink was beyond an entertainment set piece, it also had a message so strong, Karan tells Amitabh. “There were many things like the Zero FIR that women didn’t know about. That’s something we propagated with Pink,” says Amitabh

• “Never say no to the wife. Always say yes,” says Amitabh in response to an audience question

• Even after 47 years I find faults in my own work, and I can ‘t amend them. But I don’t see that this generation of actors, says the 74-year-old

• “I feel this generation is a lot more advanced than we have been at their age... They are so much more aware. I still don’t know where I want to go,” says Amitabh

• “I keep active on social media because I feel that if someone has written to me, I must respond to them. There are so may amazing people on social media and they make me think a lot,” Amitabh says of interacting with people through his blog.

• “I may debate with my writer or my director. But in front of the camera, their approval is very important to me.”

• Karan tells the actor he’s never seen Amitabh lose his cool. “You’re always above the game. How do you stay cool?”

“I don’t know if I’ve ever faced those situations. When you lose your cool, it is no longer your emotions alone. Why should I inflict what I’m going through to many others?” responds the actor

• Another audience question asks who Amitabh thinks will be the next Amitabh Bachchan. “Why? What’s wrong with me?” quips the actor

• If the Prime Minister offers the president’s post to you, would you take it, asks an audience member. “This was a joke started by Shatrugan Sinha, and I’m tired of answering this. I mean, look at me, do you think so?” says Amitabh

• “When someone tells me I was absolutely rubbish in a movie, I always try to go back and make amends.”

• “If a movie isn’t designed or written properly, even the best actor in the world will fail,” says Amitabh Bachchan

• “Insecurity in our profession is an insistent fear that makes us wonder is we’d get our next job.”

• Karan: With your 47 years in Bollywood, can you tell which movies will work?

Amitabh: No. I don’t think anyone can, not even you Karan.

Karan: Actually I can. I can tell halfway through if a project will bomb.

• “Once you confirm your participation in a project, you go along with it as sincerely as possible. A doctor is never asked if they can cut open someone correctly or not,” says the veteran actor.

• “The credit should really go to the writer... They are not just writers, they are actors, costume designers, set designers... they have all these aspects going in their head,” says Amitabh

• Karan: I feel you’ve done selective movies.

Amitabh: No. It’s nature. When you reach a certain age, those are the roles you get.

Up now: Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in conversation with director-producer Karan Johar

Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO, Softbank Group

• On being asked how would you like history to remember you: ‘Crazy guy who bets on the future,” says Son

• I will always be betting on the future: Son

• Beyond some number is only a number: Son on losing 70 billion dollar in a day during Dotcom bubble

• We created a robot that is capable of emotions to ensure that it cares about others rather than just aim for productivity: Son

• We have a robot called ‘Pepper’; it is the first robot which has emotions: Son

• We have shipped over 10K humanoid robots over the last couple of years: Son

• I promised 10 billion dollars, 2 billion has been already been put in and by the looks of it, we’ll surpass our commitment: Son

• I would like to invest in India going forward, and I keep my word: Son

• India is a country where new technology is going to happen; this is a country I am very much interested in investing: Son

• India is the best investment opportunity in front of us: Son

• When devices that power the Internet of Things (IOT) become more intelligent, our life will definitely change: Son

• Our future can be exciting or dangerous. I prefer to call it exciting

• Average IQ is 100, 200 implies a genius. With the number of transistors a machine has, it’s IQ will be counted in thousands: Son

• Computer and human brains are both binary systems; you have 30 billion binary systems in your head: Son

• Mankind can’t function without chips; 90% of those chips are provided by ARM. If 1 chip is 1 dollar, we have 1 trillion dollars: Son

• Last year ARM shipped 15 billion chips, it is going to ship1 trillion chips now: Son

• 99% chipsets in all smartphones are all ARM: Son

• Everybody knows Intel, many people don’t know ARM; it is 40% bigger than Intel: Masayoshi Son

Up now: Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO, Softbank Group, Corp in conversation with R Sukumar, Editor, Mint

Sukhbir Singh Badal, deputy chief minister of Punjab, and Capt Amarinder Singh, president, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee

• Punjab is bankrupt, our agriculture is stagnant, we are on our knees and unless we have serious planning and implementation, we are never going to rise again: Capt Amarinder Singh

•Sukhbir Badal contradicts Capt Amarinder Singh, says AAP will win less than 10 seats, Congress will win around 35 and we (Akalis) will win at least 70 seats

Punjab was a power deficit state, we have made it a power surplus state, says Badal

•We came back last time because of our performance: Sukhbir Badal

•Akalis won’t win more than 20 seats, AAP will be a little more, we (Congress) will form the govt: Capt Amarinder Singh

•Congress is cut off from reality, nobody can match my father’s connect with the people: Sukhbir Badal

•Demonetisation has affected people but in Punjab there is a parallel economy: Sukhbir Badal

•Talking about demonetisation, Capt Amarinder Singh says people in Punjab are turning bitter day by day; they have to stand in long queues

• AAP will not get more than 8 or 9 seats: Sukhbir Badal

•Any alliance between Congress and AAP is out of question: Capt Singh

•Kejriwal’s performance in Delhi has gone down: Capt Amarinder Singh

•Navjot Singh Sidhu was forced on to Capt Amarinder: Sukhbir Badal

•Don’t defame the youth of Punjab, we’re number 1 in agriculture and textiles, can drug-addicts do that? asks Sukhbir Badal

•We don’t have a national drug policy. People grow drugs in Rajasthan and MP and sell them in Punjab: Capt Amarinder Singh

•Drugs are thrown into Punjab from Pakistan and the BSF is supposed to curb it, Punjab police has little control: Sukhbir Badal

•The ‘drug problem’ of Punjab has been largely advocated by the media: Sukhbir Badal

•This is my last year in politics, my last opportunity to set things right in Punjab: Amarinder Singh

•Akalis won because they have no high command: Capt Amarinder Singh

•We did a good job in out 5 years, then Punjab wanted change and it came in the form of the Akalis: Capt Amarinder Singh

•Media is overestimating Kejriwal, says Sukhbir Badal

•Kejriwal is a lost case in Punjab, says Sukhbir Singh Badal

Up now: Our session with defence minister Manohar Parrikar has ended. Sukhbir Singh Badal, deputy chief minister of Punjab, and Capt Amarinder Singh, president of the Congress’ unit in Punjab will be in conversation with Sonia Singh, editorial director, NDTV

Manohar Parrikar, Union minister of defence

• Will slowly but surely ensure the army will become part of ministry... possibly by the first half of 2017.

• “I didn’t take credit for the surgical strikes... that belongs to the army. But I can at least take credit for my capacity to take a decision,” says Parrikar

• “Army should be kept away from decisions with a political connotation.” For instance, Parrikar says, he was not part of the planning of specifics in the September surgical strikes

• “When I campaign, I speak in Konkani. You can’t translate everything I say word for word into English. If you begin to do that, a translation of Punjabi to English will be quite vulgar.”

• I think principle of uncertainty should operate: Parrikar on possibility of more surgical strikes

• My biggest achievement has been getting people to think outside the box and reducing suspicions over kickbacks, says Parrikar. “A no-confidence doubt is never ending.”

• Under IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured) we’ve given permission for Tejas Mark 1 A, where we expect 60% to be indigenous (except weapons)... We’ve purchased 50,000 bulletproof jackets

• I inherited a backlog of orders worth Rs 583,000 crores some of which were pending for over 10-12 years... I can assure you all that the costs of acquisition in the defence ministry are coming down compared to previous government

• We need to think outside the box for solutions, says the defence minister

• For the army, traditions are very important, and have meaning. There are reasons for why they remain. Sacrificing one’s life requires emotional attachments, says Parrikar

• “NOC (no objection certificate) from army was hindering the widening of national and state highways. I have cleared about 62 of these... and will soon clear Dhaula Kuan.”

• Earlier, it was believed that India would not cross over. After the surgical strikes, that notion has been dispelled, says Parrikar

• The surgical strikes have introduced a sense of uncertainty in our enemy’s minds. They thought we’d never cross the border: defence minister Parrikar

• Over a period of time, some sort of lethargy has set in. It is very painful to see soldiers die: Parrikar

Up now: Our session with chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has come to an end. Manohar Parrikar, Union defence minister, will be in conversation with Nitin Gokhale, national security analyst and founder of Bharatshakti.in

Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh

• There can never be an alliance with the BJP: Akhilesh

• “If people lose money (because of demonetisation), everyone will ride the bicycle. This will give us publicity,” says the UP chief minister

• “The BJP government has not done anything for the common people in the last 2.5 years.”

• Will Akhilesh Yadav ever consider forming his own party if the feud didn’t settle down? “This is my party. Why will I leave?” says Akhilesh

• The questions West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is raising are fair

• Nobody can defy Mulayam’s instructions, but I will not accept someone else typing out my resignation letter

• “The fundamental difference between my father (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and me is that he is a wrestler and I am a football player.”

• It is wrong to say that I have been stopped (from making changes in the Samajwadi Party): UP CM Akhilesh Yadav

• A national coalition with Congress is still possible, but it depends on the Congress: Akhilesh on looking ahead at the 2019 general elections

• “Ramayan Park should not be viewed as religious vote bank politics... several other religious works are happening.”

• The ground reality is different, Akhilesh says, adding that in villages people charge their devices using tractors.

• “In my meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the PM told me the situation will improve and technology will change things. But are people ready for technology?”

• No rich people had to queue up due to demonetization. For privileged customers, banks extend every facility at home

• The BJP government has not addressed the issue of black money, corruption or foreign funding through its demonetization move... The new currency has created a new kind of corruption. Counterfeit notes have already started: Akhilesh

• “Did we elect ‘ache din’ sarkar so that they could break our piggy banks?”

• “If I would’ve been the president of my party I would’ve suggested removing Amar Singh,” Akhilesh says of the Yadav family feud

• “It is not in my power to decide who stays in the party who doesn’t,” Akhilesh says

• “The road in politics is uneven. What one can do is to ensure that one finds a smooth way along this path.”

• “You are right in saying the elections in UP will be significant in shaping the elections,” Akhilesh Yadav says at the start of the session with Barkha Dutt

Up now: Akhilesh Yadav, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, in conversation with Barkha Dutt, consulting editor, NDTV

Our session with Dr Paul Krugman has come to an end. We now break for lunch. Our next session will begin at 1:20 pm with Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Nobel Laureate Dr Paul Krugman

• India still in some important ways looks like China with a 15-20 years lag; it hasn’t hit the kind of demographic wall that China is hitting, says Dr Krugman

• China is up there in the same order as the US and European Union; no more free riding on US hegemon: Dr Krugman

• There’s a good case that high denomination bills are a bad thing in the modern world: Dr Krugman

• I understand the motivation behind demonetisation but this seems like a highly disruptive way to achieve it: Dr Krugman

• On demonetisation, Dr Krugman says he doesn’t see highly significant change from it; the policy is unusual

• Dr Krugman says currency war is the last war; that’s not the war we must be fighting right now

• US had a quarter of the workforce for manufacturing, but now it’s 12 %: Dr Krugman

• India still has big problems with transportation infrastructure, says Dr Krugman

• India should count itself fortunate that it’s not a major trade surplus country, says Dr Krugman

• US is not going to be a drag on the world economy: Dr Krugman

• Economics is not a morality play, says Dr Krugman

• Macroeconomics of China looks more than like that of Japan. It’s Japan without the political stability and social cohesion: Dr Paul Krugman

• China’s underlying resources of long-term growth are drying up, says Dr Krugman.

• By the time Donald Trump flies to Indiana and back, the US might lose 6000 jobs: Dr Krugman

• US fiscal austerity was not the product of sincere considered about debt... we will have a change in US fiscal stats, says Dr Krugman.

• All of concerns about public debt looks really misplaced: Dr Krugman

• What we are looking at in the US after Donald Trump is very large tax cuts: Dr Krugman

• Secular stagnation is the fundamental weakness: Dr Paul Krugman

Up now: Nobel laureate Dr Paul Krugman in conversation with Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, executive editor, Mint

Sadhguru, Founder- Isha Foundation

• “Tax evaders were heroes under the British Era because they were rebelling. However, that should have ended in 1947,” says Sadhguru

• We have been a “developing”country for far too long. We need to become a developed country and remonetization will ensure that: Sadhguru refers to finance minister Arun Jaitley’s session at HTLS

• Quantity of counterfeit money has been significant... it is more than the RBI admits, says Sadhguru

• Audience member says demonetisation is stressing a lot of people. “Depends on how much money you have,” jokes Sadhguru

• “If we do not do what can do, it’s disastrous.”

• Your destiny is not determined by what comes your way; it is determined by what you make of it: Sadhguru

• Everything we talk of is about division... but consciousness is about no division, says Sadhguru, reiterating the need to improve the environments we live in

• “Yoga is not twisting and turning. Yoga is not standing on your head. It means you’ve obliterated your boundaries. It’s a communication with everything. It’s a consciousness,” says Sadhguru

• Your individuality comes from your memory -- genetic memory, karmic memory, and other kinds: Sadhguru

• Social media is gossip gone global, Sadhguru says in response to a question.

• A time has come when leadership should learn to migrate from individual ambition to a larger vision, says Sadhguru

• “Delhi is a micro-speck in the universe, and in that you are a big man. That is a ridiculous existence.”

• “Ambition is very animalistic.”

• Our inability to communicate was saving the planet, but our abilities are now destroying it, says the spiritual guru

• The nature of desire is driving towards a limitless expression. Our pursuit of ambition is like a monkey cutting the same branch that it is sitting, says Sadhguru

• Spiritual leader Sadhguru takes the stage. “Ambition is largely about expanding what we already have. Vision is about seeing the reality we already have,” he said at the start of the session ‘Leadership: From ambition to vision’

The inaugural session with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has ended. Stay tuned for our next session with Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation

Finance minister Arun Jaitley

• With every passing day, remonetisation process will go on: Jaitley

• India always honestly tried to improve relations with Pakistan, current PM took a lot of initiatives: Jaitley

• I think our way of conducting economy was primarily responsible: Jaitley

• Finance minister says the way things are changing, we can’t defy technology and decision of demonetisation has only accelerated this

• If you look at the temperament of this country there is always a section which is reluctant to change: Jaitley

• Demonetisation will make political funding more transparent: Arun Jaitley

• Once remonetisation process is completed and GST is implemented, it will have a huge impact on India’s businesses: Jaitley

• 300,000 people are picked up for tax return scrutiny every year: Jaitley

• We are still at the cusp of change and therefore many people in India are trying to beat the system. The battle between them and taxman will continue: Jaitley

• World’s largest democracy is very hush-hush when it comes to political funding, says Jaitley

• Long term effects of demonetisation are going to be huge: Jaitley

• India is at a stage that we’ve been the fastest growing economy in the world, says Finance Minister

• From a developing economy to a developed one, we have come a long way in 70 years: Jaitley

• We have 23 cr e-wallets in circulation, and it started only one-and-a-half years back: Jaitley

• 80 crore debit and credit cards in circulation out of which 45 crore are in circulation. Almost 20 crore-wallets: Jaitley

• The volume of formal trade, volume of business will grow in size: Jaitley

• One of the advantages of this exercise is that you will reduce the quantum of paper currency: Jaitley

• The country at large has welcomed the demonetisation decision, says Finance Minister Jaitley

• Demonetisation had to be a closely guarded secret, says Arun Jaitley

• If you need to replace 86% of a country’s cash currency, you have to have a substantial part ready: Arun Jaitley

• Finance minister Arun Jaitley and NDTV Consulting Editor Vikramchandra have taken the stage for the first HTLS session.

Liza Donnelly, staff cartoonist with the New Yorker, is live-cartooning the sessions during the summit.

In pics | Live sketches by New Yorker’s Liza Donnelly from HTLS 2016