Edits In Short
The Hindustan Times, December 7, 2012
Not playing by the rules at all – Editorial
This HT edit fears the suspension of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) hasn’t taught the IOA any lesson. It analyses the reasons for the suspension and says that, “This international shame could have been avoided if the government – without whose funding these federations cannot function – had acted.”
But since sports bosses in India are politically connected or are politicians, the future looks grim unless more professional sportspersons take over the reins of sports bodies. Could this suspension be the catalyst to clean the system?
One can always hope.
No country for women – Editorial
“India ranks with Afghanistan, Congo and Somalia as one of the most dangerous places for women.”
The murder of a police officer by an Akali Dal leader in Amritsar, after he protested against the harassment of his daughter, prompts this edit to question India’s dismal record of crimes against women.
It’s time to stop living in denial and accept what survey after survey has been telling us – that women are in grave danger in India. For those proud of India’s developing nation status, the edit quotes The Guardian:
“Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labeled the worst place to be a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy?”
Start now, fix later – Lead article
Bangalore-based journalist, Samar Harlankar is sceptical when he points out the flaws in the government’s new cash transfer scheme, “Aapka paisa, aapke haath”. How, he asks, is the government going to know who’s poor, considering they don’t have enough time to find out before the scheme begins by January 1, 2013.
He writes that the real problem with the big slogan for the poor is that “The UPA does not know how many poor people there are in India… and does not intend to find an adequate answer”.
The C Rangarajan report to review how poverty will be measured won’t be completed till August 2013! Not to mention that the urban poor haven’t yet been clearly identified.
He sums it up by saying, “Millions of poor will be left out because they are not registered as such, many who benefit will not be poor, and ‘your money’ to quote the slogan, could wind up in someone else’s hands”.
The Hindu, December 7, 2012
Who’s afraid of moral defeat? – Editorial
The edit on the Congress win in the Lok Sabha on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) comments on how the moral defeat (not getting the absolute majority of 272 in the house) won’t affect the Congress at all.
It says that for the Bahujan Samajwadi Party and Samajwadi Party, “the survival of PM Manmohan Singh is much more important than the debate over multinational giants, kirana stores and farmers”, and how the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “communally divisive agenda” is what drove parties such as the SP and the BSP into the arms of the Congress. Despite their opposition to FDI.
Reaches the conclusion that while BJP’s “wrongdoings” are still helping the Congress, the Congress’ present wrongdoings are not helping the BJP.
Paper glitters more – Editorial
All that glitters is definitely gold at the moment, according to this edit. The huge demand in 2011-12 for gold imports ($60 billion) versus $40 billion the year before is a result of people preferring to invest in gold rather than bank deposits and shares.
Problem? Yes. It’s leading to a burgeoning import bill and widening of the trade imbalance. Moderating gold imports is not an option and may even lead to hawala trading and other illicit channels.
The edit concludes by suggesting that “popularising ‘paper gold’” – financial savings instruments backed by gold – is the answer. Banks can buy and sell gold at market prices so customers can enjoy the benefits of gold investments without physically storing it.
For a country obsessed with gold, that could be a tall order.
Dealing with Pakistan’s brinkmanship – Lead article
In a very detailed article, more like a research paper, Shyam Saran, former Foreign Secretary and Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), and Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, writes on the shift in Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine. That is “…away from minimum deterrence to second strike capability and towards expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal to include both strategic and tactical weapons.”
He writes: “Islamabad’s expanding nuclear capability is no longer driven solely by its oft-cited fears of India but by the paranoia about US attacks on its strategic assets.”
Since Pakistan is no longer India’s “problem” alone, the US needs to convince Pakistan that nuclear war is a contradiction in terms and that Pakistan needs to abandon such reckless brinkmanship.
Remembering to forget – Op-Ed
Bal Thackeray may be gone, but he definitely hasn’t been forgotten. Meena Menon writes a scathing piece on the lack of justice for those killed or affected in the 1992-93 Mumbai riots. “While Mumbai mourns Bal Thackeray, there is a veil over the violence he was accused of perpetrating.”
She cites case after case where Muslims who were killed in the violence have not got justice. Out of 2,267 cases filed by riot victims, 1,371 were dropped. Of those, only 112 cases were reinvestigated. Compare that to Shiv Sena politicians getting off lightly for inciting violence, and the Tiger himself having several cases dropped against him.
The Indian Express, December 7, 2012
Banking blues – Editorial
The editorial says that 1/3rd of the loans from banks in India have gone to the power sector and iron & steel sector, and around half of them would have to be restructured. The banks are under-providing for their potential losses and hoping the economy will revive to help them. Since many of these banks are PSUs, they will have to fall back on the finance ministry to bail them out. But the banks do “need to cut their losses soon to retain credibility with investors”.
Full Article: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/banking-blues/1041458/
Cairo turmoil – Editorial
The edit comments on the renewed unrest in Egypt after President Morsi’s November 22, 2012 decree assumed sweeping powers, angering the judiciary. His decision to go ahead with the December15, 2012 referendum on the controversial draft constitution, angered the public at large. So far, five people have been killed and the scale of protests matches that of the anti-Mubarak protests.
The article says, “If Egypt is to evolve into a genuine democracy, it has to protect minority rights and offer credible guarantees against majoritarianism”. Egypt is important in the Arab world as it has been non-confrontational with the West and has also had a role in the Israel-Hamas ceasefire. It is in everyone’s interest that democracy there does not fail.
In his own sweet way – Editorial
The edit pays tribute to jazz musician Dave Brubeck who died on December 5, 2012 just a day short of his 92nd birthday. His album, Time Out, which released in 1959 remains the most-selling jazz album till date. The article discusses his influence on jazz music and bringing it back to the mainstream, regardless of what jazz purists, who may disparage him, have to say.
Brubeck played for soldiers during World War II and “even the Cold War seemed to thaw under his tunes.…When Brubeck visited the USSR in 1988, he was given a hero’s welcome”. Ends with calling his death the passing away of “one of the greats”.
Map of discontent – Editorial
Inder Malhotra, former Times Of India editor and Delhi-based commentator, talks about the dichotomy in the Indo-China relationship where India continues to try to build economic ties, but the border dispute still festers.
Giving a brief history of the border talks till now, he ends on an interesting note – stating that China doesn’t really want to resolve the issue as it gives the country a “useful lever to pressure India wherever needed”.
The Times Of India, December 7, 2012
Don’t hesitate to surf – Main Article
Milind Deora, Minister of State for Communications and IT, tries to convince the reader that the “government is committed to promoting internet access and protecting citizens’ rights”, and therefore the belief that the UPA is trying to curb the spread of the internet and social media and curtail freedom of speech is far from the truth. And the arrest of the two girls in Maharashtra was the fault of the police.
“The IT Act 2000 only provides a legislative framework for India’s cyber world. Leaving India’s internet lawless is neither prudent not in line with global practices.”
He adds the rejoinder that “…eventually we will have a perfect law. Until then don’t hesitate to surf.”
Read full article:
Murder most foul – Editorial
TOI’s take on the murder of a police officer by an Akali Dal leader – while trying to save his daughter from molesters – which took place near a police station and in full public view is a damning review of political influence and lawlessness in Punjab. “Did the assailant think he could get away with such a brazen act of murder by flaunting his political connection?”
Ends with a suggestion for the government to implement better law reforms, de-politicise the police and ensure proper work conditions for police personnel so that that such brutal incidents don’t become routine.
Turkey or Pakistan? – Editorial
The edit discusses the continuous turmoil in Egypt. At the center of the turmoil is the draft constitution to be put up for referendum by Morsi which is being criticised for its ineffectiveness in protecting women and religious minorities.
There is a perception that “Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood he belongs to are out to monopolise the executive, legislative, judicial and military powers…Morsi should reach out across the political spectrum and foster an environment of reconciliation and bipartisanship to draft Egypt’s new constitution”.
Failure to do so may lead to Egypt becoming another Pakistan instead of emulating Turkey and its secular model of governance.