Edits In Short: December 10
The Hindu, December 10, 2012
Lose-lose deal – Editorial
The edit lauds India’s “prudent approach” to the Maldivian decision to rescind GMR’s contract for Male airport. It’s pleased that New Delhi didn’t get whipped up by nationalist sentiments and recognised Maldives’ right to their decision.
However, it does state that the matter could’ve been handled better by the Maldives, and that the contract could have been renegotiated instead of being scrapped outright. Now Maldives has to pay compensation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to GMR, not to mention finding another promoter to develop the airport. They lose, GMR loses, India loses.
Rewriting the Morsy Code – Editorial
The edit comments on Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy’s [sic] rescinding of the decree he issued on November 22, 2012 which gave him sweeping powers. Attributing the decision to widespread protests against the decree, it says, “The President has convinced none of his opponents that the powers in question were needed for an orderly transition to representative democracy, and the strength of public feeling was probably a shock to him.”
Morsi has however decided not to cancel the December 15, 2012 referendum on the draft constitution. Though the document’s Islamism and weak protection of rights are an issue, the rejection of it could see Egypt’s former ruling body maintaining its power base. The edit ends by warning that public protests are the only thing keeping Egypt from returning to the bad old days.
For a moratorium on death sentence – Main Article
V Venkatesan writes an interesting piece on the Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitution Bench judgment in Bachan Singh (1980), which is the source of contemporary death penalty jurisprudence in India. The major contribution of this judgment was to limit the imposition of death penalty to the rarest of the rare crimes, and laying down the principle that the courts must import death sentence on a convict only if the alternative sentence of life imprisonment is unquestionably foreclosed. He writes that,
“…the application of its principles by the courts to various cases before them has been very uneven, and inconsistent. This has often led to the criticism that “the jurisprudence suffers from a judge-centric approach, rather than a principles-centric approach.”
The article gives several examples in which death sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment. It argues that there should be a moratorium on the death penalty and that a commission is needed to identify cases that may have “erred in correctly applying the Bachan Singh principles.”
The Hindustan Times, December 10, 2012
The slog overs have begun – Editorial
Happy that FDI in retail is through, the HT edit now wants the UPA to push ahead with other critical reforms. It says that hiking the FDI ceiling to 49% in India’s private insurance sector and allowing FDI in the pension sector are more about reversing the slowdown in India’s economy and less about allowing foreign investors access to household savings.
“India is in dire need of resources to fund its infrastructure requirements to build highways, ports, airports and railways.”
And with India’s savings rate likely to reach 40% of GDP in the next few years, frugal households could be the primary financiers of these projects. Comparing economic reforms and policy-making to cricket, it says, “quick decision-making and speedier implementation are vital to turn around the Indian economy.”
In sickness and death – Editorial
In a damning review of our state-run healthcare facilities, the edit gives shocking examples of how deplorably they are run. Patients dying due to failure of oxygen supply, routine infant deaths, and stray dogs wandering around in a maternity ward are a few. Not to mention pathetic hygiene standards and overcrowded hospitals.
In one of the Capital’s premier hospitals (it doesn’t say which), “the doctor patient ratio is skewed with one doctor for every 1700 patients. The ideal should be one to 500.”
It’s time it says, that the State wakes up and takes public health seriously before the entire system becomes terminal.
Not making the cut – Main Article
A depressing look into the future of the planet by Darryl D’Monte, Chairperson, Forum of Environmental Journalists of India, with developed countries backing out of their commitments on funding, transfer of technologies, intellectual property rights and equity among nations. A series of climate meets over the past four years have yielded nothing, and developed countries have now backtracked on cutting emissions.
World Bank figures say the world is likely to face an average increase of 4 degrees celsius by the end of this century, and global carbon dioxide emissions have risen by 2.6% from 1990. (And yes, that’s very bad.)
India is no better with emissions rising by 7.5% last year. “Why India is the third largest polluter even though it has over six decades permitted 600 million people to exist without buying any form of energy, and 450 million of them without electricity, but is now firing over their shoulders, is a question only its elite can answer.”
The Times of India, December 10, 2012
Stem the rot – Editorial
The edit comments that the suspension of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) by the International Boxing Association for irregularities in its recent elections “exposes the rot within the sports administration in the Country”. The derecognition of the Indian Archery Association of India by the sports ministry for violating the sports code is another example of the rot.
It states that elections for sports bodies have become mere political contests and “Noxious politicians is the primary reason why a country of 1.2 billion people produces so few champions”.
And roots for a new system which will give way to sportspersons instead of politicians and encourages adopting a sports code in the constitution of sports federations.
A UPA 2.2 – Editorial
Another comment on the FDI retail victory with a call for the UPA to press ahead with reforms. With Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati deciding that her support for FDI would not cost her much electorally, and the BJP facing ignominy in both houses of parliament, “The window of opportunity is narrow but what’s visible through it is an expansive horizon”.
The edit calls for important bills that allow FDI in our pension, insurance and banking sectors to be pushed through.
Don’t be on the back foot- Main Article
Sushil Kumar, former chief of the Indian Navy, in a must-read article defends Navy Chief D K Joshi’s message on the Indian navy’s 400th anniversary. That Joshi’s message, meant to convey the power of Indian navy, was “misconstrued as a diplomatic faux-pas, shows our scant understanding of the navy”.
He goes on to say that vis-à-vis China, India’s geographical location in the Indian Ocean gives it strategic leverage “with the Indian subcontinent positioned dominantly astride the vital sea lane of communication (SLOC) – which include China’s new silk route through the Indian Ocean.”
Kumar urges the political leaders to take advantage of this as the situation at sea is entirely in our favour. We need to “seriously introspect on India’s timidity. Why do we always remain on the back foot when dealing with China?”
Is anyone in the government listening?
Full Article: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Dont-be-on-the-back-foot-Those-who-seek-to-dilute-Navy-chief-Joshis-message-dont-really-understand-sea-power/articleshow/17548668.cms
Indian Express, December 10, 2012
Still stalling – Editorial
The edit comments on the Doha climate talks and how it has failed to do much beyond the “last-minute commitment to extend the increasingly inefficient Kyoto protocol beyond its December 2012 deadline”. It adds that policy-makers are still in denial of how serious and imminent the problem of increasing global temperatures is and are still haggling over how much responsibility rich countries should take and what role India and China should play in their status as developing countries.
Full article – http://www.indianexpress.com/news/still-stalling/1042724/
The insurgents – Editorial
BS Yeddyurappa formed his own party recently after breaking away from the BJP and his rally saw several BJP MLAs and seven ministers in attendance. The edit comments on how he has put the ball in BJP’s court on whether to expel these ministers or not. And about this being an instance of a larger pattern where national parties trying to gain a stronghold at the regional level have to depend on individual leaders.
“…The Congress does not even acknowledge this issue, but the more alert BJP will have to proceed carefully as it marks its distance from Yeddyurappa.”
Full article – http://www.indianexpress.com/news/the-insurgents/1042723/
Courting trouble – Editorial
The edit says that Egyptian President Morsi’s rescinding of his controversial November 22, 2012 decree which gave him unchallengeable powers, could mean one of two things. Either he felt cornered, or the decree brought him enough time to allow the constituent assembly to form the controversial draft constitution. It adds that while his curbing of the military in August was a good step, he overreached by taking on the judiciary. The edit ends on the positive note that Egypt being a “nascent democracy can mature only through missteps, institutional confrontations and unfulfilled aspirations.”
Full article – http://www.indianexpress.com/news/courting-trouble/1042722/