Edits In Short: January 30
The Hindu, January 30, 2013
From footnote to F.I.R. – Editorial
The editorial is disgusted by those who’ve carried out the “thoughtless character assassination and harassment” of Ashis Nandy for his remarks at the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). It states that those calling for his arrest for maligning Dalits and Other Backward Classes, under the National Security Act no less, have failed to read his remarks in the context they were delivered in. Moreover, Nandy has issued a clarification and even apologised if he offended anyone.
Nevertheless, the edit says, the industry of outrage is flourishing, and there is lots of publicity and political capital to be acquired in claiming sentiments are hurt. In these times, dialogue, reasoned debate and an environment where competing views exist is an impossibility. Full Article: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/from-footnote-to-fir/article4357996.ece
Living together, separately – Main Article
Historian and author, Ramchandra Guha writes that despite the reservations that many have, carving out new states from existing ones is a good idea. He starts off by recapping the history of how Andhra Pradesh came into being, despite Jawaharlal Nehru’s fear that this would weaken the unity of India. Guha feels that 65 years have passed since Independence and there is no longer any fear of disunity. There is a “robust argument” for dividing big states such as Andhra and Uttar Pradesh etc into smaller states without fearing a Balkanisation of the states.
“The real problems in India today have to do with the quality of governance. Smaller states may be one way to address this problem.”
Hindustan Times, January 30, 2013
At best, two cheers – Editorial
The HT edit says that we must not be too quick to celebrate the signing of the extradition treaty and visa agreement with Bangladesh. Though useful, they are not victories but partial failures since much more could have been achieved. What prevented agreements between Dhaka and Delhi from reaching their full potential can be attributed to Mamata Banerjee’s frequent obstinacy and the BJP’s skepticism. Recently, the Sheikh Hasina government has made zealous efforts to resolve conflicts between the two nations, especially addressing India’s security concerns, but has seen no cooperation from our leaders. Banerjee’s non-acceptance of the Teesta agreement and the BJP’s reluctance to consider a land border agreement are some of the tantrums thrown by the nation’s finest. The edit suggests that the Centre try to get regional parties on board to necessitate ideal relations with Dhaka.
Still a long way to go – Editorial
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s an interest rate cut! RBI director Governor D Subbarao has finally declared the conditions right for easy money. Along with lowering the rate of borrowing from the Central Bank, banks can keep a quarter point less in cash reserves which will add Rs 18,000 crore to the lendable kitty in the banking system. But all is still not well, states the edit. Though the Central Bank feels that inflation has been beaten for the near future, interest rate cuts will be bound by the growth-inflation dynamic and the government’s management of fiscal and trade deficits. If the government wants cause for celebration, it needs to step up its game.
The Indian Express, January 30, 2013
Healing cut – Editorial
Commenting on the RBI’s small cut in policy interest rates, this edit feels that the Central Bank will now keep an eye on government spending. It warns that in coming times “the government should be mindful that if it raises spending in view of the 2014 election, the RBI would not cut rates any more”. It fears that increased spending by the government would affect the spending of the middle class and the investment decisions of businesses. It ends with its usual stricture of urging the government to continue with economic reforms like freeing up diesel prices.
Full Article: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/healing-cut/1066413/
Need for speed – Editorial
The edit discourages readers from demanding “extraordinary circumstances” for trying the juvenile accused in the Delhi rape case. It says that the law is not made for exceptional circumstances and lays out general principles to be followed. It also has a word of caution against fast track courts, saying that we should not make a “fetish out of speed or number of verdicts”.
It also disagrees with one of the recommendations of the Justice Verma committee, and states that MPs and MLAs need not step down if accused of charges of serious crimes. Even public representatives are innocent until proven guilty.
Writing on water – Main Article
Ramaswamy R Iyer, former secretary of water resources, GoI, and chairman of the sub-group on drafting a national water framework law set up by the Planning Commission, insists that we must see the National Water Policy 2012 (NWP) as a work in progress. The policy has its strong points but is still weak on recognising the right to basic water as a fundamental right, and has no clarity on whether water is state or private property or an economic good.
He ends by writing that “the entire structure of the NWP does not seem to be held together by an overarching or governing set of principles. Clearly, the revision of the national water policy is far from complete. One’s earnest request to the ministry of water resources and to the NWRC is to treat NWP 2012 as a penultimate draft to be worked on further.”
The Times of India, January 30, 2013
Fresh Boost – Editorial
The edit comments on India and Bangladesh entering into an extradition treaty and a liberalised visa agreement in Dhaka. The extradition treaty will enable deportation of wanted criminals hiding in each other’s country while the liberalised visa regime will improve people-to-people contact along with facilitating trade. The edit feels that the two nations must capitalise on this treaty and visa pact, and the Indian government should “push through the Teesta accord and ratify the enclaves swap”. This will drive Dhaka to meet New Delhi’s demands.
Need To Clean Up – Editorial
Unlike the Indian Express, the TOI edit agrees with the suggestion made by the Justice Verma Committee for the disqualification of MPs and MLAs against whom the court has framed charges. According to the Association of Democratic Reforms, six MLAs and two MPs have been charged with rape, and 36 MLAs with crimes against women. In the last five years, political parties have fielded 27 candidates in state elections who have rape charges against them. The edit, like the Justice Verma committee, supports the need for electoral reforms, where the proposed solution is to set up fast track courts to try MPs and MLAs charged with crimes against women.
Misrule In The Valley – Main Article
It turns out that Omar Abdullah is more concerned about how his performance as Chief Minister is judged in New Delhi than by his own people! In this piece, Sameer Arshad, chief copy editor at TOI, states that Abdullah has “ill-served” his people. The residents of large parts of Jammu and Kashmir went without power for days while the mercury was still below the freezing point. Two infants died in north Kashmir as their incubator failed to work. Earlier, 500 babies had died at Srinagar’s only paediatric hospital from the lack of both proper sanitation and trained staff. The city also suffers from a shortage of LPG gas despite the state’s potential for hydropower generation.
The CM had pledged to address these issues along with problems of unemployment, corruption, embezzlement and security – and has failed.