Edits In Short: January 18

Didn’t get time to read the edit pages in today’s papers? Don’t worry. We’ve read them for you!

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The Hindu, January 18, 2013

Salvaging the dream – Editorial

The edit says that it took the US aviation regulator’s grounding of all Boeing 787 Dreamliners for India to react to safety issues about the aircraft, and ground Air India’s six 787s. Japan had already grounded its 50 Dreamliners. The problems relate to the aircraft’s use of lithium-ion batteries, fuel and oil leaks, engine trouble, electronics, cracks in the cabin windscreens and a crack on a wing.

Fuel leaks and rechargeable lithium batteries are the main safety concerns. Lithium batteries are power-and fuel-savers but the liquid inside them in flammable. Boeing has 800 orders pending for these planes and early buyers can buy them at as much as half the $206 million price tag. Not anymore. Safety is now priority.

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The politics of a messiah – Editorial

The edit comments on Tahir-Ul Qadri, one of the prime orchestrators of the recent “soft-coup” in Pakistan, and says that the “soft coup” wasn’t successful because for once Pakistan opposition parties were unified against joining hands with him. Qadri’s calls for a caretaker government to be set up through consultations with the Army and the judiciary, and for elections to be put off until such time as laws were reformed for ushering in a non-corrupt government have been thwarted for now.

“It showed that Pakistan’s politicians have come a long way since the 1990’s, when they were only too eager to fall in line with anti-democratic plots.”

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Making a mockery of domestic gas pricing – Main Article

The Hindu’s main article is on the pricing of natural gas (LPG uses this too) and the Rangarajan committee that is determining this for the government. Surya P Sethi, a former student of Professor Rangarajan salutes his brilliance but criticises his report in setting the terms for gas pricing for the government. He writes that this is not Dr Rangarajan’s area of expertise or of anyone on the Rangarajan Committee. The report he says is incomplete and flawed. Conclusions are arrived at without any logical reasons of how they were arrived at. He suggests the KG basin (scam) gas deal is even more crooked than the CAG report suggests.

For the laymen who might not get the very technical nature of the edit, he writes, “In laymen terms the suggested formula establishes the fair price of carrots based on some imputed prices of bananas, apples and oranges.”

Also that “Recommending a Mickey Mouse formulation as a substitute to improving such governance and regulatory capacity/capability is, however, clearly undesirable.”

Will you understand how gas is priced after reading this? If you really concentrate, you might. Not a casual opinion piece.

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The Hindustan Times, January 18, 2013

Kicked out of the Ring – Editorial

The edit laments that the triumphs our boxers have achieved have been negated. They are now banned all thanks to the disorder in Indian sports federations. The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation, which was suspended last year by the International Amateur Boxing Federation for possible manipulations in elections still hasn’t cleaned up its act. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has also suspended the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for violating its charter, and till date no effort has been made by the IOA to have a re-election and make things right.

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In Private Republics – Main Article

Journalist Samar Halarnkar states that India’s middle class are an “emotional people” and react to atrocities reported in the news from the “comfort of the mob”. He comments on the lack of organised and sustained affirmative action, and states that the mob moves precariously from one issue to anotherisolated from the concerns of the vast majority of Indian society.

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The Indian Express, January 18, 2013

Now follow through – Editorial

The government is allowing oil companies to decide the price of diesel and raise the price in small amounts from time to time. But what is a “small amount”, asks the edit? It also asks if the government will stop budgetary support for oil companies once they have the freedom to change their own prices. Such factors are the reasons few chairmen would like to make pricing decisions. It ends on the note that people are not as averse to paying market price as was expected, and the administration can afford to finance the under-recovery of kerosene and cooking gas for some more time – only if “it can wipe out the mammoth diesel subsidy soon.”

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Handle with care – Editorial

The edit notes with some satisfaction that crimes against women in any form are now being taken more seriously. This includes crimes like stalking and street sexual harassment (known popularly as “eve-teasing”). However, it cautions that we should not lose our sense of proportion and justice while dealing with these crimes. For instance, making crimes like stalking and street sexual harassment non-bailable would make magistrates think twice before taking action, and the culprits could still walk away. It also adds that “Fast-track courts for sexual violence must guard against playing to the gallery… The focus should be on justice, not speed.

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Going to Mali – Editorial

The edit explains that as French interests in “Francophone Africa” were at stake, French President Francois Hollande felt the need to intervene in Mali where Islamists have been steadily taking over. However, it adds that it is not clear whether the intervention will succeed. Past experiences have shown that the political capital gained by such interventions evaporates swiftly and US’ experience has shown that they risk “military mission creep and stalemate”. It ends with the warning that “the backlash might be worse than the problem.”

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The Times Of India, January 18, 2013

Pakistan’s Spring? – Editorial

The edit states that the arrest of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Pervez Ashraf for alleged graft, and the mobilisation of crowds by Tahir-ul Qadri in support of the dissolution of the government, reflects a turning point in Pakistan’s polity.

If the current civilian government were to complete its tenure, it would be an important step in cementing democratic authority in Pakistan.

The edit recommends that the various stakeholders of power fighting in the Pakistani society be allowed to run their course. There is a significant constituency in Pakistan that envisions friendly relations with India and that New Delhi’s aim should be to nurture this constituency.

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Roaring to Go? – Editorial

According to World Bank chief economist, Kaushik Basu, India can soon snap at China’s heels in terms of growth. While China’s growth rate is estimated to touch 7.9% by 2015, India isn’t very far behind with its estimated growth rate of 7%.  What is then essential for India is fiscal rectitude, reduction in subsidies, welfare policies, political consensus and big-ticket reforms.

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For a Post-Colonial Congress – Op-Ed

Minhaz Merchant, author and chairperson of a media group, feels that the political crisis in Jharkhand presents new possibilities and the Congress’ three-day brainstorming session, “Chintan Shivir”, could not have been better timed.  At the Chintan Shivir, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi confronts three major problems: choice of UPA’s prime ministerial candidate in 2014; rebuilding the party organisation in the states from the grassroots; and public perception.

It is important, he writes, for Sonia Gandhi to not follow her mother-in-law’s autocratic policies and instead follow the excellent examples of governance Nehru set – despite his arguable errors in judgment.

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