Edits In Short: January 25

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 25, 2013


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Right the Wrong – Editorial

Aaron Swartz’s death, the edit comments, has spurred the scientific community to take a stance in favour of free access to information. Opposing the “privatisation of knowledge”, many scholars have started posting their copyright-protected work on twitter as a tribute to Swartz. Nice gesture, but the edit feels that it may not be legally plausible to do this for long, especially if the copyrights don’t rest with the authors. 60,000 petitions have been filed with the U.S. administration to pressurise it to consider open access to all papers arising from taxpayer-funded research, and not allowing public-funded research to hide behind paywalls.

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Responsibility to Protect – Editorial

The edit comments on the Tamil Nadu government’s two-week ban on Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam, and says that it demonstrates its unwillingness to back unpopular forms of speech. The government’s defense was that the film offended certain sections of the Muslim population and a threat of violence was anticipated. Instead of providing the necessary security arrangements in the State, it merely passed the buck on films’ screening to the judiciary.

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The Hindustan Times, January 25, 2013

The Framework is in place now – Editorial

The Justice Verma Committee report seems to be garnering nothing but praises. This edit is no exception. The 631 page report was completed within a record timeframe of 30 days. It sifted through 80,000 proposals from legal fraternity and civil society across the country and brought out competent ways of tackling the problem of rising violence against women. The report, the edit comments, minces no words to state that there exist enough laws to tackle the crisis, but we lack a good governance that ensures the implementation of these laws. The suggestions made by the committee need to be taken forward by the political class of the country in order to ensure safety for its women.

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The game’s wide open – Main Article

Rajdeep Sardesai, editor-in-chief, IBN 18 network comments on the supposed Rahul vs Modi showdown that is going to happen in 2014. According to him, all the contest-loving people who are pitching the upcoming elections as a contest between the two have got their maths & chemistry wrong! This is the age of coalition politics he writes. And the deciders in the next election will not be which one of the two is more popular, but which one of the two will have the maximum number of kingmakers in their camp – Mayawati, Mulayam, mamata, Jayalalitha, Pawar, Naveen Patnaik, Nitish. You get the picture.

“Rahul versus Modi will, therefore, be a sell-out battle for the Congress and the BJP loyalists. For the rest of India, be prepared for a surprise political grand slam contender.

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The Indian Express, January 25, 2013

Pricing it right – Editorial

The Express edit talks about the rise in prices in the telecom sector where “companies have bled profusely in a price war”. It says that while it’s rare that rise in price of a product in the service sector sees stocks shoot up, it has happened in this case. It also makes it a point to put in a not-so-good word for the auction of the 3G spectrum, saying that the high price demanded there has led to the rise in cost.

The costly spectrum won by them (telecom companies) is lying unused. So, government policies, aided by a misdirected auditor report, have led to a hoarding of spectrum, making it difficult for new entrants to provide competition in value-added services, and have offered no incentive to maximise the use of spectrum.

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Sixty-Sixty – Editorial

The edit seems relieved that the recent Israeli elections didn’t result in a widely predicted clean-sweep for the right. Although Netanyahu may still become PM, Israelis have “hauled their country back to the centre”. Israel’s election results are important because not only has its neighbourhood – Egypt, Syria, Palestine etc – “changed beyond recognition”, but also because it is the only genuine democracy in the Middle East.

Netanyahu’s return as PM is not the news. It’s Israel’s refusal to fulfil the prophecy of commentators and pollsters that the country would make an irreversible rightward lurch with this election, throwing to the winds all progress made with the Palestinians.

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Out of work – Editorial

The Global Employment Trends 2013 report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has shown that slow-down in Indian economic growth led to sluggish job growth. The edit says that the report’s reasons for this are “young people’s and women’s receding from the labour force’’. It adds that this does not bode well for a developing economy. The fact that young people haven’t been able to get good employment, shows that India is doing a bad job of utilising its demographic dividend (the youth) as most of those graduating don’t seem to have the skills that employers are looking for.

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The Verma Manifesto – Main Article

Pratiksha Baxi, assistant professor, Centre for the Study of Law and Governance, JNU, comments on the recommendations in Justice Verma committee report on rape. She says that the report redefines rape and consent. It doesn’t make rape penis-centric and also addresses the impunity afforded to armed forces personnel who indulge in sexual violence against women. Furthermore the report also says that offence such as stripping, stalking and voyeurism be defined under Section 354 of the IPC and taken out of the “outraging the modesty of women” terminology. However, the author, while outlining the various aspects of the report, fails to simplify it to an extent understood by the lay reader.

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The Times Of India, January 25, 2013

Adopt Zero Tolerance – Editorial

The edit lauds the Justice JS Verma panel’s report and writes that it provides a valuable blueprint on ensuring women’s safety. The committee came out with its report in the record time of 29 days, proposing ways to harden laws and administrative functioning to curb sexual violence against women. But the real question now the edit says, is if the politicians will show a similar urgency in taking up these recommendations. Especially “the calls for barring from electoral activity candidates accused of offences taken cognize of by a magistrate. Politicians should not only concur here but also deny tickets to those accused of serious crimes. It’ll signal that their stated zero tolerance towards gender violence begins at home”.

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Israel, Softening – Editorial

The recently concluded Israeli elections demonstrated that Benjamin Netanyahu failed at making Israeli nationalism the defining issue of Israeli polity. The star of the elections was journalist turned politician, Yair Lapid, whose party came second in the elections and focused primarily on domestic issues. The elections indicate that Israelis now want to focus on domestic issues of governance and employment rather than raising the heat on Palestine.

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Let’s Avoid Television Wars – Main Article

Arun Prakash, writer and former chief of the Indian Navy, comments on how the Indian establishment succumbed to jingoistic hysteria during the LoC crisis with Pakistan. If the crisis he writes had any lesson to convey, it was that “the road to perdition is lined with shrill, hysterical TV anchors, bloodthirsy politicians, and a seemingly somnolent national security establishment.”

He feels that the ceasefire violations should have been handled by the two armies and courts of inquiries and tried to affix responsibility. He also writes that that the Indian security establishment has been seriously remiss in not estblishing a system of regular contact between the two army chiefs. Also the government should set up a body in order for the military to communicate with the government effectively. And the government with the media. He ends by writing that “the media have assumed a vital role in not just keeping the public informed during a crisis situation, but also in conducting a national discourse and moulding public opinion.” The establishement needs to realise this and make right information available to the media at the right time.

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