Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 1 July, 2020

Every Monday to Saturday, The Dispatch brings to you a selection of Editorials from leading newspapers across the country.

Call of the arts

“Lockdown has robbed artists of their canvas and stage, those in margins in small towns and villages need support,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, “The artist community, too, has been hit by COVID-19, especially those in the margins in small towns and villages. The lockdown imposed by the government in late March has forced them to stay at home without any opportunity to earn. Since social distancing is central to the strategy to contain the pandemic, public performances and activities are unlikely to restart soon. This has left thousands of artists and artisans in limbo. Many of them, surviving precariously, could slip into poverty. They may even be forced to abandon art and craft and turn to unskilled work. In the absence of a social security net for artists and artisans, in many places, individuals have come together to crowd-source funds and provide aid to needy artists. This is, however, insufficient. There is a compelling need to look beyond individual initiatives and work out institutional mechanisms to address this crisis. The production of art needs to be seen in the framework of the cultural economy and artists must be recognised as producers/workers in that economy. Art production — from temple artists, traditional and folk performers to modern musicians and gallery-supported artists — is an essential part of human existence and necessary for a society that is happy and at ease,” read the full editorial here.

New red line

“India’s decision to ban Chinese apps sends a clear message on the road ahead. There is need to tread firmly and carefully,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, “On Monday, the government banned 59 mobile applications with Chinese links such as TikTok, UC Browser, Shareit, and Cam Scanner. The decision, which comes amid continuing tensions between India and China, after the killing of 20 Indian soldiers on the Line of Actual Control, is the first clear message from New Delhi that it will review the rules of engagement. This is an interim order and firms have been given 48 hours to respond to questions on their compliance with data security and privacy but this marks a decisive break from the past. It serves as a statement of intent while sending a clear signal to China that there will be costs for acts of aggression,” read the full editorial here.

Let ICMR decide

“Plasma therapy injects hope, but it is still in trial stage,” read the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads, “Even as plasma therapy, being currently experimented for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in various ICMR-approved hospitals in the country, is still in the trial stage, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seems to have jumped the gun. He has announced the setting up of a plasma bank to manage those infected with coronavirus. While the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is yet to give a final verdict on the safety and effectiveness of this line of cure, Kejriwal’s decision sends a contrary signal. In plasma therapy, the anti-bodies-filled plasma donated by a fully recovered Covid-19 patient is transfused into an infected person to enable him to develop anti-bodies and fight the virus. While the encouraging results of the convalescent plasma therapy so far have injected hope, it is not yet an established cure,” read the full editorial here.

App ban not enough

Citing concerns over national security and citizens’ privacy, India has banned 59 apps with a Chinese connection, including the current craze, TikTok. The ‘why now’ of this move, being tom-tommed as a virtual strike on the hostile neighbour, is explained by the recent violence and military buildup in Ladakh. New Delhi’s action — which has elicited a sharp reaction from Beijing — seems to be dictated largely by the prevailing anti-China sentiment in the country, even as TikTok and others have denied allegations of sharing data of Indian users with the Chinese government. The ban, however, is nothing more than a populist, cosmetic exercise that might hardly bruise China. Confronting the superpower in cyberspace is of little use unless it is complemented by large-scale efforts to ramp up manufacturing and bolster import substitution,” read the full editorial here.


Tall tale: Obfuscation of Chinese incursion

“The evidence of satellite images and comments from retired senior armed forces personnel flatly contradict the prime minister’s statement,” read the editorial of The telegraph. It further reads, “The present Indian government is one of a kind. Usually, no government would befuddle the people with contradictory messages when the borders of the country are being eyed by a neighbour. Yet the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government has been doing just that regarding the ‘stand-off’ with China at the line of actual control in Ladakh. Central to this programme was the prime minister’s statement on June 19 that no one had entered Indian territory and no Indian post was taken over. A prime minister is expected to base such a definite assurance on facts. But 20 Indian soldiers had died already during a clash with the Chinese at Galwan Valley on June 15. The prime minister’s office therefore hastened to ‘clarify’ that Narendra Modi referred to the situation in the valley after that date. The confusion so created suggests that either the people are being taken for fools or that the Indian government has something to cover up. In stark contrast to Mr Modi’s assurance, his own ministry of external affairs has repeatedly indicated that China has hindered India’s patrolling since early May, has been trying to breach other points of the LAC since mid-May and erect structures on the Indian side after June 6,” read the full editorial here.



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