Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 14 July, 2020

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

The masked one

“America’s scoffer-in-chief has appeared in a mask for the first time. This deep into the pandemic, it’s just a black joke,” read the article of The Indian Express. It further reads,”The epithet of “masked man” usually signals that the Phantom, Batman or Zorro is present and will start pounding the ungodly immediately. But Donald Trump, admiring himself in a mask, has invoked the West and discovered a striking resemblance with the vintage Lone Ranger. Trump did his self-admiration in the strictest privacy, being a resolute foe of masks. He had said that he did not see himself greeting “presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens” in a mask. He seems to be ignorant of the moral code of the Lone Ranger, which includes the directive: “That a man should make the most/of what equipment he has,” read the full editorial here.

Sachin Autopilot

“If Ashok Gehlot and his deputy are to blame for the current mess, Sonia and Rahul are the co-accused — all four need to reset,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads,”In 2018, after the Congress won underwhelmingly in Rajasthan, scraping past the halfway mark in a state where anti-incumbency sentiment was strong against the BJP’s Vasundhara Raje government, Ashok Gehlot was made chief minister and Sachin Pilot his deputy. That was clearly not the end of the leadership tussle in the Congress. It was, in fact, only the beginning of a new phase of the attrition within. For that persistent unease in one of the few states where the Congress still has a government, both Gehlot and Pilot are to blame — Gehlot more, given that as the head of government, the buck stops with him. But Pilot isn’t the innocent victim done in by a wily superior. If the No. 2 job, as it was defined, was too small for him, he should not have taken it. Sulking about the CM when you are his deputy in the government is neither good politics nor smart governance. But this time, Gehlot must take responsibility for the extraordinary sequence of events — a bizarre notice issued to Pilot, among others, by the Rajasthan Police’s Special Operation Group, to record their statements in connection with the arrest of two BJP leaders allegedly conspiring to topple the Congress government. After that, an all-too-familiar political brinkmanship has played out in a Congress government still to turn two years old — MLAs openly divided into camps, being ferried in buses with tinted windows into fortress-like resorts. All this, even as the other staple of an Opposition government in crisis in recent times — income tax raids — takes place, apparently coincidentally,” read the full editorial here.

A case for bail

“First, Varavara Rao must get the urgent medical care he needs — that is his right, and the humane state response,” read the editorial of Indian Express. It further, ‘The government must urgently heed the plea of the family of jailed Telugu poet and civil rights activist, Varavara Rao, to shift him to a hospital in view of his medical condition amid the pandemic. Rao, 81, is currently in Taloja jail, Navi Mumbai, facing trial in the Elgar Parishad case with 10 others. Maharashtra minister Jitendra Awhad, on Sunday, confirmed the family’s worries about Rao’s deteriorating health and appealed to the Centre to “urgently shift him to a hospital” read the full editorial here.


Sachin Pilot’s gamble

“Ambition gets the better of Rajasthan Deputy CM,” read the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads, “THE great Indian misfortune is our political class. The raging pandemic or the neighbour’s incursion on the northern borders does not deter politicos from toppling the government even in a border state. The spectacle in Jaipur could not have been timed worse. For no reason, other than naked ambition, the Deputy Chief Minister and the Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee president, Sachin Pilot, made a political gamble on Sunday claiming the support of 30 MLAs and thereby insisting that his own government was in a minority. Both the claims were proved wrong on Monday by nearly 100 MLAs — the halfway mark in the House of 200 legislators — at the Legislature Party meeting held at Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s residence,” read the full editorial here.

Cricket out of quarantine

“Windies beat England in exciting Test,” read the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads, “CRICKET emerged from a 117-day quarantine in good health — West Indies achieved a very fine win in the first Test in Southampton on Sunday, chasing down in thrilling fashion the target of 200 England had set for them. This was the first international match since March 13, when Australia beat New Zealand in a one-day match played in the empty Sydney Cricket Ground. Then, as the world began to close down to prevent the spread of Covid-19, cricketers hurried home from across the world to beat the impending airline shutdown — the South Africans left India in a hurry, England quit a practice match midway in Sri Lanka and caught the flight home, the New Zealanders left the Australian shores. Cricket’s fields were deserted,” read the full editorial here.

A crisis in pause: on Rajasthan Congress rebellion

“Pilot overplayed his hand, but the Congress leadership should have stepped in early,” read the editorial of The Hindu. It further reads,”The brewing rebellion in the Rajasthan Congress lost its fizz midway but the rivalry between Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and his deputy Sachin Pilot will continue to haunt the party’s government in the State. Mr. Pilot appears to have overplayed his hand, in the process exposing himself to potential retribution by the veteran who is known to be as ruthless to adversaries as he is loyal to followers. The Deputy Chief Minister had claimed the support of 30 of the 107 Congress MLAs in the State, but the show of strength on Monday turned in a different picture. More than 100 MLAs appear to have attended a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party, which is above the halfway mark in the 200-strong Assembly. As the head of the Congress State unit, Mr. Pilot played a crucial role in the victory of the party in 2018 and his disappointment at losing the top post to Mr. Gehlot soon became a festering wound into which the latter only rubbed salt. The Gehlot camp has accused Mr. Pilot of hobnobbing with the BJP to topple the government. By going public with his resentment and marshalling legislators in his camp to BJP-ruled Haryana, Mr. Pilot gave a fillip to speculation that the BJP was involved as it was in toppling the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh in March. Any such move would have been a dishonouring of the mandate that Mr. Pilot himself laboured for in Rajasthan in 2018,” read the full editorial here.



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