Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 17 June, 2020

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

The stands are empty

“Disappearance of the home advantage in competitive sport could change the game, for better and worse,” reads the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, “A wave of optimism sweeps England, as the Premier League is poised to start again, albeit without spectators screaming and clapping from the stands. Though players will take some time to get used to the bewildering silence, they will eventually adjust to it. More worryingly, the absence of the crowd could even out the home advantage, as it has seemed to do in the Bundesliga. In these “ghost games”, there has been a massive downswing in results for home sides in the league. Data produced by Gracenote shows that before the Bundesliga closed, home teams won 43 per cent of the 223 games played, with 35 per cent being away wins and 22 per cent draws. However, upon resumption in empty stadiums, wins for home teams have slumped to 21 per cent while away teams have won as many as half of their games. Likewise, home teams have scored fewer goals — 1.23 per match, down from 1.74 before the league’s suspension — in the silence of the stadium. What lifts the game, what makes players feel special, is the history etched into the walls, and the people that fill the stands,” read the full editorial here.


An inflection point

“LAC violence breaches understanding of Modi-Xi meetings. Delhi must proceed with calm resolve, keeping lines to Beijing open,” reads the Editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads,”The brutal killing of 20 Indian soldiers by the Chinese Army in the deadliest escalation of violence between India and China on the LAC in nearly four and half decades puts a heavy question mark on an already fraught process. It has the potential to vitiate and undermine the disengagement agreed upon only a few days ago between senior military officers on both sides and harden the standoff between the two countries. The provocation is grave — this is not the toll taken by an act of terror by a non-state actor, but a clash between two armies. Yet India must keep a clear and determined head. It needs to respond with calm deliberation and steely resolve. It must be fully prepared to escalate but it must not embark on such a course without a full assessment of what transpired on the ground, or without hearing out what the Chinese leadership has to say — and being mindful of what lies ahead.,” read the full editorial here


Crossing the $500-billion mark

“India’s foreign exchange reserves are reassuring. But vulnerabilities persist,” reads the editorial of Hindustan Times. “India’s foreign exchange reserves passed the half-trillion dollar mark this month, providing some silver lining to an otherwise overcast economic outlook. India has enough foreign exchange to cover a year’s worth of imports. The deterrent effect this has on speculators is one reason the rupee exchange rate has largely held steady during the lockdown. That the country suffered chronic balance of payments crises from Independence to the early 1990s is now a historical footnote to the latest generation of Indians, but the memory of past weakness remains strong in the government. The Reserve Bank of India was buying dollars when the pandemic began to shore up reserves, an act that now looks excessively cautious. The government should instead be asking how it can leverage its reserve cushion to fulfil the goal of making India a global hub for financial services,” read the full editorial here

Publish Real-time Data

“Late reporting of Covid death numbers undermines fight against the disease,” reads the editorial of Times of India. It further reads, “In a massive jump in Covid-19 deaths in the country, 2,003 fatalities were added to the toll on Tuesday. This means that India’s Covid death toll has risen by as much as 20% in a single day to 11,914. A large portion of this jump is attributed to Maharashtra and Delhi reporting previously unreported Covid deaths. In fact, as many as 1,328 Covid deaths had previously not been added to Maharashtra’s tally. Similarly, Delhi reported 344 back-dated Covid deaths following perusal of case summaries by the death audit committee. This is truly worrisome. Such lacunae in data collation and publishing can seriously jeopardise our efforts to fight the pandemic. Real-time data on Covid infections, deaths and recoveries are of paramount importance in determining policy and treatment approaches in an evolving situation,” read the full editorial here.



At public expense

“Daily oil price hike is fuelling negative sentiment,” reads the The editorial of The Tribune. It further reads, “Crude oil rates had hit rock bottom recently, yet petrol and diesel prices are at a 21-month high after being increased for the 10th consecutive day — a cumulative hike of Rs 5.47 and Rs 5.80, respectively. While infusion of liquidity to incentivise spending after the back-breaking lockdown months is the mantra being chanted by experts, subjecting the population to an oppressive additional burden instead confounds logic. Congress president Sonia Gandhi has called for a rollback, terming the Centre’s decision ‘wholly insensitive’, coming as it does during the coronavirus pandemic. That seems out of the question, much like any forthright answer on what has necessitated this continuous daily uptick,” reads the full editorial here.


Spiked: Is India losing to Covid-19?

“The amalgamation of science, modern healthcare and the humane spirit could be the antidote that can keep the country safe,” reads the editorial of The Telegraph. It further reads, “Is India floundering in its battle against the coronavirus? There are ominous signs that the script may have gone awry. India achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the fourth country in the world to be burdened with over three lakh cases of people infected by the virus. Such a worrying milestone has been achieved on account of numerous factors. The Supreme Court recently castigated several state governments, including Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, for the deplorable conditions of hospitals. Healthcare infrastructure elsewhere in India is unlikely to receive the highest court’s approval. There is now speculation that there may be a shortage of critical care facilities — ventilators, isolation beds, intensive care units — around the time the pandemic peaks in November. Meanwhile, there is rancour within the health fraternity. The health authorities have continued to deny community transmission in spite of the surge of new cases, prompting a group of doctors to accuse the Indian Council of Medical Research of concealing the extent of the spread of the infection. The virus has also laid bare other contagions. The government initially looked the other way as India’s migrants — left without jobs, money or food — undertook perilous journeys to reach home. Not everyone made it home. An entire minority community was vilified on account of the adventurism of a few members. Orthodox religious constituencies are either stubbornly refusing sensible advice or peddling dubious wisdom. The reservations expressed by some Muslim clerics against alcohol-based sanitizers and the All India Hindu Mahasabha’s claim of cow urine as a cure are cases in point. The economy, much like the virus, seems to be incurable. No amount of medication, including the patchwork relief package of Rs 20,00,000 crore, is working,” reads the full editorial here.






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