Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 2 July, 2020

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

Draw a line

“For now, action against match-fixing in sport is hobbled by lack of legal definition,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. “Ravinder Dandiwal has been accused of being the kingpin in a global tennis match-fixing and betting scam by the Victorian police in Australia. Dandiwal has dabbled in cricket in the past — he tried to run a T20 league in Mohali and is supposed to have been behind a league in Nepal — and has been labelled as a “person of interest” by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) of the Indian cricket board. Despite his tennis misadventures and his known past, that’s all that the non-enforcement agency can do. The law doesn’t allow it to even call him in for questioning. Since fixing isn’t deemed a legal offence, it can at the most try to stop him from entering cricket stadiums,” read the full editorial here.

Oli’s bluster

“Nepal PM seeks to blame New Delhi for his discomfiture in office, his rivals are right in calling him out,” read the editorial of Indian Express. It further read, “Nepal Prime Minister K P Oli’s remark that his political rivals are conspiring with India to remove him from office is ill-judged and misleading. In Kathmandu, senior leaders of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), including former prime ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalnath Khanal, and former deputy PM Bamdev Gautam, have demanded that Oli quit office over the remarks. Oli, who is also the CPN chief, appears isolated within the party, and may not find the going easy. His attempt to drag India into Nepal’s internal politics, rooted in power rivalries within the CPN, has been rightly criticised at home. Prachanda described Oli’s remarks as “neither politically correct, nor diplomatically appropriate”, and warned that the statement “may damage our relations with the neighbour” read the full editorial here.

The grain mountain

“Extension of PMGKAY is welcome amid continuing economic distress. But FCI’s problem of plenty remains,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, “Rice and wheat stocks in government granaries stood at 73.85 million tonnes (mt) as on April 1, 3.5 times the normative operational-cum-strategic reserve requirement for this date. Two months later, with the procurement of the new wheat crop, these inventories rose further to an all-time-high of over 97 mt. Against this background, and on top of the widespread distress unleashed by the COVID-19 induced lockdown, there is a strong moral as well as economic case for offloading the excess grain lying with the Food Corporation of India (FCI), by even giving it out free. That’s what is being done through the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY). Under the scheme, over 80 crore people were being provided 5 kg of free grain per month during April-June. It has now been extended for another five months till November. In all, it would amount to some 32 mt being given free of cost. Considering that this grain is going largely to poor or low-income households — and they are also the worst-affected by the current economic dislocations — the moral argument is self-evident,” read the full editorial here.

Free ration for poor

“Welcome move, but other social strata need support too,” read the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads,”The Centre’s well-timed decision to extend the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) till November-end is expected to enable about 60 per cent of the country’s population to keep getting free ration amid the prolonged Covid-19 crisis. The majority of the migrant workers are back in their home states, having travelled all the way on foot or by any available mode of transport — right from Shramik trains to cement mixer trucks. With the virus spreading rapidly during the unlocking phase, many of them are reluctant to return to the states where they used to work. Looking for jobs at their native places, they need food security to survive this difficult period. Effective implementation of the PMGKAY can ensure that even the poorest of the poor don’t sleep on an empty stomach,” read the full editorial here.

 

Abnormally aggressive

“Covid response needs to address mental health,” read the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads, “The ghastly video of violence unleashed by an Andhra Pradesh Government employee on a differently abled woman colleague, purportedly for asking him to don a mask in the office, has gone viral on social media, triggering outrage against the torture that the woman has been subjected to. The authorities have suspended the man and he is being tried for misdemeanour. Terrible as the brutal action is, the incident, in these coronavirus times, underscores the toll that a pandemic along with the quarantine and lockdown set off by it can take on vulnerable people,” read the full editorial here.

Recognise the importance of forests

“India is underestimating its role in mitigating the climate crisis,” read the editorial of the Hindustan Times. It further reads, “A recent report in this newspaper, based on an analysis by Vijay Ramesh, a doctoral student at Columbia University, shows that forest land nearly equal to the size of Nagaland has been approved for diversion between 2014 and 2020 or is pending approval for infrastructure and developmental projects. Based on government data, the study found out that the proportion of forest areas cleared since 2014 is over 68% of what was cleared between 1975 and 2014; before 2014, most of the forest diversion was related to encroachments and mining while between 2014 and 2020, it has been mainly mining-led. While there is little doubt that India needs natural resources for industrial growth and to pull people out of poverty, the State must also consider the ecosystem services that these forests provide to the country, and evaluate whether such large-scale diversion will be beneficial in the long-run. This lack of appreciation of the unseen benefits of forests is also the reason why biodiversity-rich areas have been opened for mining, along with a strong push to rework the environment impact assessment rules,” read the full editorial here.

A reset in Kashmir policy

“With the external front fragile, get the internal house in order,” read the full editorial here. It further reads, “Earlier this week, the hardline Kashmiri secessionist leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, quit the All Party Hurriyat Conference, the umbrella formation of separatist organisations in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). His resignation is being widely seen as a function of both his old age (he is 91) and internal factional differences — he also attacked the Hurriyat leaders based on the other side of the border in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Many in New Delhi have viewed it as a setback for separatist politics in the Valley. It is true that Mr Geelani has been a staunch pro-Pakistan and Islamist figure; he has justified the violence and terror that has been wreaked on Kashmir for decades; and if he is forced to retreat from the political sphere — for whatever reason — this is good news,” read the full editorial here.

Sign of red: Women as property

“India’s is a particularly misogynistic society. Beliefs that perpetuate gender inequality and violence against women are not just ingrained in but encouraged by society,” read th editorial of The Telegraph. It further reads, A marriage may break down for a million reasons. The Gauhati High Court granted divorce to a man and woman with a history of disagreements, although a family court had earlier dismissed the husband’s complaints of his wife’s cruelty. The high court set aside the family court’s decision and took into account the woman’s refusal to display the traditional signs of a Hindu wife — vermilion and bangles of conch shell and coral — in order to establish that she did not consider herself married. To force a man to live with a woman who, by rejecting the symbols of marriage, makes clear that she is unwilling to continue her conjugal life with the appellant was reportedly seen as harassment. The court in its wisdom reached a just conclusion. But the woman’s emphasis on ‘proofs’ of the married state — by rejecting which she felt she was breaking the marriage bond — has drawn attention to beliefs that are now considered oppressive and unfair to women as well as humiliating to them by marking out their dependent status,” read the full editorial here.

 

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