Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 2 June 2020

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

Unlock with care

“As country exits lockdown, Centre and states must step up public communication, convey message of caution and safety,” reads the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, ” A new phase in the country’s tryst with the novel coronavirus is beginning. On May 30, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs issued “Unlock 1” guidelines, allowing a phased resumption of social and economic activities across the country. Though a calibrated relaxation of restrictions had begun in early May, the new guidelines are significant in that they speak a different language from the notifications issued by the MHA since the lockdown was announced on March 24 — the thrust is on “re-opening” now. Activities can resume in malls, hotels, restaurants, and places of worship in non-containment zones and “unfettered movement” of goods and persons within and between states has been allowed. Given the toll on people’s livelihoods, and the stress on the economy in general, easing the stringent lockdown had become necessary. At the same time, the coronavirus continues to rage in large parts of the country — there have been record spikes in the national caseload in the last three days. Therefore, in the coming weeks, as commuters get back on the roads, shopping centres reopen and people give in to the temptation of eating out, the Centre and the states need to keep talking to them about the pathogen that doesn’t have an antidote yet — they should not lose sight of the importance of conveying the message of caution and safety,” read the full editorial here.

Far out

“With a private launch vehicle taking astronauts to ISS, an era of partnerships in space may be beginning,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, ” lon Musk’s Crew Dragon craft has delivered Nasa astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS). Nine years after the Space Shuttle mission was decommissioned and American astronauts had to buy rides on Russian craft, the privately-owned SpaceX programme has ended Moscow’s monopoly on crew transport. Emboldened, President Donald Trump has pledged that US astronauts will return to the moon in 2024 to stay, and make a launch base for Mars. For good measure, the US would put the first woman on the moon, and the first astronauts on Mars,” read the full editorial here.


A split America

“The US remains the land of opportunities, but the American dream is dying for many,” reads the editorial of The Times of India. It further reads, “Two contrasting faces of America were visible over the past week. It witnessed the first commercial space launch of people into orbit as SpaceX, a private company, sent two astronauts to the International Space Station on its Dragon capsule. This highlights that the US retains primacy in technology and entrepreneurship; in fact, for most researchers and professionals in the technology sector, it’s still the destination of choice. Interestingly, the US-Soviet Cold War played a major role in the successful American Apollo missions to the moon; now, as technology competition between the US and China hots up, it could rekindle the space race,” read the full editorial here.

Nepal’s map move

“Delhi, Kathmandu should remove irritants,” reads the editorial of The Tribune. It further reads, “India and Nepal have had traditionally good relations, bound by cultural and linguistic commonalities. A landlocked country, Nepal has looked up to its neighbour to boost its economy, accessing its ports and highways for connectivity. Therefore, any development in India affects Nepal, like the long lockdown and closure of all means of transport. Politically, the restoration of multi-party democracy in Nepal has tended to impact relations with India because of the internal pulls and pressures. No wonder the move by PM KP Sharma Oli to table a Bill in Parliament to alter the country’s map, laying claim to the Lipulekh-Kalapani-Limpiyadhura region, is seen as political one-upmanship to ward off the Maoist Centre that has threatened to withdraw support if its demands are not met,” read the full editorial here.

Convene Parliament, now

“The national crisis calls for a national, democratic response,” reads the editorial of Hindustan Times. It further reads, “With the coronavirus pandemic spreading in India, the budget session of Parliament ended abruptly on March 23, 12 days ahead of the schedule. This was the right call at the time. Social distancing norms were not being enforced; there was speculation about the possible spread of the disease among Members of Parliament (MPs); and the nation soon went into a lockdown.But a lot has happened since then. India is facing the most serious public health, economic, and humanitarian challenge in its independent history. This has led to a range of both immediate and far-reaching decisions by the government. Migrant workers across the country are heading back home and are largely subject to what can only be termed as rather arbitrary orders of the central government. India is now opening up — but this is expected to increase the number of cases. Through this process, while the government has addressed regular press briefings, and the prime minister has spoken to the nation, there has been no institutional accountability. It is time to convene Parliament and perhaps even call a special session,” reads the full editorial here.



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