Edit & Opinion

In India’s Opinion | The Dispatch on 24 June, 2020

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

A different frame

“Joel Schumacher was a film director who played by his own rules, loved to mix it up,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. It further reads, “Joel Schumacher was part of one of the first all-black big-studio films (The Wiz), and gave his first hits with consummately white teenager movies such as The Lost Boys. He started out as a costume designer for Woody Allen, but is mostly credited with one of the biggest wardrobe malfunctions of all time, for a Batman film. The film director, who died of cancer at the age of 80 on Tuesday, loved to mix it up.

Schumacher’s career, which can be traced to screenwriting stints that go back to 1976, included critical successes (8mm) and duds (Batman and Robin), newcomers (Matthew McConaughey) and old talent (Robert De Niro), Vietnam (Tigerland) and musicals (Phantom of the Opera). But, as happens with filmmakers who play by few rules except their own, and who get tagged with titles such as stylish and fun, he never broke into the awards league — a few nominations that didn’t turn into statuettes,” read the full editorial here.

Mumbai slowdown

“Decline in COVID growth rate in Maharashtra is heartening. State mustn’t lower guard, there are lessons for other hot spots,” read the editorial of The Indian Express. “Maharashtra has been the bellwether state in India amid the coronavirus pandemic. It is heartening, therefore, to see the state report a slowdown in the spread of the disease over an extended period of time. The decline in the cumulative daily growth rate of coronavirus numbers in Maharashtra, which began in May, has continued through June, and has dragged down the national growth rate as well. There is evidence to suggest that some interventions by the state government in the last two months might be showing a positive impact. Creation of large makeshift hospitals in Mumbai has partly addressed the shortage of beds in the city. A large proportion of the new bed capacity created by the state is equipped with oxygen support which can prove to be life-saving in critical patients. Mumbai authorities also seem to have done well in identifying and tracing the primary contacts of infected patients. Dharavi, at least for now, is not turning into the nightmare that it could have been,” read the full editorial here.

Rapport with Russia

“India needs dependable ally to rein in China,” reads the editorial of The Tribune. “Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s ongoing visit to Russia is significant in several ways: it comes amid Sino-India border tensions that Russia, a common ally, seems keen to defuse; it’s the first foreign trip by a senior Union minister since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the country; and it offers India an opportunity to push for the timely delivery of the S-400 air defence missile systems. In October 2018, India had signed a $5-billion deal with Russia, disregarding the Trump administration’s warning that the pact could attract US curbs under CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act). In June last year, India had assertively told the US that it would go by its national interest while dealing with other countries, including sanctions-hit Russia,” read the full the editorial here.


Rethink China

“It’s time to realise Beijing is the new imperialist power in Asia,” reads the editorial of The Times of India. “The clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in Galwan valley, that led to the killing of 20 jawans, should finally force New Delhi to acknowledge the realities of Beijing’s ambitions in the region. For far too long, India has given China the benefit of the doubt and overlooked its aggressive behaviour, whether it was against Taiwan, Vietnam, Japan or itself. The political wisdom in New Delhi – spanning both Congress and BJP governments – has been to co-opt Beijing by shelving problematic issues, overlooking China’s consistent blocking of India at international fora and evident backing of Pakistan against India, and pursuing cooperation to create bilateral synergy. This in turn was guided by the old anti-imperialist mindset, that saw India and China as victims of colonialism and therefore destined to partner up in an Asian century, based on their huge populations and ancient civilisations,” read the full editorial here.


Faith Full: Puri rath yatra, the ‘nation’s delight’

“It may be recalled that only when members of other religions congregate for discussion or prayers that the virus spreads, according to India’s ruling elites,” reads the editorial of The Telegraph . It further reads, “when the Supreme Court rules on the basis of the overriding importance of public health during a pandemic, it is truly reassuring. A few days ago it had banned the holding of rath yatra in Puri and elsewhere because large gatherings spread contagion. Odisha, and independently Puri, are experiencing sharp rises in the Covid-19 infection, and 10 to 12 lakh people are usually expected for rath yatra. It seems this had prompted the Supreme Court to say, persuasively, that Lord Jagannath would not forgive the court should it allow the festival. Article 25 of the Constitution makes the right to profess, practice and propagate religion subject to morality, public order and health. But faith in Indian society seems opposed to reasonableness. In response to petitions against the ban, the Supreme Court stated on Monday that the decision regarding rath yatra would be taken by the state government, the temple committee and the Centre — reportedly, it did not wish to micromanage the yatra. But it imposed strict restrictions: Puri has been closed to public entry, and the rituals are being conducted under curfew. The state government, complying with the court’s directions, has ensured that a fixed number of temple servitors and police personnel are present during the yatra and associated activities, and that all those conducting the rituals test negative for Covid-19 and maintain social distancing. The court’s second ruling was celebrated everywhere, by devotees who can watch the event on television, by the state government which can now please devotees with safety measures in place and, most remarkably, by the Central government, which had the Union home minister welcoming this “special day” on behalf of the nation,” read the full editorial here.




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