Sunday View: The Best Weekend Opinion Reads, Curated Just For You
Here is a compilation of the best opinion pieces across newspapers.
Ram’s Political Triumph
Pratap Bhanu Mehta argues in his column in The Indian Express that now, with a central government trust in charge of building a temple, the state has become the medium through which Hindu sovereignty is being exercised. That, according to Mehta, completes the reconfiguration of Hinduism, where political and not spiritual forces represent the religion.
Will this simply embolden those who see politics as an apocalyptic conflict between Hindus and others, to assert their pride even more insistently? Second, in public form we all respect the unanimous view of the Supreme Court. But let us not pretend that, if not in this case, in a wider context, the Court’s credibility is in serious doubt. Will marginalised groups read this as a loss of faith in the fairness of Indian institutions or not?Pratap Bhanu Mehta in The Indian Express
Faith Wins Over Law
In his piece in The Indian Express, Faizan Mustafa, vice chancellor at Hyderabad’s NALSAR University of Law, critiques the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya title dispute case. He refers to the judgment as “a setback to evidence law”, arguing that a differential burden of proof had been demanded from different parties.
The judgment will be remembered for the victory of faith over the rule of law as the Supreme Court considered religious beliefs even in deciding a property dispute, and despite conceding that faith cannot confer title, it still went ahead to give property to worshippers on the basis of faith. The court should not have any say in matters of freedom of religion, but deciding title suit on the basis of faith is a thorny proposition.Faizan Mustafa in The Indian Express
High-Minded Secular Rhetoric Doesn’t Blunt Majoritarian Edge of Ruling
Aakar Patel does not mince his words while writing on the Ayodhya verdict in The Times of India. He feels that the Muslims have been given homilies in exchange for justice.
What is our Supreme Court saying? That desecration and vandalism must be rewarded because India is a secular country? Or am I getting it wrong? I am unable to figure out the logic and the jurisprudence that links the findings of the court and its conclusions. India’s Supreme Court has taken the ultimatum made by L K Advani and other Hindutva leaders to Muslims 30 years ago — accept land elsewhere and get your mosque out of here else we will break it down — and legitimised it. But they have done so with kinder words.Aakar Patel in The Times of India
This Should Be a Guide for the Future
In an article in Hindustan Times, Rajya Sabha MP Swapan Dasgupta recounts his experience of being present in Ayodhya on the day of the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. He writes, “As the demolition neared completion, the entire crowd swayed — as if mesmerised — to the ek dhakka aur do chant of Sadhvi Rithambara. As the final dome of the disputed Moghul shrine crumbled in a heap of red smoke, the mood was wildly ecstatic.”
He then argues that the tenacity of the Ayodhya movement displayed a refusal by Hindus to be cowed down by sneers and condescension.
When the Ram temple in Ayodhya is finally inaugurated, using bricks consecrated in countless villages and towns, it will signal the end of a long period of mental servitude and subordination. It should, hopefully, also mark an end to the long and bitter struggle to rectify the wrongs of history. What we are as a people has been shaped by history, but we cannot forever remain its prisoner.Swapan Dasgupta in Hindustan Times
Dilli Chhodo: Time for a New Capital
Should India find itself a new capital city? That is the question Meghnad Desai seeks to answer in his latest column in The Indian Express. Thanks to the severe pollution that Delhi finds itself in most of the year, Desai makes a plea to decongest the city by shifting the political headquarters elsewhere, to possibly the Dandakaranya region. He buttresses his argument by saying that the move would also free India’s brand new capital “of the burden of memories of Old Emperors.”
Delhi will always be there as it has been. But the British constructions of 1911-1930 can be abandoned and sold off along with Lutyens’ Delhi to finance the new Capital. With the political Capital gone, Delhi will breathe again. It can be a proper Union Territory, not mixed up with National Capital.Meghnad Desai in The Indian Express
Jackie Gave Me Some Weed, and Now I Am Hooked
In her Times of India column, Twinkle Khanna makes many a jibe at our politicians as she lists down the bizarre solutions suggested by them to tackle the pollution crisis. But before she does that, Mrs Funnybones recounts a conversation with the inimitable Jackie Shroff.
It all started when Jackie Shroff gave me some weed. Not the sort you roll and go down a rabbit hole, but two pots filled with spider plants that are known for their ability to spread as quickly as WhatsApp forwards. However, they are invaluable, according to the original Hero who told me, ‘Bhidu, use this, protection ke liye.’ At first I wondered if this was his equivalent of tying a black thread to ward off the ubiquitous evil eye, but in his unique Dev Anand mixed with Marathi Manoos drawl, he clarified, ‘Nahin re, from buri hawa, pollution!’Twinkle Khanna in The Times of India
And Then There Are Questions to Ask
Sankashan Thakur’s piece in The Telegraph will leave you wondering about what he is referring to. But read between the lines, and Thakur’s point will hit home. Not just in one context, but many.
hat should we do? About what should we do what we should do? How should we do what we should do? Is there a way we should do what we should do? Is there anything to be done? Can anything be done? Is it necessary to ask such questions? Is it time to ask such questions? But what questions? Do we know how to frame those questions?Do we know who to ask those questions of? Is there anybody taking questions? Is there someone who will ask?Sankarshan Thakur in The Telegraph
A Wake-Up Call
Dr Pavan Duggal, Chairman of the International Commission on Cyber Security Law, writes in The New Indian Express that WhatsApp’s Pegasus controversy should be treated as a wake-up call so that India can start putting in place mechanisms to prevent such illegal interception and monitoring.
The recent WhatsApp snooping matter is a wake-up call for the government to come out of its complacence. It will ensure that appropriate parameters of cyber security have also appropriate precautions for them in the event the interceptions are duly complied with and implemented by various intermediaries and data repositories on their networks. The absence of dedicated cyber security law in India has further complicated the entire scenario.Dr Pavan Duggal in The New Indian Express
What Price on a Loved One’s Death?
Jug Suraiya contemplates on the complicated matter of passive euthanasia in an article in The New Indian Express. He recalls a terrible dilemma faced by a family he knew.
One of the sisters in the family, someone very close to Suraiya, was stricken by an irreversible and fatal disease that attacks the auto-immune system and for which there is no known cure.
No one could bring themselves to ask the question that hung in the silence like a thunderclap: How long do we go on like this, how long can we go on? The family was reasonably well off. But how long could they afford to keep the patient in the hospital? One month? Two? A year? There were other expenses to meet, a son to be educated, futures to be provided for. But how do you put cut off price on a life? Even on the life of a machine kept alive by other machines. The family couldn’t do it. So I volunteered. I told the head doctor there was no more money for the ICU, for the machines.Jug Suraiya in The New Indian Express
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- Israel-India Spying Liaison Mutually Beneficial: Ex Mossad Top Man
- Pegasus Attack: Did Govt’s Alleged ‘Spying’ Comply With IT Act?
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