Sunday View: The Best Opinion Pieces, Curated Just For You

Sunday View: enjoy the best opinion reads, curated just for you from newspapers. Don’t forget your morning cuppa!

6 min read

<!--StartFragment-->Nothing like your morning cuppa and a newspaper on a Sunday. (Photo: iStockphoto)<!--EndFragment-->

South Asia’s Berlin Walls

<!--StartFragment-->PM Narendra Modi with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina (Photo: Reuters)<!--EndFragment-->
PM Narendra Modi with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina (Photo: Reuters)

C. Raja Mohan writes in the Indian express, how Modi’s visit to Dhaka this weekend will correct the long-standing bias in Delhi’s foreign policy framework; that of overestimating the potential for normalisation of relations with Pakistan and underestimating the huge opportunities that Bangladesh has long presented.

He credits Modi for directly addressing the reservations against the Land Boundary Arrangement, especially in the Assam and West Bengal units, and building a national political consensus in favour of the boundary settlement. In pushing through the LBA, the author goes on to write, Modi has demonstrated his seriousness about putting neighbours first in India’s foreign policy priorities.

But the author says the PM must now take some big steps to reverse the many negative economic consequences of Partition.

You can read the full piece here.

Swaminomics: Government Should Lease Land, Not Ignore it

In light of the Joint Parliamentary committee on land acquisition law asking for suggestions from the public, Swaminathan S. Aiyar in Swaminomics suggests that instead of the thrust on compulsory acquisition, the government should focus on leasing. With a 33-year, 50-year or 99-year lease, and a down payment, monthly rent, and renegotiation at the end of the lease period, the farmer gets adequate compensation, and still remains the owner, with the added right of renegotiation.

Land ownership is a big status issue in villages.....Losing your land to Tata or Birla is humiliating exploitation. But gaining Tata or Birla as your tenant at a high rent gives you social status.

You can read the full piece here.

Reverse Swing: Jindal of America

Bobby Jindal. (Photo: PTI)&nbsp;
Bobby Jindal. (Photo: PTI) 

This Indian Express article begins by announcing how Bobby Jindal, the most famous Indian American politician, is also the most hated. Jindal, who became the first non-white person to be elected as Governor of Louisiana, an American state, is hated by Indian Americans for two primary reasons; first, his aversion for the hyphenated identity of an Indian-American (the community thinks of him as some sort of ethnic traitor) and second, his political inclinations (Jindal is a Conservative, and not a Democrat). Democrats are taken to be ethnically inclusive people, the column says, though there is yet to be an Indian- American Democrat governor.

The Republicans treated Jindal on his merits. Those merits have now dwindled, but his is still an American — not an Indian-American — story.

You can read the full piece here.

Out of my Mind: Globalisation Zindabad

<!--StartFragment-->Sepp Blatter re-elected as President of FIFA amid corruption scandal. (Photo: AP)<!--EndFragment-->
Sepp Blatter re-elected as President of FIFA amid corruption scandal. (Photo: AP)

The remarkable thing about this (Sepp Blatter) episode is that it illustrates the contradictions of globalisation beautifully. When England won the World Cup in 1966, football was largely a European and Latin American game...By 2014, when the World Cup was staged in Brazil, all had changed.. Neither colour nor nationality mattered.

Why are so many sports badly governed, Meghnad Desai begins his Indian Express column with a question. He adds how those in charge in sports get elected in small exclusive coteries with neither players nor spectators allowed to vote. About the sudden resignation of Sepp Blatter as president of FIFA after his re-election for the fourth time, Meghnad says it should it should not be seen as a sign of European imperialism wherein, people are saying that all this talk of corruption is just because the Europeans no longer rule football like they used to. He says, that if corruption goes global, the cure must be global too.

You can read the full piece here.

Summer of 2015

Heat-related deaths in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana gave us one rude reminder- that neither State had the mechanism to either foresee or plan for such an emergency. But a few states like Odisha and Gujarat have both come up with specific action plans, writes Jayant Sriram for The Hindu.

In 1998, over 2,000 heat wave-related deaths were reported from Odisha. Since that year, by about end-February, the State government prepares each year for the possibility of another heat wave striking. Schools and colleges shift to early morning sessions — between 6.30 a.m. and 12 noon — as do government offices. Public transport does not operate between 12 noon and 3.30 p.m. In May this year, when reports broke of an approaching heat wave, the State Special Relief Commissioner ordered all district collectors to ensure that no labourer was allowed to be in the sun between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Given how simple it is to prevent a heatstroke death, it is a shame, Sriram writes, that the country should have lost so many lives to it in 2015, at the height of the age of information.

You can read the piece here.

India’s Nationalist President Conquers the World by Waging Peace and Talking Business

Prabhu Chawla writes in The New Indian Express, how those in the know at Rashtrapati Bhavan say President Mukherjee once used to hate travelling abroad. But that has changed. Mukherjee, Chawla writes, believes the role of the President of India, in foreign visits should not just be ceremonial — but proactive and dialogue-driven, while keeping the country’s geopolitical and economic priorities in mind. This was quite evident during Mukherjee’s four-day visit to Sweden and Belarus last week, writes Chawla.

The hectic pace of the air miles covered, treaties signed, negotiations concluded and speeches delivered belied his age, but set new benchmarks for the power of connectivity and mutually beneficial engagements with his hosts.

You can read the full piece here.

Across the Aisle — Read Governor Rajan: Time to worry

<!--StartFragment-->The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan&nbsp;(Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)<!--EndFragment-->
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan (Photo: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)

The RBI’s monetary policy is splattered with red ink, writes P Chidambaram in The Indian Express. He points out how agricultural activity was adversely affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorms. He further cites the RBI’s statement, which says, “The sustained weakness of consumption spending, especially in rural areas… continues to operate as a drag. Corporate sales have contracted.”

But he adds that this situation is a challenge, and not a crisis. He ends his piece by advising the BJP to make the effort to seek solutions, even outside the Government if need be.

You can read the full piece here.

Why Innovation and Investment are the Buzzwords in Hyderabad

The status of Hyderabad, the Capital of the newly born Telangana is that of an illustrious, funds-flushed capital, writes Shantanu Nandan Verma in Economic Times. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS)-led state government, in March presented a budget for fiscal year 2015-16 with a Rs 531 crore surplus (against a Rs 7,300-crore deficit in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh). Needless to say, the state’s finances are its key strength, argues Verma.

Hyderabad, he adds, will continue to woo big-ticket investors and the state’s economic vibrancy and private sector job market will only grow in the years to come.

Read the entire piece here.

How to Distil Bob Dylan Into 17 Syllables

The more I think about it, the more I realize what I left behind in Japan — my soul, my music and that sweet girl in the geisha house— I wonder does she remember me?

- Bob Dylan

And that’s why Robert MacMillan pickled his love for Dylan in a most Japanese way: by recasting each of his song released since 1962 as a haiku.

Haikus are three-line poems that originated in Japan in the middle of the 17th century.

On Blowin’ in the Wind, writes Robert MacMillan in Mint on Sunday, “How many this, how many that. And somehow, it’s always the damned wind that carries the answer”. And so, Robert presents you the song in a haiku.

Bob knows so little.
He asks where the answers are.
He has a strong hunch.

You can read the full piece here.

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