Sunday View: The Best Weekend Opinion Reads, Curated Just for You
Here is a compilation of the best op-eds across the Sunday edition of newspapers.
Across the Aisle: Governments Hide, People Seek
Commenting on the sharp decline in the GDP growth rate – from 8.2 percent (2016-2017) to 6.7 percent (2017-2018) – P Chidambaram, in his column for The Indian Express, says that the mood of the nation is “despondent”. Credit growth has dipped, the index of industrial production has remained unchanged, gross NPAs have risen and the banking system continues to be bankrupt, the former finance minister writes.
The path of the BJP-led NDA government’s four-year journey is littered with too many broken promises: Rs 15 lakh in every bank account, 2 crore jobs, MSP at cost + 50 percent, waiver of agricultural loans, insurance cover to all farmers, peace and security in Jammu and Kashmir, a good and simple GST, and many more. You can add to the list from your own experience.
In his column for The Indian Express, Meghnad Desai opines that former President Pranab Mukherjee’s decision to speak at the RSS event was an attempt to get back at the Congress for having dismissed and humiliated him. The underlying message of the visit, Desai adds, is not what Mukherjee said, but rather where he chose to say it.
Pranab Mukherjee rewrote history on Friday. He washed away all the sins of the RSS. From now on, no stigma attaches to the RSS even for the assassination of Gandhiji for which the RSS was acquitted (though the Congress would like you not to know). Pranab Mukherjee has shown real tolerance in talking with the RSS. He is clever enough not to have deviated from what he was expected to say.
Dalit Ki Beti vs Chaiwallah in 2019? Maya Could Be Opposition’s Best Bet
In her column for The Times of India, Sagarika Ghosh writes that as a Dalit woman who is a non-dynast candidate contesting for the Lok Sabha Elections of 2019, BSP chief Mayawati could prove a serious contender to PM Modi, especially in the wake of the “invisible” Dalit revolution in the country.
The symbolism of a Dalit woman Prime Minister in 21st-century India, the daughter of a telephone operator, an “untouchable” woman who has emerged from the bowels of India’s unforgiving earth, fighting both class and gender in brutally hierarchical North India, is as potent as a black president in America.
Inside Track: Age-Old Problem
In her column for The Indian Express, Coomi Kapoor speaks about how the BJP under the Modi-Shah leadership is having a hard time presenting the BJP as being one with “youthful presence” – considering it is up against opposition leaders such as Rahul Gandhi, 47, Tejashwi Yadav, 28, Akhilesh Yadav, 46 and others.
But the party’s cavalier attitude towards the elderly has taken a toll. Both Shatrughan Sinha and Yashwant Sinha have for all practical purposes left the party. If the elderly are back in the BJP, it may face a disadvantage in presenting a youthful presence.
Shashi Tharoor Is the Victim of a Flawed Law
In his column for The Times of India, SA Aiyer says the move to try Shashi Tharoor for “abatement to suicide” in wife Sunanda Pushkar’s death, confirms the fact that India’s suicide laws are both “illogical” and “immoral”. “Driving somebody to suicide” and “assisting” them in it, are two completely different things, Aiyer writes.
In any case, “driving somebody to suicide” is more a rhetorical flourish than a concrete concept. Every year, thousands of students commit suicide because they fare badly in exams. Can you logically argue that they have been driven to suicide by parents putting pressure on them, or by teachers who set tough questions? Does it make sense to prosecute the parents or teachers for abetting suicide?
Narrative of the Forked Tongue
The current government’s bold move to pass the Triple Talaq Bill through Lok Sabha in the last week of 2017 was historically commendable, MJ Akbar writes in his column for The Indian Express. Citing examples such as the Shah Bano case, Akbar writes that in contrast, the Congress party hasn’t been as effective in restoring liberty to Indian-Muslim women.
Indian Muslim leaders, more self-righteous than righteous, have distorted their own faith to institutionalise male oppression in the name of religion. Previous governments have never dared to challenge this vice-like grip.
More From The Quint:
The Age of Perversion
In his column for The Hindu, Tabish Khair defines the current period in India as “the Age of Perversion” – a phenomenon of individuals or “perverts” being obsessed with the idea of only one explanation, without being open to the possibility of another option. The reason for this, he says, is two-fold: the nature of capital and politics.
We are the perverts of free-floating ‘god-like’ capital. And this is our ‘natural’ state; we cannot really question it. We internalise its structures — and transpose them. Is it a surprise, then, that so many of us succumb to placebo perversions?
Fifth Column: Lies That Help Modi
The concerns that author Arundhati Roy voiced in her recent interview with the BBC are not new problems, but have been around for years, Tavleen Singh writes. In her column for The Indian Express, Singh states that Roy’s concerns, such as the allegations that Muslims were being “ghettoised” and the controversial Supreme Court press conference in January, did not imply that democracy in India was under threat.
The charge that the institutions of democracy have been destroyed since 2014 is another outright lie. The media attacks the Prime Minister and government daily.
Why the Global Game Isn't Touched by Political Turmoil
No other sporting event has successfully avoided politicisation like the FIFA World Cup, Supriya Nair writes in her column for The Times of India. Referring to UK’s call to its team to boycott this year’s game in light of the poisoning of two British spies in Russia earlier this year, and several other instances in sports history, Nair says the only way the World Cup can function as an efficient administration is by placing it under the direction of a single group of “wealthy, presumably industrialised nations”, so fewer people care about it anyway.
While there is something uniquely, perhaps essentially communitarian about football, democracy has always been a shifting and contingent ideal to its administrators. In this, ironically enough, lies its true global relevance. Its chicanery seems baroque and sinister in countries where this kind of venal under-the-table corruption has disappeared. But it simply does not, and never has, shared its morality with any single political bloc in the world.
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