Sunday View: The Best Weekend Opinion Reads, Curated Just for You

We sifted through the papers to find the best opinion reads, so you won't have to.

5 min read

Aid and Advise

Congress leader P Chidambaram, in his piece for The Indian Express, zeroes in on the GNCTD or the Delhi Services Bill which was passed in the Parliament earlier this week. He goes over the "Westminster model" and the roles of the President and Governor in our democracy.

He writes,

"The question will arise, does the Constitution say that the ministers hold actual power and the HoS is only the symbol of formal authority? The answer is “yes” and lies in the three magical words “aid and advise”. These words have a special meaning in constitutional legal history. Aid does not mean running to the help of another person; advise does not mean offering solicited or unsolicited counsel. Aid and advise is the essence of parliamentary democracy."
P Chidambaram, for The Indian Express

Educate Men and Boys on Gender Sensitivity

In light of the gruesome viral video of two women being paraded naked in Manipur, Lalita Panicker writes in Hindustan Times about the state's apathy and the absence of outrage when it comes to crimes against women.

She goes on to write about why it's necessary to sensitise men to "to change gender-related attitudes and actions."

"When it comes to openly assaulting women, apart from administrative apathy and law and order lapses, it is also the failure of society to break the veneer of politeness and ask the not-so-comfortable questions and, if necessary, pressure our boys and men to share equal space, privileges, freedom, and opportunities with women."
Lalita Panicker, for Hindustan Times

Allied Problems

In her piece for The Indian Express, Coomi Kapoor writes about the many "problems" within political parties and alliances.

From Congress-AAP seat sharing, to Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's warning to the BJP, to Amit Shah "leaving nothing to chance," Kapoor covers the many bases of national politics.

"The Shinde Sena did not field the two MPs whose names were submitted to the Lok Sabha Speaker on the no-confidence vote. Instead, only Shrikant Shinde, the CM’s son, spoke. Asked by the BJP the reason for the switch, Shrikant retorted defiantly that the Sena was simply following the BJP example of not living up to its word."
Coomi Kapoor, for The Indian Express

Kissa Flying Kiss Ka: Rahul Gets Context Wrong

On Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's alleged "flying kiss" in the Parliament and his invocation of Bharat Mata, Swapan Dasgupta writes in Times of India:

"When he threw a flying kiss at those who had heckled him during his speech, Rahul Gandhi wasn’t in a social gathering of boisterous English-speaking youngsters. He was in the Lok Sabha, a body whose membership is about as socially diverse as possible. A few minutes prior to his departure from the House with a flying kiss, he had held forth on the assault and murder of Bharat Mata by the Narendra Modi government."
Swapan Dasgupta, for Times of India

Grossed Out or Not, but Whose GDP Is It Anyway?

Professor at the Indian Statistical Institute, Atanu Biswas, in his piece for The Economic Times, talks about GDP, its ineffectiveness in measuring growth across different parameters, and the various alternative indices that countries are using to determine their progress.

"GDP shows something specific and crucial. It ignores social inequity, the contributions of unpaid work, the dwindling of natural resources or biodiversity, and how technology is changing society. GDP doesn't indicate if a recovery in the economy is equitable. For instance, it fails to depict the growing divide induced by the Covid-19 pandemic."
Atanu Biswas, for The Economic Times

Laptop Licence: Why Are Failed Policies Being Revived Again?

Days after the Centre banned the import of PCs, laptops, and tablets, Pranay Kotasthane argues, in his piece for Times of India, that "economic nationalism isn’t a sufficient qualification for making sound policy decisions."

He writes,

"Many people in government still believe imports are evil and damaging to domestic production. At the height of the license-quota-permit raj, the consensus was that foreign exchange could be saved only by reducing imports. The idea that imports could generate more exports after value addition and, hence, more foreign exchange, was too radical to be given a shot. We are still clinging to derivative versions of that theory of change. It failed then, and it will fail now."
Pranay Kotasthane, for Times of India

Meaningless Melodrama, a Dreary Debate

Columnist Tavleen Singh, in The Indian Express, writes about the speeches made in the Parliament this week during the no-confidence vote and how they conveniently missed out on giving any solutions for the ongoing violence in Manipur.

She says that she agrees with the PM that the opposition was "unprepared" for the debate after they failed to have any fruitful discussions on either Manipur or Nuh.

"Narendra Modi is famous for his oratory, but this was not his best performance. His speech was too long, too angry, and more appropriate for an election rally than the Lok Sabha. That sense of being at an election rally was heightened by the slogans he encouraged his MPs to raise when he said something he thought was exceptional."
Tavleen Singh, for The Indian Express

BCCI Takes Fans for Granted in Lead-Up to World Cup

Writing for the Financial Express, Tushar Bhaduri attacks the BCCI for taking Indian fans for granted ahead of the World Cup.

He accuses the cricketing body of delaying the sale of tickets for Indian fans, not taking local authorities into confidence "to provide adequate security for matches," and giving no clarity on whether KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer would be back on the field.

"But while those coming from overseas may crib and complain about the delay, the BCCI is safe in the knowledge that there is a big enough captive market that is willing to burn a hole in their pockets to be a part of the experience of a World Cup in India. It is this no-holds-barred obsession that allows BCCI to take the ordinary fan for granted. This is what lets them stage matches at stadiums that lack the most basic facilities for spectators – be it comfortable seating, clean toilets, and efficient ticketing systems. In any other country, it would be inconceivable that not a single ticket had gone on sale, with the event just over 50 days away."
Tushar Bhaduri, for Financial Express

New Wine in an Old Bottle

In her column for The New Indian Express, journalist and film critic Namrata Joshi talks about the cultural significance of Ranveer Singh and Tota Roy Chowdhury's Dola re Dola performance in Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahaani.

She writes,

"‘Dola re dola’ has been a song of sisterhood and female solidarity, a celebration of a shared love for a man and the sheer abandonment and freedom offered by dance. With a few fluid moves, the male rendition of it breaks the rigid walls of gender identity and role-playing and no one better to have embraced his feminine energy than an insouciant Ranveer Singh, who has anyhow been challenging perceptions and prejudices with his outrageous sense of style and the way he chooses to dress. The message at the end is simple: “Talent has no gender”."
Namrata Joshi, for The New Indian Express
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