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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.

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Opinion
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Galgotias University Is Not Alone: Empty Jargon at Institutes Mirrors Students’ Political Slogans

Sanjay Srivastava, a British Academy global professor in London, wittily remarks in The Indian Express over the Galgotia University episode that happened recently wherein students were exposed to be clueless about what they were protesting against. In this regard, Srivastava says that this is not an episode about end of critical thinking and public awareness at one institution whose students were found ill-informed, but the "lack of meaningful engagement with critical issues that shape public and private life and affect is part of some broader trends."

The most critical task of those who administer education is to reflect on combining education’s long-term goals of producing inquiring minds with the concurrent need for producing employable graduates. Bannerism, on the other hand, substitutes this for a series of techno-jargons whose key effects are to make educational administrators look “smart” and produce unemployable graduates.
Sanjay Srivastava, The Indian Express
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Sexual Crimes: Shun Perps, Not Survivors

Swaminathan Aiyar in his column 'Swaminomics' in The Times of India pens down the humiliation and alienation victims in the Prajwal Revanna sexual abuse case have faced. He states that the case highlighted two terrible aspects of our society: that powerful families control local police stations and are effectively above the law and their children think they are immune from criminal complaints which can have devastating moral consequences.

Surely women filmed performing forced sexual acts should receive the warmest sympathy and heartfelt support of their communities. Surely the molesters and rapists should be ostracised. Alas, it is the survivors who are being ostracised by their communities. As for perpetrators, one newspaper report from the field says the revelations will have no impact on votes. Apparently, voters think nothing significant has happened. Across Hassan district, several survivors and their families have fled to escape humiliation and social opprobrium. Traditional Indian society does not view raped women as victims of terrible crimes. It views them as scandalous women acting in porn clips.
Swaminathan Aiyar, The Times of India
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The Modi Meltdown From March to May

In Deccan Herald, Praveen Chakravarty carefully analyses and argues how in the last two months, there has been a clear discernible pattern in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speeches. The PM started with the emphasis on '400 paar' but there has been a dramatic decline in mentions of '400 paar' in his speeches. "Inexplicably but conspicuously, the bravado went missing. Is this indicative of something about the election score?" questions Chakravarty.

Ironically, in his speech on April 19, Modi attempted to take credit for improving the lives of Muslim women by banning ‘triple talaq’. But since then, nearly every speech of Modi has been disparaging of Muslims and has demonised them consistently. These speeches have seemed like a despicable rant of a nervous and scared man, not an uber-confident, "third term in the bag" Prime Minister. It is extremely unfortunate that a person no less than the Prime Minister of India should stoop so low to slander and scare one set of citizens against another, all for votes. Clearly, something was amiss.
Praveen Chakravarty, Deccan Herald
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Populism or Elitism? What’s Your Poison?

Ranjona Banerji, in her column for the Deccan Chronicle, takes on PM Modi's comments in speeches and how his words and actions are twisted to be "masterstrokes" by his supporters and the media to control the narrative. "How long before some much-admired columnist and commentator spins Modi's accusations as a masterstroke of blaming the Opposition for what he himself does? she asks.

If the only purpose of a politician is to win elections, then for our social experts, no rules must or can apply. To consistently promote incompetence or the fomenting of hatred because of popularity amongst a certain section of the populace is to bow down to become the first step towards fascism. To deliberately promote rank populism over responsibility displays the cheapest form of cowardice in the face of bigotry, hatred and the road to dictatorship.
Ranjona Banerji, Deccan Chronicle
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Muslim Quota Row Deepening Fault Lines Among Dalits

Highlighting that BJP invoking familiar Muslim appeasement charges against Congress has revived the Muslim quota debate, Khalid Anis Ansari in this piece in The Times of India argues that religion-based restriction in the SC list, i.e., the exclusion of non-Hindu Dalits, does not have the backing of the Constitution but was introduced by Para 3 of the Constitution (SC) Order 1950 passed by the President. "Since the President is bound by the advice of the council of ministers headed by the Prime Minister as per Article 74, the 1950 Order reflects the will of the incumbent government and not the Constitution per se," he notes.

The shrill opposition of a few anti-caste voices to the inclusion of Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians in the SC category has very little to do with the Constitution or Babasaheb’s vision. It is animated by the punyabhumi/pitrabhumi (holyland/fatherland) logic of V D Savarkar. The new consensus that a few Ambedkarites are forging to invalidate non-Indic Dalits from being recognised as SCs is aimed at sharpening the religion-based fault lines within the Dalit community. It is neither just nor democratic.
Khalid Anis Ansari, The Times of India
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Kashmir on the Mend, but Threatened by Hate Rhetoric

For Deccan Chronicle, Pavan K Varma talks about his recent trip to Kashmir and the growth in several sectors, whether its tourism or sale and exports of apples, to gauge the reception by Kashmiris on the developments and life since Article 370 abrogation. He states that many Kashmiris said they are happier due to increased tourism, the response to whether they have accepted Article 370 abrogation is difficult to discern, adding that there is unhappiness too with the bifurcation of the state and the delay in holding democratic state elections.

The prosperity is also being marred by the perceived policy of the BJP against Muslims.

People are aware that the Narendra Modi government has not a single Muslim, either in the Cabinet or in the Parliament. If the Prime Minister himself insinuates that Muslims are "infiltrators," you cannot expect the Muslims in Kashmir — or for that matter anywhere in India — to feel an integral part of the country — as they, indeed, are. While there are fringe extremists on both sides of the religious spectrum, when senior ruling party leaders make incendiary statements against Muslims, or condone and overlook openly communal statements targeting them, it is bound to impact the sense of inclusion of India's only Muslim majority state.
Pavan K Varma, Deccan Chronicle
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Why India’s Elections Matter for Growth

In her piece for the Business Standard, Pranjul Bhandari argues that the Lok Sabha election is far from normal for India's economic future. Bhandari divides reforms the government may implement into three buckets — easy, moderate and difficult. However, she observes while "new India" which comprises high-tech sectors make up 15% of the GDP and has been growing in double digits, "old India" which makes up 85% of the GDP is growing at 5% and employs 95% of India's labour force.

If "new India" continues to rise, we think overall GDP growth would average 6.5 percent over the next decade (versus 6 percent pre-pandemic). But if "old India" rises alongside, not only would a majority of the jobs needed be created, but the country would also grow at a clip of 7.5-8 percent over the next decade. Another way to appreciate this is through the lens of reforms. If the government focuses on easy-to-moderate reforms, we believe certain sectors will benefit, and medium-term growth could average 6.5 percent.
Pranjul Bhandari, Business Standard
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Sanjiv Goenka-KL Rahul Standoff: IPL Owners Own Teams, Not Players

In this piece for The Indian Express, Sandeep Dwivedi opines on the recent viral clip of Lucknow Super giants captain KL Rahul being purportedly chided by team owner Sanjiv Goenka. "It is IPL’s obnoxious auction process that gives owners a false sense of proprietary rights over the players," he writes.

IPL owners need to understand that they can’t undermine the stars who get fans to the stadium and give them the rare opportunity to sneak into the stadium-sized spotlight that the world has its eyes on. They own teams, not team members. They might be the champions of industries and corporate giants but in the sporting arena, especially for the fans, they are extras with bit parts and a few lines. For years, cricketers have been the icons of this nation, they can’t be pushed around in full public view in a stadium full of their fans.
Sandeep Dwivedi, The Indian Express
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Listening to Silence in the Dance of Language

In his column for the Hindustan Times, Karan Thapar attempts to underscore the words in English language which are not pronounced, "how you spell a word has little connection with how you pronounce it," he notes. Among the examples b and g in 'bomb,' 'comb' K in 'Knife',' 'Knight' or the 'x' which is hard to miss such as in 'faux pas.' All this, to lay down that the readers writing in English can go easily wrong as he often does too.

Let me end with a little ditty, once again obtained from the net: To be honest, does the H in rhyme ring a bell? And can the J in marijuana anybody smell? Who knows why the K in knee won’t knock? And why the L in walk or in calf won’t talk? W is not write, its wrong … get the clue? Hush, no rendezvous with Z, goodbye, adieu.
Karan Thapar, Hindustan Times
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