Editorial Analysis: Hold back political police; why promote water guzzling crops; Social media inviting regulations

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In ‘Editorial analysis’, The Raisina Hills critically reviews comments of India’s top five English newspapers – The Indian Express (IE), The Hindu (TH), The Times of India (ToI), The Economic Times (ET) and Deccan Herald (DH).


Actions of the police in the recent years shouldn’t leave anyone in doubt that they’re unquestioning political tools, more focused on carrying the commands of their akas in power than improving the law and order situations in the states.

ToI, IE and TH have come out with Edits on ‘emotional hurt’ crime obsessed police forces in the states, with trigger being Chhattisgarh Police’s failed bid to arrest TV anchor Rohit Ranjan, which was reportedly blocked by Ghaziabad Police.

IE offers a summary of police’s alleged excesses, ostensibly at the behest of their political masters, to pounce on cases lodged against journalists, activists on grounds of hurt feelings enshrined in the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Cases of Mohammed Zubair, climate activist Disha Ravi in Bengaluru are mentioned by IE, while reminding the government of only recently signing the democracy statement at G7 Summit in Germany, held only last week.

While IE has kept focus on police actions against journalists and activists, the daily says that rebuttal should be enough in incidents of press lapses. But Rohit Ranjan case involves alleged willful doctoring of the Rahul Gandhi video to portray him as taking considerate views on the Udaipur Killers of the tailor Kanhaiya Lal at a time when such an act can finish off political career of politicians. So, merely regretting airing the doctored video isn’t enough, since the journalist is evidently flaunting his influences, and he’s definitely not regretful of his deeds, which in fact is the well-known short-cut for stardom for television anchors.

ToI has also commented on the Rohit Ranjan episode, but has taken the angle of state versus state police, citing the instance of Punjab and Delhi cops sparring over the arrest of the BJP spokesperson Tajinder Bagga, while also reminding the fate of Jignesh Mewani, hauled by Assam Police from Gujarat. The daily also reminds the Maharashtra Police arresting Marathi actor Nikhil Bhamre for tweeting on NCP strongman Sharad Pawar.

The rot in the police system needs no elaboration. The police reform could never took off in the country.

Ironically, the police don’t act so swiftly against Kerala Minister who ‘hurts’ people’s sentiments about the Constitution of India or A Raja, the DMK MP, who warns that Tamil Nadu will secede from India for hurting people’s ‘nationalist’ sentiments.

TH calls for making distinctions between words and violence, while examining the recent police actions over hurt crimes.

“As the adage goes, sticks and stones may break bones, but words will not,” argued TH. But daily fails to note that spoken words have been grounds for killing people and even triggering communal riots.

That leaves us in a tricky situation, and certainly professional police forces only can serve the interests of modern India.

IE has also carried an Edit, which is worth mentioning, since The Raisina Hills had informed readers of the alarm bells ringing in the government over the prospects of prolonged food crisis in the world recently, as the daily argues against the Centre’s bid to enhance the paddy and wheat productions.

The daily, however, looks at the issue only from the export perspective, saying that India already accounts for 40 per cent of the global rice trade, and any further stepping up will only lower the price realization. It also calls upon the government to stick to its exhortation for the crop-diversification, since paddy along with sugarcane is a water guzzling crop, which is unsustainable in times of climate change.

ET has commented on the reports that Twitter will be suing the government of India for ordering it to take down contents. The daily, while arguing that the social media isn’t an arbiter of free speech, suggests that the time for self-regulation of such platforms may be over.

Twitter and other social media platforms are also facing the Parliamentary scrutiny, as the standing committee examines the personal data protection bill.

Now that the social media is well-known for its disruptive impacts in all walks of life, including democracy, elections, communal peace, it will be wise only that the tech-owned foreign social media giants must be forced to comply with the Indian laws, and that will also provide the level playing field to the mainstream media in the country.

DH has taken a deep look at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s bid to spread in the southern states after the party’s national executive meeting in Hyderabad where Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the party leaders to take out ‘Sneh Yatra’. The daily advises the BJP to embrace inclusive politics and give expressions to the aspirations of all sections of the society.

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