Editorial analysis: Save Railways from arsonists, Macron loses on Ukraine war

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In the daily editorial analysis, except for Sundays, The Raisina Hills critically reviews the comments of the top five English newspapers of India.


Protesters in India invariably find Railways as an easy target even while the debt-ridden national transporter is lifeline of the country, helping 2.2 crore people reach their destinations, besides carrying 33 lakh tonnes goods on a daily basis.

Railways face the fury of the Agnipath scheme protesters in Bihar, Telangana where train bogeys were torched, tracks uprooted, and services were blocked. Yesterday, 500 trains were cancelled on account of the call of Bharat Bandh by the Agnipath protesters.

The Times of India (ToI) and The Economic Times (ET) in their Edits have concurred that the trains cannot be easy targets for the arsonists.

The Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act (PDPPA), 1985 remains a cosmetic law, commented ET, while putting the onus on the state governments to crack the whip against the arsonists.

Indeed, the state governments have been seen to be mute spectators to acts of vandalism during mass protests with ruling parties rationalizing that the agitating people cannot be fired at, as if that’s the only way to enforce the law and order.

ToI flags lack of coordination between the Railway Protection Force, which is empowered to arrest without warrant, and the police, which acts on ‘political signalling’.

There’s no denying the fact that the state police and the RPF work in silos, as is the case with most of the agencies.

The people shouldn’t forget that the Railways have incurred losses of Rs 63,364 crores in passenger services during 2016-20, and making it their target for arsons will be akin to putting own house aflame.

In Paris, there’s a significant political shift. The French President Emmanuel Macron who only a few months ago won Presidential re-election, with reduced margins, has suffered a setback in the Parliamentary elections, as his alliance, Ensemble led by his party Renaissance, lagged behind amid the emergence of the Left block in France and fell short of the halfway mark in the 577-member National Assembly.

The Hindu in its Edit ‘Cracks at the Centre’ takes note of the rising inflation on the back of the Russian invasion of Ukraine which could have helped the far-right and the far-left to nibble at Centrist Macron’s vote base.

ToI with its ‘Jolt in Paris’ Edit argued that pro-market Macron may have failed in addressing growing disenchantment due to deepening inequality, calling upon the French President to “build alliances – social and political –for a stable France and Europe”.

Macron, in fact, will find tough to push legislative agenda with reduced strength in the National Assembly. ToI noted that Macron is the first President after 1988 to lose the legislature so soon after Presidential win.

While both the dailies focused on France, they stopped short of expanding to acknowledge growing heat being faced by even the US President Joe Biden on account of the rising inflation due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the consequent energy crisis.

Deccan Herald in its lead Edit ‘The bulldozing of the rule of law’ has re-visited the incidents of the Uttar Pradesh Police spearheading demolitions of properties of the accused in the violent Friday protests against the remarks of the former BJP spokespersons Nupur Sharma and Navin Jindal against Prophet Mohammad.

The Indian Express and the ET in their Edits ‘What works best’ and “firming up oil shift from Dunes to Urals’ have given the accounts of Russia displacing Saudi Arabia as the second largest oil supplier.

Not only oil, Indian companies are also sourcing coals from Russia amid the deepening energy crisis worldwide.

With the Russians trading with Rupee, the ET notes that Vostro accounts being discussed as alternative to escape the western sanctions could be the way out, even while the Daily rightly advises the government not to lose sight of the sustainable energy goals.

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