Nirmala Sitharaman: FM with propagandist streaks; Breakfast with schools; Roger Federer hangs boots

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Opinion Watch

Nirmala Sitharaman’s principal talent is in being a spokesperson with devotional faith in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Faith often overlooks reasons, and so is the case with Sitharaman in her selective recall of India’s economic journey.

The Pioneer in its Editorial has advised Sitharaman to stop behaving as a BJP propagandist.

The context was indeed former Finance Minister P Chadambaram claiming that his current successor has studied at a bakery.

“To begin with the beginning, the 1991 reforms were done under duress, but nobody – except Leftists loitering in Jurassic Park – can today call liberalization bad,” the Pioneer wrote.

Sitharaman has claimed that the 1991 reforms were half-baked.

The Pioneer suggested that former Prime Minister Narsimha Rao and his FM at that time Manmohan Singh should be lauded for the efforts.

Indeed, the daily noted, former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee further took forward the reform agenda.

Debate on 1991 reforms is a shut case, for if the steps were not taken, which had the blessings of Vajpayee also, not only India would have been doomed, but crores of youth would not have been driving the global economy from Bengaluru and the US, but running kirana stores.

So, for unbiased minds, it’s truly clear that Rao-Singh duo gave India a second freedom in 1991. Vajpayee built the grand economic edifice on Rao-Singh plot. That was wrecked by Manmohan Singh PM.

Breakfast with schools      

Mid-Day Meal Scheme is indeed helping in improving nutrition of the children even while quality, leakage, delays in payments mar the intent of the programme.

The Indian Express and The Hindu have lauded Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin for launching the breakfast scheme in schools.

The Hindu, which is often seen lauding the ruling DMK, pays rich accolades for launching the scheme. The daily is unmindful of the fact the Editorials are meant for critical appraisal of events, and certainly not the vocation of the court poets.

The Indian Express noted that the scheme would cost Rs 12.75 per student and benefit a total of 1.14 lakh students in classes 1 to 5. The daily reminded that Tamil Nadu conceived the idea of mid-day meal scheme in 1983, which was universalized by MG Ramachandran.

The daily drew comfort from the emergence of education as a poll plank, as marketed by the Aam Admi Party in Delhi. But the daily also drew attention that while the National Education Policy 2020 aims for six per cent of the GDP expenditure on education against three per cent currently.

That should keep people steady, for the governments are in the habit of applying lipsticks to catch attention.

Roger Federer hangs boots

Roger Federer would for ages would be known as the greatest tennis player, while being in the top league of sportspersons.

The Times of India in its Editorial put spotlight on his humility.

“The Fedex age saw the rise of a sporting genius who not only brought back beauty and artistry to the game but did so, despite the flood of encomia, with humility and gentility,” the daily commented.

But that was not the case when he played the junior tennis, when he threw all the tantrums. The daily recalled Federer calling Rafael Nadal his greatest rival and friend to comment that there could be respect even among the fierce competitors.

Indeed, such attributes make sportspersons into legends and icons.

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