Opinion watch: Gotabaya escapes mob fury; (un)Parliamentary furore; SC rejects demolition ban plea

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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).


The Galle Face agitation had begun amid worsening food and oil situation in Sri Lanka with singular slogan – GoGottaGo. The protesters sought the then president Gotabaya Rajapaksa to quit. Indeed, they also wanted all the Rajapaksa clan to quit the government.

TH has run a lead Edit ‘Fleeing, quitting’ on Rajapaksa flying out of Colombo, first to Male, Maldives and then to Singapore, while e-mailing his resignation to the Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena.

The daily has reasoned that Rajapaksa is on the way to a safe haven from where he may not be sent back to Sri Lanka, as he loses immunity after quitting the presidency.

The daily while tracking the political developments advises that the new regime should fulfil aspirations of the people.

The protesters may have left the street after the working president Renil Vickremesinghe decreed imposition of emergency in the island nation, but the mood is indeed clear that they don’t want to see the current political crop in power, and their hunger for a new beginning in the national politics is clearly evident.

TH has confined its comments to narrate the chain of events in Sri Lanka, and fails to dive deep to explore the roadmap ahead, as the island nation battles its way out of the mess amid civil society void and also at a time when the international financial agencies show no urgency to address the humanitarian crisis.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his brothers – Mahinda, Besil and Chamal – have led Sri Lanka to the financial and political bankruptcy. The Army and the police will be prone to status quoist regimes, and the Election Commission needs to wake up to lead the nation on the path of redemption, at a quick speed.

It must be clear that the international agencies, not any country, can only lead Sri Lanka out of its current mess, and political stability will be the pre-condition for any negotiations.

The Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has clarified that there’s no ban as such of unparliamentary terms mentioned in the media. His clarification came far late when the world had already been beating the chest of the presiding officers of the Parliament for their gag orders.

ToI has carried an Eit ‘It’s what MPs do’, arguing that the phrasal actions of the parliamentarians aren’t that important and they should rather focus on their principal mandate as the lawmakers of the country.

The daily exemplifies the Supreme Court flagging a hole in the Juvenile Justice Act, which was amended in 2015. This allows trial of a minor as an adult for heinous crimes, while the apex court raised questions about missing out on recording the psychological assessments of such accused.

The daily is quite mild in commenting frivolous debate around the ‘unparliamentary terms’ at a time when the live broadcasts of the proceedings of the two Houses and viral videos have already made the concept of expunging such utterances irrelevant.

It also stops from examining the tearing hurry of the two Houses of Parliament in enacting legislation, while the MPs largely follow the party diktats, which have already taken the shine away from the quality of debates.

ET has commented on the Supreme Court rejecting the plea for a blanket ban on demolitions carried out by the state administrations in its Edit ‘Demolish illegal structures legally’. The headline sums up the spirit of the commentary, as it’s in the backdrop of bulldozers knocking down the buildings allegedly owned by the people seen spearheading protests.

The issue is much larger than the incidental knocking down of a few structures here and there, as the police and the politician nexus work in partnership to raise colonies by encroaching on government lands. Delhi is a perfect example of this malaise.

Last week, the Uttar Pradesh government informed that land worth over Rs 900 crores was freed from the encroachers near the upcoming Jewar airport in the Gautam Buddh Nagar. Thus, the idea of a blanket ban against demolition is totally foolish, and it’s puzzling how the apex court spent its precious time on such frivolous pleas.

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