Republic Pride; ‘Langot’ Neta; Sabari Rail

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Opinion Watch

Republic Pride

Indians were republican even when India had no tradition of writing history. The land has always been fertile with the people who live by the republican virtues. A teacher – Chanakya — had the moral courage to raise a child to build an army to dethrone an authoritarian moral thug in the kingdom of Magadh several centuries ago. Collective lapses come when the people become spectators, and on 74th Republic Day celebrations the citizens would serve their interest better to know that each is responsible for the rise of the country and also the rot that they often lament.

The Asian Age in a lead Editorial said: “…we hope but without blinkers, it cannot escape notice that the past 12 months have been short on good news”. The daily stated that in the “single leadership system” that India has now become now it’s for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to decide on everything from the economy to social levels. The daily noted that the economy has slipped and religious strife is unchecked, while being promoted. The daily has listed out stress – “key economic indicators still below pandemic level, government insecurity in banning BBC documentary and subsequent crackdown on varsity campuses, Chinese ingress in eastern Ladakh…”.

The daily has ticked several blips in the last year. But to balance it out there has been some positives too, for the Indian economy didn’t wilt unlike Brazil, China, South Africa and the South Asian neighbours. India has also not seen comnmunal riots, which were norms for two decades since 1990. Jammu and Kashmir also didn’t see stone pelting. But indeed the government is rightly accused of brazenness. By banning BBC documentary, it has given more publicity, and this attitude to rush the riot police to campuses is surely weird.

‘Langot’ Neta

The Indian politicians are ‘He-Man’, for they can do everything – they can give moral lectures, be better than Nobel laureates in economics, and also run the sports federations. In Asian Games, Olympics, and the football World Cup, the parent struggle to tell the children why India almost remains invisible. The answer must lie in the shark-attitude of politicians to be everywhere and lord everything.

The Hindu in an Editorial has given voice to the exasperation within the country over the politicians holding the sports bodies captive to them. The Chennai-based daily stated that “Vinesh (Phogat) alleged sexual harassment allegations against Brij Bhushan (Sharan Singh, the BJP MP) and stated that she had even contemplated suicide”. Vinesh is no ordinary wresteler. She has been world number one. The daily noted that it’s rare to have ideal coach-athlete equations, but there are exploitative tales simmering under the surface. The daily asked wrestlers to back their allegations with proof, while calling for cleaning up the administration.

Sports bodies must be run professionally and the politicians and the bureaucrats have to be sent to spectators’ box. They should be adequately funded, and be made subject to the public scrutiny with a transparent operating processes.

Sabari Rail

“A cabal consisting of railway contractors, land sharks and drug peddlers are reportedly behind the initiative to lay the Sabari rail track to ensure the illegal trafficking of the high quality marijuana cultivated in the dense forests of the Western Ghat to the outside world…,” noted the Pioneer in an Editorial, while citing BV Kumar, a former revenue intelligence officer. The Noida-based daily was commenting on Kerala government’s U-turn on the Silver Line semi-high speed rail project.

The Joshimath lesson is not being learnt by anyone, and Kerala is certainly no exception.

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