The 2023 aspirations; Pele: God of ‘jogo bonito’ lives forever; Return of ‘furious’ Netanyahu

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Opinion Watch

The 2023 aspirations

The people may have seen the worst in their life in the pandemic and Russia-Ukraine War. The 2023 should be better. At least it shouldn’t be worse. We can say thank you to 2022 for being not as worse as 2020. But prayers aside, the humanity will be faced with existential challenges in 2023 and years ahead. Russia-Ukraine War by all accounts is only a trailer, for the world order is in a flux and there will be after effects; climate change is not next door but amid us, bringing rains that don’t stop for days, droughts that stay for months, snow storm that gathers 40-feet of snow, floods that submerge one-third of a nation and so on.

Almost all the dailies have come out with Editorials to make a sense of 2023, and they all have dissected the challenges from the perspectives of the events. One may wonder why the dailies, which exercise freedom of speech and expression on behalf of the people, fail to put the men and women at the forefront. It’s also an irony and worth examining why all the editorials on the subject look and sound similar. Certainly, the artificial intelligence has not yet entered the editorial rooms.

The predictable themes in the editorials of The Times of India, The Indian Express, The New Indian Express are Assembly elections (nine states), Russia-Ukraine War, specter of recession, ODI World Cup, BJP’s poll juggernaut, Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’, and India’s G20 Presidency. Nothing special about such topics, as they are discussed on a daily basis.

What about the people holding the governments’ accountable for abject incompetence on women security, unmitigated poverty that scores of districts report stunting among the children, deepening casteism promoted by politicians, deteriorating polity as the worst talent of society now goes into politics, etc.?

Pele: God of ‘jogo bonito’ lives forever

Art is magical. Sports is an art and Pele was an extraordinary artist who became a god of soccer. He passed away after a prolonged battle with cancer, but he is immortal, for football can never be thought without him.

The Indian Express and The New Indian Express have taken a delightful throwback to Pele’s career. The ‘Black Pearl’, as a 17-year-old, had stormed the soccer world with a burst of youth and artistry to bring Brazil to the forefront of the sports. The Indian Express opined that Pele became a households name when radio commentary was the means to savour the delight of the sports. The likes of Mbappe and Messi, both sporting sensations, have the benefits of camera and social media. “Three days of mourning (in Brazil) is a mere license to openly cry for the departure of football’s lighthearted, light on his feet, god,” write the Noida-based daily.

The Madurai-based daily tried poetry, noting “He transcends the human world, he permeates into the world of the poor, he moves around in the society of the rich, he is in the classrooms, he is in bedrooms, he is everywhere”.

Return of ‘furious’ Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu is back as Prime Minister of Israel for his sixth term, but he’s now in the arms of orthodox, as the six-party alliance led by the Likud party consists of radical right-wingers. The Hindu in an Editorial took a grim view of his return, saying that the governance agenda would seek expansion of the Jewish settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem, make Parliament more powerful, and amend Basic Law to allow extremists to contest polls. Israel is part of Abraham Accord and also of I2U2, which includes the UAE with which Tel Aviv has now close ties. It may be hoped that economy will moderate extremists in Israel, which currently is the startups capital of the world.

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