Friday, 28 January, 2022
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Nitish Kumar move on social media posts shows he is just finding new ways to silence critics

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Nitish Kumar government’s decision to treat offensive social media posts against legislators and officials as cybercrime is deplorable and anachronistic. Defamatory posts against anyone are inexcusable. But there are adequate legal safeguards already. Implement those promptly and judiciously instead. Bihar government shouldn’t find new ways to intimidate and silence critics.

Deferred CWC election shows leadership confusion continues & Gandhis’ reluctance to loosen grip

Congress Working Committee’s decision to defer election of a new president to June shows continuing confusion and indecision on the leadership question. Rahul Gandhi can’t decide whether to have power with or without responsibility. Gandhi family’s reluctance to loosen its grip is evident from its non-committal stance on CWC elections.

Farm reform too valuable to lose. Still not late for Modi govt to coax farmers to see reason

Farmers’ rejection of government offer to suspend farm laws for 18 months smacks of all-or-nothing adamancy. It’s still not late for Modi government to reach out to all political parties, build consensus and use that unity to coax the protesters to see reason. This reform is too valuable to lose.

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  1. A few days ago, CM Nitish Kumar lost his cool completely when a journalist asked him about the crime situation in the state. Now this. Signs of someone who has been Master Chef for too long, can no longer handle the heat in the kitchen. The litti chokha he has been serving the good people of Bihar for fifteen years no longer tastes so appetising.

  2. Reaching out to political parties, seeking to build consensus, more generally not treating someone with a different point of view as illegitimate, even anti national, is no longer part of New India’s zeitgeist. The first simple majority in a generation led to calls for a Congress mukt Bharat. Consider how many democratically installed state governments have been replaced by unconventional means. For that matter, whether the campaign to win Bengal is more Sun Tzu’s Art of War than an election being conducted under the Constitution. 2. As Rajdeep Sardesai says, Let’s be honest. If virtually anything new that is worthwhile – economic reforms at the top of the list – in India, such a diverse society, requires social harmony and cohesion, an accommodative politics by consensus, the recent culture must change. Consider how the farmers have been dealt with, including by the media, even NIA notices. For governance, the offer of an eighteen month stay is a stunning watershed moment. The proposed reforms, of course, get my vote.

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