With assembly elections underway in five states, the Ram temple issue emerges at the forefront of the day’s headlines. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks at a rally Sunday in Rajasthan and the Sangh Parivar’s ‘dharam sabha’ in Ayodhya were lead items in the main English press.
The PM mentioned the “dangerous game” of the Congress, referring to the impeachment motion brought by the opposition parties against then chief justice of India Dipak Misra, saying it was a plot to delay the hearing in Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case.
However, the focus of newspapers was 10 years since the terror attack in Mumbai which claimed the lives of more than 150 people. All the major English dailies, barring The Hindu, have their front pages exclusive stories.
The Times of India carries a photograph of the wall in Nariman House ridden with bullet holes. The Jewish worship place will be renamed Nariman Light House, Monday. The Indian Express opts for a picture of Amitabh Bachchan practising at the Gateway of India for the event ‘Stories of Strength’ to be performed Monday evening. Hindustan Times devotes an entire page to the names of the victims of the attack.
The tragic terrorist attack receives editorial comment too: former national security advisor M.K. Narayanan writes in The Hindu, “It was the rarest of rare cases, where one state’s resources, viz. Pakistan’s, were employed to carry out a series of terror attacks in a major Indian city…It is difficult to recall any recorded instance in modern times where a state and its various agencies were directly involved in carrying out a terror attack of this nature.”
Journalist Harinder Baweja in HT recalls her visit to the Lashkar-e-Taiba headquarters immediately after the terror attack in Mumbai. This visit to the Lashkar HQ in Pakistan revealed “the group’s nexus with state actors and hate against India”.
Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu’s visit to Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Dera Baba Nanak-Kartarpur Sahib corridor and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan doing the same at Kartarupur is seen as a “fresh start” by The Hindu.
In an exclusive investigation, The Indian Express, in association with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), reveals how the practice of medical equipment implant has flourished in India without any checks.
There’s an in-depth report on the world’s largest cardiac devices company, Medtronic’s deep penetration into the Indian medical equipment implant market by hook and crook.
Two leading stories came together on India TV’s Sunday night debate: Ayodhya and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign in the wake of assembly polls. Anchor Saurav Sharma led a discussion on whether a final decision on the Ayodhya dispute would come after election results to five states are announced on 11 December.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Rambhadracharya said a final call would be taken then. VHP leader Vinod Bansal warned of serious consequences if the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) did not build the temple, but journalist-turned-politician Shahid Siddiqui warned that a polluted politics was being played on this sensitive issue.
Siddiqui said, “Too much pressure on the issue has created a polluted political atmosphere. The government and VHP are working in tandem to create pressure.”
Republic TV and Times Now were more concerned by ‘Gaali politics’. The take off point was a remark by Congress man Raj Babbar that the “rupee was nearing Modi’s mother’s age”.
Anchor Goswami said, “I don’t know how somebody can justify when Prime Minster’s mother’s age is being mocked.”
Samajwadi Party leader Ghanshyam Tiwari retorted by reminding the panel that the BJP had mocked leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Hamid Ansari and Akhilesh Yadav.
BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya made a sly dig at the Opposition leaders and their families, saying, “None of the PM’s family members is doing anything different from what they were before 2014, perhaps even before Narendra Modi became CM. None have got a leg-up.”
On the Times Now debate, BJP national secretary R.P. Singh said that he had never heard of parents being dragged into politics.
India Today anchor Rahul Kanwal had other concerns: Will Shivraj Singh Chouhan be a fourth time chief minister?
BJP spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam and Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi challenged each other on claims of development in Madhya Pradesh.
Islam said, “The majority of Madhya Pradesh’s population resides in villages and agriculture has seen a tremendous boom due to government’s policies in the last few years so we are sure to form a government in Madhya Pradesh.”
Chaturvedi claimed, “I don’t know what success he is talking about — there has been absolutely no development in Madhya Pradesh. Congress is sure to come to power.”
News it’s kinda cool to know
The fossil of a new mammal cousin has been discovered, which, according to Science Magazine, had “a body shaped like a rhinoceros, a beak like a turtle, and weighed as much as an African elephant”. Belonging to the Triassic family, this creature would have lived as far back as 240 million years ago.