New Delhi: After dominating the headlines for the past few days, farmers’ protest took a backseat on prime time debates Wednesday night. The focus, instead, shifted to the upcoming film city in Noida and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s attempt to woo Bollywood actors.
NDTV 24×7, however, decided to stick with farmers. Anchor Sreenivasan Jain asked, “The government has tried to offer multiple assurances…then why are Indian farmers still protesting?”
Harish Damodaran, rural affairs editor at The Indian Express, said, “Farmers are saying MSP (Minimum Support Price) should be made a legal entitlement. Ultimately, the MSP has come to the fore. None of the bills mention MSP. You can see a scenario where the government walks three steps forward and four steps backwards. And the worst case scenario would be that you would have to roll back all these three laws, which looks likely.”
Sardar V.M. Singh, the national convenor of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination, noted, “This is an old demand of ours, this is nothing new,”
And believe it or not, popular South Korean band BTS was the topic of discussion on Zee News—that too in connection with farmers.
Anchor Sudhir Chaudhury talked about the K-pop (Korean pop) band being allowed to defer compulsory military service for two years by the South Korean government and argued that “no one was above the law”.
His rather convoluted point was as follows: “Even though K-Pop is South Korea’s soft power, the government did not grant them the permission to opt out from the military service but only defer it. Similarly, the farmers are India’s soft power, but they should understand that nobody is above the law.”
India Today debated what the UK approving the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine meant for India and whether an mRNA vaccine was safe.
Messenger RNA, or mRNA, instructs cells to produce many substances that allow the body to function. These vaccines use carefully designed mRNA strands to teach cells to create a modified version of a key coronavirus protein, prompting an immune response that can fend off the real virus.
Dr K Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), said, “It’s a great success for science and good success as far as public health strategies in the UK, Europe and the US are concerned. But it is unlikely to change the course of the epidemic in most of the world because this vaccine has serious requirements of a sub-zero temperature -70 degree celsius.”
On the safety and vaccine of the mRNA vaccine Dr Vikram Talaulikar from the University College of London, said, “This is going to be the first mRNA vaccine, which is going to be mass produced and given to million and billions of people but I think none of the vaccines have gone through all the stages right now without robust testing for efficacy and safety.”
On ABP News, Rubika Liyaquat rather baselessly declared that Covid vaccine is just a week away.
She argued that since the UK had granted permission to use the Pfizer vaccine, it will soon be available in other countries as well. Ironically, several media reports indicate that the Pfizer vaccine will not be available in India any time soon.
Deepak Chaurasia discussed the controversy over the construction of a film city in Noida, which is being opposed by the Shiv Sena, on News Nation.
Shiv Sena supporter Kishor Tiwari claimed that approximately 10 lakh people worked in Mumbai’s film industry.
“After attempts of maligning the industry, we’ll not let them succeed in taking away the employment of these 10 lakh people who live in Mumbai,” said Tiwari.
But BJP leader Ram Kadam said that Shiv Sena and other such opposers are worried because their weekly extortion will end.
“The film industry was neglected by the Uddhav Thackeray government during the lockdown. Now when Yogiji is coming forward to help them and provide them opportunities, why should they object?” he asked.
Meanwhile, CNN-News18 discussed a US government report, which said that the Galwan valley conflict in May between India and China had been planned by the People’s Liberation Army.
“How does this US report influence or play into the incoming administration of Joe Biden,” asked anchor Zakka Jacob.
Former army chief general V.P. Malik said, “This will now be accepted by the Biden administration. While in the report, at the macro-level, I agree with the recommendation that what you’re seeing now is an expansionist and assertive China…but I think in Galwan valley there was no plan to attack each other.”
On why India hasn’t officially called it a premeditated clash, K.C. Singh, a former diplomat, said, “We have to be careful because the outgoing Trump administration is trying to muddy the water for the incoming administration. So Biden may reach out to Iran or China. So we can talk about it with a little discount.”