Tuesday, 29 November, 2022
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Sheikh Hasina’s CAA comment hits page 1, NDTV India asks if J&K Police knew about Davinder

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Mainstream newspapers have different leads once again this Monday morning. After a short break, the Citizenship Amendment Act is back on the front pages but with different stories. While, The Indian Express goes with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s comments on the CAA — “Hasina speaks: Don’t know why India got CAA… not necessary”  Hindu quotes her to say, “Modi has assured me that NRC will not affect our people”.

With Delhi elections on 8 February, Hindustan Times leads with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s “guarantee card” — free water, electricity, transport etc. The Times of India also carries the story on Page 1.

Oddly, TOI has liquor on its mind this morning. Its lead is that the commerce ministry proposes to “reduce the number of alcohol bottles and cigarette packets a passenger can buy at duty-free outlets”.

CAA: Express quotes Hasina saying, “While NRC is an internal matter, there is no reverse migration from India, but people facing problems within India”.

HT’s second lead writes Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman  said “the stand taken by some states that they will not implement” the CAA “is unconstitutional”.  It adds that she also rejected “allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was averse to welcoming Muslims into the country.”

TOI notes that “All Cong states may pass resolution against CAA” and reports that Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan could follow Punjab’s lead and pass “anti-CAA resolutions in their respective assemblies”.

Kejriwal’s ‘guarantee card’: HT’s report has a graphic with details of Kejriwal’s “Poll Promises”, which include cleanliness, women’s safety, education, health etc. TOI adds, “The freebies being currently provided by the AAP government are electricity up to 200 units, 20,000 litres of water per month and bus rides for women.” Hindu and Express don’t carry the story on their front page.

Duty Free limit: Liquor consumers will be unhappy to learn from the TOI that “While the number of alcohol bottles have halved from two, the number of cigarette sticks that could be bought was earlier reduced from 200 to 100. A further reduction is proposed.” HT also carries the story on its front page.

Sexual harassment laws at work: In an exclusive lead story, Hindu reports,“Centre for tougher law against sexual harrassment at work”. The report notes that the maximum number of sexual harassment cases were reported in Karnataka (89), followed by Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Delhi and Kerala. It adds that the Group of Ministers’ recommendations “will be out for public comments”.

Cariappa letter: In an interesting story, Express reports that “weeks after Indian Gandhi won a landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections in 1971, the first Indian to head the Indian Army, General K M Cariappa… underlined in a clarificatory note that he was in favour of ‘a military ruler, only as a temporary measure to put things right in the country’. The report adds that the signed note was recently discovered in Karnataka’s state archives.

Opinion

The Indian ExpressExpress writes that the recently concluded Raisina Dialogue has emerged as an important global forum on geopolitics. It is facilitating the development of sustainable intellectual networks between the Indian strategic community and its counterparts in the world, notes the daily.

Despite trade contributing to 40 per cent of India’s GDP, its policy discourse appears to be stuck in the past, writes Express. It adds that the Raisina Dialogue was part of the strategy to begin the discourse again and discard the “traditional bureaucratic pretence”.

It also suggests that the central government should also strengthen the two other platforms launched by the Ministry of External Affairs — technology from Bengaluru and business in Mumbai. The government should make liberal visa rules to enable civil society groups to attend such events which will help India realise the full potential of its global engagement, argues Express.

The HinduThe spat between governors and their respective state governments in Kerala and West Bengal are “disconcerting”, writes Hindu. Both the governors — Arif Mohammad Khan in Kerala and Jagdeep Dhankar in West Bengal have arrogated to themselves an activist role, which according to the daily, is at the heart of the tensions.

On Khan’s controversial statement about CAA, it writes that he should be mindful that the “constitution envisages the execution of popular will through an elected government”. The recent controversies revolving around these two reflect the downgrading relations between the Centre and the states ruled by parties opposed to the BJP.

The state government-governor conflicts are not unusual but the current political context makes this situation different. “No other government in the past has sought to construct a centralising narrative for the nation as the current one at the Centre and has been as intolerant towards its diversity”, it writes. The central government must treat the state governments with the respect that democratically elected governments deserve, concludes Hindu.

Prime Time

 Prime Time debates Sunday, as usual, went after  different issues. Time Now discussed Sitharaman’s pro-CAA claims in which she said Adnan Sami & Taslima Nasreen got citizenship in 2016. The Opposition “fact-checked” this to be untrue as Nasreen is a Swedish citizen.

NDTV 24×7 spoke to author Chetan Bhagat about his controversial opinion piece in The Times of India about how NRC should be shelved and the government must not be egoistic considering how “expensive” and “gargantuan” the exercise would be. Zee News discussed the CAA with the hashtag #CAAparCongConfuse and anchor Sachin Arora asked when the opposition will stop spreading hate about the CAA.

Times Now: On ‘The Newshour’ with Athar Khan, the panel debated AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi’s accusation that the anti-CAA crackdown in UP has “religious links”. He claimed that only the Muslim community is being targetted and also said the Act was against Article 14 of the Constitution. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath denied these claims.

Author Ratan Sharda said it was “contempt of court” to call upon Article 14 to invoke equality of law. “Does equality of law mean equality to burn, equality to stone?” he asked. He called Owaisi’s arguments “very stupid”, and pointed out that the Opposition only invokes the Constitution when it suits them.

Political analyst Dushyant Naagar said that one could not say if the UP Police had any particular religious inclinations, but it was harder to say the same for the BJP government. Some of the panelists laughed at Naagar’s sarcastic comment.

He pointed out that the families of the individuals who were killed during protests and the crackdown are yet to receive postmortem reports, and the government has also failed to reach out to them.

Republic TVOn ‘Operation Shaheen Bagh’, the channel aired muted clips of their sting operation of JNU student Sharjeel Imam, who allegedly admitted that the Shaheen Bagh protests were pre-planned. He apparently also admitted that the plans were underway even before the violence in Jamia Millia.

With a satisfied smirk on his face, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said, “All those innocent people who came thinking they’re demonstrating for fundamental rights, now go home. And prepare to go back to your universities and start studying. You are being taken for a ride, and being used”.

Aaj TakRSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s statement that population control was necessary became the topic on ‘Dangal’. Anchor Chitra Tripathi asked if the government should first focus on solving the issue of unemployment.

Mohsin Raza, Minority Affairs Minister of Uttar Pradesh, justified Bhagwat’s statement and stated that unemployment is not the real issue, increasing population is. “Although, people who are criticising Bhagwat’s statement should remember that Congress first gave the slogan of ‘Hum Do Hamare Do’”(we two, ours two)”, said Raza.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen’s Waris Pathan had numbers to back his stance, “About 36 young people commit suicide due to unemployment every day. The government wants to keep our Hindu brothers and sisters in fear due to the allegedly increasing Muslim population”.

JDU’s Ajay Alok countered Pathan, “We should not see this from a communal sense. Increasing population is a real problem. If we don’t control this now, people might die due to famine in the future”.

NDTV India:  On ‘Hum Log’, anchor Naghma Sehar talked about the suspended J&K DSP Davinder Singh who was caught with two Hizbul Mujahideen militants. She asked whether this sort of collusion with militants could happen without the knowledge of the internal police system.

Former J&K DGP Kuldeep Khoda was defensive: “If the system was flawed, he would have never been caught in the first place. The early 90s mayhem in Kashmir was controlled by the police up to a large extent”.

Congress’ Salman Nizami  said, “Many Kashmiri disappear and never return. We need to find out if people like Davinder Singh torture and accuse the innocents for the sake of their promotions and gallantry awards”.

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