Sunday was hot, very hot and cricket fever didn’t help cool it down. TV news channels went to town — and to London where India took on Australia at the World Cup.
Before the match “Jeetega toh India hi” (News 18 India) echoed across channels. After India “jeet gaya” came the discussions on India’s victory.
Most channels had a reporter in London to mingle with Indian fans at the match venue. In their Delhi studios, channels called in cricket writers and ex-players to help them decipher the game.
India Today clean bowled other news channels by featuring master blaster Sachin Tendulkar for a detailed analysis of the victory with cricket writer Boria Majumdar.
Tendulkar went into the finer points of Mitchell Starc’s bowling: when Starc is unable to bring the ball “back in” he is not effective, said Tendulkar, and on Sunday he didn’t do that. “He can bowl much better”. He also thought Usman Khawaja batting at number 4 was “the wrong move”.
Aaj Tak had Madan Lal and Mohammed Azharuddin. The former Indian captain thought India’s victory reflected a team effort, “and each one played their roles”. Spinner Harbhajan Singh, in London for the match, agreed with Azhar: “a balanced team’’ gave an all-around performance.
ABP News featured former India captain Kapil Dev and his 1983 teammate Sandeep Patil. Kapil said it had been a clinical performance by India who played “like a professional team”.
News 24’s panellist featured Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s father; Yograj Singh was transfixed by Hardik Pandya’s short cameo knock. “His inning(s) was the biggest highlight of the match,” he said. He was equally impressed by Virat Kohli’s captaincy: “He is a brilliant student and he has grown as a skipper under the guidance of captain cool (M.S. Dhoni). I liked the way he rotated the bowlers today, I would call it ‘soojh boojh ki captaincy’”.
India News: Virat Kohli’s coach Raj Kumar Sharma also rejoiced at the skipper’s batting and marvelled at his captaincy.
Bengal violence: A few news channels — Republic TV and Times Now — discussed the violence in West Bengal.
The state had witnessed “stray post-poll clashes” leading to four deaths. Senior journalist Ashutosh Mishra said, “It is the BJP that has spread the violence in the state”.
Anchor Sakal Bhatt asked, “What about Bangladeshis and Rohingyas? What is Mamata (Banerjee)’s stand on Rohingya?”
Before Mishra could reply, Bhatt said, “The situation in Bengal is alarming and you are letting her continue as chief minister.”
Times Now in `#BengalViolence’, anchor Athar Khan observed that Bengal has a long history of violence, “the same was seen when Left ruled the state”.
Senior journalist Sanjeev Srivastava was very clear who was responsible for the violence: “In Bengal, if one person has to be blamed more, it is Mamata Banerjee”.
Finally, Zee News has scaled new heights in investigative journalism: it claimed, in all seriousness, that “aliens” from outer space are responsible for the disappearance of the Indian Air Force AN-32 carrier with 13 people onboard. It has been missing since 3 June. Watch this clip.
Offered without comments. The missing AN 32 could have been "taken away by aliens" pic.twitter.com/qZsEA9ASIf
— Snehesh Alex Philip (@sneheshphilip) June 9, 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support to Sri Lanka, which is still recovering from the worst terror attack its country has ever faced, makes lead headlines today.
In “PM pledges support to Lanka’s war on terror,” Hindustan Times writes “India and Sri Lanka agreed that terrorism is a threat that calls for collective action by the global community”. Times of India’s report focusses on Modi’s “powerful case for cooperation against terrorism, reaffirmed India’s commitment to its neighbours and endorsed the fact that Sri Lanka was safe for tourism” in “We stand by Sri Lanka: PM at terror-hit church”.
HT notes that this visit, his second since his reelection “underlined the Indian government’s “neighbourhood first” policy”. His first visit was to the Maldives Saturday.
The Hindu’s report (“Terrorism is a joint threat: PM”) focusses on diplomatic ties, saying “In a visit spanning barely five hours, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions with Sri Lanka’s top leadership – both in the government and the Opposition — in a string of short meetings here on Sunday”.
HT says the meetings were “key to India’s strategic interests, especially in view of China’s push to expand its influence in the Indian Ocean region”, and even reports the Sri Lankan media’s “warmth” towards Modi.
The Sunday Times saw “deep political significance” in Modi’s visit, while the Sunday Observer pointed to “New Delhi’s increasing sensitivity towards life south of the Palk Straits,” it notes.
The Indian Express chooses to reflect the news through a Page 1 photograph, with the caption “Terror can’t defeat Lanka: PM”.
India’s win in World Cup: For TOI and HT, the second lead is India beating Australia in the cricket World Cup.
“India make bold statement in Oval win over Australia,” declares HT. The Hindu says, “Clinical India prevails in a high-scoring affair.” HT is dramatic in its opening paragraph, “The sounds, the vibrations, and most essentially even the pitch, were reminiscent of ground in India.”
It continues: “…as a crisp sun shone, the Indian top order made runs. Lots and lots of runs — 352 of them, India’s third highest team score at a World Cup.”
The Hindu is more matter of fact: “India continued its winning run in the World Cup with a 36-run triumph over Australia at the Oval here on Sunday.”
West Bengal-Centre clashes: Express makes “West Bengal, Centre face off again: Home flags state law failure, angry TMC hits out” its lead for the day.
One day after violence broke out and killed 2 BJP workers and 1 TMC worker, the union home ministry described the situation as “a failure of the law enforcement machinery”, and the Trinamool Congress saying it “will respond appropriately” to this “political conspiracy”.
“This came a day before Bengal governor Kesari Nath Tripathi is scheduled to meet PM Narendra Modi, where he is expected to submit a report on the violence,” reports TOI.
In ‘Explained’, the Express says the MHA’s statement “has not gone down well in Kolkata. A new battle is likely”.
The Hindu second lead is “Draft NEP proposes formal education from age of three”.
“The draft policy also wants early childhood education to be overseen and regulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) as part of the school system, rather than the private pre-schools and anganwadis that currently cater to the 3-to-6 years age group,” it reports.
“This could result in an upheaval in the anganwadi system which has been overseen by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) for more than four decades,” it adds.
Journalist crackdown: Also making headlines is the Uttar Pradesh government’s crackdown against a journalist for sharing allegedly “objectionable” comments about chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Two journalists Ishita Singh and Anuj Shukla, in addition to reporter Prashant Kanojia, were arrested “for broadcasting content allegedly defaming Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath” (HT). TOI drops the news from its front page.
The Indian Express is alone, today, in addressing the arrest of three people by the UP police for a tweet about a video regarding CM Adityanath and the telecast of the same video.
In “Lucknow’s long arm”, it says the prompt police action is clearly “an attempt to intimidate anyone who takes a swipe at those in power”. It points out that it was no “outraged” citizen but the police who filed the complaint against those arrested — a “clear violation” of due process in tackling such cases.
Express cites the Supreme Court 2015 ruling in the Shreya Singh case where it struck down as “unconstitutional” Section 66A of Information Technology Act often used to launch “witch-hunts” against people who spoke out against power, on social media.
Express hopes the courts will now “step in and show UP police their rightful place”.
Tweet of the day:
Sunil Gavaskar. Thug life. Salaam. #dhonigloves pic.twitter.com/aqyh0c4eqw
— Jamie Alter (@alter_jamie) June 8, 2019
(With inputs from Shailaja Bajpai, Harshit Mansukhani and Triya Gulati)