News & Events
in this section, we are presenting our readers/aspirants compilation of selected editorials of national daily viz. The Hindu, The livemint,The Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Economic Times, PIB etc. This section caters the requirement of Civil Services Mains (GS + Essay) , PCS, HAS Mains (GS + Essay) & others essay writing competition.
1.Towards stronger Indo-Bangla ties
The participation of a tri-services contingent from Bangladesh in India’s 72nd Republic Day parade is an important moment for the bilateral relationship and New Delhi’s neighbourhood policy. Bangladesh’s participation in the parade and preference for Indian, as opposed to Chinese, help with Covid vaccines testify to the evolution of bilateral ties.
That Bangladesh fares well on social and economic fronts will make it easier for India to follow policies that boost bilateral ties. These ties have been neither smooth nor robust all along, despite the special circumstances of the relationship — India’s support in the 1971Liberation War and diplomatic recognition of Bangladesh.
But there has been, in recent years, an appreciation of the importance of cultivating strong bilateral ties, building on those special circumstances. Different aspects of engagement and cooperation have been added on, over time. Nor is Bangladesh the only success story of India’s Neighbourhood First policy.
The supply of Covid vaccines as gift or grant assistance was not limited to the two million doses to Bangladesh. Other countries in the region, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Myanmar, Mauritius and the Seychelles, are recipients as well. The New Delhi-Dhaka relationship is the most robust but that does not preclude strong relationships with other countries in the region.
There are ups and downs. In assessing New Delhi’s relationships in the region, one must not forget that countries, whatever their size, have agency in shaping their engagements. With two powers — India and China — in the region, bilateral relationships are unlikely to be linear or straightforward. Countries could seek to use either to wrest concessions from the other. Robust relationships take work and time.
2.Anarchy is not acceptable protest
The section of protesting farmers who broke the agitation’s leaders’ agreement with the police to conduct their tractor rally along Delhi’s peripheral roads and staged violence and vandalism deep inside the national capital, including at the Red Fort, have only served to discredit the agitation.
Any large mobilisation of people carries within it the potential for disarray and rogue behaviour. That this element of the protest was allowed to run amok and tarnish the nation, such as by raising a religious flag over the Red Fort, one of the most important symbols of national sovereignty, is condemnable.
The government should stand by its offer to hold off the laws for 18 months, and the agitators should accept this offer, up sticks and go home. The government’s offer to discuss not just the laws clause by clause but also any concern the farmers have during the 18 months when the laws are held in suspense is as good a concession as the farmers could expect to get.
This period should be used not just to negotiate a mutually agreeable legal framework but also to carry out a transition from the present regime of excessive grain production in Punjab and Haryana at the expense of groundwater, soil health and enormous subsidies. The industrious farmers of northwest India can be persuaded to produce the crops that India is desperately short of, such as oilseeds, pulses and fruit, or to more lucrative crops such as flowers.
The government would have time to carry out the substantial investment it has announced in farmgate infrastructure, climate-controlled storage and other infrastructure linking farmers to the market.
When farm incomes go up and costs come down, in the absence of the need to keep increasing the quantity of inputs season after cropping season, farmers are unlikely to feel as attached to the status quo as they are today. The leaders of farm unions and of the Opposition did well to condemn the vandalism of a minority who broke ranks and staged the acts of anarchy that have aroused the hostility of most citizens.
3.Capital anarchy: Farmers deviating from peaceful protest route severely discredits their movement
In what can perhaps be described as India’s Capitol insurrection moment protesting farmers upstaged the traditional Republic Day parade by deviating from the pre-designated routes of their tractor rally, violently breaking through police barricades, clashing with police personnel, and audaciously storming Red Fort – a symbol of the Indian Republic. They also vandalised buses and police vehicles as they entered Delhi in large numbers. That such chaos unfolded on Republic Day, when the capital is supposed to be a high security zone, is a monumental security lapse that’s comparable to the breach of the US Capitol early this year.
While farmer union leaders are now trying to distance themselves from the violence and alleging the role of miscreants in the chaos, there’s no denying that the events of the day will tarnish their movement. Irrespective of their grievances, nothing can justify the farmers taking the law into their own hands. In fact, through their indiscretion they have undermined public sympathy for their cause. This is also a sign that leaders of the farmer agitation, whose exhortations are hardly obeyed, are losing control over their followers.
Having struck a maximalist stance against the government’s farm bills and eschewed a negotiated settlement, frustration could be building up among farmers’ ranks. And these may have boiled over in the anarchy unleashed in the capital. That farmers raised the Sikh flag from the ramparts of Red Fort – seen as symbol of Indian national sovereignty which sports the tricolour – will also be seen as provocative and further delegitimise the farmers’ movement. The farmers have also threatened to march to Parliament on Budget Day. However, not only must the disruption in people’s lives caused by violent agitations in the national capital not be permitted to continue, a thorough investigation must also be conducted into security lapses on Republic Day.
Apart from the breakdown of law and order, there might be a larger breakdown of the social contract here. With the fast paced growth that India had experienced in the first decade of this century having slowed down, economic momentum has been lost and the sort of jobs and livelihoods that people expect are not forthcoming. The longer term task of the government, therefore, is to restore rapid and sustainable economic growth and ensure India’s demographic dividend doesn’t turn into its demographic burden. One looks forward to Budget Day next Monday for some concrete assurance on this.
4.Bad bromance: Trump has estranged Pence. Family will inherit his mantle now, desis predict
For Indians watching from far away there was a strange apnapan, familiarity, to the going ons in the Trump White House. After all, the way in which it was filled to the rafters with family and yes-men and yes-women is the commonest trope in both our real and reel life politics. When the 45th US president’s oldest son declared that, “This isn’t their Republican party any more. It is Donald Trump’s Republican party,” that too cut close to the bone because personality cults run wide and deep among us. In Supreme Leader and parivar too many of our parties also trust.
After his exit from the White House, the question is where all that angry energy to which Trump had given a megaphone will now drop anchor. Basically, if impeachment and other proceedings tie him down, who will inherit the mantle? Once upon a time wingman Mike Pence would have been a frontrunner. But in defending the constitution during the January 6 carnage, he found himself emphatically ejected from the inner circle. The two men have lived quite the Lady Gaga song. “I want your ugly, I want your disease… your horror, your vertigo shtick,” went the romance. Until it didn’t.
The Don should bet on his daughter now. As the T family moves lock, stock and barrel to Florida which hospitably mocks masks and social distancing, Ivanka could well run for Senate from there. Governorship is also in play. Her husband whom Trump had tasked with everything from resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the national Covid strategy, should prove an equal ‘ass-et’ for Ivanka. But if she watches Indian dramas she should beware that her brothers could contest the crown acidly. It will all come down to whether daddy can keep everyone magnetised and subservient, after his power has shrivelled.
5.Farm protests turn anarchic | HT Editorial
On Republic Day, even as India displayed its cultural diversity and military might on Rajpath, farm groups — which had been permitted to hold a tractor rally after the official ceremony concluded, on specific routes, peacefully — violated each of their promises and unleashed anarchy on the streets of Delhi. Protesters stormed into the Capital earlier than stipulated; they deviated from agreed routes; they displayed their swords and sticks and used tractors to ram through barricades; they engaged in violence and vandalism and destroyed public property; they attacked the police as authorities sought to impose order; and they stormed into the Red Fort and hoisted the Nishan Sahib, the Sikh flag, although not at the spot where the national flag always flies.
This newspaper has consistently warned against maximalism shown by farm groups — and their unwillingness to reciprocate even as the government has stepped back, substantially, on the farm laws. But this maximalist approach descended into unacceptable behaviour on Tuesday. And this deserves harsh condemnation from all quarters. Instead of celebrating what democracy offered them — a chance to register their protest in the Capital within reasonable boundaries — farm groups mocked every democratic tenet by flouting the understanding with authorities and undermining the rule of law.
Farm unions, which now claim they had no control over the miscreants, can’t run away from their responsibility. They have displayed poor political leadership of a mass movement — and have been led by the crowd, instead of educating and moderating, the crowd. And if they didn’t have control, they should not have organised Tuesday’s protests in the first place. The episode is also a lesson for those believe that street protests are an effective antidote to policies with which they disagree. Protest is a fundamental right, but radical, uncompromising politics from the streets, based on appropriating law-making powers, sets off the wrong precedent for the future and can turn volatile. The Delhi Police must also introspect about intelligence failures and absence of operational preparation that led to the situation on Tuesday and hold culprits accountable. But the ultimate responsibility lies with the farm protesters. With violence, their protests have now lost legitimacy. They must express genuine remorse for Tuesday’s violence, cooperate with the investigation, accept the government’s offer of an 18-month suspension of laws, if it is still available, and call off the protest.