Media WatchNarad: A Lesson Must For All
Intro: If Gopinath Munde’s death can be catalyst to bring discipline and order on our roads, there would be some consolations. There is something rotten in how we drive and behave on the roads.
The death of Gopinath Munde has hit the BJP hard, as the media has noted. The Hindu (June 6) noted that Munde was “the BJP mass face in Maharashtra”. “Unassuming and likeable” said the paper, “Munde was a mass leader of the old style – accessible and available”. That he was killed in a road accident, concluded the paper showed “ there is something rotten in how we drive and behave on the roads.”
The Hindustan Times (June 6) said that the BJP “lost its best bet in Maharashtra” in Munde’s death. Munde, it said, “was not only a good orator and a splendid organiser but also a mass leader.” “If his death can be catalyst to bring discipline and order on our roads, there would be some consolations” the paper added.
In another editorial The Hindustan Times (May 30) recalled the history of Jammu & Kashmir noting that Jammu & Kashmir’s Constituent Assembly had ratified the State’s accession to India. It said: “ Apart form the fact of Article 370, the State has a separate Constitution which came into effect on January 26, 1957 and which, too, recognised the accession to India. So it argued: “Any discussion in abrogating the Article must take into account these facts of history.” In any case, the paper doubted whether the Indian Parliament would be able to let the Article go considering the winning formation “must have 60 per cent strength in each House of the Parliament for a constitutional amendment”. The Asian Age (May 30) said that “the Narendra Modi governmnet would have been better served if the controversy around having a special status for Jammu and Kashmir had not been orchestrated by elements in the PMO.”
Deccan Heralad (May 28) throught that Modi had struck the right notes “throughout the election campaign” and has ‘reiterated his commitment of building a strong, developed and inclusive India’, through the Cabinet, formation. As the paper saw it, dropping veterans or children of his party’s leading politicians “was admirable”. “So” said the paper, “is the induction of as many as seven women into the Cabinet which has sent a strong message that he is for women’s empowerment”.
The Telegraph ( May 30) wondered whether the choice of Smriti Irani as Human Resources Development Minister was a wise thing to do. The Times of India ( May 28) has shown that it is capable of thinking out of the box. It said that “the first item on the agenda following the one-to-one meeting between Modi and Sharif should be granting non-discriminatory market access to India” which has been agreed upon in December 2012 but is nevertheless hanging fire. The logical next step should be, said the paper, “full normalisation of trade ties between India and Pakistan” considering that “Modi has shown a penchant for unconventional diplomacy”. The paper said “if Sharif proves unable to deliver, at some point down the line, Modi should open a direct line of communication with the Pakistan Army, perhaps using the Indian Army as an intermediary.” The problem, the paper noted is that “while there is absolutely no reason to doubt Sharif’s commitment to peace with India, questions arise about his ability to deliver.” It added: “Terror remains the only outstanding issue between the two nations in a manner of speaking, as a template for resolving even the thorny Kashmir issue had been arrived at between Pervez Musharraf and Manmohan Singh before the former fell from power and grace.”
The DNA (June 3) said “by scrapping GoMs Modi has sent a message that governance cannot slow down because of differences over policy decisions between top Ministers or the Prime Minister and the National Advisory Council as happened in the UPA government.” It said: “the new Prime Minister has quickly stamped his authority on his Cabinet with this decision and promoted himself as the sole arbiter. Modi’s overwhelming political supremacy in the BJP, his eagerness to play a guiding hand and the absence of difficult allies is enabling the NDA government to chart a new course of governance. Ironically, like GoMs, a strong PMO can override the Cabinet too.”
Just one line more about Munde’s death. His death, said The Asian Age (June 4) “leaves a big void…. a bigger void than would the demise of an individual Cabinet Minister in the ordinary course and in the long run, the BJP does appear to have been weakened in an important State.”
(The writer is a senior columnist and former editor
of Illustrated Weekly)