As economy slumps
In an editorial titled “Cost to the economy is increasing”, Inquilab notes that “demonetisation, and the implementation of GST in the Narendra Modi government’s first term and then rendering Article 370 ineffective in the second tenure, along with turning J&K into a Union territory made world headlines. But more hurt has been caused by the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).”
It was initially felt that this was to distract from the economic decline. But now it is clear that “BJP wants to polarise beyond the election” campaign. The paper is of the view that “economic improvement must be the topmost priority of any government” and “if it takes back CAA unconditionally, the economic hit due to this will also stop.”
Etemaad, the AIMIM daily from Hyderabad, has a hard-hitting editorial on January 22 on how finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had to take a rap after her first budget. “The prime minister had promised to move towards a Rs five-trillion economy in five years. But the first budget faced criticism because it did not tally with the Economic Survey presented a day earlier.” The editorial asks: “In the light of the criticism of the first budget, how will the finance minister give shape to this budget and what concrete policies and steps will the Modi government take to put the economy on the right track?”
The Urdu Times, on January 28, in an editorial titled, “The fear of Shaheen Bagh”, writes: “Hot winds are blowing in the country, even though in most of the region, it is winter. What is the meaning of hot winds at this time? It is the CAA, the NPR and the NRC that have heated up the atmosphere and all are debating this.” The editorial says: “This is not only about Indians. The debate has been stoked on the world stage. The European Union is preparing a resolution against this, which terms this is a way of snatching a citizens’ rights. India has said this must not be rushed and it is ready to give an explanation on this.” The editorial mentions The Economist and billionaire philanthropist, George Soros criticising Prime Minister Modi. The newspaper then goes on to assert that “it seems the government only sees Shaheen Bagh, whereas the movement is already expanding and women are joining it in a big way.” The editorial cautions that some “extremist elements” are trying to create violence to sabotage this and warns protesters to be “smart” and “not provide an opportunity for misuse and remain peaceful.”
In an editorial titled “Shaheen Bagh”, Siasat, on January 29 makes hard-hitting statements against what it terms “thoughts of the impure minds of some BJP leaders finding expression in the slogans and exhortations of violence and hate”.
Munsif, on January 29, writes how “in Amit Shah’s rally, minister Anurag Thakur got crowds to shout goli maaron salon ko. The BJP is doing its best to give communal colour to the Delhi campaign and spread hatred.” The editorial titled “BJP is adamant on playing hatred politics for Delhi polls” argues that “it should be clear that law and order is a central issue in Delhi and as Amit Shah is home minister, his job is to resolve Shaheen Bagh and he must do it by talking to people. When there is so much talk of resolving bigger issues through talks, then why not this one? Why is he hesitating to speak to the women at Shaheen Bagh?” The newspaper concludes that “AAP is there because of its work and the people of Delhi have to decide, who is a patriot and who is a traitor.”
In an editorial on January 30, the day the Mahatma was assassinated, Sahafat writes: “While 72 years have passed since Gandhi’s murder, instead of his martyrdom day, his Jayanti is celebrated. His death was not an ordinary event, it had shaken the entire country. Despite this, an attempt has been made to cover the murderer and the reasons of the murder.” The newspaper goes on to say “the government is mulling on giving Savarkar the Bharat Ratna. But Sardar Patel had asserted that he was among the suspects in Gandhi’s assassination. The prime minister really respects Patel. He may not agree with Patel on this, but as this matter is so sensitive, he cannot even express this.”
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