Bill of change
* The article Lawlipop politics by Shekhar Gupta (National Interest,IE,March 16) was thought provoking and timely. Certainly,the UPA government is acting in haste when it comes to making new laws. The anti-rape bill kept shuttling between cabinet and GoM. It is unfortunate that the UPA only acts under the pressure of mass agitations. Measures taken in such haste are soon forgotten and go to waste.
* SHIKHAR DHAWAN has made a smashing debut in Team India (Blockbuster opening,IE,March 17). The pace with which he went about his task was mind-boggling. Being a left hander,he gels well with the right-handed Murali Vijay,which is a good sign for India. For the time being,at least,these two seem to have taken the place of that old Test partnership,Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag. Dhawans aggressive streak is heartening because that was how Sehwag played when he won matches for India. Although the current Australian side is not the most feared in the world,to take them on in such a manner needs gumption. Most other debutants would have been content with a ton. It was marvellous to watch how Dhawan battled on,aiming for a double ton. After his spectacular show,Dhawan must quickly learn to juggle between all formats of the game. He must also be consistent.
* BIHAR CM Nitish Kumar has been demanding special category status for Bihar on various podiums for a while now (At Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan rally,Bihar CM Nitish Kumar says Bihar will be kingmaker at Centre,IE,March 17). Although special status is no panacea,it can help the state get a larger share of Central funds and attract industries to create employment. In his budget speech,the finance minister spoke of tweaking the criteria for special category status. Meanwhile,Nitish Kumar hinted that the doors were open for anyone who wanted to help Bihar. Both seem seem to indicate a new current in Bihars political arena.
Taking on Italy
* ITALY has refused to send back the two Italian marines who had been allowed to go home on the solemn assurance that they would return after they had voted in the elections. The government of India has reacted strongly to this diplomatic betrayal and the Supreme Court has ordered that the Italian ambassador should not leave India without its specific permission. It appears to be a grave breach of trust by Italy,which is now invoking international law to avoid having to send the marines back.