16.04.2018

Indian dailies have commented on Commonwealth Games 2018: India’s gold rush continued till the last day of 21st Commonwealth Games at Goldcoast, Australia. The total medal count comes to 66 with India bagging 26 gold medals, 20 silver medals and 20 bronze medals.  India’s third best outing ever; top highlights. Print media also comment on rising crude prices are cause for concern. Life ban on Nawaz Sharif endangers democracy in Pakistan is another issue which discussed by Indian News paper.

THE PIONEER in an editorial GREAT SHOW AT CWG writes, India’s performance at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games (CWG) has indeed been commendable, considering we broke new ground with stellar team performances in badminton and table tennis — where we have taken on some of the world’s best like Malaysia — and added a new sheen to our traditional disciplines. Though experts might argue that this is not the Asian Games or the Olympics, where China, the US or Europe are in contention, the gold haul does show that we are coasting towards a confidence to convert our abilities to medal prospects. And that is the bigger story of the Games, the triumph of a scientific, result-oriented sports policy of recent years and world class training modules, both Government and private. A quick analysis reveals a map of our sporting abilities and the need to refine our core strengths to be the world’s best. While we are making rapid strides in power-driven sports, the tally clearly demonstrates our skill set in indoor disciplines and mind games. Wrestling has been our traditional forte, Indians having had a civilisational connect with Malla Yuddha, and the boys and girls from Haryana have polished what has been encoded in their genes. Boxing is an acquired skill which has grown out of our grappling ability and mental agility to fool the opponent. Our shooting medals are ample testimony of making the cut with our patience, calm and concentration, something that has worked for us in chess and archery too. The second big revelation is that of power women, from the 16-year-old Manu Bhaker to the magnificent 35-year-old Mary Kom, proving that India has finally empowered women through sports.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in an editorial GO SLOW ON OIL says, Oil is on fire again, especially with renewed instability in West Asia. On Friday, the day the US-led strikes in Syria took place, Brent crude futures closed at $72.58 per barrel, its highest level since November 27, 2014. In the last two months alone, Brent has gone up nearly $10 a barrel or 16 per cent. Yet, during this period, retail prices of petrol and diesel in Delhi have risen by just over Re 1 (1.4 per cent) and Rs 1.6 (2.5 per cent) a litre, respectively. Clearly, the union government does not want fuel prices to increase. It had, only last October, reduced the excise duty on petrol and diesel by Rs 2/litre each — and that was two months before the Gujarat state polls. With elections to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh due in December, before the big one in April-May 2019, it looks unlikely that the state-owned oil marketing companies (OMC), over the next one year, would be allowed to fully pass on the rise in their imported crude costs to consumers. Alternatively, there could be further excise cuts by the government.

THE TIMES OF INDIA in an editorial JUDICIAL COUP opines. Pakistan’s Supreme Court last week disqualified former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office or contesting elections for life. This verdict was a follow up of an earlier verdict in July 2017 where Sharif was initially disqualified in the wake of corruption allegations. Along with Sharif, another Pakistani politician, Jahangir Tareen from the opposition PTI, has also been dismissed under the same constitutional provision. A striking feature of these verdicts is that the relevant constitutional provision requires parliamentarians to be “honest and righteous”, an offshoot of the growing influence of religion. That no real proof of misdemeanours is needed to dismiss the prime minister of a country and ban him from political life, and that the verdict hinges on a question of subjective interpretation of religious edicts by judges, points up once again the fragility of democracy in Pakistan. The country’s judiciary also appears to have been enveloped by its mullah-military nexus.