18.04.2019

The Indian press has welcomed the ban imposed by the Madras High Court on the Chinese game app “TikTok”. Dailies have lamented the destruction of the spire of the iconic Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. The Indian papers have lauded the composition of the Indian cricket team for the world cup.

THE TIMES OF INDIA in an editorial TIK TOK BAN writes following a Madras high court order, the popular Chinese video app TikTok is no longer available through Google and Apple app stores. The app has already been heavily fined in the US for illegally collecting information from children, and banned in neighbouring Bangladesh. Among the charges against it is that it encourages paedophilia. TikTok’s developer, Bytedance Technology, has challenged the court order on the ground that it went against freedom of speech rights in India. This is ironic given that the company wouldn’t be able to make such an argument in its home country of communist China. Be that as it may, social media platforms ought to follow the laws of the land where they operate. They cannot escape such responsibility by either citing their foreign origin or digital nature. In fact, the so-called amorphous character of social media has proved to be conducive for spreading fake news, disinformation and rumours.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in an editorial OUR LADY LIVES says The Notre Dame cathedral in the fourth arrondissement of Paris would have passed artist Heidegger’s exacting standards. The Notre-Dame de Paris is not merely a religious site, an architectural marvel or a tourist attraction. It is a place that has been part of so much of French history, so intrinsic to one of the great world cities that the fire that coursed through it on Monday, has left its mark across the world.

No one was killed in the blaze, fortunately, and arson investigators have assured the public that prima facie, there appears to be no sign of foul play. President Emmanuel Macron has promised the people of France and the world that the Notre Dame will be rebuilt better than before. The sceptics, and those living with the grief and disappointment of the destruction, will argue that something will be lost in the reconstruction; that from when the foundation stone was laid in 1163, the many additions through popes and kings and damage from war, every rose-tinted window, every gargoyle, the deep, dark echoes in the hallway, the scenes and statues of biblical proportions, will never quite be the same.

THE HINDU in an editorial KOHLI’S 15 observes the ICC World Cup is cricket’s Holy Grail. The quadrennial event played through the One Day International (ODI) format often shapes the legacy of squads and players. It is the one championship where all leading Test-playing teams congregate, and once a unit wins the World Cup, the ambiguity ends and arguments cease. With the 12th edition set to commence in England on May 30, there had been immense interest in the Indian team’s composition. The selectors, led by M.S.K. Prasad, have decided to give an experienced crew to Virat Kohli. Many summers ago, M.S. Dhoni said that a player should have a minimum of 50 ODIs under his belt before playing in the World Cup. The former captain’s logic was that an experienced cricketer would have more game-awareness. The present squad ticks that box. Among the 15, nine have played more than 50 ODIs, with Dhoni leading at 341; four are hovering close to the 50-mark; and only K.L. Rahul (14) and Vijay Shankar (9) are below that mark although there is no mistaking their talent. The Indian team has explosive batsmen, incisive fast bowlers and wily spinners. The all-rounders’ quartet of Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Kedar Jadhav also gives Kohli varied options when India opens its campaign against South Africa at Southampton on June 5.