19.11.2019

Indian dailies have commented on the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha’s, a momentous day; which can now be cherished forever. Print media have also commented on the Rajapaksas’ return to power in Colombo in a polarised election. Papers say a stable and united Sri Lanka is in India’s interest. The Indian press has also said that a Hologram-like device that animates objects using ultrasound waves is a gadget of the future.

THE HINDUSTAN TIMES in an editorial A TRIBUTE TO THE RAJYA SABHA AT 250 writes on Monday, the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha (RS) commenced. India’s Upper House has been a remarkable institution which has played an important and often underrated role in strengthening India’s parliamentary democracy as well as Indian federalism. When the Constitution envisaged a bicameral legislature, there was a clear rationale. The Lok Sabha (LS) is the popularly elected house. The numbers in the lower house dictates the composition of the executive. It also has extra financial powers that the RS would lack. But despite this seeming asymmetry the RS had a special role. The idea was that with its distance from the exigencies and immediate demands of mass electoral politics the House would serve as a chamber of more informed deliberation where individuals from across political and professional backgrounds would offer their independent and wise inputs into legislation. The idea also was that this would be the voice of the Indian states where concerns by representatives from distinct regions would add to the depth of unity. Since its inception the RS has performed this role to a large extent. The rich legacy of the Rajya Sabha must be upheld.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in an editorial OLD IN THE NEW says Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s election as President of Sri Lanka was a foregone conclusion. That horrific Easter Sunday bombing had rekindled Sri Lanka’s collective memory of the years of terrorist violence by the LTTE, and the long military failure to defeat the Tamil insurgency — until in 2007, when then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa, gave his brother Gotabaya carte blanche against the Tigers. In two years, a freshly armed, retrained, and self-believing Sri Lankan Army, had crushed the LTTE. “Gota” was seen as the architect of that victory. Ten years later, when Sri Lanka faced another national security crisis, nostalgia for the Rajapaksas touched a new high, especially after it became clear that the “national unity government” that replaced the Rajapaksa regime in 2015 had failed to prevent the bombings. Even before this, as the Sri Lankan President and Prime Minister fought each other for supremacy, almost from the get-go and the work of governance ground to a halt, Rajapaksa’s authoritarian ways began to be compared favourably. This was evident from his sweep of the local bodies elections in 2018. To be sure, there was no pan-country longing for the Rajapaksas. It was a majoritarian Sinhala-Buddhist sentiment, and this is clear from the election results too. Indeed, this is possibly the most ethnically polarised result in Sri Lanka over the last three decades, other than the Tamil boycott of the 2005 presidential contest enforced by the LTTE.

THE ECONOMIC TIMES in an editorial NOW A HOLOGRAM THAT YOU CAN FEEL opines a team from the University of Sussex, England, reports in the journal, Nature, their success with an attempt to create a hologram that “can simultaneously deliver visual, auditory and tactile content”. Holograms have been around for some time. Candidate Narendra Modi campaigned in the 2014 elections in parts of Uttar Pradesh with 3D holograms of himself delivering speeches, establishing a connect with people whom he could not directly reach in remote areas. The scientists have dubbed their model Multimodal Acoustic Trap Display. Ultrasound waves move particles around to create forms, small speakers produce the sound and the movement of particles creates a sensation similar to how pressurised air feels on your skin.