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HINDU EDITORIAL ANALYSIS:26th DEC'17 https://unacademy.com/user/abhishek6077 Editorial analysis- Nov & October News Analysis- November & October . Crash course on Polity, Modern, Ancient & Medieval History Ncert Class VI History Summary Delhi Sultanate Essay writing
This year, on Jerusalem When India voted on a UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution last week on the status of Jerusalem, going against the wishes of the U.S. and Israel, many observers of its foreign policy were surprised. The resolution did not make a direct reference to the recent U.S. decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and shift its embassy to the holy city from Tel Aviv. Through the resolution adopted with 128 in favour to nine against, with 35 abstentions, the 193-member UNGA expressed "deep regret" over "recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem" and stressed that Jerusalem "is a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant U.N. resolutions," between Israel and Palestine.
India's stand The surprise over the Indian vote was not because it fell out of line with the country's foreign policy as we have known it, but because of an apparent deviation from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new strategic thinking Much has been written on the 'Modi strategic doctrine' but the concept has been pithily summarised by Mr. Modi himself and explained by Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on earlier occasions the goal is to transform India from being a 'balancing power' to a 'leading power' on the international stage. U.S. President Donald Trump's National Security Strategy released recently offers support for this aspiration of India to emerge as a 'leading power.' India's Jerusalem vote can be interpreted as a continuing adherence to its traditional policy of nonalignment. But a more appropriate interpretation of the vote is possible within the framework of India's leading power ambitions.
In the 2012 Gujarat Assembly election, Mr. Modi won more votes in the Maninagar constituency than the population of four of these countries. Not exactly the group that India might want to lead, as second deputy after America and Israel.The second option was abstaining, along with Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Canada, Cameroon, Croatia, Haiti, etc. Of these, Canada, which used to vote with the U.S. on Israel resolutions, moved away from the U.S. position this time. Canada and Mexico also face the threat of the dismantling of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the Trump administration. As for Australia, its interests in West Asia are hardly comparable to India's. In any case, not taking a position on an issue is hardly worthy of an aspiring leader. Supporters of the 'leading power' doctrine often argue, rightly, that India must be more forthright and articulate in expressing its position on issues confronting the world. As it did, for instance, by speaking up on the Belt and Road Initiative. So, abstaining was not an attractive option for an aspiring leading power
The second option was abstaining, along with Antigua-Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Benin, Canada, Cameroon, Croatia, Haiti, etc. Of these, Canada, which used to vote with the U.S. on Israel resolutions, moved away from the U.S. position this time. Canada and Mexico also face the threat of the dismantling of the North American Free Trade Agreement by the Trump administration. As for Australia, its interests in West Asia are hardly comparable to India's. In any case, not taking a position on an issue is hardly worthy of an aspiring leader. Supporters of the 'leading power' doctrine often argue, rightly, that India must be more forthright and articulate in expressing its position on issues confronting the world. As it did, for instance, by speaking up on the Belt and Road Initiative. So, abstaining was not an attractive option for an aspiring leading power Many advantages Suboptimal as it might be as a choice, voting for the resolution put India in the company of the overwhelming majority of the world.
It kept India in the company of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), groupings that India continues to value under the Modi government. While BRICS and the SCO stayed together, the American-led NATO split on the issue, and even the Five Eyes countries of the English-speaking West Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. did not stay together on this vote. And India has far more significant interests in West Asian peace and stability than many of these countries South Korea and Japan, treaty allies of the U.S. in the midst of a nuclear threat from North Korea, also voted for the resolution. Yes, India voted alongside Pakistan, but that happens quite often. Some critics of the Indian vote have said Islamic countries do not support India on Kashmir. In 2016, Pakistan raised Kashmir nine times at the U.N.; in 2017, seven times, a total of 16 times. There are 57 countries in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and statistically, there were 912 chances for a statement against India on Kashmir over the last two years by an Islamic country. But it has not happened even once.
While India under Mr. Modi's brand of Hindutva nationalism is seeking leadership status on the global stage, the U.S. under Mr. Trump is undergoing a transition from being a hegemon to being a bully in its leadership role. The Jerusalem decision itself and the rhetoric that preceded the UNGA vote is a stark demonstration of this new U.S. posture. The disruptive streak in Mr. Trump opens new possibilities for India's leading power ambitions, but that cannot be achieved by blindly following American diktats. The Chagos Archipelago vote in June and India's ICJ contest in November bear out that fact. Mauritius wanted the UNGA to request the ICJ to issue an advisory opinion on its sovereignty claim over archipelago as it considers it as an unfinished agenda of decolonisation. The U.S. recognises U.K. sovereignty over the territory and they jointly operate the Diego Garcia military base there. India voted in support of the resolution, overcoming the fear of a bilateral dispute being taken to ICJ
"The process of decolonisation that started with our own independence, still remains unfinished seven decades later," India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Syed Akbaruddin, said in a statement on India's vote. The resolution was passed with 94 countries voting in favour, 15 against and 65 abstaining. In November, the U.S. supported the U.K. in its contest against India for an ICJ seat, as did all other permanent members of the Security Counci India stood its ground and won the day as the UNGA overwhelmingly supported it, forcing other permanent members to limit their support to the U.K., which finally withdrew its candidate. It is not difficult to draw a link between the two votes. Leading power ambitions are not realised by declaring unquestioning allegiance to anyone. If you see Nehruvian thinking in this script, it must be read with the caveat that any resemblance is purely coincidental and not intended
If you are worried that this might make the U.S. unhappy towards India, be assured, not any more unhappy than it can be towards the U.K. that voted against it after all, the U.S. had voted for it in the ICJ election against India. And the vote is only as much an appeasement of the increasingly marginalised Muslims of India, as Japan's vote for the resolution can be an appeasement of its 100,000-strong Muslims. Three UNGA votes over six months are more about multilateral diplomacy coming of age. India can be great friends with the U.S. and Israel and still disagree with them on some issues.
A glimmer of hope? Will the long years of waiting to recognise the identity of transgender persons finally end in this winter session of Parliament with the passing of the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill 2016? The community has laid stress on the point that for them, dignity, respect, and access to health care are non-negotiable basic rights. gwththe Self-identification should be the sole criterion for gender recognition legally without the need of any tea, medical or epert interver other psychological, medical, or "expert" intervention. Self-declared identity should also form the basis for access to social security benefits and entitlements. The community maintains that the basic principle of "nothing about us, without us" must be applied for all trans and hijra rights, health and welfare activities.
The community has rejected the setting up of district screening committees to recognise transgender persons as they say they are not objects or people with a contagious disease who need to be medically screened Their argument, and rightly so, is that a medical assessment violates their right to self-identification and gender autonomy which are protected under the right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. Many do not want to be labelled as transgender or third gender but instead recognised legally by their self-identified gender of "male" or "female" The Kochi Metro example Will the Bill have provisions to protect them from discrimination? The experience so far has been that many who struggle to access jobs are discriminated against, forcing them to drop out. For example, in May, when the Kochi Metro Rail Limited formally employed 23 transgender persons, eight of them dropped out after being unable to find suitable accommodation based on the monthly wages they drew (between 9,000 and 15,000).
Many households were unwilling to let out their houses to them. They faced other forms of discrimination too Therefore, an effective enforcement mechanism is vital for the adjudication of anti-discrimination claims brought forward by transgender persons. While in 2014, based on the Census, five million acknowledged their transgender status, activists say their number could be much higher. Over 66% of them live in the rural areas. The Census data also highlighted the low literacy level in the community, just 46% in comparison to the general population's 74%. In fact there should be reservation to facilitate their admission to schools and appointment in public offices. In 2014, the Supreme Court in National Legal Services Authority v. Union of India pointed out that reservation is one of the time-tested ways of enabling historically disadvantaged populations to join the mainstream.
In the case of transgender children, their families, unable to accept their status, subject them to domestic violence, which often compels these children to leave home. Though several transgender persons have made a mark in the beauty and fashion industry, joined the police force, the academic world and even the Indian Navy, there is need for a comprehensive survey on the socio-economic status of the community. Transgender welfare boards are needed in different States. Transgender persons should take part in the national Census to generate accurate data. A grey area Transgender identity is not yet recognised in criminal law, whether as the third gender or as a self-identified male or female. There is also no clarity on the application of gender-specific laws to transgender persons. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code is applicable to transgender persons (i.e., those who were male at birth). This amounts to double persecution.
The SRs were given an extended mandate after meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping this year, and thus went well beyond the remit of discussing the resolution of boundary issues. Above all, they were guided by the Modi-Xi agreements of 2017, including the 'Astana consensus' that "differences must not be allowed to become disputes", and the understanding at Xiamen that India-China relations "are a factor of stability" in an increasingly unstable world. It would be a mistake, however, to infer that with all these engagements the worst in bilateral ties is now behind the two countries. Since 2013, when the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement was signed, there has been a steady decline in relations in all spheres. The border has seen more transgressions, people-to-people ties have suffered amid mutual suspicion, and China's forays in South Asia as well as India's forays into South-East Asian sea lanes have increasingly become areas of contestation. In India, this is seen as the outcome of China's ambition of geopolitical domination
In the early 1990s, global corporations pushed the major trading powers of the time the U.S., the European Union (EU), Japan and Canada - for a GATT agreement that would vastly increase access for their products in foreign markets. They succeeded with the 1994 Marrakesh agreement which was supposed to be a grand bargain. The "farm subsidisers" of the U.S. and EU agreed to bring agriculture under GATT rules. In exchange, the developing countries had to pay up front by reducing import duties on manufacture, opening their markets to services, and agreeing to strict protection of intellectual property rights. The Marrakesh agreement also created the new Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to adjudicate on trade disputes. All this would be overseen by the new WTO. Under the DSB, the decision of a WTO panel could be rejected only by "a negative consensus" (i.e. al member-countries present had to turn down the ruling). A final verdict in favour of a complainant country entitled it to impose penalties on the other country.
And under the principle of cross-retaliation, these penalties, when authorised, could be imposed on exports from a sector different from where the dispute was located. This hurt the smaller countries and was to the advantage of the bigger ones. The new ability of the DSB to enforce decisions seemed too good to not take advantage of. For a brief while in the mid/late 1990s, the WTO seemed to be just the kind of "super" international organisation that the major powers wanted. If all trade and non-trade issues could be brought under one body which had the powers necessary for enforcement, there would be no place to hide for any country. There was pressure to bring many more "new" non-trade issues under the WTO. If the U.S. wanted labour and environment standards included, the EU wanted foreign investment, competition and government procurement. The developing countries, which had realised that they had been in the Marrakesh agreement, were far more active in the WTO from the late 1990s. Through a combination of the formation of strategic alliances and simply refusing to say "yes", they began to win some battles.
The China factor The entry of China into the WTO in 2001 also changed the picture. China used its newly acquired most favoured nation' status to the hilt. It expanded exports manifold to the EU and the U.S. Indeed, an influential body of opinion holds China's export success as responsible for the hollowing out of U.S. manufacturing. On its part, the U.S. soon realised that it was not the master of all it surveyed. Conflicts with the EU, a DSB that did not always oblige, and the more assertive developing country bloc (for a while led by Brazil and India) saw the hopes for a "super" WTO gradually evaporate. Still, in 2001, Brussels allied with Washington to successfully push for fresh trade negotiations even before the 1994 agreement had been digested. A new round with the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), covering old and new issues, was launched in the Qatar capital in 2001. However, by refusing to make any honest concessions over the years, the U.S., aided by a willing WTO secretariat, more or less killed the DDA in the late 2000s.
At Buenos Aires, proposals were made for the WTO to take up "new issues" such as e-commerce, investment facilitation and trade and gender. These are all outside the DDA and of interest only to a select membership. Need for multilateralism No one should be happy about the turn of events. All countries need mutually agreed discipline on market access, customs duties, etc. Regionalism cannot be an alternative Regional trade groups have succeeded in some places and they have not elsewhere. India's own experience with bilateral trade agreements has not always been good. Bilateral and regional treaties also open the door to the stricter "WTO plus" conditions in select areas like patents. The world therefore benefits from a multilateral trade body- though a fairer one than the WTO of the 1990s. To give just one example, India is on a better wicket with its food procurement and public stock holding policies protected within the WTO than with having to negotiate separate deals with major farm exporters like the U.S., Canada, Australia and Brazil
Still, one cannot take multilateralism in trade for granted. At the extreme, one cannot rule out a collapse of the WTO engineered by the Trump administration. The consequences are unimaginable even if they do not lead to trade wars as happened in the 1930s. India should be more actively engaged in how to arrest the slide and then make the WTO a more equitable organisation. Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu has said that India will soon convene a mini ministerial to discuss "new issues" for the WTO. Such fancy talk will not get us anywhere. India needs to work on persuading all members of the WTO to return to the table and negotiate on bread-and-butter issues like agriculture, industrial tariffs, and services. At this point, India and most of the world have everything to lose and nothing to gain from first a hollowing out and then a selective use of the WTO.
The cadre strength of the Maoists has consequently reduced. Similarly, a police action in Raigarh district eventually forced the Maoists to abandon their plan of expansion. The Ministry of Home Affairs, too, subsequently removed Raigarh from its Security Related Expenditure scheme. When the Maoists decided to create a new zone in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the target districts were immediately put on alert, so as not to allow them to gain ground. Security forces were redeployed to ensure better territorial command. As the Chhattisgarh police have experience in tackling Maoists in Bastar, they are now coordinating with the bordering States to strengthen intelligence and ground presence. Such coordinated proactive policing will dampen the Maoists' plans. The Maoist problem is not merely a law and order issue. A permanent solution lies in eliminating the root cause of the problem that led to the alienation of tribals in this area. The focus now is to build roads and install communication towers to increase administrative and political access of the tribals, and improve the reach of government schemes
Then, an educational hub and a livelihood centre in Dantewada district sprang up. Seeing its success, the government has now opened up livelihood centres, known as Livelihood Colleges, in all the districts. If the youth are constructively engaged by the government, the recruitment of youth by the Maoists will slowly stop. Role of civil society However, winning a psychological war against the Maoists remains an unfinished task. Though the government's rehabilitation policies have helped the surrendered cadres turn their lives around, security personnel are still accused of being informers and are killed. To end this, civil society must join hands with the government in realising the villagers' right to development. Loopholes in implementing government schemes must not be used as a tool to strengthen the hands of the Maoists.
The last two major attacks call for some serious introspection on the tactics used by the forces and their fitness to prevent any future attacks. The two-pronged policy of direct action by the security forces combined with development is showing results the government has already made a dent in most of the affected districts and is determined to check the expansion of Maoists. The paradigm of proactive policing and holistic development should ensure more such significant results in the future.
Power of the collective Violent acts, at the hands of a husband or a partner (intimate partner violence, or IPV), are distressingly common worldwide. These stem from the belief that women who don't obey or don't perform their set gender roles deserve to be beaten. Intimate relationships are important sites where violence against women is used to perpetuate patriarchy. The World Health Organisation estimates that almost one-third of all women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner, which affects their physical and mental well-being. Boys who witness parental violence are more likely to use it in their adult relationships; girls are more likely to justify it. Strategies to address IPV have included legal reforms, awareness creation drives, and strengthening of women's civil rights. As criminal justice solutions have largely been inaccessible to socially precarious women, a more inclusive alternative is to have collective-based resolution mechanisms. The potential of large-scale groups of women, such as self-help groups (SHGs), becomes critical in the Indian context.
India has experimented with many models of community dispute resolution mechanisms - the Nari Adalats (women courts) in various States, women's Resource Centres (Rajasthan), Shalishi (West Bengal), and Mahila Panchayats (Delhi) which have seen IPV as a public issue rather than a personal problem. Several NGOs have co-opted these models so that women can resolve cases of violence without getting entangled in tedious legal processes. SHGs are the most widely present collectives across regions. The experiences of large-scale programmes offer valuable insights into action for IPV redressal within SHG-led development models. These, as well as previous models, provide two key lessons-one, collectives of women need adequate investment for building their capacities; and two, mediation of IPV requires specialised structures to avoid manipulation by kinship relations and political affinities.
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