Abhishek Srivastava is teaching live on Unacademy Plus
EDITORIAL ANALYSIS FROM HINDU 5th DECEMBER 2017 https://unacademy.com/user/abhishek60 Editorial analysis . Crash course on Polity . Crash Course on Modern History . Crash Course on Ancient History . Crash Course on Medieval History Ncert Class VI History Summary . Delhi Sultanate .Essay writing Abhishek Srivastava
The one-election idea is a farce The case for holding simultaneous elections in the diverse, federal Indian polity is weak . In his address on National Law Day 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi for simultaneous elections to Parliament and all State Assemblies, under the banner of "one nation one election". . Mr. Modi also cited four reasons: massive expenditure; diversion of security and civil staff from primary duties; impact on governance due to the model code of conduct disruption to normal public life. . The case is weak and the reasons are a mere alibi.
The cost factor The Election Commission incurs a total cost of roughly Rs. 8,000 crore to conduct all State and federal elections in a span of five years, or roughly Rs. 1500 crore every year. Nearly 600 million Indians vote in India's elections, it costs Rs. 27 per voter per year .Is this a "massive" expense? To put this in context, all the States and the Centre combined incurred an expenditure of nearly Rs. 30 lakh crore in FY2014. The notion that elections are prohibitively expensive is false and misleadin Code of conduct and polls The model code of conduct for elections was agreed in 1979, It prohibits the ruling party from incurring capital expenditure for certain projects after elections are announced. .If India is indeed embarking on a path of "cooperative federalism", then more such projects will be undertaken by each State and not by the Centre.
. So, why should elections in one State hinder governance in the rest of the States? . The solution is to reform the code and not the electoral cycle Governance paralysis due to State elections is a mere alibi. The real reason excessive dependence on their national leaders' campaigns in State elections, as seen in Gujarat. -However, leaders had a minimal role in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu elections. Diversion of civil staff and disruption of public life, sound more like reasons against holding elections in general . The right of a voter to exercise her choice twice in a span of five years and hold governments accountable is much more important than just casting her vote once and having no option to express her opinion for the next five years. Voter behaviour Research on all simultaneous elections to State Assemblies and Parliament between 1999 and 2014 shows that simultaneous elections do have an impact on voter behaviour.
In 77% of these constituencies, voters chose the same political party for both State When elections were held even six months apart, only 61% chose the same political Political autonomy and Centre. party Today, any elected State government can choose to dissolve its Assembly and call for fresh elections. .If elections are to be held simultaneously, States will have to give up this power and wait for a national election schedule . There can be legitimate reasons for State governments to dissolve their Assemblies and call for fresh elections, as should be the case in Tamil Nadu. This goes against the very grain of political autonomy under our federal structure. There is much to improve in terms of efficiency of our governance. But "oneness" is not the desired path to efficiency in a diverse polity such as India
Stand up against torture India has undermined its prestige by repeatedly promising-and failing to ratify the Convention Against Torture . The Convention Against Torture (CAT) came into force in 1987 and India signed it in 1997. Today, the CAT has 162 state parties, 83 are signatories In refusing to ratify the CAT, India is in the inglorious company of Angola, the Bahamas, Brunei, Gambia Haiti, Palau, and Sudan. In 2008, at the universal periodical review by the Humar Rights Council (HRC) of the UN, country after country recommended that India expedite ratification.
Promises to keep . In 2011, 2012 and this year as well, India has been making promises but doesn't seem intent on keeping them, much to the dismay of the countries attending the review proceedings Meanwhile, torture cases have escalated in India - In Raghbir Singh v. State of Haryana (1980), the Supreme Court said it was "deeply disturbed by the diabolical recurrence of police torture." "Police lock-ups," it said, "are becoming more awesome cells." -In Shakila Abdul Gafar Khan v. Vasant Raghunath Dhoble(2003), the Supreme Court said that "torture is assuming alarming proportions... on account of the devilish devices adopted. The concern which was shown in Raghubir's case has fallen on deaf ears'" - In Munshi Singh Gautam v. State of M.P. (2004), . the Supreme Court said: "Civilisation itself would risk the consequence of heading towards total decay resulting in anarchy and authoritarianism reminiscent of barbarism.
. In response to India's pathetic excuse that it was necessary for Parliament to enact anti-torture legislation prior to ratification, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said that it was "an erroneous idea" and "a misconception" that the state must enact legislation first and ratify later. Ratification only signals the beginning of a process to amend national laws so that they conform to international human rights standards It demonstrates goodwill and political intention to comply with international norms and standards. A step forward The Prevention of Torture Bill. 2010 was an excellent attempt by Parliament to draft new legislation. .Unlike Indian law, which focusses on murder and broken bones (grievous hurt), torture was expanded to include food deprivation, forcible feeding, sleep deprivation, sound bombardment, electric shocks, cigarette burning, and other forms. The Indian police force uses these techniques
In the same year, a Select Committee of Parliament endorsed the Bill and made some positive recommendations for rehabilitation, compensation and witness protection. A petition was then filed in the Supreme Court in 2016, seeking a direction to the Union government to ratify the CAT .Despite its numerous promises to the UN bodies, the government opposed the petition saying that the Law Commission of India was considering the issue. . The Centre remains adamant to not ratify as it is deeply apprehensive of transparency and the involvement of the comity of nations in the post-ratification processes. In showing the world that India has no intention of combating the terror of its own forces and of implementing its promises made to the UN, the government has undermined India's prestige. To be a world power, India must act like one.
Bail-in doubts The government needs to re-examinethe proposed financial resolution legislation Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance Bill 2017 . Introduced in Parliament this August, it has caused great anxiety about the safety of funds parked by millions of households in bank deposits fears that it will enable banks to be 'bailed in' by depositors' funds rather than being bailed out' by taxpayers (or potential buyers). . The government has promised a Rs. 2.11-lakh crore recapitalisation plan for public sector banks that are now taking haircuts on defaulted loans being put through the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. When banks, in turn, face collapse, the fear is that depositors could face similar haircuts or write-downs on the value of their savings in the bank and perhaps be issued securities instead . This provision in the FRDI Bill is purportedly with an eye on resolving bankruptcy scenarios among financial entities.
. With its thrust on initiatives such as the Jan Dhan Yojana and demonetisation, the government has nudged more people towards the formal banking system. To ensure that those gains are not lost, the government must communicate more clearly the rationale behind the bail-in provision, and the circumstances in which it may ultimately be used, if at all .Most importantly, it must enhance the amount of bank deposits that will remain safe under the new dispensation