SECURE SYNOPSIS: 23 AUGUST 2017
NOTE: Please remember that following ‘answers’ are NOT ‘model answers’. They are NOT synopsis too if we go by definition of the term. What we are providing is content that both meets demand of the question and at the same time gives you extra points in the form of background information.
Topic: History of the world
The recent spurt in instances of racial intolerance and hatred in USA, especially when the scenario was marked by the tenets of peace and harmony about a decade ago, is something that needs a deeper introspection.
United States of America is a country of immigrants. It is a melting pot of various ethnicities like Hispanics and Latin Americans, European descendants, native Americans etc. Presence of various cultures, lifestyles, traditions have led to differences and rise of racism.
Roots of Racism –
- Arrival of British Colonialism led to suppression, oppression and immigrants from Africa and inequalities resulting in threat to native identities.
- The legacy of the American civil war, which had divided the country on the question of legitimacy of slavery. Slave trade increased during colonial period and sense of superiority arose among masters.
- Northern states with relative prosperity looked down Southern states during American Revolution period. Cultural differences made few communities treat themselves as superior.
- Throughout the 19th century, as well as for a significant period in the 20th century, racism and racial discrimination was practiced rampantly, and the African-American and the Blacks in USA were systematically denied political, social, and economic rights.
- The history of racist groups such as Ku Klux Klan, and the way they have shaped up the discourse on racism for several decades now, through acts of violence, intimidation and bigotry.
- The progress achieved with regard to social harmony and unity, through the means of the ”Civil Rights Movement”, led by Martin Luther King Jr throughout the 1960’s had infuriated the white supremacists. This led to their intensification of feelings of hatred and intolerance towards the various minority races.
- The financial crisis of 2008, and its aftermath, created deep socio-economic divisions. The consequences were capitalized upon by the ”White supremacists”, in order to sharpen their verbal and physical attacks against the various races, including the immigrants.
The PEW research center throws light on the facts such as:
(i) Income disparities – The income of median white household is approximately twice that of median black household.
(ii) Wealth inequalities – The median white household has at least 13 times more wealth than a median black household.
(iii)Wealth accumulation – The majority of country’s wealth accumulates in the hands of white Americans, giving them edge in almost every sphere over black Americans.
Due to the lack of wealth and insufficient income, blacks are lacking in education and therefore in employment opportunities.
The reasons why racism still persists are as follows –
- The inability of law enforcement agencies so far to tackle such actions stringently.
- Members within the government machinery have often provided tacit support to the causes of the white supremacists.
- Resorting to Crime and Extortion by poor African-Americans due to lack of social security, basic needs resulting in spread of hatred towards them.
- Cultural prejudices like color of skin, language and lack of Value based education to children.
- Since the death-cum-assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the lack of consolidation among the Blacks, and other racial groups to tackle the menace in a united manner has been lacking.
The democratic traditions of USA need to rid itself of this scourge of racism at the earliest. Only then, can the country truly claim to be a land of dreams, and inspire its citizens, as well as the immigrants by infusing in them the spirit of hope and optimism.
Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
The recent five-judge verdict in the triple talaq case has invalidated it. The progressive verdict has been a cause of enthusiasm for the nation as a whole, and especially for the Muslim women in India.
The issues at hand were whether the practice of talaq-e-biddat, or triple talaq, was in violation of the rights of Muslim women, whether the practice was acceptable under the ambit of freedom of religion, and whether the practice could be subjected to the principle of equality before the law. The verdict however saw arguments being made both for and against the practice.
The arguments that were made by the judges are as follows:
Majority opinion –
- Justice Joseph:
Sensitive to Islamic faith : the tenets of triple talaq go against the Quran itself. Thus, making a remark “what is bad in theology is bad in law as well”.
Sensitive to Constitutional rights : triple talaq cannot be given the protection under Art 25.
- Justice Nariman and U.U.Lalit :
Sensitive to Islamic faith : they held that even though Hanafi jurisprudence finds triple-talaq as permissible, the very jurisprudence finds it sinful
Sensitive to Constitutional rights : it violates Art 14 (right to equality) as it gives an arbitrary power to muslim men over muslim women with no scope for reconciliation given to muslim women
Minority Verdict –
- CJI Khehar :
Sensitive to Islamic faith : conscience is not above faith and any faith-related practice continued for centuries becomes part of that faith, even if not explicitly provided for by the texts;
Sensitive to Constitutional rights : wanted the Parliament, not the judiciary, to take up the issue and make amends to personal laws it has done in the past (under Art 25)
- Justice Nazeer :
Sensitive to Islamic faith : called the practice as inherent part of Islam and its personal law
Sensitive to Constitution: he upheld Art 25 as fundamental and not to be violated based on perceptions
Analyzing the arguments, the following positive points can be inferred:
- The majority verdict placed greater emphasis on gender equality, rather than on the consideration of religious feelings of the Muslim community. Fundamental right (FR) to equality to all Muslim women under article 14 can’t destroyed at the altar of mere religious practice. Triple talaq’s invalidation sets the stage for Muslim personal law to be scrutinized with respect to the fundamental right to equality before the law.
- The most positive fact was the recognition of social realities, without sticking to rigid traditions of the past.
- Revocation of marriage without any attempt at reconciliation is not only illegal but also unethical & inhumane. The pain & trauma highlighted by leading ladies like Shah bano, Sharaya bano called for an end to the practice which is certainly anachronistic in 21st century India.
However, some of the negative facets were as follows:
- The practice is protected as FR under article 25 (freedom of religion) of the constitution. So, it violates the FR of the minorities.
- The action based on call of conscience can have cascading effect as pointed out by CJI. He advised judges to exercise ‘absolute restraint’ in matters of faith.
- Various social ills in the past like sati, devdasi system were abolished by legislative pronouncements & not by judicial injunctions. In this regard, this can prove a wrong precedent, judiciary has set.
The progressive verdict, and its implications on the rights of Muslim women are to be seen in the coming days. The victory of progressivism over orthodoxy needs to be maintained, if any further sustainable reforms in the field of personal law are being desired.
Topic: Mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections
Shayara Banu case:
The woman from Uttarakhand then approached the Supreme Court after giving talaq by her husband in 2016, challenging the validity of arbitrary practices against women followed by Muslims.
Her petition seeks the Supreme Court to declare talaq-e-bidat, polygamy and nikah halala illegal and unconstitutional on the grounds that they violate the rights guaranteed by the Constitution under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25.
Shayara’s husband has opposed her plea on the ground they were governed by the Muslim Personal Law and all three discriminatory practices are sanctified provisions under the very same law.
However, under the Constitution, religious freedom is subject to all other Fundamental Rights. Article 25 — which guarantee Freedom of Practice and Propagation of Religion — do not protect religious practices since they can negatively affect the welfare of citizens. Article 14, which guarantees the Right to Equality, overrides Article 25 because triple talaq denies a Muslim woman’s equality before the law.
Similarly, Article 25 is subject to Article 15 (1) which says that the State “shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex…” Since triple talaq does not work in the favour of women, it violates Article 15 (1) of the Constitution. The Supreme Court’s decision will affect many women victims in the country and those who are vulnerable to the instantaneous oral and unilateral triple talaq.
Shamim ara v state of u.p. & ors:
The appellant-wife and Abrar Ahmed(respondent no.2) were married in 1968. The appellant filed an application in 1979 under Section 125 CrPC complaining of cruelty to her and her children as well as desertion. The husband replied by claiming that he had divorced her on 11-7-1987, and therefore her disentitlement for maintenance.
No statement of circumstances, no justification by reasons, no proof of efforts at reconciliation and no evidence of witnesses in support of the talaq were adduced. The Family Court had accepted an affidavit by the husband (in some case where the appellant was not even a party) as proof of the talaq and accordingly dismissed the wife’s suit for maintenance. The wife appealed to the High Court. The High Court of Allahabad held that although the alleged divorce had not been communicated to the appellant, the divorce stood completed in 1990 when the husband filed written statement to her appeal.
The appellant has filed this appeal by special leave before the Supreme Court.
The Hon’ble Judge noted that there is no mention in any Holy Book or Islamic scripture of a form of divorce given by way of a pleading in a written statement, provided that the divorce was not communicated to the wife prior to filing the written statement. Therefore, such a form of divorce cannot be effected on the date on which the wife learns of such statement contained in the copy of the affidavit/pleading served on her.
Justice Lahoti stated that the correct legal position is that a mere plea of divorce given in a written statement by the husband will not by itself operate as proof of talaq; hence, it cannot be said that talaqhas take effect from the date the written statement made by the husband comes to the knowledge of the wife.
Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.
What is Doklam issue?
In June 2017, Doklam became the site of a stand-off between the armed forces of India and China following an attempt by China to extend a road from Yadong further southward on the Doklam plateau. Unlike China and Bhutan, India does not have a claim on Doklam; however, India supports Bhutan’s claim on the territory.
According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road that previously terminated at Doklam towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zornpelri near the Jampheri Ridge two km to the south; that ridge, viewed as the border by China but as wholly within Bhutan by both Bhutan and India, extends eastward approaching India’s highly-strategic Siliguri corridor.
On 18 June, Indian troops apparently crossed into the territory in dispute between China and Bhutan in an attempt to prevent the road construction. In a 1949 treaty, Bhutan agreed to let India guide its foreign policy and defence affairs. In 2007, the treaty was superseded by a new friendship treaty that replaced the provision that made it mandatory for Bhutan to take India’s guidance on foreign policy, providing broader sovereignty to Bhutan and not requiring it to obtain India’s permission over arms imports.
The most important task facing the Chinese economy was the rebalancing necessary to address the structural problems created by the weakening of the export engines and the over reliance on investment, which together had been the primary drivers of its spectacular growth. The Doklam crisis can add to this burden of Chinese economy.
As Edward Luttwak has argued, China’s “premature assertiveness” could prove self-defeating as it may propel other powers such as the US, Japan and India to unite against it. The assertiveness may attract the possible wrath of neighbouring countries.
The china can be suffer from disadvantage due to demonstration effects this crisis may create on international platform due crisis against successful democracy such as India.
The issue of human rights violation is under global discourse with respect to china specifically. The involvement of Bhutan, who is highly peace loving country, may damage the image of china further.
According to some experts, the Doklam issue may affect the progress of One belt one road initiative of china.
Introduction :- One of the most significant trends visible in wildlife conservation and management today is the increased use of ‘technology’. It Can be seen from following examples :-
- Camera traps, for instance, have provided new evidence of tiger presence in the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa and of the Asiatic wildcat in Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh;
- radio collars have helped solve the mystery of tiger deaths in Bandipur in Karnataka and Chandrapur district of Maharashtra; and
- satellite telemetry promises to provide new insights into the behaviour and movement patterns of the Great Indian Bustard in Gujarat, which includes its journeys across the border to Pakistan.
- New software and sophisticated surveillance technologies are being operationalised to keep an eye on developments across large landscapes and the use of contraceptives has been suggested to contain runaway populations of animals ranging from the monkey in large parts of India to the elephant in Africa.
- Saving endangered species :- Few examples will show how technology helps in conserving endangered species across the globe. Collecting Gorilla Conservation Data with GPS in Africa, GPS Tracks Tagged Tigers in Nepal, Hubble Telescope Identifies Whale Sharks, Text Messages Protect Elephants in Kenya, Unmanned Planes Spot Arctic Seals, Desalination Plants Providing Water to Arabian Oryx, Gene Sequencing Machines Save Tasmanian Devils from Cancer, Sonogram Spots Grouper in Mangrove Roots etc
- Water conservation :- Drip irrigation can increase irrigation efficiency from 70 percent or even 50 percent to 95 percent. In home appliances like The TapNFlush, High Efficiency Faucet Aerators, Water Flow Valves can effectively reduce the wastage of water.
- Controlling air pollution by using sensors in chimneys of Industries, Air quality index, catalytic convertors, scrubbers etc
- Reducing conventional energy dependence and their by pollution, exploitation of natural resources by increasing solar use, developing photovoltaic technologies, solar trees, wind mills, geothermal, wave and tidal techniques.
ASSOCIATED ISSUES :-
- The basic pleasures of enjoying the wild are essentially technology mediated intrusions (think binoculars and cameras) into the private lives of animals that the human species does not allow in its own case.
- Technology is signifier of further human dominance and authority over the wild animal if not complete control.
- Technologies and technological interventions are bringing about fundamental changes in the identities and essence of wild subjects
- Encroachment on the space, privacy and natural ways of living of animals
- Conservation vs Development and industrialisation issues gains much attention due to the disastrous effects on environment.
- Sufficient budgetary allocation, investment in technologies, political will to adapt new and non conventional ways is also lacking
M.S.Swaminathan had said “If conservation of natural resources goes wrong, nothing else will go right.” Hence its maximisation keeping in mind the associated issues is the need of hour and technology is the guide here.
Topic: Contributions of moral thinkers and philosophers from India and world.
c) Ethical Egoism
d) Descriptive ethics
f) Tradition Vs Religion
- a) Aesthetics :- Aesthetics, also spelled esthetics , the philosophical study of beauty and taste. It is closely related to the philosophy of art, which is concerned with the nature of art and the concepts in terms of which individual works of art are interpreted and evaluated.
Ex appreciating and buying paintings.
- b) Etiquette :- Etiquetteis a code of behaviourthat delineates expectations for social behaviour according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
Not talking while eating, helping the needy is considered a good etiquette.
- c) Ethical Egoism :- Ethical egoismis the normative ethicalposition that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest. It differs from psychological egoism, which claims that people can only act in their self-interest. Ethical egoism also differs from rational egoism, which holds that it is rational to act in one’s self-interest. Ethical egoism holds, therefore, that actions whose consequences will benefit the doer can be considered ethical in this sense.
- d) Descriptive ethics :- Descriptive ethics, also known as comparative ethics, is the study of people’s beliefs about morality. It contrasts with prescriptive or normative ethics, which is the study of ethical theories that prescribe how people ought to act, and with meta-ethics, which is the study of what ethical terms and theories actually refer to. The following examples of questions that might be considered in each field illustrate the differences between the fields:
- Descriptive ethics: What do people think is right?
- Meta-ethics: What does “right” even mean?
- Normative (prescriptive) ethics: How should people act?
- Applied ethics: How do we take moral knowledge and put it into practice?
- e) Harmony :- Harmony is the consistent and proper arrangement between things without discord. It can be the harmony of musical notes, the relationship between people, movement between objects, etc.
- f) Tradition Vs Religion :- Tradition is the behaviours, ways and things we follow as a set norm and religion is the preached, acquired or taught rules, regulations about god, behaviour, society etc.
Visiting temples on auspicious occasion is like tradition while praying to deities, doing rituals, learning the scriptures is religion.