CAO Daily Editorial analysis for UPSC IAS 06th-December, 2017

Current Affairs Only Daily Editorial Analysis for Competitive Exams


06th Dec, 2017

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Of crime and punishment {Social Justice}

(The Hindu)


Context

Low conviction rates and a lack of a lawful definition of crime mark criminal administration in India

Why in news?

Recently the annual publication of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), “Crime in India 2016.

It presents a dismal picture of the key performance statistic with only 47% convictions in Indian Penal Code (IPC) crimes at the national level.

Stats

  • With a population smaller than Mumbai, it has two times the number of police stations. Yet, in Delhi, while 1,90,876 persons were sent to trial last year, there were only 9,837 IPC convictions in the year.
  • In Delhi only 58% of those arrested were chargesheeted, while in Mumbai, more persons were chargesheeted than were arrested for IPC crimes.
  • In Delhi, 13,803 crimes against women were reported and no chargesheets filed in 4,371 cases (32%); in Mumbai with 5,128 crimes reported against women, final reports were filed in only 15% of cases.
  • The Delhi Police website says that it is the world’s largest metropolitan police force and arguments that Delhi accounts for 38% of the total crime under the IPC because of its migrant population are a simplistic explanation.
  • Delhi accounts for five times the IPC crime when compared with Mumbai, and 33% of violent crime in metros when compared with 13% in Mumbai.
  • What is the reason behind low conviction rates in Delhi?

CONVICTION:  Act of proving that a person is guilty of a crime in a court of law. 

  • In Delhi, DNA testing, which can secure higher conviction rates, is, inexplicably, a low priority.
  • There is only one forensic testing laboratory, with around 9,000 samples pending for examination. Over 5,000 are DNA samples.
  • Delays in this crucial evidence, which plays an important factor in acquittals, are a setback as samples deteriorate with time.
  • Consequently Delhi has a conviction rate of only 21%, 24% and 30% in cases of kidnapping and abduction, rape and murder, respectively.

What can be done for improvement?

There is a need to distinguish between accountability and operational responsibility. For example, ‘the Mayor of London is responsible for setting policing priorities that will hold the Met Police Commissioner to account.

Operational decision-making on day-to-day policing remains the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Unresolved issues

  •  In addition to those related to roles and responsibilities, there are also systemic issues.
  • We do not have separate wings for investigation of crime and for law and order.
  • There is still controversy over which kinds of conduct are best controlled by the application of criminal law and which kinds by other means.
  • Over 80% of prisoners are sentenced to terms less than three months, 40% are under 30 years old, semi-literate and convicted under special and local acts.

The main purpose of criminal administration should be the prevention of crime, and the police cannot be an instrument of social change


India’s plural soul {Social issue}

(The Hindu)


Context

This article deals with assassination, a demolition and a portrait’s unveiling together spelt the polarisation of India

Partition of India

It is estimated that nearly two million were slaughtered during the weeks around Partition, almost no Muslim surviving in East Punjab and no Hindu or Sikh in West Punjab.

About 7.5 million Muslims left India for the newly formed state of Pakistan and about 7.5 million Hindus trekked to the new India from Pakistan.

 Three events after partition that shook Indian pluralism 

Pluralism: Religious pluralism generally refers to the belief in two or more religious worldviews as being equally valid or acceptable.

  • Gandhi’s assassination— January 30, 1948;
  • The Babri Masjid demolition— December 6, 1992,
  • Savarkar’s portrait in Parliament House — February 26, 2003.

These incidences are still affecting ways of thinking, acting, reacting

Objective of Gandhi Assassination

Its aim was threefold: punish, by murder, one who believed India to be the home of all the faith traditions in it, reverse Gandhi’s idea of “Ishvar Allah Tere Naam”, pronounce the primacy and power of Hinduism in India.

It was meant to tell the Muslims of India that they were here by leave of the Hindus and that all talk of Hindu-Muslim unity and equality was sentimental and meaningless.

Babri Masjid demolition

  • Babri Masjid, the 16th century mosque was built spitefully, it is said, on the exact spot in Ayodhya, where Rama was born.
  • The Babri Masjid was a mosque in Ayodhya, India. Located in Faizabad district, it was one of the largest mosques in the Uttar Pradesh state. According to the mosque’s inscriptions, it was built in 1528–29 CE (935 AH) by Mir Baqi, on orders of the Mughal emperor Babur (after whom it is named).
  • On 6 December 1992, a large crowd of Hindu Kar Sevaks (activists) demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque in the city of Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh. The demolition occurred after a political rally at the site turned violent.
  • The mosque had, over the years, become a contested site, a Hindu v Muslim akhara.

Parliament Attack

  • The ghastly terrorist attacks in Mumbai of 1993, in Parliament House of 2001 and again in Mumbai in 2008 may or may not have been retaliatory for Ayodhya.
  • For polarisers, better than a temple built is a temple that is waiting to be built. It keeps spirits up, tensions high. It keeps terrorists on the other side activated. And it keeps cadres on this side motivated.

 

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