DAILY MAINS NEWSLETTER FOR UPSC | 18 MAY 2021|RaghukulCS

Daily Mains Newsletter For UPSC
| RaghukulCS

18 May 2021

Index

Mains Value Addition

Mains Analysis

Topic No

Topic Name

Source

1

Unwarranted arrest

The Hindu

2

Wolf Warriors in the Subcontinent

Indian Express

Mains Value Addition

Explained: The why and how of creating a new district

Syllabus– GS 2: Constitutional features

Analysis: –

  • On May 14, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh declared Malerkotla the 23rd district of the State.
  • This led to an angry response from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who took to Twitter to say that the Punjab government’s decision of declaring its only Muslim-majority town as a district is “a reflection of the divisive policy of the Congress.”
  • Section 5 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 says the “State government may, by notification, vary the limits and alter the numbers of tehsils, districts and divisions into which the State is divided.”

How are new districts carved?

  • The power to create new districts or alter or abolish existing districts rests with the State governments.
  • This can either be done through an executive order or by passing a law in the State Assembly.
  • Many States prefer the executive route by simply issuing a notification in the official gazette.

How does it help?

  • States argue that smaller districts lead to better administration and governance.
  • For example, in 2016, the Assam government issued a notification to upgrade the Majuli sub-division to Majuli district for “administrative expediency”.

Are there are any exceptions?

  • The State government has been vested with unfettered powers under Section 5 of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1887 to create new districts.
  • This power is generally held temporarily in abeyance only during active census operations or during the delimitation exercise of Lok Sabha/Vidhan Sabha constituencies.

Does the Central government have a role to play here?

  • The Centre has no role to play in the alteration of districts or creation of new ones. States are free to decide.
  • The Home Ministry comes into the picture when a State wants to change the name of a district or a railway station.
  • The State government’s request is sent to other departments and agencies such as the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Intelligence Bureau, Department of Posts, Geographical Survey of India Sciences and the Railway Ministry seeking clearance.
  • A no-objection certificate may be issued after examining their replies.

Iran to develop Farzad B gas field domestically, dumps India

Syllabus -GS 2: IR

Analysis: –

  • Iran on Monday gave the Farzad B gas field to Petropars, a domestic gas producer. This is a setback for India’s energy ties with Iran as ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) had discovered the gas field in 2000 and has been part of the ongoing cooperation on that front.
  • According to Iran’s news agency Shana, the deal was signed in an event on Monday which was presided over by Iran’s Minister of Petroleum Bijan Zanganeh.
  • The deal was signed between Mohammed Meshkinfam, CEO of Pars Oil and Gas Company, on behalf of the National Iranian Oil Company, and Hamid Reza Masoudi, CEO of Petropars Group.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs has not yet commented on the development but OVL had discovered the Farzad B gas field in the Farsi region, which is located between the Iranian and Saudi territories.
  • Monday’s deal in Iran comes despite India’s long-standing cooperation regarding the gas field and is indicative of the impact of the U.S. sanctions on India-Iran energy cooperation, which had been drastically reduced during the Donald Trump administration in the U.S.
  • Last year, Mr. Zanganeh had indicated that foreign talks on the Farzad B block had become difficult because of the sanctions. Monday’s deal will pave the way for daily production of 28 million cu m of gas over five years, reported Shana.

Mains Analysis

Unwarranted arrest

Why in News?

Andhra Pradesh MP K. Raju have been booked under “sedition” charge by invoking Section 124 of IPC on the grounds of speech-based offences related to his diatribe against the party leader and CM.

Syllabus–GS 2- Constitutional provisions

Background: –

  • Narsapuram MP from Andhra Pradesh and YSRC rebel K Raghurama Krishnam Raju was on Friday arrested by Andhra Pradesh CID on charges of sedition.
  • CID officials said Raju had been ‘indulging in hate speeches against certain communities and promoting disaffection against the government’.
  • Raju, who has openly rebelled against chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, was picked up on his 60th birthday from his house in Hyderabad’s gated community at Gachibowli amid high drama after around 20 CID sleuths reached his doorstep.
  • A video showing heated arguments between the MP’s associates and CID sleuths went viral. CRPF personnel who are part of his Y category security surrounded him for protection.
  • The MP has been booked under IPC sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups), 505 (incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence) read with 120B (criminal conspiracy). He was taken to the CID headquarters in Mangalagiri from Hyderabad.

Sedition Offences: –

  • The prosecution claims that his speeches stoked hatred against communities — he had referred to alleged rampant conversion activities in the State — and attracted prosecution under Section 153-A or Section 505.
  • These offences attract a prison term of only three years and, under the Arnesh Kumar ruling (2014) of the Supreme Court, there is no need to arrest a person for an offence that invites a prison term of seven years and less.
  • Sedition, which allows a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, also prescribes an alternative jail term of three years.

What is sedition in law?

  • “In law, sedition is certainly an act of spreading disaffection against the government.
  • There is a thin line between criticizing the government, making a false propaganda against the government and trying to destablise the government.
  • Destabilising a democratically elected government certainly falls under the purview of sedition law.”

Custody

  • There has been alleged illtreatment of the leader and thus the Supreme Court ordered his health examination at Army hospital.
  • The bail petition of MP is likely to be taken up later this week. CID has named two television channelsin the FIR to which he gave interviews.

Does sedition law curb free speech?

  • “The law has become synonymous with being anti-national,” said Kumar adding that the courts have to interpret it in terms of Article 19, which guarantees the right to freedom of speech and expression but also provides riders.
  • “The riders are that you have to give a free passage to the government to function in a proper way.
  • You can protest, you can agitate against the government and criticize its policies but you cannot do it in a way that jeopardizes the functioning of the government.
  • Running a government smoothly is also democracy and a constitutional obligation,” Kumar explained.
  • The Supreme Court on numerous occasions in the past has ruled that raising slogans against the government or criticizing its policies is not sedition.
  • In a 1962 case, the Supreme Court had ruled “citizen has a right to say or write whatever he likes about the government”.

What does Section 124 A states

  • Section 124A of the IPC, which deals with sedition, states, “Whoever, words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.”

Punishment under Section 124A

  • Sedition is a non-bailable offence. Punishment under the law varies from imprisonment up to three years to a life term and fine.
  • A person charged under this law can’t apply for a government job. They have to live without their passport and must present themselves in the court as and when required

 

The need of Sedition clause

  • That State governments and various police departments are resorting to prosecution under this section, which is a poor reflection of the understanding of the law.
  • The sedition section is attracted only if there is an imminent threat to public order or there is actual incitement to violence — ingredients that are invariably absent in most cases.

Recent Incidents: –

  1. The FIR filed by the Azad Maidan police on February 3 claims that Urvashi Chudawala is seen raising the slogan, “Sharjeel tere sapnoko hum manzil tak pahuchaenge,” at the LGBTQ Solidarity Gathering on February 1.
  2. Sharjeel Imam, a JNU student, was booked for sedition and on other charges for an anti-CAA speech in which he is reported to have spoken about “cutting off the Northeast from India” by blocking roads and railway tracks.

Way Forward: –

  • It is vaguely and too broadly defined (the term ‘disaffection’ is said to include ‘disloyalty’ and ‘feelings of enmity’), warranting a total reconsideration.
  • the Supreme Court decided to revisit the constitutionality of this section.
  • Thus the fine balance between free speech and law has to be maintained for the better functioning of the state.

 

Question: –

It is time for a reflection on the need and relevance of the offence of sedition, a colonial-era provision used to imprison people for political writings in support of Indian independence. Discuss

Wolf Warriors in the Subcontinent

Why in News?

Recently Chinese envoy warned Bangladesh against joining the Quad which points to new kinds of challenges that the Subcontinent will face from the assertive superpower at its doorstep.

Syllabus– GS2: India & Its Neighbourhood relations, Groupings.

Background: –

  • China’s imposition of punitive sanctions on EU institutions and individuals over Xinjiang, its attacks on the West’s colonial past when discussing human rights and the recent outburst by Yang Jiechi, a politburo member and former director of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Office of the Chinese Communist Party, during the dialogue in Anchorage have all re-ignited discussions over Beijing’s assertive diplomacy.
  • In fact, throughout the past year, there has been much debate about the increasing abrasiveness of Chinese diplomats. This phenomenon has popularly come to be described as Wolf Warrior diplomacy.
  • While Yang’s long speech in Anchorage got much coverage, he was incredibly measured in comparison to Li Yang, China’s Consul General in Rio de Janeiro. A week ago, Li lashed out at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Twitter, accusing him of turning Canada into the “running dog of the US.”

Why does the Chinese envoy warn?

  • China being aware that the Quad has not invited Dhaka & closely tracking US policies in the region, wanted to lay down a red line for Bangladesh.
  • China is conscious that Bangladesh’s impressive economic performance in recent years & its location at the Bay of Bengal littoral lends a new strategic salience.
  • It also notes India’s growing diplomatic investment in developing a strategic partnerships with Bangladesh.
  • It was anxious about Bangladesh’s policy that supports China’s BRI but is also open to infra cooperation with the US, Japan & India.
  • In this scenario, the envoy remarks about the Quad were to warn Bangladesh to resist any Indo-Pacific temptation.
  • This pre-emption is very much part of China’s strategic culture.
  • For the 1st time, it was witnessed in subcontinent in 2007 against Malabar exercises in the Bay of Bengal conducted by India with 5 nations.
  • The envoy’s remarks are indeed part of China’s party line that the Quad is a “small geopolitical clique” which wants to divide Asia & contain China & takes any engagement with the Quad very seriously.
  • At the same time, the remarks underline China’s top strategic priority is to prevent the emergence of any countervailing Asian coalition.
  • This above diplomatic style is new for China that strives for assertiveness.

New Wolf Warrior Diplomacy:

  • “Wolf-warrior diplomacy,” named after these movies, describes offensives by Chinese diplomat to defend China’s national interests, often in confrontational ways.
  • China’s foreign ministry spokespersons Hua Chunying and Zhao Lijian have taken to Twitter to hit back against external criticisms of China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak and the poor quality of exported Chinese medical equipment.
  • “Wolf-warrior diplomacy” is evidenced not only in combative words but aggressive actions. For example, in early April, a Chinese coastguard ship allegedly sank a Vietnamese fishing trawler near the Paracel Islands.
  • China has always used an aggressive style in the matters of its sovereignty & territorial integrity and pushed back vigorously against any interference in its internal affairs.

This aggressiveness covers a much broader range of issues.

  • In the 1970s, When Deng opened up the Chinese economy & sought for international cooperation for rebuilding China, its diplomatic focus was on winning friends & influencing people.
  • But the 21st Century marks discourse for China’s diplomatic style known as “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” which boldly defends China’s interests & actively shapes the international discourse on the issues of the day.
  • It confronts head-on any criticism of China in the public sphere.
  • Lecture host govts & ignores summoning of host nations.
  • For a while, India has been at the receiving end, But India’s neighbors that has good relation with China are now experiencing China’s new diplomatic treatment.

Impact of China’s Assertive diplomacy on South Asia:

  • On diplomatic style & political substance, India & China are trading places in South Asia.
  • For a long time, India’s neighbors resented the imperious style of India’s diplomacy, now Chinese envoys inheriting that “pro-consuls” dubious mantle.
  • After a long time, India learned that too much diplomatic swag in the region had undermined its pursuit of regional objectives.
  • But China is eager to bet its substantive leverages in deterring smaller nations from crossing the markers that it lays down while limiting the costs.
  • In the case of Interventionist policy, for a long time, South Asian elites seethed at Delhi meddling in their affairs & they have welcomed China’s non-interventionist policy.
  • But now, China is no longer reluctant to intervene & its interventions are quite ostentatious.
  • Whereas India is now more circumspect than before about the interventions in the region & also demonstrates greater patience with uncomfortable developments in the neighborhood.
  • But today everyone discovering the flip side of Chinese cooperation that is not in favor of the host nation.
  • Also, they soon discover that they have no political recourse at all in China’s closed political system.

Bangladesh keen to join Indo-Pacific for economic reasons

  • Bangladesh has earlier shown interest in joining the Indo-Pacific initiative but that is aimed at strengthening its economic ties with countries in this vast region and also for enhanced connectivity.
  • In an interview to ThePrint earlier this year, Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Momen had said that Dhaka views Indo-Pacific purely from an economic perspective and is also contemplating coming out with a strategy for the region.
  • “We are evidently interested in Indo-Pacific because we are in the Bay of Bengal area and part of the blue economy,” Momen had then said. “For us, getting part of any security alliance as such is difficult because we believe in non-aligned policies and we would like to keep it that way.”
  • India and Bangladesh had jointly inaugurated the ‘Maitri Setu’ (Friendship Bridge) in March, weeks before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka, in an effort to enhance infrastructure connectivity with the neighbouring country, as New Delhi plans to take Dhaka into its strategic embrace under the umbrella of Indo-Pacific cooperation.
  • India has also joined hands with Japan in developing connectivity with Bangladesh.

Way Forward: –

  • Until now, India’s neighbors have seen Chinese support against India free of cost, convenient & off-the-shelf solution. But the increasing assertiveness of China, likely to cost them.
  • At the same time, having strong ties with India, the US, Japan & Russia does increase the bargaining power of South Asia’s smaller nations with each of them.
  • The Dhaka controversy enables them to discover the joys of dealing with the new hegemon in the South Asian horizon.

Questions: –

For decades, India’s neighbours have complained about its inefficiency in implementing projects vis-à-vis China’s speed & economic purposefulness. Why is China resorting to “wolf-warrior diplomacy?” Has this aggressive style become the new norm?

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