India must keep an eye on Russia's military build-up in Ukraine.
What is the issue?
Russia’s military build-up in the vicinity of Ukraine might jeopardise India’s interests.
Why is Russia constructing a military base near Ukraine?
Russia has accused the West of attempting to convert Ukraine into an anti-Russian state via regular supply of new weaponry and indoctrination of the populace.
Russia’s demand of the West – Guarantees that Ukraine will never join NATO.
The US has classified some of these requests as “unacceptable.”
Ukraine serves as a critical buffer between Russia and the West for the US and EU.
They are becoming more determined to preserve Ukraine independence of Russian influence.
Ukraine’s NATO accession efforts have been continuing for some years and seem to have accelerated lately.
As a result, Russia has concentrated soldiers and military weapons on the Ukrainian border.
If the demands are not satisfied, Russia may take some steps.
Russia, on the other hand, has reaffirmed that invasion is not their favoured option.
What is Ukraine’s position?
Ukraine has shifted toward the West, culminating in the 2014 overthrow of a pro-Russian leader.
Russia’s massing of soldiers at Ukraine’s border indicates that Putin is contemplating an invasion unless Ukraine withdraws.
Russia seized the Crimean Peninsula in a military operation in 2014.
What is India’s option?
Delhi might experiment with its position in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
India is incapable of publicly criticising or endorsing Russian activities.
India’s silence, on the other hand, would be seen as a support.
Moscow may seek assistance from Delhi.
India’s silence will be marketed as an endorsement, as it was in the case of Crimea.
What advantage would it provide to China?
Moscow will need Beijing’s diplomatic backing much more in the event of an invasion.
China might push Moscow to halt military supplies to India in its dealings with India.
In 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis, when Moscow need Beijing’s assistance, As a consequence, the Soviet Union sided with ally China against friend India during a critical period of the China-India conflict.
In order to maintain their emphasis on the Russian crisis, European capitals might aim to normalise relationswith China rather than oppose its forceful behaviour.
This might jeopardise Delhi’s efforts to coordinate its approach with like-minded countries in order to balance China.
China may be able to position itself as a valuable intermediary between the West and Moscow.
China would profit from American and European attention being diverted away from Asia and onto Russia-Ukraine.
What effect will it have on India’s interests?
In 2014, India faced difficulties as a result of Russia’s invasion of Crimea.
If Moscow initiates military action against Ukraine once again, India’s aims would be immensely complicated.
It would be detrimental to Delhi’s interests to prevent Russia’s relations with China from expanding further.
A more Beijing-centric Moscow would be troublesome for India, which is reliant on Russian military supplies and Sino-Indian border tensions may resurface.
Moscow’s arguments for its operations against Ukraine are similar to Beijing’s explanations for its actions against India.
Russian military action contradicts Delhi’s regular advocacy of territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The western reaction would likely include further penalties against Russia. This would impede India’s capacity to do business with Russia and broaden relations between the two countries.
The invasion would put a stop to any near-term hope of the West and Russia reconciling.
It will exacerbate India’s attempts to strike a delicate balance between its alliances with the United States, Europe, and Russia.
Contradictions between India and the United States and India and Europe towards Russia will be highlighted.
India’s efforts to strengthen commercial and security relations with European allies would be harmed.
A worsening situation in Europe might divert the US focus away from the Indo-Pacific scene.
India maintains economic and defence relations with Ukraine and There are around 7,500 citizens living there.
What actions are required?
India would pray for a peaceful resolution and that Russia refrains from military action against Ukraine.
India has the option of informally conveying its concerns to Moscow.
In the event of an invasion, India must brace itself for possible repercussions for India’s interests with Russia, the West, and China.
Freedom of speech
In the aftermath of a war cry directed towards minorities at a religious assembly in Haridwar, it is time for India to recognise hate speech as the most heinous assault and the gravest betrayal of the Indian Constitution’s conception and protection of freedom of expression.
Discourse about Anti-Semitism:
Hate Speech, in general, refers to comments intended to incite hatred against a certain group, which may be a community, religion, or race. This speech may or may not be intended, but it is very certain to result in violence.
The Bureau of Police Research and Development has released a guideline defining hate speech as a language that disparages, degrades, threatens, or attacks a person based on their identity or other characteristics (such as sexual orientation, disability, religion etc.).
According to the Law Commission of India’s 267th report, hate speech is “an incitement to hatred directed principally towards a group of individuals identified by race, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, or the like.“
The arguments about the scope of free speech:
While the Constituent Assembly debated on Article 13 of the draft Constitution, which became Article 19 in the approved Constitution, grave reservations were made about the proposed proviso to Article 13 stating limits on freedom of speech and expression. These limits were eventually included in Article 19. (2).
The proposed limits were opposed on the grounds that they tried to restrict free expression and were not included in the American Constitution, which had inspired the Constituent Assembly members greatly.
Sections 153A, 153B, 295A, and 502(2) of the Indian Penal Code were enacted under the ‘public order’ constraint.
Present constitutional articles pertaining to freedom of expression and speech:
According to Article 19(1) (a) of the Indian Constitution, “all people shall enjoy the right to freedom of expression.”
The principle behind this Article is found in the Constitution’s Preamble, where a solemn resolution is made to provide the liberty of thought and expression to all of its citizens.
However, the exercise of this right is subject to “reasonable limits” for certain reasons established under Article 19(2) of the Indian Constitution.
According to the Indian Penal Code:
Sections 153A and 153B of the Indian Penal Code punish actions that incite hostility and animosity between two communities.
Section 295A of the IPC deals with penalising actions that intentionally or maliciously offend a class of individuals’ religious sentiments.
Sections 505(1) and 505(2) make it illegal to publish or circulate anything that incites ill will or hate amongst various communities.
Supreme Court on the issue:
The Supreme Court said in Pravasi Bhalai Sangathan vs Union of India &Ors. (2014) that hate speech is an attempt to marginalise persons on the basis of their membership in a group.
Hate speech tries to delegitimize group members in the view of the majority by lowering their social position and acceptability within society.
Thus, hate speech transcends the level of inflicting discomfort to particular group members. It has the potential to have a social influence.
Hate speech creates the framework for subsequent, wide assaults on the vulnerable, which may include discrimination, ostracism, segregation, deportation, violence, and, in the most severe circumstances, genocide.
Additionally, hate speech impairs a protected group’s capacity to reply to the substantive ideas being debated, preventing them from fully participating in our democracy.
Concerning the spread of hate speech, the Supreme Court said that the issue is not one of a lack of legislation but rather one of their ineffective enforcement. As a result, both the administration and civil society must play a role in upholding the already-existing legal environment.
Effective control of “hate speeches” at all levels is necessary since their authors may be prosecuted under current criminal law, and all law enforcement authorities must guarantee that the existing legislation does not become a dead letter.
Additionally, the Supreme Court asked that the subject be examined by the Indian Law Commission.
The Law Commission’s 267th report said that new provisions in the IPC were necessary to address the problem.
To combat the problem of hate speech, it proposed the addition of additional Sections 153C (prohibiting incitement to hatred) and 505A (creating fear, alarm, or instigation of violence in specific circumstances).
Neither the legislation has been tightened nor has it been rigorously enforced.
Numerous issues must be considered when limiting speech, including the volume of strong viewpoints, their offensiveness to specific populations, and their impact on the ideals of dignity, liberty, and equality.
While there are laws against such crimes, Thus, defining hate speech properly would be the first step in combating the problem, and further activities such as public awareness raising are necessary.
Ethics | Paper – IV
Doctrine of Double Effect
This idea holds that if doing something morally right has a morally wrong consequence, it is ethically acceptable to do so as long as the undesirable consequence was not intended.
This is true even if you were aware that the negative consequences were likely to occur.
“Doctrine of Double Effect” is applicable in situations when saving the life of a pregnant woman results in her unborn child’s death.