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The Hindu Analysis Free PDF Download

Date: 04 March 2020

The legacy of childhood trauma

  • Everyone who knew Rakesh said he was a monster.
  • He could not handle conflicts at home and often resorted to yelling to get his point across. He would discipline his children by being physically violent.
  • His idea of showing love for his partner was through physical violence and threats. Where did Rakesh learn to be the man he was? Perhaps from his childhood. Rakesh’s story is all too frequent in India.
  • WHO: One in three women faces intimate partner violence.
  • Each successive government has tried to put in place legal and judicial recourses for these women, but has left children unprotected and exposed.
  • Witnessing such widespread violence at home  affects children seriously.
  •  First, there are recorded physiological effects of trauma on the brain.
  • CT scans: develop smaller corpus callosum and smaller hippocampus regions.
  • Learning, cognitive abilities and emotional regulation are affected.
  • Inter-generational transmission of violence is a disturbing consequence of violence in families.
  • Dr. Byron Egeland: average inter-generational transmission rate of 40%
  • It is important to note that not all victims of domestic violence become aggressors.
  • We must not victimise young survivors of violence.
  • India puts in place reactive policies every time a new case of violence comes to the fore.
  • As a 2016 report by the U.S. Children’s Bureau explains, “violence and abuse produce trauma symptoms which when left unresolved, increase the likelihood that the individual will engage in violent behavior as an adult.”
  • India has become serious about mental health beginning with the Mental Healthcare Act, 2017, but it needs to do more.
  • India needs more mental health practitioners.
  • It needs accredited systems to train and track the quality of mental health trauma-care providers.
  • Connecting such a network to peer-supportive groups can help survivors integrate their experiences into their lives and finally heal.

Growing numbers

  • On Monday and Tuesday, India reported three more coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases — one each from Delhi, Hyderabad, and Jaipur (an Italian tourist) — bringing the total number to 6.
  • Two new cases were Indians who had arrived from Italy and Dubai. Italy and the UAE have reported local transmission of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
  • Health Ministry: six people in Agra who had come in contact with the COVID-19 index case in Delhi have been “detected with high viral load” and kept in isolation.
  • Their samples have been sent to the Pune-based national Institute of Virology for confirmation.
  • If even one of the six is confirmed to be positive,it would indicate local transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and will automatically change the status of virus spread in the country.
  • Silver lining: the ability of the system to trace and test people who have come in contact with the index case.
  •  Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme(IDSP) network is in hot pursuit to trace people who have come in contact with the six people whose samples have been sent for confirmation.
  • Infected people do not show symptoms during the incubation period and hence thermal screening at airports and seaports will be unable to detect such cases.

A COVID-19 response that is quick off the blocks

  • Dr. Nancy Messonnier, U.S. CDC, says: “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”
  • India needs to be ready to mount a coordinated,coherent and sustained response.
  • Over the past decade we have already seen outbreaks in India of swine flu and Nipah.
  • India has a fragile health system which is fragmented.
  • This not only means involvement of both public and private sectors but also allopathic and nonallopathic medical systems, different departments such as police, fire, transportation, tourism, food supplies and other sectors.
  • Trust in government, its institutions and fraternity among fellow citizens forms the bulwark of an effective response.
  • A simple back of the envelope calculation will show that current health-care resources in themselves will be inadequate for the response — for example, the number of ambulances needed or the number of contact tracers in the Department of Health, etc.
  • As such, resources from other departments and general public, financial, in-kind and personnel, need to be pooled and mobilised.
  • Local authorities can make plans for school closure, home isolation and social distancing.
  • Preparing for the worst-case scenario will hold us in good stead.

A blow against social justice

  • The recent verdict of a two-judge Supreme CourtBench on reservations and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes promotions...
  • “that no individual could claim reservation in promotions and that the court could not issue a mandamus directing State governments to provide reservation”

 Raised four constitutional questions

  1. Whether reservation in promotions is a fundamental right or not.
  2. Whether a court can direct the state to provide reservations.
  3. Whether quantifiable data for inadequate representation is a must for giving reservation in promotions.
  4. Whether it is the obligation of the state to give reservation.
  • In the first instance, as this case involves multiple constitutional issues, it should have been dealt with by a larger constitutional bench that included a Scheduled Caste (SC) or Scheduled Tribe (ST) judge.
  • So, it is the moral responsibility of the union government to appeal this case and request a constitutional bench hearing.
  • It must be noted that in 2018 a five-judge constitution bench had denied reservation for SCs and STs who belong to the creamy layer; the Central government has asked for a review by a seven-judge Constitutional bench.
  •  Addressing the first question, the scope for reservation for the Backward Classes is promised in Part III of the Constitution under Fundamental Rights.
  • Articles 16(4) and 16(4A) which empowers the state to provide reservations for SCs and STs are a part of the section, “Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment”.
  • The right to equality is also enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution.
  • Many construe that the reservation is against article 16 (Right to equality).
  • But one should understand that the absence of equal opportunities for the Backward Classes due to historic injustice by virtue of birth entails them reservation.
  • Articles 16 (2) and 16(4) are neither contradictory nor mutually exclusive in nature. In fact, they are complementary to each other.
  • Denying application of reservation in promotions has kept SCs and STs largely confined to lower cadre jobs.
  • Hence, providing reservation for promotions is even more justified and appropriate to attain equality.
  • Can a court issue a mandamus to the state for providing reservation?
  • This is inappropriate because when the court is empowered to pass orders to create extra seats every year for forward-caste students who claim to be affected by reservation, why cannot it direct the state to provide reservation in promotions?
  • The Supreme Court has extraordinary powers under Article 142, which empowers the Court to pass any order necessary for doing “complete justice in any cause or matter pending before it”.
  • If the state feels that SCs and STs are underrepresented, then it is in the domain of the state to provide reservation.
  • In the Indra Sawhney vs Union of India case(Mandal Commission) the idea of quantifiable data on inadequate representation was applied for exceeding the 50% cap for reservation.
  • The responsibility of collecting data on representation by the Backward Classes lies with the state.
  • After Independence, no government has had the inclination to conduct a caste-based census due to political reasons.
  • It must be noted that when reservation rights are in Part III as Fundamental Rights, it is the obligation of the state to ensure reservation to the underprivileged.
  • The entry of SC/STs in the job market can reduce the quality of administration; this by itself is discriminatory.
  • But, this judgment appears to be debatable in the larger context and should be challenged in a constitutional bench.

The demolition of reason

  • It was always an exaggeration to claim that man is arational animal, distinguished from others by his capacity to take rational decisions.
  • But to not use reason when it is badly required is plainly foolish or outright devious.
  • Conversations are stalled, discussions disrupted, facts manipulated and distorted. Reason now appears to serve, as never before, only self-interest and power.
  • Ms. Temelkuran describes the impossibility of having a proper political discussion with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s supporters.
  • Talking to them is “like making a milkshakewithout the lid on,” she says.
  • Reason is utterly helpless when people choose to defy it.
  • One of the most troubling features of currentdebates on television is that every substantive discussion of an important public issue is instantly replaced by an avoidable, unreasonable slanging match between the BJP and the Congress, as if all Indians are supporters of either the BJP or the Congress.
  • India is tolerant compared with Pakistan
  • After all, India only paralyses people with false cases, whereas in Pakistan, the same conduct is rewarded with death penalty!


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