1 August 2019 the Hindu Editorial Analysis
General study paper -2
Bilateral, Regional and Global groupings and agreements involving India
Why in news?
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind commenced his seven-day state visit to Benin, Gambia and Guinea-Conakry and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in on a three-day visit to Mozambique.
Implications of visit
- India has a very strong relation with African countries, time to time India had made various visits to boost the relation with these nations if we see that last five year there are 29 visits in last five years.
- In India-Africa Forum Summit that was held in 2015, Forty-one African leaders participated and agreed to provide concessional credit worth $10 billion during the next five years.
Economic benefits and help
- In 2017, India had cumulatively extended 152 Lines of Credit worth $8 billion to 44 African countries.
- India has also unilaterally provided free access to its market for the exports of 33 least developed African countries and India is low-commodity prices African countries.
- Its trade with Africa totalled $63.3 billion in 2018-19. India was ranked the third-largest trading partner of Africa having edged past the United States during the year.
- Indians’ investments at $50 billion and Indian diaspora at 3 million are substantive when put in the continental perspective
- The numbers are well below the potential for India-African economic synergy and are often dwarfed by the corresponding Chinese data.
- There seems to be a conspicuous disconnect between Indian developmental assistance to and India’s economic engagement with Africa.
- Any objective cost-benefit analysis of India’s development assistance to Africa is unlikely to impress.
- India’s aid being unconditional, the recipients often take it as an entitlement.
- We need to work on economic engagement, development assistance and comprehensive and sustainable engagement with Africa to boost the economy of both continents. To fulfill this desire, we need to work on the basis of pilot projects and as a joint venture company.
- India’s aid to Africa should be reciprocated by acknowledgment and quid pro quo in terms of and institutional preference.
- India cannot simply be a cash cow for Africa, particularly when its own economy is slowing down.
- We need to take direct control of our development program instead of handing our funds to intermediaries such as the African Union, the African Development Bank Group and the Techno-Economic Approach for Africa-India Movement (TEAM 9), whose priorities are often different from India’s.
India’s development assistance in African countries
- India’s development assistance should prefer the countries with their substantial interests. For instance, Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Angola and Algeria are India’s top six trading partners in Africa, accounting for nearly two-thirds of its trade and half its exports to the continent; yet, they do not figure commensurately in India’s developmental pecking order. India’s own needs for raw materials, commodities and markets should be factored in its aid calculus.
- We ought to prefer aiding countries which are willing to help us — from access to their natural resources to using our generics
- The aided project selected should be compatible with local requirements. They should be cost-effective, scalable, future-ready and commercially replicable.
- For greater transparency, India should prefer its public sector to implement the aid projects
- Indian Head of Mission in the recipient African state must be an integral part of the aid stream including project selection, coordination and implementation.
The aforementioned should not distract us from our duty to provide the needed humanitarian assistance to Africa: to be rendered promptly and with sensitivity, but without noise.
General study Paper 1 & 3
Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India & Role of external state and non-state actors in creating challenges to internal security.
Why in news?
- At a time when India is reeling under hate lynching, it is sobering to remember that it took the United States Senate 100 years to approve a bill to make lynching a federal crime.
- Over 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress since 1918, but all were voted down until the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 was approved unanimously in 2018.
Issues with lynching:
- Hate lynching is designed as an act to terrorize an entire community. Though the number of murders seems small, these performative acts of violence succeeded in instilling intense fear among all African-Americans for decades.
- Modern technology – video-graphing of mob lynching, widely circulating these images through social media, and celebrating these as acts of nationalist valor have instilled a pervasive sense of every day normalized fear in the hearts of every Indian from the targeted minority community. It is this which indeed makes lynching an ultimate act of terror.
The Supreme Court of India recently asked the Union government and all the major States to explain what action has been taken to prevent these growing incidents of lynching, including passing a special law to instill a sense of fear for law amongst vigilantes and mobsters.
Various important initiatives related to lynching.
- The Uttar Pradesh Law Commission (UPLC) took the initiative to recommend a draft anti-lynching law.
- Manipur government introduced an Ordinance on lynching
- The UPLC goes further to include also a new crime of dereliction of duty by District Magistrates.
- The creation of this new crime was also the key recommendation of the Prevention of Communal & Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill.
- Only the creation of such a crime will compel public officials to perform their duty with fairness, in conformity with their constitutional and legal duties, to ensure equal protection to all persons, regardless of their faith and caste.
- Both the Manipur law and UPLC recommendations also lay down elaborate duties of police officials in the event of lynching. These include sensitively and expansively lay down official duties to protect victims and witnesses. It places the duty squarely on the Chief Secretary to provide compensation to victims of lynching within 30 days of the incident.
Challenges with legislation:
- Text of the United States bill records that at least 4,742 people were lynched in the U.S. between 1882 and 1968, but 99% of all perpetrators remain unpunished
- Madhya Pradesh Cow Progeny Slaughter Prevention Act 2004 limits its scope only to cow-related lynching, and not lynching triggered by other charges. Its proposed amendments do not include any provisions to punish dereliction of duty, protect victim rights or secure compensation. All that it proposes is punishment for any act by a mob which indulges in violence in the name of cow vigilantism from six months to three years of imprisonment and a fine
- Rajasthan has also tabled an anti-lynching bill. This prescribes higher punishments, an investigation by senior police officers, and mandatory compensation but not the critical elements of dereliction of duty or victim rights. Without these, they will make little difference on the ground.