Mains Q & A 06 JUNE 2023
Q1. The social fabric of our nation weakens as a result of political passivity on the communalism issue. Consider the remark in light of previous experiences. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I à Election related issues
In essence, communalism is an ideology made up of three components:
a conviction that those who practise the same religion share secular interests, such as similar political, economic, and social ones. Thus, socio-political communities start to form here.
the idea that in a multireligious country like India, one religion’s common secular goals are different and divergent from those of another religion’s followers.
The goals of distinct religious groups or “communities” are viewed as being wholly antagonistic, hostile, and irreconcilable.
Factors contributing to the rise of communalism in India:
A Trace of the Past:
India was divided in accordance with Jinnah’s “Two Nation” doctrine. In India’s recent history as an independent nation, communal politics had played its dirty game. The British government’s “Divide and Rule” strategy benefited their colonial interests. The eventual result of their politics was the division of India.
Communal Parties Present:
In India, religion has grown to be a significant tool for political socialisation, and many political parties’ ideologies reflect this trend. In India, there are numerous sectarian and communal political parties and associations. Comunalism is a result of the Muslim League, Jamaat-Islami, Hindu Mahasabha, Akali Dal, and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, either directly or indirectly.
Even after Pakistan was created, Indian Muslims had a propensity for isolationism. They continue to avoid engaging in traditional national politics. The majority of them are not eager to participate in the nation’s secular-nationalist politics. They insist on being handled differently.
People are frustrated because of widespread poverty and unemployment. It causes illiteracy, ignorance, and other social ills. Religious fundamentalists and fanatics can readily ensnare the unemployed youth of both populations. They make use of them to incite disturbances throughout communities. Comunalism frequently develops in areas of poor economic standing.
Hindu chauvinistic beliefs are on the rise, which has exacerbated racial tensions in India. Hindu religious organisations like the Shiv Sena, Hindu Mahasabha, and Viswa Hindu Parisad frequently put pressure on the government to take action that is in Hindus’ best interests. They view every Muslim as being anti-national and pro-Pakistan. They support the development of Hindu communalism in order to counter the potential threat of other communal groups.
The two largest communities in India have long harboured mistrust for one another. Muslims have increased their stance on their rights as they voice complaints about the threat of Hindu cultural invasion on their life. They are unable to fully embrace the need for family planning and contribute to population growth either out of ignorance or insecurity.
India’s electoral politics have gotten more expensive and competitive. Political parties are not afraid to utilise any tactics, legal or illegal, to win elections. They even incite racial tensions in an effort to gain political benefit. Different minority groups receive concessions in order to appease them.
Due to the authority of two nearby theocratic nations, communal tensions in India occasionally become very intense. These nations strive to instigate social unrest in the border states. The provocations of Pakistan are to blame for the racial issues in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Until this cross-border element is eliminated, communal issues in India are likely to persist.
The Union and State Governments frequently fall short in their efforts to stop communalism throughout the nation. They don’t take any preventive action because they didn’t have any prior knowledge. Therefore, communal violence has a high potential to kill innocent people and damage property. The Gujarat post-Godhra riot demonstrates the government’s inability to contain the racial unrest. Failure to take swift and decisive action has contributed to the persistence of communalism.
The effects of communalism:
Genocides: During mass killings, the poor suffer the most since they lose their homes, loved ones, lives, means of support, etc. Human rights are being violated on all fronts. Children can sometimes lose both of their parents and live the rest of their lives as orphans.
Other manifestations of communalism-induced violence, whether it occurs internationally or domestically, include ghettoization and the refugee issue.
When there is a sudden uptick in violence against a community, there is a mass departure and stampede, which results in numerous fatalities. For instance, this was observed in Bangalore in 2012 in relation to residents of North Eastern states, which was sparked by a rumour.
In addition to having an impact on society, it poses a danger to the fundamental principles of India, which support religious tolerance and secularism. In that circumstance, citizens fail to perform their fundamental obligations to the country.
It poses a danger to the country’s overall integrity and cohesiveness. It merely serves to incite hostility in all directions, dividing society along racial and ethnic lines.
All people, including state authorities like the police, paramilitary forces, army, intelligence services, etc., have suspicions about minorities. People from this community have frequently been harassed, jailed, and then released by court orders after being found not guilty. There is no provision for such victims to receive compensation for lost income from their sources of support or for the psychological harm done to their families as a result of societal shame.
Communal activities that regularly occur hurt the nation’s economy and people resources, which is a barrier to progress. Again, it takes years for the populace and the afflicted areas to recover from the trauma that such violence causes, leaving a lasting impression on those who have experienced it. They experience emotional pain and instability.
As was seen during the Khalistan movement in Punjab, terrorism and secessionism.
What should be done to stop communalism?
One of the main causes of intergroup conflict is poverty. Therefore, efforts to reduce poverty are crucial for fostering harmony within communities.
eliminating the issues of youth unemployment, illiteracy, and poverty, and doing it in an open, non discriminatory manner.
reducing the economic and educational disadvantage of minorities, such as Muslims.
Compared to Hindus, this can improve their socioeconomic condition and lessen their deprivation.
Religion should be used by religious leaders and preachers to advance logical and useful ideas that advance peace and security.
To promote fraternity and respect for all religions, textbooks and pamphlets must be given to students in schools.
using the media to educate the public about the negative effects of communism
Instructions from the most recent Supreme Court should be avoided political communism
Maps and identification of riot-prone locations. As an illustration, the Delhi Police employed drones to keep monitoring during communal festivities.
The promotion of peace and concord can benefit from the influence of media, films, and other cultural platforms.
Social media should be checked for offensive and violent content and removed right away.
Committee on National Integration recommendations:
Community festivals are celebrated together.
Hindu procession participants should exercise prudence when approaching mosques.
formation of brotherhood and peace communities at the local level to stop antisocial groups from starting disturbances in communities.
Respect for religious traditions, practises, and customs.
To give the term “democracy” meaning in a large country like India that is made up of a variety of cultures, ethnicities, faiths, identities, etc., it is really necessary to maintain a sense of equality among its citizens. The fundamental cause of all forms of prejudice is a rejection of differences. We frequently commit horrific acts in an effort to wipe off the population that adheres to diverse traditions. However, this intolerance has the potential to cause India to devolve from a secular to a sectarian state. India is also well-known throughout the world for its “diversity”. When people coexist peacefully, despite their differences, it is wonderful.
Q2. Analyse the Dam Safety Act of 2021's potential contribution to resolving the problems relating to the safety of significant dams around the nation. (250 words)
Paper & Topic: GS I à Water Conservation related issues
All designated dams around the nation must be monitored, inspected, operated, and maintained in accordance with the Dam Safety Act of 2021. It tries to tamper with and regulate every aspect of a dam’s operation, including its security.
Additional details: The bill’s provisions include:
All specified dams around the nation are to be monitored, examined, operated, and maintained in accordance with the provisions of the bill.
These are dams that are taller than 15 metres or that are between 10 and 15 metres tall with specific structural and design requirements.
The NCDS, or National Committee on Dam Safety:
Its duties include formulating policies and making recommendations for rules pertaining to dam safety standards;
The National Water Commissioner will preside.
National Dam Safety Authority:
Its duties include carrying out the National Committee’s policy, giving State Dam Safety Organisations (SDSOs) technical support, and settling disputes between SDSOs in different states or between an SDSO and any dam owner in that state.
A State Dam Safety Organisation and State Committee.
These organisations will be in charge of overseeing the operation and upkeep of dams that fall under their purview.
Classification of the risk:
The Bill calls for the classification of dams’ hazards and routine inspection. Additionally, it allows for the creation of comprehensive dam safety reviews by a panel of independent experts and the creation of emergency action plans. To allay the fears of residents downstream, a system for emergency flood warning is provided.
Owners of dams are required to:
Dam owners are expected to provide funds for prompt repairs and upkeep of the dam structure and associated equipment.
For enforcing compliance with the rules, the Bill contains punitive provisions comprising offences and penalties.
Benefits of the act:
The Bill will assist all of India’s States and Union Territories in implementing standardised dam safety measures. These measures will safeguard not only the dams but also people, animals, and property.
A dam safety unit must be installed in each dam by the dam owner.
During and after natural calamities like earthquakes and floods, as well as before and after the monsoon session, the dam will need to be inspected by the dam safety unit.
The measure mandates that emergency action plans be created by dam owners. Owners will also need to conduct frequent risk assessment studies.
Dam owners will be required to produce a thorough safety review by professionals at predetermined, regular intervals as well as in the case of either a modification to the dam’s structure or a natural event that may have an impact on the structure.
Problems with the act:
Significant workload: The National Dam Safety Authority would be responsible for managing more than 5,000 dams throughout India. So, it will have a lot of work to do.
Water is a state issue, and many see the Dam Safety Act as infringing on their right to regulate their dams and going against the Constitution’s federalism ideals.
Act is a piece of law that the Union passed by a bare majority in order to shamelessly usurp the authority of the States.
Control by the Centre: The Act usurped the authority of the State governments and gave the Centre control over the operation of certain dams.
Dam: The word “dam” and other phrases in the Act were purposefully written in a way that gave the Centre unrestricted authority to treat any dam as a “specified dam.” The Act would apply to practically all dams in the nation if these definitions were implemented.
Entry 56 of the Union List: Under Entry 56 of the Union List, the Center’s authority was limited to inter-State rivers or river valleys and nothing else. Dams and embankments that are solely under state control are not covered by Entry 56.
power over dams should not be confused with power over the issue of “interstate rivers and river valleys.”
Steps to Take:
Dam safety is reliant on a variety of outside variables. Therefore, the government must consult environmentalists and approach the Dam Safety Bill from an environmental perspective.
Age should be taken into consideration while choosing a dam, as this is the main problem.
The Central Water Commission and the state irrigation departments’ cooperation and operation must be improved by the government.
The government must carefully and proactively consider the question of water in light of climate change. Therefore, it is important to take into account local elements like the climate and catchment areas. The integration of urban-rural planning and dam safety is also necessary.
A Standing Committee proposed that officials be subject to penalties for dam failures. This needs to become legislation, according to the administration. The government must also do more to help locals and related institutions strengthen their capability.
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