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IMPORTANT NEWS ANALYSIS FOR UPSC 9 10 AUGUST 2017
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9th & 10th August 2017
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In news :75 years since the Quit India Movement
“In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that I invite you today.”
This was Gandhi’s vision when he launched the Quit India movement in August 1942. It was the time of World War II; Germany was advancing towards the USSR in the west; on the opposite side, Japan was advancing towards India. The country was also in ferment at this time. On the one hand, there was anger at having been co-opted into the war without consultations with the leaders. To assuage that, Britain had sent a delegation under Sir Stafford Cripps in March 1942 to negotiate support for the war effort but this failed because the mission did not offer a timeline of self-government and which powers would be given to the Indians. Gandhi is reported to have said that the offers made were like “a post dated cheque on a crashing bank”. On the other hand, leaders like Subash Chandra Bose were urging Indians to support the Japanese forces and fight the British.
It was at this time that the Indian National Congress decided to launch a call for complete independence. When the British government did not respond, the Congress Working Committee that met at Wardha in July 1942 adopted the Quit India resolution, which was adopted with a little modification by the All India Congress Committee on August 8. It was decided to start a country-wide struggle for independence but the emphasis was on non-violence. It was at this conference that Gandhi issued his famous call to ‘Do or Die’. However, the British administration reacted swiftly and arrested Gandhi and all members of the Congress Working Committee. On August 9, a crowd gathered at Gowalia Tank Maidan and Aruna Asaf Ali hoisted the Indian flag. The Government issued an order banning public processions, meetings and assemblies.
Once the arrests became known, people began to rise against the British in a civil rebellion that saw the administration collapse in many parts. Though Gandhi had called for a non-violent struggle, crowds destroyed railway and telegraph lines, looted banks and treasuries, and set police stations and other government buildings on fire. Strikes began to affect industrial output and bomb blasts became a common occurrence.
The British retaliated by opening fire on crowds, public floggings and lathi charges. It also banned processions, meetings and assemblies. American journalist Webb Miller reported on the Dharasana march that he witnessed. Though this was a peaceful resistance led by Sarojini Naidu, Miller wrote: “Not one of the marchers even raised an arm to fend off the blows. They went down like ten-pins. From where I stood I heard the sickening whacks of the clubs on unprotected skulls… In two or three minutes the ground was quilted with bodies.”
The Government issued an order banning public processions, meetings and assemblies. Those leaders who had not been arrested went into hiding and used the underground radio and pamphlets to continue the struggle.An important aspect of the movement is the fact that in the absence of adult male leadership, the Quit India movement for the first time saw the active engagement of women and students.
By 1944, large parts of the country were peaceful. Gandhi was released because of his health but other Congress leaders were still detained. During this time, Gandhi lost both his wife Kasturba and his private secretary Mahadev Desai.
Though the movement was suppressed, the British were shocked at how widespread it was. Their belief that the Congress did not have mass support was shattered. Despite the fact that the leaders were all kept under arrest, the Congress stayed united. The movement also showed the British that their hold on India was weakening and that they began to explore options to quit the country.
In news : Maratha resrvation issue
The Bombay high court on Thursday told the Maharashtra government that it was free to decide on referring the case of Maratha reservations to the Maharashtra Commission for Backward Classes.
The original petitioners in the case who have challenged the quota for Marathas have opposed referring the matter to the commission on the grounds that its chairman and retired judge Sambhaj Mhase had publicly supported reservation for Marathas. For a state government to institutionalize quota for a particular caste or community, one of the basic legal requirements is that its Commission for Backward Classes has to make that recommendation on the basis of strong evidence.
Even if the commission recommends quota, the case may go back to the HC as the commission’s recommendations are open to legal challenge
The Bombay HC is hearing a bunch of petitions for and against the 16% quota in government-run and aided educational institutes and government jobs for the Maratha community. In September 2014, the then Congress-Nationalist Congress Party government had issued an ordinance giving 16% quota to Marathas and 5% to Muslims. The Congress-NCP government relied on the report by a committee led by senior Congress leader Narayan Rane, which recommended quota for the Marathas. At least two social activists and one non-government organization challenged the ordinance in the Bombay HC pointing out flaws in the Rane committee report, and the court stayed the ordinance in November 2014. A month earlier, in October 2014, the Congress and NCP were defeated in the Maharashtra assembly polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led government that came to power passed a law in December 2014 giving quota to the Marathas but dropped the provision for Muslims. This law was also challenged in the HC which again stayed the Act in April 2015.
Since then, the Devendra Fadnavis government, which has taken a stand in favour of the Maratha quota, has been exploring a number of legal and constitutional options to build a fool-proof case for the Maratha reservation without tinkering with the existing quota for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward classes, and other smaller social groups which all add up to 52%.
the Maratha community in Maharashtra, estimated to be around 32-35% of the state’s total population, rose in quiet rage in August 2016 to protest against the rape and murder of a teenage Maratha girl in Kopardi village of Ahmednagar district. The three accused who have been charge-sheeted in this case belong to a Dalit caste and the case is being heard in a fast track court at Ahmednagar.
In August, the Marathas, under the banner of Sakal Maratha Samaj, launched an unprecedented protest by organizing massive silent marches in Marathwada, Western Maharashtra, and South Central Maharashtra. In addition to the demand for death penalty to the Kopardi culprits, the Marathas also demanded quota and amendments to the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) 1989 which they alleged was being misused to frame them in false cases.
In news : North Korea missile program
N Korea says considering missile strikes near US Pacific territory of Guam
The US President Donald Trump has vowed to answer any more threats by North Korea with fire and fury, remarks that followed Pyongyang saying that it is considering strikes near US strategic military installations in Guam island with its intermediate range ballistic missiles.
The first phase of National Cyber Coordination Centre, set up to scan the country's web traffic to detect cyber security threats has become operational.
India has no dedicated Cyber-security regulation and is also not well prepared to deal with cyberwarfare. However, India has formulated the National Cyber Security Policy 2013 which is not yet implemented. NCCC’s purpose would be to help the country deal with malicious cyber-activities by acting as an Internet traffic monitoring entity that can fend off domestic or international attacks.
National Cyber Coordination Centre is a proposed cyber security and e-surveillance agency in India. It is intended to screen communication metadata and co-ordinate the intelligence gathering activities of other agencies. Some have expressed concern that the body could encroach on Indian citizens' privacy and civil-liberties, given the lack of explicit privacy laws in the country.
Some of the components of NCCC include a cyber crime prevention strategy, cyber crime investigation training, review of outdated laws, etc.