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Indian Express

17-November-2023

1) More To India’s Power

Context:

  • India’s economy is currently the fastest-growing big economy in the world thanks to its steady development, reforms, and sizable domestic market.
  • India’s economic foundation, bolstered by favorable demographics, sets the framework for becoming a developed nation by 2047, with a clear goal of reaching the five-trillion-dollar barrier and securing the third slot internationally.

Soft Power and Cultural Influence:

  • Beyond the economic front, India’s rise in “soft power” is facilitated by its varied culture, long history, and growing self-assurance.
  • This effect may be seen in a number of areas, such as the G20 Presidency that was successful, athletic accomplishments, international agreements like free trade agreements and QUAD, and the observation of World Yoga Day, which highlights Indian customs and cultural significance.

Sports Diversity and Achievements:

  • With leagues like the Indian Super League, Pro Kabaddi League, and others gaining prominence, sports in India have expanded beyond cricket.
  • A prime example of the substantial returns on government spending in sports infrastructure and athlete assistance is Neeraj Chopra’s gold medal in the javelin throw during the Olympics.
  • India is now thinking about submitting a bid to host important athletic events.

Film Industry and Cultural Exports:

  • One of the biggest and most established film industries in the world, India generates a lot of high-caliber motion pictures.
  • Cultural exports, like RRR (2022)’s Oscar-winning song “Naatu Naatu,” resonate with audiences around the world, bridging social divides and advancing a variety of viewpoints.

International Diplomacy and Advocacy:

  • India is now seen as a leader in international talks due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts, such as International Yoga Day and ‘Lifestyle for the Environment’ (LiFE) at COP26.
  • India’s credibility and influence are enhanced by its active involvement, advocacy for equitable solutions, and use of technical developments to address developmental difficulties.
  • This is especially true given its status as a voice of the Global South.

Way Forward:

  • All facets of society must work together to expand India’s growing impact, including academics, business executives, athletes, and artists.
  • Additionally, the diaspora is essential to the global promotion of Indian culture and values.
  • Making the most of its “soft power” would help India become a force for good on the international scene as it enters the limelight.

2) Her knock-on closed doors

Context:

  • The legal process regarding domestic abuse against women faces systemic problems, as revealed by a recent study that analyzed over 4 lakh FIRs in Haryana.
  • The study highlights how difficult it is for women to get convictions and file FIRs.

Nature of Domestic Violence:

  • Working with victims of sexual and domestic abuse, the Mumbai-based NGO Majlis emphasizes the seriousness of domestic violence, which includes verbal, emotional, financial, physical, and sexual abuse.
  • There have been more reports of violence against women, and there are concerning data about dowry killings and Section 498A of the IPC proceedings.
  • When women come to Majlis for help, they frequently experience severe kinds of domestic violence, such as verbal, physical, economic, emotional, and sexual assault.
  • Victims experience a terrifying atmosphere as a result of a wide range of abuse, which includes sexual violence, economic exploitation, beatings, and strangulation.

Rising Crimes Against Women:

  • According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there has been a worrying rise in crimes against women; dowry-related concerns are said to be the cause of 21 women’s deaths every day.
  • 4 lakh cases under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were registered in 2019, underscoring the widespread prevalence of domestic violence.

Legal Framework:

  • Laws such as Section 498A were enacted in 1983 in response to the increasing statistics of domestic abuse.
  • Despite the provisions included in Sections 319 to 338 of the IPC, law enforcement’s unwillingness to apply general rules to cases involving domestic abuse necessitated the creation of a dedicated section.

Police Apathy:

  • The study highlights a shocking police unwillingness to report serious domestic violence incidents with formal police reports.
  • The act of refusing, referred known as “burking,” is motivated by a misplaced sense of morality, as victims are frequently advised to seek treatment instead of filing criminal reports.

Impact of Demeaning Comments:

  • The analysis recognizes the influence of disparaging remarks made by members of the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court and other higher courts.
  • A quick search on the internet turns up posts highlighting remarks about women abusing Section 498A, which are then reinforced by sensationalism in the media and add to the difficulties victims confront.

Case Study: Rakesh and Reena Rajput v The State of Jharkhand:

  • The difficulties are best shown by the Rakesh and Reena Rajput case, in which the Jharkhand High Court asserted that Section 498A had been misused.
  • The problem is made worse by the court’s remarks regarding the “phenomenal increase” in divorce disputes and the suspected abuse of the law by irate women.

Legal Oversights and Victim Blaming:

  • It is unjust to place the blame for legal blunders, including inconsistent or inaccurately recorded statements, on the victims.
  • The court focuses the blame on women, making general remarks about the suspected abuse of the law, rather than holding the police and magistrates responsible for these errors.

Way Forward:

  • Such remarks send a terrible message that deters women from pursuing justice, which feeds a vicious circle of hopelessness.
  • Systemic reforms are needed to address domestic violence, such as fighting media-perpetrated stereotypes, opposing biased judge remarks, and battling police indifference.
  • The legal system can only enable women to address the serious issue of domestic violence by taking a victim-centric approach.

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