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Q.1) In recent times women’s right activists have united to challenge the restrictions imposed on women with regard to entering places of worship. What are the causes responsible for ban on women’s temple entry? Mention the constitutional provisions against such restrictions in India.  (GS–1)

Introduction:

  • The restrictions imposed on women with regard to entering places of worship is not restricted to a single religion; Hindu temples, Muslim mosques and Dargahs and even some Christian churches limit the access of women.

Factors responsible for women’s ban on temple entry:

The factors responsible for women’s ban on temple entry are as follows:

Patriarchy

  • The common thread that runs through the excuses for women’s ban is patriarchy which is premised upon the notion of women’s inferiority and impurity; which then becomes a justification for their subordination.
  • The conversion of any issue on woman right into political controversy or infringement of right of minorities in India is a big challenge to overcome.

Myth:

  • Mythical ideologies too ban women from entering the temples.
  • As for example, the authorities of Kartikyeya Temple in Pushkar are of the opinion that the lord curses women who enter the temple instead of blessing them.

Menstruation:

  • Most of the temples are currently prohibiting the entry of all women in the menstruation age group.
  • They believe that bleeding makes them impure which is not only an attack on women’s rights but it is also a question of one’s privacy.

Constitutional provisions against women’s ban on temple entry:

The constitutional provisions against such restrictions in India are as follows:

  • Article 14 and 51(1) emphasize equality before law, and there are two facets of the same fundamental right.
  • The Articles emphasis the fact that any discrimination which is based on the ground of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth is prohibited.
  • Article 15(1) implies that there may be discrimination on other grounds, but these cannot be arbitrary, capricious or oppressive. They have to be reasonable.
  • Article 25 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion to all the citizens of the Union of India.
  • The right under Article 25(i) is further subject to the right of the State to make any law regulating or restricting any economic, financial, political or other secular activity which may be associated with religious practice.
  • It is further subject to the right of the State to provide legislation for social welfare and reform.
  • Article 26(b) awards to religious categories the privilege to deal with their own undertakings in the matter of religion.
  • These religious rights guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 are not absolute and are subject to welfare legislation made by the State.
  • Moreover, according to Article 13 of the Indian Constitution, the court is free to strike down any “custom” or “usage” which is in contravention of the fundamental rights of a person.

Q.2) Discuss the adverse impact on society by misuse of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence in India. Suggest some measures to decelerate the misuse. (GS-1) 

Introduction:

  • The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to protect women from domestic violence.
  • It was brought into force by the Indian government from 26 October 2006.
  • The Act provides for the first time in Indian law a definition of “domestic violence”, with this definition being broad and including not only physical violence, but also other forms of violence such as emotional/verbal, sexual, and economic abuse.
  • It is a civil law meant primarily for protection orders and not meant to penalize criminally.

Adverse impact on society by misuse of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence:

The ill effects of misusing Protection of Women from Domestic Violence are as follows:

  • With view to granting equal status to women, laws consciously or unconsciously are drafted having effect of gender-bias.
  • Now-a-days, filing cases under the Domestic Violence Act by women has become a common one.
  • It has resulted into large number of divorce cases.
  • Once the members of the husband’s family are arrested, chances of surviving the marriage became remote and marriage comes to an end.
  • It increases corruption in police and society as police threaten persons involved that if they would not pay money, their bail will be delayed.
  • Many lawyers, in lieu of getting commission on the money received by women by misusing this provision, encourages to complaints.
  • It causes disgrace to profession of advocates.
  • Many suicide cases have been registered due to the harassment by women in such false cases.

Suggestion:

  • The academicians need to expose and reveal unnatural and unreasonable growth of law.
  • Therefore, a neutral and an unprejudiced law is needed to protect the genuine victims of domestic violence irrespective of their gender.
  • Time-bound trial should be made a statutory requirement in all these domestic violence laws in order to avoid unnecessary litigation.
  • The trial under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 should be made in pursuant to the Evidence Act instead of the Criminal Procedure Code so that the sole testimony of women is not considered true but is backed by proper evidence.

Conclusion:

  • This is a very sensitive issue. Even though it is true that sometimes a few provisions of any law can be misused but the law rightly serves women security.

Q.3) The changing dynamics of the relation between Gulf Cooperation Council and India handsomely contribute to India’s economic progress.  Justify the statement with the possible potential areas for India-GCC’s further corporation. (GS-2)

Context:

  • The Gulf constitutes the immediate neighborhood of India separated only by the Arabian Sea.
  • India, therefore, has a vital stake in the stability, security and economic well-being of the Gulf.
  • As a group, the GCC has been increasingly determining the economic, political, and security policies of its member States.     

GCC and India Relations:

  • The Gulf constitutes the “immediate” neighborhood of India separated only by the Arabian Sea.
  • India, therefore, has a vital stake in the stability, security and economic well being of the Gulf.
  • As a group, the GCC has been increasingly determining the economy, political and security policies of its member States.
  • The GCC countries are moving ahead rapidly with their economic integration efforts.
  • The GCC has emerged as a major trading partner of India.
  • It has vast potential as India’s investment partner for the future.
  • The GCC’s substantial oil and gas reserves are of utmost importance for India’s energy needs
  • The GCC countries are collectively host to a large Indian expatriate community.
  • In a nutshell, the GCC offers tremendous potential for cooperation in trade, investment, energy, manpower, etc.
  • From the strategic point of view, India and GCC share the desire for political stability and security in the region.
  • The emerging common security perceptions create further opportunities for GCC-India cooperation in the future.  

Potential areas of cooperation:

  • The GCC States are going through important changes and transformation; the process of understanding and integration is coming of age.
  • Along with it, the areas for cooperation are also widening beyond investments, trade & commerce and sharing & development of human resources to security.
  • There are three major areas of advantage that Delhi can utilize in attempting to forge stronger ties with GCC states.

Soft power:

  • First, India can tap its significant soft power in the region. The country enjoys a benign image in the eyes of Middle Eastern governments and peoples, smoothing the way for stronger relations.

India’s Diaspora:

  • Secondly, the size and importance of India’s Diaspora in the region gives India significant leverage.
  • India has the advantage, unique among global powers, of having the aforementioned massive Diaspora in the Middle East, particularly in the Gulf.
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