9 PM Daily Brief – October 2nd, 2020

Daily current affairs summaries

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  1. The legacy of Gandhi
  2. The Prime Minister India almost forgot


  1. India- China
  2. Amnesty halting India operations

9 PM for Preliminary examination



  1. The legacy of Gandhi

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-1- History

Context: Mahatma Gandhi was an intercultural Indian and his intellectual openness helped him to live up to his ideals.

What can one understand by Gandhi and his ideas?

  • Gandhi was an original thinker and an acute political strategist, who believed profoundly in the possibility of introducing humanity to the principle of non-violence.
  • Gandhi’s idea of non-violence was a realistic hope with a little of practical idealism. He presented himself as an Asian who was influenced by Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, and as a person who was deeply influenced by the teachings of Jesus Christ, Socrates, Tolstoy, Ruskin and Thoreau.
  • Intellectual openness: It helped him to learn from others. Hee was the founding father of modern non-violence as it has been practised for the past 100 years around the globe.

What was ethical mode of conduct?

  • The philosophy of non-violence turned into an instrument of public dissent and a practical tool of the powerless against the powerful.
  • The “soul force”: It was an instrument of conflict resolution and universal harmony. Non-violence was also an essentially moral exercise and an ethical mode of conduct.
  • The Gandhian philosophy of non-violence assigns a duty to citizens to be watchful about the abuses of power by the state and to struggle against the “Sultanization” of political power in our contemporary societies.

What was Gandhi’s idea of establishing a just society?

  • Gandhi’s idea of democracy centres on moral growth in humankind, where an undisciplined and unrestricted individualism is replaced by empathetic humanism.
  • Gandhi believed that humanity had to develop certain qualities such as fearlessness, non-possession and humility.
  • The main aim was to restructure humans to suit an inter-cultural and pluri-dimensional democracy.

Were his approaches ahead of its time?

  • Non-violent democratic theory as a philosophy of inter-cultural dialogue is still far ahead of our times, several generations after his death.
  • Pluralistic approach to the dialogue of cultures and faiths, Gandhi was far ahead of his time.
  • His philosophy of democracy remains neither mono-cultural nor essentialist.
  • The modes and methods of achieving democracy include Satyagraha and Swaraj, which are not theological concepts.
  • Approach to the many-sidedness of truth: It was an effort to bridge different views of life and this is why he did not reject different traditions of social life.
  • He simply stated what he considered to be authentic in them and thought of bringing them together in the realisation of an ethical common ground.

What was his idea of ‘Indianness’?

  • Politics- a fragile concept:  he refused to define India in terms of ethnic purity or linguistic unity or some other unifying religious attribute as it is vulnerable to nationalist justifications of violence and war.
  • Gandhi’s philosophy of democracy introduced an anti-monistic and diverse dimension into a mainly territorial rootedness of Indianness.
  • Gandhi’s appeal to global companionship was based on an inclusive and dialogical idea of living together which disapproved all forms of national or religious self-centredness.

Way forward

  • We should ponder upon his saying that “The golden way is to be friends with the world and to regard the whole human family as one. He who distinguishes between the votaries of one’s own religion and those of another miss-educates the members of his own and opens the way for discord and irreligion.”


  1. The Prime Minister India almost forgot

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 1- Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues

Context- Lessons from Lal Bahadur Shastri’s political life.

Who was Lal Bahadur Shastri?

  • He was born on 2nd October 1904.
  • He resigned twice from the cabinet posts assuming his moral responsibility-
  1. 1956- For railway accidents in Mahbubnagar, Andhra Pradesh and Ariyalur, Tamil Nadu.
  2. 1963- To work in the party organisation under the Kamaraj Plan.
  • He served as the second Prime Minister of India during 1964-1966.
  • Slogan- “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”.
  • He died under mysterious circumstances on 11th January 1966.
  • He was posthumously awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’.

What were the changes achieved by Lal Bahadur Shashtri as a political leader? 

  1. Promote Green Revolution– His vision for self-sufficiency in food grains led to sowing the seeds of the Green Revolution, and promotion of the White Revolution, a national campaign to increase milk production.
  2. Srimavo-Shastri Pact– In 1964, he signed an agreement with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, in concern with the status of Indian Tamils in Ceylon.
  3. Anti-corruption– In 1961, he was appointed as Home Minister, and he appointed the Committee on Prevention of Corruption. He created the famous “Shastri Formula” which consisted of the language agitations in Assam and Punjab.
  4. A Leader- Shastri’s selection as Prime Minister was itself an affirmation of the party’s organisation and self-correcting mechanism, notwithstanding its moral ambiguities and patronage politics.
  5. 1965 War– His brilliant leadership during 1965 war in countering Pakistan’s aggression and surprise attack helped India in gaining its lost confidence due to the 1962 war and paved way for winning 1971 war. Under his Prime Ministership India for the first time took the battle to invader’s territory.
  6. As a Diplomat – He developed close relations with USSR in the aftermath of 1962 war. However, he is criticised for letting USSR dictate terms of Tashkent agreement as an arbitrator and surrendering Haji Pir Pass to Pakistan which India had occupied in the war.

What were the challenges faced by the Lal Bahardur Shashtri during his office of Prime Minister?

In the national arena-

The Following were some of the question marks at the cross-section of nation, region and institution for the Prime Minister. –

  1. The language violence in Tamil Nadu.
  2. Returning President’s rule in Kerala.
  3. Persisting feuds in Uttar Pradesh.
  4. Enduring demand for a Punjabi
  5. Continuing farce in Kashmir.

In the international arena-

  1. A subdued Non-Aligned Movement.
  2. Nuclear challenge of China.
  3. A change in the Soviet leadership.
  4. A new leader in Pakistan- President Ayub Khan.
  5. An Anglo-American-Commonwealth combine distracted with varied issues such as Vietnam and Southern Rhodesia.

Way Forward

Like most in his time, he rose humbly from the provinces in national politics, and carried his convictions from his faith in people, their constitution and representation. Crucially, he remained modest in both his personal probity and policy making and was not invested solely in his occupancy of his office.

  1. India- China

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS-2- International Relations

Context: India should be involved with China economically even as it opposes it militarily.

Why should India be involved with china economically?

  • Timing of the economic disassociation with China: India’s economy was badly affected by the Covid-19 and attempt to break ties with china economically has a wrong timing.
  • India is dependent on Chinese imports: Chinese venture capitalists have poured in more than $8 billion into some of India’s most successful start-ups where as a smaller portion of China’s imports are from India.

What are the lessons from China?

  • Relationship of china and Taiwan: Trade between the China and Taiwan has remained strong over the past four years even though China claims Taiwan as its own territory and sometimes threatens invasion.
  • The Taiwanese firm Foxconn makes almost all the iPhones that the world buys from factories in China.
  • Relationship of china and US: China continues to do business with the US despite the tensions between both the nations. The US is the largest trading partner of china.
  • S. Tesla’s massive car and battery plants are coming up in China and American farmers still sell soya to China.
  • Relationship of china and the European Union: In the first half of 2017 more than 3,000 container trains ran between the two continents, exceeding the total for the previous six years combined and serving 35 cities in China, with 34 destinations in Europe as a part its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • The European Union is China’s second largest trading partner.

Why shouldn’t India take knee-jerk reactions?

  • China has consistently increased its trade with South Asia after 2005 according to the Brookings Policy Brief.
  • Defying the logic of proximity, most of India’s neighbours are now largely reliant on China for their imports.

Way forward

  • India should consider joining the rest of the world in restraining in China and calling it out for its worst extremes.
  • India should establish road and rail connectivity with its immediate neighbours and even Southeast Asia.
  1. Amnesty halting India operations

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2- Development processes and the development industry —the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders.

Context- Amnesty International has halted its human rights operation in India due to the freezing of its bank accounts by the Government of India.

What is the case?

Recently, Amnesty International (AI) India had demanded an independent investigation into all allegations of human rights violations by the police during the north-east Delhi riots and the establishment of the National Commission for Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • Government’s response– India doesn’t allow interference in domestic political debates by entities funded by foreign donations. This law applies equally to all and it shall apply to Amnesty International as well.
  • In order to circumvent the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 (FCRA) regulations, Amnesty UK remitted large amounts of money to four entities registered in India, by classifying it as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  • A significant amount of foreign money was also remitted to Amnesty (India) without approval of the Ministry of Home Affairs under FCRA. This rerouting of money was in contravention of extant legal provisions.

What are the new rules for NGOs under FCRA amendment 2020?

The Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2020 was passed by the Parliament amending Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010.

  • In order to receive foreign funds, an NGO has to register with the Ministry of Home Affairs. It is assigned a unique FCRA registration number, to be renewed every five years.
  • The cap on administrative expenses has been lowered from 50% of foreign funds received to 20% to ensure spending on their main objectives.

What is the impact of this amendment?

  • This amendment may be used to suppress the NOGs that dissent against the Government and restrict freedom of expression.
  • It prohibits the transfer of foreign grants received by an entity to a partner organization or an associated person, which is a usual practice.

Way forward

Democratic regimes that are bound by constitutionalism should not consider critical activism by groups such as Amnesty as being adversarial, but instead view it as constructive critique of their functioning. Government needs to allow for a vibrant civil society that has spearheaded several reforms related to accountability (the Right to Information Act), welfare (the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), privacy rights, gender equality and rights of sexual minorities, environmental activism among others. Non-governmental organizations will continue to have a role to play in this.

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