9 PM Daily Brief – September 5th, 2020

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9 PM for Mains examination

GS-1

1.Subhash Chandra Bose – A hero or a misplaced tyrant

GS-2

2.India and QUAD

3.Censorship and freedom of speech

4.The working of Parliament during COVID- 19

9 PM for Preliminary examination

FACTLy


1.Subhash Chandra Bose – A hero or a misplaced tyrant

Source- The Business Line

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

Context– Legacy of Subhash Chandra Bose

Subhash Chandra Bose

  • In 1942, he earned the title ‘Netaji’, in Germany by the Indian soldiers of the Azad Hind Fauj.
  • Type of Government –He promoted “government by a strong party held together by military discipline” for independent India.
  • Bose is credited with the very famous slogan, “Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom!” as well as “Jai Hind”.
  • He is also credited to be the first man to call Mahatma Gandhi “Father of the Nation”.
  • Role model –Kemal Ataturk

Time line-

  • 1919– Headed to London to give the Indian Civil Services (ICS) examination and he was selected. Bose, however, resigned from Civil Services as he believed he could not side with the British.
  • 1923 – He was elected the President of the All India Youth Congress and also the Secretary of Bengal State Congress.
  • 1930– Bose travelled in Europe. He researched and wrote the first part of his book, The Indian Struggle, which covered the country’s independence movement in the years 1920–1934.
  • 1939 – He was reelected as Congress President, but soon resigned from the presidency.
  • 1943 – He was called as Father of Indian National Army.
  • 1944– He travelled to Japan and took leadership of the Indian Independence Movement in East Asia. With Japanese aid and influence, he took the leadership of a trained army of about 40,000 troops in Japanese-occupied Southeast Asia known as the Indian National Army.

The other side Subhash Chandra Bose

  • 1932– Imprisonment in the Civil Disobedience movement followed by bad health took him to Europe where he observed European politics, particularly Fascism under Mussolini and Communism in the Soviet Union.
  • He was impressed by both and believed that authoritarian rule was essential for achieving radical social goals.
  • 1941– He traveled to Germany to seek help for India’s independence from Adolf Hitler and with German funds Bose started Free India Center and Free India Radio where he used broadcast nightly.
  • 1943– In a speech in Singapore, Bose spoke about India needing a ruthless dictator for 20 years after liberation.

Contribution to modern India

  • Women Empowerment –Raised an all-women unit in Azad fauj which was headed by the late Lakshmi Sehgal.
  • Principle of secularism– His greatest contribution to India was his unwavering commitment to secularism, something that later became the cornerstone of the Indian republic.

Way forward –

If Bose might had chosen a more moderate path like Azad and Nehru, and remained in India he would have played an important role, in the post-War period, opposing not only Partition but the emergence of the Gandhi-Nehru regime also.

2.India and QUAD

Source: The Hindu

Syllabus: GS2:  Bilateral, Regional and Global Groupings and Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.

Context: Recently, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) stated that India believes the Quad would be a “good mechanism” to “ensure Freedom of Navigation Operations” (FONOPs) in the Indian Ocean and surrounding oceans including the Indo-Pacific.

Significance of Quad in present scenario:

  • Upholds that high seas are Common heritage: It prevent any other nation singularly trying to dominate the oceans.
· The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue is an informal strategic forum between the United States, Japan, Australia and India that is maintained by semi-regular summits, information exchanges and military drills between member countries.

· The idea of Quad was first mooted by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2007. However, the idea couldn’t move ahead with Australia pulling out of it, apparently due to Chinese pressure.

  • To counter aggression of China: LAC tensions and PLA’s refusal to implement border agreements, have convinced India that new strategies will be required to deal with Beijing.

Changing scenario:

  • The tensions between India and China are strengthening India’s ties with global powers such as the U.S., as well as formations like the Quad.
  • Chinese aggressiveness is further strengthening the motivation for Australia, India, Japan, and the United States to keep the Quad together.
  • India is now prepared to join Quad military patrols, which marks a departure from its earlier restraint in joining Quad.
  • Government is planning to host a ministerial-level meeting of the Quad, possibly when the India-US “2+2” meet of Foreign and Defence Ministers is held.
  • The Indian navy very recently it held its first joint patrol outside the Indian ocean with France.

India’s earlier position on “Militarisation of the Quad”

  • India sees the Indo-Pacific as a “geographical concept”,not a “strategy or a club of limited members”.
  • India is the only Quad member which is not tied in a treaty alliance with the other Quad members.
  • India is the only country in the Quad that shares a land boundarywith China, and it is not clear how the militarisation of the Quad in Indo-Pacific would alleviate the territorial threat it faces.

India needs to clarify whether it has changed its stance on militarisation of QUAD and also try to engage diplomatically with other nations to prevent any kind of aggression in Indo-Pacific.

3.Censorship and freedom of speech

Source: The Indian Express

Syllabus: GS-2- Polity

Context: Censorship, whether public or private, always invites charges of one-sidedness and creates a problem for freedom and civility.

The role of facebook

  • According to the story covered by the wall street journal, the complaints against Facebook are:
  • Political biasand not being attentive enough to hate speech and fake news.
  • Impervious algorithmsthat direct users to particular kinds of content and insufficient privacy controls.
  • Excessive and unaccountable power to shape public dialogue.
  • Going through a revolution: similar transformation happened in previous centuries, such as :
  • Empowered masses of people, enabled new forms of knowledge and transformed the Self.
  • They allowed the creation of new community identities like nationalism but they also enabled new forms of hate to emerge and combine as political forces.
  • Facebook is considered to be in trouble is because the political views of its key officials were clearly obvious. It had further taken the role of a free speech regulator, a role which should ideally be carried out by the government.

Issues with social media

  • Fusion of social media with private and public roles: Many serving IAS officers now don’t just propagate government schemes, but openly violate norms of civil service neutrality, without consequences.
  • Censorship: Freedom of expression is easy to institutionalise when speech is safe. However, where it leads to incitement and violence people’s convictions about defending free speech fade.
  • Social media makes distinction between speech and action difficult to maintain.
  • De-contextualises and re-contextualises speech: Content that seems within the bounds of safety in a particular context, can have hateful effects in another. Such speech going viral can have unpredictable effects.
  • Hate pays: The business models are driven by the logic of ‘hate pays’, i.e,  Companies are trying to cash in on the hate and polarisation in public discourse.

Way forward

  • Resisting Facebook’s power will require a more fundamental pulling out from a logic of profit that blurs the boundary between public and private, without which no freedom and civility is possible.

4.The working of Parliament during COVID- 19

Source- The Hindu

Syllabus- GS 2- Parliament and State legislatures—structure, functioning, conduct of business, powers & privileges and issues arising out of these

Context- The upcoming monsoon session of Parliament, is symbolic of the issues faced by legislatures during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Sessions of Parliament

  • Definition – The period during which the House meets to conduct its business.
  • Power of President– The Constitution empowers the President to summon each House at such intervals that there should not be more than a six-month gap between the two sessions.
  • Hence, the Parliament must meet at least twice a year.
  • In India, the Parliament conducts three sessions each year-
  1. Budget session: January/ February to May
  2. Monsoon session:July to August/ September
  3. Winter session:November to December

Steps that legislature has taken to combat COVID in sessions

1. Parliament-

    1. It will maintain physical distancing.
    2. It has reduced the Zero Hour.
    3. It has cancelled Question Hour.

2. State legislature- Some states just met for a day in which they ratified a number of ordinances.

Contrast between the actions taken during COVID – British Parliament and Indian Parliament

The case of contact tracing:

  1. British Parliament-
  1. Committee on Human Rights and the Government’s Response to Covid-19 Digital Contact Tracing, laid down following recommendations:
  • An app could be used only if there was a specific primary legislation to enable it.
  • Such legislation should ensure that data is collected only for the limited purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Prohibit sharing the data with third-parties, upload the data to a central database only if the person is tested or suspected to be positive.
  • Limit the time for which any data was stored.
  • The Minister would have to report every 21 days on the efficacy of contact tracing as well as data security and privacy.
  1. Indian Parliament-
  2. Use of executive’s power – Itrolled out Aarogya Setu through executive decision.
  3. Non-availability of information– It has created a grey zone on whether Aarogya Setu is mandatory.

For example- while flying or on metro rail when operations resume next week.

  • All this has been done without a specific legislation or any parliamentary oversight.
  • Thus it shows that there has been no check or guidance on government action in contrast with a well-functioning committee system as the British.

Judicial Intervention- Due to lack of parliamentary oversight, judiciary has to intervene in many policy issues. For example:

  1. Hardships caused to migrants due to lockdown.
  2. Issues of the telecom companies in which they have to pay their dues to the government.

Those issues are best judged by the government with oversight by parliament and if there is any illegality then the matter should be judged by court.

Issues to be tackled by the government

Way Forward

Members of Parliament must use other available interventions to ensure that new laws and expenditure proposals are passed only after detailed discussion. Parliamentarians have a duty towards Indian citizens to fulfil their role in scrutinising the work of the government and guiding policy. Despite the curtailed session and the constraints due to the coronavirus, they should make the best of the limited time to do so. They need to wrest back their rightful role in our democracy.


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