August 5, 2021
Drop the stones
To: either/view subscribers
Good morning. WhatsApp is an incredible app and so is Snapchat. But what if WhatsApp does a Snapchat?
WhatsApp has now announced the launch of disappearing photos and videos in its application. This ‘View Once’ option will let the media disappear once you have watched it. This comes into action from this week. All in one is always exciting, isn’t it?
Oh! By the way, if you can’t use this feature, maybe it’s time for an update.
📰 FEATURE STORY
J&K: Can the government deny security clearance for stone pelters?
Most youngsters dream of travelling abroad to complete their studies or securing a government job sometime later in their lives. For both of this to happen, the basic requirement is a security clearance from the police. It’s basically the ‘no objection certificate’ the police hand in so that you can pursue your dreams easily.
What the police generally do is they verify your identity, check your criminal record and signal whether you are eligible to apply for passports or government jobs. The recent Jammu and Kashmir order has made stricter rules for this process. They have mentioned that the security clearance will be denied for all those involved in stone pelting cases. The local police records, digital evidence and security agencies will verify the same before issuing the all-clear report.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) issued this order to act against those who have caused harm to the security of the state. This action is believed to reduce crime and disorder in J&K. But critics oppose this order because it would increase resentment of the youth. This severe decision could clamp down on their dreams and future.
First off, we need to understand the backdrop in which the J&K youth grew up. Till date, there have been several street protests in which stone pelting is a regular occurrence. Stone pelting is very common if someone wants to defy the government. Between 2008 and 2017 alone, nearly 20,000 people have been involved in stone pelting. In fact, stone pelting is still a routine in J&K, but the intensity has reduced.
Just because stone pelting is common, it does not mean it is right. The practice of pelting stones to show anger is unsafe. That is why the government wants to put a full stop to it.
In this regard, last month J&K dismissed many government employees as they were suspected of having links with terrorists. Following this, the CID has now passed the order to block security clearance to stone pelters and similar offenders. While this order will positively bring down the stone pelting cases, it has the potential to harm the future of this vast population of protestors.
Denying security clearance is right
One of the strongest reasons why the order was issued was to curb stone pelting and public disorder. The problem with stone pelting is that it’s very dangerous for everyone present at the place. Be it the officials or the layman, everyone is at risk of getting injured or even killed. Earlier this year, Kashmir’s Inspector General of Police deemed these incidents more dangerous than terrorism. So such a stringent measure is necessary to stop people from going against law and order.
The order is all about national security and law. Anyone engaged in unlawful activities has to face the consequences. Only this will serve as a deterrent for others. Former deputy CM Kavinder Gupta has opined that such strict actions are the need of the hour. He believes that such an order is the only way to reduce anti-national behaviour.
Legally speaking, the order is right. As per the Passports Act, passports can be refused to those who are suspected offenders of law and have threatened the country’s security. If at all the CID denies their passport, they can then approach a trial court to get their no objection certificate.
The state’s BJP chief Ravinder Raina has expressed his support for the move. He said that denying security would clearly discourage terrorism among the public. This initiative would stop anti-nationals from fleeing the country or getting a government job after committing an offense.
It’s wrong to deny security clearance
If we dig into the stone pelting cases, it is clear that it was mainly initiated by the youth who were agitated by the government. This has been their way of expressing disaffection since 2008. After so many years, if they are denied a government job or passport because of their previous protests, it might increase their alienation from the state.
Politicians condemn this move as they think it is not in the interest of the people. They say that the police should have resorted to a softer approach like counselling, instead of denying security clearance. They find it contradictory to pass this order at a time when the J&K leaders are talking with the Centre to ensure peace in the region.
Former Chief Minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah strongly opposes this order. If security clearance is denied based only on vague police reports, it would be unfair for the people. He says that this order gives more power to the executive than is required. In other words, the CID would be given the authority of ‘the judge, jury and executioner.’
Meanwhile, other critics claim that this single decision of the CID could destroy the future of many young people. Without a fair judicial trial, they will be labelled offenders en masse and denied jobs and travel opportunities. It could further induce anger among the people as their career prospects would be squashed.
🕵️ BEYOND ECHO CHAMBERS
For the Right:
Assam voted Modi-Shah BJP to power for stability and progress, got chaos and conflict
For the Left:
The Myth Of The ‘Kerala Model’
🏴 STATE OF THE STATES
Put to rest (Uttar Pradesh) – Elections spark the puzzling question of leadership in parties. The UP Assembly elections and BJP are no exception to this. There has been a wide debate on whether or not CM Yogi Adityanath will continue to be BJP’s ‘CM face’. The state government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing farmer issue in the western part of the state has led to such a situation. It was also said that he was asked to shift to Delhi. Putting an end to all such speculations, the CM has now said that he was not offered a role in Delhi when he met the PM. He also added that there was no problem with the allies. With all eyes set on the elections, it looks like the BJP leadership question in the state is resolved for now.
Corona batch? (Tamil Nadu) – Unarguably, the 2020-2021 years haven’t been the best period for learning. So, the students and their parents remain anxious about future prospects. Amidst such skepticism and apprehension, the HDFC bank advertisement announcing walk-in interviews proved to be of no help, rather it has worsened the situation. If you are wondering why, the ad carried a condition stating ‘2021 passed out candidates are not eligible’. This soon caught the attention of the netizens and the talk about being the ‘Corona Batch’ resurfaced on the internet. However, the bank immediately clarified saying it was a typo. Its corrected ad read ‘2021 passed out candidates are also eligible’. Such typos! Don’t worry y’all, the future is going to be bright and better.
Paddy for elephants (Chhattisgarh) – There has been no end to man-animal conflict. However, the forest departments are trying their best to change the situation. In one such attempt, the Chhattisgarh government has decided to allow a certain quantity of paddy to be placed outside the villages for the elephants to eat. The elephants enter the village mostly for food and so the government is trying to pre-empt the conflict. Brilliant idea, right? But the environmentalists say paddy husks hurt elephants and paddy is only their last resort. While the plan looks good, how well it will be implemented and will it reap the expected benefits is still a matter of debate.
Respecting sentiments (Goa) – We all might have sentiments attached to several things and we are against those that hurt such feelings. Similarly, the Goans have asserted that using the word ‘Bhumiputra (son of the soil)’ in the Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill has affected their sentiments. This bill acknowledges individuals who have been living in Goa for at least 30 years with the status of ‘Bhumiputra’ and allows them to stake claim to the ownership of the house. However, the word has been long used for the Gauda, Kunbi, Velip communities and they worry that it can hurt their identity. As opposition members and people ‘strongly objected’ to this, the CM Pramod Sawant said that the word ‘Bhumiputra’ will be removed from the bill. Well, respecting people’s sentiments is an integral duty of a government.
Ending drug abuse (Arunachal Pradesh) – Drug addiction is a major problem in many places across India. Jongphohate village in Arunachal Pradesh has now set an example for other cities to follow. One year ago, a temporary de-addiction centre was set up here. While it helped in battling drug addiction, the people have now scripted their own success stories. On August 2nd, 32 villagers voluntarily went to the centre and surrendered their smoking pipes. As a symbol of urging others to join them, the pipes were later burnt. Inspired by this, the police department also gifted the centre a carrom board to help the reformers to keep their minds occupied. The state has also come up with a new policy ‘Psychotropic Substance Policy (2021-2026)’ to reduce the supply, demand and harm of drugs. Here, the government and common people are working hand in hand against drug abuse. This could soon reap greater success, don’t you think?
🔢 KEY NUMBER
32 lakh – People who lost their jobs in the month of July in India. While 7.9 crore people were employed in salaried jobs in June, this dropped to 7.6 crore people in July. A majority of the job losses were in urban India.