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View From The Right: Gender and justice
Updated:Jul 25, 2017
 
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The editorial in Organiser, Beyond Outrage, comments on the continuing offences against women. The editorial says though “all of us are happy that the nation is taking strides in various fields”, the “heinous incidents of crime against women” makes one worry about “what is happening to us as a society”. We need “to get to the root of this issue” and “look beyond the incident and the politics over it”. “The real problem is the way we are addressing this issue of crime against women at legal, social, cultural and economic levels,” the editorial argues.
 
 
It cites the recent rape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Kotkhai, Himachal Pradesh and the subsequent events including the “custodial death of one of the suspects”. Contending that “police investigation and criminal justice system” need a complete overhaul, it says “criminals are confident that they can manipulate the system”. “Unless our criminal investigation system is transformed and the people working in it are sensitised with a ‘sense of justice’, such grave incidences will continue to occur,” it notes. It is a matter of “grave concern… the phenomenon of heinous crime” that was “prevalent in bigger cities” is now “percolating down to smaller towns”. “The problem of indifference, degradation of social bonds and dwindling public morals are larger issues we need to address,” it says.
 
 
Shaking up babudom
 
 
An article in Organiser, Tailoring Top Bureaucracy, praises the Narendra Modigovernment as it has “silently yet determinedly” moulded “the steel frame” at the Centre. It notes that of the 102 IAS officers of the 1988 batch, only about 40 figured in the “empanelment list for Additional Secretary”.
 
 
Applauding “the radical weeding out of more than half of them”, it says that “it was a radical shift from the past where about 90 per cent of those who joined early could easily aspire to retire as Secretary to the Government of India”. These changes “unleashed at the top level bureaucracy” have “climaxed at unheard performance-based mid-term transfers at the level of Joint Secretaries”. The most “radical” change is the “360-Degree Review”, an “out-of-the-box appraisal system to select, promote and even punish officials”.
 
 
Now, “each officer’s suitability to hold the senior-most post is judged not only by what his immediate seniors hold for him/her”, but also how the officer “is judged” by “juniors, peer group, or even social circles”. “This essentially reduces the reliance on annual confidential reports as the key basis for short-listing and empanelment,” it says. Resultantly, this new system has brought major changes in the bureaucratic system.
 
 
Fury over flag
 
 
The editorial in Panchjanya comments on the nature of discourse in the state assemblies and Parliament. It notes that Karnataka is “exploring possibilities of a separate flag”, while “Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal made objectionable remarks against Hindu gods and goddesses in the Lok Sabha”. Both these incidents have “a common thread”. These politicians have forgotten that “provincial identity is not bigger than that of the nation in Indian democracy”.
 
 
“Nobody’s stature is so big in the House that he can hurt the faith of entire country,” it says. It is not first such instance. It confirms that some people are adamant that they would hurt people’s sentiments and downsize democracy. The move of the Karnataka’s Congress government to set up a committee for a separate flag must be strongly criticised. The Congress “must be asked that what accounts for its interest in a separate flag”, it asks.
 
 
Certain so-called progressives in Delhi are citing the instance of Jammu and Kashmir as a precedent. “Such elements must be told that an exception cannot be an example,” it says. Do these people find any direction or inspiration from Jammu and Kashmir for Karnataka? Or, is it a conspiracy to push a state into trouble?
 
 
 
 
 
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