IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 16th November, 2015
TOPIC: General Studies 3
Security challenges and their management in border areas; linkages of organized crime with terrorism.
Terror in Paris
Terror has struck France for the second time this year, this time with even more damage and loss of innocent lives.
The January attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdoin Paris and the attack on Friday night differ in terms of scale, planning, target and intent.
In January, the intent was to teach the Charlie Hebdojournalists a lesson for drawing a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad.
The attack did not seem to have a great deal of pre-planning, the targets were specific, and the aim limited.
The 13/11 Paris attack is large-scale killing, targeted against the general public; intended to spread terror and to convey that the French would pay for their war efforts in Syria right inside the French heartland , a great deal of planning has clearly gone into its execution.
ISIS(Daesh) claim responsibility :
ISIS claims responsibility for the incident and further adds the reason for the terror incident, is increased France support for the fight against terror forces in Syria.
Why France, a terror target in the west ?
Within the West, France has become a major target of the Islamist terror outfits, especially the ISIS (Daesh), for a number of reasons.
France has been at the forefront of the ongoing operations against the Daesh in Syria, even as the Barack Obama administration is not wholeheartedly participating in the anti-Daesh campaign.
While France has one of the largest Muslim populations in Europe, its Muslim minority remains less integrated into the national mainstream and has grievances against the French government’s not-so-friendly way of mainstreaming them.
13/11 attack different from 26/11:
The difference between the attacks in India by Pakistan-based terror groups, like the one on Mumbai, and the Paris attacks seems to be the presence of external handlers.
Though both attacks displayed high levels of sophisticated planning and execution, the former was planned and directed by the LeT leadership based in Pakistan, and the Paris attacks seems to be have been self-directed by radicalised French citizens.
Furthermore terror incidents to occur in the west:
A recent UN report indicated that around 4,000 foreign fighters of West European origin are based in Syria.
Another report by the Brookings Institution claimed that around 1,500 fighters of French origin are currently in Syria.
If these figures are anything to go by, there are likely to be many more attempts to target Western cities in the days ahead.
Should India join the terror fight in Syria?
Yes and why?
India’s counter-terror expertise can be a game changer
India’s experience in counter terrorism could play a decisive role in combating ISIS as well as CIA supported terrorist groups such as the so-called Free Syrian Army.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Army have been fighting extremists in Kashmir and eastern India for decades.
India’s armed forces will gain invaluable experience
The airspace over Syria is an environment that India’s MiG-29 and Sukhoi-30MKI pilots would relish.
Not only would they be right at home in the Syrian cauldron, Indian pilots will also gain experience in a 21st century battlefield environment involving western air forces.
The IAF can also test its ability to quickly airlift Indian troops into a war zone.
Fight them in Syria, not at home
There will be plenty of no sayers who will argue India should not enter the mess because they fear the country will end up on the ISIS radar.
But the point is to fight and exterminate ISIS in its home base than in India.
ISIS should not be given any breathing space which would allow them to expand out of the Middle East and Indian subcontinent.
India’s stock will rise globally
Despite sending spectacular missions to the Moon and Mars and becoming an IT superpower, India is still known as the land of holy men, tigers and Gandhi.
What the country needs is an image makeover.
If India sends its armed forces to Syria, its stock will rise globally as one of the few countries able to hit the ISIS.
India’s entry will be a landmark geopolitical event
India has rarely intervened outside the scope of the United Nations.
The country is known as the reluctant superpower because it rarely ventures into global hot spots.
If India sends its mighty defence forces to support Syria, it would have the weight of over 1.2 billion people saying no to terrorist groups.
No and why?
No prior experience on foreign soil
Unlike US and other western nations, India doesn’t have experience fighting in foreign soil.
On the other hand, US and other NATO troops have experience fighting in combat operations in Iraq, Afghanistan etc.
Naxalism has affected India badly and its growth in eastern states has been a cause of concern.
Currently it is spread in almost 220 districts across 20 states and it continues to bleed India and affect the development of local population.
A foreign mission in Iraq and Syria costs Indian exchequer enormously.
As per estimates, US government spends $300,000/hour, for their air strikes in Iraq and Syria , which is definitely unaffordable by India.
Way Forward :
India and the world should use the recent Paris attacks as a platform to fight terror globally and should not treat the attack as another terror attack like in the past and turn deaf ears to the plight of terror affected countries and people.
Connecting the dots:
Differentiate between de radicalization and counter radicalization.
Critically examine the objectives of United Nations convention to combat terrorism.
Critically analyse the role of South Asia in counter terrorism operations across the world.
Critically analyse the impact of terrorism in promoting regional imbalances across the world with special emphasis on South Asia and Middle East.
TOPIC: General Studies 1
Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India
Social empowerment, communalism, regionalism & secularism.
The economics of Cow Slaughter
Recent state of affairs dealing with the slaughter of cows have un-done the major hype that was created around the developmental aspects related to livestock rearing and increase in the farm sector income of the farmers who have been running off the mills, to earn a livelihood.
If targeting the Muslim community was not enough, snatching away the livelihood of the Hindus under the Hindutva brigade will bear much damage to the image of the government- hanging on to the thread of the RSS’s language, faithfully.
State of Farmers
Yes! The farmers who sell off the unproductive cattle to the contractors are mostly Hindus; trying to earn some money from the cattle that are no more able to produce milk, give birth or have become old and frail.
Maintenance Amount/Day: Rs. 100
Maintenance Amount/Year: Rs. 36,500
Right from dealing with the agrarian crisis to the question of the government providing them a cattle subsidy; have been doing the rounds. And, both the options do not fit in well with the figures that denote almost 53 lakh stray cattle abandoned by their owners.
State of the Industry:
Farmers are not the only community that will bear the brunt of a ‘cow-pride’ political class but the entire chain of leather industry will be affected due to the loss in the supply of the raw material for the production of leather based products.
According to the Council for Leather Exports, 2.5 million people, the majority of them scheduled castes, are employed in the industry.
An estimated eight lakh Dalits earn a living through flaying the skin of dead cattle.
If the statistics spell out the truth, the industry will be choked in a huge manner ‘illegally’ when the entire process is termed ‘legal’ in the country. A sense of fear, now, prevails on the working community- flayers, contractors, truck drivers, traders and others.
Where is the Economics?
Why don’t rich Indian farmers rear cattle on a large scale?
Absence of a ready market for milk and other dairy products
Lack of ready buyers or the absence of modern storage facilities
Existence of large inter-state variations in the nature of bovine population
Urban settlements: Keep more and better breeds of cattle as they can sell dairy products in nearby markets more easily
Remote areas: Invest in fewer, less productive, and cheaper cattle as the milk generated would largely be used for self-consumption
From 150 trucks of cattle hide to three/four per day:
No supplyà No workà No incomeà No sustenance + Fear à Jobless Dalitsà Search for an alternative Job
Import of cow/bull hide:
Allowed with zero per cent duty
Huge competitionà Domestic units in lossà Will lay off worker à Distress Migration for Job + Alternate livelihood opportunities search à Standard of living gone downà Poverty
Make in India + Skilling India : Distant Reality
Do Hindus eat beef?
The National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) estimated in 2011-12 that 5.2 crore people in the country eat beef/buffalo meat.
In 2002, the National Commission on Cattle, set up by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government, to promote a ban on cow slaughter, also reluctantly admitted in a report (para 167) that “extreme poverty and customary practices in the coastal areas and among some sections of scheduled tribes, scheduled castes and other backward castes also make them beef eaters.”
Thus, nutrition of the poor is important and in India, ‘poverty’ does not knock the doors of one religious community.
Legal Framework- In place?
According to the website of the Department of Animal Husbandry, except for the States of the northeast, all other States have anti-cow slaughter laws in some form or the other.
Useful and useless cattle:
Once a cow or bull or bullock has crossed a certain age and can neither produce milk nor be useful in any agricultural work, such cattle can be slaughtered provided the authority concerned gives a “fit for slaughter” certificate.
Punjab province of Pakistan: Strict regulations against the slaughter of milch animals and draught animals exists
States which permit slaughter of “useless cattle”:
Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
Socio-economic Angle of Cattle Slaughter:
Ambedkar was in the forefront to ban cattle slaughter as his criticisms were based on the fact that one of the grounds for untouchability practised against Dalits, was consumption of the meat of dead cattle.
In the face of strongly divided opinion in the Constituent Assembly, Dr.Ambedkar worked out a compromise for the inclusion of Article 48 in the Directive Principles rather than in the text of the Constitution. Article 48 states: “The State shall endeavour to organise agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall in particular take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle.”
Food code is a personal issue and should remain so. Dictation when it comes to dietary practices, in a democracy, might work against the mandate that the government has been elected on the basis of.
Other economic priorities are breathing slowly and needs to be pumped up with much attention and initiatives and thus, elongating or stressing on such an issue remains largely futile, serving no purpose, at all.
Supreme Court had held that a ” total ban on slaughter of useless cattle which involves a wasteful drain on the nation…cannot be justified.” Even the plight of these stray cattle dying a slow death because of starvation or ingestion of toxic wastes is a matter of more importance and thus, while the government should abide by a visionary statement of the SC, it should also, at the same time, formulate policies put an economic perspective into being for the farmers ready to hang themselves, already.
Connecting the Dots:
Write a short note on- ‘Economics-Religion and Survival’
The hate campaign in the name of prevention of cow slaughter has recently taken its toll of another young Muslim life in Himachal Pradesh. Critically analyze
Not just business- Economics aside, the spectacle of PM’s UK visit was meant as much for the domestic audience as anyone else