Anti-conversion laws enacted in various states are under scrutiny for their ambiguity and the lack of valid justifications for their existence. Vague terms used in them pose significant challenges to the fundamental rights provided by the Indian constitution. In this backdrop, the Supreme Court has recently agreed to examine the constitutional validity of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand anti-conversion laws. However, it refused to stay these controversial legislations.
In a recent incident in Vadodara, an individual believed to be possessed, killed his mother considering her a witch. Similarly, a newborn ailing child was branded by a hot iron rod instead of taking him to a hospital in Odisha. Incidents like these are quite common in countries like India. From ancient times, superstitions played a major role in India. India being a land of diversity and varying social practices has a bunch of superstitions prevailing in the society. Here we will discuss the various aspects of superstition in India.
Though laws banning slaughtering of cows are not unique to India, the issue is highly contentious among its people – leading to social, economic and political implications across the country. The Indian community should come together to ensure that the needs of all are provided for, especially when there is a growing agrarian crisis as well as escalating social tensions within the country.
Language makes us human. During the process of natural evolution, the human brain acquired the ability to engage with the world primarily through linguistic transactions. The language issue is a prominent topic and major issue of the Post- Independent Indian consolidation. The trigger for this year’s language issue started with the Haryana Official Language (Amendment) Act of 2020 which imposed Hindi as the sole official language to be used in lower courts across the State of Haryana, followed by the publishing of the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notification only in Hindi and English, and the three-language formula in the draft national education policy.
Elections are the life and blood of modern democracies. The health and vitality of parliamentary democracy are sustained by ensuring free, fair and peaceful elections where the verdict of the people finds full expression. Free and fair elections are important in ensuring the government authority derives power from the will of the people. It is expected that electoral reforms will contribute to better participation of the citizens in electoral practices, reduce corruption and strengthen democracy in India. As a foundation for the electoral reforms, recently, the Prime Minister’s Office had held a meeting with representatives of the Election Commission and the Law Ministry to discuss the possibility of having a common electoral roll for elections to the Panchayat, municipality, state assembly and the Lok Sabha.
On July 29, Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple faced the US antitrust hearings for their anti-competitive practices. Several of these allegations were made in India over the years for multiple times, without any resolutions. Earlier this year, Google and Facebook, invested in Jio Platforms, the telecom and digital subsidiary of the Reliance Industry Limited. This is the first time that both the global tech giants invested in the same entity anywhere in the world. These investments have raised questions regarding the anti-competitive nature of such deals. For government initiatives like Atmanirbhar Bharat, Make in India etc., to be successful, India requires a range of practices that ensures prevention of few firms dominating the whole market and restricting competition in a bid to preserve their dominant role.
Amidst protest from the opposition and a section of farmer’s organizations, the Monsoon Session of the Lok Sabha passed three agriculture sector bills which will replace the existing ordinances. The bills have led to intensifying protests by farmers in states like Punjab, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh despite COVID-19. Recently, three bills were introduced in the Punjab legislative assembly to negate the Centre’s agriculture laws provide for imprisonment of not less than three years and fine for the sale-purchase of wheat or paddy under a farming agreement below the Minimum Support Price.
Electing a government to govern the nation/states for the next five years by casting vote in a polling booth is an onerous responsibility on the shoulders of every voter in a democratic country. Unfortunately, even after seven decades of independence and numerous elections held in the country so far, despite extensive appeals by the Election Commission, government and other celebrities, large number of voters still perceive, voting is an optional luxury enjoying low priority. According to the 255th Law Commission Report, “Electoral right” of the voter includes the right to “vote or refrain from voting at an election.” The Representation of People Act, 1951 – the law that governs elections also talks of “right to vote rather than a duty to vote”. Last year, in the monsoon session of parliament, Lok Sabha members expressed diverse views on a private member’s bill seeking compulsory voting.
Recently, Parliament has passed the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Amendment Bill 2020 (FCRA) in its monsoon session which would greatly tighten and restrict the existing Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). Though The bill is receiving backslash from the NGOs and the Opposition with regards to the encroachment of NGOs financial administration, it has been passed with a view of increasing transparency in the working of an organization receiving foreign funds.