November 12 2019
GS Paper II
Several positives for the Muslim plaintiffs
The minorities and defenders of the rule of law and secularism need not feel disappointed with the Ayodhya verdict, there are several verses that prove that the Supreme Court is still a custodian of justice and final destination to resolve disputes of national concern.
Insights into the editorial:
What does the author opine on the hotly debated judgement?
The SC has accepted that there has been a violation of law when the Babri Masjid was desecrated in 1949 through the installation of idols and also held that the demolition of the mosque in 1992 was illegal in the final order, yet its Majesty handed over the responsibility to build a temple in the hands of the Centre and gave the disputed site to the Hindu plaintiffs.
The Allahabad High Court’s decision of division of the disputed site of 2.77 acres (1500 square yards) into 3 parts would still not bring about a permanent sense of peace and tranquillity nor would it sub-serve the interests of both the parties.
The author feels though the Muslims and other minority groups are threatened by the decision of the apex court, there is no need to be apprehensive about their future in the country as;
- There is still a fear prevailing among the country’s Muslims about the next unrest that could be caused by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) claim over the 3000 other mosques. However, the Court has reiterated that the Places of Worship Act, 1991 protects and secures the fundamental values of the Constitution and upholds secularism that the State always promotes. The Court’s assurance that “The Places of Worship Act imposes a non-derogable obligation towards secularism under the Constitution of India..” and thus is a legal intervention that puts all the worries to rest.
- The court firmly rejects any attempt made to lead the court to interpret any religious doctrine in its absolute and extreme meaning and then question its form and faith of worshippers, as held by the Freedom of Religion under Article 24 of the Constitution. It said that “faith is a matter for an individual believer”, when the Hindus argued that Babri Masjid was not a legitimate mosque as per the Islamic theologies.
- The Court played music to the ears of proponents of multiculturalism who are feeling the aggressive majoritarianism. The court acknowledged the Sunni Waqf Board’s plea that the place of Lord Ram’s birth cannot be personified as a juristic person and if done so, shall definitely hurt and impinge the rights of the other beliefs and faiths.
It simply implied that the Court cannot accord primacy to one faith over the others.
- According to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), it had only found Hindu temple remains belonging to the Kushanas and Shung period to the Gupta period dating back to 13th century to the early middle ages, a circular temple believed to belong to the 7th to 10th century CE and a few belonging to the Buddhist and Jain temple ruins as well. However, the ASI claims that the Supreme Court hailed was that the mosque was constructed on the ruins of the temple in the 16th century CE. It cannot be said that the Ram temple was demolished to construct the mosque as there was an intervening gap of 4 centuries.
There has been no excavation evidence that says that the pillar bases found under the disputed land were relatable to the pillars of the mosque and no remnants from the pre-existing structure were used for the construction.
- The arguments from the Muslim side that the designation of a piece of land solely on the basis of the faith or archaeological findings cannot be accepted which can be used as a fact in future disputes as well.
- There were many hearsay witness accounts of travellers and the title of the possession of a property cannot be decided on such inaccurate descriptions, that the court took the side of the Muslim plaintiffs.
- The court also accepted that there has been no history of evidence prior to the 18th century that talked of the demolition of a Ram temple prior to the construction of Babri mosque.
There has been no mention of Ram’s birthplace either in Valmiki’s Ramayana or Tulsidas’s Ramacharitmanas.
According to the author, the court has rightly accepted that the Muslim counterparts were wrongly deprived of their possession of the Mosque in 1949, though ideally they should have been given the possession of the inner courtyard rather than the 5 acre land (that is nearly double the size of the disputed land) outside the 67acres of land (in and around the disputed land) possessed by the Centre in the aftermath of the demolition on December 6, 1992.
However, there has been a state of debate and a cold expression of why the court decided to handover the responsibility of building the Ram temple to the Centre to form a trust that was not party to the Ayodhya title dispute when it could as well have asked the local civil court to settle a scheme for the land.
GS Paper III
Anaemia among men a major public health issue
Anaemia among men in India is a major public health problem with State-level prevalence in men varying from 9.2% (average of 7.7%-10.9%) in Manipur to 32.9% (average of 31-34.7%) in Bihar, revealed a recent study.
According to the study published in The Lancet Global Health, which looked at anaemia among the men in India, found that nearly a quarter of them (23.2% in a sample of 1 lakh men) in the age 15-54 had some form of anaemia. The report suggests that studies in India have mostly focused on women and children, men have, by far received less attention.
The study is aimed to determine the national prevalence of anaemia among men in India; variation in the prevalence of anaemia across States by socio-demographic characteristics; whether these geographical and socio-demographic variations are similar to that among women and to inform whether anaemia reduction efforts for men should be coupled with existing efforts on women.
What does the report say?
Among the States, the highest prevalence of any anaemia was in Bihar (32.86%). This was followed by West Bengal (30.46%), Jharkhand (30.3%), Meghalaya (29.13%) and Odisha (28.45%). The lowest prevalence among men was in Manipur (9.19%) and a southern state Kerala (11.77%).
An estimated 21.7% of men with any degree of anaemia had moderate or severe anaemia compared with 53.2% of women with any anaemia.
What is the online journal of The Lancet Global Health?
Launched in June, 2013- The Lancet publishes monthly open- (subscription-free access) online issue of The Lancet Global Health that features high quality original research, commentary, and correspondence on focus areas- the disadvantaged populations, by the whole economic regions or marginalized groups within otherwise prosperous nations, with a preference for the following topics: reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health; infectious diseases, including neglected tropical diseases; non-communicable diseases; mental health; the global health workforce; health systems; surgery; and health policy.
What is anaemia?
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines anaemia as a condition in which the number of the red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet the physiological demands.
Anemia though generally seen in women as they have a biological functioning of menstruation (periods) that brings about loss of blood and energy; older people who have relatively lesser resistance to any change in the environment/ medical conditions that would restrict their immunity to work efficiently or some forms of anaemia that is genetically passed on to the newborn (thalassaemia / sickle-cell anaemia).
There are more than 400 types of Anaemia and are most commonly grouped into 3:
- Anaemia by blood loss
- Anaemia by faulty or decreased red blood cell production
- Anaemia by the destruction of red blood vessels
Anaemia in men can cause lethargy, fatigue, nausea, creates difficulty in concentrating, thereby reducing the quality of life and decreasing economic productivity.
An estimated 1.9 billion people had anaemia in 2013 which is 27% of the world’s total population and 93% of these cases occur in low-and middle-income countries.
Some factors that could contribute to the sickness would be consuming smokeless tobacco, being underweight, level of urbanization, household health and wealth that increase the probability of the incidence of developing the disease.