Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to pioneering Hindutva ideologue Veer Savarkar on his birth anniversary- 28th May.
About Savarkar and his contributions:
Born on May 28, 1883 in Bhagur, a city in Maharashtra’s Nashik.
He was against foreign goods and propagated the idea of Swadeshi. In 1905, he burnt all the foreign goods in a bonfire on Dussehra.
He championed atheism and rationality and also disapproved orthodox Hindu belief. In fact, he even dismissed cow worship as superstitious.
He also Worked on abolishment of untouchability in Ratnagiri.
Organisations he was associated with:
Vinayak Savarkar was a president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1937 to 1943. When congress ministries offered resignation on 22nd oct 1939, Hindu mahasabha under his leadership cooperated with Muslim league to form government in provinces like Sindh, Bengal and NWFP.
In Pune, Savarkar founded the “Abhinav Bharat Society”.
He was also involved in the Swadeshi movement and later joined Tilak’s Swaraj Party. His instigating patriotic speeches and activities incensed the British Government. As a result, the British Government withdrew his B.A. degree.
He founded the Free India Society. The Society celebrated important dates on the Indian calendar including festivals, freedom movement landmarks, and was dedicated to furthering discussion about Indian freedom.
Vinayak Savarkar and Ganesh Savarkar started Mitra Mela, a revolutionary secret society in Nasik in 1899.
In his book, The History of the war of Indian Independence, Savarkar wrote about the guerilla warfare tricks used in 1857 Sepoy Mutiny.
The book was banned by Britishers, but Madam Bhikaji Cama published the book in Netherlands, Germany and France, which eventually reached many Indian revolutionaries.
He founded the two-nation theory in his book ‘Hindutva’ calling Hindus and Muslims two separate nations. In 1937, Hindu Mahasabha passed it as a resolution.
Scope of Section 304-B in dowry deaths widened by SC
The Supreme Court has called dowry harassment a “pestiferous” crime where women are subjected to cruelty by “covetous” husbands and in-laws.
Also, the Court indicated in a judgment that a straitjacket and literal interpretation of Section 304-B, a penal provision on dowry death may have blunted the battle against the “long-standing social evil”.
About Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code:
According to Section 304-B, to make out a case of dowry death, a woman should have died of burns or other bodily injuries or “otherwise than under normal circumstances” within seven years of her marriage. She should have suffered cruelty or harassment from her husband or in-laws “soon before her death” in connection with demand for dowry.
Issues with Section 304-B:
The courts have mostly resorted to the narrow view of Section 304-B. For example:
Courts had interpreted the phrase ‘soon before’ in Section 304-B as ‘immediately before’. This interpretation would make it necessary for a woman to have been harassed moments before she died.
The phrase “otherwise than under normal circumstances” in the Section also calls for a liberal interpretation.
Dowry related deaths in India- a quick look:
Dowry deaths accounted for 40% to 50% homicides in the country for almost a decade from 1999 to 2018.
In 2019 alone, 7,115 cases of dowry death were registered under Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code.
Need of the hour:
Courts should instead interpret Section 304-B liberally while keeping in mind the law’s intention to punish dowry and bride-burning.
Absurd interpretations should be avoided. Instead, courts need to show only a “proximate and live link” between the harassment and her death.
The court must also put incriminating circumstances before the accused and seek his response. He should be given sufficient opportunity to give his side of the story.
Causes of dowry and related atrocities:
Greed: Expectations of material benefits from the bride’s family.
Illiteracy: The communities that are not knowledgeable about the laws and legislation face several atrocities owing to dowry exchange practices.
Lack of Willingness to adhere to laws.
Rule 6(I) of the Indian Administrative Service (cadre) Rules, 1954
In an unprecedented order, the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) invoked Rule 6(I) of the Indian Administrative Service (cadre) Rules, 1954 to place the services of West Bengal Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay with the Government of India.
What is it?
Rule 6(1) of the Indian Administrative Service (cadre) rules, 1954 states: A cadre officer may, with the concurrence of the state governments concerned and the central government, be deputed for service under the central government or another state government or under a company, association or body of individuals, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or substantially owned or controlled by the central government or by another state government.
What happens in case of disagreement?
Rule 6(I) states that “provided that in case of any disagreement, the matter shall be decided by the Central Government and the State Government shall give effect to the decision of the Central Government.”
What’s the Concern/issue now?
It is being called a “blatant misuse of power and an attempt to encroach on state’s jurisdiction.”
What has the Supreme Court said in such matters?
Earlier in December 2020, the Home Ministry had attached three Indian Police Service (IPS) officers of West Bengal cadre but the State government did not relieve them.
Following this, a petition was filed which stressed that the unique dichotomy in the prevalent laws is itself self-contradictory and violative of Article 14.
It claimed that this rule has created havoc in the law-and-order situation and in the administrative structure of the concerned state governments.
However, the court rejected the petition.