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Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Hindu Editorial : Question Of Equality

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The Hindu Editorial : Question Of Equality


(The Supreme Court has an opportunity to reconsider its 2013 order criminalising gay sex.)

The time has come to undo the judicial wrong done to homosexual individuals in 2013 when the Supreme Court upheld the validity of Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalises gay sex.

  • 2001: Naz Foundation files petition
  • 2009: Delhi High Court on Section 377
  • 2013: Supreme Court Re-ciminalises Gay Sex
  • 2016: Curative petition by Naz Foundation, activists heard
  • 2017: Supreme Court Upholds Right To Privacy
  • A three-judge Bench has opened up an opportunity to reconsider that verdict, which came to the disturbing conclusion that the LGBT community was just a “minuscule fraction” of the population and also ruled that those having sexual intercourse “against the order of nature” constituted a separate class on which the law could validly impose penal sanctions. 
  • The right to privacy and the protection of sexual orientation lie at the core of the fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the constitution.

  • “The morality that public perceives, the Constitution may not conceive of,” and that what is “natural to one may not be natural to another”.

Vocabulary words:

Conceive = Form or devise in mind (विचार करना)

Jurisprudence = The theory of law (न्यायशास्त्र)

Petition = A formal written request (याचिका)

Inherent = Existing in something as a permanent attribute (निहित)

Touchstone = A criterion by which something is judged (कसौटी)

Bias = Partiality (पक्षपात)


  • Only an overhaul resembling the industrial liberalisation of 1991 will work.
  • Farm incomes are unattractive for a variety of reasons; the absurdity of policies features among them. 
1) The overriding objective of price stability, over time, has tilted farm policy in favour of the consumer, the numerically larger vote bank. 

2) Trade and price controls are highly restrictive and mostly anti-farmer. 

3) The protection afforded to the inefficient fertilizer industry ensures that input costs are high. 

4) The farmer is forced to sell in the domestic market where prices tend to be lower than global agricultural prices. 

About MSPs :

The MSP, the price at which the government offers to procure from farmers, is an economic policy tool which requires technical acumen.

  • A sensible policy would be to buy from farmers when market prices are depressed and sell stocks in the open market when prices are elevated
  • Procurement works effectively only if trade controls and stocks management are aligned with it. 
  • The United Progressive Alliance government’s MSP policy was blamed for the food prices inflation, from 2009 to 2013.
  • The argument was that selling at a price lower than the purchase price (MSP plus carrying costs) would inflict losses on the exchequer and add to the fiscal deficit.

The narrative is that the bulk of agriculture is not sufficiently productive to be able to gainfully engage young rural Indians and so policy attention must be on building industry. 

Vocabulary words:

Denial = Refusal, contradiction (इनकार)

Absurdity = Being ridiculous (मूर्खता)

Rhetoric = The art of effective writing or speaking (आलंकारिक)

Procurement = The occupation of acquiring goods(खरीद)

Reluctance = Unwillingness (अनिच्छा)

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