SC resets abortion law; Grains freebies; CDS at last

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Opinion Watch

SC resets abortion law

Women participation in Parliament and legislature remains below 15 per cent, and that may explain half-baked laws enacted by the elected bodies.

Unmarried women, victims of sexual violence, had no right to terminate their pregnancies between 20-24 weeks. Tell this to college girls, and they would ask, “What the hell; Are we in the medieval age!”

The Times of India and The Indian Express have richly lauded the Supreme Court for trashing the anomalies in the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (MTPA).

One may wonder why does State need to decide whether a woman can go for termination of pregnancy or not, for this should concern the fetus-bearer and her doctor. But India has a statutory book that’s ever expanding and one day there could even be a law on how to breathe. Respite, however, is that India is better placed than the US where the Supreme Court only a few months ago turned down the Roe v Joe that gave abortion rights to women there for 50 years.

The Times of India has urged upon Parliament to examine the apex court’s observations on divorce laws, stating that such cases shouldn’t go beyond the district courts. Marriage, as part of the fundamental right of association, should be dissolved if the relationships turn toxic, and the courts have no business to be the moral gods to condemn men and women to live despicable lives just because they are rusted, burdened, and remain largely male-dominated.

The daily also calls the 30-day public notice period in the 1954 Special Marriage Act absurd. But privacy in India is asking for the moon, and thus the bride and her groom must declare to the world that they are getting married!

The Indian Express reminded that under the section 312 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 abortion is a crime, while the MTPA provides for exceptions.

Grains freebies

A section of the intellectuals seek to argue that free foodgrains for 80 crore people in the country under the PM Garib Kalyan Yojna doesn’t fall under the purview of freebies. The cost of this scheme for three months is Rs 44,762 crores, while it has sucked Rs 3.45 lakh crore since the rollout.

The government doesn’t say that 80 crore people in the country are below the poverty line. That’s roughly about 25 per cent of India’s 130 crore population. India still doesn’t know the true population, for the alibi of pandemic has cost the 2021 decadal Census.

The Pioneer and The Economic Times has struck divergent views on the issue. ET has argued the hard pill is justified if it boosts consumption, while also noting that food and fuel are principal culprits for inflation.

Crude oil is now at about $80 per barrel, way down from $130 per barrel, and the retail prices of petrol remain stuck at Rs 97-100 per litre, which is kept high to fund schemes such as free grains.

The Pioneer makes a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government, almost calling its freebies debate bogus. It argued that free grain scheme was a welfare measure at the time of lockdown, but now it’s just a freebie.

CDS at last

India has finally got the Chief of Defence Staff nine months after the death of Gen. Bipin Rawat in December 2021, and this while India faced Chinese armed forces across the line of actual control in eastern Ladakh and the war theatre continued to expand in Europe with shadow in the Indo Pacific.

The Hindu and The Indian Express in their respective Editorials have commented on the appointment of Lt. Gen. Anil Chauhan, who is likely to have a maximum tenure of four years.

Both the dailies have listed out the well-known challenges being faced by India’s defence forces.

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