Recently, the Lok Sabha has passed the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 with some amendments. The bill aims at empowering the transgender community in the country by giving them a separate identity. The main objective of the bill is to define transgender and prohibit discrimination against the transgender community. However, it falls short of addressing certain key issues being faced by the community.
There is a growing support for abolishing capital punishment in India and it needs serious consideration since, on the other side, there has been a nationwide outrage over the series of incidents of sexual assaults of minor girls, like the one in Kathua. The Supreme Court itself admitted on many occasions that there are a confusion and contradiction on the application of the death penalty.
Recently, farmers from various regions of the country marched to Delhi to register their protest against the government’s neglect of farmers’ demands. Poor earnings of the farmers led to the never-ending distress in the agricultural sector and this resulted in the increasing number of farmer suicides. These worrying realities call for an appropriate policy response and sustainable alternatives to the current agricultural methods.
According to the Asia-Pacific wealth report, Japan’s richest persons have the largest wealth accumulation in the Asia-Pacific region, however, Chinese millionaires are also catching up to them. Meanwhile, Indian millionaires are adding wealth at the fastest in the region, which India can take pride in it. But the reality is that the bottom 60%, the majority of the population, owns less than 5% of the country’s wealth. This growing inequality threatens to destroy the fabric of Indian democracy.
Recently, an American self-styled adventurer and Christian missionary was allegedly killed by Sentinelese tribes of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, when he was trespassing into their restricted island. This incident highlights the shameful practice of tribal tourism, which was prohibited by the Supreme Court of India but still remains in practice and continues to haunt the reclusive tribes of the Andaman Islands.
Recently, Maharashtra Cabinet approved the proposal to grant reservation to the Maratha community under a newly created “Independent” category. It will have implications on other communities demanding reservation like Kapus in Andhra Pradesh, Jats in Haryana and Patidars in Gujarat.
Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple issue is about the conflict between women rights and tradition. According to Kerala’s traditions and customs, women between 10 and 50 years of age were not permitted into Sabarimala Temple. However, the situation has changed when the constitutional bench of the Supreme Court on September 28, 2018, declared that restricting entry of women of menstruating age was unconstitutional.
In August 2018, Delhi High Court decriminalized beggary by striking down some sections of the Bombay Prevention of Beggary Act, 1959, as extended to Delhi. Begging is a crime in twenty states and two union territories of India. It is treated as a cognizable and non-bailable offense. Presently, there is not a single uniform law on begging & destitution and several states have adopted the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act, 1959.