The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 15 February 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 15 February 2024

1. A request that might undermine gender equality

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice – Vulnerable sections
In order to have a comprehensive understanding of societal issues and reforms, UPSC candidates need to be aware of gender issues, discrimination, and policy implications.

– This essay explores the intricacies of the Sabrimala temple controversy, casts doubt on the effectiveness of paid menstrual leave laws, and argues in favor of targeted, nuanced assistance in order to advance true gender equality.

Sabrimala Temple Issue: Menstruation and Discrimination

  • Context: The Sabrimala temple controversy challenged conventional wisdom by drawing attention to the discrimination against menstruating women.
  • Gender Equality: The fight seeks to advance gender equality and do away with discriminatory menstrual practices.

Paid Menstrual Leave: A Counterproductive Move?

  • Menstrual cycle difficulties: Although we should acknowledge these difficulties, we risk trivializing the women’s empowerment movement if we categorize all women as eligible for paid leave.
  • Global Gender Gap: According to the World Economic Forum’s 2021 report, women earn 84 cents for every dollar earned by men, indicating a growing gender gap.

Concerns Regarding Special Status for Menstruating Women

  • Social Stigma: Giving menstruation a special status could legitimize social stigma and exacerbate period shame in a nation where it is viewed as “impure.”
  • NFHS Report: Due to cultural taboos and a lack of knowledge, the widespread use of cloth for menstrual protection is highlighted in the most recent National Family Health Survey, raising concerns about health.

Japan’s Experience: Unintended Consequences

  • Japanese policy: Japan offers leave for painful menstruation, but the majority of this leave is taken without pay, which adds to gender inequality and workplace inequalities.
  • Enforcement Difficulties: The introduction of paid leave gives rise to questions regarding abuse and appropriate enforcement techniques, as evidenced by instances of forced inspections in Indian educational institutions.

On-going Struggles for Women’s Rights

  • Combat Roles: Women’s ongoing efforts to address gender disparities in ground combat have resulted in equal evaluation and roles for them.
  • Corporate Equality: Women in corporate settings are highlighting the need for gender parity and fighting for equal pay.

Recognizing Diverse Experiences

  • Customized Support: It’s critical to recognize the diversity of menstrual experiences and to promote inclusive, case-by-case support in place of general guidelines.


  • In conclusion, while addressing menstrual issues is crucial, broad regulations like those requiring paid time off run the risk of having unforeseen repercussions.
  • Genuine gender equality is fostered by promoting inclusivity and case-specific support, which guarantees a nuanced approach to menstrual issues.

PYQ: Using pertinent constitutional provisions and case law as a guide, explain the constitutional perspectives on gender justice. (15 minutes, 250 words) (UPSC GS-2 2023 CSE (M))
Practice Question: In what ways do the issues surrounding the Sabrimala temple and the discussion of paid menstrual leave speak to larger obstacles facing India’s pursuit of gender equality? Talk about it. (10 m / 150 words)

2. Rescuing grace from disgrace

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Executive
Crucial for UPSC: Gaining an understanding of the debates surrounding ceremonial addresses and the suggested changes can help you better understand Indian political customs and governance issues.

– The article talks about the customary speeches given by the Indian president and governors, highlighting debates, suggested changes, and the difficulty of striking a balance between political interests at these formal occasions.


  • It is said that the speeches made by the Governors and the President of India to the Legislative Assemblies and Parliament, respectively, are “ritualistic,” “ceremonial,” and “customary.”
  • These elaborate ceremonies and speeches are a part of these deeply ingrained political events in Indian politics.
  • The speeches in this tradition are written by the current government, as is customary in Britain.

Presidential Engagement:

  • President Venkataraman (1987–1992) carefully examined and edited the government-provided draft speeches.
  • In an effort to save time and ease tension during the opening ceremonies, he proposed a reform that was modeled after the British Throne Speech’s concision.

Presidential Involvement:

  • President K.R. Narayanan (1997–2002) was known for his painstaking attention to detail, and the modifications he recommended were widely accepted for their appropriateness and relevance.

Governor’s Role And notable instances:

  • Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee promptly accepted the author’s (Gopal Krishna Gandhi) changes to the draft addresses while serving as the Governor of West Bengal, even going so far as to make last-minute corrections for oversight.
  • Chief Minister Nitish Kumar praised the author, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, for his flawless, uninterrupted speech as the acting governor of Bihar.

Controversies and Challenges:

  • The article draws attention to the growing number and ferocity of disputes regarding governors’ speeches in legislative assemblies.
  • The contradiction between the agency composing the speech and the one giving it is found to be the primary cause.

Proposed Solution:

  • The author offers a remedy that is modeled after President Venkataraman’s concept. It suggests that, akin to the British Parliament, the Head of State should only give a brief summary of legislative business and leave the detailed addresses to the Motion of Thanks that follows.

Challenges for Reform:

  • The article recognizes that governments may be reluctant to pass up the chance to present their goals and achievements at the opening ceremonies.
  • In order to prevent the tradition of these addresses from becoming more and more contentious and tense, it is stressed that Chief Ministers must be creative and self-denying in order to start reforms.


  • The paper concludes by emphasizing how urgent it is for creative Chief Ministers to start implementing changes to Presidents’ and Governors’ ceremonial addresses. It also emphasizes the necessity of saving these customs from further escalation into disputes and hostilities.

Tussel between Governor – State Executive
– Constitutional Ambiguity: The Constitution leaves room for interpretation and conflict in its vague provisions pertaining to the governor’s discretionary powers, the appointment and dissolution of assemblies, and the assent to bills.
– Political Differences: Ideological disagreements and divergent state visions can result from the governor and state government’s party affiliation.
– Central Government Influence: States vying for autonomy may feel that governors chosen by the central government are speaking for them.
– Personal Agendas: A governor or chief minister’s personal goals may exacerbate already-existing conflicts and put their own interests ahead of cooperative governance.

– Governance Disruption: Constant friction causes delays in project approvals, policy implementation, and decision-making.
– Public Distrust: A decline in trust brought on by protracted hostilities in democratic institutions and procedures.
– Constitutional Crisis: Severe cases may give rise to court disputes and objections to the federal government’s organization.
– National Image: As a result of internal strife, India’s reputation as a stable democracy has suffered.

Way Forward:
– Clarify Constitutional Roles: To eliminate uncertainty, amend the Constitution to expressly state the governor’s discretionary authority and bounds.
– Nonpartisan Appointments: Take into account selecting governors who have a track record of accomplishment in administration and are politically unbiased.
– Constructive Dialogue: To foster mutual respect and understanding, the governor and the state government should be encouraged to communicate openly.
– Cooperative Federalism: Encourage an attitude of cooperative governance in which both parties respect state autonomy while cooperating to achieve common national objectives.
– Strengthening judicial channels will enable prompt and equitable settlement of conflicts resulting from power struggles between the state executive and governor.

PYQ: Can the July 2018 Supreme Court ruling resolve the political dispute between Delhi’s elected government and lieutenant governor? Analyze. (15 minutes, 250 words) (UPSC GS-2 2018 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Take a look at the recent conflicts in India between state executives and governors. Examine the main causes and possible outcomes of these conflicts. Provide strategies to guarantee peaceful collaboration within the cooperative federalism framework (150 words/10 m).

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