The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 2 March 2024

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The Hindu Editorial Analysis- 2 March 2024

1. Change and continuity in India’s Palestine policy

Topic: GS2 – International Relations 
For those preparing for the UPSC, this article is essential as it provides valuable understanding of India’s diplomatic approach, geopolitical factors, and changing Middle East dynamics.

● The article explores India’s changing views on the Israel-Palestine conflict by looking at the background information, the government’s stance, changes in diplomacy, and the effects on regional dynamics.

India’s Historical Position on Palestine:

  • Even during the past three decades of prosperous relations with Israel, India has always supported the cause of Palestine.
  • kept the historical commitment to Palestine and the new partnership with Israel in careful balance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Response:

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed support for Israel following the October 7 Hamas attack in Israel, saying he was “deeply shocked by the news of the terrorist attack.”
  • Positive rapport is indicated by Modi’s 2017 visit to Israel and his cordial relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Evolution of India’s Palestine Policy:

  • India’s stance on Palestine changed over time. It first opposed the partition of Palestine in 1947 and then recognised Israel in 1950, but it did not immediately establish diplomatic ties.
  • India remained in favour of a two-state solution, in which Palestine would have its borders determined by the lines drawn in 1967 and its capital city be East Jerusalem.

India’s Evolving Position under Prime Minister Modi:

  • A change was evident during Modi’s 2018 visit to Ramallah, where he called for dialogue without specifically addressing Jerusalem’s status or borders.
  • Under the current government, realpolitik appears to have replaced the moral substance of India’s Palestine policy.

Post-October 7 Changes:

  • Research indicates that India’s stance on striking a balance between moral critique and support for Israel has not changed significantly.
  • India supported resolutions endorsing the right of Palestinians to self-determination, denouncing Israeli settlements, and expressing concern over the Golan Heights occupation.

India’s Interests and Considerations:

  • Even in its limited capacity, India supports the Palestine cause because it has real national interests.
  • India’s stance is influenced by the ongoing humanitarian tragedy in Gaza, the strong reactions against Israel in the Global South, and its desire to become the leader of the Global South.

Strategic Implications and Regional Dynamics:

  • The Israeli war of retaliation following the October 7 attack has impacted India’s regional strategic plans.
  • India’s cooperation with the Arabs, Israelis, and Americans is affected by the suspension of further Arab-Israeli reconciliation.

India’s Diplomatic Statements:

  • At the Munich Security Conference, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar chastised Israel, saying that it “should be mindful of civilian casualties in Gaza.”
  • India highlights that stability in West Asia depends on putting an immediate end to the conflict, restoring law and order, and finding a lasting solution to the Palestine issue.


  • India takes a balanced approach to the Palestine-Israel dispute, taking into account regional, diplomatic, and strategic considerations.
  • India’s place in the intricate geopolitical landscape of the Middle East is determined by striking a balance between its historical obligations, changing diplomatic dynamics, and national interests.

PYQ: India and Israel’s relationship has recently developed a richness and diversity that cannot be undone. Talk about it. (150 words, 10 seconds) (UPSC GS-2 2018 CSE (M))
Practice Question: Examine India’s changing position on the Israel-Palestine conflict and its strategic ramifications while taking regional dynamics and diplomatic alterations into account (150 words/10 m).

2. India’s burgeoning death penalty crisis

Topic: GS2 – Indian Polity – Judiciary 
vital to UPSC’s investigation into the rise in death rows in India, the Supreme Court’s attempts at reform, and structural problems with sentencing.

● The article highlights systemic shortcomings by discussing the rise in the number of people in India’s death row, the Supreme Court’s attempts to change the sentencing guidelines for the death penalty, and the rising number of acquittals.

Rising Death Row Population:

  • By the end of 2023, there were 561 people on India’s death row, a record number.
  • In 2023, the Supreme Court overturned the convictions of almost 55% of death row inmates, casting doubt on the effectiveness of the death penalty.

Supreme Court’s Sentencing Reform Attempts:

  • A change initiative was shown in 2022 when a Constitution Bench was constituted to restructure capital punishment sentencing.
  • Data, however, shows that trial courts disregarded the Supreme Court’s orders and kept applying death sentences.

High Court Reluctance and Acquittals:

  • With just one confirmation of death sentences in 2023, high courts demonstrated reluctance to uphold the death penalty.
  • The death row inmates’ acquittals by the Supreme Court expose structural shortcomings in the trial, prosecutorial, and police departments.

Systemic Failures in Death Penalty Cases:

  • The results of fabricated evidence, manipulated reports, tampered forensic evidence, and questionable police recoveries were acquittals.
  • The Court did not address systemic issues with the execution of the death penalty in its rulings.

Urgency for Systemic Recognition:

  • An increasing number of acquittals highlights how critical it is to identify structural issues with the criminal justice system.
  • Although the Court has addressed systemic issues related to sentencing, acquittals highlight more general problems with the application of the death penalty.

State of Death Row Prisoners:

  • Prisoners on death row experience violence, mockery, and humiliation on a daily basis.
  • Even after acquittal or commutation, psychological effects endure, demonstrating the profound impact of the death row experience.

Increasing Death Row Population:

  • Trial courts’ unwarranted application of the death penalty means that even in the face of acquittals, the number of people on death row keeps growing.
  • The crisis is made worse by the 15% drop in High Court case disposal rates that Project 39A’s report reveals.

Supreme Court’s Response:

  • Although the formation of a Constitution Bench by the Supreme Court is praiseworthy, it might not have much of an impact on the death penalty issue.
  • The limited impact of sentencing reform initiatives is evident in their failure to spread to trial courts.

Dissonance in Supreme Court’s Approach:

  • According to Project 39A’s report, there is a conflict between the Court’s emphasis on a specific sentencing question and the larger crisis that exists throughout the criminal justice system.
  • It’s possible that the Court’s reform initiatives are premature and insufficient to address the structural problems with death penalty cases.

Case For And Against – Death Penalty
Case FOR the Death Penalty
– Retribution: An equitable principle of “an eye for an eye” Certain crimes are so horrible that the offenders ought to face the death penalty.
– Deterrence: The threat of death could dissuade others from committing the same crimes.
– Society is protected: when extremely dangerous criminals are kept from committing crimes in the future.
– Justice for Victims’ Families: May provide victims’ families with a sense of justice or closure.

Case AGAINST the Death Penalty
– Irreversible Errors: Errors can occur in the legal system, leading to the execution of innocent individuals.
– Cruel and Unusual: Regardless of the crime, it is widely regarded as being inhumane.
– No Demonstrated Deterrent Effect: Research hasn’t directly demonstrated that the death penalty lowers crime rates.
– Economic and Racial Bias: People of colour and the impoverished are disproportionately targeted for the death penalty.
– Alternative Punishments: Life in Prison without the Chance of Release Provides Equivalent Social Protection.

PYQ: The public has debated instances of the President’s delay in commuting death sentences as a denial of justice. Is there a deadline by which the President must decide whether to accept or reject these petitions? Examine. (12.5 m/200 words) (2014, UPSSC CSE (M) GS-2)
Practice Question: Examine the difficulties and structural flaws in the execution of the death penalty in India, taking into account the growing number of people on death row and the Supreme Court’s reform efforts. (10 m / 150 words)

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