2.3 % Grew in China’s Economy

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  China’s economy recovered to pre-pandemic growth rates in the fourth quarter, propelling it to a stronger than expected full-year expansion of 2.3% and making it the only major one to avoid contraction.  Gross domestic product climbed 6.5% in the final quarter from a year earlier, fueled by stronger-than-expected industrial output, the statistics bureau said Monday.   Covid-19, which has ravaged the world economy, first emerged in central China in late 2019. But the world's second-largest economy also became the first to bounce back after imposing strict lockdowns and virus control measures. It is expected to be the only major world economy clocking positive 2020 growth. In the last three months of 2020, China's economic rebound continued with a better-than-expected 6.5 percent growth on-year, a sustained improvement since the second quarter. This brings it back to a pre-pandemic trajectory, although full-year 2020 growth is still its worst performance since 1976, when the ec

Love Jihad: Reality or Diversion

Amongst so many challenges India is facing, Five Bharatiya Janata Party ruled states have decided that one of their top priorities is to pass a law based on a theory aimed at preventing inter-faith marriages. 

The leader of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Assam and Karnataka have promised to introduced strict legal provisions to prevent “Love Jihad” a conspiratorial delusion that imagines, a vast, Country-wide plot by Muslim Men to dupe unsuspecting Hindu Women into marriage with the aim of converting them to Islam. 

The idea of “Love Jihad" had itself comes from what was once a fringe conspiracy theory among Christian and Hindu groups in Kerala that spread around the country thanks to misinformation networks, often picking stray incidents and weaving them into a grand narrative. The theory plays into older right-wing Hindu anxieties about the virility of Muslim men, the purported susceptibility of Hindu women and baseless fears about wholesale demographic change that will result from inter-faith marriages.
“It is impossible for Hindu groups to conceive that Hindu women can voluntarily elope or convert,” noted historian Charu Gupta, whose research unearthed similar conspiracy theories North India in the 1920s. “Thus every romance, love, elopement and marriage between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man is rewritten by Hindu organisations as forcible conversion. Hindu organisations are deeply troubled with fantasies about possible relations between Hindu women and Muslim men. Portrayal of Hindu women as victims of false love shows the need felt not so much to protect them but to discipline and control them.”

Considering a law against Love Jihad smacks of dangerous overreach and a paranoia about interpersonal relations that has no place in a democracy. It certainly does not have any basis in the Constitution, which allows every citizen the freedom to marry any person she chooses, and the liberty to follow any faith. The state has no business policing those choices. The spectre of “love jihad” has been proved to be just that — as recently as February, the Union home ministry told Parliament that there was nothing called “love jihad” under the existing laws in the country and that the Constitution gave everyone the freedom to practise and propagate any religion.
The UP chief minister has peddled the promise that the law will be a way to protect “the respect of our sisters”. The Haryana CM’s immediate provocation was the murder of a 20-year-old young woman by a former classmate, who is also accused of forcing her to convert to Islam. But the fact remains that there are enough laws on the statute book that are adequate to convict those accused of the crime or tackle coercive conversion.

More crucial, even if it is being proposed as a shield to protect them, such a law is bad news for Indian women. In the framing of the love Jihad narrative, women are only gullible victims, who have been made to stray away from the fold of their clan and community. They are not consenting adults free to make their own choices — good or bad. 
 
We would like to end this Article through a poem by Raju Z Moray :

          " A bachelor clad in saffron
           Found it insulting and odd
            That humans in his State
           Were willing to defy God! 

           If one is born in a religion
           Which has a glorious past
            Why should one convert
           And become an outcaste?

          And it is terrible that girls
         Who grew up chanting Ram
          Elope with their paramours
          Who convert them to Islam

            He ascended the throne
         And didn’t like what he saw
        So he had it on his Agenda
         Such conversions to outlaw

         No daughter of his country
      Will leave her religion for love
     Conversion for marriage will be
        Subject to orders from above

        For all States famed as unruly
        With safety records quite bad
     What can be a better distraction
      Then the bogey of ‘Love Jihad’?

      Other control freaks shall soon
        Jump in to save the Nation
      And ensure that young couples
     Honeymoon at a police station

       The burden of proof will shift 
    On accused to prove it’s voluntary
      The potential for gross misuse
        Makes this truly very scary

      Such laws will land up in courts
     Where counsel shall give tuition
      To Milords struggling to recall
      Provisions of the Constitution"


 — रचित

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