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Dear friends,

The notification for 2005 IAS Preliminary examination has just been published by the UPSC. This is the right time to reassess one’s level of preparation and chalk out a new course of action towards the destination – the IAS

I have seen people getting nervous, the moment the news about notification spreads out. But I don’t think there is any reason for panic. But definitely, this is the time for tying the loose ends. It’s time for proper planning and meticulous execution of such master plans.

In the whole game of Preliminary exam, I feel the most decisive aspect could be, how sound your General Studies preparation is. Last year, I could not see even a single candidate, who cleared Preliminary exam with less than 80 marks in the General Studies.

I expect this cut-off to be around 85 in the coming years. That means you are simply out of the race, if your score in GS is less than 85. This is a horrifying scenario for those who neglect this crucial paper.

To make you more comfortable in the GS, we are starting a new Preliminary Exam series. Rather than providing you with the worn out materials for the umpteenth time, we are working on new material, on specific areas, which are generally not found in ordinary books.

As a beginning, this issue is about the finer details of Indian culture, which can prove to be priceless to you.

I wish you all a great beginning in the preparation for this wonderful examination in the New Year.

With regards

(Jojo Mathews)

THIRD EYE
 
 

Rule of Law

India is the world’s largest democracy and one of the most essential feature of any working democracy is the application of ‘Rule of Law’. The concept of ‘Rule of Law’ emanates from the basic idea of ‘Equality before Law’. It means no man is above law and that every person, whatever be his rank or conditions, is subject to the jurisdiction of ordinary courts. This also reminds us that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and all institutions are subservient to the provisions of the Constitution.

After the arrest of Sankaracharya in an alleged murder case, this whole issue of ‘Rule of Law’ has been brought to the focus. By arresting a person of his stature, the establishment has proved that no one is above law and all citizens, including the ‘most respected’ in the society, have to go through the same ordeals as anybody else, in such a serious charge.

But in the working of the ‘Rule of Law’ in India, it is evident that some are ‘more equal than others’. Unlikely to the normal image of the Indian police, the Tamil Nadu police was more than polite and courteous to the Sankaracharya. A common man cannot expect such humanitarian behaviour from the police, even if he is not accused of a crime. A visit to the police station for filing a complaint can be a horror for many ordinary citizens.

‘Third degree’ treatments are still a reality in India. Those who are picked up by the police, for any alleged offence is subject to various inhuman investigative mechanisms in our country. There are many instances of lock-up deaths in our country. But no such ill- treatment was meted out to the respectful ‘seer’. That means there can be a different treatment if one has a reverential position in the country.

When senior politicians like Laloo Prasad and Uma Bharati were arrested, guest houses were converted as jails. But ordinary citizens will have to content with the totally deplorable state of affairs in the jail. Sankaracharya was provided with special facilities of food, special provisions for his daily prayers, special chair when produced in front of a magistrate and so on.

I am not in any way advocating the withdrawal of these facilitates to the Sankaracharya. But if ‘Rule of Law’ is the basic principle of democracy, then we should provide all these facilities to the common man too.

It’s also clear that ‘Rule of Law’ is more applicable to the poor. Charles Dudley Warner once said, "I am surprised in visiting jails, to find so few respectable looking convicts". It means both rich and poor commit crimes, but poor are convicted more. This is a stark reality in India. We rarely hear about the rich, the influential or the politicians being punished for an offence and being sent to the jail.

India needs to go a long way in achieving ‘Rule of Law’ in the true spirit. As long as almost half of the society lives in abject poverty and is illiterate, the consciousness about the rights may not come. For that, all-round development of the society is a prerequisite. Till then, let us pray that, we the ordinary citizens of the country will never be strained to encounter the police and the law in any grave charge. If we are forced to such a scenario, then we will realize how ‘unequal we are’ in this democratic nation, though Article 14 clearly states that ‘All are equal before law’.  n

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