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INDIAN EXPRESS EDITORIALS AND EXPLAINED 29TH DECEMBER 2019

ISSUE: ACCESSION DAY IN KASHMIR

From 2020, people in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have a public holiday on October 26 for the first time.

The day, which will be observed as Accession Day, marks the signing of the Instrument of Accession by the last Dogra ruler of J&K, Maharaja Hari Singh, with the then Governor-General of India, Lord Mountbatten.

What happened on October 26?

As per the Indian Independence Act, 1947, British India was divided into India and Pakistan and the roughly 580 princely states that had signed subsidiary alliances with the British had their sovereignty restored to them. In essence, these princely states were given the option to remain independent or to join the Dominion of India or Pakistan.

According to Section 6(a) of the Act, before joining India or Pakistan, these states had to sign an Instrument of Accession, in which they would specify the terms on which they were becoming part of the new dominions. This is what the Maharaja signed on October 26, 1947 — essentially, a treaty between the state of Jammu and Kashmir and India. Mountbatten accepted it on October 27, 1947.

Initially, the Maharaja had decided to remain independent and sign standstill instruments with India and Pakistan, but after tribesmen and army men from Pakistan invaded, he sought India’s help, which sought the accession of the state to the Dominion of India.

What does the Instrument of Accession say?

The Schedule appended to the Instrument of Accession gave Parliament the power to legislate in respect of J&K only on Defence, External Affairs and Communications.

In Kashmir’s Instrument of Accession in Clause 5, the Maharaja explicitly mentioned that the terms of “my Instrument of Accession cannot be varied by any amendment of the Act or of Indian Independence Act unless such amendment is accepted by me by an Instrument supplementary to this Instrument”.

Clause 7 said, “nothing in this Instrument shall be deemed to commit me in any way to acceptance of any future constitution of India or to fetter my discretion to enter into arrangements with the Government of India under any such future constitution”.

Furthermore, Clause 6 of the instrument states, “Nothing in this Instrument shall empower the Dominion Legislature to make any law for this State authorising the compulsory acquisition of land for any purpose…”.

 

ISSUE: RUSSIAN AVANGARD MISSILE SYSTEM

On Friday, Russia’s military deployed a new intercontinental weapon, the Avangard hypersonic missile system that can fly 27 times the speed of sound. This will be the Russian military’s first Avangard hypersonic intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that the Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle is a technological vehicle comparable to the 1957 Soviet launch of the first satellite.

What is the Avangard hypersonic missile?

Previously referred to as Project 4202, the Avangard hypersonic missile system is a reentry body carried atop an existing ballistic missile, which has the capability to manoeuvre. It’s manoeuvring capability makes it difficult to predict its trajectory and gives it the ability to protect itself from the air and ballistic missile defences by delivering nuclear warheads to targets, for instance, in Europe and the US.

The Avangard missiles have a range of over 6,000 km, weigh approximately 2,000 kg and can withstand temperatures of over 2000 degree celsius.

What does this mean for the US?

According to The Moscow Times, Putin has previously said that the nuclear-weapon will be launched by late 2019 and has touted the Avangard’s ability to evade the US missile defence systems.

Citing analysts and observers, the report says Avangard’s development and deployment will not change the existing balance between the US defensive forces and the Russian offensive since the US maintains that it cannot defend against the existing warheads on Russian missiles, let alone the more advanced missiles such as Avangard.

NOTE: ON SUNDAY’S THERE IS NO EDITORIAL PAGE IN ANY OF THE INDIAN EXPRESS EDITION

HAPPY SUNDAY  TO ALL THE READERS OF THIS POST.

 

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