Makar Sankranti is about nature, energy of the sun, harvest of new crop, and progress of mankind. It marks the end of Malmaas, an inauspicious month in the Hindu (Panchang) calendar, and the transition of the Sun to the zodiacal sign of Makar (Capricorn) to herald a change in season.
Almost a month has passed since the mass abduction of about 276 young schoolgirls on April 14 in Nigeria. They were just aged 12-15 years! The militant Islamist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. In a video message, a leader of the group threatened to sell the schoolgirls and force them to marry.
The demands for reducing the age of juvenility from 18 to 16 and to remove minors involved in heinous crimes from the ambit of juvenile justice act purely on the basis of the Delhi gang-rape case is a “knee-jerk reaction”. It would be “counter-productive” and “not a deterrent”. Such amendments under public pressure based on one incident will have long-term dangerous consequences on the plight of lakhs of other juveniles.
The same sites that allowed groups for communal harmony, also allowed groups that fostered communal hate. It is a free domain – and there are no rules on content. But, the society, the governments, the industry will have to take steps to curb the spread of hate messages, fake news without compromising the right to freedom of speech of the netizens. With rights, come duties.