Should Anti Nationalism be tolerated?

I have been refraining from writing on this sensitive issue from long but i think its high time. Jawaharlal Nehru University, a very renowned and reputed university is now facing serious conflicts. Who is responsible? Kanhaiya or other JNU students or BJP government or someone else?

Now, the basic facts which are known to us are some of the JNU students were seen saying Anti Nationalist slogans in a rally which was basically against the punishment of Afzal Guru (a known terrorist) and this rally was approved by the president of JNU students union Kanhaiya who has been arrested for sedition and other students are absconding. There are so many people against this arrest and doing marches whereas there are many who say shutdown JNU and want to kill these people for being against the nation. But will it do any good? If 10 students of JNU say anti nationalist slogans, then shutting down whole university or treating all JNU students in the same manner is not justified.

And people who are claiming videos are tampered by ABVP students union, i believe this should be left to the police and judiciary to decide upon. Yes,delhi police can be under control of central but judiciary is an independent body under article 50, so  I don’t know why extraneous violence and protests have been taking place. If the absconding JNU students are innocent then i don’t see the point of running away. And if this has really taken place, then I am sorry we are not tolerant enough to just leave these students. If punishment won’t be given today then a lot more will happen tomorrow.

At last, I would just say that please recall the death of Hanumanthappa and thousand of soldiers who die fighting and protecting us on borders. Be a citizen who is worth fighting for. #IncredibleIndia

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Yakub Memom’s Death Punishment- Justified or not?

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Thousands of Families are still surrounded by the Air of Melancholy as the death of their loved ones in the Mumbai Serial Bomb Blast 1993 have left the families in torment. We live in a Nation where the life of a Barbaric Ruthless Inhuman Terrorist is so important that his death has become a debatable topic. A terrorist’s death is being mourned by hundreds of people. I believe that it was truly justified and see no reason to consider him innocent. It was purely fair as the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India resumed the case hearing of Yakub Memon (The Mastermind of Mumbai Serial Blast 1993) at 2:30 am in the morning even after the dismissal of the Curative petition. If we recall the past then a total number of 257 innocent civilian were killed and more than 800 people were severely injured in 13 bomb blasts. Mercy is not meant for such Ruthless & Cruel Terrorists. From past 22 years the voice of people are full of despair, The Sacrifice & Martyrdom of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh & the Lionhearted Soldiers of India is not a vain attempt, it is the time when we all have to unite against this Evil of Terrorism. JAI HIND!!

BJP barring Activists!

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The condition of India is very sad specially in terms of justice and order. An Australian Greenpeace activist was not allowed to enter India despite having all relevant documents. Yes. You read it right and that did happen. This is the government’s new stunt. What are they afraid of? Free speech? 
Freedom of speech is something  our Constitution grants but is still subject to violation and prevention. How can we expect justice if our government itself is unjust? And this, my friends, is the bitter truth.

WE ALL ARE HUMANS

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All humans started life the same way, we are all equal, its just how we grow up, how we are taught, how we treat our individual life that makes it unequal.

No one is born as Hindu, Muslim, Christian; no person is religious or atheist by birth, we all are born as humans and it is our society that discriminates and teaches us the same. Each and every belief is made by us, there is no GOD who came and told us how to behave and what to believe. Every religion and belief is made by Humans only.

It is therefore our right to choose, whether we want to be religious or atheist, gay or lesbian, hindu or muslim, whether we want to follow any religion, belief or not? No one has the right to discriminate on the basis on caste, creed, race or religion.

WE HOLD THIS TRUTH TO BE SACRED AND UNDENIABLE; THAT ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL AND INDEPENDENT , THAT FROM THAT EQUAL CREATION THEY DERIVE RIGHTS INHERENT AND INALIENABLE, AMONG WHICH ARE THE PRESERVATION OF LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS.

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Face of Euthanasia Debate in India Dies

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The death of Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse who spent 42 years in a vegetative state after being raped and gagged with a dog chain that left her in coma for 42 years and strangled in a Mumbai hospital, has many asking if India can overcome the legal and moral hurdles to allow euthanasia.

The death ended decades of pain and trauma for the 67 year old Shanbaug who remained immobilised in a single hospital room after the brutal sexual assault left her blind and severely brain damaged.

The Supreme Court of India dismissed a petition seeking to legally end Shanbaug’s life in 2011. Since then, much of the debate on legalising euthanasia has revolved around her story. And even in her death, Shanbaug seems to have sparked discussions on the “right to die” in the country. Her tragic story highlights not one but many issues. As The Asian Age puts it, she became a “symbol of all that is wrong with our male-dominated society”.

“Her tormentor” – a sweeper in the hospital – spent only seven years in jail and “society probably forgot about the beast after he was set free”. That was in the 1970s. But looking at the recent cases of sexual assault against women in India, not much seems to have changed.

“The man who assaulted Aruna and left her for dead, walked out of jail, unencumbered by law or conscience.”

Nobody can really know how it feels to lose volition over life and limb, to never be able to speak another word or see the world with a coherent gaze. To lose in one decisive moment, a lifetime of productive work, companionship, just the ordinariness of being married and raising children, brewing a cup of tea after a bath, feeling safe in the world.

India has thousands of patients who live lives worse than death but legal restrictions don’t allow them a way out. Most lawmakers take a sympathetic view on the issue, but fear that a legal “right to die” can be misused in a country where judiciary and government processes are not always efficient.

Should Euthanasia be Legalised? And the debate continues….

#Bethechange

Euthanasia

INDIA’s DAUGHTER

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Why We Need to Watch Leslee Udwin’s Documentary India’s Daughter?

An illogical, misguided outrage has gripped India. Indignant people are railing against a rapist given primetime TV slots, so the country can know his point of view. How is it — angry people are demanding — that channels be so TRP hungry, they’re willing to allow this disturbed man’s innermost thoughts be broadcast on TV? What do they hope to get from this, other than insult the memory of the one who has been immortalised (against her wishes) as India’s Braveheart? ‪#‎nirbhayainsulted‬ they hashtagged, when we gave her rapist so much publicity.

So, you are outraged that a documentary on rapists has been made, and is being broadcast. You, and your sensibilities, count themselves among luminaries in the feminist movement, the government, other activists and lawyers. You think the FIR filed by the police saying this film “contains offensive content which should not be broadcast in the interest of maintaining public order,” is absolutely correct, and this kind of free publicity should not be given to rapists, to avoid copycat crimes.

But do you know what outraged me more than a rapist saying, “she should not have fought back when she was raped”? The fact that this man thought women in India were made for housework, and housekeeping, and roaming in discos and bars at night was wrong.

What shocked me more than this rapist/monster/demon being interviewed on primetime TV, was that his lawyer — a man NOT in jail so we can’t automatically demonise him as a criminal and bay for his head in a noose — compared the victim, and by association every woman on the streets of this godforsaken country, to sweets on a streets getting eaten by dogs.

These are not views held by psychopathic killers, dear offended people. These are views held, in varying degrees of militancy, by a majority of this country. Which is why the rapist has, as Leslee Udwin stated, no remorse. He doesn’t think he and his friends did anything wrong that night, because the girl was asking for it… doing the wrong things, wearing the wrong clothes.

Instead of being insulted that this British journalist doesn’t want to make films on rapists from her own country, and trying to hide from (and hide) the horrors of this man’s mind, should we not try to understand why rape happens? No amount of foreign aid towards women’s causes, laws, or death penalties on one level, and advise to cover up, not be on the streets at night alone, self-defence classes and safety apps on another, will help us if we don’t exhume the problem. Men, and their sense of male-ness.

How about for once we turn the focus around. We talk about men, the rapists, the law makers, the police. We address everyday misogyny in men, both conscious and unconscious, so they learn to be less like the “thorns” that attack the “lovely flowers” that are women. Those are analogies from the defence attorney himself, I kid you not.

As a woman I am sick of having to take on all the responsibility of protecting myself. I am sick of apps that help me get home safe, and aid to save the girl child. I am sick of self-defence classes, and CCTV cameras. I am sick of mace, and pepper spray.

Educate men to stop raping. Put money into that. But before we do that, let’s understand what makes men and society at large, think that it’s okay for women to bear brunt of saving ourselves against assault, with a series of preventive measures that hinder our lives.

Why should men not be banned from walking the streets? Why are they considered so uncontrollable? Men are also intelligent beings who can think, read, learn and understand. We don’t live in a jungle, with unpredictable animals. And even animals have rules.

It’s time campaigns were aimed solely at them. It’s time to Save the Boy Child — from becoming a rapist, at the worst, or a misguided friend insisting you shouldn’t leave work late at night, at the best.

And it’s only through documentaries like India’s Daughter that we will be able to begin understanding how a rapist’s mind works, what propels him to act in such a way, what his context is.

I am sick of bandaid measures. I want to watch that documentary. I want to understand why rapes, sexual assaults and harassment happens. What drives men across our country to commit these crimes, every single day? Why is violence against women such a huge problem, with no cure in sight?

And then after this understanding, I want a solution to these problem. So stop wasting time in parliament, oh hallowed MP, stop wasting air time with your indignant shouting, oh, over excited anchor, and let’s get real work done. And dear well intentioned police, the only offence you are causing by filing FIRs to ban the film, is to women. By letting men like him remain hidden, almost protected by law, and prison. Let the world know how insane he is. Let every crevice of his mind be dissected and discussed, and only then can we find a cure to this malady.

Like a rare angry, pro-documentary tweet said, “We need a change in mindsets.” But mindset kaun change karega? Mera sasur?” They aren’t wrong though. Change does begin at home, instead of at ridiculous hashtags like #NirbhayaInsulted.

And since we are talking for her, I think Nirbhaya, instead of being insulted would be proud to know some steps are being taken towards solving our country’s very disturbing problems of rape and violence against women, from it’s roots. From the insides of a man’s mind.

Law, Justice and Common Man in India

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 “Bad Laws are the worst sort of Tyranny”- Edmund Burke

The preamble to the Indian Constitution declares the country as a “Sovereign Democratic Republic” ensuring justice, liberty, equality and fraternity to all its citizens or in other words securing the socio-economic and political rights of people with imbibed equality of status. Be it the Fundamental Rights or the Directive Principles of State Policy, the process of safeguarding common man’s confidence in judicial system as well as to keep in pace with the dynamics of the changing society, the constitution has furthered itself by umpteen amendments. Yet the current society still witnesses a pervasive skepticism in the Rule of Law, Government and extended form of societal democracy. Though integrity and fairness has inculcated its deep roots within the society yet its essence has lost ways in political instability, cultural anarchy, economic disorder, religious and racial conflicts to name a few.

In one of the lectures by Hon’ble Justice Altamas Kabir, he cited an example of Article14 of the Constitution, having resemblance to the UN declaration, which guarantees, Equality before law. However the Indian judiciary has time over time over-ruled the law book of constitution and established the conclusion- there are two kinds of law- One for the Rulers and the other for the ruled, one for the purpose of the common man and the other at the expense of a common man.

The Common man’s law is a belief “of justice prevails” that is inculcated in mind of every individual who succumbs faith and respect in the rule of law and judiciary over the decades. However it should be remembered that the same exists only in the pages of the constitution, where right rules over wrong, where every violator is placed at same footing in the eyes of law and awarded rightful punishments.

In India, every year The Common man’s law sees addition of new acts and amendments which aims at benefiting the mass at large by identifying the ills and error of the Indian judiciary- corruption, alarming rate of pending cases, under-trial of prisoners, lesser number of courts, vacancies of judges etc.

The additions by the judiciary for benefiting the “aam admi” and creating a user-friendly legal assistance is commendable. First in this context is The Right to Information Act effective from 12th October, 2005. The said act aims at promoting transparency and accountability of officials working for the Central or State Information Commission by making them answerable to common man’s question ranging in the premises of public services on filing of a petition, thereby making an attempt to negate corruption, aptly using the tool of democracy.

The next initiative aims at spreading awareness among citizens to combat consumer fraud in an inexpensive and hassle-free manner namely Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Based on the legal dictum “Caveat Emptor”- Consumer’s beware; the act protects the customers by providing simple precautions they should take while buying goods or getting services and the documentation they should preserve in case of a need to approach the consumer court.

The grievances formulating from time-ineffective judgments have been taken seriously and adoptive measures of Alternative Dispute Resolution came into effect. ADR refers to several methods of mediation, arbitration, reconciliation which is off-track from the traditional legal and administrative forums yet found effective in settling out time-effective business disputes. Cornelius Vanderbilt conceptualizes ADR Best stating “You have taken to cheat me. I won’t sue you, for the law is too slow. I’ll ruin you”.

In Anil Rai v. State of Bihar, Sethi J stated that “delay in disposal of cases facilitates the people to raise eyebrows, sometimes genuinely, which if not checked may shake the confidence of the people in this judicial system”. Hence the idea of Fast-Track Courts was generated by the 11th Law Commission which included set up of 1734 courts to be effective for 5 years till 31st march,2005 for the purpose of delivering speedy justice strictly in criminal cases. The efforts were recognized with the conviction of who’s who of the political parties namely Pappu Yadav and Mohammad Shahabuddin (Rashtriya Janata Dal), MP Surajbhan Singh (Lok Janshakti Party) among others and thus the scheme were extended for another 5 years till 31st March, 2010.

Though the novo-legal reforms in India, promises a secured future for the law-abider- yet the number of victorious victims say otherwise. The common man’s law book increases by another content page of remedy for the wronged but the ruler’s law book mocks the feeble attempt of the ordinary man to reform the power game.

Here evolves the concept of The Ruler’s Law Book- the stark reality of Indian Law, which examines the practical applicability of laws adopted and enacted, which analyzes the parameters between the written and the followed, which explores if democracy granted is democracy accessed. Thus common man learns the ugly truth of those- who learnt the law to beat the law, the superman among the ordinary man who sits at the top of the largest democracy and dictates the flawless autocracy.

True to its words “There is no such thing as free meal”, even Justice in India comes at a price. For those who can afford, it is available, for those who cannot the same is often delayed, denied and worse buried.

The following cases exemplify the fatal misappropriation of justice where a common man dreamt the “extravagant eccentricity” of trying to negate the Marxian concept of law- “the tool of coercive domination used by the one in power”. They won, they lost but they never failed to try their rights in the democracy.

After a series of misplaced files, forged post-mortem reports, failed attempts of lodging Fir’s, 400 hearings, 40 adjournments and undiluted perseverance a 20 year old battle ended with a judicial mockery, in 2010 when a beaming Shambhu Pratap Singh Rathore came out of the court sentenced with 6 months of imprisonment (later extended to 18 months) and a measly compensation of Rs1000 for molesting a 14 year old Ruchika Girhotra under his capacity of being the Inspector General of Haryana Police back in 1990. The common man was Ruchika’s father Subhas Chandra Girhotra whose apparent biggest audacity was to raise voice against the political clout which subsequently followed the expulsion, harassment and finally witnessing the suicide of his depressed daughter, his 13 year old son “Ashu” being dragged through the neighborhood naked alleged of stealing a dozen of cars, with additional charges of theft, murder to civil defamation against him. The same accounts for Madhu and Anand Prakash whose daughter Aradhana was the unfortunate eye-witness, however the threesome took the cause to the courts, pressing charges for abetting suicide and molestation which finally led the CBI to file a charge sheet on 16th November 2000 against the many-medaled Rathore. In due course of time even the media took a stand. But with the punishment sentenced, they now wonder if it was worth the fight?

3rd December, 1984 witnessed the biggest form of Industrial Catastrophe in Bhopal with lethal gas leakage from Union Crabide India Limited Company causing 20,000 casualties and 5,00,000 lakhs injured as per the official figures. But that was not the only tragedy for a year old Mohammad Abid (26 now) who lost five family members in the incident, he witnessed a second tragedy which according to the victim has been committed by the judiciary. The callous culprits namely Keshub Mahindra (Chairman), and six others were let go with a mere imprisonment of 2 years and $2000 fined on grounds of negligence and the man behind the mount of dead- Warren Anderson, CEO of UCIL was bailed and escorted out of the country on 7th December 1984. Though the judiciary continues to play the blame game as to who was responsible for Anderson’s exit from India- The Arjun Singh Government or the Rajiv Gandhi Government a significant remark was raised by senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan- “Whether we are able to extradite him or not is not important. What is important is that he should be charged, even if it is absentia”. Further another unanswered question is why the case sections were diluted from Section 304(2)- culpable homicide not amounting to murder to Section 304(A)- death as a result of negligence. With new plans of remedies recommending Rs 1,500 crore package, including enhanced compensation for the victims- Rs 10 lakh for the next of kin of dead , Rs 5 lakh for the permanently disabled and Rs 3 lakh suffering from partial disability- the Indian Government is trying to provide its best possible service and apologies to the family of the victims. However the delayed compensation after 25 years and the tangling webs of unsolved mysteries to still raises an eye-brow.

Jessica lal, a model from Delhi was murdered by one Siddharth Vashist a.ka Manu Sharma, son of wealthy congressmen from Haryana, Vinod Sharma. He was formerly acquitted on 21st Feb, 2006 however with mass media forming a public opinion flashing the news in and out, the case was re-tried and the same was sentenced to life-imprisonment. Though justice prevailed yet none of Jessica’s parents were alive to witness the victory.

On January 23rd 1996 a law student namely Priyadarshini Mattoo was found raped and murdered lying dead in her Delhi Flat. The accused Santosh Kumar Singh was the son of a police inspector general and was earlier acquitted in 1999 by the Delhi High Court. However the public cried foul to the judgment and the CBI was forced to challenge the judgment. Finally on February 29th, 2000 the verdict decided in favor of the deceased and the accused was awarded capital punishment.

Examples of justice miscarriage are ample- the Murder of Satendra Dubey, Rizwanur, the Gothra Riots, The dalit Massacre at Tsundhur, A.P, The Sohrabuddin Case, Best-Bakery Case – few among the numerous. Thus the common man’s law is at its own place, with sanctions and constitutional authorities glittering away in the law books, yet wasted away in the hands of those wherein the power lies vested. The inhibition which stares the Indian judiciary right in the eye and rapes the common man of his legal benefits is the problem of corruption. The same is responsible for differentiating the law preached and the law practiced. Corruption or call it a venial extortion is explained best in Austin’s one-liner “Power corrupts and Absolute Power corrupts absolutely”.

Ironically in India even corruption has got a hierarchical status involving majority of individuals succumbing to public duties. Right at the top are the politicians- the reflection of the democratic tool of a common man gone violently wrong, followed by the bureaucrats, the Central and State Investigation and Police Departments to the municipalities. Or in other words busting one corruption racket leads to the exposure of a bigger inefficiency at a higher level of judicial authority; hence everybody in the system does the job of covering best.

The digits speak for themselves as 110 officers from IAS and IPS are facing trial on criminal charges in CBI cases, as on 9th April, 2010. In a clear reflection of how pretty corruption is dogging the common man, literally right under the nose of the Central government was witnessed in October, 2008, when fifteen officials belonging to New Delhi Municipal Committee, Labor and Police, were arrested for alleged bribery and extortion, from businessman.

Every Government has talked about ending the Inspector Raj. But ironically every law has added one or two more authoritative posts to the already existing plethora of inspectors. Hence the truth remains that catching and punishing the corrupt is the last priority of the Indian Government, notwithstanding the proclamation of the high and mighty of the Government, for a zero toleration for corruption. Thus all political parties are united on their stand against The Anti-Corruption Agencies. The weaker and ineffective, the better is their motto.

As 90% of a common man’s faith in justice through legal assistance is crushed by the errors of corruption and judicial delays the rest is furthered by the political power plays. If one analyses the problem of “Naxalism” in West-Bengal, which claims uncountable human lives, he would realize that the Naxals were peasants of Bengal, who were forcefully evicted from their land by the Rule of Law. Hence in other words the Naxals are none but hundred’s of common man turned terrorist by the reign of the CPI(m) government- such is the tyranny imposed by faulty law-makers. The same thought extends itself to the existence of Maoism or even the Telengana issue- each being created as results of Political mishaps exercised by the government at the expense of common people. The political parties in India have always used the weapon of mass consensus among the majority to strengthen their own political hold over a tract of land- at the cost of one man’s emotion and another man’s destruction- an eminent example of the same is Raj Thackeray, leader of MNS.

Coinciding with the aforementioned thoughts are data’s collected from a recent surveys conducted by RNB (5th-22nd Jan, 2010) has revealed quintessential facets as regards to a common man’s perspective and experience on the current Indian judicial system. 72% males and 42% females thought power politics in India affects the judicial system, 25% male and 12% female rated the current judicial system to be “outdated”, and surprisingly only 47% male and 41% female has faith in the judiciary.

The common man’s suggestions for improving the status quo of Indian Judiciary were increment in the number of judges and courts, provisions for speedy delivery of justice, strong laws and benches to look into matters of corruption and judiciary to be independent from coercive forces of the powerful- be it politicians or law keepers. However the most important suggestion that registered was to restrict lawyers from scheduling “DATES” accommodating their own convenience or sweet will, since the same deters the distribution of justice.

Ironically the summarization of the key findings of this recent survey of 2010 was done by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1955 when he said “Justice in India should be simple, speedy and cheap” and defined litigation as a disease through which the prosecutors make money at the cost of faulty laws during the inauguration of a new building of the Punjab High Court. This makes one wonder if he was a visionary or 55 years and the Indian judiciary still formulates superficial laws to combat its grass-root problems.

A 21st century political clout B.P Singh reflects if a poor man reaches the court to witness the first trial of his complaint filed, in 2010 it deserves applause. According to Colin Gonsalves, a Supreme Court Lawyer, “There are thousands of poor people fighting the legal system. Ninety-one percent of them lose hope and get frustrated. It is only when the stars are properly aligned for a person, will he be able to get justice”.

From time immemorial the rich, the powerful and the politically connected had always got the corrupt police, purchasable prosecutors, and high priced attorneys to negate the sinned tag if not the guilt manipulating the creaky legal system, intimidating witnesses, destroying evidence, committing perjury and delaying the trial. Any ordinary mortal, pitted against these odds gives up even without a fight, considering himself lucky if he suffers no further damage. Struggling to make ends meet and without the intellect and resources to work the law, the common man is pulverized and believes it is his karma. Justice, he believes, will be delivered in the other world.

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