oppn parties Don't Differentiate Between 'Crimes'

News Snippets

  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Don't Differentiate Between 'Crimes'

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
One staunchly believes in rule of law, fair and efficient investigation and prompt and unbiased justice. But when the whole process becomes biased and one-sided, with those ruling the country having their own interpretations for terms like ‘anti-national’, ‘sedition’ and ‘dissent’, the country ceases to have rule of law. Or at least rule of law as it exists in the statute books. Draconian laws are made to suppress dissenting, but often sane, voices just to satisfy the megalomania of the ruling classes. No political party or leader in India today is democratic, civil or magnanimous enough to tolerate people with a view that differs from his or her own. If the view is expressed by a person from within the party, he or she is promptly sidelined or even expelled. If the view is from the citizenry, the person is harassed using multiple tools or arrested under the plethora of laws that are made ostensibly to prevent enmity between communities but are in reality used to silence people from castigating the ruling dispensation of the day.

A letter found in a raid or a name taken by person who has been arrested is enough for the investigating agencies to raid and arrest prominent citizens on the charge of having links with Maoists. The arrest today of Varavara Rao, Arun Fereira, Venon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navalakha – all social activists who were working with tribals – presumably for their alleged links with Maoists, as also the arrest of Prof. Shoma Sen and four others in June, is not right and is designed to instill fear in the minds of social activists who work with marginalized people. The government has forgotten these tribals, the corporate class wants to occupy their lands and they lead a subsistence level existence. These activists are all they have to protect them from further suppression. By trying to prevent them and others like them from helping the poor, the government is doing a great disservice to the nation. The whole process was started by the Congress, as historian Ramchandra Guha has rightly pointed out, and this government is proving to be no different – in fact it is taking it to the extreme.

But when this comes under the backdrop of the Kathua rape, the daily lynchings under the guise of protecting the cow and other misdemeanors where people associated with the Hindu right are actively involved but are not arrested or prosecuted, it shows that rule of law is being followed by the government through tinted glasses. If making ‘provocative' speeches at Bhima Koregaon was an offence that could have led to enmity between communities, isn’t killing someone just on the suspicion of possessing beef not more so? Why is the government so concerned about the former but sleeping on the latter? If all these ‘crimes’ are treated with an even hand, fairly investigated and brought to justice, one would have no criticism to offer, for a crime is a crime and deserves the punishment prescribed by law. But when the government stoops to choose and pick between crimes, its motives become suspect and this cannot be tolerated in a democratic country. One doesn’t subscribe to Left or Maoist ideology, but one acknowledges their right to have their own views and propagate them without fear or suppression as long as they do not directly incite mobs to violence.

Picture courtesy: screengrab from Times Now