oppn parties Threatening or Killing Witnesses is Becoming the Norm

News Snippets

  • The government will make new IT rules to make it mandatory for platforms to provide traceability of content
  • PM Modi says India striving to move to evidence-based policy making by 2022
  • Patna High Court says that courts are clogged with cases against prohibition in the state
  • NCP-Congress say unanimity reached on government formation in Maharashtra, talks with Sena today
  • Surrogacy Bill referred to 23-member select committee by the Rajya Sabha
  • Government has asked the IITs to follow the quota system in hiring faculty
  • Gujarat police say self-styled godman Nithyanand has fled the country
  • Muslim parties are split over seeking review of the Ayodhya verdict
  • Indian skipper Virat Kohli says the pink ball could pose a lot of challenges due to its weight, hardness and colour
  • India to play its first pink-ball Test match against Bangladesh from Friday at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
  • 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
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Threatening or Killing Witnesses is Becoming the Norm

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.
When a self styled ‘guru’ like Asharam falls from his pedestal, it not only disillusions a lot of his ‘disciples’ but it is also financially devastating for a huge number of people who get linked to the scam being run and run mini empires perpetuating the myth â€" either with permission or without. If Asharam goes, so does their business â€" of selling books, videos and arranging salvation through a personal meeting. Make no mistake, this is a multi billion industry in India where ‘gurus’ bloom in every alley of every town worth its name.

The Asharam myth had assumed gigantic proportions in recent times. With lecture tours in all metros, where the ‘devotees’ fell over each other to hear his every word and contributed to his cause, Asharam managed to create a very high profile and unaccounted wealth running into crores of rupees. There are many people who have a vested interest in ensuring that Asharam comes out clean of all the charges levied against him and resumes helping them in making more money. Minders of his various trusts, independently or in collusion with other likeminded individuals, could be behind the spate of attacks on witnesses in the case against him.

But the idea must have necessarily come from the deaths and attacks happening in the Vyapam case. As in all else, the politico-bureaucratic establishment in India shows the way to ordinary folks on how to manage things when distressed/accused or arraigned. The similarity in the way witnesses are being threatened, attacked and eliminated is too stark to be ignored. Asharam backers are emboldened by the fact that since nothing is being done to the attackers in the Vyapam case; nothing will be done in their case too.

Since justice is dependent on law, facts and evidence, the ends of justice can never be met if witnesses are compromised â€" by whatever means. In a poor country like India, money is the first bait. But when acts of violence are perpetuated against those who cannot be bought, the administration cannot remain a mute witness. If the administration is doing something about it, it is too little and too late. It should gear up to stop the violence and fast track the case to crush the Asharam myth forever.