We, the people of India, must ponder whether we deserved this huge dose of democracy or not. Perhaps, we are overdosed. The democracy has thrust upon us, as per the words of Winston Churchill, ‘leaders of low caliber’. We always wished to prove the former British Prime Minister wrong but the more we aspired the more we got entangled by ‘freebooters’. Questions may be asked whether Churchill said what is being attributed to him but whatever is in circulation for over seven decades has withstood test of times -word by word.
Winston Churchill is reported to have said, “Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, freebooters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight amongst themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles.”
These political squabbles have now touched new low.
For the past three consecutive days, the nation is witnessing tug of war over judicial dispensations involving politicians and their acts of omissions and commissions. But for the conviction of fodder scammer Lalu Prasad Yadav, it would have been a hat-trick for ‘corrupt’ to celebrate. The acquittal and conviction has unleashed a huge political squabble, with politicians showing hypocritical selectivity in analyzing the judgments.
When the court judgments went in favour of 2G accused former Union Minister A Raja, K Karunanidhi’s parliamentarian daughter Kanzimohi and others, the anti Narendra Modi camp found Indian judiciary having come to age and being best in the world. However, when fodder scam accused former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad and others were convicted, the interference of the political dispensation became a war cry.
Indian political spectrum and media is currently engaged in high voltage debate over the three judgments and in the process the nation finds itself poorer of huge national resources that have been plundered.
Such has been the hypocritical and selectivity in comments over various judicial pronouncements that the people across the country are in a state of quandary and confusion. The judgment over triple talaaq is projected as intervention into the ‘religious affairs’ of a particular community and the suggestion of the country’s apex court about ‘outside court’ settlement over Ram Mandir is seen as a favour to the majority community. True, a few instances of ‘unnecessary urgency’ shown towards the celebrities and other elements have raised questions over the judicial system but that does not undo the highest level of credibility in the Indian judiciary.
The current discourse over the three judgments, coming one after another in 2G scam, Adrash scam and the Fodder scam reminds of a similar debate over the conviction of Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru. The self-styled activists and various civil society groups had questioned the legality of the capital punishment to Guru. So much so, noted legal expert A. G Noorani had attempted to trace the emotional angle in the Supreme Court judgement while finding loop holes and lacuna in the investigations. He had emphasised on the doctrine of ‘satisfying the collective conscience of the society’ while referring to the verdict. The so-called Kashmir mainstream and separatist was seen on the same page to criticise the judgement with some going to the extent of calling Guru’s hanging as a judicial murder.
The Congress, which has attained notoriety in selectivity over the matters of national security, did not show unanimity over the Supreme Court judgment on Afzal Guru, though the verdict was carried out during its tenure. Very recently, P Chidambaram had shocked the nation while quoted as having said in a newspaper interview that he felt it was possible to hold an “honest opinion” that the Afzal Guru case was “perhaps not correctly decided” and that there were “grave doubts about the extent of his involvement” in the Parliament attack. Chidambaram was Union Home Minister when Afzal Guru’s mercy plea was rejected by the previous UPA government in 2011.
Be it Guru’s death sentence, A Raja’s acquittal or Lalu Prasad’s conviction, the politicians are required to let the law take its course rather than twisting the judgments as per their political exigencies. While holding the reins of power, they generally tamper with the judicial process by ‘manipulating weak prosecution’ or misleading the judicial dispensation. This game of political manipulations have bequeathed the nation to ‘weak and irresponsible’ investigating agencies, which is reflective in the acquittal of alarmingly large number criminals, politicians, corrupt and fraudsters. The 2G and Adarsh scams are cases in point. Who has plundered the nation?
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper