Monday, September 19, 2011

Editorial, 'SHUN DIVISIVE POLITICS', in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 15 September 2011 (Vol. 7, Part 2, No. 17) issue

of any sort – of caste, community, religion, region or of bigoted laws – or else, this country will certainly go to the dogs. Already such politics in the name of religion have resulted in the vivisection of the country and gory, tragic partition holocaust. Now the canny vote bank politics under the garb of ‘good intentions’ being pursued by the governments at the helm, and pressurized by well-meaning but misguided civil society groups, also indicate the danger of more devastating consequences for the country which is already in an anarchic state due to sundry socio-politico-economic circumstances. The intended ‘Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence’ Bill with the ostensive good end of helping victimized minorities and distressed communities is in effect a grossly discriminatory piece of law in which the very essence of democracy is being subverted. Apart from the threat to existing quasi-federal setup it poses, the rule, or the say, of the majority will be so perverted to ensue in the harassment and persecution of the majority in the name of protection of minorities if this bill is to be by any chance accepted and passed by a gullible parliament. To quote Lenin: ‘good intentions could pave the way to hell even’. That aggressive minority communalism in collusion with crafty foreign imperialism was the chief cause for our country’s partition is widely accepted. And the history of the various communal riots in these sixty and more years of independence also does not rule out the possibility, at least at times, of the aggressiveness of a minority/deprived community, being the main cause for the mischief. As such, to further arbitrarily divide the society into majority and minority groups and thus cause irreversible damage to the fabric of secularism and socialist-oriented development patterns in the country is not at all warranted. ‘Too many laws mean too little justice’ is a wise, weighty axiom and the existing laws, if enforced in all sincerity and honesty, are quite capable of tackling the menace of any communal calamities. There is absolutely no rhyme or reason to make any special law, especially the sort of such discriminatory legislation, in this regard §§§

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Editorial, "ON DEATH PENALTY", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, Vol. 7, Part 2, No. 16, 31 August 2011 issue


Of course there are unending arguments pro and con the wisdom and need of retention of death penalty in a civilized society. Though we have not discussed the issue in the columns of this journal so far, as far back as on 30 September 2006 (LAW, 2:18), we counseled moderation in regard to the capital punishment to Afzal Guru and pleaded for its commutation on a different ground and in the diverse context of our Indian Sarabjit Singh facing gallows in Pakistan, and suggested that “by statesmanlike conduct of the leaders and civil libertarians of both the countries an amicable settlement be arrived at so that ultimately the sentences on both him and Sarabjit be commuted first and later both of them be exchanged and thus set at liberty. We stick to it even now but insist that even in the absence of any exchange deal, Afzal Guru’s sentence should be commuted as a gesture of political goodwill towards the Kashmiri Muslims who are almost in one voice demanding the same. It is our conviction that whatever may be the case for retention of death penalty for gory and revolting murders for gain or of sadist orgy, it should never be executed in the case of political ‘criminals’ who stand entirely on a different footing. That the legislative assembly of Tamil Nadu passed an unanimous resolution demanding the commutation of the death sentences on Perarivalan, Murugan and Santhan, the convicts in Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, in the wake of the recent protest agitation involving the self-immolation of a young girl Sengodi for the cause and the equally intense protests by the people and civil society of the Kashmir Valley with even the then Chief Minister of J & K, Ghulam Nabi Azad, pleading for the clemency of Afzal Guru – by the way all of whom are sentenced on the basis of confessions to police officers which are never permissible evidence in the ordinary course of law and mainly on circumstantial evidence that is very doubtful and always wary – show that informed political opinion in our country also shuns capital punishment to political prisoners. So we also ardently demand that the Government of India commute these death sentences without further delay §§§