Monday, January 21, 2013

Editorial, "Religious Fundamentalism", in Vol. 9, Part 1, No. 1, 15 January 2013


                             [images here can be seen in the photostat already posted]

seems to be the real danger today confronting human societies all over the world. Its effect in our country has always been disastrous; here we have problem of not just one, the predominant Islamic fundamentalism, but also the reaction to it, or what some may perceive as its kin, Hindu fundamentalism too. And this is hideously augmented by various kinds of other religious bigotries, caste conflicts, regional chauvinisms, etc. True, Akbaruddin Owaisi has exceeded all bounds of prudence in making intemperate remarks and hurling violently communal challenges during his recent speeches in Adilabad district for which he is facing the music now, but one thing what he said is true enough – that but for the destruction of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism would not have become such a terrific menace in our country. Later what occurred in Gujarat subsequent to the Godhra train burning – itself of doubtful origins not so far properly established by any competent, scientifically investigating body – stands as a monumental genocidal crime committed by certain Hindu fundamentalist maniacs and crazy mobs allegedly with all inciting and support by the then state government headed by the now incumbent Chief Minister and its consequences to all people of India have been so damaging and alarming with what we clearly see as a serious spurt in Islamic terrorism. Of course, since the last two decades, especially subsequent to the 9/11 outrage, exacerbated by the ‘counter-terrorist’ invasions and atrocities by the US, Islamic terrorism has become a big menace to the people of the world with its horrific effects seen even in our neighboring Islamic Republic of Pakistan. However, there are enough number of saner and progressive elements in our society who desire religious toleration and communal harmony; especially, Hinduism on its philosophical side generally preaches religious tolerance and peaceful co-existence, and hence the majority community in our country has a major responsibility to make earnest efforts  to turn the tide of such fundamentalisms not only through strong opposition to them but also by reforming itself to march towards the great and noble goal of vasudhaiva kutumbakam set by their visionary seers and, hopefully, succeed. §§§

Sunday, January 13, 2013

LAW ANIMATED WORLD available online in pdf format


Friday, January 11, 2013

The Grand Deception Excerpts

Photostat of editorial in LAW 31-12-2012 issue:

Editorial, "Rape Law needs a change?", in LAW ANIMATED WORLD, 31 December 2012, Vol. 8, Part 2, No. 24 issue.


courtesy: Tarek Fatah                                               courtesy: Mona Hassan                                          courtesy: Mona Hassan

No doubt, the recent Delhi gang-rape and the eventual death of the unfortunate victim - the bravely resisting paramedical student Amanat or Nirbhaya - is quite tragic and totally condemnable. The fury of protests by the people, mainly youths, that spontaneously broke out in Delhi, and spread to many other places, is also understandable and commendable, and certainly the rape laws need to be severe both in letter and in spirit - through prompt and proper implementation, and the latter is all the more essential in our conditions. However, the vociferous demands from many sections of protesters for prescribing death penalty for the offence of rape and also the recent moves for introduction of chemical castration for sexual offenders cannot be supported since it is well known that all over the world human rights organizations and activists are either totally opposed to, and demand abolition of, the death penalty itself, or would require the same to be limited to the ‘rarest of rare’ cases. Also, the precept and practice of chemical castration is being denounced by human rights associations like the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch etc. as improper and amounting to ‘cruel and unusual punishment’. The problem of rape is endemic all over the world with South Africa topping the list with about 120 rapes per lakh of population, followed by Botswana (92.9), Sweden (63.5), UK (28), Belgium (27.9), USA (27.3), Norway (19.2), France (16), etc. with our country standing at 1.8 per lakh of population. And in none of the countries with such disturbing rates of rapes and other forms of sexual violence, these extreme penalties are prescribed. Moreover, our rape law, Section 376 of the Indian Penal Code, prescribes punishment up to life imprisonment for rape and more stringent dealing for gang-rape, and for murder, death penalty can also be invoked (S 302 IPC). Of course, the law could be made more stringent in case of gang-rapes, especially for those with deadly effects for surviving victims, but the talk of killing the culprits in ‘encounters’ or by public hanging after summary trial etc. is neither palatable nor seems equitable to any democratic ethos. Rather, the strict and speedy implementation of the existing rape law appears to be the more desirable option. §§§