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Monday, December 27, 2010

Binayak Sen’s Conviction & A Lot Of Hypocrisy


The recent conviction of Binayak Sen in charges of sedition and the subsequent lifer term for him has made many spill their morning tea (as shown in Hindi movies) with surprise. When people see bigger culprits are roaming around free while an award winning doctor thrown behind bars, many tend to wonder – what could be his possible crime and what exactly this sedition thing is?

As per the oxford dictionary sedition is nothing but revolt. While lesser revolts like throwing stones at security forces or slapping the traffic Havildar for asking your driving license are pardonable, a revolt against the state or its constitution is certainly asking for trouble. And many say that's what precisely Binayak Sen did. In peruse of becoming a social activist and helping the poor Maoists of Chhattisgarh, he knowingly and intentionally made a mockery of Indian constitution. So as the rule mandates – you not only need to abide by the law but also need to show adequate respect to the book which has these laws written all over it. Although Mr.Sen didn't break any of the law as such but committed the biggest crime by not showing respect to the book. Hence as they say – It is not only justice should be done but appeared to be done, Mr.Sen was handed a heavy punishment to make sure that the justice is appeared to be done and a deterrent for all the Binayak Sens of the future as well.

Now going by the records of Mr.Sen's activities (anti India) over a period of a decade or so is certainly not laudable. He might have helped thousand of oppressed tribal of Chhattisgarh but that good work can't draw a curtain on his acts where he clearly shown his rebellion against our state policies, our democracy and even our constitution. His open support for Maoists and their vendetta against the state and innocent killings is certainly not what is expected from a good citizen. How genuine might be the grievances or problems, violence was never or will ever be tolerated as a response to it. So for me, the punishment is well deserved and adequate. It was about time these self styled activists be brought to book. For that matter all the Arundhati Roys, the Medha Patekars, the Varavara Raos should be hounded out and dealt with iron fist. We should start somewhere and Mr.Sen might just be the perfect starting point.

Having said that – there is something which baffles me a bit. If not the nature of the verdict, it is our hypocrisy that worries me a lot. Hypocrisy of the system, the media and the so called intellectuals doesn't give a very good impression. One can ask why Mr.Sen alone? Isn't a certain Shayed Ali Shah Gilani doing the same or even more serious sedition act for close to two decades now? While Mr.Sen only took sides of our own people (who have turned a little wayward) Mr.Gilani was seen cuddling and hurdling with the enemies across the border. From Srinagar to New Delhi, from Chandigarh to Kochi, Mr.Gilani was seen giving his anti India hate speeches all over the place. While Mr.Sen was promptly thrown behind the bars our Home Minister ran towards Mr.Gilani with all the goodies and was seen cajoling the rascal with folded hands. Isn't their some disjoint or am I missing something? Why this dual approach to a similar problem and crime? Doesn't our constitution say – It is not only the equality of the law but also the equality in the level and nature of the punishment. As our constitution is written on dotted lines there must be someone who is playing ostrich in the approach of this two contrasting events. While one goes to jail the other is pampered to the core and the irony is – nature and veracity of the crime is similar. I am not sure but there is something grossly wrong somewhere.

Now look at the media's idiotic compulsion to fall for things when it is most hot. A certain media house had two programs to debate Mr.Sens conviction in as many days. Other important news can take a back seat but we would flaunt our hypocrisy is what the mantra of today's media houses. So called writers, activists and the self styled host – all were involved in proving Mr.Sen innocent and the atrocities carried against him. Now seeing the programs one tends to take a pause and think – Are the able judges of our courts are so novice that they can't see the obvious innocence which these media goons can? Then there is a definite question mark on the competency of either our judiciary or journalism. When one Chakrdhar Mahoto (less educated than Mr.Sen) was arrested on equal circumstances and tortured in the police station for more or less the same charges, I didn't see any media house making noise in prime time. I didn't see Nobel laureates, writers or those good for nothing social activists doing dharna or placard marches in Delhi. So why this biased love for Binayak Sen? Is it only because Mr.Sen is more affluent than Mr.Mahto and any noise for Mr.Sen would gain more coverage and hence more limelight for the activists? Or is it a fashion now-a-days to talk against the system?

I know two wrongs don't make it right but two rights (even if late) certainly help a great length. If Mr.Sen was promptly shown the place where he belong then other scoundrels in the form of Mr.Gilani should be conferred with similar treatment. Only because of vote bank politics, cast based policies and minority appeasement we have orchestrated enough of hypocrisy. I would be surprised if the world would not be laughing at us seeing our impotence when it comes to defend our, country, our constitution or our democracy. It is high time that our politicians forgo their personal gains and bring all the idiots who are making it a fashion to talk rubbish about our constitution to books and had exemplary punishment. And yes – No placard marches please. We had enough of this nonsense and we have tolerated enough of it also. Now it's time to act and it could be Mr.Sen or anyone else.

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