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Saturday, 25 December 2010

Dr. Binayak Sen, what has unfolded ...

Justice as it seems is difficult to understand. Dr. Binayak Sen (ref. The Hindu) has definitely done whatever he could to help the rural population. It also happened that the same population he was helping was in a state of confusion and conflict; turmoil that had almost cut off the Indian government's hold for quite a while. The verdict was "guilty" on sedition. Many prominent individuals and political analysts have expressed shock over the verdict.

The Communist Party (Maoist) which had been banned considerably influenced the life of public in the region where Dr. Sen pursued his mission. The verdict seems to have drawn quick conclusion from post hoc reasoning. The possession of a copy of "Das Kapital" by Karl Marx has been taken in as evidence against him. This is undoubtedly creating a crisis of freedom and identity which is beyond Dr. Sen as an individual.

The accused in the horrific "Bhopal Gas tragedy", "Satyam Computers services scandal," and the currently investigated "Telecommunication License Scandal" do not seem to be under the heat of the scanner. The shocking verdict projects an image of lesser burden to individuals with High Net-worth. Ironically, this seems to reinforce the very ideals of the banned Communist Party (Maoist). The blanket ban on the party has also been on grounds of their support for naxalists and their activities that disrupt governance. There seems to be a complex identity crisis, where the ban cannot be on a group of naxalists or ultranationalists who disrupt government, but on the entire party and anyone with memberships or affiliations to that party. This inability to establish "identity" of those imposing a real threat (by naxalism, terrorism and anti-national activism,) is a serious issue.

Democracy must show tolerance to ideas, support individuals who go out of the way to help the needy. The true strength of democracy will be seen only if support to the needy is possible, when the needy are handicapped further by groups with stances and ideals opposed to the government. Sadly, the Judicial system has been unable to uphold the rights of free people - who fundamentally try to help others to experience the same freedom. As the Largest Democratic Republic in the world, our nation and its citizens are standard bearers of the very ideals of Democracy.

Helping people who are in a state of conflict with the government owing to prior failure of governance to address the issues led to what the courts have ruled as "sedition" and "conspiracy to commit treason." The "Chattisgarh Special Public Security Act (2005)" and "Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (1967)" are said to have been violated. Justice to the letter without consideration of the circumstances and the actual role of the person as a human rights activist seems obfuscated. The same individual has received International awards for outstanding work in providing healthcare.

The first priority of a country is freedom of its people, and therefore preservation of freedom (including national security,) its next and immediate care. The constitution is a rather complicated document (far more complicated than Isaac Asimov's laws for robots.) The interpretation of the rights permitted by the Indian constitution has been inconsistent.

  • Has freedom of people been preserved by the verdict?
  • Has freedom of the individual and consequently his freedom of expression permitted unabated?
  • Are we misinterpreting a true attempt at overthrow of Indian government by misplacing our sympathies with one activist?
  • Has our attention been drawn toward this issue because of the action taken on Dr. Binayak Sen?

These answers are presently clouded. The first care of the Indian government (or the Judicial authority) is to elucidate and free information that aids us in finding answers to these questions without doubt.