- The kaleidoscopic landscape of India is not only well known across the universe but also documented extensively and fascinatingly for its divergence and variety of hues and colors. Apart from the diversity and cultural melee varying from region to region spread across the length and breadth of the country, there is also all-pervading unique idiosyncrasies that defy logic but are followed diligently, nonetheless. One such peculiarity is the way affluent, powerful, and supposedly top echelons of the hierarchy are treated in comparison to lower strata of society. The latter is subjected to undergo more trials and tribulations even though the Constitution mandated law of the land offers no special liberties or exemptions to anyone.
- Unfortunately, the high and mighty appear to always have their way, even in the courts, when matters concerning them are heard on priority, disposed-off, or granted relief. It is a well-established fact that lakhs of undertrials are currently languishing in jails waiting for their turn to be heard even after spending years. As a mitigating measure, no less than the SC has cautioned time and again against arresting a person merely because it is lawful. Despite such advice, arrests continue to be resorted to by the law enforcement agencies signifying a definite disconnect in upholding the true tenet of the law. An interesting incident played out recently involving Union MSME Minister’s arrest for remarks against the Maharashtra Chief Minister raising several pertinent questions.
- Make no mistake, the Union Minister’s reported statement was in terribly poor taste, but there is nothing novel or unheard of in recent times as general crassness of discourse favored by politicians across parties is in line with rampantly spreading contemporary political polarization. Of late, we have witnessed a plethora of uncalled-for nastier barbs and the use of cringeworthy unparliamentary words against political opponents sometimes leading to violence on streets. Political discourse underway may presume such name-calling is akin to playing to the gallery but mind you, voters do not get impressed by it anymore since the hidden agenda of whipping up mob frenzy to accomplish dubious considerations is too well-known.
PC: Ethan Schlapp
- An alarming lesson from the Union Minister’s arrest and subsequent relief further buttresses the belief that different yardsticks are adopted whilst treating influential people and ordinary citizens. Dreadful to imagine if the politician-police combination can ensure a union minister being put behind bars for making a remark, what chance of succor do India’s ordinary citizens have when authorities deem something they have merely said to be offensive, and therefore reason enough resulting in an arrest? Honestly, the brutal reality is that ordinary citizens seem to have no chance at all as mentioned in the above paras. No wonder, cynicism pervades everywhere as the judiciary, the only recourse for redress also finds mired in systemic paralysis while failing to deliver justice on time.
- Of course, everything is not lost since the Apex Court is cognizant of the situation and making every effort at enlightening the lower judiciary as well as law enforcing agencies to uphold law of the land, neutrality, unbiased viewpoint, humane people-oriented disposition, and most importantly, extolling the virtues of not succumbing to the lure of serving political masters. If only the ramshackle judicial delivery system could be transformed into an effective mechanism with an emphasis on delivering timely judgments much to the relief of all concerned, citizens will heave a huge sigh of relief.