Mockery of justice

Mockery of justice

 The latest example is of S P S Rathore, former Haryana director general of police, accused of abetting the suicide of 14-year-old Ruchika Girhotra 19 years ago. Everyone from chief ministers down to the common man in the street wants his sentence of six months in jail enhanced by mob hysteria. It should be evident that he was not solely responsible for the girl taking her own life. She felt abandoned by everyone and decided to call it a day. We have yet to find who the others should have stood by her are. It was the same in the case of Sharma, DIG police in the murder of Shivani Bhatnagar. We should learn to hold our tongues till the courts pronounce their verdicts.

What alarms me most is the demand aired in some news-papers that police officers accused of misbehaviour should be stripped of their police medals and other decorations conferred on them while they were in service. Among the names mentioned is that of K P S Gill found guilty of slapping a one-time woman friend’s buttocks at a cocktail party. It was a very minor offence in bad taste. Nothing more. All that Gill did in stamping out Khalistani terrorists who had played havoc in Punjab for about 10 years. It was Ribereo and Gill who took on the challenge and gave them bullet for bullet. Gill master-minded ‘Operation Black Thunder’ which cleared the Golden Temple of criminal elements with the minimum loss of life. He is about the bravest man I have ever met. With him I visited the most terrorist-ridden areas, Bhindranwale’s headquarters in Mehta Chowk and the Golden Temple when terrorism was at its height. We were without police escort. I was nervous; he did not show the slightest sign of fear. The man deserves more praise, not censure.

Winnability vs respect
After the many elections we have had to choose our MPs and MLAs, we conclude that the ability to win elections has very little to do with winning respectability. The installation of Shibu Soren as chief minister of Jharkhand is the latest example. He has been charged with corruption and abetting murders. Yet he is back to the Assembly and with the opportunist and immoral backing of the BJP is chief minister of the state for the third time. The same could be said of his predecessor Madhu Koda. He is in jail, charged with amassing a huge fortune by misusing his powers when he was chief minister. Nevertheless, his wife has been elected for the simple reason, she is Koda’s spouse. A more glaring example is that of Varun Gandhi. He made an intemperate speech vilifying Muslims and spent a few days in jail. Even so he won his election by a handsome margin. I can cite innumerable examples from every state of the Union of men with bad reputations finding their way into the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas. That is why today we have more crorepaties in parliament and provincial Assemblies than we have ever had since we became an independent country. We should hang our heads down in shame.
There are skills required to garner votes. The past-master at gathering votes is Sharad Pawar, our agriculture minister. He picks up keymen in his constituencies, get them beholden to him by helping them get petrol pumps, gas agencies, car-dealerships, permits to run cinemas, restaurants and anything else profitable. They become staunch supporters. Religion, caste and clan also play an important role in the way people vote. Honesty and ability are of minor importance.
If none of my arguments convince you, then take the case of our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Everyone is agreed that he is the ablest and the most honest man in our political set up. Yet when he fought one election, he lost. He had to be elected to the Rajya Sabha from Assam. If India had the presidential form of government, he would have been an outright winner. But I am not sure if he would be a sure winner in a municipal by-election.

Hurrah for Indian police
In Delhi, crime is down, says the commissioner
One cheer, A Happy New Year;
Three terrorists escape recently
In this safe, safe city,
The biker gangs are all but gone, robberies decline
Rapes are unheard of, women feel fine
Redecked with gold, they go out and dine —
Well done, sir, A Happy New Year.
And the second cheer
Goes to Rathore the protector
Of a young girl’s life and honour —
Wonderful sir, A Happy New Year.
And the third cheer goes to a Mumbai deputy commissioner
Of police and his junior
For dancing with Chhota Rajan’s gangster,
Thus ensuring that they keep awake at night
And give the crime world a mortal fright —
You are our saviour,
Great going, dear, A Happy New Year.
(Contributed by Kuldip Salil, Delhi)

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