Watch out, world. Some Indians have extra-territorial jurisdiction

Not ones to miss out on the action

In the instance of Yakub Qureshi (via POV & Sandeep), a minister in Uttar Pradesh state, there is a prima facie case of incitement to murder. But what is a little incitement when murderers themselves find themselves in the Indian cabinet? By the way, more than religious fundamentalism, it is plain old political opportunism that caused Qureshi to announce a reward for the killing of Danish cartoonists. It is incumbent on the governor of Uttar Pradesh to sack Qureshi if, as is likely, Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav fails to do so first. (More on Secular-Right India). Unfortunately, disabusing politicians of opportunism has become well nigh impossible these days. Further they’ve discovered that piggybacking on matters of faith is such a wonderful thing, for their actions are unlikely to be challenged by most. [Update: Except, that is, by the people. Criminal charges have been filed against Qureshi. ]

Here’s something in a lighter vein to balance all that cynicism. An obscure and dubious outfit shot to international fame when it issued a Ayatollah Khomeini style fatwa against the cartoonist. Interestingly, a spokesman of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has declared that the fatwa has no effect in India, as the country is not under Sharia law. But according to AFP the spokesman also said that the fatwa would be valid in countries that are under the Sharia! It is therefore possible for any obscure Indian qazi to have extra-territorial jurisdiction in Islamic countries. Thanks to the Constitution of India, similarly obscure foreign qazis have no reciprocal jurisdiction. Hurrah! Now for another obscure qazi to step forward and exploit this loophole.

8 thoughts on “Watch out, world. Some Indians have extra-territorial jurisdiction”

  1. the opportunism of politicians in India to cash in on anything regarding faith is only matched by state’s ability to stand by and do nothing.

    A Home Minister with guts at the centre is what is required – someone who will handle fanatics of all hues with evenhandedness. A few jail sentances and some hefty fines for parties would mean a certain level of complaince with the law of the land. If the law is not applied ..then this kind of behaviour and pronouncements is going to become par for the course.

  2. So if there are Indians who have extra-territorial jurisdiction under Sharia, does it not also imply that they are themselves under the Sharia while living in India even though the country India is not yet a country which is ruled by Sharia (but will be soon, inshallah)?

    Since there are different laws under which Indians of different faiths live in India, I suppose it is alright for Sharia to be imposed on Indians who choose the Sharia as their law. I fully and unconditionally support the Sharia for such people. Stoning for adultery, chopping of hands for theft, stoning of rape victims (unless the rape is witnessed by 4 Muslims males), etc. Swift and strict imposition of Sharia on all those who choose the law should be the rule. If that doesn’t fix the problem, I don’t know what will.

  3. If there is legal case for incitement to murder, why isn’t anyone filing an PIL on this? I am not questioning, just wondering, as PILs (given that executives have consistently failed to update the laws) seem to be vangaurds of change in India.

  4. harini: we must proceed on the assumption that politicians are mostly self-serving and will meet the lowest standard that the electorate holds them to. But we must do the best with what we have – not wait for that “savior” Home Minister/Prime Minister/whoever. The “savior” concept is really popular in places where there is the “rule of man” (there is never “rule of woman” in these places!) rather than the “rule of law”: Pakistan for instance; Saudi Arabia for sure. On a very bright note, Qureishi is facing criminal charges.

    Atanu: that’s pretty inflammatory. In sheer numbers, we must certainly have the most rabid Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. The beauty of India is that our system allows for (usually) peaceful dissipation of this entropy. Using a fringe to brand the majority is not just injustice, it’s severely counter-poroductive.

  5. The good Haji’s incitement is nothing new. And by UP cabinet standards, he is positively saintly, at least he is not a drug pusher. -:) The best approach is to stand up to such terrorists. BTW, what happened in Bombay (or rather Nalasopara) on Valentine’s Day does give me hope – the Tiger being forced to apologize, and the party going on….

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