Enemies of justice. And enemies of secularism

There are no ‘turns’ when it comes to justice

Now that judge P D Kode has completed sentencing the terrorists who carried out the 1993 bomb blasts in Mumbai, isn’t it only right that we bring to justice the culprits named in the Marwah Commission (1984), Misra Commission (1985), Kapur Mittal Committee (1987), Jain Banerjee Committee (1987), Potti Rosha Committee (1990), Jain Aggarwal Committee (1990), Ahuja Committee (1987), Dhillon Committee (1985), Narula Committee (1993) and the Nanavati Commission (2004)? Ten commissions of enquiry later many of the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh pogroms are still waiting for justice.

For that matter, isn’t it time that we properly investigated the LTTE’s alleged collaborators named in the Jain Commission report, for their involvement in the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, a former prime minister of the country?

You don’t even hear about these cases in the Indian media these days, and a generation of Indians is growing up unaware that these outrageous incidents even occurred. What else should we call this but a conspiracy of silence.

But you’ll notice that there is no inherent logic in these arguments—for what’s the connection between the sentencing of terrorists in one case and the prosecution of those accused of those other outrageous crimes? So isn’t it rather strange that Sagarika Ghose—a leading television journalist—argues that now that you’ve punished the (Muslim) terrorists who carried out the blasts, it’s time for you to punish the (mainly Hindu) rioters who were involved in the communal riots that preceded the attacks.

Let there be no mistake—the perpetrators of the communal riots need to be punished, and the sooner the better. But we must not allow the likes of Sagarika Ghose confuse us to the reasons why. The rioters deserve punishment because they committed the most heinous crimes. Not because it’s the turn of the Hindus now that the Muslims have had theirs.

Yet reading Ghose’s article, or following the discussions on her husband’s television news channel, you cannot but notice that this is exactly what they are calling for. Their argument is not simply that police and prosecutors are communally biased against Muslims. Their argument goes further—that the justice system ought to be communally biased. That to assuage the misgivings of the Muslim community, cases involving Hindu culprits (and Muslim victims) must be given their turn. Such an argument not only does the Muslims a disservice by portraying them as thirsting for communal vengeance through the justice system. It also ultimately leads to such perverse political behaviour as the UPA government asking investigators to back off from completing their investigations into recent acts of terrorism, carried out by jihadi outfits, for fear of deepening Muslim misgivings.

There’s a good reason why the statue of justice is always shown blindfolded. That’s because justice does not remain justice if the blindfolds come off. In arguing that it is the Muslims’ ‘turn’ to get justice, Sagarika Ghose is asking for those blindfolds to be discarded at the altar of a self-styled sense of secularism. That argument is an enemy of justice, just as it is an enemy of secularism. Terrorists might have thought that bomb blasts were an appropriate response for communal riots. It would be a shame if Indian society accepted their justification.

11 thoughts on “Enemies of justice. And enemies of secularism”

  1. Excellent essay, Nitin.

    I call for a bill on reservations for justice – 49.5% indictments in favor of SC/ST & OBC, 15% for Muslims, 2% for Sikhs … Sorry to disappoint you, Nitin. Sikhs are only 2%; according to quick and easy calculator, Sikhs will have to wait for at least 85 more years until they get their ‘turn’ for justice 😉

  2. Terrorists might have thought that bomb blasts were an appropriate response for communal riots. It would be a shame if Indian society accepted their justification.

    Excellent line. Yet, that’s what is happening. And it is considered modern, secular and progressive to do so.

  3. Nitin,

    The entire gang of faux liberal idiots in the Indian media competes aggressively with each other. One fool trying to outgun the other in the secular-progress quotient.

    Most of them would not have been even in their panties in 1992 – 93. Having no idea or clue about what actually took place, {since there was no media presence then} all they have is a good samaritan posturing. Posing themselves as fighters of “Justice”.

    Those who have lived and grown up in Bombay, know what 1992-93 was all about.

    The tide decisively turned against the muslims only after the second week of January 1993, when Shiv Sainiks were asked to come on to the streets and retaliate. By the end of January, everything was calm and life had turned back to normal.

    The March 12 1993 terror attack was not about the series of such attacks and counter attacks that was taking place as in the past. This was planned terror and a completely unprovoked act.

    After March 12, a greater, and far more brutal response than anything in the past was going to take place. A muslim wipeout was decisively contained by Sharad Pawar who had by then replaced the incompetent S. Naik. Huge army contingents were stationed in all major parts of the city and within a few days, normal life was restored.

    But it seems that in the intervening period from 1993 to 2007, some of the smart muslims have been working very quitely and diligently to sell the terror attack organized by pakis and executed by the underworld as “retaliation”. Now this comes as a surprise to many who had lived through the time.

    A guy called zaidi from mid-day {a muslim establishment} wrote a book published by penguin, selling this drivel of “retaliation”. Later on, a movie was also made {black friday} on the book financed by the same organization. And selling the same drivel. The smart muslim has taken undue advantage of the great restraint shown by the residents of Bombay post March 1993.

    I am sure that these same fellows are now working overtime in writing books about how 7/11 was a response to failed justice, godhra or blah blah blah.

    The smart muslim has yet to learn their lessons. zaidi and gang are off course very good spinmasters. But the unfortunate thing is that their tricks and games are only bought by the faux liberal fools in the english media.

  4. Implementing the Justice Srikrishna Commission report can also be very problematic. This is so because the learned judge has acted more like a commie street activist than a diligent student of law while compiling his work. One only has to read the preamble of the report to understand where he comes from. In fact the report can be junked on that very basis. Spouting invective on the philosophy of Hindu-tatva was none of his bloody business.

    And to remind everyone on this forum, it is this learned judge who “discovered” a “direct link” between the riots and the bomb blasts.

    I seriously think that the honourable Srikrishna along with his report should be dumped into the dustbins of history.

  5. I say sell off this website and Pragati to Murdoch and use the money to pay the Right wing terrorist Hindutva party BJP to add Sagarika and her ilk to their list when they nuke the muslims of Bombay and Gujarat. Problem solved.

  6. Nitin,

    That was an astonishingly tilted article from Ms.Ghose. However filtering thru the litany of names, the quotes around terrorist, and much else in the post, the following points did stand out:

    – some legitimate concern whether Zebunnisa Beg and Rubina Memon received fair trials and appropriate sentences.

    Ms.Ghose sure didnt help any such concern with the rhetoric she packaged this in.

    – a legitimate concern over communalization of law enforcement machinery that (if it exists), needs to be rooted out with some clear resolve.

    – the pressing need to pursue the perpetrators of the 92-93 riots that is no way devalued by the posturing being indulged in.

    The need of the cliched hour is to extract secularism from ‘secularism’ as presented by these MSM and still stick to it.


  7. Am I the only one who thinks most of these new journalists are full of crap? Pseudo-secularism is the trend among the yuppies these days, it seems.

  8. Sourav,

    I think the term pseudo-secularism is an unfortunate construct. Because it’s inaccurate. The correct word is communal.

  9. ”I think the term pseudo-secularism is an unfortunate construct. Because it’s inaccurate. The correct word is communal.”

    Excellent point!

  10. Nitin, I think Ghose isn’t presenting a systematic argument about “turns” of justice. Her point, it seems to me, is that the reason why “Muslim after Muslim” (as she puts it) seems to be getting punished (legitimately, I should add) is that there is a substantial amount of public opinion that drives it. By that I mean, that the reason the perpetrators of the Mumbai bomb blasts were persecuted relentlessly (although I guess 10+ years for prosecution isn’t what one would really call relentless, except in case of our abysmally slow justice system), that justice has been really done, is that public opinion would not have stood for it if it wasn’t. On the other hand, public opinion (which is basically the opinion of the largely urban middle-classes, I think) doesn’t seem to care much about the Srikrishna Commission Report or the Gujarat riots. That, she is arguing, needs to change, otherwise Muslims will only feel more estranged from the justice system. And undermine the rule of law too.

    I think this problem will stay with us, irrespective of whether justice is supposed to be blind or not because riots (which have a long complicated history behind them) are invaribly political — and punishment for political crimes is driven largely by public opinion about whether something even constitutes a crime. Perhaps better separation between administration (i.e. policing, etc), the Executive arm (our politicians) and our judiciary (the judges) might help — but then I’m not sure it will be that much help.

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