Ostrich Syndrome!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Verdict on Binayak Sen: Protest to show we are alive

Dr. Binayak Sen’s life sentence by a lower Raipur Court couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. The New Year is beginning. The Indian economy is projected to grow at a rate of 8%. The real estate prices in the country are booming to an all time high. Indian stake at symbols of power like the permanent UN Security Council seat appears more justified than ever before. The nuclear deal, the memorandums of understanding, the new dams, special economic zones….every block is falling in place. It seems India Inc has arrived at the party. But unfortunately every party has the so called party-spoilers, who create ruckus to dampen the spirit of fun and festivity. It is the prime duty of the party host to keep such nuisances at bay.
Dr Binayak Sen has emerged as one of the most prominent spoiler for this celebration of neo-liberal loot and pilferage. His work in the tribal areas of Chattisgarh has been treated as an act of sedition by a judiciary which stinks of grubby political bias. He and two others have been sentenced for rigorous life imprisonment and shorter prison terms, to run concurrently under Sections 124A read with Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 8(1), 8(2), 8(3) and 8(5) of the Chhattisgarh Vishesh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam, 2005 (Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act) and Section 39(2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967. It is important to realize that this half baked verdict is a clear message for those who dare to challenge the new order of India Inc…..the order which displaces the local aboriginal population in the name of development, growth and other such illogical jargon of adjectives which are common use by the state machinery. The tribal districts of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Karnataka and Maharasthra are the destination of some US $ 85 bn of promised investments, mostly in steel and iron plants, and mining projects. In Chhattisgarh itself 9,620 acres of land is already under process of acquisition. The juggernaut of development is puffing on all cylinders and anyone who attempts to question the validity, logic and benefits of this capitalist expansion is in serious danger of being eliminated in the name of sedition, Naxalism, Maoism or treason.
The malicious and seriously dangerous agenda of the Chattisgarh government is highlighted in the blatant lacunae within the verdict delivered on Dr Sen by B.P. Verma, the Second Additional District and Sessions Judge of Raipur. For example associating Dr Binayak Sen to the seditious Maoist cause is based on an important testimony given by Deepak Chaubey, the so called landlord who rented his accommodation to the Maoist leader Narayan Sanyal on the recommendation of Dr Sen. This assertion of Chaubey came on direct questioning by the Public Prosecutor, a fact overlooked by Sh Verma. It was also ignored that Chaubey was acting on duress of the police who threatened to implicate him in the case. Reading the 92 page judgement it can also be concluded that Judge Verma has based Dr Sen’s implication with the CPI Maoists largely on police hearsay and planted evidence. He has conveniently overlooked the thirty odd years of selfless service by Dr Sen not only as a reputed doctor but as a human right activist.
It is high time that the civil society of our country wakes up to the nefarious agenda of development and the concomitant “collateral damage” in its wake. Courageous people like Dr. Binayak Sen who send ripples of hope in vast masses of humanity, need to be defended at all costs. Our Hon. Home Minister has said that this verdict might be unsatisfactory for some people (italics are mine). It’s laughable to hear this from a Harvard educated lawyer, even if the statement was made under executive compulsions. Judicial verdicts can never be satisfactory or unsatisfactory; they are either just or unjust. And why some people? Probably because the state wants to undermine the numbers of those who are hungry, poor and deprived?
In a country which ignores hunger deaths, genocide criminals, millions of malnourished children (more than Sub Saharan Africa) and a defunct political class, people like Dr Binayak Sen are the only hope and a selfish state has no right to take these symbols of hope from us. Scream, shout, protest and wriggle out of the iron grip of injustice. As common people we need to show signs of life…..we have been dead long enough. Remonstration and disapproval of this injustice is the way ahead. I am reminded of a saying by the Romanian American Nobel Peace Laureate, Elie Weisel, he said “there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”


LIFE said...

Of course I do not know about Dr Sen. But it is a fact our politicians do not want any one to obstruct their way to "development". They, therefore, justify even unbearable inflation rate as a sign of development. If not checked, these lot will sale out this country.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Alam
Yes, if we want our democratic fabric to work, to strengthen it, we all should stand in solidarity against the state atrocities, use of state machinery to suppress the voices raised against cultural displacement, economic exploitation being done in tribal districts and states in the name of development and for the sake of the affluent.
Mumtaz Ahmed

B.C. said...

YES, we should protest against state torture of social and political workers as well as general population.
We should also condemn murder of innocents by the Maoists.
The state works in the interests of the business. But those who work for the people should not kill people.

Nagendra said...

Very informative and motivating article sir. As you have rightly mentioned on the loot of natural resources, we have seen several dozen billionares from all part of country mainly Gujrat, Orisa, And Andhra. All these billion $ club members are looting and flourishing on loot of natural resources be it spectrum, ports, mines, illegal land loots or alike. From Adani, Vedanta's, and so on, hardly we can found one name that has come on its on compared to the Facebook founder and alike. So these looters will buy out the judiciary's, they are already hands in gloves with politician, and so unjustice is bound to be there. It is such an agony noticing that all this life term is based on allegations that he passed notes from a rebel leader whom he treated in jail to a person outside the prison. And Dr. Sen has denied all wrong doing. The actual reason behind all this injustice is definetly these looter's as they find the going tough in his presence. We should definetly cry against this unjust in whatever capacity we can.


hindu blog said...

It's best post. I liked it.

Anil Verma said...

Divide and Rule is a legacy we not only inherited but have now fine tuned.Corruption & Lawlessness can flourish only if you have a dead judiciary.
We are presently left with a legislature that is fractured.This can only benefit the law breakers.There are only two political identities on the National level.The Congress and the BJP .Smaller breakaways and the so called Communist block have created for themselves small pockets of influence and extract their pound of flesh from whoever is in power.
For our country to take its rightful place among the leading nations of the world we need A STRONG CENTRAL GOVERNMENT.Then we can look at eradicating the evils that ail us.Till then the Media , The God men , The Villains will continue to loot.