Rights

From Ayodhya to Hathras, a New Criminal Justice System for 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'

A new jurisprudence is called for – one that wisely, in consonance with our ancient wisdoms, lays down how some Indians are always guilty, and some never.

There used to a mosque at Ayodhya. It was more than four centuries old.

In 1949, idols of some Hindu deities were cleverly placed inside it beneath the centre of the main dome.

On December 6, 1992, the mosque mysteriously collapsed.

Yet, a commission was set up to enquire into how and why the mosque collapsed.

This self-important Liberhan Commission thought it fit to say that the mosque was demolished by human beings, and that the demolition was “meticulously planned”. The commission even named one human being who had accepted “onus” for the demolition.

Compounding the commission’s averment, the Supreme Court in a constitution bench judgment volunteered to say that the induction of idols in 1949 was an act of “desecration” and that the collapse of the mosque was a “calculated act” and an “egregious violation of the rule of law”; that was said as recently as November 9, 2019. In 2017, the same court had thought it fit that charges of “criminal conspiracy” be revived against some perfectly honourable human beings.

Thankfully now, an alert and philosophical lower court has set the record straight: it turns out that the mosque collapsed all on its own, presumably under the burden of its historical sins.

Also read: Only the Wilfully Blind Will Believe There Was No Conspiracy Behind Babri Masjid Demolition

Many may have watched, but no human mind was involved in the auspicious happening. All those human agents who had thus far been erroneously held accountable found release. Some heroic ones kept insisting that it was their doing. A political bravado without basis in fact or evidence. This fraudulent attempt to claim credit for what was a natural occurrence may indeed deserve prosecution.

It may, however, be speculated that mosque-worshippers themselves, disguised in saffron, brought the structure down as part of a conspiracy to malign the majority community.

For that, indeed, another competent lower court may well be asked to enquire.

The Hathras gang rape

An incautious, 19-year-old woman ventured into the fields for work on the land.

She was a Dalit and not a ‘proper’ human being.

Thus, some four or so proper human beings set upon her dispensable body. She was duly and conjointly used, and then, equally duly, bashed to broken bones. Whether or not the four ‘proper’ men succeeded in s cutting her tongue remains a matter of speculation.

In accordance with the ordained status of the woman, the sensible police refused the family’s entreaties to file an FIR for some five days. They were also clear that there had been no gang rape, or any sort of rape.

Unlike the original Nirbhaya who, after all, was no Dalit, this woman from Hathras was not taken even to an AIIMS, not to speak of abroad, for treatment.

Audaciously, she named the four proper men before breathing her immaterial last.

Also read: In UP, Maintaining ‘Law and Order’ Also Means a Secret, Rushed Cremation of Dalit Rape Victim

Any proper citizen knows that these sorts of people raise an avoidable ruckus on such occasions, clearly with an eye to the main chance.

So, with law and order in mind, the sensible UP police force, either on their own or on sagacious instructions, thought it proper – and  in the larger national interest – not to hand over the broken body of the deceased woman to her family.

According her great honour, her corpse was surrounded by an impressive security detail while she burnt at the midnight hour. Proper Hindus are, of course, not cremated after sundown.

Some busybody women journalists kept shouting to ask what was burning some distance from where they had been stopped, but the sensible police force did not falter. They either did not know, or did not think it salutary in the national interest to say what was burning.

Further justice was done with the gracious announcement of the material bounties the family of the dead woman was to receive for having thus sacrificed herself to four proper men.

Astonishingly, some canny political people make the claim that the dead woman deserves justice more than the bounties. These clearly are people out of sync with how the polity stands reconstituted in the legal and administrative mind.

The question

These two occurrences – one in Ayodhya and one in Hathras, but both in Uttar Pradesh – reinforce the speculation that perhaps the republic of India no longer needs a criminal justice system. After all, such a system sucks up unconscionable resources and interminable time, besides fomenting deleterious social disharmony.

A new jurisprudence is thus called for – one that wisely, in consonance with our ancient wisdoms, lays down how some Indians are always guilty, and some never. A fact that most recently has been eloquently testified to by the happenings in the north-east Delhi riots.

A simplified code rooted in preternatural visions of a spiritual kind, such as enshrined in the Manusmriti, may well be the answer to India’s social and legal headaches.

A given binary between the already guilty and the already not-guilty would enable the resources of the state to be more productively ploughed into “developmental” activities whose fruit may duly be tasted by proper and untroublesome citizens.

An Atmanirbhar Bharat deserves no less.