Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Why yet another Rizwanul post: Justice and the Idea of India

A million posts have been written but I am forced to write again on the Rizwanul case. Though we must let people speak their mind and I respect the right to freedom of expression of every individual but the comments on my earlier posts, especially the ones that had communal overtones, have prompted me to write again on this subject.

Casteist and communal biases are nothing new in the society. But debate over Shariah and Manu's laws must not cloud our vision. It is about whether the powerful elite and a coterie of moneyed and well-connected people will rule this nation and sabotage the system or whether the ordinary Indian citizens, who is legally correct, will still not be able to live his normal life and dare to dream just because he is not part of this Elite.

It is not about casteism, communalism alone. Religion was just a factor in the beginning of the case. If we manage to pressurise the system and force the government to take action (things are moving after all), we succeed to a great extent in delivering the message to bureaucracy and officials that not everything can be hushed up.

It is a test case. And it is cases like these which instill sense of fear amongst officials before they cross their 'lakshman rekha'. Action on Prasun Mukherjee may range from simple transfer to suspension or even indictment at a later stage but more important is that the policemen who take similar action against other ordinary Indians, will stop for a while and think the next time a powerful man will call them on phone and flaunt his connections to buy justice.

Keep the campaign alive. Police often 'leak' and 'plant' stories like past love affairs of Rizwanul. Even if he had several affairs in the past. It is immaterial. What we all know is that this case has become rallying point for masses to illustrate that in a society in transition where we often don't care about a person lying on pavement which we pass by and remain captivated to the glitter of a growing India, there is still concern and yes, conscience.

But it is mass movements like this that unsettle the ruling class and the elite. The Todis must know it. The people of West Bengal have proved that the
conscience of Bengal is alive. This case has proved it. People tolerate but only up to a certain limit. That's what we stand for at Hindustaniat.

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