Moralistic discussions on social dialectics and civilized ethics are bound to generate euphony if the positive vibes of Harmony vibrate in an environment of Justice. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle summed up the sentiment by saying, ‘Give each man his due’. It’s a classical philosophical assumption that human instinct craves for justice. It is ingrained in the conscious morality and in the psyche. Yet, human activities whatsoever do not actually conform to this Harmony, be it their environment or a clash of civilizations. This delicate moral balance is mere utopia; but an innocent idyllic indulgence in the fragile socio-political systems.

Ordinarily, too human nature seeks harmony to pursue happiness as the pinnacle of life; it is a cardinal truth, but needs freedom to do so; ‘an ideal situation that we call Peace’. Though, absolute freedom is a foolhardy romance with fantasy. Nevertheless, freedom is sacrosanct. Man was born free.

While rigorous restriction is woe absolute freedom is questionable as well as tricky. Philosophically freedom is not a philanthropic enterprise of the State. But universally all societies are governed by laws which impose responsibility for every freedom allowed by their political systems. Thus all expressions of freedom are subject to law with the rider of reasonability.

But the ideas within the society are intertwined with the politics of a place and the crafty politicians thrive mostly on discord to obtain assent within the society, they devise methods to turn the tide in their favor and justify such means to their end. Society is not an Aristotelian organic whole where dynamics of commonality of interests is dominant, but communities within are fragmented, people are juxtaposed against each other on the grounds of Zionism, nationalism, racism, radicalism, religion, color and what not; think of every unreason that baffles reason. Therefore, for the idealists the political circumstances are not very happening but turn out to be that of servitude and docility. Levels of collective moral stamina are receding and paving way for a culture of complacency. Taming reason and the rebellious idealist spirits is now a new global trend. Democracy is a cliché! Electorates at the click of a button create autocracies.

India claims to be an immutable secular socialist democracy. But State policy is becoming religiously inclined, and Hindutva is seemingly an unofficial substitute to secularism. Emotional ingredient in the power politics is a divisive ingenuity invoked to achieve power objectives. It is an incurable ill. Our political demagogues inflame the emotions and ferocious passions of multitudes of men and women. Impassioned speeches about the enemy’s imaginary agenda and fiery debates in the manipulated media communicate only insensitivities and hear no counter argument. They act as instructors of authentic and inviolable rationale, the wisest representatives of a bogus ideology.

Elections brought a regime with majoritarian tendencies at the helm of the State affairs and the whip of the executive lashes every time a voice of dissent is raised. The religious minorities and the downtrodden classes bear the brunt by acquiescing in the obfuscation of their liberties in the fascist hands that showed them double-decker dreams of emancipation, development, progress and religious supremacy.

In today’s world order extremism read radicalism does not work out as everyone has a peculiarly particular perspective of his/her own religion. Strange it is, but bigots are born for pelf and power and are corrupted to the core. Brought together under a banner, their banter is a melancholy elegy for liberty and democracy. Scrutiny by the sincere is sin, therefore every attempt is made to scuttle it by employing violence and power to enforce executive writ ad nauseam.

India has one of the lengthiest written constitutions in the world. The ‘fundamental rights’ enshrined therein form the essence of the document. The Supreme Court was expressly declared as the savior and sentinel of these basic freedoms. It was chartered as an apex institution of accountability, hope and justice.

Over the past decades this institution traversed through various situations of confrontations and assertions; through emergency and to self liberation. The power of judicial review widened its ambit to keep in check any questionable executive fiat.

From Kesavananda Case onwards the Supreme Court proved itself to be a pro-people institution. However the fascist forces have unscrupulously destroyed this people’s instrumentality. As the public looks up to it they face disappointment only. The institution has lost its credibility and faith of the people in delivering justice.

Capitalists who run the country influence the politics which is all mathematics of moneys. The glorious bird parliament is hooting to an utter confusion scattering the opposition minnows. There is complete chaos. The minorities have become minion stake holders of the nation and are constantly scared. Dissenters, intellectuals, writers, reporters are constantly being heckled with outdated laws making them a helotage of the hated among the obedient and radical nationalist jingoes. The intellectual productivity is at its lowest ebb.

The administration and enforcement agencies are failing on multiple ends; there is miscarriage of justice as the courts fail to uphold the ‘rule of law’ and give in to the government diktats. Lord Denning in a case had once remarked, ‘Youngman this is a court of law and not a court of justice’. The recent orders of the Supreme Court are an unconscionable hara-kiri of expedient decisions influenced by the executive. Judicial pronouncements are supposed to bridge the litigant’s cause and justice. Such decisions are precedents that we refer in future times. Therefore, justice should not just be done but should also seem to be done. Short-sighted decisions destroy any prospects of correctional remedy, thereby destroying the will power of a litigant to fight and hope for justice.

Rule of law is a sovereign power in the hands of the people and a safeguard for a democracy. A jurist said, ‘A judge needs to have the strength to put an end to injustice and the faculties that are demanded of the historian and the philosopher and the prophet’. Canons of freedom have to be upheld at all costs. Yet, never have the people felt so helplessly hopeless. The courts have lost their credibility.

The claptrap catalytic elements are establishing a fascist fuehrership and every voice of dissent is being crushed with an iron hand paralyzing democracy, silencing dissidents into submission. Aristotle in his trial had remarked, “I am the gadfly that God has attached to stir the State (read horse), and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing, persuading and reproaching you”. Thus he was constantly criticizing the Athenians to think; piercing their conscience with his sarcasm and moralist philosophy, exhorting them to stand for virtues and justice. He thereby became intolerable to the State and was sentenced to suicide by drinking hemlock.

“You will not find another one like me, and therefore I would advise you to spare me”, he said during his trial as he believed his existence was beneficial for the peoples’ welfare. Thus luminosity of the minds is an instrument of thought and essential logic to censure any political misadventures. Yielding rights therefore means giving license to deprive ourselves of the all liberties sans which it would be similar to a cattle existence.

Jurists have cautioned, ‘abominable injustices have been done in the name of justice even as terrible oppressions have been done in the name of liberty because when men sink to the lowest they clutch the excuse at the highest.

Today we need anxious means to rebuild human bonds, stir up the sterile emotions and cultivate a moral sense of justice in order to shun diffidence and create a much needed difference. Even a few strong resenting voices give courage to all to resurrect the dead spirit of revolution.

Shefan Jahan  is an advocate


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