I am profoundly shocked and dumb-founded at Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju’s reported remarks about certain retired Supreme Court judges having joined a gang of anti-nationals and started among other things to criticise the highest court in the land.(Indian Express,19th March)They are also warned of possible consequences.
This comes close enough to the scene that Rahul Gandhi had conjured in Britain while speaking about the country today. Then what was his crime,if this is normal practice in democracy? The Law Minister’s words also come closest to a naked threat against any remarks against the present dispensation.
He has hinted that the respected and admired judges who alone have spoken out against flagrant departure from the spirit of Constitution and laws of the land with authority and wisdom could face the arms of the law for such conduct.Among many instances I distinctly recall my incredulous gasp when I came across a live newsreport on an honorable SC Judge practically asking the government to arrest Teesta Setalvad for helping Zakia Jaffrey move the SC once again to review the judgment on the conspiracy angle in the 2002 riots. Justice Madan Lokur who has earned respect of his countrymen for his sanity and nonideological commitment to basic principles of justice then blew a gust of fresh air in by gently and courteously,but firmly pointing out the flaws in that awful judgment against Setalvad.
It is the unbending stand of such retired judges who could have retired into comfortable silence that has helped preserve some semblance of decency in an environment where responsible people in high positions of the state were behaving so recklessly and almost vindictively.
Such remarks,if correctly reported,and even if inadvertently passed,recall the Nuremberg years of history,and yes,the sodden days of the Emergency.I may be alone in this,but I do think this should be sorted out immediately before things really go out of control.
Hiren Gohain is a political commentator