By Vijay Darda | 05-09-2016
There is an old adage in Marathi that says how man is becoming brutal and how he is developing animal instincts. For the last few years, the country is facing a piquant situation, which indicates how man, who is considered to be the highest creation among all living creatures, has started behaving like a beast. Man has become extremely aggressive, insensitive and cruel. From where has he acquired these evil traits, is the question cropping up in the mind of every right thinking individual. For the last few years, it is being dinned into our ears that the country is changing. What kind of change is this and for whom? Actually, the kind of change being experienced by man is terrifying as compared to the earlier era.
Recently, Vilas Shinde, a traffic police in Mumbai, was killed while discharging his duty. The incident reminds one of the duty one needs to perform, but the hare-brained youth who could not tolerate the sight of a policeman doing his duty sincerely, rushed at him, hit him on the head and zoomed off. The cop was rushed to the hospital where he died. If Vilas Shinde was not the only person performing his duty, so was the youngster who attacked him not the only one of his kind. Such incidents are taking place with alarming regularity.
The person who attacked Shinde may be a minor, but it cannot be forgotten that he attacked a policeman on duty, a law keeper. A majority of accidents in Mumbai involves celebrities like actors crushing the homeless sleeping on the footpaths. On the other hand, a brat of a filthy-rich family in New Delhi plows his luxurious car through the poor sleeping on the footpath at night. Most people feel that they are above law and are confident that they can find the loopholes to escape the dragnet of law. The reason is not far off to seek; these people feel that they can buy justice on the strength of their money power. This is indeed tragic that rather than following the law of the land, people take delight in breaking it and when somebody tries to follow it, they target him and even do not hesitate to snuff out his life. This kind of situation has led to anarchy which has subsequently degenerated into brutality.
When we see such a state of affairs, it is but natural that we should feel depressed. An impoverished man in Odisha carried his wife’s body for 12 kms after the hospital where she died allegedly failed to provide an ambulance to carry the body back to their village. Dana Majhi’s wife Amang died of tuberculosis in the district hospital in Bhawanipatna town in Odisha state. Majhi said his village was 60 kms away and he couldn’t afford to hire a vehicle.
He alleged that he began walking with her body after the hospital staff kept telling him to remove the body. He wrapped up the body in cloth and accompanied by his 12-year-old daughter Chaula, began the long trek to his village in Melghar for the last rites. It was only after the media highlighted the family’s plight that the authorities woke up, but by that time he had walked for about 12 kms.
This incident will be probed no doubt and report will also be tabled, but what about the debasement of human life and the denial of dignity in death to a tribal. How much compensation will he get, and when and who will compensate him for all the trials and tribulations faced by him? While the Central and the State governments are claiming that they are providing relief and succour to the deprived communities and are shouting, “Desh badal raha hai,” from rooftops, all these claims are proving to be hollow when tested against inhuman and cruel reality.
Today, a tribe of godmen, which claims to teach the art of living and pretends to instill spiritual values in human beings, has mushroomed. Boon-seeking devotees knock at the doorstep of these babas and sadhus. Some devotees pretend to be ennobled by the spiritual discourses of their so-called spiritual masters. Still, minor girls are raped and are brutalised in other ways. The gangrape and murder of a minor girl in Ahmednagar’s Kopardi village is a case in point, but this is not an isolated incident. When we take these incidents into consideration, we realize that India is not only moving in the direction of intolerance, but also towards inhumanity. The authorities, however, continue to be detached from the ground reality.
Before I conclude…
The judiciary is also in the middle of a crisis in the form of burgeoning judicial vacancies in the high courts. Justice J Chelameswar, sitting Supreme Court judge, has sent a communication to the Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, expressing his disinterest in participating in the powerful Supreme Court collegium meetings. He has given a new dimension to the clash between the judiciary and the Centre. He insists that the minutes of every meeting of the collegium should be prepared.
All the five members of the collegium should be consulted and their written opinion should be recorded, he insists. This insistence led to the postponement of meeting on Thursday. He insists that the government should have a say in the appointment of judges. Interestingly, two former chief justices of India have endorsed this stand of Justice Chelameswar. He was the lone dissenting judge on the five-judge Constitution Bench which scrapped the NJAC law passed by Parliament and had recorded his written opinion on rejecting the constitutional amendment.