*Hindu Rights to Survive with Dignity & Sovereignty *Join Hindu Freedom Movement to make Bharat Hindu Rashtra within 2025 *Jai Shri Ram *Jayatu Jayatu Hindu Rashtram *Editor: Upananda Brahmachari.
The road to hell is almost always paved with noble intentions. In the Indian democracy, this has been proven true a countless number of times. I am afraid we shall be headed yet again towards hellish times if a new policy that is being currently debated manages to become law, thanks to the super secular denizens of India whose intensity and range of noble intentions usually matches the mayhem that the same noble intentions often trigger.
I am talking about the well intentioned economists, sociologists, activists and assorted jholawala types who are convinced that it is their divine right to advice the UPA regime on all sorts of policy issues. Right at the top of this pyramid of do-gooders is the National Advisory Council (NAC) which is headed by Sonia Gandhi. Virtually all the members of NAC have impeccable records and reputations when it comes to their commitment towards the aam aadmi of India. Let me also be very clear in stating that a lot of credit for path breaking policy changes like the Right to Information Act, the NREGA and the Right to Education Act should go to the NAC. It is also wonderful to see members of the NAC valiantly battle it out against a callous, insensitive and cruel government when it comes to implementing the Right to Food Act.
In each of these above mentioned cases, the men and women with noble intentions have sought to protect and defend the rights of victims – usually the poor and the downtrodden of India who get only lip service from the government. And now, this group of people has set out to protect and defend the rights of another set of victims – I am talking about the victims of communal riots and violence. Nobody will dispute the fact that communal riots have been a blot on the Indian democracy. Similarly, nobody will dispute the fact that those have usually been the minorities who have borne the brunt of communal violence, even though provocation often comes from both sides of the divide.
If this Bill becomes law, only Hindus will be tried, convicted and sentenced for communal violence and incitement of communal hatred because the Constitution will refuse to accept that Muslims and Christians are capable of violence and hatred. If this Bill becomes law, any anonymous complainant can file a police case against a Hindu for inciting communal hatred – and the police will have to register it as a non-bailable offence. The accused – who would be arrested – would not even have the right to know who the complainant is. And the accused Hindu will virtually be presumed to be guilty unless he or she can prove his her innocence. A Hindu activist who complains against fanatic Christian missionaries (Believe me, there are many of them out there) converting tribals through inducements and bribes will be sent behind bars; the Christian missionary who openly calls Hindus ‘heathens’ or ‘Kafirs’ and tramples upon idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses will be forever found innocent by the Indian Constitution.………………………………….
The draft bill called Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparations) Bill is flawed also for the reason, its basic premise is against the secular spirit of the Constitution stated in the preamble.
No wonder. The bill is a creation of an extra-constitutional body – National Advisory Council (NAC) that is expected to function like a super-cabinet, surpassing the elected wisdom of the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers. Technically NAC is created by the Prime Minister as a body to advise the government. The members are handpicked technically by the Prime Minister but in reality by the NAC chairperson.
Thus the NAC is not a representative body. It also leads to the question whether an elected government or its Prime Minister should have powers to create structures that are not enshrined in the Constitution.
The Prime Minister should have powers to function independently. But should he himself subjugate to the authority of his own creation? Who authorises him to do it? Why should he create a structure that is virtually neither responsible to him nor answerable to Parliament?
Those who have drafted the bill have forgotten the recurrence of communal violence by the minority community in 1960s in UP and Bihar. The states like Gujarat suffered recurrent minority violence till late 1980s. The Godhra burning of Ramsewaks in 2002 is too recent to be forgotten.
The bill has also no provision if two minority communities indulge in violence against each other. In fact, as per the provision of the bill even then any person from the majority community could be accused of inciting violence. He could have no defence under the draft bill. The accused would suo moto be considered “guilty” till he can prove his innocence. The bill virtually overturns the simple judicial norm of considering the accused not guilty till he is convicted.
It is no wonder the NAC functions with populist views or indulges in vote bank politics to further the political objectives of some political party.
The NAC drafted the Food Security Bill not with the objective of providing food to the needy. Its primary objective was to create a political climate that would help the ruling party garner votes of the deprived classes. It has created enough rift between the officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), who found the “advice” beyond the capacity of the government to implement it. Any responsible body would have first evaluated the government’s physical and financial strength before jumping in to draft a bill.
The food security bill thus remains in the domain of discussion and may possibly not be given the final shape. Keeping it alive and finally blaming the bureaucrats would pay more dividends at the time of next elections than enacting a law that people are bound to forget even a year later. The NAC would serve the purpose of functioning like a permanent campaigning mechanism for the ruling party.
The proposed bill to prevent communal violence is yet another case of over-reach. It intends to arm the Centre with runaway powers to intervene in state affairs, creation of overlapping authorities and selective definition of victims. The bill, runs the risk of being struck down by the courts for falling afoul of federal principles set out in the Constitution’s seventh schedule that distributes legislative powers between the Centre and the states.
The bill defines that the victim in a communal violence would invariably be from a “group”. The definition of sufferers of communal violence as a “group” comprising only religious, linguistic or religious minorities or scheduled castes and tribes appears highly discriminatory as it can mean that even if a large number of majority community members bear the brunt of communal violence, they will not be victims of “targeted violence”.
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