A Rigged System of a Great Nation
There’s a similar pattern being followed with some of our own netizens being constituted as state prisoners.
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I’ve come to believe that it is perhaps the fate of every nation that it has to at all times consistently pass through en evilly designed commotion where some of its citizenry are immortalised by its prejudices and injustices meted out to them against the failed delivery of the state and its institutions in safeguarding their rights and interests, as guaranteed by the founders of their ‘directive principles’.
The price of such immortalisation, however, has remained infinitely high.
From death penalties to judicial and extrajudicial deaths to incarceration (in spite of lack of credible evidence) to rapes and sexual atrocities to lifelong legal battles, some of these ‘state prisoners’ never see the light of the day. Some of them go on to get registered in history, if the regimes allowed it, as per the narrative suiting their woke ideologies while others may conveniently be erased from the pages of time as if they were figments of a nation’s imagination.
The following generations then grow up reading the rigged stories of how enormously rich and strong their past and laying foundations have been.
The Trap of a Trial
If one looks close enough with an intent of unbiased understanding, the underlying premise of some of our own netizens being constituted as state/political prisoners reveals some startling commonalities and patterns between them.
Almost all are well-educated. The majority of these people are writers, thinkers, poets, activists and members of some aggrieved ethnic, religious or political group. All are vocally aware of their individual rights and limitations of the system which they claim is designed to suppress dissent. All of them consider ‘collective voices’ as the absolute saviour of an endangered democracy. Almost all of them argue on facts, logic, laws and statistics. All of them, at one time or the other, have had serious charges pressed against them ranging from sedition to terrorism to naxalism to inciting violence to flaring communal sentiments, and what not.
But the most differentiating and shocking element of commonality among most of them is that in the process of being tried for a supposed crime, they majorly have been undertrials and not convicts, with absolute lack of legally admissible evidence against them as pointed out by those sane voices of the same legal system who continue to harbour a clear conscience.
Some of the trials have continued for more than three decades even. This, invariably, is the most disturbing reality of this entire game.
Because then, the judicial and legal system is left wide open for dissection on its verdicts and rulings. Because then, the laws and its sections are available to be exploited by those who may well have forgotten the oath they took to “perform the duties of their office without fear or favour, affection or ill-will and that they will uphold the Constitution and the laws”. Because then, the legal proceedings, trials and subsequent judgment are forever at the risk of being deemed to be purely based on conjectural imaginations and state preferences. And it, therefore, seems that the entire strategy of those who feel most threatened by these voices is to pull on with these proceedings for so long so as to have these people rot and subsequently perish in jails before their trial concludes.
The Vicious Cycle
Another screaming testimony to the alleged misconduct of the state and its institutions is the recent pattern of pressing of charges in a clandestine and selective way.
If at all a state prisoner is granted bail on any grounds, within hours – or if really fortunate, days – he/she finds himself/herself implicated and charged with a different section of a related or unrelated “offence” which makes sure to extend their stay behind the bars, again indefinitely.
And again, the cycle begins. Again the judicial process, again the hearing dates, again the heated arguments and again the rejection.
And that’s how the agenda is closed, the issue is resolved, the dissent suppressed – all in the garb of the process of judicial system and its laws of course. Meanwhile, those from the political fraternity, who in real sense, incited violence, flared religious sentiments and made several hate speeches multiple times at multiple occasions on multiple issues remain absolutely scot-free from any legal clutches whatsoever (even after legally admissible evidence against them are publicly available) and continue to bask in the glory of the “manufactured achievements” of their political masters.
These are multiple institutional failures at all levels be it state, bureaucracy, or even judiciary, so to say.
And it is not just in recent times (though of course it seems more flagrant today because of the communally flared divisive politics and policies of our regimes), there has been a long history of consistent failure to support and defend the people who are most marginalised and at the risk of being persecuted by the state.
If state drivers, government representatives, and even lawyers start pointing out the glaring loopholes in the system, it is not hard then to realise how wilfully guilty and ignorant we have been as a democracy to exercise our fundamental rights only in the direction we’re told to.
Any system worldwide at any point in history, in which there has been an increase of authoritarian tendencies, one shall find that more often than not, their institutions were co-opted as an ideological project.
(The author is a New Delhi-based corporate executive working in one of the fintech startups in India and an activist by choice. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)
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