The conviction of Dr.Binayak Sen for life by a Chhattisgarh court for supporting the naxalites has drawn expression of anger and sadness from many quarters. Which I dare to say was expected.
Sen was arrested by the the Chhattisgarh police in 2007 for allegedly acting as a courier between a jailed naxal leader and a businessman.
The reactions that have come from various sides of the globe have blasted the Indian judiciary, the Indian governing system and alike to all corners. Activists have till now organized many a rallies in support of the doctor. One such rally was organized in the heart of Delhi where the great “Arundhati Roy” too made her presence felt. Online petitions have already flooded emails of many an enlightened Indians asking them to register their protest. Amnesty too has joined in.
The charade of the 'intellectuals' is at full swing for the world to see and to mock the Indian democracy which according to them is trembling in fear of a doctor.
The conviction is being projected as an indication of the increasing intolerance level of the Indian state. Comparison are being draw by respected media sites like “the Hoot” where it has displayed instances of how the use of the word ‘sedition’ is increasingly being used by the state to put human right activists and crusaders for poor behind the bars.
All the major newspapers through their editorials have also followed the same path and have called for the release of Dr.Sen. The electronic media too have more or less convinced themselves that Dr.Sen in innocent.
In short we are witnessing a propaganda where the mass is being exposed to a truth that actually may not be true. And the propaganda is working on the lines of projecting Dr.Sen as someone who has been wrongly put behind the bars.
And the propaganda seems to be working as more and more people are jumping into the bandwagon. For Propaganda is to democracy what violence is to totalitarianism as Chomsky said. By the way Chomsky himself too is on the long elite list of those who have called for the release of Dr.Sen.
But we are missing the small picture as we go berserk in our efforts to reaffirm our values in our ever revered and yet the most misused sets of right which we call ‘human rights’.
Dr.Sen did a crime and for that he was convicted by the court. A court which followed the duly laid out procedure. A case in which the accused was provided to the best of legal minds and unlimited resources of every kinds from every quarters.
He had the media with him and he had a huge chunk of the intellectuals supporting him. What else was missing? Nothing I presume.
Dr.Sen was convicted after the prosecution was able to convince the judge that Dr.Sen was doing what has been alleged in the charge sheet, and that was to help the naxalites. His supporters though say that he is a doctor who has been working with the under privileged tribals in the dense forest of Chhattisgarh where the state has failed to make its presence felt. They cite the various recognitions that he has been endowed with, both nationally and international. His association with the well known PUCL is also a defense in itself.
Agreed that everything that is being stated in defence are accepted and well documented and proved "but"- and mind you it’s a big but- ‘Is this illustrated past more than enough to absolve him of any wrong doing that he has been convicted of’? Does the above fact dilute the offence that he has committed?
He has such a meritorious past and he is a human right activist and the fact that he is what can be called someone who decided to leave an illustrious life to work for the down trodden but does that make him immune to law?
Why is it that every right-left-centrist activist considers himself to be above the law just because he is working for the human rights of the others?
Why is it a sin to book Arundhati Roy and alike under the offence they deserve.
Why are we such a scared nation that even if a figure is pointed on these human activists that we start feeling a fear that our rights are going to be trampled? And we conveniently forget the same fact that we so proudly use in discussions that “No one is above law”.
How can someone say nonsense like that since A Raja and S Kalmadi are roaming free, Dr.Sen should not be put behind bars. Did they forgot that Sen was booked in 2007 while the misdeeds of the others have just surfaced.
And if they are drawing comparison then they should also compare the Parliament attack case where Geelani , an educated elite, was set free by the same system of judiciary that has convicted Sen now.
After Dr.Sen was convicted, Ramachandra Guha in an op-ed somewhere,compared him with the slain union leader Shankar Guha Niyogi. Drawing parallels between Dr.Sen and Niyogi can best be termed an act of fantasy arrived upon after losing all sense of logical sanity .
People out there are all but ready to turn Dr.Sen into a martyr. And in the process they have disregarded the judiciary which for them in just another tool of the state to oppress the unrepresented.
Dr.Sen will be filing an appeal against the order and maybe he will get bail from the higher court or maybe the sentence will stay, that is not the question.
The question is when do we realize the fact that no one is above law. Maybe that truth will arise to us when we accept the fact that we are a nation of hypocrites who love to be governed by the educated elite bunch among all the hypocrites. As the current example of raising hue and cry over Dr.Sen proves.