Bhagalpur - 20 Years On...
Typical of the Indian Legal System, a local court has awarded prison-terms to 14 men convicted of horrendous crimes - comitted 20 Years Ago!
1989, Communal Riots at Bhagalpur were one of the worst since India's independence. Over a 1000 people were killed in the riots, and the above sentencing pertains to a single incident where 116 people were killed in a village. Given the amount of time elapsed, not surprisingly, 6 of the original 32 accused have died while case files were gathering dust.
Precisely, because the perpetrators of such crime were NOT swiftly rounded-up and Punished, mob-fury is fairly common-place in India. If you are a mob - you can shut-down a city, burn buses, kill-people, do-whatever - because the law does not apply to you, because you are anonymous. This is something not witnessed even in sub-saharan Africa.
And to think of it - the present sentencing - coming after glorious 20 years - is the first one - coming from a local court. There will be appeals, and the case we drag on for much longer time, as it moves up to higher courts in a torturously slow manner.
But where does the problem lie? It directly lies with the law-makers of the land. The folks who sleep in the Parliament, appoint Police Officers not based on merit but by caste-equations, and Legal Luminaries - who would rather keep their mouth shut than speak-up.
What kind of a society are we? All these gung-ho about great culture, Taj making it to 7-wonders, is a joke under such circumstances. What happened to our priorities?
Not-so-random-thought: Everytime we see a person proclaiming on tv, that he/she has full faith in judiciary - it makes us wonder - why repeat it on tv? We never see citizens in other countries make such pronouncements.