Thursday, April 13, 2006

Kanoon ke lambe haath

70% of the Bollywood movies of the 70s ended with the dutiful Iftekar dragging a regretful Ranjit in hand-cuffs and uttering "Kanoon ke haath bade lambe hain...isse banchke kahan jaoge".This was followed by a freezing pane potraying the budh-dhi maa,the separated-and-finally-thank-god-united twins with their heroines holding hands.The background music was always a song, which has to have the title of the film as the words. And then suddenly from no-where would zoom "THE END".Being fed on this diet for long I had always believed that "Kanoon ke lambe haath" was one of those SANDH-KA-GOBAR restricted to the celluloid world. But recent days incidents have given a shake to the very foundation of this belief. It is a shake much much stronger than Rakhi Sawant's hip movements that had my belief shattered into bits and pieces.

Justice in India seems to be on a fast track these days.Whether it is the girl foetus killer doctor or a rapist police hawildar no one is spared by the blind-folded Kanoon ki Devi. Even Bollywood celebrities are not beyond the reach of the ever stretching hands of the law. From my ignorant childhood till my know-it-all present googling days I cannot think of any similar incident like Mumbai Dance Bar Ban where court reversed government's silly idea that robbed people of their livelihood.Even the openly murdered and quickly forgotten Jessica Lal was remembered back and much to the astonishment of used-to-corruption Indian public, the red tapes on the files were re-opened again. In short the Indian justice system is sending strong message that amidst all the gloom that hovers over the Indian society there is still hope in the form of messiahs dressed in black gowns and armed with the wooden hammers.

But strangely the sceptic in me is far from satisfied. Why is it that all of a sudden headlines are bound to carry a justice delivered story each day?After all this is India yaar!!! We are used to seeing ministers come out clean like a SURF-KI-DHULAI even if the evidences of their corruption pile to Himalayan heights.We are used to look for the blacker in front of the movie theatres.... check for minister's quota while buying railway tickets.... run to the local MLA for admitting either ailing parents to the hospital or failing children to the school. Our basic survival depends on how good we are in finding the back doors to anywhere and everywhere. That's how we were brought up...that's how we had been.... till recent times. So what’s the story behind the story after all?

Is it that a new India emerging out of its corrupt past? Nah, I still find it difficult to digest even with the HAJMOLA SAAR. Living in Red Bengal during early years Marxist Dadas had taught us to conceive The State as a machinery consisting of the legislative body, the bureaucracy, the armed forces, the judiciary and the social bodies working in unison to ensure the smooth running of the economics. Unfortunately since the Independence we have had such bitter experiences with nearly all the arms of the state. Be it the local MP who is ready to take a bribe as low as Rs. 10000 or the Sarkaari Babu whose PAAN KA KHARCHA might purchase a paan shop itself or the Daroga-ji from the local police stations whose rate varies depending on what your needs are….if you can pay the price you can buy them all. The only pillar of the state that was left untouched by this distrust was The Judiciary. And India suddenly finding itself among the economic boom needs somebody to clean the Aegean stable or at least give the impression of Cleaning in Progress.So shall we call it the last attempt of the Indian state to convince its people that "Ram-rajya" is not far away?

Let's wait and watch while the lawyers fight it out...maybe "Ram-rajya" is not that far away.


medusa said...

funny thing though, the way the supreme court said that the height of the narmada dam be raised. the media involvement in this case has not been any less than that in the jessica lal case....maybe ram rajya is still a far cry.

Bishu said...

Jessica Laal's case concerns a girl being shot down brutally in public yet the murderer walks free as he is related to some minister.
On the other hand Narmada Dam is about building a dam and giving a damn to whatever happens to the people who are dislocated.
Now when an (foreign or domestic)investor considers India as a destination for his billions just think what stance in each of the cases will satisfy him? I think he'd delighted to see that while the Indian judiciary tries to punish the corrupt at the sametime it is ruthless about building the infrastructure to safe-gaurd his billions.That is the message I get from the current proceedings and that is what my friend disturbs me the most.

Ron said...

The Jessica Lal case was quite something. But I am wondering if it was just a one time thing. Look at how easily Salman Khan got away with poaching...and whatever happened to his hit and run case? Also if you think about it, the furore about the Jessica Lal case has quite died down now. I wonder if justice will really be meted out once the media spotlight shifts elsewhere?

Bishu said...

@Ron: The fact that the case was filed again even after Manu Sharma was acquitted was due to HC's reaction to the newspaper reports of Delhi Police has failed to submit concrete evidence. But whether Manu Sharma will be hanged is a altogether different story. His lawyer can always cook up a cock-and-bull story like his Southern counterpart Suryakant's lawyer had. The reason we are seeing justice on fast track is not because Indian Judge's Club took a unanimous decision that from today onwards lets deliver justice. It is because this is picture India desperately wants to portray in front its people and to the rest of the world. Remember the days when T.N. Seshan and his colleagues were projected highly by the media as if the bureaucracy would wave their magic wands and all problems would vanish with a whooshing sound. Is the court not being projected in the similar manner? It's only a CLEANING-IN-PROGESS signboard that has been put in front of the loo. Sadly enough there are no cleaners around.
Hmm that was the longest comment I ever wrote…now time to get back to work ;-)