I love Justice and Intensely Hate Mockery of It !!

May 8, 2015

by Chepal Sherpa

The Bollywood-styled take of the Judiciary on Salman Khan seems to show us how the state machinery in India has adopted every form of subtlety in its functioning. From Modi’s magic in the global arena to judicial pronouncements of the Indian state, the state machinery doesn’t function any more like the way we would assume – outwardly repressive, mechanistic, crude etc. It has assumed more theatrical ways of formulating its web of domination and hegemony.

The most recent glaring substantiation of this thesis is the Maharashtra lower court verdict on Salman Khan — punishment of 5 years in jail — disheartening news for lakhs and lakhs of fans in and outside the country. The response following the news of the verdict is interesting. From established actors and directors, artists and choreographers of glittery Bollywood to the simple aam aadmi – the fans of Salman – are sympathetic to him. Most of their anger and disgust is with the fact that the star has to now undergo a punishment for five years. Bollywood must be blaming the notorious pavement dwellers who litter and pollute our cities for this catastrophe.

The most interesting reaction, though, is the lack of a reaction – there has been no reaction which fundamentally questions the verdict of the court itself! The court has passed a sentence, no disagreement about that, because after all it is doing its job of protecting “democracy”, “freedom” and safeguarding the “rule of law”. Uniformly the logic of “democracy” prevailed and at the end of the day it was the triumph of “democracy” in every possible way. No Salman, no victim, no fan was dissatisfied with the verdict. The accused himself has accepted the verdict.

What becomes imprinted deep down in the psyche of the political audience of the theater of Indian politics is the story of the Indian state as this justice loving benevolent republic which can go to the extent of convicting and punishing a popular star, in upholding the “Rule of law”.

I think the organs of Indian state are really brilliant managers and rulers. This time it was “chance pe dance” and did not even leave “mauka pe chauka”, all the ghosts of previous political verdicts which granted “clean chits” and acquittals to killers of Dalits and Muslims through massacres and organized pogroms got to Rest in Peace with Salman in the dark jail room. Modi – Amit Shah, Ranveer Sena to Constabulary Armed Police in Hashimpura Massacre to Rapist Army in Kashmir – North east, Dadakaranya to Lalgarh Harmads and Salwa Judums. The ghosts of those verdicts have become a nightmare for the Indian state. They give chilling shivers to the State apparatus – from the upper echelons of its top PMO and cabinet offices to the lower rungs of bureaucracy. As Freud would make us aware: the Uncounscious, before it bursts out, always channelizes itself into other forms of expressions and energies in real life in the form of creativeness; similarly the Indian state is channelizing all its energies into theatrics to resolve its crises and contradictions, as the ghosts which constitute the Unconscious of the Indian State are reappearing in the form of a — theatrical, creative, art loving – Angel, which loves justice, humanity and respects rule of law.

I wouldn’t buy this theatrics of Indian state. The theatrics of violence underpinned by this logic, because I know there is politics in the name of Justice. What happened to Badaun (Haryana) rape victim and her relatives who were staging their protest in Jantar Mantar since last one year in this scorching heat and those chilling nights of winter? What about those thousands and lakhs of prisoners, among them, significantly political prisoners? The condition of high authority jails of Delhi and Nagpur Central Jail reminds of Bastille before French Revolution!! I would go along with Che who reiterated -“if you are on the side of justice, then you are my comrade”. Yes I remain his comrade for I love justice, and intensely hate mockery of it!!

No Comments »

Leave a comment