Much as I find sick and nauseating the words that one fellow called Varun Gandhi harangued his Pilibhit constituents with a few weeks ago, what followed was more sick and nauseating by far: his arrest under the National Security Act.
The NSA? For making those statements? (Forgive me for not telling you what he said, nor giving you a link: I won't help spread hate).
Gandhi's party, the BJP, rightly protested long and hard about this outrage. I hope it has made the party think long and hard too, if not protest, about their own use or misuse of a similar law, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act.
Specifically, I refer to the arrest and incarceration, under the CSPSA, of Dr Binayak Sen. Dr Sen's offence? That he is supposed to have carried letters from an aging and also incarcerated Maoist leader, Narayan Sanyal. (Never mind that Sanyal's failing health is the reason officials got a doctor -- Dr Sen -- to see him in the first place). No witness Chhatisgarh authorities have produced in court has offered anything remotely like evidence to back up this "charge", such as it is.
In another month, it will be two years that Chhattisgarh's BJP government has kept Dr Sen in jail in Raipur. Two years. Think of that.
Varun Gandhi is no threat to national security; Dr Binayak Sen is no threat to Chhattisgarh's security. Yet in each case, political establishments annoyed by these men have used repressive laws against them. Because the powers those laws allow to governments are irresistible to governments.
The real lesson of these two episodes is simple: Acts like NSA and the CSPSA are too easily misused. You, reading this, really should take note.