May 20, 2009

Please raise it

Ten questions for Manmohan Singh, as he savours an election victory and gets ready to embark on a second term in office.

Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other questions to ask, plenty of other concerns to pay attention to. In particular, there are foreign concerns: like the goings-on in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, to pick two. Those are important, no doubt.

But I tend to believe in the maxim that we must clean our own house first, before looking outward. And I believe too that there are questions to be asked about justice in particular. So with no further ado, ten questions. About justice.


Sir, perhaps you can't actually do something about the questions I ask below, given both the compulsions of politics and what are state subjects and what aren't. Yet as Prime Minister, and one who has just won the clearest mandate Indians have given in two decades, your voice carries an authority that cannot easily be ignored. Thus:

1) Will you raise your voice about bringing to justice those responsible for the massacre of Indians in Delhi, 1984?

2) Will you raise your voice about bringing to justice those responsible for the massacre of Indians in Bombay, 1992-93?

3) Will you raise your voice about bringing to justice those responsible for the massacre of Indians in Gujarat, 2002?

4) Will you raise your voice about the sorry plight of Kashmiri Pandits, this country's forgotten refugees? About finding a way to return them in safety and dignity and on their own terms, even now, to their homes in that state?

5) Will you raise your voice about the imprisonment of Dr Binayak Sen for two years and counting now?

6) Will you raise your voice about how an administration only shirks its duty when it arms civilians and calls this "Salwa Judum"? About how this futile exercise only deepens a bloody and tragic crisis? About enlightened and statesmanlike ways to address both the great threat of Naxalism and the reasons for its rise?

7) Will you raise your voice about the unprovoked venom and attacks against "North Indians" in Bombay, and similar attacks elsewhere in the country? About how we are all daughters and sons of this Indian soil?

8) Will you raise your voice about the attacks on ordinary Indians and their places of worship in Mangalore and Orissa over the last several months?

9) Will you raise your voice about the attacks on women in the name of protecting Indian culture, in Mangalore and elsewhere?

10) Will you raise your voice about the way too many people are treated in the name of "development" -- whether in proposed SEZs or in the Narmada Valley? About the meaning of development in the light of such treatment?


Anonymous said...

While action is being seen to be taken on the rest of the points, Kashmir Pandits have till date got a raw deal. Congress is scared that Muslims won't like it. There is no other reason. When we can send 500 crore aid to SL Tamils at the drop of the hat, doing something for Pandits should be lot easier....only if there is a willingness.

Justice to Pandits and 2002 victims can be delivered at the same time and in parallel if and only if Congress can go back to its pre-Independence day shape - a broad brush dialogue between nationalists, patriots , leftists and rightists and the odd communalist. A leadership like that of Gandhi, Patel, Gokhale, Tilak , Rajaji etc is needed.

While a young Gandhi seems to have achieved something in UP, does he have it in him to be a Mahatma to build such a coalition is to be seen. However good luck to him as it seems he stands the best chance to take a shot at this task.

Anonymous said...

The rise of Congress could just mean the beginning of the end of pseudo secularism. I request BJP supporters to 'switch' sides and support this effort. After all one of the main characteristic of a true Hindutvawadi is pragamtism above all other consuderations unlike the Muslim elite who abhor Hindu culture.

Forget Modi, Varun etc. Let them rot in hell.

Jo said...

One more question to add:

11) Will you raise your voice against your own countrymen being treated as second class in the north-eastern states like Manipur?

Anonymous said...

12) will you pass a rule which mandates that all children in every school in the country will recite the national pledge every day ? ( India is my country. All indians are my brothers and sisters)

km said...

Hear, hear.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Anon 634: while you're welcome to make a point of the national pledge, this was a list of questions about justice.

Anonymous said...


The first , second and the last responsibility of a ruler is to maintain law and order and ensure the protection of its subjects life and property. This is a simple straightforward lesson. Only that Manmohan Singh, Congress, BJP, Left, the chatterati, the glitterati, the fashionistas , you and me seem to have learned it in a roundabout way.

To reflect recent events I also like add Prabhakaran, Rajapakse, Sinhalase and Tamils to the above rogue's gallery.

In my cultural context I call such a security situation as Ram Rajya, where no man need to fear the other and everybody gets an equal opportunity to reform their mind, body and soul.

Your list, my dear friend, is based on your political, religious and cultural views. In reality there should be a billion entries in this list since each and every injustice ( and its causes and remedy) is unique.

Sidhusaaheb said...

He probably won't.

BTW, Dr. Binayak Sen is out on bail.