Personal Musings

This blog is intended to be just a jumble of thoughts that hit me and need not necessarily mean anything.

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Location: Kerala, India

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Justice for justice's sake

Of late, i have been following the Haneef story in The Hindu and the net. It is nice to know that at last he is with his family. But what happened is something that shouldn't have happened. I dont know how can Australia be still called a democratic country after all this.

No man can be put in jail because of a mere suspicion that he might have done something bad. Especially a charge as gross as terrorism. This is a major flow in the new terrorism related laws.
There were terrorists before 9/11, and there will still be terrorists in future. If my limited knowledge of history is correct, there had been terrorists in the past. But how can know one person is terrorist or not? Is the mere appearance or upbringing reason enough?

I had watched a programme long time back in Discovery or National geographic(I dont know which one) regarding facial symmetry and beauty. It seems some British law officer wanted to know how the roughest and toughest criminal will look like. His basic belief was that if he superimposes all the photos of all the imprisoned criminals infamous for many heinous crimes, then he will get a the face of the monster who will be the "perfect" criminal identifiable by just looking at him. But contrary to his expectation, what he found was that the faces became more and more beautiful as the he continued to superimpose the images. A simple direct proof that looks dont tell what people will end up as by just their face.

I dont know how many people remember the asura in the epic Ramayana who ended up as the good ally of Rama in the fight against his own brother Ravana, who was treading the wrong path.
Proof that environment in which a person is brought up cannot be used to say a person is good or not. Just one of the stories to show that people's background has nothing to do with what a person is and his true character.

Character of a person comes from the way he acts. A person who is spending his life in the business of saving other peoples' life cannot be a person whose character is bad. Unless you have watched with your own eyes a seemingly wrong act and the reason for the act is for something against the moral values, we should not and cannot judge somebody as having a bad character.

From what I have heard so far, the most probable problem right now is that the Minister Andrews is having a serious psychological issue. He made a wrong decision, and now as everyone knows it was a wring decision, he is not able to give up the decision he has made. He must be a seriously insecure guy. He is trying to hold to his decision, just as a drowning person will hold past to bunch of straw floating nearby. In western culture itself, there is enough example to explain to him that humans err and they make up for it. By acknowledging his mistake and making up for it, he will only be raising his own image/honor.

As far as this case is concerned, unless the minister makes a proper apology in full media, i dont think the loss of honor to an innocent honorable doctor, who just happened to be a Muslim and some relation of his happened to do a heinous act, is restored. As far as we Indians are concerned leading a respectable life is of utmost importance. He knows, his family knows that he is innocent. But what is the use of it all, if some would be client looks at him and says, " You were the one Australian Government put in jail for terrorism." Or, some white ignorant racist says,"one of your men blew up . I wont get treatment under you." Such a scenario should never arise. And it is the duty of the democratic system in the State to avert such a scenario. There must be an independent review on why the government made a mistake and how to ensure the same mistake doesn't take place again.

I accept there may be cases in which the law enforcement people may not have enough solid evidence to connect a criminal with the crime. It happens. But why is there a need for a provision in law that enables any one to be arrested without proper reason. The question is such a clause really needed in a healthy democratic society. We may as well go back to the old feudal system, if slavery and forced detention of innocent people is all we want. Anti-terror laws are needed to deal with the wrong-doers. But with what cost? One such law has stamped an innocent civilian as a culprit. Havent we have put so many loopholes in our laws to avoid just such a case?

I am relying on the conscience of the few remaining good Australians to correct this mistake. May be the changes will propagate to other nations with similar draconian laws. I have been saying this for a long time and I am still saying this, It is high time all the "government" people do a root cause analysis and figure out a mechanism to remove the underlying cause.

We cant satisfy all the people all the time. But we definitely can make a difference by satisfying most of the people most of the times.


Blogger Santosh said...

Before we get outraged over the unfair treatment given to the bangalore doctor, it would be worth thinking on the atrocities the indian govt does to its own people. Do you know how many people are in jails awaiting trials... many of them are there for 10-15 years and their case has not come up in court!

I dont think you can blame australian govt just like that. Terrorism is a serious charge and even a suspicion requires to be investigated thoroughly leaving no trace of doubt.

Forget the politicians - they are the same everywhere. They will use any event for their publicity.

August 07, 2007 4:10 PM  
Blogger sweetchillad said...

Its basically the white man's idea of racial superiority which has led to all this. I am sure the same wouldn't have been done to a white.

Anti-terrorism laws shouldn't be used in such a barbaric way to curtail the freedom of an individual..

August 10, 2007 10:25 PM  

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