God and the Indian Courts

Unbelievable. Now the IPC embodies the basic tenets of Hinduism and Islam. The Gujarat High Court upheld the seven-year jail term of two Muslims in a firing incident in 2002. Justifying the decision the judges did not merely quote para and verse from the Constitution. They started to define why the accused were being punished by using religious concepts.

What is all this roundabout tamasha for? Because the two accused have been charged for revenge for post-Godhra violence.

Stressing that India is wedded to secular policy, the judges observed if citizens of the country start with mental strategy of division based on religion, it may result in damaging the unity of nation and would consequently tinker with the integrity and security of the nation. “Neither Hindu nor Muslim religion permits taking of revenge... no religion professes that if a person from one religion has committed misdeed, revenge should be taken from all persons following that religion,’’ the bench observed.

Is it the same judiciary that is dealing with the cases of the Gujarat riots? Are the standards being applied the same? What were Narendra Modi and his bunch of police goons doing? Has he not openly talked about the action-reaction theory? But, if you want to go by the book, then stick to the book for all cases and stick to only the relevant book. No need to bring in religion.

The judges also dwelled on historical aspects and noted, “The Hinduism is based on principles of ‘Sahanshilta’. It has been cited so many times that it is on account of receptivity and adaptability of Hindu culture, it has survived for more than 5,000 years, though the number of persons following Hindu religion are less as compared to others in the world–Christians, Muslims and Buddhists...’’

Is this a courtroom or some ashram? What are they trying to say here? That it does not matter there are fewer Hindus but they adapt well and that is the reason they have survived? What is the connection to the crime? Or the criminals? I am not against these two individuals being awarded the sentence. But think about it: They fired on a lawyer and have been awarded the jail term by a special POTA court (why?). Two other accused died as undertrials (how?) and one is absconding (how?). Five people were arrested for firing on one man and all in the name of revenge for the Gujarat riots?

And here the judges quoted from a book on jihad and how it is not what it is made out to be.

It is shameful that the judiciary is stooping to this level. I do mean stooping to this level because it is undermining the Constitution that gives rights to people of all faiths, but nowhere does it state that criminal cases have to invoke some god or the other.

Should we, therefore, see the case in Goa as part of this 5000-year historical acceptance by the judiciary?

Under normal circumstances terrorist organisations are banned and some terrorists get away. Not only is the Sanatan Sanstha safe, but the 11 people chargesheeted for the blasts on Diwali-eve last year in Margao that killed two people are referred to as “activists”. Yes, activists, not terrorists.

Never mind that the chargesheet is a full 3000 pages and the “members” are behind “several low-intensity explosions in Maharashtra some years ago”.

They face charges of conspiring and collecting arms for waging a war against the state and mischief. They have also been charged under the Explosive Substance Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Despite this, the TOI does not refer to them as terrorists. Later, in a separate report, there is a mention of “Hindu Terror Comes To Fore?” The question mark conveys disbelief even after Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, who is a part of the organisation, has been arrested on charges in the Malegaon blasts. The organisation was set up as for spiritual purposes, but when madrassas are targeted or under suspicion then nothing should be left to chance.


  1. Indians have this mistaken belief that, unlike the western world where there is a strict separation of religion and matters of state, India can successfully survive by interpreting the constitution while at the same time "giving respect to all religions", and the end result is the kind of nonsense that the Indian courts produce as verdicts, where religious edicts and thought processes are given precedence over the fundamental rights guaranteed by the state in the constitution.

    At some point, the consitution needs to be looked at with a fresh set of eyes that ensure that the consitution stays away from matters involving religion, and when there is a conflict, the rights guaranteed by the state take precedence over ALL religious thoughts of any kind or variety.

    But take one look at all the groups that oppose a uniform Civil Code for all Indians, and you will know the political groups in India that actively sabotage any attempts to separate matters of state from religious matters, with the latter having NO INFLUENCE OF ANY KIND on the former.

    Unfortuantely, large-scale ignorance of elementary civics and governance ends up giving more importance to ideology than the citizen crushed under the tyranny of such ideologies.

    Until then, we are going to see a lot injustice

  2. Agree with most points, but the resistance to a uniform civil code is because no clear blueprint has been formulated. There are fears and because these are civil matters some are justified.

    Separation of state and religion is a rather tricky topic and will have to be undertaken with utmost care. If we are serious we should be banning political parties that use any religious lingo or promises in their manifesto.

  3. FV:"Separation of state and religion is a rather tricky topic and will have to be undertaken with utmost care. If we are serious we should be banning political parties that use any religious lingo or promises in their manifesto."

    I fail to see what is so tricky about separating religion from state -- if certain religions are allowed to violate constitutional rights of a group of individuals, then the same must extended to all religions...in which case, why bother with the pretense of constitutional rights?


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