Gujarat at the UN, Shiv Sena at Unity

Is it right for an issue that has to do with Indian court cases to be taken to an international organisation? In principle I do not agree. But, the fact is we cannot put strictures on stapled visas to China and who is talking to whom in the North East and Kashmir.

Of course, these are issues of insurgency movements. Gujarat is not. This is the reason why the Supreme Court pulled up activist Teesta Setalvad for reporting to the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council about 10 serious Gujarat riot case proceedings monitored by the highest court. I’d like to counter-question some of the posers by Justices D K Jain, P Sathasivam and Aftab Alam:

“It shows you (Teesta) do not have confidence in us. We are monitoring the cases and are here to hear your grievances. Yet, you write to the UN body. Can the international body provide protection to witnesses?”

Does this mean that the witnesses need to be protected? Has the court provided for such protection?

“Can they guide us how to proceed with the cases?”

No. But there is a charter of human rights that have to be followed. It is not to guide the courts; it is to take up the issue of victims.

“You are reporting the day-today proceedings in the Supreme Court and trial courts to that organization as also what the joint commissioner of police does. Is the international body a disciplinary authority for the police?”

No. It can only prepare a report based on the police’s acts of omission and commission.

However, Setalvad ought not to report every detail. There is also the issue of an international organisation getting involved for its own agenda. It is also prudent to ask whether the victims gave the go-ahead. Such cases are delicate in nature and they and their families have to live in the state and deal with people and the authorities on a daily basis.

In the interest of transparency she should also make the communication with the international organisaiton public. One assumes she has shared it with the court by now.

As I had said earlier: This is about Gujarat, not Teesta.

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On Sunday, the 23rd, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray will celebrate his 84th birthday. The party has decided to mark this occasion as ‘Hindu Ekata’ (unity) day.

This has nothing to do with Hindus or unity, but wih the BMC elections and, as reports say, to embarrass the Congress for bringing up the issue of Hindu terrorism.

The Shiv Sena has the gall to now claim that the saffron coour of its flag is about a blend of various communities and castes as it was during the Bhakti movement.

Perhaps this doha (couplet) by Kabir, the bhakti poet and sage, might be a good birthday gift for Balasaheb:

Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Na Milya Koye
Jo Mann Khoja Apna, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye

My rough translation:

I sought the wicked ones, but found none
And when I looked within myself, I found none more evil than me