Never garland a Monkey with exotic flowers

published on March 11, 2008



Politics, Jurisprudence and Implemtation of the Law

By Hary Nambiar

on Communist Leader Pinarai Vijayan’s take on Indian Judiciary




Democracy is one of India’s great virtues and weaknesses at the same
time. In a democracy, the people have rights and privileges. Some of
the rights are fundamental. Freedoms of expression, speech, worship,
assembly and to live peacefully, etc. are sacred in a democracy.
Citizens of a democracy have to bear in mind that, with these rights
and privileges, there are duties and responsibilities. Although it is
not mentioned categorically in the Constitution, it is sacrosanct with
the sacred principles of democracy. However, most citizens are not
aware of these duties and responsibilities, especially some of the
leaders. Unfortunately, in a democracy, people need not have a great
deal of knowledge to assume leadership positions. This is more so in a
democracy in which, the masses of people are poor and uneducated. In a
democracy, people are taken advantage of by some rich, educated and
crafty people. One of the manner in which they take advantage of the
people is by way of being their leader.

Leaders in Indian democracy have the responsibility of understanding
the constitution. The constitution has made provision for Legislature,
Judiciary and Executive branches in a government. The role,
responsibility and powers of the judiciary and its officers are no less
than that of the legislature and political leaders or the elected
leaders who become the members of the executive branch. When I say
executive branch, don’t be confused with the bureaucracy.

The ultimate aim of every politician is to get into the executive
branch, because it is where the honey pot is. If a politician believes
that he can brow beat an officer of the judiciary, what I have to
assume is that he is ignorant of the constitutional provisions of
Indian democracy. Just being able to have a gift of the gab to blah
blah and to make people vote for a person and his cronies, is not the
sign of political leadership. Unfortunately, some of our dear leaders
don’t seem to have a clue of the fundamental tenets of democracy.

The members of the High Court don’t work for the State government. They
don’t take orders from the Chief Minister, the State Secretary of the
Communist Party or the Polit Bureau. One can incite the party cadre to
conduct violent demonstration and vandalism against members of
judiciary and members of the bureaucracy. Well, one does not need to be
a political (or religious leader) to do that. Even a vagabond barbarian
like late Veerappan could do that with considerable ease and
competence.

What the communist leaders are doing is resorting to unconstitutional
and violent means to ebb the opposition. Vijayan’s statement is
regrettable. It is most unbecoming of a politician in a democracy. I
wonder what would be the future of the state with such as a person
holding top elected office.

One does not forget some things which one learned in childhood even
when one gets to be an old man. One such, never to be forgotten idiom,
is “Never garland a Monkey with exotic flowers.” There was a great hero
who is said to have been a Monkey whose mighty shoulder, every flower
would have loved to be on. Mr. Vijayan has physically evolved far from
being one in that category. However, the question is, has he done so
intellectually?

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