Not judicious enough

via published on January 6, 2009

In a stern message to the BJD government of Orissa, the Supreme Court has observed that it could not allow the ‘persecution’ of ‘minorities’ in this ‘secular’ country. It has also asked the Naveen Patnaik government, which was elected democratically with an imposing majority, to quit if it could not protect the minorities. The Apex Court’s observation and rhetoric have come while it was hearing a petition filed by Archbishop of Cuttack Raphel Cheenath.


Supreme Court, like most public institutions in India now, has struck
to politically correct ideas on secularism in recent times. The
observations on Sabarimala pilgrimage, the questions on Rama Sethu, the remarks on dress code at Guruvayur Temple
and the statements on M F Hussain’s balsphemous paintings among many
others are classic examples for the ‘over activism’ of the judiciary.

But on many occasions, its observations seem lop-sided and even discriminatory. While expressing its concern over the alleged rape of a nun, it has remained silent on the murder of Swami
Lakshmananda Saraswathi. It was surprising to note the Supreme Court
saying that it had been flooded with queries from different countries
about the rape case and one can only wonder why should it bother about
such unwarranted queries ‘engineered’ by the local elements. Did the
Apex Court not receive queries from concerned citizens and
organisations on Swamiji’s murder? Does it mean to say that the foreign
countries have more locus standi than the Indian organisations?


How many times did the Supreme Court warn or condemn the Dravidian government of Tamilnadu, which wantonly denigrates the Hindu Gods,
Hindu culture and Hindu religion? How many times did the Supreme Court
question the ‘secular’ credentials of the Marxist government of Kerala,
which meddles with the temple affairs? How many times the Apex Court
has asked the central and state governments to protect the interests of
the majority community? It is a long time since it pronounced the
verdict for the execution of dreaded terrorist Afzal Guru in the
Parliament attack case, but, has it ever questioned the delay?  


Although the constitution of the HR & CE Department itself is against the Constitution,
the Supreme Court has never made an observation to that effect in the
last sixty years, despite hearing a number of cases pertaining to that.
As per the Freedom of Religion
enshrined in the Constitution, no ‘secular’ government has the right to
interfere in the religious affairs of a particular community, whether
it is majority or minority. Why the ‘freedom’ allowed to Churches and
Mosques have not been passed on to Temples?


Supreme Court has directed the centre long time back to adhere to the
Constitution with regards to the ‘Common Civil Code’, but so far the
successive governments have not adhered to its direction. Why can’t the
Supreme Court pressurise the central government and parliament to pass an ordinance for the same?


The Judiciary through the eyes of Law must view ‘Secularism
as ‘Equality’. It cannot differentiate between majority and minority
and it must also view all the governments with the same yardstick, for
the governments are democratically elected ‘by’ the people, ‘for’ the
people and ‘to’ the people. Selective secularism does not behove well
for the country.

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