On Justice Saldhana’s Independent Probe

via Dr Mrs Hilda Raja published on March 5, 2011

Justice Saldanha’s report reads like a political party’s demands. It is far from an unbiased Independent  report.

To call this an independent Tribunal Enquiry is far from what it reveals. On the basis of this report, Catholic Secular Forum (CSF) and other NGOs have called for action by the Union government.

The CSF is a misnomer. How can ‘Catholic’ be secular? Can we call the Indian Muslim League ‘the Indian Muslim secular League? The moment one tags an institution/organization with a religion it identifies its allegiance with the religion it has identified.
I wonder how ‘independent was the People Tribunal Enquiry. Justice Michael Saldanha claims to have visited 400 places and examined 3000 witness/victims. Why had Justice and the CSF not brought these witnesses to the notice of Justice Somasekharan?  Was he showed these victims and evidences? Did the Forum and the NGOs follow critically Justice Somashkaran’s probe and appear before him-place their objections and ‘crucial and critical evidences?

Just going through the ‘Highlights and Conclusions’ of Justice Saldhana one gets the feel that it is not only biased but sweeping and far fetched.

For example he accuses that the Hindutva brigade was behind the violence and that the CM and the Home Minister implicitly and explicitly abetted the Hindutva criminals.

Justice Saldanha should know that unless criminality is proved the allegations of ‘criminals’ is unjust and far from justice. To smugly point at the Chief Minister and the Home Minister as implicitly and explicitly abetting Hindu criminals questions the fairness of Justice Saldhana in his very approach. He should then have cited the ‘implicit and explicit evidences at least annexed these to his Independent enquiry.May be he has but when one Highlights areas these must be highlighted and I found none.

Next he cites the ‘brute force of armed police, State administration and lower judiciary was used against the hapless Christians’. This again calls for concrete proof. Brute force adjective is used in a sweeping manner for the police, administration judiciary et al. The result of this ‘brute force’ should have resulted in the death of hundreds, and brutalization of the hapless Christians. I suppose Justice Saldhana has counted the dead, enumerated the crippled and those who suffered injuries and other violations from this ‘brute force”. This is not highlighted again.

How the lower judiciary used ‘brute’ forced I am not able to gauge.
He then states that ‘religious violence’ was preplanned and executed with great precision for maximum impact and the persecution continued for three years. Reading the media which is already biased against Yeddyurappa one did not get such an impression. Again sweeping statements with no concrete evidence-at least a few instances could have been narrated. How this persecution for three years continued and to what effect? I found that Christian numbers have been growing-they have been able to worship without any hindrance and their institutions have been running smoothly. My friends and relatives quite a few are all harmoniously and happily living in Karnataka and do not report of any anarchy and fear. Is this the picture of a three year long persecution? Does the peace that prevailed in Karnataka reveal the ‘brute’ force, the pre-planned violence, the precision with which it was executed etc ? What was the impact which such precision and planning wrought ? May be you have information of the pre-plan- a blue print of the plan but do not want to make it public. Then your whole Independent Enquiry crumbles.

Justice Saldhana goes on to point at the ‘flagrant disregard to rule of law and an atmosphere of anarchy prevails. Justice Saldhana are you really honest and truthful? Was Karnataka embroiled in violence except a few stray cases-was there anarchy? These words are loosely used because people lived and continue to live peacefully. If there was anarchy why did we not have people fleeing the State? Justice Saldhana next mentions of non-state and extra constitutional players. May be he is bogged down by the extra constitution power centre at Delhi and the extra State players there. Hence these words have been thrown in liberally.

 The next Highlight brings in the Muslims community-‘its stereo-typing and profiled’, its subject to attacks and lumpens all the ‘minorities’ as living in fear.

Is this not an exaggeration? Justice Saldhana is  better informed than this writer and hence should remember that when one Muslim doctor(Haneef) was harassed in Australia our poor PM suffered from sleepless nights. Hence had the ‘minorities’ been harassed and forced to live in fear will our PM and the extra constitutional power centre revolving round Mrs Sonia Gandhi just sit back and watch?

 To come to the demands made by the CSF over the Justice Saldanha report

Justice Somasekhara needs to withdraw comments regarding conversion. Why should he when it is true? Except the Catholics who do not indulge in whole sale conversion business the other Evangelical churches business is nothing but conversion-adding numbers.

The Catholic Secular Forum wants to ask permission from the Governor to prosecute the CM and the Home Minister. The Governor will be too glad because his one motive is to unsaddle the Yeddyurappa government and that was why he was made the Governor of Karnataka. So the CSF has a strong ally in the Governor. But what made no sense is the statement that these two politicians must be debarred from entering Europe, America and Western nations for abetting hate crimes against fellow citizens and religious minorities.

This calls for special focus. Why has the CSF rushed to extra-territorial boundaries? Do these countries belong to the Indian Christians? Or are the Indian Christians’ loyalties anchored there? Who are they to seek to debar these two politicians? And after all the European countries and America are not heavens and I do not think Yeddyurappa and Dr Acharya are very keen to visit these countries. What do they gain and what do they lose. But what is revealing is how the CSF binds itself and allies with these countries. It will not be irrelevant to bring to the notice of readers and Justice Saldahan and the CSF that more than 3000 Sikhs were brutally butchered by the Congress leaders-three Congress leaders have been named by the Courts-the Bhopal gas disaster the biggest devastating industrial disaster globally found 13000 dead, maimed, crippled and diseased. The late Congress Arjun Singh was the Chief Minister at the State and Rajiv Gandhi the PM at the Centre,.Yet these two conspired and Warren Anderson was given a royal safe exit. What happened in Karnataka is it greater than these two human genocides? Did the Christians cry and wail and shun politicians who failed in their duty to bring to justice those responsible for these two massive human tragedies? Yes they only have the Gujarat riots forgetting the 59 roasted and burned to death and then again in Gujarat the human loss was just a fraction of the earlier two mentioned tragedies.

One of the demands mentions that dereliction of duty in Karnataka must be treated as ‘rarest of the rare crime. What strange logic. Justice Saldhana would know what is rarest of the rare crime.

Yet another demand calls for punishing police and government officers who were indicted. Then the same justice demands that starting from Manmohan Singh and Mrs Sonia Gandhi the whole of the UPA must be punished for what we see-scams raining all round-but for the Opposition hue and cry the looters were allowed to fleece the country and thereby hit at the poor. Punish these first. As the Supreme Court stated in the CVC case indicted persons cannot be called upon to probe and punish others.

The fourth demand shows complete ignorance of those who drafted it All Hindu temples’ monies go to the government but not a pie of the Christian churches offerings, donations; foreign funds go to the State government. Hence all Sammelans and Hindu religious functions must be from public funds because their funds are grabbed by the government. The Hindu Religious Endowment Boards in each State controls the temples and its finances. I am surprised that the CSF did not find this out till date. Lets us be fair and let all the monies of the churches be given to the State and then all the festivals of the churches can be celebrated with the government money. You cannot eat the cake and have it too. One should realize the injustice and bias-one religion is controlled by the State and Christian religion has a free run.

Why are the minorities considering themselves as a different species? Are they not all Indians? So best would be to shed the ‘minority’ tag and phobia from which they suffer. Karnataka has been a State when Hindus and Christians all lived in peace and harmony-it is so today too except for stray instances. Let us not blow up these- when one looks at the world situation of unrest. It is the politicians for their vote bank purposes have divided the communities into minority and majority into caste and creed. Let us pull down these ghettos-for all are one nation.


Finally the suggestion that the CSF intents to take up the cases with the Karnataka High Court and the Supreme Court is very sensible and wise. But make sure that the court verdicts are accepted and not lend itself to other Independent and not so independent probes on religious lines.

PS:-The Catholics are being persecuted in NAGALAND. There is large scale human rights violations perpetrated by the Baptists. In States like Andhra Pradesh, Orissa,Tamilnadu   Evangelical churches are out persecuting the Catholics and poaching among its ‘flock’ I hope Justice Saldhana and the Catholic Secular Forum are aware of this and would recommend the Centre Government to  probes these Christian churches and their anti Catholic activities. The Catholic Bishops Conference of India could take the issue to Vatican and internationalize it.


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