He was bruised and battered. He was roughed up and brutally assaulted at his own office in the Supreme Court compound by three young men. Some defended, while some condemned the attack. But is that all?
Well, I’m talking about the infamous and vicious attack on the social activist and senior Supreme Court lawyer Mr. Prashant Bhushan. The same man, who shared the dias with Mr. Anna Hazare for 12 days in a row at Ram Lila Maidan, New Delhi. The same citizen, who was round-the clock engaged in conversations with our respected politicians to reach some conclusions on Lokpal Bill. A noted civil liberties lawyer, who has each clause and all laws associated with the bill at the back of his hand. A lawyer of high repute famous for having worked on more than 500 public interest litigations (PIL) in a career span of 15 years. An eminent civil society member popularly known as ‘2G’s Dabangg man’ in the social circles.
Labeled as a synonym with fear for corrupt judges, politicians, bureaucrats and now corporate Big Daddies by a well-heeled Supreme Court lawyer sometime back is now being seen upon as a Traitor.
Prashant Bhushan made an infamous Kashmir referendum comment. He not only advocated plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, but also suggested the removal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from the Kashmir Valley.
For those of you my friends, who don’t understand what plebiscite means. It’s a way to attain a popular mandate for a specific issue and intermediary political parties can be bypassed.
I’ve been following Bhushan’s different cases on TV from Niira Radia tapes & Narmada Bachao Andolan to the contempt of court case against Arundhati Roy and the Right to Information Act.
Though I’ve been his great fan for the incredible eloquence in each statement he makes, I personally oppose Bhushan’s this statement in particular. It ignites anger in me. Kashmir was, is and will always be an inseparable part of India. The bravados of Indian army are toiling hard day and night to safeguard our motherland from the terror and military attacks from our hostile neighbor, which is always in a look out to snatch Kashmir, and devastate our soil.
Mr. Prashant Bhushan is certainly answerable to the entire nation for having made such a remark, not only to Anna Hazaare or Team Anna for that matter.
Having said that, under no circumstances can I defend such a brutal physical attack on Mr. Bhushan, while he was in the midst of a TV interview. Such violent outburst and rowdy behavior raises many questions on the most famous constitutional phrase that we use—’The largest democracy in the World’ and many other significant issues; one of them being insensitivity of the media people in that room.
Some ‘self-proclaimed’ patriots entered the chamber, thrashed Bhushan and no one stopped them. Instead, each kick, each slap got recorded by the camera men. For what? TRPs. A determinant of the incentives of the media personnel, appraisals for the stories covered.
As if this was not enough, TV channels got one more story to catch as many eye balls possible. ‘We’re the first ones to have telecasted this story on our channel’—race to grab this crown began.
Post that, another league of anti-Bhushan crusaders get enough meat to feed on. Some have even gone to the extent of saying that he should have been beaten with ‘Chappals’. These are the same people, who claim to be so possessive about Kashmir but at the same time seriously oppose the entry of people from other states of India into their own state. What a double-edged sword they possess?
Politicians have got another issue to raise their voice on and in its disguise have got a golden opportunity to settle their own selfish political interests.
One more serious angle attracts my attention and urges me to think—How could some nettlesome elements enter the compound of the apex court of our nation and then barge into the chamber of a senior lawyer and assault him without facing any hassles? What is our Security doing? Or is Delhi Police a mere puppet in the hands of the Central Government, that’s hell bent upon squashing any voice that rises against them?
I’m baffled. I’m perplexed. I’m forced to think about some aspects associated with my citizenship of this country. Do we really enjoy the ‘Right to Speech’? Is it really an absolute fundamental right?
Looking forward to your views, comments and insights on this burgeoning issue.