Monday, April 27, 2015

Protect our Freedoms

Comedian Vir Das's show in New Delhi recently saw another glaring example of just how the police can legally harass the general public, as it was meant to do under the British-created Act that governs it today. There is no point is playing politics with this matter, because it is a fact that no party that has ever enjoyed any semblance of political power has made the police responsible to the people and not to their political masters, despite a Supreme Court order on the same.

In this instance, there are two issues. First is the fact that the police can harass anybody on the orders of the high and mighty. This is not what we won freedom from the British for, this is no different from the British colonialists who created terrorists in uniform. This is not the first time this has happened, but the power of social media has made it possible for us to know almost at the same time. Instead of defending civil liberties, the police trample on them.

And why not? After all, they are merely enforcing the law. Starting with the most shameful First Amendment, which virtually set the clock back on our hard-won freedoms, India now has a series of laws that are an insult to the very word democracy, laws that are harsher than those in some totalitarian states. While the Supreme Court struck down Sec. 66A of the IT Act, it did so only within the boundaries of the First Amendment, which remains the fountainhead of crimes against the people, sanctioned by the state, for expressing their opinions as human beings. Indeed, through such laws, the Republic has repeatedly trampled upon its people, hollowed it out from within.

The shameful case with Vir Das is not an exception, but the norm. Under the guise of legally upholding morality, the Republic has become hollow. Shame.

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