Documentary on 2002
A media house with considerable credibility and which enjoys a viewership that runs into millions now has a documentary on the subject of one of the most terrible riots the nation has witnessed. Many of today’s youth were not even born at the time of the riots and all information they have now is based on opinions. Despite the higher judiciary upholding the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) clean chit to the then Gujarat Chief Minister, today’s tech-savvy youth are bound to make attempts to gain access to the content. I wish the government counters the “propaganda narrative” of the BBC’s documentary with counter facts and evidence rather than imposing an outright ban. Attempts need to be made to foster people’s trust in each other and enable healing after deep trauma.
While the knee-jerk reaction of the government in banning the said documentary may appear excessive, one is at a loss to understand how the BBC arrogates itself the moral high ground and comments on other countries’ affairs especially after the British have the blood of millions on their hands. Right from Jallianwala Bagh to Churchill diverting food grains to Europe, thereby causing the Great Bengal famine, the list is long and horrific. As for its claim on fair play, I have yet to see a western reporter report from the Russian side of the border on the Ukraine war.
Minister on judges
All of us may be on the same page with Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju when he said that the judges did not have to contest elections (Inside pages, January 24). At the same time, one hopes that the Minister will agree that as far as the elected representatives are concerned, victory in the elections does not entitle them to (have) a ‘blank cheque’. If the judges are being judged by people, so too are the politicians. Let us make things abundantly clear. It all boils down to the plain fact that the judiciary is not accountable to the executive or politicians, but is there to uphold the rule of the law and ensure justice. It is time the Centre stops sitting on the recommendations for judicial appointments, and also sheds its intransigence and the illusion that it is the lord of all its surveys.
The Minister’s remarks are childish. Comparing judges with politicians is wrong. Any Tom, Dick, and Harry may become a politician, contest elections without any qualification, and become an MLA or an MP and Minister. But one cannot become a lawyer or a judge without the required qualifications. Judges do not face polls because there is no necessity. As for criticism, people do not spare even the courts if the judgment is found to be unfair, as in the case of Bilkis Bano. After being elected, we have seen politicians betraying the trust of those who voted for them by hopping from one party to the other for money and power. What the government wants in this case is to have the judiciary under its control.
Indian hockey fans have been left deeply disappointed (‘Sport’ page, “India tumbles out after a dramatic shootout against New Zealand”, January 23). The match against New Zealand was a case of ample goal-scoring opportunities for India but the forwards lacking the required finishing skills.