I had earlier written in these columns about the existence of multiple authorities in Meghalaya, all declaring their intention to protect and safeguard the interest of the indigenous people of the State, but with no clear cut definition of powers, thereby leading to a clash of interest in many instances and at times overlapping of powers ending up wasting a lot of the States’ precious resources. In this multiplicity of authorities, we read press reports time and again how some individuals and groups in connivance with different authorities at different levels are taking advantage of the situation and are trying to sell off thousands and thousands of acres of land to non indigenous groups and institutions.
The recent toppling drama in the KHADC and the GHADC has led to a state of further bewilderment in the minds of the general public with different press statements coming out from different authorities. With the emergence of another power centre in recent days, in the office of the Governor who is reportedly giving contradictory decisions to that of the State government , another authority is added to the already multiple authorities existing in our state. This has added to the confusion about who is right and who is not. Or is this a good time for interested parties to fish in troubled waters to keep the State in a perpetual state of confusion? In this scenario the common man is in a dilemma not knowing who is governing whom and which authority to listen to resulting in the breakdown in governance and opening the way for some sections of the population to take advantage to further their interests.
We learn that less of government is the best government, but since there is a lack of political will to decide which authorities are relevant, which are to be abolished , which are to be retained for their cultural value only and which institutions are to be redefined and strengthened, even after nearly 50 years of statehood, it is time for the general public to seriously introspect on the importance of a political reformation or whatever you call it, to retain only those authorities that can streamline the delivery of good governance and effective decision making in our state.
Michael N. Syiem,
Lynch mob mentality
This refers to the editorial, “Extra judicial killing avoidable” (ST, December 7, 2019). Spontaneous lynchings and premeditated fake encounters are the signatures of might-is-right machismo. They are the symptoms of people’s lack of faith in the rule of law, democracy, the Constitution and the spirit of justice. The people who support instant justice believe in violence and macho jungle rule where justice has been earmarked only for the mighty. These people do not hesitate to vote in favour of a rape accused. Indeed, many rape accused candidates get elected as MPs and MLAs. The supporters of lynching and fake encounters never ever demand encounter justice for rape accused political leaders or celebrities or men from the creamy layer. On the contrary they even get garlanded for their prowess. As a matter of fact, they are not at all interested in women’s rights and gender justice.
Senior Supreme Court advocate Vrinda Grover got rape threats because she had condemned the alleged encounter killing of the four suspects in the rape and murder in Hyderabad. It helps us see the real cat that was hidden in the bag where the demand for mob trial for rape victims has been written over it in bold letters. This reminds us that mob rule always wants to use not only lynching but also rape and gang rape as weapons for delivering quick justice. Our civilisation will get back to the macho jungle rule where there is no place for women’s rights if we settle for kangaroo courts.
There is no doubt that we need more fast track courts and quick justice delivery system. Like police stations and hospitals, a 24 x 7 judiciary is essential as it is also an emergency service. Indeed, there is much to be done for judicial reforms without delay. But yet in no way can we give lynch mobs a chance to hijack the judiciary.
Legal system must respond swiftly
From time immemorial whenever there is victory over evil, celebrations and joyous jubilation follow. The same has been followed in the eruption of sudden exultation in the Cyberabad incident wherein the four predators of the heinous rape case have been shot dead in an “encounter.” Though the police say that the encounter as necessitated because the four accused rapists tried to harm the cops, many believe that it was a well scripted occurrence mainly to quench public outcry baying for the blood of the murderers as the incident had put the state machinery and the police department at stake. At present we find the people of the nation divided on two issues – whether instant killing of the rapists would reduce sexual assaults or should such cases be dealt in the legal order and those accused punished? The reason why there was immediate celebration after the rapists were shot dead show that the public are getting impatient and fed up in the way normal rape cases are dealt with-taking so many years for the final verdict to come and in many cases many offenders escaping scot free. The CJI has stated that justice can never be instant and that it loses its character when it becomes revenge. The CJI has also stated that the criminal justice system must reconsider it’s position and attitude towards the time it takes to dispose of a case. If the citizens of the nation are ensured that there will be a mechanism for quick disposal of such cases then shall the people and especially our women feel that they are safe. And this mechanism should happen at the earliest before people completely lose faith in the judicial system.
Much ado about CAB
I read with great interest the justification of Partha Pratim Mazumder in the article “Cab: A new Hallucination” (ST Dec 06, 19). I am disappointed that the writer did not or could not justify the exclusion of Muslims from the intended CAB, in his write-up. This could be perhaps because as an Indian, particularly a public servant (including a lawmaker) one cannot be discriminatory, when you are committed, under the oath, to uphold the Constitution. Amongst other things, an enacted law, in order to avoid frequent amendments, should be self-speaking, be able to answer all logical queries and be everlasting. In this respect I am yet to know from the propagators of the CAB as to what guarantee they have that citizenship granted to a non-Muslim under the purview of the intended CAB will not include the followers of Islam too subsequently? In such an eventuality, will the Indian Citizenship of such a convert or his descendants be abrogated? If so, by what law?