Saturday, 23 March 2013

Remembering, Dr Lohia....

Remembering, Dr Lohia....
Dr Lohia was born in a village Akbarpur in Ambedkar Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh, to Hira Lal, a nationalist and Chanda,a teacher. He was born to Marwari Maheshwari family. His mother died when he was very young. Hira Lal, an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi, took his son along on a meeting with the Mahatma. This meeting deeply influenced Lohia and sustained him during trying circumstances and helped seed his thoughts, actions and love for swaraj. Lohia was so impressed by Gandhiji's spiritual power and radiant self-control that he pledged to follow the Mahatma's footsteps. He proved his allegiance to Gandhi, and more importantly to the movement as a whole, by joining a satyagraha march at the age of ten.
Lohia met Jawaharlal Nehru in 1921. Over the years they developed a close friendship. Lohia, however, never hesitated to censure Nehru on his political beliefs and openly expressed disagreement with Nehru on many key issues. Lohia organized a student protest in 1928 to protest the all-white Simon Commission which was to consider the possibility of granting India dominion status without requiring consultation of the Indian people.

Lohia attended the Banaras Hindu University to complete his intermediate course work after standing first in his school's matric examinations. In 1929, Lohia completed his B.A. from Calcutta University. He decided to attend Berlin University, Germany over all prestigious educational institutes in Britain to convey his dim view of British philosophy. He soon learned German and received financial assistance based on his outstanding academic performance.

While in Europe, Lohia attended the League of Nations assembly in Geneva. India was represented by the Maharaja of Bikaner, an ally of the British Raj. Lohia took exception to this and launched a protest then and there from the visitors gallery. He fired several letters to editors of newspapers and magazines to clarify the reasons for his protest. The whole incident made Lohia a recognized figure in India overnight. Lohia helped organize the Association of European Indians and became secretary of the club. The main focus of the organization was to preserve and expand Indian nationalism outside of India
Lohia wrote his PhD thesis paper on the topic of Salt Satyagraha, focusing on Gandhiji's socio-economic theory.

Lohia joined the Indian National Congress as soon as he returned to India. Lohia was attracted to socialism and helped lay the foundation of Congress Socialist Party, founded 1934, by writing many impressive articles on the feasibility of a socialist India, especially for its journal, the Congress Socialist. When elected to the All India Congress Committee in 1936, Lohia formed a foreign affairs department for the first time. Nehru appointed Lohia as the first secretary of the committee. During the two years that he served he helped define what would be India's foreign policy.
In the onset of the Second World War, Lohia saw an opportunity to collapse the British Raj in India. He made a series of caustic speeches urging Indians to boycott all government institutions. He was arrested on 24 May 1939, but released by authorities the very next day in fear of a youth uprising.

Soon after his release, Lohia wrote an article called "Satyagraha Now" in Gandhiji's newspaper, Harijan, on 1 June 1940. Within six days of the publication of the article, he was arrested and sentenced to two years of jail. During his sentencing the Magistrate said, "He (Lohia) is a top-class scholar, civilized gentleman, has liberal ideology and high moral character." In a meeting of theCongress Working Committee Gandhi said, "I cannot sit quiet as long as Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia is in prison. I do not yet know a person braver and simpler than him. He never propagated violence. Whatever he has done has increased his esteem and his honor." Lohia was mentally tortured and interrogated by his jailers. In December 1941, all the arrested Congress leaders, including Lohia, were released in a desperate attempt by the government to stabilize India internally.

He vigorously wrote articles to spread the message of toppling the British imperialist governments from countries in Asia and Africa. He also came up with a hypothetical blueprint for new Indian cities that could self-administer themselves so well that there would not be need for the police or army.

Gandhi and the Indian National Congress launched the Quit India movement in 1942. Prominent leaders, including Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru and Maulana Azad, were jailed. The "secondary cadre" stepped-up to the challenge to continue the struggle and to keep the flame for swaraj burning within the people's hearts. Leaders who were still free carried out their operations from underground. Lohia printed and distributed many posters, pamphlets and bulletins on the theme of "Do or Die" on his secret printing-press. Lohia, along with freedom fighter Usha Mehta, broadcast messages in Bombay from a secret radio station called Congress Radio for three months before detection, as a measure to give the disarrayed Indian population a sense of hope and spirit in absence of their leaders. He also edited Inquilab (Revolution), a Congress Party monthly along with Aruna Asaf Ali,Abdan Shaikh and Madiha took part in the Quit India Movement.

Lohia then went to Calcutta to revive the movement there. He changed his name to hide from the police who were closing in on him. Lohia fled to Nepal's dense jungles to evade the British. There he met, among other Nepalese revolutionaries, the Koirala brothers, who remained Lohia's allies for the rest of their lives.
Lohia was captured in May 1944, in Bombay. Lohia was taken to a notorious prison in Lahore, where it is alleged that he underwent extreme torture. His health was destroyed but even though he was never as fit his courage and willpower strengthened through the ordeal. Under Gandhiji's pressure, the Government released Lohia and his comrade Jayaprakash Narayan.

Following his release by the British at Gandhi's intervention, Lohia decided to vacation with a communist friend in Goa, Juliao Menezes12 & 3, author of the anti-Catholic and anti-Portuguese work "Contra Roma e além de Benares" ("Against Rome And Returning To Benares"), 1939 Contra Roma e além de Benares.
Juliao Menezes has admitted that his intention in inviting Lohia to Goa was to "disturb the peace in Goa" (Ben Antao: Dr. Juliao Menezes, A Glimpse).
Moreover, Jawaharlal Nehru publicly admitted that Goa was foreign territory where Indian politicians had no business ("Eighteen years ago a Congress Committee was started in Goa by Mr. Tristao Braganza Cunha and for some years he was a member of the All-India Congress Committee. Later under the constitution of the Congress such foreign committees were not affiliated" Maharashtra State Gazeteer).
Once there, despite being an outsider and a tourist, Lohia began to meddle in local political affairs, assisting the minuscule Goan Communist movement and fostering sedition. He decided to deliver a public speech but was arrested, briefly imprisoned, then expelled to British India.
Gandhi wrote to vehemently protest the Goan Government's actions, affirming Indian irredentism vis-a-vis Goa, stating that Goa would not be allowed to remain separate from India.
Gandhi said in response to the Goan Government's arrest & expulsion of Lohia:
"The little Portuguese settlement which merely exists on the sufferance of the British Government can ill afford to ape its bad manners. In free India, Goa cannot be allowed to exist as a separate entity in opposition to the laws of the free State. Without a shot being fired, the people of Goa will be able to claim and receive the rights of citizenship of the free State. The present Portuguese Government will no longer be able to rely upon the protection of British arms to isolate and keep under subjection the inhabitants of Goa against their will. I would venture to advise the Portuguese Government of Goa to recognize the signs of the times and come to honourable terms with the inhabitants, rather than function on any treaty that might exist between them and the British Government" (H, 30-6-1946, p. 208
Gandhi also said:
" is ridiculous... to write of Portugal as the Motherland of the Indians of Goa. Their mother country is as much India as is mine. Goa is outside British India, but it is within geographical India as a whole. And there is very little, if anything, in common between the Portuguese and the Indians in Goa." (H, 8-9-1946, p. 305.
Lohia attempted to re-enter Goa again on 28 September 1946 but was arrested at the Colem Railway Station at Colem, jailed with solitary confinement and then once again expelled with a ban on his re-entry for the next five years
When he began to prepare to enter Goa a third time, he desisted on the advice of Gandhi & Nehru.

In alliance with his socialist and communist friends in Nepal, Lohia then began a parallel movement to bring Nepal within the ambit of the Indian state, Indian and Congress politics. While his friends, the Koiralas and their Nepal Congress, remained personally popular, the masses of the Nepalese people reacted negatively and with hostility at this attempt to extend Indian irredentism against them, aggressively forcing Lohia on the backfoot and to precipately abandon the notion.

Lohia was in the front rank of the ‘Quit India’ struggle launched by the Congress party in 1942. Later, he met Jaya Prakish Narayan after JP, along with six other comrades fled from the Hazaribagh Jail, and both of them founded the Azad Dasta in Nepal. When the Government of Nepal arrested them, they were set free by their freedom fighter colleagues led by Suraj Narain Singh. After his arrest in India, he was kept in the infamous Lahore Jail and was tortured. But, his passion for freedom remained undimmed even after India achieved independence. He could not accept Portugal’s sovereignty on Goa, and visited the area in 1946 to strengthen the fight against the colonial rule.

As India's tryst with freedom neared, Hindu-Muslim strife increased. Lohia strongly opposed partitioning India in his speeches and writings. He appealed to communities in riot torn regions to stay united, ignore the violence surrounding them and stick to Gandhiji's ideals of non-violence. On 15 August 1947, as the rest of India's leadership gathered in Delhi for the handover of power, Lohia stayed by Gandhiji's side as he mourned the effects of Partition.

Lohia was one of the few members of the Congress Working Committee who opposed partition of the country in 1947. After partition, he was keen to promote the idea of a confederation of India and Pakistan. He was no less vexed on the communal tensions. He made a difference between the humanistic core of the Hindu religion and the narrow-minded use of it for creating communal tensions. He also wanted that a differentiation be made between foreign Muslim aggressors and the common Muslims who had nothing to do with those aggressions. These ideas are no less relevant today as they were during his lifeline.

Dr. Lohia favored Hindi as the official language of India, arguing
"The use of English is a hindrance to original thinking, progenitor of inferiority feelings and a gap between the educated and uneducated public. Come, let us unite to restore Hindi to its original glory."
Lohia decided to make the mass public realize the importance of economic robustness for the nation's future.
He encouraged public involvement in post-freedom reconstruction. He pressed people to construct canals, wells and roads voluntarily in their neighborhood. He volunteered himself to build a dam on river Paniyari which is standing till this day and is called "Lohia Sagar Dam." Lohia said "satyagraha without constructive work is like a sentence without a verb." He felt that public work would bring unity and a sense of awareness in the community. He also was instrumental in having 60 percent of the seats in the legislature reserved for minorities, lower classes, and women.

When he arrived in Parliament in 1963, the country had a one-party government through three general elections. Lohia shook things up. He had written a pamphlet, "25000 Rupees a Day", the amount spent on Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, an obscene sum in a country where the vast majority lived on 3 annas (less than one-quarter of a rupee) a day. Nehru demurred, saying that India's Planning Commission statistics showed that the daily average income was more like 15 annas (a little under a rupee) per day. Lohia demanded that this was an important issue, one that cried out for a special debate. The controversy, still remembered in India as the "Teen Anna Pandrah Anna (3 annas −15 annas)" controversy.Member after member gave up his time to Lohia as he built his case, demolishing the Planning Commission statistics as fanciful. Not that the Commission was attempting to mislead, but the reality was that a small number of rich people were pulling up the average to present a wholly unrealistic picture. At that time, Lohia's figure was true for over 70% of the population.
Unlike the Marxist theories which became fashionable in the third world in the 1950s and 1960s, Lohia recognized that caste, more than class, was the huge stumbling block to India's progress.It was Lohia's thesis that India had suffered reverses throughout her history because people had viewed themselves as members of a caste rather than citizens of a country.

Caste, as Lohia put it, was congealed class. Class was mobile caste. As such, the country was deprived of fresh ideas, because of the narrowness and stultification of thought at the top, which was composed mainly of the upper castes, Brahmins and Baniyas, and tight compartmentalization even there, the former dominant in the intellectual arena and the latter in the business. A proponent of affirmative action, he compared it to turning the earth to foster a better crop, urging the upper castes, as he put it, "to voluntarily serve as the soil for lower castes to flourish and grow", so that the country would profit from a broader spectrum of talent and ideas.

In Lohia's words, "Caste restricts opportunity. Restricted opportunity constricts ability. Constricted ability further restricts opportunity. Where caste prevails, opportunity and ability are restricted to ever-narrowing circles of the people".In his own party, the Samyukta (United) Socialist Party, Lohia promoted lower caste candidates both by giving electoral tickets and high party positions. Though he talked about caste incessantly, he was not a casteist—his aim was to make sure people voted for the Socialist party candidate, no matter what his or her caste. His point was that in order to make the country strong, everyone needed to have a stake in it. To eliminate caste, his aphoristic prescription was, "Roti and Beti", that is, people would have to break caste barriers to eat together (Roti) and be willing to give their girls in marriage to boys from other castes (Beti).

Aside from the procedural revolution of non-violent civil disobedience, bridging the rich-poor divide, the elimination of caste and the revolution against incursions of the big-machine, other revolutions in Lohia's list included tackling Man-Woman inequality, banishing inequality based on color, and that of preserving individual privacy against encroachment of the collective.

Many of Lohia's revolutions have advanced in India, some with greater degrees of success than others. In some instances the revolutions have led to perverse results which he would have found distasteful. However,Lohia was not one to shy away from either controversy or struggle. Lohia believed that a party grew by taking up causes. He was a strong believer in popular action. In India's parliamentary system, where elections could be called even before the term was over, he once said that "Live communities don't wait for five years (the term of the parliament)", meaning that a government which misruled should be thrown out by the people. He carried out this idea by moving the first no-confidence motion against the Nehru government, which had by then been in office for 16 years !

Lohia is often called a maverick socialist, a cliched but nevertheless apt description.He gave that impression not to be controversial, but because he was always evolving his thoughts, and like his mentor, Gandhi, did not hesitate to speak the truth as he saw it. He often surprised both supporters and opponents. He astounded everyone by calling for India to produce the bomb, after the Sino-Indian War of 1962.

In 1963, he propounded the strategy of Non-Congressism. He was of the opinion that in the past three general elections the Congress won with a thumping majority and there was a feeling among the masses that the Congress cannot be defeated and it has come to stay in power for ever. Lohia invited all the Opposition parties to field a single candidate against Congress nominees so that this illusion can be removed from the masses. This formula of Dr Lohia got huge success in the 1967 general elections and in nine States, the Congress party was defeated and Samyuktha Vidhayak Dal Governments were formed by the Opposition parties of that time
Lohia was a socialist and wanted to unite all the socialists in the world to form a potent platform. He was the General Secretary of Praja Socialist Party. He established the World Development Council and eventually the World Government to maintain peace in the world.
During his last few years, besides politics, he spent hours talking to thousands of young adults on topics ranging from Indian literature to politics and art.
Lohia, who was unmarried, died on 12 October 1967 in New Delhi. He left behind no property or bank balance.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

आतंकवाद और हमारी सरकार की इच्छा शक्ति....

आतंकवाद और हमारी सरकार की इच्छा शक्ति ...

आज पाकिस्तान की संसद ने समस्त अंतर्राष्ट्रीय क़ानून और परम्पराओं को धता बताते हुए एक अजीब प्रस्ताव पारित किया है . प्रस्ताव है निंदा का और प्रकरण है अफज़ल गुरु की फांसी का . यह भी मांग राखी गयी कि, अफज़ल का शव उस के परिजनों को दिया जाय . आप भी ये जानते हैं इस प्रस्ताव की न तो कोई वैधानिक मान्यता है , न ही इस से कुछ होने वाला है . लेकिन इस से एक बार और ये बात प्रमाणित हुयी कि भारत में आतंकवाद पाकिस्तान फैला रहा है . यह बात हम ही नहीं बल्कि दुनिया के सारे देश जानते हैं पर कहते नहीं , क्योंकि सबके अपने अपने स्वार्थ हैं .

हाल ही में अभी, सी आर पी एफ  के कैम्प पर  क्रिकेट खेलते बच्चों के साथ उन की आड़  में हमला हुआ और 5 जवानों की मृत्यु हो गयी . 2 आतंकवादी भी मारे गए .इस घटना से फिर वही सिलसिला  शुरू हो जाएगा, जो अमूमन ऐसी घटनाओं के बाद होने लगता है .लास्ट पोस्ट , शहीदों के परिजनों को मुआवजा , आश्रितों को सरकारी नौकरी, आतंकवाद के खिलाफ कुछ कड़े वाक्य ,और चीजें फिर वहीं की वहीं . और अगर गलती से कोई निर्दोष पूछताछ के लिए उठाया गया तो ,मानवाधिकार वादियों की चख चख .. कुछ वाक्य भी शेयर स्टॉक की तरह होते लगे हैं इस कट और पेस्ट के युग में उन्हें बस वहीं चिपका दीजिये जैसे '' आतंकी हमला बर्दाश्त नहीं ,'' '' हम चुप नहीं बैठेंगे” , '' हमने चूडिया नहीं पहन रखी हैं ,'' आतंक का कोई रंग नहीं होता है '' , आतंकवाद एक विश्वव्यापी समस्या है .'' आदि-आदि. इन वक्तव्यों के बाद फिर सब कुछ सामान्य हो जाता है . जैसे कोई बेहद यथार्थवादी फिल्म, समाप्त हो गयी हो और हम परदे की आभासी दुनिया से निकल कर फिर पॉप कोर्न और कॉफी की दुनिया में आ गए हैं .

दरअसल हमने आतंकवाद की समस्या को एक कैजुअल रूप में लिया है और इसके समाधान के लिए हमने जो उपाय किये उस पर तदर्थवाद हावी रहा है . ऐसा देश की अन्य समस्याओं के लिए भी हमारा यही रुख रहा है . चाहे पुलिस सुधार का मामला हो ,  जन सरोकार से जुडी योजनायें हों , विदेश निति का मामला हो , काले धन से जुडी समस्या हो  या भ्रष्टाचार के मामले हों , हम ने सिर्फ चालू रवैया  अपनाया है ,  आतंकवाद के मुद्दे पर तो कोई ठोस रणनीति बनी ही नहीं . कहीं राज्यों का स्वार्थ आड़े आ गया तो कहीं केन्द्रीय सरकार का .आतंकवाद को हमेशा एक धर्म विशेष से जोड़ कर देखने पर हमने यह समस्या तो हल नहीं की , नयी समस्याओं में और उलझ गए .सारे मामलो पर हम विचार करते रहे पर देश की सुरक्षा को हमने नेपथ्य में धकेल दिया . आतंकवाद भी पक्ष और विपक्ष में अखाड़े बाज़ी का एक खेल बन गया .

सरकार को आंतकी अपराधों को सामान्य हिंसा के अपराधों से अलग कर देखना होगा . हालांकि आई पी सी में इसे अलग से देखने का प्रावधान नहीं है .पर एक हत्या किसी व्यक्ति और किसी समाज के खिलाफ होती है , जब कि आतंकी हिंसा , देश की अस्मिता के विरुद्ध होती है यह निश्चित रूप से देश के विरुद्ध हमला है . चाहे 26/11 का मुंबई हमला हो, या कश्मीर में घटने वाली घटनाएं हों या समझौता एक्सप्रेस जैसी घटनाएं हों . या अक्सर होने वाले नक्सली हमले हों . यह सारी वारदातें देश को चुनौती देती हैं और उनका उद्देश्य देश को खोखला करना है .जब तक हम इस तरह के हमलों को गंभीरता से नहीं लेंगे हम इस का कोई निदान नहीं ढूंढ पायेंगे और सामान्य हिंसा के अपराधों की तरह इस से निपटते रहेंगे . इस से चीजें और बिगड़ेंगी , बनेंगी नहीं .

अमेरिका से हमें सीखना होगा जिस ने 9/11 के बाद कोई भी घटना अपने यहाँ नहीं होने दिया . आतंकवाद के प्रति उन की सोच और उस से निपटने के तरीके भी हमें अपनाना होगा .यह अब प्रमाणित है कि भारत में घटने वाली अधिकाँश  आतंकवादी घटनाओँ के तार सीमा पार से जुड़े होते हैं और पाकिस्तान की संसद ने अफज़ल के मामले में निंदा प्रस्ताव पारित कर इसे और पुख्ता कर दिया है . न सिर्फ इन घटनाओं के पीछे पाक का हाथ है, बल्कि पाक की यह रणनीति है कि , वह भारत को खोखला करे . और इस रणनीति पर अक्सर आई एस आई , और पाक सेना , अक्सर शोध भी करती रहती है .यह एक प्रकार का छद्म युद्ध है . हमें बचपन में पढ़ें ट्रॉय का घोड़ा , और वैशाली गणराज्य के पतन में वस्सकार की भूमिका की कथा नहीं भूलनी चाहिए .हम इस रणनीतिक चाल को बहुत ही कजुअल तरीके से ले रहे हैं .

हमारे सुरक्षा बल , किसी भी प्रकार के प्रत्यक्ष या परोक्ष युद्ध से निपटने में , मानसिक , शारीरिक , और रणनीतिक रूप से पूर्ण सक्षम हैं  इन घटनाओं का सुरक्षा बालों ने जवाब भी दिया है ..देह के दुश्मन भी इस तथ्य से भलीभांति परिचित हैं . लेकिन इन समस्याओं से निपटने में राजनितिक इच्छा शक्ति बहुत मायने रखती है .दुर्भाग्य से सरकार की सोच और इच्छा शक्ति उतनी दृढ नहीं दिखती है , जितनी होनी चाहिए .सरकार और विपक्ष दोनों ही इन घटनाओं से चिंतिंत तो दिखती हैं पर उस चिंता से निपटने का कोई उचित उपाय नहीं ढूंढ पा रहे हैं .. यह एक प्रकार का संशय है . और संशय विनाश को आमंत्रित करता है .. घरेलू मामलों में ढुलमुल रवैये से जो हानि होती है , उसे तो सहा जा सकता है , पर जहां देश की सुरक्षा , अस्मिता , और सार्वभौमिकता पर ही खतरा हो, वहाँ तो ढुलमुल रवैया आत्मघाती ही होगा .

सरकार को आतंकवाद के सवाल पर , एक ठोस निति बनानी चाहिए , और सुरक्षा बालों को एक स्पष्ट सन्देश देना चाहिए कि आतंकी हमला से उसी प्रकार निपटना होगा जैसा हम विदेशी हमलों से निपटते हैं .सुरक्षा बलों के जवान शहीद होने से डरते नहीं हैं लेकिन अनावश्यक शहीद होना कोई बुद्धिमानी नहीं है  जिस ने भी यह सेवा चुनी है वह आकस्मिक और असामायिक मृत्यु के लिए तैयार रहता है , देश के लिए जान देने की ज़रुरत उतनी नहीं है , जितनी उनकी जान लेने की है जो इसे तोड़ने की साज़िश कर रहे हैं .हमारी इच्छा शक्ति और आतंकवाद के विरुद्ध हमारा दृष्टिकोण कठोर तो हो ही , पर वह कठोर दिखे भी .

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Why the U.S. has not had an attack after 9/11 - The Hindu

Why the U.S. has not had an attack after 9/11 - The Hindu

A Poem... The Buddha's Last Instruction By Mary Oliver

A Poem...
The Buddha's Last Instruction
By Mary Oliver

"Make of yourself a light,"
said the Buddha,
before he died.
I think of this every morning
as the east begins
to tear off its many clouds
of darkness, to send up the first
signal -- a white fan
streaked with pink and violet,
even green.
An old man, he lay down
between two sala trees,
and he might have said anything,
knowing it was his final hour.
The light burns upward,
it thickens and settles over the fields.
Around him, the villagers gathered
and stretched forward to listen.
Even before the sun itself
hangs, disattached, in the blue air,
I am touched everywhere
by its ocean of yellow waves.
No doubt he thought of everything
that had happened in his difficult life.
And then I feel the sun itself
as it blazes over the hills,
like a million flowers on fire --
clearly I'm not needed,
yet I feel myself turning
into something of inexplicable value.
Slowly, beneath the branches,
he raised his head.
He looked into the faces of that frightened crowd.

राम सिंह की आत्म ह्त्या ??

राम सिंह की आत्म ह्त्या ??
दामिनी बलात्कार और ह्त्या के मामले में अभियुक्त राम सिंह ने तिहाड़ जेल दिल्ली में फांसी लगाकर आत्म ह्त्या कर ली . राम सिंह देश को दहला देने वाली इस जघन्य हयाकांड का एक अभियुक्त था और उस पर अभी मुक़दमा भी चल रहा था . उस का दोष अभी प्रमाणित नहीं हुआ था . इस घटना की अलग अलग तरह से व्यापक प्रतिक्रया हुयी . किसी ने इसे अपराध के प्रयाश्चित के तौर पर देखा , किसी ने क़ानून की नाकामी की और इंगित किया , किसी ने जेलों में व्याप्त भ्रष्टाचार को दोष दिया और राम सिंह के वकील और उस के घर वालों ने इसे हया की साज़िश मानी है . नियमानुसार जेलों में और पुलिस हिरासत में होने वाली ऐसी मौतों की मजिस्ट्रेटी जांच होती है  और इस घटना की भी हो रही है . जांच रिपोर्ट के आने तक किसी भी अनुमान की कल्पना करना और अंतिम निष्कर्ष  निकालना उचित नहीं होगा .

फिर भी जिस घटना के कारण इतना बड़ा स्वयं स्फूर्त आन्दोलन खडा हुआ हो  , और व्यापक जन दबाव को देखते हुए , एक नया क़ानून बनने जा रहा हो , से जुड़े एक अभियुक्त की इस प्रकार की मृत्यु पर चुप भी नहीं रहा जा सकता . जिन परिस्थितियों में राम सिंह की मृत्यु हुयी है , वह प्रथम दृष्टया जेल प्रशासन की लापरवाही की ओर इंगित करती है . अगर इसे आत्म हया भी मान लें तो जेल प्रशासन को कई सवालों के जवाब खोजने पड़ेंगे . जैसे रस्सी कैसे बनायी गयी और उसे खुद के लटकने योग्य कैसे बनाया गया .आदि आदि . कुछ लोग इसे अपराध बोध जनित कुंठा और मीडिया में लगातार इस मामले को उछाले जाने से होने वाले मानसिक त्रास को भी दोषी ठहरा रहे हैं .

मीडिया निश्चित रूप से अब समाचार पहुंचाने का ही माध्यम नहीं रहा है , बल्कि किसी भी घटना की यह खुद भी  विवेचना  करने लगता है , इस से एक पूर्वाग्रह से युक्त मानसिकता भी बन ने लगती है . अब जब कि समाचार चैनेल्स की संख्या निरंतर बढ़ रही है , तो एक प्रकार की स्पर्धात्मक विवेचना शुरू हो गयी है , और जल्द से जल्द निष्कर्ष निकालने की होड़ भी लग जाती है . सोशल मीडिया भी इस तरह का निष्कर्ष निकालने में भी पीछे नहीं रहता है . जब कि क़ानून के अनुसार मुक़दमे के विचारण में इस तरह की विवेचना और जंतर मंतर के आन्दोलन का  कोई भी प्रभाव प्रत्यक्षतः नहीं पड़ता है . वहाँ सिर्फ न्यायाधीश के समक्ष पेश हुए सबूतों पर ही फैसला सुनाया जाता है . लेकिन न्यायाधीश भी मनुष्य ही होते हैं , और इस संभावना से इनकार नहीं किया जा सकता है कि उन पर मीडिया विचारण का कोई असर पडा है कि नहीं . मीडिया को और हम सभी को , इस विचारण से बचना चाहिये और हमें भी टू मिनट्स नूडल्स के तर्ज़ पर तत्काल किसी निष्कर्ष पर नहीं  पहुंचना चाहिये . कोई तंत्र इसे नियंत्रित करे , इस से बेहतर है , हम खुद ही आत्म नियंत्रण करें . मीडिया भी और हम भी .

यह घटना कानून की कमजोरी नहीं है . क्यों कि इस घटना से चल रहे विचारण पर कोई भी प्रभाव नहीं पडेगा . लेकिन अन्य अभियुक्तों की भी सुरक्षा जेल प्रशासन को करनी चाहिए , इस अभियोग का समापन कानूनी रूप से हो न कि इस प्रकार की दुर्घटनाओं से .

Monday, 11 March 2013

A passion for justice... by.... Peter Ronald deSouza

A passion for justice...

by.... Peter Ronald deSouza 

What role do emotions play in a system of justice?
When I read Martha Nussbaum's article on the Afzal Guru hanging ('Fatal error', IE, February 28) stating that "for me, the telling point against the death penalty (apart from the concerns over implementation that I have raised) is that it encourages vindictive passions and in effect, enacts a type of mob justice. A system of justice should be above revenge; it should express a calm and balanced attitude towards wrongdoing", I was both clear about what she wanted to say, and uneasy. When I remembered the mass protests and public anger following the horrific gangrape in December 2012 in Delhi, which had produced the path-breaking Verma Committee Report on legal reform in cases of violence against women, I felt, even more, the need to unpack her statement, particularly the phrase "calm and balanced attitude towards wrongdoing". This feeling grew when, on the same day, I read of the death of Stephane Hessel, concentration camp survivor, resistance fighter, and author of Time for Outrage, which inspired the occupy movements, and who called on "younger generations to revive and carry forward the tradition of the Resistance and its ideas... take over, keep going, get angry!"
How does one reconcile a "calm and balanced attitude towards wrongdoing" with "keep going, get angry" in one's aspiration for justice? Are passions antithetical to justice? Is it possible to develop a calm and balanced attitude towards wrongdoing, especially in the aftermath of a horrible crime? What does a calm attitude entail, and does it mean that disgust, distress and other such human feelings that come into play when one is witness to the details of the crime must be exorcised? These are some of the questions that came flooding into my mind.
So let me here try and unpack her statement and offer some reflections for our public debate. There are three elements in the statement that must be discussed. The first is the observation that "vindictive passion enacts a type of mob justice", an outcome that is unacceptable since mob justice is inconsistent with the principles of fairness, impersonality, due process and evidence-based judgment. Rules made and judgments given on the basis of vindictive passions fail this test of justice. The implication here is that vindictive passions would not allow for due process and a fair hearing, since they would cloud the clear stream of reason required for the examination of the evidence. The desire for revenge, it is implied, would hasten the drive towards the conclusion before the work has been honestly done. This is an empirical claim requiring us to study how passion affects the process of rational deliberation, of how emotions obscure reason. Perhaps the keyword in Nussbaum's statement is "vindictive passion" and not "passion" alone. While passion may be necessary for justice, as was the case in Delhi in December, vindictive passion is opposed to justice.
The second element in her statement, that "a system of justice is above revenge", focuses on the desire for revenge, which is regarded as an emotion that clouds the working of a justice system since it exaggerates and distorts the calculus of evidence and argument that must be worked before a judgment is delivered or a law enacted. Revenge warps and disfigures justice. While this appears convincing, in that punishment must be awarded on the basis of rational arguments given, not on emotions held, it leaves the issue of retribution unattended. Is retributive justice excised of passion? Does it develop a system of justice that is completely above revenge? Is there not a trace of revenge — or rather, must there not be a trace of revenge in any system of retributive justice, the feeling that the crime, if it is ghastly, must be punished proportionate to its severity? Again the Delhi protests, fuelled by a desire for retribution, or the Arab Spring, come to mind. What, then, is the relationship between the anger on the streets, the desire for retribution and the justice system being called upon to respond to this anger? Is Nussbaum opposed only to revenge as an emotion and not to anger? Or does she recommend the excising of all emotions in a system of justice? Does she regard some emotions as necessary to building a system of justice, such as hope and compassion, as against others? And if so, why are some emotions consistent with a system of justice while others are not? And where does that leave The Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, from which we draw our moral lessons, where revenge and retribution are at the heart of the just outcome.
This brings me to the third element in her statement, "that a system of justice... should express a calm and balanced attitude towards wrongdoing". It is both straightforward and cryptic in what it says. While it invokes the principle of even-handedness, recommending calmness in the face of wrong-doing, it is not clear whether Nussbaum is favouring a disembodied and disembedded process of arriving at a judgment. What happens to the human sensibilities that would naturally come into play in such a situation? Should they have no presence in the decision process?
I suppose one way to respond to these questions is to distinguish between the process of arriving at a just decision and the decision itself. The process has two aspects, the procedural, where fairness and due process, as defined by a long and rich tradition of jurisprudence, is diligently maintained, and the personal, where emotions and passions jostle to influence the decision while reason and rationality struggle to assert themselves. In the ensuing turmoil, excess gets contained. Emotions and passions, even vindictive passions, have their play but they are not determining. Reason and rationality are not ab initio triumphant but need to struggle for supremacy in the face of emotional turbulence, both personal and social. Outrage foregrounds. Anger focuses, after which reason comes in attempting to reconcile the many registers of injustice that the indignation has brought to public attention. The great South African jurist Albie Sachs put this brilliantly when he wrote in his biography, The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law: "Every judgment I write is a lie... the falsehood lay not in the content of the judgment, which I sought to make as honest as possible, but in the discrepancy between the calm and apparently ordered way in which it read, and the intense and troubled jumping backwards and forwards that had actually taken place when it was being written". Nussbaum's statement, though calm, was based on a deep anxiety.
The writer is director of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. Views are personal

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A Poem.... तुम न जाने हो कहाँ .

तुम    जाने  हो  कहाँ .

आप  ही  मेहरबाँ  हुए ,
खफा  भी  हुए  आप  ही ,
इब्तेदा  भी  हुयी  आप  से ,
की  इन्तेहा  भी  आप  ने ,

उम्मीद  जगा  दी  थी ,
मौसम  बदल  गया  था ,
गुफ्तगू  भी  हुयी  हम  से ,
हाल --दिल  भी  हुआ  खूब ,

आया  एक  अजाब  सा ,
हिल  गए  राब्ते  सारे ,
जो    बनी  थी  अब  तक ,,
दरक  गयी  बुनियाद  वो  ,

खामोश  हम  खड़े  रहे ,
मिज़ाज - -मौसम  देखा  किये 
घुमड़  उट्ठे , सैकड़ों  सवाल ,
पा   सका  उनके  जवाब ,

हार  कर  मैं  बैठ  गया .
 घेर  लिया अँधेरे ने ,
अब   कहीं  आफताब .
और   कहीं  माहताब ,

अब    कोई  रौशनी  है ,
और    दर  है  कोई ,
नूर  की  एक  किरण  भी 
कहीं  दूर  दूर  तक  नहीं ,

क्या  खता  हुयी  हुज़ूर  ?
कब  ये  सिलसिला  हुआ  ?
मुझको  कुछ  पता  नहीं .
तुम  ने  कुछ  कहा  नहीं .

एक  अजीब  इज़तेराब  है ,
  चैन  है    होश  है ,
दिल  में  कुछ  कसक  सी  है ,
कैसे  मैं  बयान  करूँ.

तुम    जाने  हो  कहाँ ,
 ली  खबर,    दी  खबर ,
आह  यह  सारी   तोहमतें ,
उफ़  ये  सारे  इलज़ामात ,

कैसे  कहूं  अपनी  बात ,
कैसे  रखूँ  अपना  हक ,
कैसे  सुनाये  दास्ताँ ,
कैसे  पाऊँ  चैन  मैं .

तुम    जाने  हो  कहाँ 
तुम    जाने  हो  कहाँ .

Tum Na Jaane Ho Kahaan

Aap hii meharbaan huye,
Khafaa bhii huye aap hii,
Ibtedaa bhii huyii aap se,
Kii Intehaa bhii aap ne,

Ummeed jagaa dee thee,
Mausam badal gayaa thaa,
Guftagoo bhii huyee ham se,
Haal-e-dil bhii huaa khoob,
Tum Na Jaane Ho Kahaan..

Aayaa ek ajaab,
Hil gaye rishte saare,
Jo na banee thee ab tak,,
Darak gayee buniyaad,

Khaamosh ham khade rahe,
Mizaaj-e-mausam dekhaa kiye
Ghumad utthe, saikrdon sawaal,
Paa na sakaa raat bhar unke jawaab,

Haar kar main baitth gayaa.
Taareeqee ne gher liyaa,
Ab na kaheen aaftaab.
Aur na kaheen maahtaab,

Ab na koi roshni hai,
Aur na dar hai koi,
Noor kii ek kiran bhii
Kahiin door door tak nahiin,

Kyaa khataa huyi huzoor ?
Kab ye silsilaa huaa ?
Mujhko kuchh pataa naheen.
Tum ne kuchh kahaa naheen.

Ek azeeb izteraab hai,
Na chain hai na hosh hai,
Dil men kuchh kasak see hai,
Kaise main bayaan karoon.

Tum na jaane ho kahaan,
Na lee khabar na dee khabar,
Aah yeh saaree tohmaten,
Uff ye saare ilzaamaat,

Kaise kahoon apni baat,
kaise rakhoon apnaa haq,
kaise sunaaye daastan,
kaise paaoon chain main.

Tum na jaane ho kahaan
Tum na jaane ho kahaan.