Chhattisgarh Court sentenced Dr. Binayak Sen life imprisonment over charges of sedition. Court linked Dr. Sen to Maoist movement and his active participation in their communications. After the judgment came out, there was great hue and cry nationwide. Not only our human rights organizations and intelligentsia thronged to condemn, criticize and question the verdict, but also international organizations.
We did not see such media hype to hang Afzal, who is sentenced to death by the Supreme Court. The savage beast is still in jail waiting for either natural death or for rescue and return in exchange with hijacked plane. No human rights organizations, national or international, coming forward in demand of punishment to such a gross violator of human rights.
A new trend of ‘media trial’ is evident in cases like Narendra Modi, Sohrabuddin, Ishrat Jahan, Swami Lakshmanand Saraswati in Kandhmal etc. Media is considered as fourth pillar of democracy. But it seems involved in carrying out a function which it is not supposed to. The judiciary is sufficient to try a person. Media is to recognize, report, track and trace. Instead media gives its own certificate of ‘innocence’ or ‘guilt’. Why media boasts its opinion on viewers? We very well know who handles the media and how. These handlers have made news agencies puppets in their hands. For this reason the media has forgotten its functions and instead it is focusing on their feeders to facilitate their fictions.
Also, the role of international organizations is worth taking note. The Amnesty International which presents itself as a champion and custodian of Human Rights, has condemned the verdict saying, “Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the Indian authorities to immediately drop all the charges against Dr Binayak Sen.” In international politics such institutions/organizations are called as ‘non-State actors’. But States keep a strong hold over these for fulfilling their own motives behind the curtain. Bharteey Court has given its verdict over serious charges of seditious activities. It relied on Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act, 2005, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 2004. Amnesty has nothing to do with that as it is internal matter of a nation concerning its security and sovereignty. So, the largest democracy and its judiciary will see to it. Amnesty has a great scope for its noble work in the ‘middle-east’ Asia, China, Korea, Afghanistan, Israel, Jordan, Australia etc. We should not yield to pressure tactics of these ‘non-State actors’. This depends on how strong Government we have and its willpower to keep such players at bay.
We have single integrated judicial system. This refers to hierarchy of Courts. Now a Court has given its verdict depending upon the facts and evidences brought before it. Aggrieved party may very well appeal to higher Court. They have that legal remedy available. Infact Dr. Sen’s mother has moved or resolved to move higher Court. She should be helped with proper aid and assistance to pursue the battle.
Therefore, taking extremes of ‘innocence’ or ‘guilt’ should be avoided. Let the judiciary work and let the truth prevail.