A very dangerous move is afoot. CPI leader A B Bardhan went to Home Minister with a 14-point memorandum to create fast-track courts to expedite trial of “innocent” Muslim youth accused of terror acts. Sushilkumar Shinde promised to look into it seriously.
“We will examine the demand,” Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde told PTI after a delegation of political leaders, MPs met him demanding justice to “innocent” Muslim youth accused in terror charges languishing in jails.
The Government is obviously all excited to bend over backwards in this playing with the vote bank.
But this one action can have the potential to destroy the very fabric of India. Why? First things first, the statement and the objective of this activity itself is hypocritical because saying “expediting cases of innocent Muslim youth” is to pronounce judgment at a very generic level without even going into the details of any of the individual cases!
Now, for specific reasons:
Competing system to second guess current Judicial System: Either the writ of the current courts is the law of the land, or not. There is no reason why another parallel system should start over ruling the decisions of current courts.
Special Religious Courts is suicidal for multi-religious society: It is bad enough that these courts are envisaged to over rule the decisions of current courts, to do so to favour just ONE religious community is to give them a special status versus others. This is a violation of separation of State and Religion. In such situations, other religious groups will also seek their own systems that favor them.
Muslims youth globally are profiled, because they are overwhelmingly undertake religious terrorism: In the last so many years, terrorist activities have been undertaken by Muslims primarily. I know it is fashionable to term the US Government’s attacks on Iraq and Pakistan as “terrorism” or say Hitler was a “Christian terrorist”, but that is plain nonsense. What US is doing is a form of colonial violence. Bad? Yes. Deplorable? Yes. Countries do it? Heck Yes! But such battles happen between nations all the time. It is when people living within a society as its part for reason of their ideology take it upon themselves to kill others, that it crosses a line.
From Professors to employees of Yahoo to all kinds of educated Muslims in India have been found to be involved in terrorist activities. There is no machine or mechanism to say who is a terrorist and who is not. Day in and day out, in the mosques and in the larger narrative within the community, the arguments of the Jehadis reverberate in different ways. “We are victims.. see Chechnya.. Kashmir.. etc” to the popularity of extremist ideologues like Dr. Zakir Naik amongst the middle class Muslims puts all the Muslims who do not openly come out and denounce and indeed work to dismantle such “societal structures” to be vulnerable to terrorism themselves.
For, even if they themselves may not ultimately indulge in terrorism, they are very clearly contributing to the eco-system that breeds, nurtures and rewards terrorism and Jehad.
In such a scenario, it is but likely that Muslims will be profiled. There is no other way. I wish it wasn’t the case, but when you make Zakir Naiks and Anjem Choudarys as celebrities or organizations like SIMI as kosher, then I am sorry, you are implicit in the move to profile you as widely as it is possible. Either you come out and unequivocally dismantle this infrastructure of hate and extremist minds or you suffer the consequences that society establishes to keep peace.
Yes, the Muslim Youth, many correctly, and many uncorrectly – who are holed up in the jails are Collateral Damage. But they are Collateral Damage for bolstering a society that accepts and celebrates people like Zakir Naik!
So, the society will err on the side of more caution. But, to go into any discussion on legal framework to deal with terrorism by first assuming that the current judicial system is stacked against a certain society is to belittle and treat this main democratic arm with utter contempt.
It will destroy not just the democracy, but Secularism and the national fabric itself.