Monday, August 25, 2008

A God of Bad Laws

Manuwant Choudhary

India's Supreme Court is throwing up its hands in surrender too many times like todays editorial in the Times of India says how the Supreme Court in its latest order asked a man to continue living with his legally wedded wife with whom he has been separated for more than 16 years, saying its `Gods Will'.

Gods Will to suffer??

Surely, the Supreme Court isn't here to interpret the the will of the Supreme Lord but to interpret the laws and constitution of India.

Just a few months ago the Supreme Court in a case to remove encroachments from government housing in New Delhi announced `Even God cannot save India."

I recall interviewing Bihar's Building Construction minister Md. Taslimuddin some years ago in a similiar case and putting his hands on his head he had told me on camera, "Now only God can save Bihar."

Of course, if a minister says that its a huge embrassment for the government but when our Supreme Court says such things it should scare us.

But I guess nothing scares us anymore and I think thats the most scary part of living in India.

And the reason why nothing scares us not even our laws is because you can break the laws with impunity like another story in the inside pages of Times of India this time from Kerala says how a man in Kerala was about to get married to his girl freind when his former lover just appears carrying his baby and the matter is taken to the police but then the local elders intervene and there is a settlement.

The groom marries both his pregnant lover and his girlfriend.

This, although bigamy is a serious offence under the Indian Penal Code and could land the groom in prison for a year.

Its also because of bad laws that thousands of farmers are spending their days and nights protesting on an open highway at Singur..singing songs, eating kichhdi and occasionally raising slogans against West Bengal's communist government who took away their land and only source of livlihood because India does not have a fundamental right to property.
Even newspapers and TV channels believe manufacturing a Nano car is more important to Bengal than growing potatoes.

But the same newspapers also never ever opposed the nationalisation of industries in Bengal over decades that literally de-industrialised Bengal.

Its also because of bad laws that a liberal party cannot contest elections in India.

Whether its an unhappy marriage or a bad law, they both kill our souls and people just want to break free.

Like the other night as I channel surfed I caught a glimpse of a scene in a Hollywood film where a US prisoner arrested in Iraq was being tortured.

The Iraqi soldier soon gets tired of torturing the American and the American does not even utter a sigh.

He leaves his torture job to another Iraqi solidier and even he begins torturing the American, but the American just doesn't feel the pain.

So the Iraqi says, "It seems you have been through this kind of torture before."

The American replies, "Yes, worse, I have been married twice."

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