Secret Society! Nuremberg Trial or Public Enquiry?
Wed, 31 Oct, 2007 , 02:22 PM
The Sham and Slovenly Callous Committee (SSCP) of Eminent Persons is functioning like a Secret Civil Terrorist (Terrorist only against the Hindus!) Organization. Though it is called a public enquiry, no member of the public is allowed to watch the proceedings.
Some plain-clothed policemen subject every individual who wishes to speak (on appointment of course) to the Committee, to a rigorous cross-examination at the entry point itself. Incognito, yesterday I went inside the building where the Committee of Eminent Persons, with their total commitment to the ideology of sanctimonious and ‘criminally’ conceived planned humbug, was holding their sham court.
I saw a Shamiana outside where the members of the public are supposed to wait like famished people waiting in a remote gruel centre during times of famine. I saw a notice to the effect that ‘No member of the public should exceed the time limit of 10 minutes’.
It is clear from this that the Committee of Eminent Persons is treating their whole allotted work from the point of view of larger national interest, national consensus and national security on a very emotive issue which involves the religious feelings of more than 800 million Hindus in India with supreme Sonia-committed Hindu contempt and hatred which in terms of Karunanidhi’s classical Tamil only means ‘Raman Yenda Kalluriyil Poriyial Padithaar?’
Contrary to the public announcements that the Committee Procedures will focus on open public hearings, the deliberations are being conducted in a secretive settings. The common Hindus of India are asking as to who authorised the Chairman of this Committee to elevate himself to the level of the Chairman of a Military Tribunal.
The persons who have submitted petitions are NOT being given a specific date and time for the public hearing. During the hearing, only the petitioner is allowed inside without any journalists or lawyers being allowed to be present. The whole proceedings are designed to arbitrarily shut out fearless expression of views.
In my view, the whole orchestrated drama lacks transparency and has to be dismissed by the people of India as a patently unjust and unfair process, running counter to all known cannons of fair play, equity and natural justice. What is most shocking and shameful is that this Committee has shown supreme contempt to the written undertaking given to the Honourable Supreme Court by the counsel for the Union of India Gopal Subramanium on 14th September 2007.
In Transferred Case (Civil) No 25/2007 filed by Rama Gopalan and Transferred Case (Civil) No 26/2007 filed by Dr Subramanian Swamy, Gopal Subramanium, Additional Solicitor General of India, appearing on behalf of the Union government, made the following submission to the Supreme Court, while withdrawing a detailed affidavit which had been filed earlier by the Ministry of Culture on 10/11 September, 2007:
‘The said affidavit was based upon the instruction provided and material made available till then. The Central government has taken note of the wide-ranging public sentiment which has been expressed in respect of the decision of the Central government to proceed with… ‘The Central government has total respect for all religions, and Hinduism in particular, in the context of the present case.
The Central government is alive and conscious of religious sensibilities, including the unique, ancient and holy text of Ramayana. Having regard to public sentiments, and having regard to the fact that representations including additional material, are being brought to the attention of the Government since the filing of this affidavit, the Central government, without any reservation, in a spirit of inclusiveness and high democratic traditions, to consider a different point of view, withdraws the present affidavit, to re-examine the entire matter.
The government assures all concerned that all materials will be re-scrutinised with care and circumspection, including any alternative suggestion. The Central government is also keen that its decisions bind and bring the society together rather than cause any disruption in the religious and social psyche of one true India. The matter may be adjourned to enable the government to review the matter, the government seeks three months’ time for the purpose.’
This Sham Committee of Super Omnipotent, Super Omniscient and Super Omnipresent Eminences is duty bound to answer the following public questions:
a) What happened to the ‘spirit of inclusiveness’ promised by Government of India in the Honourable Supreme Court?
b) Who authorised the randomly pick, politically select and procedurally reject the public petitions with supreme contempt for the religious feelings of the Hindus of India?
c) Will the vile, vicious and wicked procedure of this Committee ‘bind and bring the society together rather than cause any disruption in the religious and social psyche of one true India’?
d) What is the reason for the desperate hurry shown by the Committee and what inspires them to adopt a Summary Procedure to dispose of all public petitions in a cavalierly callous manner with breakneck speed? If the answer is that they have been given three months time to complete their work, are they saying that they are observing only this part of Government of India’s commitment before the Honourable Supreme Court in letter and spirit and completely ignoring the other three paramount assurances both in letter and spirit?
I am only reminded of Nuremberg Trials held in 1945-46 when Nazi criminals were tried. I see no reason why should most of the public men who want to speak at length before the Committee be dismissed without a public hearing as Nazi criminals. I view this Committee as a ‘Secret Society’ with ‘Secret Agenda’ with ‘Secret Procedure’ and ‘Secret Processes’. What William Howard Taft (1857-1930), the American President from 1909 to 1913, said about ‘A Secret Society’ is completely applicable to this ‘Secret Society’: ‘There is nothing so despicable as a secret society that is based upon religious prejudice and that will attempt to defeat a man because of his religious beliefs. Such a society is like a cockroach—it thrives in the dark.
So do those who combine for such an end.’ J F Kennedy (1917-1963), another American President from 1961 to 1963, had this to say about such a ‘Secret Society’: ‘The very word ‘secrecy’ is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths, and to secret proceedings.’
William Orville Douglas (1898-1980) a US Supreme Court Associate Justice, declared: ‘The privacy and dignity of our citizens are being whittled away by sometimes imperceptible steps. Taken individually, each step may be of little consequence. But when viewed as a whole, there begins to emerge a society quite unlike any we have seen — a society in which government may intrude into the secret regions of a person’s life.’ The general public are of the view that this is precisely what the Committee of Eminences is attempting to do through its self-proclaimed procedures. They seem to think that this Committee is unapproachable, unbearable, and un-understandable to one and all excepting may be for T R Baalu and his men.
Paid and unscrupulous cowards (euphemism for public servants in India!) who treat their public work as commissioned ‘private enterprise’ of selected anti-national and anti-social political parties, cannot be expected to do public justice in a fearless manner, though they might appear to be dressed in the pomp and paraphernalia of high public authority! In the Indian context today, Eminent Persons and Eminent Cowards are interchangeable terms?!
I am of the view that this Committee is trying to suppress free speech, truth and reason. Truth and knowledge can function and flourish only if error on the part of Public Authorities may freely be exposed. And any public error will go unchallenged if a political party’s dogma, no matter how widely accepted or dearly held, may not be questioned.
Every man must be allowed to challenge it by speech or by pen, nor merely by silent thought. Thought, like other instincts, will atrophy unless formally exercised. If men cannot speak or write freely, they will soon cease to think freely. I endorse the view of the great American Judge Justice Brandeis (1856-1941): ‘The test of freedom of speech is readiness to allow it to men whose opinions seem to you wrong and even dangerous’.
Every citizen of India must value liberty both as an end and as a means. Every citizen must believe liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. Every citizen must believe that freedom to think as he wants it and to speak as he thinks are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth. This effort would be futile without free speech and open assembly discussion.
Only open public discussion will ordinarily uphold adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine. The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; fearless public discussion is a public duty. More than one billion people of India should unite together as one person and communicate this simple message to this Committee of Eminent Persons.
As an insignificant free lance journalist, I assert my right to the liberty of overstatement—both freedom of speech and more importantly freedom after speech. I shall conclude, therefore, with this final thundering overstatement. If journalism as a noble profession in India does indeed die, it will have deserved its fate.
A kind of sham journalism that remains stuck in the rut of a single pseudo-secular and anti-Hindu rhetorical mode, and that can offer nothing but cheaply emotional plangencies and hieratic posturing, ought to sink into a tombstone of a tongueless oblivion. Who knows? Something better may arise from the mafia of organized media silence.
But journalism’s current illness is not necessarily fatal. If we, as fearless journalists, have the stomach for real introspection about our art; and if we are willing to admit that some radically unpopular things have to be said publicly; and if we realize that we are not in this noble business just to make friends and promote our personal careers, then the art of journalism in India might still have a chance.