De-Lurking on the Net

October 24, 2012

Justice in Democracies

There is an article in Washington Post discussing the slick running ofDrone Attacks across Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia. There may even be need to enlarge the area of operations soon as Al- Qaeda seem to be taking root in Northern Mali, Algeria and Arab Spring States. Well, the acceptance of targeted killing is justice denial but there is little doubt that when states are unruly (Somalia, Yemen) and unable, unwilling to act (Pakistan), the drone action gets justified. But will the taps ever stop now having gotten used to them. The worrying aspect is that the judgement of deciding the targets based upon the input may be not all that right always. Inputs may be tainted, compromised or from a biased informer trying to take revenge of his own enmity.

The justification for anything can be done as attack on Iraq comes to mind which was justified at the time being based on WMD presence. But, I will contrast this theme of justice denied (effectively to terrorists or damned as terrorists) to selective justice practiced in India where it came to light more prominently in last few weeks. Recently, one activist turned politician Mr Arvind Kesriwal started giving the evidences against all corrupt politicians in India irrespective of which party they belonged. First, Mr Kesriwal presented the case of making big money via the government connections against the son-in-law Mr Robert Vadra of the ruling party president Mrs Sonia Gandhi, who is proxy PM of India. The ruling party responded the only way it knows that is by keeping quiet and speaking at times as if some sin has been committed by dragging the relatives of the party post holders as they said they never bring the matters related to the relatives of opposition party in public domain however damning these may be. Next, Mr Kesriwal gave evidence against another ruling party functionary or so called Law Minister for defrauding the system systematically via a government funded NGO. Brazenly, the Law Minister, Mr Salman Khurshid refused to resign, the PM decided not to meet anyone or probe or say anything. Next Mr Kesriwal decided to present evidence against the opposition party president, Mr Gadkari.

While the ruling party dismissed all evidence against its own party holders or beneficiaries but then they decided to use the government departments to probe for cases against the opposition party president. So, this is another pattern of selective justice in so called democracy which can aptly be described sham-o-cracy, brazen-o-cracy or thug-o-cracy (Russian democracy seems more apt for that, though). So, in some ways democracies should not be talking of human values and equal justice which they often seem to champion while talking about China, Syria, Sudan, Zimbabwe etc. While, there seems no real way to nab terrorists and the only way left is to strike and eliminate them in their own currency of terror but should we continue to uphold these values for unforeseen period? It signifies the failure of reason, diplomacy, decency as the outbreak of drone wars between countries could lead to bigger catastrophes for mankind while partisan justice of India will lead to witch hunt following a regime change.

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