Monday, May 13, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi



Society is harsh when it judges the judges

ALL humans have their shortcomings. Judges are human. They have theirs. Society is harsh when it judges others — especially judges. They are expected to be perfect. Because of our high expectations, even a minor lapse in their conduct becomes magnified and their real self gets out of focus.

The standard of judging honesty varies with the status of person under scrutiny. A milk man is good if he does not mix water to milk. It does not matter whether he beats his wife or cheats his brother. But judges are different. They have to decide cases without fear and favour but the public keeps a watchful eye even on other aspect of their lives which sometimes become visible in spite of high status and exclusiveness of position. Judges are supposed to be not only good but above suspicion also. Many of them avoid public contact as an abundant caution. Any supposed or real weakness will tarnish the whole of image even though it may not be strictly connected with duty. If status of a judge is used to get admission for his grandson in a public school, then it is considered abuse of his status. A judge should only have a judicial image and should not be known to public except through his judgements. An ideal judge is unpopular in the circle of his friends and relations who think him misfit in society.

The investigations of the case of Ravi Sidhu has highlighted the alleged, major or minor, objectionable conduct of some of the high court judges.


Temperamentally, I do not take serious notice of human failings in others. I think of many of my own and am likely to ignore the same in others. When crores of rupees were found in the lockers of Sidhu and his relations, I was only shocked but did not develop any hatred for him. I felt sorry for the system which permitted such evils for so long.

But when I read about the involvement of some of the hon’ble judges, my heart bleeded with hurt. I have spent over 42 years of my life in this high court and had considered myself a part of the system. I felt, as if, a part of myself has become ugly, rotten and painful. My faith in the impartiality and effectiveness of the system was shaken.

This beautiful building carried in it the aspirations of crores of people. The building is standing and expanding but the aspirations and faith of society are waning. Many feel that judiciary, in spite of many lapses, is still the only institution in which people still have faith and has a role to keep the country united.

What will happen to the nation if even this institution loses respect in public estimate. I shudder to venture a guess!

G.S. GREWAL, Chandigarh

Test dates clash

The dates of the entrance examinations — CET-2002 being conducted by Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar, and the all-India entrance examination for admission to the undergraduate programme and the award of national talent scholarship in agriculture and allied subjects other than veterinary science for academic session 2002-2003 being conducted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi — are clashing. Both examinations are scheduled for June 2.

The candidates who want to appear in both examinations are caught in a difficult situation.

RISHI, Chandigarh



God hates violence

Apropos of the quote “God hates violence” (“spiritual nuggets”, March 28), there is no doubt that all the prophets sent by Him preached love, mercy, justice and tolerance. No faith exhorts its followers to kill the votaries of another belief. Yet people indulge in sanguinary violence in the name of religion and God.

Recently, I read a verse: “Zameen pe baihta hai insaaniyyat ka khoon Asar/Aur aasmaan pe baitha hua khuda chup hai”.

This reminded me of Allama Iqbal’s couplet: “Bitha key arsh pe rakha hai too ney ai vaaiz/Khuda voh kya hai jo bandon sey ehtiraaz karey” (O’ Religious preacher! You have installed Him in the empyrean. What sort of God. He is who avoids the people?)

God’s joyous presence lies everywhere. He is self-existent and does not fear anybody. He has no need to live high up in the sky. Perhaps He is repenting his decision to create the world in which a large number of the human beings made as the most eminent of the created beings have turned ruthless minions of Satan instead of becoming His bona fide devotees and are perpetrating horrible massacres of innocent people.

Poet Abdul Hameed Adam has very nicely said: “Takhleeq-e-kaainaat key dilchasp jurm par/Hansta to ho ga aap bhi yazdaan kabhi kabhi (God must be laughing, now and then, on His pleasant fault of creating the universe).

About 4,000 innocent Sikhs were brutally killed in the national Capital alone in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. Instead of coming down heavily on the hoodlums, the late Rajiv Gandhi ruthlessly remarked that the earth shook when a big tree fell. Apparently, the colossal carnage was regarded as evidence of the slain prime minister’s status as that of a “big tree”. Had the culprits been punished condignly, such gruesome incidents would not have occurred again.

There is no doubt that the Godhra holocaust was heart-rending. But is there any justification in killing the innocent people, who had nothing to do with it? For the last more than one month members of a minority community are being killed in Gujarat and nothing concrete has been done to create a sense of security and confidence among the people.

The indifference of the state government is worse than that shown by the notoriously cruel emperor Nero, who played on his fiddle when Rome was burning. What is more painful is that the Chief Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, has insensitively remarked that the communal incidents continued in the state because of the statements in the Lok Sabha. “Andhey ko andherey mein bahot door ki soojhi”.

The Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr J.S. Verma, has strongly indicted the state government for its inability to prevent the gory developments. Alas! “Khuda ney un ko ata ki hai khaajagi ke jinhein/khabar nahin ravish-e-banda parvari kya hai” (God has put those on the helm of affairs, who do not know the manner of showing kindness to the people).

God’s mill grinds slow but sure. I want to remind the killers of Ameer Meenai’s verse, quoted by a judge in his judgement many decades ago: “Qareeb hai yaaro roz-a-mahshar chhupey ga kushton ka khoon kyoonkar/Jo chup rahey gi zubaan-e-khanjar lahoo pukaarey ga aasteen ka”(O’ Friends! The Day of Judgement is near. The blood of the slain people could not be hidden. If the tongue of the sword remains silent, victims’ blood on the slayers’ sleeves will cry for justice).


Soft corner for Mann?

It was amusing to read “Mann felicitates Tribune” (May 10). And why should not he praise you? You did not write anything against him when he flouted the ban on “jathas” to Pakistan. Your pen dried when he tried to communalise the Sekhon case. I feel that you have a soft corner for him.


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