SC judges need to change their Nehruvian mindset

Diffidence of the courts to take proactive action in the face of the dangers posed by backers of political Islam and other assorted enemies of the state is among the main reasons for the growing unrest which resulted in the recent Delhi riots. More than 40 lost their lives. The brutal murder of an Intelligence officer (Ankit Sharma) who was reportedly stabbed scores of times, and his body left to rot in a drain, had many crying out for cold revenge in the absence of any system for speedy justice.

Rather than attack the root of the problem situated at a site called Shaheen Bagh in south Delhi, the Delhi High Court ordered the police to register FIRs against three BJP leaders for delivering alleged hate speeches on the petition of an anti-Bharat activist and propagandist, Harsh Mander, who runs a sporadic movement called Karwaan-e-Mohabbat aimed at exposing “hate crimes” against minorities.

Mander’s connection with the global spread of the insidious Left-Liberal network has deep roots. The former IAS officer is chairman of the Human Rights Initiative Advisory Board which functions under the umbrella of the George Soros owned Open Society Foundations (OSF), the global grant making network with branches in 37 countries. Quite apart from having been a leading light in Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council during the UPA years, he has held a clutch of positions in several national bodies dealing with minority interests. But his real mission has been to sow seeds of disaffection within the body politic in the name of human rights. Dispersing and disparaging Hindu interests tops his agenda. He complements Soros, a self-declared enemy of nationalism who has officially set apart a billion dollars to fight the “menace”. Narendra Modi has been among the philanthropist’s main bugbears since coming to power.

The manner in which Mander managed to procure a directive against the BJP leaders on February 26 is a sad commentary on the functioning of the courts. The case was originally billed for hearing in the court of the chief justice. But the CJ was absent. Taking time by the forelock, Mander convinced the two-judge bench led by Justice S. Muralidhar to grant a midnight hearing on the very day his transfer to the Punjab and Haryana HC was notified. Why the tearing hurry? Because Mander knew he would get a favorable order from the judge in question, which he did.

The pseudo-secular brigade, predictably enough, raised a stink over Muralidhar’s transfer. Flung was the allegation, largely by imputation, that he was relocated because he was not pro-government. Though the Union Law Minister R S Prasad clarified that Muralidhar was one among the three judges whose transfer was initiated at the behest of the Supreme Court collegium on February 12 after procuring his consent in keeping with norms, the anti-Bharat lobby comprising Congress leaders, rogue NGO/human rights lobbyists continue to target the government. The fact that the notification for the transfer(s) was issued on February 26 was seen as a ground for suspicion.

Ideally, their lordships ought to have realized in their wisdom that the flash riots were the cumulative effect of the daily fires being lit from Shaheen Bagh for more than two months. The police should accordingly have been directed to ferret out the speeches delivered by the likes of jihadi Sharjeel Imam, AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, AIMIM sidekicks Waris Pathan and Akbaruddin Owaisi, and many others. Mander and his cohorts should have been ticked off for selectively targeting a triad of BJP leaders. This would have enhanced the credibility of the court.

The recent speeches delivered by some SC judges at various fora reveal the deeply ingrained Nehruvian mindsets completely at variance with the changed political realities. In one of his talks, Justice D Y Chandrachud, the most prominent standard bearer of liberalism on the bench, said the framers of the Constitution had rejected the idea of “Hindu or Muslim India, and plumbed for the Republic of India”.

Muslim India?

Pray, how could there have been a “Muslim India” when the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims was the very basis of Partition. Or was he hinting at the unstated demand for another “Jinnah wali azadi”? Quite obviously the judge included “Muslim” because he did not want to be seen singling out Hindus. Hammered away to saturation was the point that the Indian Constitution envisaged pluralism and no one individual or institution had the monopoly on the idea of India. Wish he was gently reminded that Bharat happened before India. It was the original “idea” of nationhood. Quite unlike Chandrachud J’s western notions on the “idea” of India which has been a burden on the nation’s conscience. The country may have a secular Constitution, but its identity is overwhelmingly Hindu. Any efforts, howsoever slow and subtle, to change its demography will not be taken lying down.

Also stressed in the same lecture was the importance of dissent being the “safety valve” of democracy. What sort of dissent? Dissent scaled up to jihadi onslaughts (“100 crore pe 15 crore bhari/azadi chhin kar rahenge” etc) and raising of Maoist slogans in varsities by backers of the infernal tukde-tukde gang calling for the break-up of the country. If this is the kind of dissent Justice Chandrachud champions, the Union Law ministry may need to seriously seek other options when the judge’s turn to sit in the CJI’s chair comes up in 2022.

Another inveterate preacher of western liberal doctrine, Justice Deepak Gupta, told a symposium on “Dissent and Democracy” that quelling dissidence could have serious repercussions on democracy. Cited were the examples of Gandhi, Marx, and surprise of surprises, the Islamic Prophet Mohammad. All three were credited for having vanquished “old thoughts”. Mind you, such pearls of wisdom fell from the lips of the right honorable judge even as rioting was in progress in the scabrous slums, gullies, and lanes of Jaffrabad, Maujpur-Babarpur, Gokulpuri and Shiv Vihar in North-east Delhi.

That the riots may have been the outcome of the government’s reluctance to crackdown on desh-drohi dissenters spread over eight continuous weeks is a possibility which never struck the learned judge. Implicit in the speechifying of Justices Chandrachud and Gupta is the message that the state ought to sit on its haunches even as poison spewing crowds of trouble makers block roads and highways and hold the city to ransom waving the tricolor accompanied by public readings of the amended Preamble.

Blame for the overdose of liberal views alien to the country’s indigenous culture and traditions in which undue weightage is given to individual rights over desh and dharma lies squarely with the collegium system. Bred under the British model, judges tend to propose the appointment of those with similar mindsets. The executive’s refusal to accept a name is seen as a threat to judicial independence, an attempt to infiltrate their turf. When was the last time anyone heard an SC judge quote a passage from the Ramayana or cite a shloka from the Gita?

Seldom before has the need for a National Judicial Appointments Commission been more necessary. Selection criteria must be put to a scanner in the interests of national security and preservation. Judges with a record of glossing over the clear and present dangers facing the polity have no place in the top court. Appointees to the US top court have to undergo a thorough grilling in the Senate.

Not for nothing is Justice Anil R Dave still remembered even four years after superannuation. Loss of the timeless guru-shishya parampara, he observed, was the main reason behind the growing violence and terror in people’s lives. Unforgettable was his utterance: “…Had I been the dictator of India, I would have introduced the Gita and Mahabharata in Class 1.” And to hell whether the remark was seen as unsecular.


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About the Author

Sudhir K Singh
Sudhir K Singh is an independent journalist who has worked in senior editorial positions in the Times Of India, Asian Age, Pioneer, and the Statesman. Also a sometime stage and film actor who has worked with iconic directors like Satyajit Ray and Tapan Sinha. He will be writing regularly for the Hindu Post as consulting editor.