Impotence, apologies etc

Pritish Nandy ends his piece on “brave” Indian mobs with a, as I see it, rhetorical question-

What is it that makes perfectly normal people who have just about woken up in the morning suddenly get together and kill a person suspected of having committed a minor theft? They could simply recover the stolen property from him and give it back to the person it belongs to and then hand him over to the police. In both cases, they did neither. The mob dealt out merciless justice on the streets, in full public view. One victim died on the spot. The other’s teetering between life and death. The police intervened in neither case. And, till now, no one has been caught and punished.

So can we assume from these two incidents (and hundreds more that take place on the streets of India every day) that we, as a society, hate thieves? Rapists, murderers, bride burners are not lynched. Khap bosses are not lynched for ruthlessly killing their own kin when they marry without their consent. In fact they are lionised….

[…]

Only the poor in India are punished for theft. And the punishment they get is swift and brutal. Where do all these brave men in the flash crowds go when our netas and babus are caught stealing lakhs of crores? … Are we such lily-livered cowards that we punish only the weak and allow the big time thieves to enjoy their loot?

These brave people know their limits. Thrashing a pickpocket is safe—one does not have to worry about vendetta; do the same thing to a politician and he will feed your entrails to his dogs. This is one way of looking at it, as an exercise in self-preservation. The other way is to consider the individual in question to be a bully. After all, he does exhibit the characteristics of one. He will lick the feet of those above him in the hierarchy of power, and take out his anger on those below him.

In a case that irritates the hell out of me, the brave judges of the Bombay HC forced an old man from Pune to apologize to them

Tired of a ‘tareekh pe tareekh’ situation, a senior citizen from Pune couriered a Rs 20,000 cheque to the Bombay high court’s registry in exchange for his matter to be posted for an early hearing. Anil Tikotekar also sent a letter to the court and an email to the registry’s official address, offering the money.

An irate division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and Amjad Sayed on Friday called the letter “reckless” . Tikotekar apologized to the court and must now file an affidavit tendering the apology along with a request to withdraw the letter.

“Nobody has a right to address any letter to the judges in any manner, as it may…interfere with the administration of justice,” the judges observed.

Tikotekar offered Rs 20,000 for a 60-minute hearing before the judges. “Tomorrow if someone deposits Rs 1 crore, should we hear him for an entire day?” said an irked Justice Majmudar.

If the HC can’t resolve a civil case six years after it was filed, it should be the one doing the apologizing. “Interfere with the administration of justice?” What happened to justice delayed is justice denied?

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