Sunday, August 05, 2007

A question of justice

Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt has emerged, for all the wrong reasons, as the poster boy for the Mumbai bomb blasts. Scores of others, the non-Bollywood type perpetrators of the crime, the ones you might have seen in Anurag Kashyap's Black Friday, have got death sentences and life imprisonments.

But some have chosen to look deeper into the issue, beyond the gloss and the mayhem:

Professor Amitava Kumar asks on his blog:

The verdicts have finally been delivered in the Bombay blasts case. Most of the guilty are in jail. But the bombings had been in response to the earlier riots, in which three times more people were killed. Why have those who were guilty of inciting violence and murder during the riots gone unpunished?

Vir Sanghvi writes on the Mumbai blast verdict in HT:

No Muslim family who lost everything in those riots received anything like justice, let alone compensation. The murderers, unrepentant to the end, were elected to high office and the policemen who facilitated the massacres were promoted. Official inquiries into the riots (such as the Srikrishna Report) were ignored. And then, after the blasts, TADA was used indiscriminately against honest and blameless Muslims.

So let’s not waste our time worrying about Indian Muslims and Al-Qaeda. Let’s stick to our own riots and our own terrorist reprisals. The Bombay blasts case shows that the bombers have been (fairly) punished. But the rioters still run free, and the victims of those massacres have found no justice.

Rather than be concerned about a few inept doctors and a couple of failed car bombs in a faraway country, let’s think about our own blasts and our own system of justice. And let’s pause to consider whether the next time a bomb goes off in Bombay we should blame Osama bin Laden or whether we should consider our own failure to provide justice to those whose families, homes and lives were destroyed in the Bombay riots.

No comments: