Saturday, December 29, 2012

Open Letter to the Supreme Court

Honorable Chief Justice,
The Supreme Court of India,
New Delhi

This letter is apropos Soni Sori, in whose private parts, Dantewada SP had inserted pebbles, and whose case is currently in your court. Her medical examination was conducted following the directive issued by you. The doctors confirmed her allegations, and along with the medical report, they also sent the three pebbles they extracted from her private parts.

Yesterday (Dec 2, 2011), even after you saw this shocking evidence with your own eyes, you have left this adivasi woman at the mercy of the Chhattisgarh authorities, and have ordered that she remain in the Chhattisgarh prison, and have given a month and a half to the Chhattisgarh Government to respond.

Sir, I have three daughters, and had someone done this to my daughters, I would not have given a minute and a half, let alone a month and a half to respond. And were Soni Sori your daughter, would you have given someone who had inserted pebbles in the private parts of your daughter 45 days to respond? And would you have asked him why he committed this shocking crime? Would you have really said that they could keep your daughter imprisoned for 45 days, after which they can explain why they committed this heinous act?

The goon who committed this unspeakable crime knows that you and the Supreme Court is there to protect him. That is the reason he can brazenly and without any worry commit such a heinous crime, and your order from yesterday has further shown, as if a proof was needed, that the Supreme Court will keep on protecting the powerful who commit these unspeakable crimes much the same way it protected the police forces of British India.

Sir, this court was established to protect the weak and the dispossessed such as this adivasi woman, not a powerful goon like the SP. This Court is the apex judicial body of this democratic country, and its first obligation is to protect the weakest. You should remember that women, adivasis, dalits, and crores of famished, undernourished, and starving people comprise the weakest section in this country, and every judgement of this Court should be geared towards making the lot of these wretched crores better. However after independence, all that these people have gotten from such an august body as yours is neglect. In marked and perverse contrast, you have provided protection to those who commit crimes against these indigents.

My father fought for the independence of this country. What kind of dreams did these lovers of freedom dream? Could they have ever imagined that after independence that the Supreme Court would protect those who commit atrocities on adivasi women?

From childhood, it has been drilled into us that this country is a democracy, and this means that it is by, of and for the crores of adivasis, crores of dalits, and crores of starving people. However all your judgments are always in the favor of those monsters who push these people into misery in the first place. Have you not seen women and little children lying on hot sand trying to protect their lands in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa.? Did you not see how the Abhay Sahoo, the fearless activist who protested against such grave injustice, was deftly picked up and thrown in prison by the Government, on the orders of corporate honchos?

Gompad massacre case, in which 16 adivasis were murdered by security forces, has been dragging on for the past 2 years with no resolution in sight. When I brought this case to the Court, a naxalite leader had challenged me that if I could get appropriate punishment for the policemen responsible for murdering these adivasis, he would give up his gun. But I lost this challenge! For daring to testify in the Court, the police abducted family members of these adivasis as punishment, and they are still under illegal police custody. That the guilty have not been punished is not a victory for the Government, it is a resounding victory for the naxalite leader who challenged me. How can I now with a straight face boast about this country's great democratic institutions and its impartial justice system to this naxalite leader? And how can I reasonably argue that he is wrong to take up arms?

Had this country been a dictatorship, we would have been satisfied, since the battle lines would then be clearly drawn, and we would have fought against the dictatorship, but we were told that our country is a democracy. However every institution, every legislator, every judiciary has conspired to work against the majority of the people, and for the minuscule few rich and powerful people of this country. It would be incongruous to call this farce a democracy, and we are not ready to tolerate this egregious farce even for a day.

Today, I take the vow that I will never again come to your Court to redress wrongs committed on an indigent. I will now go to the people and urge them to attack and destroy this farce of a democracy, so that foundations of a true democracy can be erected in its place.

If the reason you cannot deliver justice for this woman is because you think that the State will be angry, and that 'development' and 'progress' will stop, then think again. Just look back at history! History has no place for corrupt, incompetent, and ineffective judges. Who remembers the judges who condemned Socrates? Who remembers the judges who nailed Jesus to the Cross? Your unjust judgement will render Soni Sori immortal, and your name will be completely obliterated from the history books. However if you follow the true spirit of our Constitution, and deliver justice to this weak, solitary adivasi woman, then although the ruling elite may despise and denounce you, your worth will rise in your own eyes, and in the eyes of the majority of the people of this country.

I am not afraid that you may arrest me for writing this letter. Nor would I be sad, for then I would at least be able to face my two daughters, and tell them that I was not silent out of fear when atrocities were being committed against Soni Sori, and I did exactly what a father should do after his daughter has been humiliated and dishonored.

Himanshu Kumar