Justice is a ray of hope. It does not undo the crime, heal affliction, and it certainly does not bring back the dead. All it does is provide a sense of placidity to the suffering soul, and sometimes that is just enough to accept reality. However, moving forward with the growing criminal cases in India, this word has lost its true essence and has rather made way for injustice and biased judgements.
30th September 2020 witnessed the horrors of injustice, not like it was not there at all, but the rawness of the acts made it fairly incredulous. Hathras gang-rape victim, who was raped on 14th September and who succumbed to her injuries on 30th September was burned in the dead of night by the police officials of Uttar Pradesh. The entire cremation process took place against the will of the family as well as in their absence. Adding to the implausibility, the family members of the victim were locked up in their houses and were not allowed to meet their daughter for the very last time. Contemplating the situation in which the police took this step, one would wonder their audacity to go against the family and perform the cremation ceremony. But, in a country where casteism is not latent and openly operative, it doesn’t come as a surprise. The victim was a Dalit girl, and the condition of Dalits in India is bleaker than stray animals. She was raped by four upper-caste men, who had a history of harassing her family based on their caste. The discreet cremation of the body by the police has left many questioning the rights of Dalits and the inhumane step taken by the officials.
On the same day, a special CBI court in Lucknow acquitted the 32 accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case. The court stated that the demolition was not pre-planned and the ones charged like LK Advani, and Murli Manohar Joshi were just trying to stop the demolition from anti-social elements. With this verdict, justice died a slow death as the court wanted us to believe that there was no Rath Yatra organised by LK Advani, no incendiary remarks and no massacres that followed the Rath Yatra. Documented pieces of evidence over the years have shown the bold confessions of the Kar Sevaks which clearly contradicts the statement issued by the court. With the recent arrests of activists and Muslim scholars in the Delhi riots investigation, the court created a paradox for itself where it stated that these individuals provoked violence through their speeches. On the other hand, it gave a free hand to the accused in the Babri Masjid demolition, citing that mere provocation through speech can not account for arrests.
One day, two episodes and two different sentiments, yet similar annihilation by the upper castes and the majority. Oppression of the Dalits has been an integral part of the caste system of India and has prevailed since time immemorial. The forms and the ways vary but they stoop down to levels beyond imagination. Hard to believe is the fact that we are still far from getting rid of this treacherous custom. With promises of making the country a superpower by 2020, the government is still struggling to muster out the evils of casteism, communalism or dangers to women. Adding to the misery, it is well promoting these evils by protecting the perpetrators and keeping them in their offices.
With these two incidents occurring on the same day, justice lost its effectiveness and unbiasedness. It became apparent that justice can be served solely to the privileged, which in this country constitute the upper caste and the majority.
Hadiqua Jabeen is a student studying Biotechnology at Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited By: Maryam Ahmed
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.