I read this amusing news from China yesterday-

BEIJING – Police officers contemplating cheating on promotion exams met their match this week in northwestern China — 18 serious-faced fifth-graders walking the beat.‘-

The local government website carried the news report.

‘The experiment, carried out by the Liangzhou Discipline Inspection Commission and Organization Department, was implemented after adult supervisors were found to allow some cheating during police exams to prevent officers’ embarrassment, according to the Web site.’

Cheating is very common in China, it seems, with the pressure to pass competitive exams being intense. Hence this novel idea of children as supervisors!

Then I thought, was this really the right way to go about curbing cheating? For one, the children would see adults cheating and some of them would perhaps think that it was acceptable.

And this idea appears to be very typical of a Communist regime– citizens informing on each other. If children think that this is alright, how much time before they start to inform against their friends and families also? And maybe not just about cheating? The mind boggles at this process of turning them into juvenile ‘spies’!

I am thankful that India is a Democracy– shortcomings notwithstanding!
And indeed Democracy is something worth preserving.

Which is why I am saddened to read about the legal drama regarding dropping the anti-terrorist provisions against the Malegaon Blasts accused.

The special court, hearing the 2008 Malegaon blast case, yesterday dropped provisions of the stringent anti-terror Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) slapped on the eleven accused.

The ATS had booked all the 11 on the grounds that Dhavade- one of the accused- was charged twice before ( a pre-requisite for invoking MCOCA). However, Dhavade was discharged in one of the cases a week ago. This leaves the ATS without a legal basis to invoke MCOCA for the eleven accused.
However, unable to digest this reality,ATS chief K.P.S. Raghuvanshi told The Hindu:

“We have obtained a stay of four weeks. We are going to challenge the order in the High Court.”

Despite resorting to methods not used on terror-accused in other cases, subjecting Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur to the controversial Narco-testing and brain-mapping tests which incidentally gave her a clean chit, the ATS does not think it worthwhile to actually solve the case.

Last November when the MCOCA was slapped on the Malegaon accused the then ATS Chief had declared that the investigation would be completed in 90 days.

Instead of bringing out evidence to prove the guilt of the accused, the ATS is just resorting to delay tactics and going to higher courts. If the High Court decides against the ATS it will no doubt approach the Supreme Court.

Our modern Munnabhai Gandhi can roam around free in spite of being convicted in the 1993 Mumbai Serial Bomb Blasts case, and is the toast of Page Three Society in Mumbai, ironically leading the Candle-march protests after the Mumbai terror attacks.

If the Malegaon Blasts accused are in fact guilty, they should be tried in a court of law, convicted and given whatever sentence the concerned court thinks fit.

Not incarcerated indefinitely without trial.

Why these double standards?

Seems that some people are more equal than others in our Great Indian Democracy!