Of Cabbages and Kings



Removing the Thorns


Sant Tukaram , a 17th century spiritual poet of the Varkari tradition in Maharashtra, declared

 “दया तिचे नाव भूतांचे पालन, आणिक निर्दालन कण्टकांचे|”

Compassion (दया) means protecting all creatures, sustaining them (भूतांचे पालन).

Continue reading “Removing the Thorns”

Childhood Lost

February 2012. Darya Ganj. Delhi.

Arya Anathalaya at Darya Ganj in central Delhi has become the epicentre of a massive controversy after an 11-year-old girl died following alleged sexual abuse at the orphanage.

According to a report by HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, a majority of children – both boys and girls — the NGO interviewed, said they were subjected to sexual harassment, ill-treatment, eve-teasing and rape.” Continue reading “Childhood Lost”

Friends, Indians, Countrymen

[Julius Caesar is assassinated by a group of conspirators led by his friend Brutus. Brutus justifies the killing, saying that Caesar had become too ambitious and had to be killed.

Mark Antony delivers a brilliantly sarcastic eulogy starting with the words-

‘Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.’ Continue reading “Friends, Indians, Countrymen”

The Resurrection of a ‘Murder Victim’

Inter-caste marriage ends in honour killing 

screamed the headlines in The Times Of India news report yesterday. 

The mutilated body of a 23-year-old youth, Ajit Saini, was found a week after the murder. The poor youth 

was brutally killed by the brother of the Jat girl he loved and claimed to have married.  Continue reading “The Resurrection of a ‘Murder Victim’”

Escaping Punishment For Rape

The Chief Justice of India, K G Balakrishnan, suggested on Sunday that, the state should  respect the decision of a rape victim if she decides to marry the rapist. 

 “Due regard must be given to their personal autonomy since in some cases victim may choose to marry the perpetrator or give birth to a child conceived through forced intercourse.”

Women’s rights activists do not agree. Continue reading “Escaping Punishment For Rape”

Renting Out Prisons


 Crime rates in the Netherlands have been declining in the past few years. In addition to creating a safer society, this has benefited the country in an unexpected way. With prison space to spare, the Netherlands is renting it out!

It  has agreed to admit 500 Belgian inmates into its prison in the southern Dutch city of Tilburg. Belgium will pay the Dutch 30 million euros $41.14 million (26.37 million pounds) a year for the favour under a three-year deal.

 The prison will be staffed by employees of both countries, while the Director will be Belgian. Continue reading “Renting Out Prisons”

Honour Killing

The Supreme Court gave a controversial ruling a couple of days ago, reducing the sentence in a case of murder, from death penalty to 25 years of imprisonment without any option of release for two accused, and to 20 years for a third.

“The case relates to the killing of one Prabhu
, a member of Ezhavar
caste of Kerala, who was hacked to death along with his father Krishnan Nochil,
brother Bijit, and a neighbour Abhyaraj, by the convicts who are Brahmins.

The accused were Dilip Tiwari and two others. Dilip’s sister had married Prabhu, disregarding her family’s opposition because he was of a so-called lower caste. This angered the accused and led to the murders. Prabhu’s sister and mother were also injured in the attack. Continue reading “Honour Killing”

Right to Maintenance After Break-Up of Bigamous Marriage

The recent judgement of the Bombay High Court awarding maintenance to petitioner, Suman, is of great importance.

Suman had married Nivrutti Satav in 1981. Suman alleged that Nivrutti ill-treated her, married another woman the next year, and ultimately threw her out of the house in 1991.

Continue reading “Right to Maintenance After Break-Up of Bigamous Marriage”

For Life Means for Five Years.

Life means just five years. At least in India, that is.

On the occasion of Independence Day on the 15th of this month, the Andhra Pradesh government wanted to release almost 1000 prisoners convicted of serious crimes and serving life sentences.

Prisoners become eligible to be released on remission after serving five years of their sentence.

Sateesh Galla, a Guntur-based advocate, filed a petition in the Supreme Court, challenging the AP Government’s order, ‘which he said was an insult to the feelings of the victims of the crimes’.

Though the Supreme Court Bench refused to stay the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to release 958 prisoners, Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy decided to wait until the Supreme Court takes a decision on the petition.

The last time the Andhra Pradesh Government had released prisoners on remission was in 2004. One of the prisoners released thus was Mujeeb Ahmed, who was sentenced to life in 1994 and released on special remission in 2004.

‘Mujeeb, who barged into the house of ASP Krishna Prasad and shot him and a security guard dead on November 29, 1992, was convicted for intending to wage war against the country’, and sentenced to life imprisonment.

‘After his release on August 15, 2004, under the special remission programme, Mujeeb went underground.’

 A dossier prepared by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and CID says he became an active member of the Hizbul-Mujahideen and ISI, and was part of the first terror cell in Andhra.

He was arrested again in December 2005. after he attempted to smuggle sophisticated arms from Kashmir to Hyderabad.

There was great opposition from the Police Department at the time of his release by the State government in 2004, a police official stated that ‘The Intelligence and CID should be consulted before releasing such persons, who are involved in anti-national activities’.

Yesterday, Mujib Ahmed was convicted by a Hyderabad court, on the charges of of sedition and collecting arms to wage war against the country. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Life imprisonment? In India that means five years, right?

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