Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Kovan's arrest - I strongly protest

I strongly protest against the arrest and slapping of trumped up sedition and other bogus charges against the Tamil folk singer Kovan for criticizing Jayalalithaa in his song. Are we living in a democracy or dictatorship ? In a democracy people have a right to criticize politicians and the government.

In feudal times the king was supreme, and the people were his subjects, and so they had no right to criticize the king.
In a democracy, however, this relationship is reversed. Now the people are the masters, and all state authorities, whether President of India, Prime Minister, other Ministers, Chief Minister, Chief Justice of India and other Judges, bureaucrats, police, etc are nothing but servants of the people.

That being so, the people have a right to criticize the state authorities, because surely the master has a right to criticize his servant if he thinks the servant is not working properly.

Consequently Kovan had every right to criticize Jayalalithaa.

I had thought that Jayalalithaa had learnt her lesson, and had mellowed down, but now it seems otherwise. She still seems to have dictatorial tendencies.

As regards the police officers who ordered the arrest of Kovan, and the policemen who carried out the order, they must all be put up on trial, and given harsh punishment. They must not be allowed to take the plea that they were only carrying out orders of Jayalalithaa.

At the Nuremburg Trials after the Second World War, the Nazi War Criminals took the plea that 'orders are orders ' ( i.e. they were only carrying out orders of their political master Hitler ), but this plea was rejected and they were hanged.

This article appeared in Justice Katju's blog. Posted here with his permission. Follow him on twitter here