The Indian democracy is said to be governed by the will of people. It’s not the entire truth. In reality, it’s governed by chosen contradictions. They make us sad, frustrated and gloomy. This time I would not enter into any sort of complicated analysis. Just presenting two news items side-by-side. That would be suffice to make Indians realize that not all is well with this country. The first news item is related with Saheed Capt. Amit Bhardwaj’s birth anniversary. The second news item is related with murder of a Deputy Superintendent of police, Zia ul Haq in Deoria, in Uttar Pradesh.
By means of contrast I wish to know are our soldiers sacrificing their lives for such rulers who appear to be no better than murderers? And secondly, do our citizens, which include judges and bureaucrats too, have no other option other than to live under shadow of such criminals posing as rulers? Anyway, RIP Kargil Saheed Capt. Amit Bhardwaj/Zia ul Haq. We shall always remain indebted to your glorious sacrifice. And for such rulers, it’s better that they get punished instead of making an attempt to define their worth.
Now the mother of all questions: If that’s the fate of high ranked police officials, how can the judiciary expect a common man to act as whistle blower? Any answers?
Capt. Amit Bhardwaj was leading the reinforcement column of 35 men when they were ambushed en route by Pakistani soldiers armed with light & medium weaponry. With the help of Havildar Rajbir Singh, he decided to divert the attention of the enemy & ordered his Second-in-Command to get the men out of the battle area. The two gallant men were killed, the others survived, though all were wounded. Capt. Bharadwaj saved nearly 30 of his men and killed more than 10 infiltrators, though he himself was hit twice fighting till the last breath. His body lay in deep valley of Himalayas, till it was retrieved on July 13, 1999. The bodies of Captain Bhardwaj and Havildar Singh 57 days later.
“I demand that the Chief Minister come here and resolve this issue. I demand Raja Bhaiya be subject to a police investigation, and the CBI should also intervene. If the CM does not come here I will not bury my husband. He will have to come or I will commit suicide…….He was under a lot of pressure. He was constantly being threatened and didn’t want to stay here. If justice is not served then I will go to Akhilesh Yadav’s house and kill myself,” ( Wife of murdered police officer)
And who is Raja Bhaiyya? A ruling Minister in UP’s present government against whom 48 criminal cases are pending.
“But this is not the first time that Raja Bhaiya is finding himself under scrutiny for death of a policeman. In 2007, DSP Ram Shiromani Pandey, the investigating officer in the POTA case against Raja Bhaiya, died in a road accident on the eve of his approaching the Allahabad high court seeking action against him. Questions were raised, but nothing could be proven and Raja Bhaiya remained as powerful as ever.”
Let me tender my apology, at the very onset, to enlightened readers, especially the female readers. I could have roped in a more reader-friendly title than such a shocking heading. However, any attempts to do so would have defeated the very purpose of writing such a shocking piece. In my eyes, only hypocrites would call it vulgar, and naturally bring in use the trash button. But even if they decide to use the trash button, I would like them to read the article and try to be on the par with the essence of the whole article. The people around us are day and night bombarding the ear drums with such shocking epithets, and we have, apparently, stopped treating them as offending. If that’s the case then I think there is no point in raising hue and cry about article being objectionable and crude. But the sad reality is that it really hurts when one hears such epithet. So what’s the motive? To make it clear that let’s not make abuses part and parcel of routine conversations. It’s, indeed, a very shocking experience if someone hurls it at you all of a sudden, making you taken aback. If we can use better phrases then why we have made abusive language part of our conversations? And if one is not ashamed of using abuses in conversations then I don’t think one should find anything objectionable in reading them onscreen in an article format!
Another reason why I have written this article is that I love to bring darker aspects of life in open. Let’s get realistic and be not ashamed in reading what we have become used to in our daily lives! One laughs loud to bluff it away or pretends that one did not hear it all when such words appear, all of a sudden, in the daily conversations. I don’t think that’s going to bring any qualitative changes in our mannerism!!!
My idea of writing this article first hit the mind some years back when I was in New Delhi. I came to anticipate these modern mantras very often there. Mind you not only the commoners were using but also the high and mighty uttered them proving that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even the teenage girls and boys let fly with tirade of abuses on small pretexts. In the evenings, we used to walk around PVR situated close to Jawahar Lal University (JNU). One gentleman there inquired about Photostat shop. On not being able to locate one he bursted out: “Behan Chod Sirf Cigarette Aur Beer Ki Dukan Hi Delhi Mein Hai Kya? Behen Chod Ek Din Sale Sab Marenge.” (These sister-fuckers have opened shops selling beer and cigarettes. I cannot find any Photostat shop.) He was not all wrong. I could see teenage girls and boys smoking and there were beer bottles scattered around all along the path. If you happen to commute by a DTC bus there, I am sure you would be surrounded by nothing else but choicest abuses. “Behen Chod Ticket Nahi Lega Kya” (Sister-fucker! Will you not have the ticket?) Or “Behan Chold Chal Utar Tera Stoppage Aa Gaya Hai”(Sister-fucker! Get off the bus. You have arrived at the destination.) Interestingly, one US citizen, who was traveling with me, could not resist himself from asking me what these words really mean. He opened his small notebook, wherein he seemed to have jotted down these abuses. I gave a smile and told him that these are foul words.
I had similar experiences when I was in Mumbai. A boy hardly in his teens from a well-to-do family was walking waywardly on a busy street .Obviously, he was drunk. He seemed to have a bitter fight with her girl-friend studying in class seventh! “Behen Chod Mere Saath Nahi Chalegi.Kutiya Kahi Ki ! Khud Dus Logo Ke Saath Ghumti Hai Tab Kuch Nahi Jata.” (Sister-fucker! She hates to be my side. Bitch! She had no problems when she moved with so many strangers.)
I don’t know what’s happening in the Western world but it’s quite clear that there too foul words have become integral part of their routine conversation. I would like to quote a certain excerpt from a dialogue, which took place on a prominent site that deals with publication of poems and short stories. I am also one of its prominent contributors. The best thing of this whole conversation is that it has taken place between two best friends, and that too in a lighter vain. Here is the excerpt: “You fucking idiot!! Tread carefully motherfucker, I can find you and I will not be nice, pray to your imaginary friend now asshole. AIDS? What the fuck do you know? You can only get that from people who are infected with the HIV and without a condom, you fucking idiot. Primitive minded mother-fucker. Go swing out of a tree monkey.” (It’s unedited version of the comment.)
Anyway, I must tell what’s happening in India instead of revealing the darker sides of Western world. Today we are hell-bent on improving the face of Indian police. I don’t know when that’s going to take place. I don’t know how many of us have encountered Policwallah (Policeman) speaking in a friendly way. He is one of the most dreaded species on earth. On very small pretexts, you will find him using foul words. They never miss an opportunity to turn you into a caricature. A friend of mine was returning from a late-night party with his sister. A policeman on the beat asked him to stop. The policeman went closer to them and asked,” Where are you roaming with this Laundiya (Girl)? ” You expect something better from a lady police officer. However, even they are also devoid of good mannerism, better words. They too find nothing wrong in using foul words. Look how they dealt with group of innocent girls brought to book for their alleged involvement in prostitution racket: “Kutiya Dhanda Karti Hai Aur Yeha Aakar Drama Kar Rahi Hai.” (These bitches are involved in prostitution and now they are pretending at the police station.)Well, one expects something better from women officials. But they seem to be setting new standards of degradation!! The lives of policemen hover around foul words, and, therefore, there are endless tales related with their intimate bond with abuses. Recently, some eminent sports persons in Varanasi were manhandled and treated roughly by the petty constables with choicest abuses.
Well, I can say that fast-paced life of ours has wrecked our nerves, to an extent that we have no control over our mouths. As a lawyer, when I first entered in the premises of Allahabad High Court, it felt really great. Indeed, it’s a great place. However, I came to notice that almost all the lawyers enjoyed close proximity with foul words. I came to notice that senior lawyers usually handled their juniors very roughly. Being a rebel of some sort, I refused to be part of this chain of events which my friend tell that it’s essential to face such trials and tribulations to turn into a more practical guy. My other colleagues told me that they (read senior lawyers) are reshaping your tendencies in order to overcome rough moments with ease during the proceedings. However, I ignored their advice. But what they said had an element of truth. If you have witnessed proceedings in divorce related cases, you would come to notice that words like “Kutiya” (Bitch) “Chinar” (Loose character women) , “Randi” (Prostitute) fly thick and fast from both the sides right in front of the Honourable Justice!
Looking this issue from a different perspective, I think that’s why women in our villages during marriage ceremony hurl abuses at the groom’s family when they come to have food. Sometimes they are used as tools to create intimacy, to create familiarity. I have heard that abuses hurled by saints are considered to some form of blessing. Even the prominent Hindi writers and poets are not ashamed in hurling choicest abuses whenever possible. That’s why I feel pretty uncomfortable in their company! But that’s something a natural affair for them. Even prominent Muslim writers like Taslima Nasreen(Lajja fame female writer), Ismat Chugtai and Saadat Hasan Manto have frequently used foul words .
But that cannot be used an excuse to provide an exalted position to Gaali (foul word) in our lives. Let’s come to respect the sense and sensibilities of each other. No doubt it’s very hard to rise above foul words during tense moments but we can certainly avoid making them part of our routine conversations. And some day, we will learn to say the unpleasant things in a refined language. There is no dearth of pleasant words in dictionary. Let’s learn to use them to convey both our good and bad feelings. If that’s not possible, let us use them in rarest of rare times.
Pic Credit :
रवीश कुमारजी का ये लेख पढने के बाद जो कि राजस्थान पत्रिका में छपा था समझ में ये आया कि ईमानदार आदमियों के लिए ये दुनिया बेगानी होती जा रही है. ना इनकी क़द्र है और ना इनके लिए जगह है. बात यही तक रहती तब भी ठीक था मगर अब ये दुनिया खतरनाक भी हो चली है ईमानदार आदमियों के लिए. शायद कालिख पुते चेहरे में एक साफ़ सुथरा सा चेहरा एक भद्दा सा दाग होता है. ईमानदार आदमी एक गहरा मज़ाक होता है बेईमानो के लिए. सो उसका ना होना ही बेहतर है. सो उसे इतना प्रताड़ित किया जाता है या तो वो विक्षिप्त हो जाता है या उस दुनिया में चला जाता है जो कि बेईमानो के पहुँच से बाहर होती है. हम सब एक साफ़ सुथरा समाज चाहते है पर एक साफ़ सुथरे आदमी से नफरत करते है क्योकि वो सामाजिक लोगो के गणित में फिट नहीं बैठता. एक जुगाडू जनप्रतिनिधि पैसो के दम पे लोकसभा/राज्य के चुनाव में जीत जाता है पर एक ईमानदार प्रतिनिधि पहले तो खड़ा होता नहीं और यदि खड़ा होता भी है तो जमानत जब्त हो जाती है.
ठीक इसी तरह कोई कर्मचारी घोटालो के खिलाफ आवाज नहीं उठता है और यदि उठाता है तो मौत, बदनामी, उपेक्षा, प्रताड़ना इत्यादि के आलावा उसके नसीब में कुछ नहीं है. याद कीजिये उत्तर प्रदेश के स्वास्थ्य विभाग हुए घोटालो में जेल के अन्दर बंद लोग भी मार दिए गए. ठीक इसी तरह एक उच्च पुलिस अधिकारी ने जब आवाज उठाई तो उसे विक्षिप्त करार देकर इलाज के लिए भरती करा दिया. निष्कर्ष साफ़ है. जो गलत में साथ दे वो नार्मल है और जो गलत के खिलाफ आवाज उठाये वो एबनार्मल. लोग तो ये भी कहते है क्या जरुरत थी माफियायो के खिलाफ आवाज उठाने की! मतलब गलत सिस्टम का विरोध मत करिए. इसका हिस्सा बन जाईये!
आइए इस मुद्दे को बेहतर समझने के लिए रवीश कुमार जी का लेख पढ़ते है. और पढ़ के यदि हम थोडा सा भी स्पेस ईमानदार आदमी के लिए बना सके तो समाज थोडा जीने के लायक सा हो चलेगा.
*अकेले पड़ते ईमानदार लोग*
यह हो सकता है कि एस पी महांतेश नाम के अधिकारी के बारे में आपने नहीं सुना हो। कर्नाटक के चीफ जस्टिस के घर के सामने इस अधिकारी की धारदार हथियारों से मार कर हत्या कर दी गई। जब तक यह अधिकारी अस्पताल में ज़िंदगी और मौत से लड़ता रहा कर्नाटक के मुख्यमंत्री जो उसी विभाग के मंत्री हैं देखने तक नहीं गए। महांतेश कर्नाटक के कापरेटिव ऑडिट महानिदेशालय में उपनिदेशक थे। इनके आते ही कर्नाटक में ढेरों कोपरेटिव घोटालों का पर्दाफाश होने लगा। कई बार मारने और डराने की कोशिशों के बाद भी महांतेश का इरादा कमज़ोर नहीं हुआ। लेकिन अब यह अधिकारी हमारे बीच नहीं है क्योंकि हमारे कल के ईमानदार भविष्य के लिए लड़ते हुए मार दिया गया है। मुझे नहीं मालूम कि आप नीमच,शिवपुरी,बंगलोर,कोलकाता,गंगानगर और अलवर में महांतेश के बारे में पढ़ते हुए क्या सोच रहे होंगे। शायद यही कि सिस्टम से कौन लड़े। कोई नहीं लड़ सकता। गनीमत है कि महांतेश ने हमारी तरह नहीं सोचा। हमारी सहानुभूति की भी परवाह नहीं की। अपनी और अपने परिवार की ज़िंदगी दांव पर लगाकर एक के बाद एक घोटाले का पर्दाफाश करते चले गए।
अप्रैल के महीने में दिल्ली में रवींदर बलवानी की हत्या हो गई। पुलिस दुर्घटना बताती रही है। परिवार के लोग हर दूसरे दिन हाथ में बैनर लिये खड़े रहते हैं कि आर टी आई कार्यकर्ता रवींदर बलवानी की हत्या हुई है। उनकी बेटियां समाज और सरकार से गुहार लगाती फिर रही हैं मगर सौ पांच सौ लोगों के अलावा किसी का कलेजा नहीं पिघलता। जुलाई 2010 में गुजरात हाई कोर्ट के करीब आर टी आई कार्यकर्ता अमित जेठवा की गोली मार कर हत्या कर दी गई। ईमानदार अफसरों के सिस्टम से लड़ने और मारे जाने की घटनाएं 2003 में शैलेंद्र दूबे हत्याकांड और 2005 में एस मंजूनाथ हत्याकांड के बाद से मीडिया में जगह तो पा जाती हैं मगर सरकारों पर असर नहीं पड़ता। ईमानदारी का बिगुल बजाने वाले अफसरों को सुरक्षा देने का कानून अटक-लटक कर ही चल रहा है। अगर हम अपने ईमानदार सिपाहियों के प्रति इतने ही सजग होते तो एक मज़बूत कानून बनने में दस साल न लगते।
संसद में व्हिसिल ब्लोअर विधेयक पड़ा हुआ है। इसमें शिकायत करने वाले को सताए जाने के लिए कोई सज़ा नहीं दी गई है। यहां तक कि बिल में सताने यानी उत्पीड़न को भी विस्तार से नहीं बताया गया है। गुमनाम शिकायत को स्वीकार न करने की बात कही गई है और भ्रष्टाचार के खिलाफ बिगुल बजाने वाले को पीड़ित करने वाले अफसरों के लिए दंड की कोई व्याख्या नहीं की गई है। इस कानून की खामियों पर कई बार सार्वजनिक चर्चा हो चुकी है। दरअसल किसी बिगुल बजाने वाले को सुरक्षा देने के लिए कानून का इंतज़ार करना भी ठीक नहीं है। 2004 में ही सुप्रीम कोर्ट ने कहा था कि कानून बनने से पहले भी सुरक्षा का प्रावधना होना चाहिए। इसके बाद भी एस पी महांतेश को कोई सुरक्षा नहीं दी गई।
यह सबक हमने सीखा है शैलेंद्र दूबे और मंजूनाथ की हत्या के बाद। लोगों के भावनात्मक उबाल का फायदा उठाने के लिए सरकारें उस वक्त तो वायदे कर देती हैं मगर जल्दी ही भूल जाती हैं। उन मामलों का भी पता नहीं चलता जिनके बारे में खुलासा करते हुए ये अफसर जान देते हैं। कुछ मामलों में अपराधियों को पकड़ कर सज़ा तो दे दी जाती है मगर बड़ा ओहदेदार पकड़ा नहीं जाता है। क्या आप जानते हैं कि शैलेंद्र दूबे ने स्वर्णिम चतुर्भुज योजना में तीस हज़ार करोड़ रुपये के घोटाले की बात कही थी। क्या आपको पता है कि उन आरोपों का क्या हुआ? कौन लोग थे जिन्होंने तीस हज़ार करोड़ रुपये का घोटाला किया? क्या शैलेंद्र दूबे की मौत का इंसाफ सिर्फ इसी बात से मिल जाता है कि कुछ लोगों को पकड़ा गया और उन्हें आजीवन कैद की सज़ा दिला दी गई। हमारे सिस्टम ने ऐसा क्या किया जिसके चलते किसी शैलेंद्र दूबे को जान जोखिम में डालने की नौबत ही न आए।वही हाल गुजरात के अमित जेठवा मामले की है। खनन माफियों की कारस्तानियों को उजागर करने वाले उनके आरोपों की जांच पर अभी तक कोई फैसला नहीं आया है। शहेला मसूद का मामला कहां अटका है सबको पता है।
इतना ही नहीं हमारा ध्यान ऐसे लड़ाकों पर तभी जाता है जब वो मार दिये जाते हैं। मैं ऐसे कई लोगों को जानता हूं जिन्होंने बैंक से लेकर कापरेटिव तक के बड़े घोटाले ज़ाहिर किये हैं मगर उनके विभाग ने तरह तरह से प्रताड़ित कर मानसिक रूप से विक्षिप्त कर दिया है। आर टी आई ने बिगुल बजाने वालों को हथियार तो दे दिया मगर भ्रष्टाचार के इस जंग में जान बचाने का कोई सेफगार्ड नहीं दिया। जो भ्रष्ट हैं वो बुलेटप्रूफ जैकेट में चल रहे हैं और जो भ्रष्टाचार से लड़ रहे हैं वो दिन दहाड़े मारे जा रहे हैं। दरअसल अब मान लेना चाहिए कि भ्रष्टाचार को लेकर समाज और सियासत का पक्का गठजोड़ है। जब तक इस गठजोड़ को नहीं तोड़ा जाएगा, महांतेश और मंजूनाथ मारे जाते रहेंगे।
ब्हिसिल ब्लोअर यानी बिगुल बजाने वाला, सचमुच सिस्टम से लड़ना किसी जंग के एलान से कम नहीं है। मध्यप्रदेश में ही लोकायुक्त के ज़रिये ढाई सौ करोड़ से अधिक की संपत्ति ज़ब्त हो चुकी है। जिस स्तर के अधिकारी पकड़े गए हैं उससे पता चलता है कि भ्रष्टाचार की लूट में सिस्टम के कौन कौन लोग शामिल हैं। जब नीचे के स्तर पर यह हाल है तो ऊपर के स्तर पर भ्रष्टाचार का क्या हाल होगा। और एक सवाल खुद से कीजिए। क्या आपको पता नहीं कि यह सब हो रहा है। क्या आप अपने सामाजिक जीवन में ऐसे भ्रष्ट लोगों से नहीं मिलते हैं। आपकी सहनशीलता तब क्यों नहीं टूटती जब ऐसे लोग सामने होते हैं। तब आप सवाल क्यों नहीं करते। तभी क्यों करने का ढोंग करते हैं जब एक युवा आईपीएस अफसर नरेंद्र कुमार कुचल कर मार दिया जाता है क्योंकि वो खनन माफियाओं पर लगाम लगाना चाहता था।
दरअसल हम ईमानदारों के इस जंग में ईमानदारी से शामिल नहीं हैं। यह कैसा समय और समाज है कि नरेंद्र कुमार और महांतेश के मार दिये जाने के बाद कहीं कोई प्रतिक्रिया नहीं है। कोई चित्कार नहीं है। राजनीति भी तो इसी समाज से आती है। तभी तो व्हिसिल ब्लोअर्स को सुरक्षा देने वाला विधेयक लोकसभा में पास हो जाने के बाद राज्य सभा में पेश होने का इंतज़ार ही कर रहा है। जल्दी न राजनीति को है न समाज को। हम अपनी पसंद के दल के भ्रष्टाचार से आंखें मूंद लेते हैं और विरोधी दल पर सवाल करते हैं। अपना बचाकर दूसरे का दिखाने से सवाल का जवाब नहीं मिलता। नरेंद्र कुमार और महांतेश का अपराधी कौन है? समाज या सरकार? अगर समाज नहीं है तो उसने सरकार से जवाब मांगने के लिए क्या किया? हम आईपीएल जैसे तमाशे में पैसा देकर भीड़ बन जाते हैं मगर इन अफसरों के लिए सड़कों पर नहीं निकलते। हमारे इसी दोहरेपन की दुधारी तलवार पर ईमानदार अफसरों की गर्दनें कट रही हैं।
The statutes need to be carved in citizen-friendly language. The problem with most of the institutions functioning in India is that they have been set up on the patterns evolved by the Britishers. Whether they are elementary guidelines for the smooth functioning of the government run bodies or legal considerations to carry out the business of justice they are more often than not coined in expressions that remain Greek to ordinary citizens.
Their makers simply forget that they are living in a country dominated by rural population. The very fact mocks at obsession to employ bombastic expression to create a statute. In fact this is something which has allowed the lawyers to exploit their clients time an again.
The common man simply choose to grope in ignorance than to get trapped in verbosity of the lawyers which going by the complicity of legal affairs appears to be a greater blunder in the eyes of former. Unless we stop evaluating a man’s standard through the prism of western perceptions nothing exceptional could be achieved.
This realization must dawn upon us that mimicking foreign accent or dealing in complex clauses is not going to benefit the underprivileged. A bond can only be established with them by being honest towards their concerns in a language that gives them the feeling of being part of the whole process in an intimate way.
I am presenting excerpts from a well known writer’s work that will enlighten the readers about categorization of “common man”. It would let you know all why common man has been deliberately kept in ignorance to fulfill the needs of people in power. I had to present these excerpts in order to reveal the prejudices against the common mass and only then we can understand why the road to justice for the common people is full of obstacles.
I also presenting excerpts from another well known writer’s work to establish the Gandhian truth that let’s borrow Western world’s better ideals but let’s not subject our conscience to their rotten beliefs. There is no point in conducting our affairs on borrowed concepts.
These excerpts I am sure would help the esteemed readers to grasp the issue raised in my post quite well.
Democracy was born in the city states of Greece. Athenian democracy has been called a men’s club, because women were excluded from the right to vote. So were slaves. Greek citizens themselves could qualify only if both their parents were Greek. Within these limits, democracy ensured direct participation by the citizen in running the state.
From Greece to post-colonial India, we have come a long way. From Latin we got the phrase, “Vox populi, vox dei”. This was not really a pro-democracy slogan; it was part of a plea to Emperor Charlemagne from one of his associates that he should not trust those who chanted this slogan. As in other parts of the world, society was divided into haves and have-nots. The Romans institutionalized this division by drawing a line between patricians and plebeians. A patrician was one born of a noble father. The plebs were the common people, the artisans, the workers. The dictionary equates plebeian with unrefined, coarse, and vulgar.
France became a bastion of democracy in the days of the 1789 Revolution. In place of patricians, there were the first estate or the nobility and the second estate or the clergy. The common people, including artisans, peasants and the bourgeoisie, formed the third estate. The revolution marked the rise of the third estate.
In the name of democracy, we glorify and sometimes deify the common people. Ironically, we also brand them with new names that express contempt rather than admiration.
In Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, the the Prince of Arragon, who has to pass a lottery to win Portia’s hand, refuses to be aligned with the common people, “the fool multitude”. He says: “I will not jump with common spirits and rank me with the barbarous multitudes.” Shakespeare brings him down to earth by rewarding him with a fool’s head instead of Portia’s hand.
If you want to pour contempt on people, use a foreign word or phrase. “Hoi polloi” is one such, an exotic-sounding Greek phrase which can be translated as “the many”. But the attitude is the same. The phrase refers condescendingly to the riff-raff or the rabble, who lack education and cultivation. No wonder the snobbish aristocrats said they wanted their children out of the company of the hoi polloi.
The language of deprecation soon came up with a phrase with greater sting in “the great unwashed”, which referred to the multitude. That is as physical as you can get with insulting people. The thesaurus is liberal with synonyms for this expression: base born, ignoble, lowly, vulgar. Unfazed by the social stigma intended by the term, two brothers, David and Hamish Kilgour, named their music band The Great Unwashed!
Like hoi polloi, the word “lumpen” was borrowed from Europe and refers to the mob. The word is a shortened form of the German-French compound, “lumpenproletariat”. Marx used the word to refer to the unemployed and unproductive sections, who lacked class consciousness. Today, the Marxian sense has been diluted into the general sense of “uneducated, unenlightened, unrefined.”
The vocabulary of vilification, expressing our prejudice against the common people, conflicts with our faith in the sovereignty of the people. It was Carl Sandburg, American poet and Pulitzer laureate, who gave the most articulate expression to the disillusionment of the people. In his poem, I am the People, the Mob, he protests the snubs and slights that the common people are exposed to. Speaking for the people, he says: “I am the working man, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.” In an outburst of anger, he warns that the patience of the people will soon run out. Then “there will be no speaker in all the world/ say the name ‘The People’ with any fleck of a/sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision./The mob—the crowd—the mass—willarrive then.”
Source: V.R. Narayanaswami’s article ” ASK MINT/WORDS TO VILIFY THE COMMON MAN ”
Kishore Madhubani says: ” The Western mind is a huge world, but even in that huge world, you are actually trapped in a mental box. For those who live in the West, you assume that you can understand the world just by looking at it through Western perspectives, which gives you gives you a limited view of the world.”
” Let me give you an example to illustrate what I mean: You recall that one of the most successful essays that appeared immediately after the end of the Cold War was Francis Fukuyama’s essay The End of History. I found it amazing that an idea as absurd as the end of history could become so popular in the Western world. For a start, if you are going to have the thawing of the global order at the end of the Cold War, the logical result would be the return of history, not the end of history. And indeed, in the last ten years, we have seen the resurfacing of historical forces that were buried by forty years of the Cold War. Now, why did the Western mind believe that the rest of the world would transform itself to become carbon-copy replicas of Western liberal democratic societies? This is Francis Fukuyama’s underlying thesis.
But having asserted that the Western mind is trapped in a mental box, how do I document it? ”
” When you live in the West, it’s very hard to understand where the boundaries of the West are, because the natural assumption is that of Francis Fukuyama or V.S. Naipaul, that the West is a universal civilization, that history is a one-way street, that all societies as they grow and evolve will become more and more like the West.
What separates my life from many in the room is that I have heard conversations in Western living rooms about the world, and then I have been in non-Western living rooms, in an Islamic home, in Chinese homes, and I have listened to their conversations and how they see the world. You begin to realize that there are many different perspectives.
If the other societies succeed, what you will see is modernization, but not Westernization, as they grow and change. What exactly will it mean?
In the world of tomorrow, you will wake up and switch your television from one channel that gives you a Western perspective of the world to another which will describe the same events from a completely non-Western view.
Cities like New York City, like London will be the meeting places that bring these perspectives together, and that’s why you feel, ”Hey, there’s no big difference between them.” But if you travel outside and you go into these living rooms, you will find that there are still different worlds out there.”
” On the one hand, as the result of globalization, and the explosive burst of Western technology, we are shrinking the world into a global village, and now we are now sailing in the same boat. Sometimes I mischievously say this boat may perhaps be the Titanic. We have become one world. And yet, on this one ship you have 1 billion people living in first-class cabins, in relative comfort, and 2 or 3 billion people living in various degrees of deprivation, some in hunger and starvation.
I see daily the forces of globalization are generating greater and greater interdependence. Actions in one corner of the can affect a distant corner relatively quickly. Most people living outside the United States can feel and understand the impact of globalization. They feel the loss of autonomy each day. Most Americans do not feel this, or not yet. They live in one of the most powerful countries ever to have existed in the history of man. Sheer power and two huge oceans make Americans unaware of how the world is changing. The great paradox here is that the world’s most open society is among the worst informed on the inevitable impact of global changes. A tidal wave of change is already on its way to American shores.
In the world to come, if any force will save us, it will be the dynamism of Western civilization, which has carried the world to where it is today. All of the advances of human civilization are the result of what has happened in the West. ”
“ Let me move on to another example of what I call possible instability in the same world. If we are all in the same boat, it is in our obvious interest to ensure that all the boat’s passengers become stakeholders in peace and prosperity, rather than in misery.
The only question in my mind is: Can a shrinking population of the West, which now makes up about 10 percent of the world’s population, carry the burden of the world on its shoulders? We need to have burden-sharing between the West and other civilizations to have stability. We need a fusion of civilizations rather than a clash of civilizations.”
” I can see the fusion of civilizations taking place in the Asia-Pacific, and my friends here can see it happening daily across the Pacific with East Asia and the United States cooperating in economics, politics and culture. I still haven’t been able to see how we are going to get fusion of civilizations between the West and the Islam, and that is where the problems will lie in the world to come.”
(The views expressed in these excerpts belong to leading thinker KISHORE MADHUBANI )
V.R. Narayanaswami’s article ” ASK MINT/WORDS TO VILIFY THE COMMON MAN ”
Kishore Madhubani’s Article
The ever-increasing number of lawyers are, in some eyes, responsible for falling standards of jurisprudence at most of the Bars in India. This huge number is making establishment of competent Bars a tough task. This large number of advocates, devoid of better standards, are result of mass manufacturing of the advocates done by the Bar Council Of India in the previous years. Now the things have changed considerably in the legal world. Much still needs to be done but the encouraging developments are already in effect now. In fact, now it’s a tough task to get enrolled as a lawyer. A tough entrance test besides a new syllabus that has additional topics like Cyber Crime makes the task of wannabe lawyers a tough one.
Now the Bar Council Of India has introduced another qualifying exam, which has become mandatory for the advocates to qualify to become eligible for practicing before the court. It’s a post-enrollment qualification. I also wish to inform you that one of the reasons why fees has been raised is to discourage disinterested souls to pursue the legal courses. Interestingly, Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), which is a centralised test for admission to prominent National Law Universities in India has come into effect.
I am not saying that all will be well but the way reforms have hit the legal world, I am sure there will be positive developments in legal world. And please, don’t blame the lawyers alone for fall in their standards. There are many factors, which have led to fall in standards. May be the people sitting in air conditioned rooms don’t realize that a lawyer’s job, at all stages, is the toughest one. It’s no joke to be an advocate either you are successful or unsuccessful. The worse aspect is that in the very beginning the lawyers get moulded into wrong mindset. Half of the lawyers wish to make more money as quickly as possible instead of becoming aware of the art of advocacy. Much problem is faced by the advocates hailing from rural belt. Rarely they are able to argue before the court as even today the arguments are delivered in English at High Court and Supreme Court.
In my early years of practicing, I came to notice strange attitude of seniors towards their juniors. Most of them are obsessed merely to have huge numbers of juniors as showpiece items for their chambers. Most of the seniors treat their juniors as bonded labours. This is very demoralizing for the bright minds, who joins a chamber to have better legal insights. Unless you happen to be related with lawyers relation-wise, the chances of receiving legal tips are remote. Even the bench when comes face to face with dumb freshers never fails to taunt the seniors. However, a senior cares a damn.
Worse, a young lawyers is made used to abusive language and corrupt practices, which one of my friend so well expressed in Hindi:” Is ko kholna bolte hai”( This is called making one get prepared to bear the harsh realities with ease). However, the greatest setback comes when after spending many years in chambers a lawyer emerges as a middleman. All he/she can do is get as many cases from one’s native place,pass the case to the seniors and you leave the scene with your commission. No wonder, this has made lawyers treat their clients as milch cows.And thus,the case remains pending for many years. Of late, to make students have first-hand-experiences of court room a new topic called Moot Court has been added into the syllabus. However, lack of infrastructure has not made it flourish in true colour.
Law is a jealous mistress. It doesn’t tolerate any other side-by-side professions. Against that backdrop, just imagine how cruel it is to talk about the higher standards ? Once the officer gets an appointment in either private or government job the said officer receives host of facilities. Let me please know from those, who complain about falling standards,as to what our system has to offer to these young and promising lawyers ? Barely nothing. In fact, even the bench too is guilty of disappointing and discouraging lawyers when it allows not young lawyers to present their case merit wise. Instead, the bench dismisses their case if that’s not on par with their likes and dislikes which a bench hails as its “discretionary power”. The idea to treat case format wise and not merit wise is a negative and disastrous trend.The bench should avoid it.
They make their own ways with no help from anybody. They do not have even a seat on which they can sit and relax. From senior’s chamber to courtroom and back again to the chamber, they keep shunting from morning till midnight. In between they have to go through huge number of books and files. They have also to deal with policemen and High Court officials in confrontation mode. I would love to know is there any other profession that offers as much complexities and risk as one comes to witness in a lawyer’s life ?
To hell with stereotyped versions about the role and presence of lawyers. In reality , this profession is just not meant for average or chicken-hearted souls. So just not undermine the role of lawyers. True, a fall in standards is strikingly noticeable but then do take note of the fact that greater efforts are in action to resurrect the image of lawyers. Entry of global patterns and increased salaries of government lawyers are attracting better minds and that’s a good sign.