Need for Judges to be Sanguine is passing Remarks

Judges cannot pass "off the cuff" remarks whilst dealing with sensitive cases particularly when such remarks can hurt the sentiments and emotions of affected sections of society.

NewsBharati    09-Jul-2022 10:47:38 AM   
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Justice Surya Kant, presiding over a Supreme Court two-judge vacation bench, passed remarks, more aptly scathing indictment, while hearing a plea by suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma seeking clubbing of the different FIRs filed in different states against her for her controversial comments on Prophet Mohammed during a TV show. The Judge stated that Nupur Sharma “is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country” and that “she must apologize to the country. She has threat or she has become security threat? The way she has ignited emotions across the country… this lady is single-handedly responsible for what is happening in the country.”

Why the Judiciary is blaming Nupur Sharma for damaging India’s International standing? Why did not the Judiciary take suo motto notice of the rabid speeches of Muslim political leaders, Mullahs and others in the past arousing the sentiments and emotions of the Muslim fundamentalists aided and abetted by the ISI, Pakistan, the ISIS, Al Qaeda and other Muslim countries and delivered similar verdicts against them for inciting them to arise and assert their domination over the majority Hindu society and nation?

Need for Judges to be Sanguine is passing Remarks 

Social media is abuzz calling the remarks "cruel". By and large, many Hindus are upset by the verdict including a former Judge of High Court. Such reaction is not limited to individuals who identify as right wing groups. The response is international as well, with particular dismay expressed by the Hindu residents in foreign countries. Many of them are expressing “solidarity with the "Nupur Sharma". For a significant section of Hindus, the Indian Supreme Court has undermined Hindu interests.

Some among them claim that international condemnation is meaningless, as this is a domestic issue. Just because India's energy - oil and gas -and economic interests are closely interlinked with the West Asian Muslim nations, it does not mean that the Indian Supreme Court should 'bend over backwards" to issue a scathing indictment to Nupur Sharma and directing her to issue an "Apology" to the nation. It clearly reflects that the Indian Supreme Court is indulging in the "Appeasement" of minority community. Let me record the sequence of events or facts that the Supreme Court should have taken into account before passing such a scathing indictment against Nupur Sharma.

Prior to 27 May 2022, Nupur Sharma took part in a TV debate on the Times Now TV anchored by Navika Kumar. She simply quoted the Quran, many are angry. . In the debate, Nupur had said that Prophet Muhammed had married a minor who was six at the time of marriage and had consummated the marriage when the minor was nine. Sharma also mentioned that Islamic scholars talk about flat earth quoting Quran. Indian Islamic televangelist and public orator Zakir Naik, currently in Malaysia, is now drawing flak for having made similar statements.

On 27 May 2022, Alt News Co-Founder, Mohammed Zubair, stated that Prime Time debates in India have become a platform to encourage hate mongers to speak ill about other religions. Times Now’s anchor Navika Kumar is encouraging a rabid communal hatemonger and BJP Spokesperson to speak rubbish which can incite riots. He did not mention what exactly was communal in what Nupur Sharma said on the show.

Mohammed Zubair shared a video clip of Sharma’s TV debate on Twitter with a twisted comment and whistled Islamists to Issue death threats to Nupur Sharma. Getting a cue, Islamists jumped on Sharma’s Twitter timeline with multiple death and rape threats. She shared a few screenshots from her DM (messaging service of Twitter) also where she had received rape and death threats. Zubair, who runs a propaganda website disguised as fact-checker, did not fact-check Nupur Sharma’s statement. Despite multiple requests from various social media users, Zubair did not fact-check Sharma. On Twitter, Zubair called Navika Kumar a clown multiple times.

Zubair later posted a tweet saying he only did his duty as a journalist. On many occasions in the past, he has been caught spreading fake news and twisted narratives. In June last year, Zubair had circulated a muted video of the thrashing incident in Ghaziabad claiming Abdul Saifi was thrashed for not chanting Jai Shri Ram. Investigation revealed that it was a personal fight and Saifi had made up that story on the insistence of one Samajwadi Party leader to get sympathy.

Tagging Delhi Police and Police Commissioner on Twitter on the same date, Nupur Sharma posted, “I am getting continuous death and beheading threats against my family and myself which are egged on by Mohammed Zubair because of his attempts to incite communal passions and vitiate the atmosphere by building a fake narrative.” The Delhi Police responded to Sharma’s request saying “The matter has been forwarded to the concerned officials for necessary action.”

Accusing Zubair of inciting violence targeting her, Sharma said, “There is a so-called fact-checker who has started to vitiate atmosphere by putting out a heavily edited and selected video from one of my debates. Ever since, I’ve been receiving death & rape threats, including beheading threats against me & family members.” One netizen, with handle @BefittingFacts, messaged Zubair “You should write a fact check article proving her wrong then you are allowed to call her hate monger. If she is right, then it’s time to introspect. Don’t call her hate monger unless you can prove her wrong.”

On 5 June 2022, BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma was suspended owing to her statements regarding Prophet Muhammad. By suspending Nupur Sharma, the BJP has publicly humiliated and suspended Nupur Sharma. Nupur Sharma unconditionally withdrew the controversial statement made. She had said it was never her intention to hurt anyone's religious feelings. Sharma claimed that her comments were a reaction to "continuous insult and disrespect towards our Mahadev"' (Lord Shiva) as she could not tolerate it. In a statement posted on Twitter, she said, "I have been attending TV debates for the past many days where our Mahadev was being insulted and disrespected continuously. It was mockingly being said that it is not Shivling but a fountain. The Shivling was also being ridiculed by comparing it to roadside signs and poles in Delhi."

She added, "If my words have caused discomfort or hurt religious feelings of anyone whatsoever, I hereby unconditionally withdraw my statement. It was never my intention to hurt anyone's religious feelings." In reality, the protest were not spontaneous. For several days after Nupur Sharma made her remarks, there were no protests. The protests only begun after the government of India gave in to protests from Muslim countries and suspended Sharma.

Many have been questioning why is it wrong when she passed such remarks, but right when Zakir Naik does. A user wrote: why Muslims are not boycotting Zakir Naik, he also had stated the same thing which was stated by Nupur Sharma. Another wrote: Want to ask Muslims all over the world - When Nupur Sharma quotes about Prophet Muhammad marrying six years old, it’s blasphemy. When Dr. Zakir Naik talks about the same, it’s acceptable? When you read it in Quran it’s acceptable? Why Prophet Muhammad

As per Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary Milind Parande, Nupur sharma's remarks "cannot be categorized as a hate speech as she made it in the heat of the moment". Terming it a "huge conspiracy hatched at an international level to target India", the VHP functionary claimed, "Islamic countries never spoke against China where Muslims are being oppressed. Even in Pakistan, many Muslims are being killed in bomb blasts. India is run by law and Constitution, if anyone's feelings are hurt by someone, then they can approach the court, but it is not right to come on to streets and start pelting stones in public."

Backing Nupur Sharma, Vice-president of ISKCON Kolkata Radharamn Das said, “Mohammed Zubair, your Muslim scholars boost about these two facts. Then why are you targeting a Hindu when she is just repeating what is a known fact. Also, these facts are there in your Holy texts. So why it becomes an offense when a Kafir reads it loud?

Just because people are angry, it does not follow that the law has to bend to their will. Muslims have every right to be angry or outraged. They are entitled to protest. But once their protests turn violent, the law must act against those indulging in violence.

Let me recount two other controversies: Salman Rushdie; and Taslima Nasrin. Salman Rushdie publication of novel "The Satanic Verses" in the U.K. in 1988, resulted in heated controversy of some Muslims. Controversial elements included: the use of the name Mahound, said to be a derogatory term for Muhammad used by the English during the Crusades; the use of the term Jahilia, denoting the 'time of ignorance' before Islam, for the holy city of Mecca; the use of the name of the Angel Gibreel (Gabriel) for a film star, of the name of Saladin, the great Muslim hero of the Crusades, for a devil; and the name of Ayesha the wife of Muhammad for a fanatical Indian girl who leads her village on a fatal pilgrimage; and the brothel of the city of Jahilia was staffed by prostitutes with the same names as Muhammad's wives, who are viewed by Muslims as 'the Mothers of all Believers. These traditions are undoubtedly a fabrication of the heretics and foreign hands, and have not been found in any of the authentic books". Muslims found [it] incredibly sacrilegious", and took it to imply that the book's author claimed that verses of the Qur'an were "the work of the Devil". In 1989 the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa ordering Muslims to kill Rushdie. Numerous killings, attempted killings, and bombings resulted in response to the novel.

Next, Taslima Nasrin, doctor by profession, and feminist and activist, blacklisted and banished from Bangladesh and West Bengal for abolition of the Sharia, the Islamic religious law and revision of the Quran. Nasrin suffered a number of physical and other attacks for her critical scrutiny of Islam and her demand for women's equality. Many of her opposers took to the streets demanding her execution by hanging. In October 1993, a radical fundamentalist group called the Council of Islamic Soldiers offered a bounty for her death. In August 1994 she was brought up on "charges of making inflammatory statements," and faced criticism from Islamic fundamentalists. A few hundred thousand demonstrators called her "an apostate appointed by imperial forces to vilify Islam"; a member of a "militant faction threatened to set loose thousands of poisonous snakes in the capital unless she was executed. After spending two months in hiding, at the end of 1994 she escaped to Sweden, consequently ceasing her medical practice and becoming a full-time writer and activist. After living more than a decade in Europe and the United States, she moved to India in 2004, but was banished from the country in 2008, although she has been staying in India on a resident permit long-term, multiple-entry or 'X' visa since 2004. She now lives in New Delhi, India.

Islamophobia haunts the Hindu majority in land of its origin. Lesson of Indian history clearly underscores the reasons for Islamophobia. For example, the horrendous genocide of partition cannot be obliterated from the mindset of Hindus, Sikhs, Jain and Buddhists. Furthermore, equally horrendous crimes committed on the Kashmiri Pundits in the valley since 1980s.

India offers a lesson to the Western countries. Whenever the Muslim population crosses 20%, Islamist fundamentalists go on the offensive. Already, European nations are facing the brunt or wrath of Islamists. Ghazwa e Hind is the avowed end objective of Islamists. Should it ever become a reality in posterity, the Christians of the West will also be assaulted to seek revenge for the Muslim humiliation - Al Andalus.

Be that as it may, Tarek Fateh commenting on the Supreme Court verdict has given a grim prospect: "many and many more Hindus will be killed by Muslims in India because we have SC judges, most of them nothing but coward Dumbasses. How can Hindus forget the gruesome murders and rapes committed on them by successive Muslim rulers in various parts of the country."

Western officials, including from the United States, have urged Modi and his BJP government to reaffirm India’s avowed pluralism, but they have exerted little pressure on New Delhi; India remains too important an economic and geopolitical partner in the wider contest with China. In June, however, the darkening atmosphere of majoritarianism and illiberalism in India earned its strongest international rebuke so far. It came not from liberal Western governments but from a slew of Arab countries.

However, the critical issues to be considered are simple. The remarks made by the Supreme Court Judge undermines trust and confidence of the Hindu's. When a clear majority of the Indian public are demanding majority Hindu interests to be protected at the national level, it seems contrary to a democratic system’s operating principles that the court would undermine the “will of the people.” Second, and related, the ruling is destabilizing and points to further instability in India's policymaking. Third, the ruling is foreboding, raising the question of whether this is just the “tip of the iceberg.”

In sum, the Judiciary at the Apex level cannot take shelter under the "Constitution". "We the People" in the Preamble of the Constitution must govern its proceedings. Judges cannot pass 'off the cuff" remarks whilst dealing with sensitive cases particularly when such remarks can hurt the sentiments and emotions of affected sections of society. No wonder, the social media is abuzz with criticism.

Brig. G B Reddy (Retd)

G B Reddy, former Brigadier has seen frontline battles in India-China War in 1962, India-Pakistan War in 1965, and India-Pakistan War in 1971 (Liberation of Bangladesh). He has served in various insurgency areas to include Nagaland, Manipur, Assam, and West Bengal at the height of Naxal problem; Punjab, J & K and IPKF in Sri Lanka.

Author of seven books and numerous articles covering national security strategy, international, national and local political and social developments, he participated in international and national seminars whilst serving as Consultant/Senior Visiting Fellow at the National Institute of Rural Development, Hyderabad. He also served in Corporate Assignments of Vice-President, Kitply Industries and C.E.O, Hilton Tobacco Ltd.

He is a Graduate of National Defense College, New Delhi, Command and Staff College in Canada, Long and Senior Defense Management Programs at College of Defense Management in Hyderabad. He has served on the faculties of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, College of Combat, and Infantry School, Mhow.

He was awarded Ati Vishist Seva Medal for Distinguished Service of an Exceptional Order in Nagaland 1986. Menitoned-in-Despatches for gallantry in 1971 war. Chief of Army Staff Commendation Medal in 1977 for exceptional contribution for faculty development.

Seven books published: 1) Rising Dragon – China’s Holistic Security Strategic Perspective; 2) Nation in Crisis – Dimensions of National Security and Terrorism; 3) In Search of National Values - Withering Democracy, Secularism and Socialism; 4) India’s Nuclear Dilemmas; 5) Fight Against Corruption and Leadership Decay; 6) Democracy in Peril; and, 7) Cost Effective Rural Housing Technologies.