Tag Archives: Supreme Court of India

Ideas as Crime in a Majoritarian Democracy

idea as crime in democracy

Image Courtesy: Vappingo

To such a degree has Religion fuelled conflict, complicated politics, retarded social development and impaired human relations across the world, that one is often tempted to propose that Religion is innately an enemy of Humanity, if not indeed of itself a crime against Humanity … it is time that the world adopted a position that refuses to countenance Religion as an acceptable justification for, excuse or extenuation of – crimes against Humanity.

-Wole Soyinka

A modern critique of Sacred Books of any religion — which are worshipped by its followers — is an act which is full of dilemmas.

What should one say if they have references about burning of infidels, permitting a man to marry many women, instructing the rulers to cut somebody’s tongue or pour hot lead into somebody’s ears if s/he sings/listens to religious hymns, ordering a particular section of its devotees to be kept aloof even from places of worship or spotting a ‘divine figure’ engaged in abusing one’s own daughter or harassing women.

Should a critical intellectual just look the other way, pretending that s/he does not see, decide to keep quiet or rationalise such acts to further re-ensure her/his faith or say few things, albeit in a mild tone, that such acts do not match modern values?

And what should a modern state — which claims to be not based on faith — do in such a case? Facilitate flourishing of such critiques or allow faith merchants/fanatics of different shades to criminalise such acts taking recourse to its own statue books.

( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/ideas-crime-majoritarian-democracy)

The Gates of Vaikuntam?

When Hadiya Shafin shouted to the crowd that she converted voluntarily, that Shafin was her chosen husband, and that she wished to spend her life with him, some leading rationalist liberal feminists in Kerala sniggered at her: be grateful for the Indian Constitution which allows you to make a choice. This statement hid a despicable insult to her choice of Islam, slyly implying that it would not permit her any choices.

Goodness knows where these puerile, vain, indurate minds live their everyday lives.  Maybe they are either still able to insulate themselves somehow from the onslaught of Hindutva violence, or find it useful to use the arms of this Hindutva hegemonised thuggish state to their narrow, shamefully narrow, ends.

Whatever, I could see no trace of the protective presence of the Indian Constitution when the Supreme Court heard Hadiya. I could see not the highest court of Justice of a vibrant democracy but I got a sense of how the Gates of Celestial Vaikuntam may look like:

Read more at : https://thewire.in/200701/hadiya-supreme-court-nia/




Hadiya’s Safety is the Kerala Government’s Responsibility: Rajathi Salma writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

[This is the text of the open letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala from the celebrated Tamil poet Rajathi Salma, a leading literary and activist voice from South India whose writing has often revealed the pain and poignancy of women’s unfreedoms and the denial of a creative life of choice to them. This is about the never-ending agony that the confinement of a young woman, Hadiya, by her father, has become. Hadiya is to be heard by the Supreme Court of India on 27 November 2017, but the Kerala government refuses to take responsibility for her safe travel to Delhi, after many many pleas from civil society] Continue reading Hadiya’s Safety is the Kerala Government’s Responsibility: Rajathi Salma writes to the Chief Minister of Kerala

Women’s groups & concerned individuals welcome Supreme Court judgement on triple talaq

Endorsements are still pouring in for this statement, but we are posting it here with just the first names with which it was sent out.

22 august 2017

We wholeheartedly welcome the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of Triple Talaq brought before it by a number of Muslim women and Muslim women’s rights groups. In arguing that the practice of Triple Talaq is both, un-Quranic and Un-Constitutional, it is an important departure from earlier judgments on all women’s rights, because it is based on the tenets of equality, dignity and secularism as enshrined in the Constitution.

As women’s groups and individuals we recognise that the current political climate of communalisation and violence, when the entire Muslim community is under attack in India and much of the Islamophobic world today, makes the fight for minority and gender rights an even more uphill task. Hence we extend our solidarity and salute the courage of the Muslim women who have fought everyday patriarchy within, religious institutions and the family, as well as communal forces to seek justice and equality from the courts.

Even as we celebrate this victory as one that strengthens the fight for secular rights, we are aware that this is but one step in our continued battle against all kinds of patriarchal power and the prevailing political order that seeks to convert this into a majority-minority issue.

In our joint struggles for gender justice in all laws relating to marriage and family, beyond the religious framework, we believe that the Supreme Court judgment on Triple Talaq is an important affirmation of Constitutional values of equality, secularism, pluralism and dignity for all citizens. We hope that this will be the framework in all matters of justice for gender and minority rights.

Hasina Khan, Bebaak Collective
Awaz-e-Niswaan, Mumbai
Saba Khan, Parcham, Mumbai
Parwaaz, Amedabad
Sahiyar, Baroda
Janvikas, Ahmedabad
Hameeda, Sadbhavna Trust, UP
Shabina, Vanangana, UP
Muslim Mahila Manch, Nagpur
Sandhya Gokhale, Forum against Oppression of Women, Mumbai
Chayanika Shah, Labia – A Queer Feminist LBT Collective, Mumbai
Vani Subramanian, Saheli Women’s Resource Centre, New Delhi
Renu Mishra, Association For Advocacy and Legal Initiatives, Lucknow
Kavita Srivastav, Peoples’ Union for Civil Liberties, Jaipur
Rahana Adib, Astitva, UP
Razia Patel, Indian Institute of Minority Education, Pune
Meena Seshu, SANGRAM/Nazariya, Sangli
Swati Sanyal, Swayam, Kolkata
Malobika, Sappho for Equality, A queer feminist activist group, Kolkata
Shyamala Natraj, South India Aids Action Programme, Chennai
Arundhati Dhuru, National Alliance of People’s Movements
Mamata, Humsafar Trust, Lucknow

Sex and the courtroom

A politician is exposed using State surveillance to allegedly woo his love interest. An editor tells a reporter his daughter’s age that the easiest way for her to keep her job would be to have sex with him. A godman and his son are both arrested for sexual assault and rape. A riot in Muzaffarnagar over false rumours of inter-religious ‘eve teasing’ left 48 dead and 15,000 homeless. The debate on rape, consent, gender relations sparked by December 16, 2012 continued throughout 2013. And by the end of it the Indian Supreme Court decided that the Indian Constitution’s letter and spirit were not being violated by criminalising consenting adults for having sex, in case the sex happened to be anything other than peno-vaginal.

India 2013 is like a pubescent 13 year old realising there’s something about the body that the mind needs to grapple with. There’s something about power, pleasure, social mores, class, law and so on, that comes together in the body and negotiates its way through bodily desire. There’s a sexual churning out there, and it’s not as titillating as the annual sex surveys news magazines do, nor is it as literary and profound as the language an incarcerated editor wields. Continue reading Sex and the courtroom

The shameful role of the Indian Supreme Court in the Emergency of 1975: Rajinder Sachar

This guest post by RAJINDAR SACHAR comes to us via the PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES.

Lewiston Morning Tribune - Google News Archive Search - Mozilla Firefox_2013-07-14_19-25-11

Nations which do not remember their immediate past are in danger of repeating their tragic mistakes. This thought came to me on June 26th, 2013 (the Emergency day of 1975) when on random questioning of age group of 35 in the country (who are said to make up about half the population) I found that most of them did not know of any particular significance of the day – and more tragic, fairly large number of people above the age of 35 fared no better. Continue reading The shameful role of the Indian Supreme Court in the Emergency of 1975: Rajinder Sachar

Supreme Court on Liability of Bloggers

While I still dont have a copy of the order/ judgment, there have been news reports about the Supreme Court holding that a person who starts a blog/ community page cannot claim that it was a community page and not meant for public consumption. I will update this the moment I get hold of the order, but just wanted to flag this for the moment, because of the serious implications that it can have. While bloggers and web content have always been subject to the same rules that determine other forms of publication, there are a number of issues and questions involved in the liability of online content, including whether the author of a blog can be held liable for comments / posts by others. Continue reading Supreme Court on Liability of Bloggers