Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Personal Tragedy V/S National Tragedy

When a man commits an illegal act and gets caught, it is no doubt a personal tragedy for him and his family. I am sure most people regret that they erred in their judgement. They would certainly not like to be in jail and would wish that the past act would never have taken place. Unfortunately the legal process in our country has its own pace. The under trial has to go through a long trial in the courts. For an innocent person such a trial can itself be the punishment on the other hand for the guilty it may even be an act of buying time. The Bombay blast case has gone one for 20 years. The victims of the blast have waited 20 years for justice which is still elusive because the masterminds of the blast are still beyond the reach of law.

Sanjay Dutt was convicted by the supreme court for illegal possession of banned weapons and sentenced to the minimum sentence prescribed by law. Then he along with some other accused punished for similar crime were given 1 month to surrender. Today Sanjay Dutt got another reprieve to surrender after another 4 weeks. He wanted to finish his films before going to jail to serve his sentence for which he wanted 6 months reprieve. So the court in supposedly "humanitarian grounds" gave him 4 weeks with no further extension and he accepted. All in all this whole episode gives the appearance of a bargain for delay rather than humane gesture. If the producers have money locked in on Sanjay Dutt then the question here is of money not of "humanitarian grounds". A mother who has a child appearing for his school exams probably deserves more humanitarian gesture for month delay rather than a movie actor who wants to finish his films so that he and his producers do not suffer a loss.

Whatever be the real truth, in the end this case gives an impression of deliberate delay to keep a rich, politically connected celebrity out of jail for as long as possible, rather than one of delivering justice where justice is due. Mr Dutt's claiming suffering due to inordinate delay does not cut the bill; after all Mr Dutt did not spend his years out of jail, since he was first arrested, doing national or social service to deserve a reprieve. He was busy making money, living the good life and working for entertainment of his movie loving fans. It does not quite cover for the loss that the victims of the 93' Bombay blast had to suffer. Given the circumstances under which he has been found in illegal possession of banned weapons, he has knowingly or otherwise been linked with the entire bombing episode which he should have certainly avoided.

Whatever be Sanjay's personal tragedy it does not cover for the national tragedy which people of India have collectively suffered. The court seems to have erred, but people are not pleased and the politicians along with the government of Maharashtra should be forewarned, not to act on Sanjay's mercy plea in a way which will lead to dissatisfaction among the people of Bombay, because they are in no mood to forgive.

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