Law describes thought as fact requiring proof. Conspiracy is common intent to execute criminal acts. Intention resides in the mind. Mind is an abstract in the brain. Brain, sitting inside the skull, is invisible. How does one prove an accused has in his mind, inside his brain, inside his head, a certain alleged intent, something that cannot be seen or heard?
More importantly, how can one gauge or prove real intent, a hidden agenda, when it is camouflaged by sanctimonious posturing, verbal sleight-of-hand, benevolent facial expressions, crisp clothing, frequent facials, spins of hi-tech PR firms, IT-savvy social media bigots and media souls on sale? How does one prove a hidden agenda?
Brainwashing of illiterate and semi-literate masses, distortion of history, blaming ills on minorities, demonising and attacking them, and a seemingly legal framework to first disenfranchise and then annihilate them, is going on since long. Smell fear in the air?
Fear. Another thing that cannot be seen or heard. How do you prove fear? “Fear is the key”, said Alistair. Is fear the key, the fear we are experiencing? Or is the hope for the future the young voices proclaim! The past is deadwood. The future shall reign, in glory, stirring faith. The streets have erupted, and fear is dead.
Conduct. Conduct is a telling indicator of actual intent. “I want to make one thing clear,” repeated Richard Nixon countless times, while doing his best to obfuscate and create smokescreens. Eventually, impeachment followed. Bill Clinton lied to Congress. Impeachment followed. George Bush lied about Iraq, escaping impeachment by a whisker fabricating WMDs for a war.
Trump played games with the law, and faced impeachment. All these leaders made loud protestations of their injured innocence, till finally caught.
They had a secret idol, a predecessor called Hitler. Lying, obfuscating, grandstanding, winking at mass murders, sanctioning human rights violations, fabricating laws contrary to Germany’s Constitution, claiming to work for the Fatherland, he presided over Germany’s destruction. Germany be damned, his own glory was all that mattered. That Hitler remains an idol to many suspects.
Claims of innocence, of good intent, are Standard Operating Procedure of all those out to deceive people. The more powerful the deceiver, the greater the resources for deception. If he is head of a state, he uses against the population its own money and resources. The one person most likely to go on insisting he is being honest and forthright, announcing he is not hiding anything, seeking your blind trust in him, is likely holding something up his sleeve. How do you find out? Conduct.
Let us evaluate conduct of those who are protesting innocence: claiming they are not against Muslims, not against minorities, not against Dalits, swearing by the Constitution, asking you to trust their intent… (ah!) intent, that elusive thing that cannot be seen or heard. How do we make this critical evaluation? How do we determine how effective a judicial system is? Examine the record, examine past conduct.
Documented records of announcements by political leaders of the ruling right-wing party, BJP, and its powerful controlling affiliate the RSS, an outfit which follows fascism as legitimate ideology, clearly to the effect that India should house only Hindus, show toxic hostility. Minorities are foreigners hence irrelevant, by 2024 India must be a Hindu Nation, non-Hindus will lose civil rights. More rabid voices threaten large scale death or deportation. Anti-Muslim politicians have a free run. The judiciary “exercises restraint”.
Despite the State’s massive infrastructure, able to prove someone is not a citizen, the burden of proving citizenship is cast on citizens. The inversion of logic and jurisprudence seems lost on everyone: all civil jurisprudence holds a person innocent until proved guilty. They shifted this in POTA, TADA, UAPA, et al, seeking an accused to prove innocence. Courts should have been aghast at this atrocious criminalising-without-trial of any and all accused, but no one took heed. Islamophobes have a free run. The judiciary… exercises restraint.
Mass arrests of persons from one section of society followed, people went to jails for decades and were declared innocent, entire families’ lives were destroyed… no one took heed. A symbolic mosque constituting a heritage of centuries was demolished, despite assurances of protection. The judiciary … exercises restraint.
Detention centres have been created in various places to hold those unable to prove citizenship. There are, based on the BJP Government’s partisan approach perceptible from 2002, legitimate apprehensions that using methods reminiscent of Nazi Germany, families will be forced into detention centres, their homes and businesses taken over and “allotted” to others to create demographic changes ensuring subsequent political elections generate predetermined results.
The politicians routinely deny things to such an extent their voices carry little credibility anywhere. Conduct reveals intent. Seeing through covert agenda, protests erupted all over the nation and the brutal crackdown akin to any dictatorial repressive regime was seen and reported world over.
Demonetisation is not of Muslims alone, as Christians are the next most-blamed community for conversion (work by Christian missionaries among the poorest sections has seen many embracing Christianity freeing themselves from oppressive caste untouchability that enslaved them).
In a significant step towards fragmentation of opposition to intended Hinduisation of India, i.e., its “purification” from persons of other faiths, the first target is the Muslims. Thereafter, segment-wise each non-Hindu section, Christians, then Sikhs, and so on, will be similarly isolated and targeted. Any delay in responding suitably to bring this Machiavellian exercise to an end could be disastrous.
The Hindu Rashtra team wants citizens whose votes they rode to power on, to prove their status as Indian citizens, prove they are not foreigners. It passes laws demanding citizens prove that negative. Only its indoctrinated servile officers will evaluate that evidence.
Dissenting citizens demand the said Hindu Rashtra team prove it is not anti-Constitution, not anti-Minority, not indulging in religious profiling and persecution, not fabricating a legal framework to perpetuate itself in power, entrench itself, suppress dissent, terrorise dissenters, defame and demonise minorities by distorting history. Intellectuals selected only by dissenting citizens will evaluate that evidence. Will the team agree?
Grand contest announcement:
Ladies and gentlemen! In the red corner, the mighty State, bristling with power and infrastructure. In the blue corner, dissenting student citizens, armed with Constitutional morality.
In the referee’s seat, the reader.
Let the judging commence!
Shafeeq R. Mahajir is a well-known lawyer based in Hyderabad