In their long drawn struggles conducted over centuries, of course at the cost of immense sacrifices, the working people had succeeded in securing certain democratic rights, liberties and freedoms. These achievements, were forced upon their rulers by the working people, often against their will. To be sure, the rulers did never offer the rights and liberties to people out of their benevolence, but working people had to win them in hard struggles against the tyranny and repression by their rulers. Generations of toilers had to fight innumerable battles, big and small, to make the rulers recognise the concept of human rights. Under the impact of these struggles only, the rulers were compelled again and again to recognise, the inviolability of the basic human rights- in the form of constitutional guarantees.
However, the rule and all pervasive domination of money, prevalent in all capitalist countries, had continued to suck the life-blood of these democracies, leaving little meaning in them, for common people.
The edifice of rights and liberties, loses all consistency or perpetuity under the rule of money as it continues to be eroded gradually at the hands of ruling elite. Unable to tackle the contradictions of its regime, through ordinary legal means, the ruling elite repeatedly turns against its own legality, to undermine it more and more through direct violence and tyranny. Not satisfied by perfecting its state apparatus, through black laws, one after the other, it compliments this machine through extra-legal measures like torture in police cells, violence, fake encounters etc. which have become a norm rather than an exception under its rule in all countries. As if this all is not sufficient, it continuously ventures to altogether destroy the rights and liberties, alternating between the legal and extra legal means, acquired by the people through their consistent efforts.
In apparent endorsement to what can be termed a misadventure of this ruling elite, the 3rd Senior-most Judge of the Supreme Court of India, Justice Arijit Pasayat, is reported by the media to have stated in a seminar that the terrorists who kill people on streets with AK-47 and AK-56, are not humans and no human rights should be available to them, that they are animals and deserve only animal rights. The Judge was speaking at a seminar on “Investigation and Prosecution of Offences relating to Terrorism” organized by the Indian Law Institute, on 27 January 2009. Mr. Pasayat, made mockery of the human rights activists, challenging as to how come they talk of human rights of terrorists. The Judge was supported, in his views, by the Solicitor General of India, G E Vahanvati, who exclaimed that no legal aid be made available, and the one accused of terorrist offence be left to defend himself. The Senior Lawyer F.S. Nariman has also endorsed the views. Notable is that none at the seminar or even thereafter has condemned or criticised these remarks, which obviously smack of fascist overture.
As if AK-47 and AK-56 are the sole symbols of terorrism for rulers, the Judge lashes out at those who use them to 'kill on the streets'. So, the tortures and murders in police custody are not terrorism, mayhem of thousands in communal pogroms is not terrorism, brutalities of Salva Judum are not terrorism; it was not terrorism when three thousand Sikhs were burnt alive by Congressmen in 84’, it was not terrorism when the genocide of more than two thousand muslims was carried out in Gujrat and more recently of Christians in Karnataka at the hands of right-wing hooligans, it is not terrorism when landlord armies massacre poor dalits and landless, but it is terrorism if killings are executed by AK-47 or AK-56?
The honourable Judge scornfully suggests to strip those accused of terrorism of all human rights. The Judge hardly has to worry about it, because this is really something what our police is already doing. Common man hardly has any defence, against the almighty police. The Judge must know that there remains no trace of any ‘human right’ or any right for that matter, once a person is doomed to police custody. In this country, which has a track record of custodial tortures, extra-legal executions etc. even an ordinary arrestee remains on pure mercy of police. The judge, however suggests the police, that it should show no mercy at all to the one who is arrested on charge of terrorism, but should be subjected to a treatment befitting an animal. And why at all take the pains of arrest? Why not do the spot justice? Catch the prey and eliminate! No arrest, no defence, no lawyer, no Court, no trial, simple encounter! Why to care for the law? After all, how the one booked for terrorism by the police, can claim human rights? He deserves only animal rights!
The fascist formations, the RSS, VHP, BJP had since long advocated spot justice for terror suspects and accused, having persecution of muslims on their minds. Now the Judge is the next to join them in this campaign.
Incidentally, the clarion call by the Judge for use of extra-legal measures against those charged for terrorism by the police, coincides with two major events this year. The first is the completion of seven decades since adoption, on 10 December 1948, of Human Rights Charter by the member countries of UN, including India, i.e. ‘The Universal declaration of Human Rights by UN’, which proclaimed inviolibility of human rights; and the second is completion of sixth decade of the making of the Indian Constitution itself, which itself is by-product of a massive struggle against colonial rulers. To be sure, the Judge has taken oath to uphold the dignity of the Constitution!
Irrespective of what the ordinary citizens in all countries of the world, and especially those in the backward countries like India, really face at the hands of the machine for law enforcement, and however farcical the legal declarations of rights might have proven on the ground for common people, but somehow this farce of legality has been hitherto maintained by the ruling classes, at least through their judicial wings. Now, the statement of the Judge, in apparent departure from the past, demonstrate that the rulers are more than inclined to take full swing away from their promises and declarations of liberties, freedoms and protections to their subject citizens. The self-explanatory silence being kept by the liberal intellectuals on this statement by the Judge, is demonstrative of the intentions of bourgeois as a whole. The Brutal, savage State, is what the rulers are craving for.
Rivalries among the nation-states, coupled with the oppression of weaker nations at the hands of stronger, are the root cause for violence, terrorism and open and proxy wars on the globe. While common people remain the sufferers, victims and losers in all cases, the ruling elite takes advantage of the devastating conflicts to further tighten the noose around the neck of their citizens, in the form of black laws and procedures. If on the pretext of 9/11, United States succeeded in promulgating the ‘Patriot Act’, the Indian ruling classes carved a tool out of the attack on parliament to pass POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act), which was so grossly misused that none of the Party could dare to stand in its support. Earlier TADA (Terrorist And Disruptive Activities Act) had to be dropped after people from 11-85 years of age, were booked under it, en-masse. Now 26/11 (the attack on Taj) has provided more recent opportunity to the rulers in India to amend the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), to the detriment of citizenry, adding drastic provisions to it.
The biggest beneficiary of all terrorism is none but the ruling class itself, who finds an instrument in terrorist acts to more and more subjugate the people, burdening them with harsh laws, procedures and repressive institutions. Terrorist actions are used by these rulers as pretext to militarise the society and fortify themselves against the people, in the name of security considerations. Thus, if terrorism serves the interest of someone, it is none but the ruling elite itself. Taking benefit of the scare and euphoria that is created in the aftermath to such actions, the rulers backed by corporate media, target the movements of people, deliberately blurring the line between the movement and the terrorist acts. This is how the Prime Minister, cunningly targets the peasant movements, while apparently hitting at Naxalism, terming it to be the biggest threat to the country, and this is how the Judge targets the already squeezed rights of people, in the name of opposition to terrorism. Goal is common- to reinforce the agenda of ruling class of capitalists and landlords, to decimate the people, the civil society to nothing, while simultaneously strengthen the state, the machine of their rule to everything.
The rule of capitalists in all countries of the world, whether it is US or India, has become a savage burden for working masses. It is in the state of decay for more than a century now. It is for the working class to liberate the humanity from its shackles, through a world socialist revolution.