Thursday, 29 April 2010

Khushboo and Supreme Court of India

The recent judgment of the Supreme Court  upholds the right to freedom of speech and expression. Khushboo's right to freedom of speech was violated by the institution of multiple criminal cases against her in various courts across the country and consequent harassment that she suffered. dealt with the procedural loophole in s 177 of the Criminal Procedural Code which allows multiple cases to be filed, The Supreme Court has now given an important direction to Magistrates which should curb abuse of the criminal process:
Court is right in upholding the freedom of speech and expression as an individual right of a citizen in this country.Court is right in saying "We must be mindful that the initiation of a criminal trial is a process which carries an implicit degree of coercion and it should not be triggered by false and frivolous complaints, amounting to harassment and humiliation to the accused."
Besides it is implicit the moral policing taken up by any individuals with a few goons at their command is condemnable, if it allowed unchecked with or without the party's endorsement ruling at the state level , this may lead to chaos and coercion to the liberty of individuals.
At the same time it is equally important and a social responsibility on any individual to pass comments off the cuff on values and culture of a race or a country , using individual yardstick of standards, like anyone uses alcohol and saying since Govt runs liquor shops and now drinking is a social norm , so educated no longer mind drinking alcohol is a self defeating statement, many a doctor may drink but never says when he advises a patient to continue drinking, doctors go by the ethics of medical science and do the practice; likewise Khushboo should have restrained herself from bringing in educated people by saying that educated did not mind accepting wives who had not been virgins before marriage, stray cases where a girl had been cheated or second marriage this is implied and accepted as a standard , but not accepting in totality in the gamut of Indian culture and marriages.This holds good even for males although male chauvinistic society did not disapprove this behavior on the part of males.
Responsibility is responding to the social values and commenting on improving the society not making statement for making the ground of morality more slippery for youngsters at their impressionable age.
Finally do not use your personal yardstick of your set standards as the standards of Indian culture and ethos.
We come here to live as Indians with whatever we do without encroaching on others' personal space but India lives for ever with its standards of morality and values, do not tamper it.
This is not to sermonize on the standards of morality, which is changing , everyone knows, but taking a swipe on the minimum expected in every generation with regard to morality is misleading.

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