ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Fair Is Foul

Two news items, appearing in two adjoining columns on page 15 of The Hindu (Bangalore edition) of 18 May, perhaps best exemplify the higgledy-piggledy world we live in India today. “Court gives Pappu Yadav the benefit of the doubt”, runs one while the other reads, “Adivasi forum leader remanded in judicial custody”. The adivasi forum leader in question is Madhuri Krishnaswamy of Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan, who together with her colleagues had pro­tested way back in 2008 against the high-handed and callous action of a primary health centre “compounder” who had thrown an expectant tribal mother out of the centre and onto the street – presumably because by crossing the threshold of a government health centre, the woman, a tribal and a dalit to boot, had defiled that noble institution for good.

A case of “rioting and assault” had been duly filed by that great votary of purity, Vijay Chauhan, clearly a rogue and bully, against Krishnaswamy and others. His noble cause suffered a setback when the police, retained to enquire into the complaint, eventually filed a closure report, because no case could be made out against the “culprits”. In a dramatic suo motu action full five years after the incident, however, the judicial magistrate of Baswani, Bhopal, was pleased to take cognisance of the protestations of the bully, summoned all the respondents of the case, and on Krishnaswamy showing up at the court, dispatched her to judicial custody, apparently to stop her from disturbing the peace so dear to the Chauhans of the world, and to the court! Krishnaswamy did, of course, have the option of seeking bail, but she refused to do so. Obviously it would have been beneath her dignity.

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