Anuj Puri is a lawyer practicing in the Supreme Court of India. He holds a LL.M. Degree from Columbia University, New York. He is a visiting faculty to IIM Shillong and IIM Rohtak. His articles have been previously published in the Wall Street Journal and Hindustan Times.
I am not even remotely condoning the incidents but if we start viewing every dreadful occurrence in the country from the same viewpoint then every remote act -- good or bad -- can be interpreted as part of a grand design. The question that we need to address is whether the alleged grand design exists or is sought to be constructed? In my opinion, no such grand design exists.
Does the government really believe that the ban would be workable, leave alone effective? Would it really bring down crimes against women and children? If the government has conducted any credible study in this regard, it should share the same with the citizenry in order to legitimise the ban. Right now the ban only serves to increase state's hegemony, not citizens' safety. The purpose of the state at best can be to protect the life and liberty of citizens. History bears witness that bans serve neither.
It is obvious to an ordinary citizen like me that politics is means to an end not end in itself; perhaps our parliamentarians would do well to be reminded of this simple home truth. They carry with themselves the responsibility, hopes and aspirations of billion plus humans. Surely no single issue-perhaps with the exception of national security can be important enough to suspend parliamentary discourse.
There is a beautiful similarity between a marriage and a government - the first anniversary is too nascent a landmark to write eulogies or obituaries for either. The moment can be used for reflection, introspection even interrogation but certainly not for passing verdicts.
In the days to come, as has always happened in debates surrounding farmer's rights, rhetoric will triumph over reason. Instead of focusing on the plight of the farmers, the debate is destined to be styled as <em>us</em> v. <em>them</em> -- <em>farmer</em> v. <em>industry</em>. The Land Bill presently being debated in Parliament, despite all its merits, will be labelled as a giant conspiracy against the farmers of India; the government under siege will be forced to relent on all reforms --agricultural, industrial and labour.