May 4, 2006

Judicial joke

The Supreme Court of India in April-end sometime (exact details are not imp) delivered a verdict that directs states to 'actively work towards' prohibition.

Article 47 of the Constitution, under the Directive Principles of State Policy is relevant here. The second part of Art 47 reads: "The State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs, which are injurious to health."

There was some concern raised about the amount of alcohol being consumed by the present generation 'mindlessly aping the West'.

I read that and thought 'Hmmmm. So now the judiciary is going to tell us how to live our lives.' They are going to tell us that Gandhian philosophy (which inspired Art 47) is an absolute, and they will withdraw the freedom that you and I have today, to consume alcohol for non-medicinal purposes.

I'm sorry Your Honor, but I miss the point here. Don't we have real problems to worry about - like poverty, corruption at all levels, commercial fraud, communal tensions, naxal violence, abuse of all kinds of funds that are supposed to improve our lives, underworld activity and abduction, politics-and-mafia nexus, Bollywood-and-mafia nexus. If all that is too macro - has the Court been able to get people in this country to form queues and respect queue discipline, or enforce the selling of goods at the right price - at or below MRP.

Our judicial system allowed Salman Khan to go scot-free after he ran down a human being. But for taking the life of a deer, he has to go to prison for five years. Wow! Thats fair and just, and I feel so secure living in this country - cause I know this is a land with the rule of law.

Sarcasm and bigger issues apart, I'm also immensely piqued that I'm not allowed to make choices here. People in the West drink much much more, and its not considered 'bad' or immoral. But in this supposedly free and democratic country, I am being forced to accept and live by an obsolete and anyway-questioable philosophy. Not only does the state fail to provide a decent standard of living and security, it is even taking away the things I value and can afford.

Lastly - we take great pride in being the world's largest democracy. Democracy means I have a right to choose who governs the country and makes all policies and executive decisions. I am trusted with the 'right to choose' a representative. But they do not trust me to control what I drink and how much.

As everyone used to say at IITM - 'What fart da!'

No comments:

Post a Comment