It is obvious that Dr Binayak Sen, despite being convicted for charges of sedition and anti-national activities, by lower court and high court, has a long list of national and international supporters.
These include Nobel laureates Noam Chomsky and Amartya Sen, and several Indians including leftist academics like professor Romila Thapar, Lawyers like Prashant Bhushan, Christian leaders like John Dayal and ill-famed activists like Teesta Setalvad and Swami Agnivesh who have all lined up to demand his freedom
Statements of support for him had come from Amnesty International, The Global Health Council, and various national and international institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi University, Jadavpur University, Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Cambridge of United States, Tata Institute of Social Science and Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata,
His arrest has even been lamented on a British Medical Journal editorial and termed a ‘mockery of justice’ by Lancet, another medical journal form England.
No wonder, he was endorsed by the Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights in 2008 and the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2011.
Furthermore, Europeon Union delegates expressed their desire to visit Dr Sen’s court hearings and sure enough some unseen hands in the Indian government allowed these people to ‘monitor’ our court.
This is what the CM of Chhattisgarh, Mr Raman Singh had to say, “As a doctor, no one knew Sen in Chhattisgarh. …….. during the last two years, no one from Chhattisgarh has led a protest in any town, village or city. These protesters came from outside—they would come in aeroplanes, wearing good clothes and perfume. No one recognised that these well-dressed people were coming from France and London. … (Sen) has links with NGOs that work in Chhattisgarh. His close links with missionaries are well known.”
Interestingly Christian leaders have been specifically distressed over conviction of Dr Sen, lending support that there is a different angle to the whole story which our English media is too afraid to investigate or publish. After all the existence of Maoists and Christists nexus is not unknown in tribal belts of India where conversion activities are creating havoc.
Seditionist on Planning Commission panel
It is absurd, to say the least, that the UPA Government, obviously acting on the instructions of the Congress, should have thought it fit to nominate Binayak Sen, found guilty of being involved with Maoist activity in Chhattisgarh and sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of sedition, to the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health. Binayak Sen has been sentenced by the trial court; his appeal against the verdict is pending in the High Court. The reason he is out of jail is not because the verdict has been overturned, but the Supreme Court, in its infinite wisdom, has granted him bail that was denied by the lower courts. It is possible — and there are sufficient examples of courts letting off offenders for a variety of reasons that do not require elaboration —that the Supreme Court may ultimately absolve Binayak Sen of the charges framed against him and upheld by the trial court. That verdict would have to be accepted as it is the highest court of the land. But as BJP leader Arun Jaitley has pointed out in a separate matter, the fact that the Supreme Court is the highest court of justice does not necessarily make it infallible. That apart, for the moment Binayak Sen stands guilty as charged; he cannot be, indeed must not be, treated at par with law-abiding citizens of this country. In brief, he cannot be considered for membership of a Planning Commission committee as that would be tantamount to making a mockery of the laws that are meant to control criminal deeds and punish those who wage war on the state by willingly, actively associating themselves with terrorists — in this case Maoists. Let us not forget that Binayak Sen was charged — and found guilty — under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which has been amended by the UPA regime to effectively combat terrorism of all hues, and the Chhattisgarh Vishesh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam, 2005, which is meant to specifically deal with the Red menace. It was not a kangaroo court that tried Binayak Sen, but a secular court of the republic.
By nominating Binayak Sen to the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health — on the specious pretext that he has done ‘sterling’ work as a “people’s doctor” for which he has won foreign awards — the Government has questioned the very legitimacy of a law it has in the past showcased as an instrument to fight terrorism as well as a State-specific law it has approved as necessary to deal with Maoists. The Left-liberal intelligentsia, which has never been known for being mindful of the national interest and whose leading members are known for being propagandists of those who wage war on the nation, especially the Maoists, has been the most vocal in its support for Binayak Sen, as have been NGOs with dubious records. This is not surprising. But that the Government should have acted in such manner is both surprising and shocking. Are we to assume that the National Advisory Council, which is stuffed with Left-liberals and jholawallahs, is behind the decision to nominate Binayak Sen as a member of the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health? That would be of a piece with the ‘Save Binayak Sen’ campaign that has been mounted ever since he was arrested for acting as a courier of top Maoist leaders, facilitating their stay and movements in Chhattisgarh.
DNA / R Vaidyanathan / Friday, May 20, 2011 3:13 IST
Within weeks of getting bail from the Supreme Court in connection with charges of sedition, Binayak Sen has been made a member of the Planning Commission’s steering committee on health, which will advise the panel on the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-2017). Interestingly the mainstream media reported Sen as a human rights activist — whatever it is — rather than his conviction for sedition. The steering committee will review the National Health Policy, 2002, and explore the possibility of adopting the right to health as an approach with special focus on women, children, life-cycle care and preventive and curative healthcare.
Other than doing seditious activities, Sen is supposed to be running a healthcare organisation in Bilaspur and so Syeda Hameed, another jholawala [silk variety, not jute] in the Planning Commission, has appointed him as a part of the 40-member committee on health chaired by her. Hameeda’s claim to fame is being from Miranda House and a human rights activist, and a founder of the South Asian Human Rights group other than researching on Bhutto. None of it has anything to do with health.
His appointment has been confirmed by Montek Singh Ahuluwalia, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, and the chairman of the Planning Commission, namely the PM, will claim, as usual, that he knows nothing about such events. Binayak Sen himself has also been gracious to accept it.
Many of the civil society groups, both in the NAC and outside, are silent. The rule of law is primary and critical for these groups if it is pertains to Narendra Modi’s Gujarat but not to the naxals of Chhattisgarh. The session’s court has convicted Binayk Sen for sedition and facilitating Maoist insurgency, which seeks to destroy the Indian State and replace it with the dictatorship of the proletariat, where power stems from the barrel of the gun controlled by the politburo.
The conviction (remember these are not allegations) was upheld by the Jharkhand high court and he was refused bail. There was a hue and cry after the high court judgment, with reports mentioning him as a doctor and globally known right activist who has won several awards. As if a Nobel laureate, for instance, cannot be a murderer.
Suddenly, the mainstream media (MSM), which is part of the civil society jholawalas, forgot about the rule of law and the need to respect judicial verdicts. Then the Supreme Court gave him bail, which was reported by the MSM as Sen “walking free”. That is a distortion since he is still a convicted person and is out on bail.
Sedition, as we all understand, is a serious charge and there are civil rights groups that carefully tabulate the number of convicts and accused criminals standing for election. They have reported the number of persons with a criminal background in the various legislative assemblies and even in parliament. Civil groups and MSM routinely condemn their presence in these august bodies.
Sen has not committed a misdemeanour but felony, or a very serious crime. Unless he is acquitted, he is a convict for sedition.
He may be the national vice-president of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties, but he cannot work to destroy all our liberties under a Maoist rule.
The chief minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, has expressed his indignation at the appointment of a convict for sedition by the central government in the Planning Commission. Baijendra Kumar, principal secretary to the chief minister, said that “the chief minister had disapproved of Sen’s nomination as he is convicted and out on bail. The case against him continues in court.”
But Raman Singh is merely an elected chief minister and not an unelectable jholawala — who currently hold de facto power at Delhi. It is all the more surprising that the ministry of home affairs is silent.
What next? Arundhati Roy, who is accused of treason, can be put in the National Integration Council and of course, Kasab can be part of the foreign ministry panel on Indo-Pak Aman ki Asha. And rule of Law – what is that?