The RSS-affiliated teachers who are members of bodies like the Academic Council and Executive Council are attacking Kancha Ilaiah, Christophe Jaffrelot or any thinker/scholar who has expressed criticism of the RSS or Hindutva ideology. They are thus fabricating false pretexts and flimsy excuses to have all critical and divergent opinion removed from DU syllabi and curriculum.
Legal impediments are unlikely to deter the party when it feels that the raising of religious fervour is the only way to overcome the government’s inability to keep its promise of vikas. While the RSS’ Mohan Bhagwat is calling for an ordinance to start building Ram temple, the BJP has decided to make full use of the Sabarimala issue even though it involves flouting the landmark Supreme Court judgment.
Judges are merely ‘black-robed homo sapiens’ and many have observed the direct linkage between public opinion and the behaviour of judges that arise from the force of mutually experienced events and ideas in shaping and reshaping the preferences of both the public and the judges.
The NDA government led by Narendra Modi has reached its lowest ebb of governance with the CBI under the stewardship of the PMO riven by unheard of factional fighting in the history of this investigating agency. The myth of minimum government and maximum governance lies shattered.
Activists are being called “urban naxals” to criminalise dissent and holding a differing ideological position. RSS and the Modi government have been indulging in a nefarious game of eliminating the Dalits, Muslims and rights activists on the plea of fighting urban naxals. With Dalit resistance spilling out on the streets, the Maharashtra police has been trying to implicate activists who have stood their ground to help promote the movement for the rights for marginalised groups.
Justice for women means the right to work, expecting their employers to understand and prevent sexual harassment at the workplace, zero tolerance of sexual harassment by employers, providing a mechanism to raise complaints when it happens. When employers fail in their duty to prevent sexual harassment, or even to recognise its existence under their nose, where is the question of ‘due process’?
M J Akbar’s resignation is a testament to the sheer power of the #MeToo movement, and the horror of its stories and experiences. In fact, Akbar tried to emulate this government’s bullying tactic by initially denying all the allegations, and then filing a criminal defamation case against Priya Ramani, a senior journalist.
Many women victims hesitate to approach the complaints committees because they fear getting doubly victimised in a hierarchic power relation — first through sexual abuse and if they choose to complain then through harassment at work. Moreover, the committees can only report their findings to the top management and it is the management which has to take action. When the senior management officials are accused, how can their juniors conduct impartial enquiry against them?
We are in a situation where the allegations of sexual harassment are so pervasive — ranging from the judiciary, the legal profession, the newsrooms, the entertainment industry, academia, and politicians — that it would be counterproductive to deal with each case individually. What is required is a commission of inquiry to inquire into the failures of the existing legal systems and the Sexual Harassment Act to prevent the happening of these incidents.
Why is it so important for you to know your judges before they are appointed? The IB has no mandate to check for predatory behaviour of the Supreme Court nominee towards women and such behaviour can pass through the net very easily. This would be the contribution of the #MeToo movement to accountability in the judiciary.
Since the challenge in Ismail Faruqui was based upon the argument, inter alia, that a mosque cannot be acquired and the observations made by the Constitution Bench were in the context of acquisition only and are not to be read broadly, nor will have any effect whatsoever upon the present appeals against the 2010 High Court verdict, the apprehensions of the Muslim side, upon whom reference of Ismail Faruqui to a larger bench was sought, stands addressed to a large extent.