Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Asinine Law

Recently I had an opportunity to experience the asininity of the law. The state government appealed in the High Court in Indore against our acquittal by the lower court in a false case that it had filed against us charging us with having tried to murder policemen and wage a war against the state. The High Court admitted the appeal and ordered that we get ourselves bailed out and appear regularly in court. I felt this to be highly unjust and so initially did not get bail and searched around for a remedy. However, on reading the relevant law, the Criminal Procedure Code, I found that the High Court could admit the appeal without issuing notice to us and then order us to get bailed out. This portion of the statute is from the British times and is obviously one that is biased towards the state against the citizen. Moreover I found that since there were a huge number of criminal appeals pending our case would come up for final hearing and disposal only eight years from now.
This heavy load of criminal appeals has come about because the lower courts these days convict the accused in serious offences like murder, attempt to murder, dacoity and rape if even a few witnesses testify in order to clamp down on criminal activities. There are not enough judges in the High Courts to take on the heavy load of appeals against conviction that results and so the list of pending appeals goes on lengthening. The tragedy is that we despite being activists fighting against the injustice of the state and being acquitted by the lower court are also in the same boat as hardened criminals because the state has perversely filed an appeal against our acquittal so as to ensure that we do not expand our anti-statal activities. Instead of differentiating between those who have committed crimes and been convicted in lower courts and have appealed against this themselves and those like us who are activists fighting for justice who have been acquitted by the lower courts due to the falseness of the charges filed against us and been dragged to court again due to perversity of the state, the High Court lumps both together and so we too must wait our turn and attend court regularly under pain of being jailed if we do not do so. This is the asinine nature of the law in this country.
To fight this we will now have to expend considerable time and money and go to the Supreme Court and challenge the Criminal Procedure Code and the High Court Rules which do not make any distinction between those who have been convicted due to criminal activities and those who have been acquitted from false charges while disposing of the appeals. However, the lawyers here are not enthusiastic about this. They in fact discouraged me from absconding from the high court and I had to finally get myself bailed out as this hide and seek with the police was affecting my other work. Finally when I did get the bail order from the High Court the clerk made a small mistake in typing out the order and so I could not immediately bail myself out in the lower court. I had to apply once again to the High Court asking for the correction in the order and only after that I could get bail.
The judges are so overloaded with work that they do not have any time to consider what their mechanical application of an anti-people colonial law is going to mean in harassment for poor people and activists fighting for their rights. No wonder the state continues to reign supreme in its inequities without much challenge to the injustices it metes out to the oppressed poor.

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