Your coverage of the Bilkis Bano case was of great interest to me and I thank you for the same. As a woman I felt horrified to read what authorities of our country are capable of doing. I would like to reiterate as well as elaborate some of the points that you have brought out.
In the heading itself you have stated that the Indian state is thoroughly communal. This is of the utmost importance.
It is no secret that the BJP, which was in charge of the Gujarat government in 2002, had incited people against Muslims. However you have also reminded those who have forgotten and informed those who did not know that communal violence is not a monopoly of the BJP or of what is commonly called the Sangh Parivar. As your article points out, “In 1984, the Congress Party was in charge of the Central Government when communal violence was unleashed against Sikhs in Delhi and several other places.”
You have also exposed the so-called Rule of Law as well as the judiciary, which is an important organ of the state. Parties in charge of the executive power can get away with the most inhuman crimes. “All members of society are not equal before the law. Those who have the backing of the ruling class are above the law.”
For decades, the Congress and now the BJP have been the trusted managers for the ruling class headed by the big corporates and monopoly capitalists. Neither the Congress leaders who organised and commanded the 1984 genocide of the Sikhs, nor the commanders of the Gujarat genocide in 2002 have been ever brought to book. On the other hand, after showing their ability to divide and terrorise the working class and other people, they are the ones who are funded to the tunes of thousands of crores so that once elected they have to do what the monopolists want. As you have pointed out, this is what happened in 1984 and again in this century.
Under the so-called Rule of Law, notorious criminals go strutting about enjoying positions of power, while the jails are full of tens of thousands of people who have not even been tried let alone convicted of anything. Trying to get “justice” is a dangerous, arduous, costly and a seemingly never-ending process for the victims as well as those who stand up for them. Officers true to their conscience, who are bold enough to raise their voices are hounded, suspended, clapped indefinitely in jail or even bumped off. As you point out, the principal parties in parliament, the bureaucracy, security forces and the judiciary are all ranged against the victims.
You have also brought out that we must persist in demanding that the guilty should be punished. The guilty includes those who organise, incite and give protection for rape and murder, as well as those in command, who failed to perform their duty of protecting people’s lives and dignity.
Finally, as your report on the mass protests shows, men and women of all persuasions have come out on the streets in the spirit “An attack on one is an attack on all!” This gives a lie to the slander that Indian people are communal.
Every day is making it clearer and clearer that “The struggle for justice will be crowned with victory when the rule of the bourgeoisie headed by the monopoly capitalists is replaced with the rule of the toiling masses of people.” All of us indeed must fight with this perspective.