Posted by Hansika Vohra
October 1, 2017

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“The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.”  AESOP, “The Wolf and the Lamb”, Aesop’s Fables

When are the authorities, by law, punishable for causing death? Who is criminally liable when the introduction of Demonetisation kills a 100 people, and the centre responds by saying, “bear the pain”. This response, without any spec of remorse for the lives lost and their families, is a confession of guilt made openly to the public.

Why does uneasiness grapple us when we think of taking a solid stand against an eminent politician? The law is what governs us all, even the politicians and the gaddi warmers. We are law abiding citizens and when a law is made, despite considering the short term repercussions of it, we rebel and demand justice. And that is what I seek to do. I demand for justice in the name of India and humanity.

The Indian Penal Code 1860 defines —

304A. Causing death by negligence

Whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

The centre did not take any steps to make sure that the elderly, the sick and the most directly impacted sections , i.e., people with no direct access of a bank, of society are taken care of. People died standing in queues, committed suicide due to shock, and even worse, due to inability to pay for fuel on their way to the hospital and some in the hospital itself due to inability to pay for their treatment. Who caused this? Who is answerable ? I’m sure that having a diverse range of intellectuals in the cabinet has some perks. They must have weighed the consequences of such an impetuous decision before making it public.

Were our fundamental rights not infringed by such an action ?

I aim to show criminal liability on the part of the central government and demand for new guidelines to be followed by the legislation.

Maybe the idea behind demonetisation was genuine, but the implementation caused grievous injury, emotional harm, and deaths. My question to those epitomes of justice is, “What is the cost of human life in India”. Does the population overpower the apparent ‘inconvenience’ that the PM spoke of?

Does the rule of law not apply to those in power ?

Imagine the psychological trauma that millions went through after hearing the news. And not to forget, anti depressant sale in India has doubled since. Isn’t anyone liable for this scenario ? Why is everyone keeping silent ? Causing psychological trauma, knowing that it would have severe effects on someone, amounts to harassment.

And what I demand for is nothing new, many heads of state have indeed been imprisoned in the past. If Indira Gandhi could be imprisoned in 1977, why not PM Modi ? Don’t imprison, but someone needs to be held accountable. 

If the implementation had been well planned and implemented, causing minimal inconvenience to the general public, I would have been fine with it. But having authority does not mean that you play with the lives of your own fellow citizens for black money. Where does Article 21 fit in here ? Think about the old man who died while all he wanted was his ‘own’ money. What about his family ? Could they say goodbye ?  When someone abruptly ‘orders’ you to stand in queues and changes your economical world within a speech, I do not see a democracy.

I see dictatorship in disguise. 

This petition is going to be criticised, I know. And I appreciate that as the criticism would be a result of freedom of expression, our fundamental right, just like Article 14 (Rule of Law) and Article 21 (Right to Life and Personal Liberty).

You decide, my common woman and man, if you want justice to prevail or would like to submit to an emerging dictatorship. If we condone this now, we will be paving way for disaster — the effects of which have already begun.

I love my country, and value the lives of its citizens. Do you ?


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