Dr. Binayak Sen’s life sentence for treason has once again initiated a debate on freedom of Human Rights and violation of the Rights. In legal terms, treason is the crime that covers some of the serious acts of betrayal of one’s sovereign nation. Hence, a citizen’s act meant to seriously injure the nation, falls under the wider ambit of treason.
Often such accusations are controversial and disputed as the line dividing the freedom of Human Rights and violation of Rights is overlooked – leading to the accusation and conviction for treason.
Earlier demands of such charges have been raised against writer and social activist Arundhati Roy and Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani for their remarks on Kashmir – for supporting Kashmir in their speeches.
The prosecution court claimed that it has strong evidence proving that Sen was a courier for the Maoists. It says, “Binayak Sen met Narayan Sanyal in prison 33 times in 35 days (between May 26 – June 30, 2007) carrying out seditious letters, and passing them to Piyush Guha.
It is also claimed that when a sub-inspector was kidnapped, the Maoists sought the withdrawal of CRPF from Maoist areas in return for his release. So did the PUCL – of which Sen was the Vice President. To the prosecution this showed PUCL was a hiteshi sangathan or sympathetic front organisation of the Maoists.
Maoists have become the greatest internal threats for the security and integrity of the country – which the Prime Minister has severally indicated in his speeches. Today stern action against them amounts pressure on the government itself as it raises eyebrows of a battery of Maoist sympathisers – which include prominent social workers, writers, journalists and even some Nobel Laureates. Such reactions do not prop up merely to empathise with the accused for being a social worker, writer or journalist, but also to defy the dual policy of the government to deal with critical situations.
Last quarter of the year 2010 proved a season of big scams. Hardly any such charges were labelled against any political leader or Babus accused of siphoning off the huge sum of money. None of them was sentenced to life imprisonment, or is likely to be in the future. For example, former Telecom Minister A. Raja, even evading legal norms during dubious 2G licence awards – involving scam of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore; the Babus involved in the loot of Commonwealth Games – out of Rs 70000 crore spent on the Games, only half of amount was spent on Indian sportspersons; IPL scam exposing the real faces of Shashi Tharoor and Lalit Modi; and Aadarsh Scam and so on.
If we go a little back we can also recall the Chara Ghotala of Rs 900 crore exposing various political heavyweights including Lalu Prasad. There are so many scams and so many Babus involved in it which merit attention but all such cases are more often than not swept under the carpet – all because of the dual policies of the government.
If the government is really sincere in making the country free from fear, terror and corruption, it is necessary to adopt an all-out drive in every trouble area. It would be better if it initiates the drive from its own premises.