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Will India Win Nobel Prize?
|by Rajinder Puri|
Binayak Sen who is a practicing doctor and vice-president of the People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) has been sentenced to life imprisonment on the charge of sedition. One cannot comment on the merit of the sentence without studying the judgment and assessing how credible and substantial is the evidence presented by the police against the doctor.
During arguments in court the Special Prosecutor said that Sen met alleged Maoist ideologue Narayan Sanyal 33 times and carried seditious letters to be passed on to another accused in the case, namely Piyush Guha. Sen applied 33 times on the letter head of the PUCL to meet Sanyal. Thirty-three times the two met and conversed in the presence of jail authorities. The letters passed on by Sen to Piyush Guha could, or would, have been scrutinized by jail authorities. It is surprising that the judge did not sentence the jail authorities for facilitating sedition.
Sen was jailed in 2007 and denied bail till 2009. For some time in 2008 he was kept in solitary confinement. While it may not be appropriate without studying the judgment to comment on its merit, one can quite easily comment on the political consequences that may flow from it. This judgment will give a huge boost to the Maoist cause.
There are broadly two kinds of sympathizers of the Maoist cause. There are the hard core violent militants, some of whom undoubtedly receive material and tactical support from foreign forces, and there are those who sympathize with the cause that the Maoists publicly espouse. The aims of the Maoists insofar as egalitarian reform is concerned are unexceptionable. Indeed these would attract very wide public support if spread democratically. The objection to the Maoists arises from the violent methods they adopt killing many innocents in the process.
Referring to the dangers of home grown terrorism spreading, the Prime Minister on Friday said: “If terror modules are to be found in our country and some misguided elements of our society take to the path, I think we have to tackle this problem with all the sensitivity that it requires.” It can be safely said that the sentence against Binayak Sen will make an increasing number of people misguided and persuade them to support Maoist violence.
Twenty-two Nobel Laureates had pleaded with Indian authorities to release Sen. If the higher courts do not overturn the recent judgment administering a life sentence to Sen, it is entirely possible that in 2011 Binayak Sen might be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to succeed the current recipient, Chinese jailed dissident Liu Xiaobo. Thereby India would be honoured with one more Nobel Prize. China pressured other countries to boycott the Nobel Prize distribution ceremony. Beijing refused to attend the ceremony. If Sen is awarded the Nobel Prize it is possible that India may proudly attend the ceremony for having won the honour. Most certainly India would never pressure other countries to boycott the ceremony. Unlike China we do not bully other countries. Like China we bully our own people.
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12/26/2010 03:16 AM
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