Art, Obscenity, Philosophy, Poetry and freedom of expression.

Pablo Picasso, a renowned artist said,

Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared.

Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art.”

Art, to every artist, is a vehicle for personal expression. An aesthetic work of art has the vigour to connect to an individual sensory, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. With a 5000-year-old culture, Indian Art has been rich in its tapestry of ancient heritage right from the medieval times to the contemporary art adorned today with each painting having a story to narrate.

Eroticism in Art in India:

Ancient Indian art has been never devoid of eroticism where sex worship and graphical representation of the union between man and woman has been a recurring feature. Continue reading

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Angry agitators protesting against Police but why?

Winter has finally arrived with all its baggage. Fog keeps Sun camouflaged for most of the morning when clouds do not takeover from it. Temperature fell to make shivering a reality. Hourly interaction with Kahwah (Kashmir tea) is a necessity. The holiday season is full of lethargy. But not for everyone.

The Protesters

മലയാളം: ഡെൽഹിയിൽ സ്ഥിതി ചെയ്യുന്ന ഇന്ത്യാഗേറ്റ...

India Gate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands of young boys and girls are out there at India Gate & Raisina Hill (President House) protesting for being in an unsafe city for women and demanding improvement of law and order. Perhaps they should have also asked for a proper forensic investigation and speedy justice. Even though the protesters do not say in words they mean everything. While these common commuters suffer everyday at the hands of pick-pocket, thugs, rogue Auto-rickshaw & bus staff, police is busy extracting weekly allowance from squatters and providing protection to VIPs (read Politicians). 70% of Police force in Delhi is deployed to ensure safe life for Politicians. A part of the job of police is to hold traffic for smooth passage of VIPs while commuters like protesters try to find new excuses for their bosses for being late. In Delhi less than a hundred thousand Politicians are protected by 70% force and more than ten million by remaining 30%. The total force deployed is about seventy thousand. When it comes to traffic law enforcement, motorbike riders are subjected to daily humiliation, sometime several times a day, on the pretext of checking their papers. The profile of protesters is nothing but everyday victim of police itself. The protest is volcano of simmering dissent which is trying to find a way out.

Accountability of Police:

Delhi has a unique disability. The law and order is not under the control of elected Government. Against all Principles of democracy armed police force is not answerable to elected body. It is answerable to Union Home Minister.
It would be a high time that a debate may ensue that why the political institutions like Parliament be shifted to safe zone at new distant city where they may be kept protected like newborn are kept in incubators. But that is not the end of problems. When these fearful representatives of people return to the very people they claim to represent, they need more protection. The disparity of police availability for common man continues there as well. Thus what is the Problem of Delhi is actually a problem of every city of India.

Problem

Policement not wearing helmet.

Two policemen riding motorbike without wearing mandatory helmet.

Whatever may be the cause of protest, it does not hide the fact that except for the matters upon which glare of media  is focused upon, Policing and crime investigation is last priority of police. The first priority as stated above is protection of those near the center of power. Corruption, poor qualifications, authoritarians, lack of communication, disrespect for law (see picture on the left) and arbitrariness are other problems.

Solution

No difficulty in suggesting the solution but it will not be implemented.
First: Create a new educated force of Investigators with experts in criminology and forensics. Entrust them with crime investigation. It can be started with city to city basis. (Something like CSI)
Second: Keep existing force and structure for enforcement of law only. If they encounter crime scene, they should immediately call the Investigators.
Third: Reduce work hours of police. Presently they have to work 12-18 hrs everyday. Most of them do not go home except in a month or fortnight. They live in police stations or in tents inside police stations. We can not expect compassion from some one living in such horrible conditions.
Fourth: Trials of all cases must be on day to day basis, as is the mandate of law, under Criminal Procedure Code. It must be adhered scrupulously.

Epilogue

None of above shall be implemented. If done, it will change everything. No body wants drastic changes. The entire edifice of power which relies heavily on muscle power, will collapse. We may wish what we want but we can only protest, without hope.

© Sandeep Bhalla

Aam Aadmi Party or common man’s Party or Party of Elite People for Common Man

English: People taking part in protests in sup...

English: People taking part in protests in support of Jan Lokpal bill in India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Depth of corruption in India

Corruption is to India what vegetation is to Forest. The real economy of the country runs on cash. Most businesses have two set of accounts. One for tax purposes and another for actual accounting use. Any person who has bought or sold a house/apartment/land, has indulged in this parallel mess and realized the duplicity of system. Gross tax evasion is a norm in all industries. Higher the rate of taxation, greater is tax evasion. Govt. Officials are making a killing in this process. The State largesses of material resources are distributed without any transparency. This description establishes that in India no person can claim to be free from corruption. The difference exists only in the motive for corruption. Whether it is to accumulate more wealth or to preserve it or to survive everyday life?
Moral fibre has become so thin that nobody can trust nobody. We hire domestic help and send him/her to buy few things, It is well neigh impossible that help will come back with correct prices or will not over-charge. But they are poor people and are trying to survive.

Anna Hazare is practically wrong on corruption even though right in principle.

What Activist, Anna is asking that an office of Ombudsman or Lokpal be established which should be free from Government. This ombudsman should also be invested with power to enquire into allegation of corruption by Ministers, Judges and Civil Servants.
The questions which beg for answers are: Is it possible for any single institution to set others right?  What is our past experience?

India is the only country in the world where Judiciary is not only independent but has insulated itself from the rest. Over a decade earlier, it declared that in process of appointment and discipline, Government’s role is only consultative. The final word rest with Judiciary. Thus the office of Chief Justice of India became most powerful office in India. What happened thereafter is noteworthy. Now judiciary is frequently questioned for its sins, not only by others but also from within. Serious allegations of corruption, blatant nepotism in appointments besides lack of transparency, anarchic behavior or shear apt high-handedness. Last five Chief Justices have been mired in allegations of corruption.
The conclusion is that empowering any institution without all round transparency does not yield results.

Ombudsman will help but is not the ultimate solution.

Now that Anna Hazare has taken a back seat in view of shameless stony non-resposiveness of the Government to enact law to create Ombudsman/Lokpal, his ex follower has declared intentions to form a political party to fight corruption. Now to prepare for that purpose what has he been doing? He was finding and revealing dirt of malpractice, impropriety, misappropriation or abuse of power by members of all the parties, business houses and what not. Now in the face of the fact that everyone is corrupt and every rich person is more corrupt than lesser rich, will it serve any purpose? There is no certain answer. But certainly this is not enough.

Aam Aadmi Party

An associate of Anna i.e. Anil Kejriwal aannounced that instead of demanding Lokpal from Government, he will ascend to power to make the changes. A point at which Anna distanced himself from the movement. If Anil Kejriwal has to be politically correct, he has to be travel beyond digging cosmetic dirt and enlist the systemic failures and its causes which promote the corrupt practices and come forward with a blue print to eradicate the problem. He shall have to involve people with no known riches. Above all he has to have a transparent list of members of his party and these members must elect him before he starts lamenting on microphones again. Formation of Aam Aadmi Party or Common Man’s Party, in such colorful label, is not going to eradicate corruption.

Unfortunately there is no mechanism or regulator in India which may be empowered to ensure inner party democracy. All parties are like proprietorship business entities. The command of supreme leader is the law within party. This autocratic set up is the single most corrupt thing as this is the center of corruption. Unless the political parties are democratic, these can not be called as honest. Hence are corrupt and will remain corrupt. Corruption involves money at a rather lower level. At the top it is only about control of material resources which is reservoir of power and corruption.

So far there is no indication of change in sight. Would things actually travel beyond rhetoric? We can only wait and see.

© Sandeep Bhalla

P.S. BTW if anyone finds a link to the list of members of Aam Aadmi Party, please paste it in the comments.

I miss the surveillance! Please tap my phone again?

Little BugFew months ago I was approached by relatives of a person arrested and lodged in Jail with request to represent him. There were severe, albeit contradictory allegations that he had active links with terrorists. His arrest and other events are a different story which is documented elsewhere. Here I share my experience of benefits from phone tapping.
The moment I had a few telephonic calls with these relatives, whose phone were under surveillance (a euphemism for tapping), my phone was also tapped. A few hours later my associate’s phone were also tapped.

How we discovered the tapping?

Continue reading

Evolution of Law of Privacy

History of Origin of concept of Privacy

Persecution of human races: (A Preface)

Might is right. This was the official motto of existence on earth and till this date, it continues to be the actual rule of existence. The only difference from dark ages and today is that now physical might has been replaced with various type of authority. We have invented numerous way to dominate others and we continue to invent new technologies to expand the domination. Freedom was and is an illusion. Words like Religion and God were such earlier tools of domination, which is now joined by Psychology and the list is endless.

Heresy:

In 12th century Roman Catholic Church became very aggressive in enrollment of new followers and in purging the non believers. The church was custodian of a divinely imparted revelation which it alone was authorized to expound under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit or the holy ghost. Which is the third personality in Christian Trinity.
Any criticism of official interpretation made by church, on any subject, was heresy and heretical person was liable to be purged.

Inquisition by Church

In 1184 Pope Lucius III, authorized a process of inquiry to combat heresy. the Bishops were authorized to make inquiries in their dioceses. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX started independent persons as Inquisitors who had authority over everyone except bishops and their officials. In 1252 Pope Innocent IV authorized these Inquisitors to engage henchmen to torture people.
The procedure adopted by these Inquisitors was anything but not Due Process recognized later. It was persecution of innocent people who were compelled to deny anything that according to Inquisitors was heresy. Remember Galileo, he was kept under house arrest till he died. They employed every method to extract confession, public ridicule, imprisonment, solitary confinement and torture to select a few. Murder and Burning alive were also not uncommon.
Since church was an Independent Authority acting under the Trinity of God, his son and Holy Spirit, the Due Process guaranteed by King had no effect. Rather the King could always approach church to control erring citizens.
This situation continued until about seventeen century.

Bill of right:

In 1689 the enactment of Bill of rights, and availability of Habeas Corpus to all coupled with the unpopularity of Church activities, a New Era or respect for human life begin.

Privacy as Fundamental Right:

US Courts as also Indian Courts have attributed different reasons and logic to protect individual liberties especially Privacy. It is my understanding that the above background has not been taken into account by the courts and it is for this reason, privacy has become a misunderstood concept. Some time it is a weapon to proclaim individuality or an inconvenience for Governments to do the same things which inquisitors were doing in Middle Ages.

United Nations Charter:

According to Universal Declaration of Human rights adopted by United Nation in its General Assembly in 1948 “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.” Further article 12 of Declaration provides:

“No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.”

United States of America

The Constitution of United States was first to recognize the right of privacy from the intrusion of the State. Privacy is recognized in the Fourth Amendment of US constitution as under:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The reason given for aforesaid amendment is that founding fathers were smugglers and were seriously affected by Writ of Assistance, may be true or may be not but is not the only reason.

Position in India

Historically India has no known concept of privacy. In its 500 years of recurrent invasion and thereafter 450 years of foreign rule (first by Mughals and then by Britain), people have accepted the intrusion by State as part of life. However the Modern and Recent views are rather different. In India, relevant clause of the Constitution is Article 21 which is as under:

No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law

the Supreme Court of India has interpreted article 21 and has held that right to life means Right to live with Dignity and therefore privacy is an integral part of Right to Life. This interpretation is more in tune with German Ground or Basic law ‘Grundgesetz für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland‘ which came into force in 1949 and its Article 1 states that:

Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.

However the courts while deciding various cases seems to be in jinx of thought. May be because the above process of evolution is now a distant history. We shall soon enter into the discussion about these decided cases in another post.

© Sandeep Bhalla