No one can accuse the Congress(I) of being comfortable with an independent and vibrant judiciary. Whenever in office during the past three decades, it has come in confrontation with judiciary and tried to curb its independence by dubious means. Contrary to what the founding fathers of the Constitution laid down in the fundamental law of the land and what stalwarts like Pandit Nehru and Sardar Patel thought and did, the party?after the late Indira Gandhi split the Congress?has shown disdain for the judiciary. She foisted ?committed judges? on the Supreme Court by superseding independent minded judges leaving them no option but to resign in protest. As Prime Minister, she almost decimated the judicial independence during the hated emergency and barring a handful of conscientious judges like Justice H.R. Khanna, even the superior judiciary lost its independence and verve in that black period of our constitutional history. The Congress-led Government has, on more than one occasion, used its majority in Parliament to override judicial verdicts for partisan gains. It?s, therefore, not surprising that the Sachar Committee, set up by the Prime Minister to study the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims, has ordered a communal headcount in the judiciary. If the panel has excluded higher judiciary from the communal headcount, it is not because it is sensitive to the need to keep the courts out of communal virus. It refrained from doing so because of the apprehension that the apex court may reprimand the panel for trying to destroy the non-communal and independent character of the judiciary.
The panel has a perverse mindset, and is the product of an equally perverse and obnoxious mindset of the ruling party. That is why it wants to divide the lower judiciary into Muslims and non-Muslims. The survey, if carried out, will destroy the secular character of the judiciary. Judges are committed to law and law alone. Their religion is a matter of their personal beliefs that don'tand shouldn'tinfluence interpretation of law. If communal considerations were to play a part in appointment of judges, religious identities may influence the discharge of judicial functions. If the former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court were to be allowed to get away with his hidden agenda, litigants would be more comfortable before a judge belonging to their own religion. ?Will the engagement of lawyers be also on the basis of their religious denominations?, sarcastically asks Arun Jaitley, an eminent jurist and a general secretary of the BJP.
Sachar Panel burnt its fingers earlier this year by demanding a communal headcount in the armed forces. Public opinion articulated by the media and the principal opposition party stopped the committee in its track that was forced to give up religious head count in the military. Even the Army Chief went public with his strong reservations on the move insisting that Indian army was a professional force and doesn'task soldiers which religion they belong to and from which caste and community they come from. The cynical panel doesn'tseem to have learnt any lesson from that experience. Is it expanding its field of enquiry on its own or is it part of the Government'shidden agenda? Either way, it is a dangerous move that may have serious repercussions on judicial functioning and must be abandoned.
The UPA Government'sconcern for Muslims is vote-centric. It is in the ?secularist? parties? partisan interest to keep the Muslims semi-educated, backward looking so that they develop a ghetto mentality to enable these parties to exploit them as vote banks. That explains why it appoints panels like the Sachar Committee. The purpose is not to empower the minorities but to prevent them from joining the national mainstream. These parties are not bothered if Muslim youth are indoctrinated by Jehadi elements to be used in terrorist attacks like the recent serial blasts in Mumbai trains. It encourages setting up of madrasas even if most of them breed terrorism and anti-national sentiments among Muslim children. If nationalist forces express concern over dangerous developments like setting up of more than 1000 madrasas in the belt along Indo-Nepal open border, the Government dismisses it as ?communal? propaganda. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil?who is by broad consensus the worst Home Minister India had had since independence?recently declared that madrasas are ?seats of learning and imbibing virtues?. It is no one'scase that all madrasas are bad and inculcate anti-national and separatist sentiments. But no one can challenge the stark reality that many a madrasa is a factory manufacturing terrorists. That is from where homegrown terrorists are springing up to attack Hindu temples and places of pilgrimage and slaughtering innocent citizens, including women and children, travelling in local trains. Intelligence agencies have discovered this to their horror and the General across the border is taunting India to look inwards before blaming Pakistan for indulging in cross-border terrorism.
The Government is unlikely to concede the demand voiced by several Hindu organisations to scrap the Sachar panel. Nor is Rajendra Sachar likely to relent. Hindu bashing is his passion. He seems to have conveniently forgotten that his father?the late Bhim Sein Sachar, Chief Minister of Punjab in 50s?had the grace to express his grateful thanks to the RSS leaders for saving his life from Muslim League goons in the wake of country'spartition. HRD Minister Arjun Singh is pursuing an identical agenda. In his blind pursuit of the office he thinks he deserved but was denied, the Minister is bent upon communalising educational system and destroying seats of excellence by his infamous quota system. Congress Government'sdecision to make job reservations for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh?that was struck down by the High Court as ultra virus of the Constitution and therefore void?falls in the same category. All of them are crazy instruments of Congress(I)'spolitical agenda to communalise society in all its manifestation and then turn round to put the blame of Hindutava forces and condemn them for spreading communal virus.