There are thousands of undertrials languishing in Indian jails for years without ever appearing before a judge. And somehow Jayalalitha <strong>gets bail after being convicted</strong> within 20 days! And this after it took the courts <strong>18 years</strong> to convict her in the first place. This is messed up.<br>
creative commons licensed (BY-NC-SA) flickr photo by RamN: http://flickr.com/photos/ramaswamyn/5019272357

Jayalalitha – 18 Years to Convict. 20 Days to Get Bail

I must be missing something. The SC just granted Jayalalitha bail. Yes, yes I know this doesn’t mean she’s off the hook. But hey – can you blame me for wondering how long it’s going to be before she’s back in again? Let’s see. Last time, it took a good 18 years for the case against her to be proven. All things being equal, you would think that it would take at least a year or two for her bail applications to meander through the High Courts and Supreme Court right?

Wrong!

In the record time of 20 days, Jayalalitha’s bail application has passed through not one, but two courts! This wouldn’t really bother me, but for one teensy-weensy fact. Lakhs upon lakhs of undertrials are languishing in Indian jails without even a conviction! Huge numbers of people have spent more time in jail waiting for a trial than they would have spent had they been convicted in the first place. Let me place these two side by side:

  1. Person convicted of massive corruption gets bail in 20 days
  2. Person not convicted of anything spends years upon years in jail

Now we all know that money talks – but come on. It’s not supposed to be this bad. I’ll leave the question of whether or not Jayalalitha deserves bail on the table for now. But we all know that if it took 18 years for a conviction in a lower court, she can delay the case from proceeding for another 18 years. And then another bail application while she fights it in the Supreme Court. By that time, no one is alive anymore.

India’s justice system is broken and dysfunctional. Duh. It works from time to time but more often, incidents like this lay bare the bullshit claim that all citizens are equal. We need more judges – a lot more. We need more courts – a lot more. And finally, we need free legal representation for those who cannot afford it for themselves.

You know how in Hollywood movies before arresting someone they read out their rights and say “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you”? That’s what it will take to clear out of our prison system the hapless people who have never even faced a judge. Till that time, those who have enough money and clout to push through bail applications to two top courts in a matter of days will never face the music for their crimes. While those who do not, will rot there forever.

Forcing people to stand up for the national anthem is wrong. Nowhere is it written that standing equals respect. And if someone doesn't respect the national flag, what are you going to do about it? Put them in jail merely for having a thought you don't like?

Preity Zinta – Why Should I Stand For the National Anthem?

Preity Zinta is in the news, and has earned the love of the Internet for harassing a guy in a theater who refused to stand up for the national anthem. Even the title of the news piece in the Indian Express "Only she can do it!" - is congratulatory. … [Continue reading]

Rajdeep Started it – Threw the First Punch

Like everyone else, I initially supported Rajdeep because I thought he was attacked first. He may have been provocative or whatever, but I believe that no one has the right to get physically abusive. Then Anupa showed me this clip which clearly shows … [Continue reading]

Chennai Riots – Nothing But Organized Crime

Jayalalitha's conviction has sparked off riots all across Tamil Nadu. It was so predictable, that the restaurant we were sitting in closed its shutters as the verdict was being read out! They knew - they knew. But who are these assholes going around … [Continue reading]

Feminism IS About The Right to Be Semi-Naked

Every time a woman asserts her right to dress the way she wants without being blamed for getting attacked, someone will say - "Feminism isn't about going half naked". But you know what? It is. The very fact that people are trying to tell women what … [Continue reading]

Don't complain about losing members of your religion if you can't match the competition. When a Christian missionary offers a starving person food in return for conversion, what is your problem? Will YOU help them instead? How does offering a choice make someone's life worse, when that offer can be freely refused?
<br>creative commons licensed (BY-NC-ND) flickr photo by Lawrence OP: http://flickr.com/photos/paullew/3829887090

We Need MORE Religious Conversions, Not Less!

India is being betrayed by the government, by the courts, and most importantly, by its people. What sets India apart from its neighbors - is freedom enshrined in the Constitution. Freedom of thought. Freedom of speech. And yes - freedom of religion. … [Continue reading]

When will the government realize that as adults, we are free to make our own choices and our own mistakes? Why does it insist on treating Indian citizens like children who don't know what's good for them?<br> creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by octal: http://flickr.com/photos/octal/487607553

You Can Marry, Vote, and Have Kids…But No – You Can’t Drink!

When I heard that Kerala would allow 5-star hotels to continue selling liquor, I had the same reaction you probably did - "Wtf?". Either you have prohibition and don't allow people to purchase liquor (legally), or you don't. What is this half assed … [Continue reading]

Death Penalty: Rise of the Bloodthirsty Indian

It's about time the government initiated the process for removing the death penalty. As it is, India hardly executes anyone. The courts rarely hand down death sentences and when they do, higher courts tend to invalidate them. And even if those go … [Continue reading]

What If I Didn’t Speak English?

I've taken up French classes 5 days a week for 2 hrs a day. It's great fun and an excellent hobby into which I can pour my copious amounts of free time. Learning a new language inevitably brings up comparisons to my native tongue - English. While … [Continue reading]

Israel definitely has good reasons to retaliate against Gaza. It can't just refrain from responding. The question is, to what extent do Israeli bombings continue? How many civilians is it acceptable to kill one valid target? And is it raising the next generation of terrorists?

Are the Israeli Bombings of Gaza Justified?

First off, I'm well aware that this is a gray area. Few people would dispute the right of a country to counter attack when under fire. While it's true that Israel's Iron Dome defense system is the most efficient in the world and stops a stunning 90% … [Continue reading]