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November 25, 2016

The India-Pakistan Imbroglio – Surgical Strike

The India-Pakistan Imbroglio – Surgical Strike

It like two brothers fighting for a piece of land born out of the same womb. Divided into countries due to the vested interests of the leaders of the bygone. If it is international than it is at home too. Are we aware? It is in our sub consciousness.

Indian army carried out, “surgical strike “on Thursday on 29th Sep. The surgical strike was meant to eliminate the terrorist camps along the de-facto border with Pakistan in Kashmir. Surgical strike is a pre-emptive attack on a specific target with an aim to neutralize the enemy with minimum collateral damage. Pakistan denied the claim and replied it as a cross border firing. Prime Minister Mr. Modi announced earlier that the attack at the Uri army base, in which 18 soldiers had died, will not go unpunished. The Uri attack came at a time of deep crisis in India-Pakistan relations. India is still smarting from an earlier attack on a military base in India, in the town of Pathankot in Punjab state in January, which it also blamed on JeM-a group with close ties to Pakistani intelligence. The two countries have fought three major wars, but they all occurred before 1998, when both nations became declared nuclear weapons states. Pakistanis already accuse India of waging covert war in Pakistan, from colluding with the Pakistani Taliban to collaborating with Baloch separatists. A wave of attacks on Pakistani troops or an assassination campaign against terrorists—regardless of whether there is clear evidence of Indian complicity—could lead to Pakistan-sponsored terror attacks in India. The territorial dispute between the two countries has been running for over six decades, and two out of the three wars fought between the nuclear-armed rivals have been over Kashmir.

The UN has urged both countries to exercise restraint. Stephane Dujarric, UN spokesman said, “The UN Military Observer Group for India and Pakistan, UNMOGIP, is aware of the ceasefire violations and right now is liaising with the concerned authorities to obtain further information. The United Nations calls on the government of India and Pakistan to exercise restraint and encourage them to continue their efforts to resolve their differences peacefully and through dialogue."

There are lot of speculations over the water disputes between the neighbouring states. The water dispute between India and Pakistan is serious not only because of water, but also due to the political rivalry between the two countries. The IWT (Indus Water Treaty) is a 56-year-old accord that governs how India and Pakistan manage the vast Indus River Basin's rivers and tributaries. On Sept 26, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told top officials present at the treaty review meeting that "blood and water cannot flow together."  If India were to annul the IWT, the consequences might well be humanitarian devastation in what is already one of the world's most water-starved countries - an outcome far more harmful and far-reaching than the effects of limited war. One of the main reasons the agreement was signed because India is the source of all the rivers of the Indus basin, although Indus and Sutlej originate in China. The rivers enabled India to use them for irrigation, transport and power generation. Pakistan also needed the water and feared that India could eventually create a drought situation in Pakistan in case a war breaks out between the two countries. Under the treaty, the waters of the three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — were granted to be used by India without restriction, while 80% of the three western rivers — Indus, Chenab and Jhelum were allocated to Pakistan. The Treaty of Indus remained intact even after three wars between India and Pakistan in 1962, 1971 and 1999. Revoking the treaty will add a new colour to the Kashmir solution and sensitise the circumstances.

India and Pakistan both are suffering because of the vested interest of their respective leaders. They don’t want to resolve the issue. Kashmir is one the biggest issues in Indian Pakistan history. There are four aspect of this issue. One Indian controlled Jammu and Kashmir, Second nobody talks about China occupied Kashmir and third is Azad Kashmir who don't want to live with Pakistani's and fourth is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. If you directly want to jump to solution you will not be able to understand the real issue of Kashmir. There were several solutions proposed by both side India and Pakistan but most of the problem is regulation and trust with each others. From India point of view we already loose trust with Pakistan because of several border infiltration and militant attack not only in Jammu and Kashmir but also in Punjab.

Since last 70 years, India and Pakistan have been unable to resolve their differences and develop a normal good neighbourly relationship, which could have benefitted people on both sides of the border. Several measures have been taken for a peaceful living.  Both are standing still. Does it mean that the two countries are cursed to live in perpetual hostility? Can they overcome their historic rivalry and emulate the example of France and Germany after the World War II? The tensions between India and Pakistan are deeply rooted in their common history. Their failure to reconcile their differences ultimately resulted in the partition of the Sub-continent.
Soon after the partition in 1947 of the sub-continent into the two nations, about 17 million people fled their homes and journeyed to either Pakistan or India. In one of the largest exchanges of populations in history, violence soon broke out with Muslims on one side and Sikhs and Hindus on the other. The resulting bloodshed in the Punjab and West Bengal regions left more than one million people dead in its wake. In the midst of this refugee movement and open violence, the governments of India and Pakistan hastily tried to divide the assets of British India between the two new countries. From weapons and money, down to paper clips and archaeological treasures all had to be divided.

Not only did the architects of Indian foreign policy fear Pakistan, but in 1962, after China's sudden invasion of northeast India, they suddenly realized the ancient protection of the Himalayan Mountains had vanished. Soon after the China war of 1962, Indian scientists began developing its nuclear capability. Under Indira Gandhi's Prime Ministership in 1974, India successfully exploded a nuclear device, announcing to the world its scientific capacity to develop nuclear bombs. China is the premier military power in Asia and considers Pakistan its oldest and most powerful Asian ally. China continues to occupy areas inside of India's borders as a result of the Indo-China war of 1962. China has nuclear-armed missiles positioned against India along the Himalayan border and in Tibet, in addition to being Pakistan’s main military weapons provider. Russia has had close relations with India since Indira Gandhi became prime minister in 1966. Russia provides most of India's military sales. After the demise of the Soviet Empire, Russia is unable to provide economic or military aid to India.

There is an erroneous thinking that has gone on for a very long time in India. Pakistan has used “non state actors” for as long as its existence to further its “doctrine”. It started in 1947 when it sent tribal force into Kashmir to seize control illegally and has used it ever since in its pursuit to get even with India. Soon after independence, Pakistan started its pursuit to project itself as the fort of Islam when it invaded Kashmir, a princely state which acceded to India based on the terms of independence of India, because it had Muslim majority population. It is often projected that Pakistan started using terrorists against India from late 1980s but the fact is that it was right after independence that Pakistan sent tribal force into Kashmir to snatch control. Pakistan will not desist from anti India activities even if it is given Kashmir on a platter by India as it is in an ideological battle with India.

Indo-Pak has the same historical-cum-cultural patterns, the “Indian cultural” pattern that has developed in a context ranging for more than a thousand years. There are great stories of peaceful coexistence and harmony during this vast historical span. The same can be revived today in this evolved context. Regardless of our differences, we are all human beings who are also entitled to a just and dignified life, a promise of the state. It is time to find effective solutions to strengthening Indo-Pak relationships. It is time to end our indifferences and forge a ‘United We Stand’ conversation about our mutual development and unity.

By – Siddhartha Shankar Mishra

( Author is a Lawyer and a Writer ) 

November 23, 2016

The Nation In Queue

India In Queue

The nation is stuck somewhere. The demonetization is a major jolt on the entire fabric of the nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi opined, “Demonetization is a dose aimed at improving health of India’s economy.” First what is demonetization? It is an act of stripping a currency unit of its status as a legal tender. Demonetization is necessary whenever there is a change of national currency. The old unit of currency must be retired and replaced with a new currency unit.

The fact about India’s demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 that 85% of all currency in circulation has just been turned into coupons that can only be exchanged in specific places. These notes can be converted into currency again only with identity proofs (millions don’t have) and the additional hardship of standing in many queues for many hours. Over half of India’s population doesn’t have any sort of bank account at the moment and about 300 million don’t have basic ID such as Aadhaar either and hence, cannot access the banking system at all. About 110 million Indians have mobile wallets (about 30 million have credit cards) and there are maybe 510-600 million debit cards in circulation. So access to cash is very, very important for average Indians. India is a cash economy. And 90% of all transactions are done in cash. Controlling corruption is not about blocking access to a non-traceable store of value. Breaking the problem of corruption requires deeper changes to institutions.

Demonetization is not a new phenomenon. It has happened in 12 Jan 1946 and 16 Jan 1978 too. It is the third one on 8 Nov 2016. During 1946, pre-independence period The Governor agreed that about 50 per cent of the notes would be in the Indian States and so co-operation of the State Governments was very necessary. Apparently he had some doubts about this. The ideal thing was to block high denomination notes, but this course was not favoured by either the Finance Member or the Governor. This is strange if one looks at it. In 1946, the idea was to demon but it became more of a conversion. In 2016, we are calling it demon but it is actually conversion. However, lesser the conversion, it but could become demon. Talk about going in circles with words.
Second happened in 16 Jan 1978. That time the Finance Minister H.M. Patel in his budget speech on 28 Feb 1978 said:
The demonetisation of high denomination bank notes was a step primarily aimed at controlling illegal transactions. It is a part of a series of measures which Government has taken and is determined to take against anti-social elements. “As the then Finance Minister did not say anything about the success of the exercise, one can almost guess that it did not create much impact like in 1946.

India’s total tangible wealth is of the order of 280 lakh crores. World bank estimates at least a quarter of this is black. That means 70 lakh crores. It is possible that 10% of it is in cash, with the rest in real estate and gold. That is 7 lakh crores of black cash that is lying around. Maybe 80% of it will turn white and even with that Rs 1.4 lakh crores of black will be gone. That is big. Indira Gandhi tried this in early 1970s, but could not as the move leaked out and the bad guys quickly changed over the notes. The government had to back out of the move then. I’m even thinking if the move to ban NDTV was just a ploy to distract the whole media, to pull this off. And it was possibly scheduled on US election day likely to get the global media off the heat and attention, as foreign media has been ultra critical & condescending of any major move in India.

Nearly 40 percent of India's economy is driven by small- and medium-sized enterprises that largely run on cash transactions. This move could impact these businesses, and in turn have a knock-on effect on economic growth. Not known, how many are paying full income tax. The tax evaders better start paying tax rather than consider the unpaid tax is part of their profit. These people pollute the society of good Indian citizens. For the poor who don’t have debit/credit cards, there might not be much impact either - as most of their transaction happen under Rs. 500. Cashless economy in India , which is having a rural economy is immature stance of Mr Arun Jaitley. “Corruption, counterfeiting, terrorism funding, cashless economy, gold/silver, real estate, it will have an huge impact because of demonetisation.” – Arun jaitley said in a media conference.

We all know how to buy a house in India, 30% in cash and rest in white money. How do you get your work done around babus, just hand over a RS 500 note, smooth? Election money - cash, tax-free gold - cash, religious places - cash, marriage gifts - cash. That is all the money that government knows nothing about. I am sure not all the black money would be gone with a single stroke just as Raghuram Rajan mentioned, smart people will find a way. But they would certainly be more cautious from now on. For the general public, it would induce fear of stashing more cash at home that too if it is black. At least by 20-30%, because at the end of the day no matter how smart you are and what other ways you chose you would have to go to back to change the old currency to new, or deposit it in banks. Raghuram Rajan was aware of this process all along, and this was not a surprise for him. Of Course without blowing their own trumpet as “surgical strike on black money “ , which will deliver them great votes or boomerang on them , but if the present govt focused properly ,this would be an effective step to somewhat alleviate many of the problems in the economy. Further he added, “This is not an attempt to demonetise. It is an attempt to replace less effective notes with more effective notes. I understand people are making different interpretations. Unfortunately that should not be the interpretation."

BJP is the largest party in majority in India. There are several state level and district level leaders who would be holding black money. This move actually would hurt the party themselves in the states. Moreover, there would be a lot of supporters and benefactors of BJP that would be dealing in black money. It takes a great of guts and willpower to actually do this. Most of the erstwhile govts could not do this for this very reason. Indira gandhi tried but the information got leaked, probably when they tried to safeguard their own party and supporters before the move was publicly announced. This time however, Modi did not take into consideration the implication on his party and his benefactors in the interest of the country. In February 2015, Indian Express released the list of 1195 Indians account holders and their balances for the year 2006-07 in HSBC's Geneva branch. The list was obtained by French newspaper Le Monde and included the names of several prominent businessmen, diamond traders and politicians. The Swiss Ministry of External Affairs has confirmed these figures upon request for information by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs. 

Demonetization always has had an elephantine jolt on parallel economies. This is the sizable spank on the Indian parallel economy, yet. This could easily eclipse all voluntary disclosure schemes offers by current and past governments. How substantial the bang, time will tell. We can only muse.

By – Siddhartha Shankar Mishra
( Lawyer and a Writer )

January 26, 2016



The Pathankot attack on 2nd Jan 2016 is highly monstrous and cowardice. In the attack India lost many of his heroes.  Media reports suggested that the attack was an attempt to derail a fragile peace process meant to stabilise the deteriorated relations between India and Pakistan as several evidence was found linking the attackers to Pakistan. The attack on our own Indian Parliament was also one which again checked our patience. We were always united and doing action like these will make us even more unite and fight more strongly than ever against it. Last year of Paris attack, Twin Tower attack in USA, years ago of Mumbai attack, kargil, middle east affair make us ponder where the World is going.

Terrorism is something which all over the world is a major problem at the moment. Its effects are very much that it can ruin a country's economy and can cause between the countries. Terrorists were not born but they were made in the name of religion. None of the religion preaches terrorism nor ask the followers to take the lives of other people but it was preached by wrong leaders and innocent people fall as a prey and lose their lives and kill other people as well.

Terrorism is an International issue. Terrorism has become a global phenomenon and a kind of global awakening and enlightenment against terrorism has been created .Terrorism contains four elements. The first is a threat of violence or an act of violence. Next is a political objective. Third is that violence and threat of violence is a direct attack on civilians making civilians a primary target. Lastly, it is perpetrated by a supporting a nation or nations of terrorism. The terrorist attacks in France and Denmark and the sharp rise in terrorist activity in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East have focused the international community’s efforts on areas beyond fighting the terrorist activities of organizations like Al-Qaeda. The ongoing flow of foreign fighters from many countries into Syria and Iraq, and the threat to their countries of origin upon their return, in combination with the globalization of the threat of the violent extremism of the Islamic State (ISIL), have centred discussions in the European institutional organs and internationally on issues having to do with prevention of terrorism, including deterring the radicalization and recruitment of young terrorists, confronting violent extremism, and intercepting the financial flows fuelling terrorism.

In spite of the extensive legal and political debates, spanning decades, the question still remains: ''What is terrorism?'' With no common international legal definition, on what grounds do countries establish and pursue a terrorist entity? And could this void in definition provide a smokescreen for governments to orchestrate state sponsored terrorism by clamping down on legitimate political movements - both domestic and foreign? Countries across the world are being terrorised and ravaged by extremism; both territory and minds conquered by a militant and ideological crusade. Right or wrong, the mere mention of the word “terrorism” conjures up images of bearded Muslim men – holding AK 47 - intent on eradicating any thought, person or object which runs contrary to their narrow fundamentalist ideology. Terrorism did not begin with the attacks of September 11th, 2001 in New York City and Washington DC, or in April 1995 with the bombing in Oklahoma City, or with the hostage taking at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Nor did terrorism begin with the Cold War or the establishment of the Soviet Union after World War I. Nor has terrorism been restricted to activities by groups from the Middle East or those parts of the world with large Muslim populations. Terrorism has been a nearly universal phenomenon. There is no doubt that extremist Muslims are a driving force behind terrorism in the Middle East and South Asia, but the problem is clearly a much wider one. Ignoring this fact is to jeopardise our ability to comprehensively tackle the scourge that is terrorism.

In recent years , terrorist networks have evolved , moving away from a dependency on state sponsorship , many of the most dangerous groups and individuals now operate as nonstate players. Taking advantage of porous borders and interconnected international systems-finance, communications and transit-terrorists groups can reach every corner of the globe. While some remain focused on local or national political dynamics, others seek to affect global change.

The international counterterrorism regime continues to suffer from three main weaknesses. First, lack of a universal agreement over what constitutes terrorism weakens efforts to formulate a concerted global response. Second, multilateral action suffers from inadequate compliance and enforcement of existing instruments. Third, although counterradicalization and deradicalization initiatives have gained some attention over the last five years, progress is lacking, particularly in states with limited resources and expertise. Presently the counterterrorism regime lacks a central global body dedicated to terrorist prevention and response. The landscape for counterterrorism activity thus lacks coherence. It is multilayered-ranging from legally binding instruments and strategic guidelines, to multilateral institutions and regional frameworks. 

Terrorism is a global problem but also a relatively localized one. Last year, 82 percent of terrorist attacks counted by the GTI occurred in just six countries: Iraq, India Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Syria. In all of these countries, there are large regions where the government is fighting with militant groups for political control. These attacks were primarily carried out by four groups: the Taliban, Boko Haram, ISIS, and various affiliates of al-Qaida. While these six countries dominate global terrorism, the report also notes that there were nine additional countries last year that had more than 50 terrorism deaths, bringing the total number to 24-the highest in 14 years. These were: Algeria, Central African Republic, China, Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Sudan, and South Sudan.

There are the 3 main factors associated with terrorism:

Greater social hostilities between different ethnic, religious and linguistic groups, lack of intergroup cohesion and high levels of group grievances. Presence of state sponsored violence such as extrajudicial killings, political terror and gross human rights abuses. Higher levels of other forms of violence including deaths from organized conflict, likelihood of violent demonstrations, levels of violent crime and perceptions of criminality.

Is there any business behind terrorism? When Al-Qaida first began to form under Osama Bin Laden, members of the organization wre recruited from communities that already had a large presence in the organization. They were then taught and essentially radicalized in the infamous madrasas, partnered with a mentor, and eventually worked their way up in the ranks of the organization.

Today, terrorist organizations including ISIS rely heavily on Twitter and Facebook to reach out to potential recruits -- those who are friends or family with someone already affiliated with the organization. From most of the terrorism research available, Abrahms said, those who join terrorist groups like ISIS are the most "ignorant people with respect to religion and they are generally the newest members to the religion." 

Terrorist leaders are deadly sadistic psychopath to the humanitarian to the idealistic driven. Dozens of young men - neighbours, sons, friends, from places like London and Minnesota - had left their homes to join the terrorist’s organisations. They are driven to join ISIS by the need to “belong to something special and got a purpose for the Higher Calling.” Do terrorists have their reasons for committing atrocities? Sometimes people do what they do for the reasons they profess. Sometimes not, because what they do is motivated by reasons that are too dark, shameful, or bizarre to be openly acknowledged. Sometimes people do things that are so morally contentious that when called to account they are liable to justify, rather than to explain, their actions. They are highly motivated. Terrorism scholar John Horgan opined, “The most valuable interviews I’ve conducted [with former terrorists] have been ones in which the interviewees conceded, ‘To be honest, I don’t really know,’’ he writes. “Motivation is a very complicated issue. To explain why any of us does anything is a challenge.” It’s a challenge further compounded by the fact that some actions are informed by multiple motives, and even if these can be reliably identified it is often difficult to disentangle them and calculate their respective causal weight. “

According to anthropologist Scott Atran , who has dedicated his career to studying the psychology behind terrorism, with a recent emphasis on ISIS and how they radicalize youth. Atran has interviewed terrorists in the days leading up to their executions, rifled through terrorist training manuals and formed a broad understanding of what is going through the mind of a terrorist before, after and during an attack. “None of the ISIS fighters we interviewed in Iraq had more than primary school education,” according to Atran. “When asked ‘what is Islam?’ they answered ‘my life.’ They knew nothing of the Quran or Hadith.” Meanwhile in Europe, the average terrorist is a different breed. Foreigners join ISIS for the camaraderie, but are otherwise educated, emotionally stable people who, “fall within the mid-ranges of what social scientists call ‘the normal distribution’ in terms of psychological attributes like empathy, compassion, idealism, and wanting mostly to help rather than hurt other people,” Atran writes. “They are mostly youth looking for a new family of friends and fellow travellers with whom they can find significance.” Atran says, the youth are exceedingly easy to radicalize. What inspires kids to join ISIS, “is not so much the Qur’an or religious teachings,” Atran writes. “It’s a thrilling cause that promises glory and esteem. Jihad is an egalitarian, equal-opportunity employer: fraternal, fast-breaking, glorious, cool and persuasive.” As more anthropologists and psychologists begin chipping away at what makes terrorists tick, perhaps a real understanding of what drives terror will help us combat it in the future, and prevent these unspeakable tragedies.” The first step to combating terrorism is to understand it,” Atran writes. “We have yet to do so.”

How does one get out of this vicious circle? Of course it is not easy, and even a lot of the “peace movement” struggle on this answer, but perhaps if more voice was given in the media to these broader views, then alternative thoughts could be considered. True, more on peace-related alternatives are discussed in TV forums and debates, but when it comes to the actual reporting and one-on-one discussion and analysis, the context is limited to the current actions and options. The discussions are therefore within those confines, mostly.

Honestly, I don’t find any conclusion. Whatever the conclusion - it is still guessing.

Siddhartha Shankar Mishra
The Writer is a Lawyer ( Human Rights & Socio-Legal Awareness )

Judicial Manipulation Rocks the Nation

Judicial Manipulation Rocks the Nation

 Our judicial system is based on manipulative finesse and exploitative abilities of the lawyers. Smartness of the advocate or solicitor may allow the criminals to walk freely. Fairness of judicial system resuscitates the entire national edifice through distinguished and valuable verdicts, while maintaining symmetrical impartiality. The system ensures provision of justice to every citizen, irrespective of color, creed, caste, political affiliation, socio-economic status, prestige and degree of influence.

It took 13 long years to give a verdict on Salman’s rash and negligence driving, whether he was drunk or not, a diificult conundrum for the experts and obfuscating the process. He was involved in an accident at a footpath in Mumbai bandra area, where one got killed and four injured. There were two others in the car: Personal Security Officer (PSO) Ravindra Patil of the Mumbai Police (since dead) and Mr. Khan’s friend Kamaal Khan, a singer. Salman fled from the place of the occurrence. The FIR , was filed by the PSO , Ravindra patil at Badra Police Station , mentioned that Salman was driving irresponsibly  and was over indulged with alcohol intake . The Case got registered under Sec 304 ( Culpable homicide not amounting to murder )  / 294 ( Rash and negligent driving ) , along with sec 304 –A (causing death by negligence) and Section 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of IPC and a few Motor Vehicle Act provisions. He was released on bail later on. After 10 days he was again arrested when the IPC section was altered to 304-Part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder by an act with knowledge that it is likely to cause death, but without any intention to cause death). He was under judicial custody for 14 days and released on bail . A chargesheet was filed under sec 304 of the IPC , after investigation. The trial was knowingly delayed / prolonged for 7 years . The Court delivered the judgement of 5 years of rigorous imprisonment , he appealed before  the Mumbai High Court and he was acquitted of all the charges . ( Very funny , I am surprised as a lawyer , the incident happened in 2002  and the sessions trial began in December 2013 )

The FIR is an unchallenged and scared document and there was no unusual delay in reporting. There is a provision that if the person filing he can explain reasons for the delay to the court’s satisfaction, the report retains its value. There was no delay in this case. The FIR , only describes the basic facts of the incident rather describing everything in details , further it can be investigated thoroughly. It was a misfortune that Patil died before he could be examined before the Sessions Court. Patil was harassed by his own department and some outside elements to make Salman out of the mess. The sudden appearance of one Ashok Singh is quite surprising and a twist in the case, when he told he was driving the Car. According to me, it is an artificial statement and fabricated one. Further according to the defence, the accident happened because the tyre was burst. The motor vehicle inspector investigated the vehicle and noticed that there was puncture in the left wheel of the SUV, which might not lead to such mishappenning. The whole investigation was tawdry, poor-quality, inferior, and low graded. Salman’s verdict or acquittal was unjustified and irrational. He was acquitted under benefit of doubt not a complete and clean acquittal. This shows that there are flaws in our laws and our corrupt lawyers and leaders misuse them according to their whims and fancies and abuse the process of law. There is utter and urgent need to amend the defective Laws and Constitution.

In a democratic country like India, judiciary plays a vital role in establishing a state of justice. Therefore being the watchdog, they are not allowed to shift their burden to others for their failure to establish an actual State of Justice. It is judiciary on which millions of people have struck their faith of getting justice. It has the capability of imparting justice to the aggrieved. It is that part of our constitution which acts as its Messiah. It is that structure of our society, which cemented its place next to the God and if not properly dispensed will shatter down the entire trinity of democratic instrumentalists with checks balances, parliamentary structure and the judicial facets of our constitution. Generally, aggrieved with lots of pain anguish and hope in their heart approaches the court of law for their grievances to be clarified but at the end of the day the procedural lacuna left them with bare hands. They are denied of their most important right of Justice.

Take for example The massacre of Niroda Pataya is beyond descriptions, horrible, horrific, horrendous and it shivers down the spine. In the case, 97 people, mostly from minority community (Muslims), were killed in 2002.  The train Carnage at Godhra triggered, a massive riot in Gujrat , but Niroda Patiya is beyond imagination and highest death toll . In this case, all the Hindutva outfits were involved ( RSS, Bajrang Dal, VHP & some BJP leaders ) . They were outraging the modesty of the muslim women, torching women , children by burning them alive. The National Human Right Commission filed a Writ Petition against the Government of Gujrat & Others before the Supreme Court of India, which was
decided on 1/5/2009 . The prime accused were Babu Bajrangi , Raju Chobal, Harish Rohera , Kishan Korani , P.J.Rajput active member of VHP and BJP leading a mob of 15,000 to 17,000 , shouting , “ Attack and Kill “ . A special court 32 persons including a former BJP state minister under the then Narendra Modi government, Mayaben Kodnani along with Babu Bajrangi  , a former Bajrang Dal Convenor. 29 persons were acquitted under the benefit of doubt. Those who are convicted were found to be involved in guilty of murder, attempt to murder, conspiracy, spreading enmity and communal hatred and unlawful assembly under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Bombay Police Act. Some of them, including Suresh Chara, were also found guilty of rape and molestation. The conviction Kodnani, was a  Minister of State for Women and Child Welfare raised a demand for Mod’s resignation on moral grounds . But again it was twisted by Jayanarayan Vyas a spokeperson that Kodnani , a practising gynaecologist , was not a minister that time and her individual action could not interpreted or construed  as  the growing responsibility of the cabinet . The Niroda Patiya post – Godhra episode is one of most cruel some and darkest moments in the history of Independent India, claiming the highest number of bloodshed.

The reputation of India’s judiciary, considered overbearing and democratically unaccountable by many, has taken a knock with the publication of a report by Transparency International (TI) called the “Global Corruption Report”. A survey conducted by the Centre for Media Studies, finds that a very high 77 percent of respondents believe the Indian judiciary is corrupt. Money was paid to the officials in the following proportions: 61 percent to lawyers; 29 percent to court officials; 5 percent to middlemen. In a 12-month period it found was around 580 million dollars of bribes. “This is a wake-up call not just for India’s legal system, but for society and the state itself”, says Upendra Baxi, a highly regarded Indian jurist, former vice-chancellor of Delhi University, and professor at the University of Warwick in Britain. “It confirms what we have known for years and casts a shadow on the integrity of the judiciary. It also calls for urgent, drastic remedial measures.” “The report only covers the lower or subordinate judiciary and excludes the judges of the High Courts (of Indian states) and the (national) Supreme Court. There are credible reports that corruption has permeated the higher judiciary too,” said Baxi.

Judicial Corruption on rampant. “In India, impeachment is not feasible because it requires a huge (two-thirds) majority in Parliament,” argues Colin Gonsalves, a public interest lawyer with the Human Rights Law Network. “India’s parliamentary elections have produced hung verdicts for years. And it is virtually impossible to muster the numbers necessary for impeaching a judge. In 1993, V. Ramaswamy, a Supreme Court judge, was found culpable by a court committee. But he was politically well-connected and could not be impeached.” “The judicial system, including judges and lawyers, has developed a vested interest in delays as well as corruption; it promotes a collusive relationship between the different players” and this works against the public interest and the citizen’s rights. But even more important is the assault on rights that has occurred under the globalizing neoliberal turn made by India’s higher judiciary .

As a lawyer I can say , “ Verdict has no meaning it is only for the rich and powerful . “  A question arises, “ Does our justice system give equal treatment to rich and poor, equality of Justice ? Our legal system is based upon dispute resolution between parties and not to determine right or wrong. An individual is either guilty or not guilty. The use of the term "innocent" is vastly incorrect and the general media should cease the practice when reporting.  Within our system, the more money you have, the greater your chances of having access to expert legal advice. Access to savvy legal advice increases your chances of receiving an outcome that is more favourable to you. Lack of money results in the poor rarely have the same level of access to legal services, or favourable outcomes, as the privileged.

My Experience --- 4 years back I was fighting a case on behalf of the students pursuing MBA distant learning ICFAI, sambalpur . The ICFAI, duped the money of the students and wanted to shift the institute to some other place . On ICFAI side other associate of Lawyers and they  thrive under a political umbrella , there Chief is a National Secretary of a prominent national party, started creating delays... giving time petitions. I was calmly witnessing everything. They gave number of pleas that they were busy in some other courts and couldn't come, so time may be allowed . I immediately inquired whether the concerned lawyer was in the mentioned court or not. However, after facing much of obstacles I won the cases & the students recovered there hard earned money. They assaulted me because I was creating obstacles in their path. They manipulate judiciary by putting pressure on the lower court through Justices at the upper court. They do under table business. Whenever before approaching for a case, I pray to God , whether I am fighting for a cause or just for earning money. Since 7 years I am working on my conscience. I have faith on my God's timing. The emphasis is more on winning the case rather than ensuring that justice has been done. It is more important to see how smartly the case has been presented and how strong were the support arguments to influence the concerned honourable judge.

Our "justice" system is all about lawyers making money, people remaining in elected positions of power, and winning an argument. We are far more concerned about the rights of perpetrators rather than victims and over the years interpreting law has become an exercise in creative writing, such as defining what the word "is" is.  Mr. Nikhil Wagle, an eminent Journalist rightly tweeted, “When u defend corrupt corporates/netas you have no moral right to speak about corruption free India.Big lawyers must understand this.”

In India, Justice is beyond the reach of most and the right of access to it is not communicated to the citizens properly. In many a circumstances it was found that the litigant who has had access to the court failed to obtain quick relief and for some never have the opportunity even to knock the doors of the court due to ignorance and poverty. If we want justice to be accessible to all, then it must be relieved from the Laissez faire pattern, where justice like other commodity can be purchased and initiative must be taken to educate the populace.

Quest for justice has nothing to do with procedure or jurisdictional aspect rather it cares for its speedy disposal. Delay in disposal of cases is considered as one of the most vexed and worrying problem. It is the code of procedures, which makes it so worse. However personality likes Nani Phalkiwala opined that” Justice in common parlance is considered as blind but in India it is lame too and hobbles on crutches. It is on the verge of collapse with more than 30 million cases clogging the system. There are cases that take so much of time that even a generation is too short to get any type of redressal.”

India is free from the so called British Rule. From Cricket to
Judiciary India excels even Great Britain today. Naturally we are more British today than ever before. India badly needs today Indian Home Rule than ever before. The stumbling block for this Home Rule will be right from Indian Judiciary to Indian Lawyers down to political and apolitical elites sitting in National Capital Territory Delhi and State Capitals and exploiting the millions denizens. A Judge needs vacation. A Lawyer needs vacation. Both needs court rooms and files. Judges need salary enhancements and privileges and pensions. Lawyers need their fees whether the case is admitted or not and the judgment is in the litigants favor or not. They can dare for a Court Bandh or National Bandh. Where courts are busy in attending the appeals of their lower ones, and other such issues far away from the scope of the courts, humanity somewhere is left buried below the bunch of files which no one dares to uncover or we can say do anyone wants to extract these files out unless some political issue is attached to it.

Thus courts and judicial system transpire lifeline of every nation by providing breathing space and steadfast foundation for the victims and the feeble. The social order gets reinforced by excellence of judicial system and so is the case of moral values.
Good laws have their origins in bad morals. – Albert Einstein

Siddhartha Shankar Mishra,
The author is a Lawyer and work on Human Rights & socio-legal awareness,
Sambalpur , Odisha

December 30, 2015



 India’s juvenile justice laws have been under the scanner in recent weeks, with many activists and women’s rights groups arguing that the law is too lenient for those being prosecuted for crimes including murder and rape. The maximum punishment for such crimes is three years’ confinement in a reformatory, as opposed to the death sentence in cases where an adult is found guilty of murder or rape.

In the wake of the assault, attempts were made to overhaul India’s juvenile laws, with several citizens filing legal petitions seeking to lower the age of a minor from 18 to 16. India’s Supreme Court has rejected eight such petitions and is still deliberating over another, which demands a minor be tried in juvenile court according to his or her “mental and intellectual maturity,” rather than being tried according to their age.

Juvenile delinquency is a growing problem in much of the world. Unlike the United States and England, Indian courts do not have jurisdiction over neglected children; India's definition of delinquency is clearer and more in keeping with the United Nations concept. U.S. studies have shown that delinquency cuts across all economic and social classes, and even the Soviet Union is experiencing a delinquency problem. India's juvenile crime problem is increasing but is not as acute as in advanced countries. Urbanization, mobility, and industrialization are influencing juvenile behavior; delinquency does not flourish in small, well-knit communities where everyone knows each other. As India becomes more developed, it pays the price in terms of more juvenile delinquency, crime, and other social problems. Future prevention efforts should emphasize compulsory religious and moral education. 
Since we are so obsessed with aping US , then why not try what they do. When you are 16, you can be tried both as an adult or a minor, it is that simple. You don’t have to do major amendments, just  an option. No reductions in marriageable ages or child labour acts. That would be 18 only.

Not many agree with the suggestion that reducing the age of juvenile to 16 will solve the issue. "There should be no change in the age of juveniles. If a juvenile commits crime (like rape or murder), it is the failure of the system. Punishing a child like an adult can't be approved. Crimes of a monstrous nature are never committed by a juvenile alone. He/she has the support of adults," says Nina P Nayak, member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR).

In India, the age of criminal responsibility is fixed at 7 years by the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860. “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child under seven years of age.” For the age group of 8 to 12 years, sec 83 of IPC lays down “Nothing is an offence which is done by a child above seven years of age and under twelve, who has not attained sufficient maturity of understanding to judge of the nature and consequences of his conduct on that occasion.”

Therefore, to avail this immunity, the accused child will have to prove that he has not attained the maturity to judge what he was doing was wrong. For children between 12 to 18 years, there is no such immunity available. But however, even if they are found to be responsible for criminal acts, they cannot be treated or sentenced in the same manner as adults.

In the question of the determination of juvenility, there have been several debates as to the relevant date at which the juvenility is to be determined. Though the courts including the Apex court have held the date of offence was the relevant date, but still in the case of Arnit Das v. State of Bihar, the Supreme Court observed that the juvenility was to be determined on the date on which the offender was produced before the competent authority. This judgement by the two judge bench was widely critiqued as this deprived from the benefits of the juvenile legislation. This decision also did not consider an earlier three judge bench decision of the Supreme Court in Umesh Chandra v. State of Rajasthan where it was observed that the relevant date for the determination of juvenility is the date of occurrence of the offence and not the date of trial. However, this controversy was put to an end by the five judge Bench decision of the Supreme Court in Pratap Singh v. State of Jharkhand and ors. In this case, the Apex court observed “The reckoning date for the determination of juvenility is the date of the offence and not the date when he is produced before the authority or the court”. The decision of the Umesh Chandra case was held to be proper and the decision of the Arnit Das case was said not to have laid down a good law.

Juvenile crime in urban areas in India rose by 40% between 2001-10, says a news report.“They are generally single earning members, having a family size of between five and seven members, holding skilled or semi skilled jobs, school drop out of juvenile,” said researchers in 'The State of the Urban Youth India 2012: Employment, Livelihoods, Skills', published by Mumbai-based IRIS Knowledge Foundation (IKF).
Researchers found that juveniles in conflict with law were largely from low income working families. 

A study in Maharashtra has revealed that the majority of the juveniles in conflict with law (JICL) are between 16 and 18 years. The predominant offence charge was related to ‘theft’, followed by ’assault’.The report, which centres around urban youth, also stated that rapid growth of the information highway has also led to cybercrime involving teenagers and youth.The figures reveal that in India, there are 430 million people between 15-34 years of age, with the youth comprising 35% of the urban population and 32% of rural population. Overall, three-fourths of young urban men and women are educated up to middle and secondary levels of schooling, though there are variations across the states.The overall population in India between 2001 and 2006 is expected to increase from 1,029 million to 1,400 million. There are 158.8 million children between the age of 0-6 years, a fall from 163.8 million in 2001.

In the aftermath of the Delhi gang rape case and the alleged involvement of the juvenile suspect, there was renewed attention on the efficacy of the juvenile justice system in India because of the maximum sentence the boy could receive. A debate over lowering the age of adult criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 years followed. 
In India, if children as young as 7 and those below 18 commit offences, they are recognized as “juveniles in conflict with law.” The rules state that the police can only apprehend a juvenile for an offence if it warrants a punishment of seven years or more under the Indian penal code.

The National Crime Report Bureau of India, which maintains a record of reported crimes, lists 31, 973 crimes that were committed by juveniles in 2012, compared to 27,541 in 2002. In Delhi alone, 1,171 cases were registered against juveniles during the past year. The states of Bihar and Chhattisgarh saw almost double that, and Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra reported over four times the Delhi level. India’s Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection Children) Act of 2000 requires the creation of juvenile homes in every Indian state. According to a recent survey by the Asian Center for Human Rights, 733 such homes received assistance from the Ministry of Women and Child Development in March 2012.

The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) JJ(C&P) Act was enacted to consolidate and amend the law relating to juveniles in conflict with law and children in need of care and protection, by providing for proper care, protection and treatment by catering to their development needs, and by adopting a child-friendly approach in the adjudication and disposition of matters in the best interest of children and for their ultimate rehabilitation through various institutions established under this enactment.The Juvenile Justice Act 1986 was repealed by this Act. Any action taken under the former Act would be deemed to have been taken under corresponding provisions of this new Act .

First of all, the Act defines the ‘juvenile’ or ‘child’ as a person who has not completed 18 years of age . ‘Juvenile in conflict with law’ means a juvenile who is alleged to have committed an offence . An important change brought about by the Act was to replace the existing Juvenile Welfare Board with the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) .

 When the main idea behind the enactment of juvenile legislation was “welfare”, then the society also has an important role to play in matters regarding juveniles. The important sections of the society to provide help can be, the lawyers, policemen, media and other social workers including NGOs. The lawyers can extend a lot of help to the juveniles by providing free legal help and assistance to them. There are many juvenile offenders, who have to suffer a lot only because they cannot afford some lawyers to defend them. Providing free legal aid to them can lessen their sufferings.

 The police personnel and specially SJPU can work together with the social workers or NGOs for better working of the apprehension of juveniles. They can be trained in child psychology and in case if needed, NGOs can seek the charge of the juvenile in the capacity of a “fit person” or “fit institution”. There are also provisions where, the voluntary organisations can set up observational or special homes, in agreement with the state government. Media, also being a double edged tool, can play an important role. Instead of displaying violence and crime; what can be done is that, they can show the violence or the crime scenes, giving the message how bad it is and what happens to the wrong doers.

 Finally, statistics show that the numbers of crimes committed by the juveniles are rapidly increasing. Therefore, it is high time that we start taking care of these juveniles and stop them from treading the wrong path. India, today needs children who can grow up to be responsible citizens of tomorrow.

It’s time for all the parents to take this wake up call seriously, no matter which income group they fall into; it’s all about preventing their child from losing the balance and living a trouble free and respectable life, in years to come. It is the question of their career. Not to forget that our country is celebrating its 67th year of independence. And this independence has not been achieved so easily. Many had to sacrifice their lives. Today, the country is not asking for sacrifice, it is just asking for attention of parents on their dear ones at the most crucial time in their life. Just a few years of check and the country would soon turn into a paradise managed by honest, hard working  and sensible citizens. Lastly,   Perhaps, instead of focusing on the results and punishments of youth crime; the government should be concentrating on  causes and solutions to youth crime?

Why do children commit these crimes? Because they have nothing to lose. Children brought up in a less privileged environment, with poor education and not much chance of good employment can find themselves automatically placed into the category of unredeemable. No time is spent attempting to get them off the streets and into something productive; hence the fact that over the years these kids have been systematically forgotten and rejected by society. As their way to combat this, the kids themselves have formed their own societies and wayoflife. This society is mainly orientated by peer pressure and the macho type competitiveness that spawns crime – they suffer under the delusion that ‘street credibility’ holds more worth than a sense of morality.

The government needs to aim it’s attack on youth crime, back towards youth reformation and attempt to tackle the original problem – the environment and circumstances that push the kids into the situation of committing street crimes. You can’t end a circle of violence by punishment – only by providing the help that wasn’t available in the first place. Young offenders are the product of the government’s negligence towards the parents or the children themselves; someone needs to take responsibility for these children rather than temporarily disposing of them within young offenders institutions.

Siddhartha Shankar Mishra,
The Writer is a Lawyer and work on legal awareness
Sambalpur , Odisha

December 19, 2015

Intolerance – A Conflict Within in wider perspective ( Dec 1-15 /15) JUSTINPRINT

Intolerance – A Conflict Within in wider perspective

“ The great problem in this world is intolerance . Everyone is  intolerant of each other “ --- Princess Diana

Provoking Unrests – India a country of bans , strikes and bandhs . Writers returning awards , celebrities airing intolerance blatantly, farmers suicide , political warfare , Hindutva rajneti, sexuality , finance and economics topsy turvy . We in the land of Buddha intolerant. Is this an Irony ?

Freedom of expression will continue to remain under siege unless all groups accept that people can have different opinions and beliefs in a free country.

Soli Sorabjee  rightly pointed  - “Our tradition teaches tolerance; our philosophy preaches tolerance; our Constitution practises tolerance; let us not dilute it.” These stirring sentiments were expressed by Justice Chinnappa Reddy in a Supreme Court judgment pronounced in August 1986 which invalidated expulsion from school of students belonging to Jehova’s Witness faith. Regrettably, over the years, tolerance has been replaced by the rising menace of intolerance which strikes at various fields of human endeavour and creativity: writings, music, drama, paintings and movies.Intolerance stems from an invincible assumption of the infallibility of one’s beliefs and a dogmatic conviction about their rightness. An intolerant society cannot tolerate expression of ideas and views which challenge its current doctrines and conventional wisdom. Consequently, unconventional and heterodox thoughts and views have to be suppressed. That is the prime motivation for censorship. “ ( Source – Hindu )

Why not Ban the Political nautanki in Parliament and Outside , which has little to do with the common minimum programme for the people of India. We are ashamed of being in a democracy where there are still a plethora of issues that governs the state of our overall wellbeing & thereby the counter reactions in the form of Bribery ,perjury , Rape , murder and what not? Are we really ready to accept the dangers within our Governance style. If not we are destined to fail as a nation sooner or later. Freedom of expression has always a limit. Your freedom stops where my nose starts. We have to understand where it hurts. The same people who give lectures on freedom can’t stand an honest advise by others. These people who are supporting the writer won’t allow freedom of expressions in the areas that hurt them, for example advise on modesty in dressing and behaviour of our youngsters., advise on safe conduct to youngsters etc.

Our Constitution prescribes certain fundamental duties to be performed by citizens (Article 51-A). One duty of paramount importance which should be performed is the duty to practise tolerance. Otherwise democracy, a basic feature of our Constitution, will be under siege and the cherished right to freedom of expression will be held hostage by an intolerant mindless mob.

In society, many people tend to reject those who are different. It is a human trait that we all have. Regardless of ones social, economic, or ethnic background there has been a time in all our lives where we have judged a thought  by its cover without at least reading the synopsis on the back. Intolerance is not something to be proud of, yet everyone handles its affect on their life and other peoples lives differently. Some strive to rid themselves of this trait, while others simply accept it as part of their personality and fail to make any attempt at removing it. Intolerance comes in many different forms and does not see anyone as being exempt from its wrath. 

As William Ury stated, "Tolerance is not just agreeing with one another or remaining indifferent in the face of injustice, but rather showing respect for the essential humanity in every person."  Tolerance may seem an impossible exercise in certain situations - being tolerant nonetheless remains key to easing hostile tensions between groups and to helping communities move past intractable conflict. That is because tolerance is integral to different groups relating to one another in a respectful and understanding way. In cases where communities have been deeply entrenched in violent conflict, being tolerant helps the affected groups endure the pain of the past and resolve their differences. In situations where conditions are economically depressed and politically charged, groups and individuals may find it hard to tolerate those that are different from them or have caused them harm. In such cases, discrimination, dehumanization, repression, and violence may occur. Fighting intolerance requires an Individual awareness.

We seem to have become increasingly intolerant as a society. Now I fully understand that there are any number of situations and behaviours out there that should not be tolerated. There is a great distinction between tolerating something and being intolerant. Merriam-Webster tells us that to tolerate something means that you are willing to allow something or to put up with something. However, the same dictionary tells us that intolerance means "unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression." Whether it is the increasingly vitriolic set of interchanges between politicians or the kinds of spiteful comments , seems as though we have come to accept vilification as a form of discourse. If the criticisms were accompanied by some kind of creative solution, things might be different. However, criticism and cynicism seem to have become surrogates for actual involvement.

It is assumed that the feeling of evil is more widespread than the feeling of good. That is why intolerance as an attitude appears to be even more common than tolerance.  Intolerance constitute centuries-old problems of human existence. We have been disturbed by them over and over again. This is connected with man's constant longing for the paradise lost which is unattainable because of human's ill .

In matter of sexuality , Women are treated differently because of their attire - women's clothing is more likely to be identified with a religion or particular culture, whereas men, who do not usually wear culture-specific clothing, can "blend" more into  society. This can have repercussions for them at home as their families may disapprove of changes in their dress or outlook. The pressure for women to dress in western clothing is reinforced by the fact that women in cultural dress are "invisible" .

 Religious intolerance has cropped up  to such an extent where a mob rushed  into someone’s house and raids his kitchen to ascertain what he is consuming. Based upon rumours, a misguided and outrageous mob guided by fringe ends up claiming a human life. They have violated the principles laid down by the Mahatma. Why wouldn’t had the great soul not been shocked if he was alive to see this day?

Secularism is altogether a different and fundamental and independent phenomenon, but states use it to bring equality and justice in their region. It defines the relationship between the state and the religion. It has different meaning in different regions. In India, secularism means equal participation of the state in all religions. The western concept secularism envisions separation of the state and the religion. Though defined differently, the ultimate aim of both views is to facilitate peaceful coexistence of different religions. But this notion of secularism is facing threats around the world due to many reasons. They are viewing ones religion as superior to other religions, imposing religious order by force. Eg: Boko Haram imposing Sharia law in Nigeria, inability of governments to protect minorities. Eg: Persicution of Yazdis in Syria. Christians are denied rights in Afghanistan ,Mishandling of religious affairs by governments as it is a complex affair Eg: French government banning purdha without wide discussions, arrival of new non-secular governments. Eg: Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

We were taught distorted history . Books are banned . Book bans is a serious issue to be considered . We are  now living in an era of unprecedented access to reading material. We must keep in mind that even if the motivation to ban or challenge a book is well intentioned, the outcome is detrimental. Censorship denies our freedom as individuals to choose and think for ourselves. Young people especially deserve our trust. Reading literature that challenges them and encourages them to think about others and their own place in the world does no harm and can only spur them to become better students and better persons. Danger does not arise from viewpoints other than our own; the danger lies in allowing others to decide for us and our communities which reading materials are appropriate.

Under the Nazis, certain artists were not just banned and censored but sent to concentration camps; many died there. Artist like MF Hussian faced the demons too. Fundoos hated the free approach of him , they wanted Hussian to be more sensible and less offensive to them and equally offensive to other sects . Now he is gone. But we have his art. Satanic verses is banned authored by Salman Rusdie. I found nothing in the novel which was even remotely insulting to Islam. It was a very funny novel and a brilliant piece of literature. Ayatollah declared a "fatwa" on Salman Rushdie for "blasphemy". The truth was the Iranian Revolution was battered after the failed Iraq War, and the Islamic Govt of Iran needed a scapegoat to distract attention & "rally the faithful".The shocking, disgusting way in which Islamic fanatics shot a 14 year old Malala because she wanted girls to get an education and the tragic way in which thousands of innocent men, women, children  are bombed, killed, maimed  every day in some "jihad" attack or the other in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan and many other states. This is what deserves outrage. Not books, movies, paintings, music, sculptures. This is sheer hypocrisy. while there is no outrage against the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations, the so called hindutva outfits who murder innocent people and they are protected by Article 19 of the UN Human Rights charter .

Finally , God gave this immense responsibility to be creators, and some realize it and some don't. Those realized are blessed ones and we let them lead us to the path of spirituality which they have already realized. In any religion, when somebody is raised to divine level, we are acknowledging the fact that they attained self-realization and we let them lead us to spirituality. And as long as we can benefit from their knowledge, they have served their purpose in life. I am not saying that one religion is superior than the other, the point is that the essence is the same in everything and every one of them refers to the same one and only God, but in different ways/paths and we should appreciate it. We have to realize that the end goal of all the religions is the same. Serve our fellow men and Service to mankind is Service to God.  असतो मा सद्गमय ,तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय ।मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय 
 शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः 

Siddhartha Shankar Mishra
The author is a Lawyer and work on Human Rights and Legal Awareness