Civilization and democracy cannot be selective

Last night suddenly there was a tweet from someone with the Twitter handle @NilimDutta (retweeted by @Vidyut) that the Dispur police had assaulted him and his family, and his ankles had been fractured. People quickly started retweeting and forwarding his tweets to influential people like @BDUTT and @PritishNandy. Whoever was online at that time pitched in and some people even called up the Dispur police to know exactly what was happening. Even the Minister of State, Home Affairs, @SinghRPN, pitched in and told people that he would look into the matter.

While all this was happening, a certain section of tweeple started tweeting about what a nefarious character @NilimDutta is and how he has multiple cases of fraud and cheating registered against him. None of these people, not even once, expressed shock at how the entire thing had been handled by the police. And many of these people wield ideological influence over their followers.

Without using the exact words, what they meant to say was, there was no need to reach out to him, as he more or less deserves what he has got.

My wife also told me (by no means she supports such tweeple) that @NilimDutta is a known “secular”, even to the extent of supporting the notorious Owaisi brothers of Hyderabad. Hence such an attitude for him.

Whatever is his standing in life, the way he is treated by the police, throws a reflection at our own attitude, not only towards our opponents, but also towards ourselves. What sort of society do we envisage for our country? That the police can enter someone’s house at 9:40 PM (as far as I know he is not a fugitive), break his bones and terrorize his family, and as long as it is happening to someone we dislike we can wallow in the cushions of schadenfreude?

Such tendencies, sadly or happily, come with poetic justice. Sooner or later, they catch up with you. Goon mentality doesn’t discriminate. A law based on lawlessness is unhealthy for not just our opponents, but also for ourselves, and also for our loved ones, our near and dear ones.

So at such moments we should keep differences aside, and focus on the bigger issue. If he is a criminal, as many claim, he should face the law, but certainly not in such lawless manner.