Many Americans hate George Bush for Iraq. That hate rises as the body bags keep piling piling up. Three days ago, two CBS journalists were blown up by a car bomb in Baghdad. A third one barely survived. The journalists were in Iraq out of choice. The scores of dead American soldiers were not. What option does the American public have ? Very little. They elected George Bush. In a democracy, you've got to follow the process.
The student community is rightfully angry with the Government. Its protests have had some impact, but nowhere as enough. That only goes to show how thick skinned our politicians can be. Particularly where they perceive a larger votebank connect. We can protest, oppose, picket and shout slogans. Or wear black badges.
We can keep agitating against the ruling political class or certain members of it. We can fight for their removal. Or ask them to pull back. Or boycott them at every turn. And keep up the protests. But they too represent the will of the majority. Whether or not you agree with it. Yet, you can keep the pressure up.
SC Is `Highest' Authority
The courts work a little differently. The Supreme Court is the `highest' authority of the land. They are a part of the same democratic system and process the politicians belong to. And they represent the final `voice' in many issues. Disregarding that voice is tantamount to contempt of court. And contempt of court is a serious matter. And the SC has a habit of flexing its muscles to remind citizens of this.
I may not agree (and have not) with some SC rulings or judgements in the past. But the democratic process which allows me the freedom to express my views also constrains me from speaking out against the Supreme Court. Arundhati Roy discovered this to her chagrin in March 2002 when the Supreme Court jailed her for a day for criminal contempt of court.
Much as I disliked the Court's treatment of Roy, I realise that a polity like ours has to respect some authority at some point. Else you will have anarchy. The adventerous lot within us may desire that too that but its not such a great idea. A somewhat functioning democracy (as some would describe the State of India) is better than one that has collapsed totally.
Courts Work, Sometimes !
So, to conclude, if the Supreme Court tells you to stop protesting, my suggestion is you should. If you build up your case well, the Court can help get justice. In the past, they've demonstrated the ability to delve dispassionately into detail. And arrive at workable solutions. But taking on the Court for no reason except to convey a sense of distrust against all authority may not be the best idea. Not at this point of time. Not on the issue of reservations.
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