The following is an interview which I gave to Sindhu Madhusudan of RITZ, regarding swamy in court and the aftermath. The questions were sent by the magazine and my responses have been reproduced verbatim, in their march 2009 issue, released today, for which I heartily commend the editorial team of the magazine.
1.What do you feel about the incident of eggs being pelted at him (subramaniam swamy) and
the assault on the High Court Judge?
Hurling a shoe or a rotten egg is not an assault with a homicidal intent; it is an expression of disgust and impotent anger. I may not throw a rotten egg at a rotten person, but I can understand the emotive state and the angst. The courtroom certainly is a place that has to be treated with respect but these protesters did not have anyother place and chance to do what they did. It is what the journalist did to bush, there was no way he could have gone near enough to do that. But the situation had actually changed when antisocial elements wanted to use the opportunity and create havoc. The incident is odd. There were the lawyers who allegedly insulted (or assaulted) swamy, willing to surrender. Then there were the lawyers who wanted to protest against the arrest. But, there were far too many policemen trying to ‘maintain’ law and order! That a judge was hurt in the rampage just shows how the men in uniform had no clue regarding whom to beat and whom to protect.
2.Would you call that assault a denial of the
Constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental right to freedom of speech?
Freedom of speech does not mean you can talk any rubbish and claim legal protection. In a society your speech has to conform to certain limits. This man has been going about talking quite freely, though his freedom has been also due to the security cover that he has. He dares to talk because he is not going to face public wrath. If freedom of speech were to be given to all seeman (whom I do not endorse) should be free!
Freedom needs to be combined with dignity and truth. If this is not acceptable then throwing eggs is also a freedom of expression! Action is a nonverbal speech!
What happens when a rotten egg is thrown? It hits a hard surface and stinks. That is what has happened in Tamilnadu. The eggs hit a hardened individual. They perhaps aggravated the stink that was naturally present in the system.
3 What is your comment on the incident in which advocates burned Xerox
copies of their voter IDs to show their protest against the Indian
government for not interfering in Srilankan issue and their disgust at
being the citizens of this country?
.The sovereignty of India cannot be compromised or even questioned. If someone does one insulting act in a fit of rage and insults India or its emblems, the person ought to be clearly and sternly warned. After all there are people who in a fit of anger call their mother a bitch with no canine or commercial connotation to the word. But if the offence is repeated it needs severe punishment.