Daily Newsings: 10th May

Daily Newsings are musings on the daily news.

For today’s newsing we look at the political row that has erupted over the FIR filed against BJP leaders in West Bengal, alleging that the rape and sexual assault charges in Sandeshkhali were falsified.

These developments have taken place a day after Trinamool Congress took to social media to unveil a Sandeshkhali sting operation video. The video shows a female BJP leader collecting signatures of women in Sandeshkhali on blank paper and then filling the papers as complaints of sexual assault against leaders of the Trinamool Congress. Even the woman who was alleged to have been assaulted has now withdrawn her claims.

The BJP has denied the charges. And the truthfulness of the video is yet to be determined.

The story has laid bare the cold hard truth that neither political party really cares for the interests of people. It is power, not principles that the political parties ultimately crave. And therefore, even championing the cause of the oppressed is merely a strategy to discredit the opponent and grab power.

Historically, the oppression and exploitation of the poor (even the sexual exploitation of the vulnerable) was a sad reality. Even the law would not really protect the poorest people from the oppression of the rich and the powerful. Society was built upon an understanding of the inequality of human beings.

Liberal democracy today recognizes the “human rights” of each and every individual. According to the law, everyone is of equal worth. Therefore, it does not matter if a person is rich or poor, powerful or vulnerable, they all have rights and those rights need to be protected.

This modern understanding of the equal worth of human beings is uniquely Christian. It is something that is derived from the Biblical teaching that God created every human being in His own image.

But the Constitution’s correct philosophy — that every human being is equal and has equal rights — can not on its own transform society. The chairman of the Indian Constitution’s drafting committee, Dr Ambedkar said that even a bad constitution will turn out to be good if the people who run it are good. Alternatively, even a good constitution will be bad if the people who run it are bad. The system can be gamed if the people responsible for enforcing the system have their own vested interests.

This is what we see in the stories of Sandeshkali or the gruesome case of Prajwal Revanna.

What we ultimately need is transformation of hearts. No amount of rules can bring that about. Only God can.

Being Indian and Christian

Being Indian and Christian is my weekly email newsletter in which I try to understand the world (popular culture or news and events from India or around the world) from a Christian world-view. If that’s something you’re interested in, I’d be honoured if you signed up!

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