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« Are the Japanese culturally better equipped to handle catastrophes? | Main | A Few Thoughts on the Natural Disaster in Japan (Norman Costa) »

March 16, 2011


Always remember I am "someone senior in age," while addressing me :-)

But seriously, the minister is in court because of corruption, right? Why are the justices going on about "disrespect" to the prime minister? The last I heard, that isn't against the law even if the target of Raja's spirited objections is a nice person like Manmohan Singh. I first thought it was a generational thing. But Singhvi and Ganguly are not that old to be so pompously fusty.

I suspect it's the caste equations between the Dalit ex-minister and the Sikh (but non-Dalit) PM. How dare he use terms like 'unfair, discriminatory' etc. in a letter to the latter. I don't know if the 'senior person' is code for that aspect.

The actual line used in the letter appears to be" will be unfair, discriminatory, arbitrary and capricious to auction the spectrum to new applicants as it will not give them level-playing field." per this article in The Hindu.

So, Singhvi and Ganguly are assuming that Raja is attaching those adjectives to Manmohan Singh directly, which definitely doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps he should have said, more humbly, "Sir, I appeal to your sense of justice to ensure that a level-playing field is maintained by not auctioning the spectrum to new applicants'. Then the Justices wouldn't be quibbling over whether Raja was rude or not, and could address the issue of whether he was corrupt or not.

In case I didn't make it clear in my comment above, it was sarcastic. I should have included a sarcasm smiley, if Typepad allows one.

Sujatha, astute as you are, it may well be a "caste thing." How dare a dalit... etc? I wouldn't put it past the illustrious justices, the law and the constitution be damned.

Ah, caste. I hadn't thought of that at all. It's a possibility certainly. Nice.

I actually came across a somewhat hindutva-type speech by another SC Justice recently, and am on the market now for a nice New Yorker style profile of the full bench. Some of these people sound really stodgy, and they all have axes to grind.

Justice Katju's speech was more in the category of yawn-inducing history text compilation than firebrand variety hindutva. His background is solidly packed with luminaries in law and politics (grandfather was a freedom-fighter, became a governor in several eastern states of India, etc., etc.).
Interestingly, I can't identify any of the current judges as being of Dalit extraction.
All appear to come from solid middle-class to rich backgrounds. Some are more liberal socially than others, for instance those mentioned in this article:
(Altamas Kabir and P.Sathasivam).

If the above-mentioned judges had been on the bench judging A.Raja's letter, they would likely have let the 'rudeness' pass, I guess.

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