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Time to be contemptuous of such contempts

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Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
The author is practicing advocate in the Madras High Court

AR. PB. Now KK. One honestly feels that the Supreme Court may do well to ignore such ‘characters’ and not be seen to be affording them the ‘adverse publicity’, they are desperately craving, to embrace it with alacrity and willingness. It is pure Oxygen for them. They do not consider contempt proceedings as avoidable stink, sludge, stench and taint. But, instead they welcome it, as offering them manna from heaven as they sing and dance in the stain, as most welcome.

Why should the Attorney General or the top court be wasting their time, effort and resources in pursing these ‘characters’ – Arundhati Roy, Prashant Bushan, Kunal Kamra, in painting them darker than they are, for they love it as much as the decent, dignified and respectable abhor it. That is THEM. Notoriety is their popularity.

KK is absolutely spot on when he derisively says that he would not like the Supreme Court to waste time and space over and on him. He deserves our accolades. One is alluding to Kunal Kamra- the stand up comedian- who stands up for insults, invectives, barbs and demeaning pejoratives in his defiantly disdainful hate speeches, in the name of exercising his free speech, as a fundamental right under our Constitution. And he claims be a comedian. It is not funny.

But, be it Arundathi Roy or Prashant Bushant or this KKK sorry KK, Supreme Court ought to be disdainfully dismissive of their very existence. It ought not to be even noticing their comments or trolls. There are others on the social media platform and Twitterati who can answer them in the language they appreciate and understand.

The apex court would be surely wasting its time in dealing with these ‘characters’ and utilising constitutional means to put down their unconstitutional a.k.a acts of contemptuous construct. They do not deserve to be recognised on the constitutional plane. They speak and write in such a language which is intended to arouse, infuriate and antagonise. It is their vocabulary. You cannot expect anything better. They have mastered the art of felicity in such filthy expressions and employ it, just so that they may needle the decent and dignified. They love it when the majesty of an institution of impeccable pedigree, bends down to pick them up to try and straighten them. They are unlikely to morph into the respectable genre.

‘They’ deem it too respectable to climb from the lovely low they are in. They love the stench they are in. And when someone holds their nose and passes by, they make such a ruckus lest they be ignored. Why give them what they are desperately seeking? Instead, it makes robust common, logical and legal sense to avoid them like the plague or the pathogen they are.

In fact, this writer sought to borrow the language of Lord Denning, Justices Krishna Iyer, Hugo Black, Michael Kirby and then thought the better of it. That too would be wasted on these ‘characters’. ‘They’ would love it when defended with such wisdom. These ‘characters’ are not wise. They are cheap. Being anti-establishment is one thing. Dissenting is also different. To indulge and engage in filthy scandalising retinue, is nothing of that sort. To pull them up does not serve the constitutional cause. Instead, it emboldens them to indulge in more of the same. The Supreme Court is too majestic an institution to be slighted by such characters.

The only language from the decent and dignified they hate and despise is the language of Silence. Just ignore them. Do not give them the adverse publicity which is oxygen for their likes. They are not shamed. They feel recognised and respected in the filth and stench they generate, as ‘thought leaders’. That is their level of thinking and thought.

In fact, honestly, most of us come to know of what they say or crack as wisdom, only when they are sought to be arraigned as now. That is why they love it. They get to be known more. It matters little to them that they are proceeded against as accused and when they are held guilty by Rule of Law – they are smiling, happy and thrilled to bits that they have succeeded in, what they set out to achieve. That they needled the law abiding and a constitutional institution.

They make the headlines. Their responses are publicised. Print and electronic media- the liberal logs- splash them. They adore the attention. Even when they are called names by law. They don’t care. They just want to be known and heard. They achieve their ends by dreadful means, most of us, would not touch with a barge pole, as honest and law abiding citizens. We would feel small and ashamed, if we were alleged to be in contempt of court. Instead, these ‘characters’ would feel big and proud. That is the difference that needs to be noticed and responded to, while acting against these ‘characters’. After all, PB paid the Re.1/- fine, willingly and smilingly, though his proclaimed bravado was to brazen it out, to go to jail. Typical of them.

They are harmless ‘characters’ in the larger scheme of national interest, if they are ignored. They will feel sighted and small when ignored. They may raise the decibels and get coarser. But, rest assured, when ignored, they sulk and disappear. The ‘liberals’ in the media would have little to trumpet, as newsworthy, when their comments and tweets just pass on, unresponded to, with a whimper.

Unfortunately and regretfully, these ‘characters’ are fed with the one feed they are desperately craving for – viz. adverse publicity. They would feel desperate and lost, if they were ignored. Instead, we are succumbing to their wily wiles and keeping them in the ‘news’. And to be elevated to a contempt proceeding before the Supreme Court of India and with the consent of the leading law officer in the nation, is the pinnacle in the lowest of lows, ‘they’ regard as an Oscar prize. When will or can they ever, otherwise, get to be seen and heard on whatever they say? Just whatever? And when and if they get jailed even for a day or more – they would love to issue statements on a daily basis which our liberal media would endearingly offer space to. Shame.

For heaven’s sake, the only answer to these ‘characters’ is to let them be. Contempt power of a constitution is too sacred and sacrosanct to be wasted over such filth and stench. The only medicine or vaccine against these viral beings or characters is to ignore them. They would be feeling mortified. The only solution such scandalising conduct is to not punish them for contempt. But, to be contemptuous of their contemptuous conduct and not elevate them, from the low beings they are, and offering them what they are desperately craving for. Let us not fall into their trap. As Michelle Obama, said in another context, When ‘they’ go low, We go high. Never go low to their lows, to bring them up to the higher courts even to catch their lows for what they are. These ‘characters’ do not deserve to be dignified by such highs. Never. Let them revel in the filth and stench they revel in, for we can never, ever change the spots on them, for the filth and stench is their very essence and core.

(Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan- Author is practising advocate in the Madras High Court)

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Narasimhan Vijayaraghavan
The author is practicing advocate in the Madras High Court

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