Baigsaab's Blog

Justice In Limbo!

Posted in Rants by baigsaab on May 3, 2008

The lawyers’ movement is being hailed as the most remarkable phenomenon our society has experienced of late. Not only because of the unity that they have demonstrated but also the perseverance of their efforts. And even after 14 months, their intensity hasn’t deserted them. All very well.

But I want to bring something more important to your attention.  Those who have visited a Pakistani court must have seen an old, burqa-clad, poor lady seeking justice for her son. The woman in question would travel from a far flung suburban area and her son would be caught with a group of his “friends” who happen to be doing some illegitimate business. And his only fault was that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

This is an everyday scene at the court, only the names are different. Same plot, different characters! And when that woman, after traveling for hours and facing the humiliation of traveling through the public transport, reaches the court, she’s told by her lawyer that he and his brethren are fighting to bring justice in this country, and so, are boycotting the courts for that day (like they did the day before, and the day before, and the day before…)  It should sound like “Sorry Amman ji, but nothing is not more important than national duty. True justice warrants huge sacrifices from us! On another note, did you bring my fee?”… Not only the counsel, but the peons and the sentry will also ask for their “Chai – Pani”… and she has no choice but to oblige!

The protest goes on, but off course money-matters should be settled upfront! Suddenly, the lawyer’s movement doesn’t look so grand after all!  Believe me I’m not making this up, if you haven’t been to a Pakistani court, please do now! The system that we’ve built for us has scribed countless stories like that.  Justice is in the nation is in a state of flux right now, and is serving everyone – Politicians the most – but the affected households. No one talks about them, because it’s not “politically correct” to do so. No news channel would cover the story of a poor woman’s apprehended son, that’s not “commercially appropriate”. No one would write about it, because it’s not “in vogue”.  

Wondering myself in that woman’s place, having made to face a new challenge and being humiliated in a novel way each time, I couldn’t relate to the lawyer’s movement. This sounds like a story of another land, of another time, not this land, not this time.  And yet, she’ll be there at the court on the next date, with the same hope, with even more hope still! Where do these people muster their hope from? How they’re the most resilient lot despite being put to the sternest of tests? It beats me every time I try!!!!

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