My article - Prosecuting Stupid Innocence has attracted some interesting comments. I sent a common reply to all letters received about the article. The reply is given here. Please read my reply, before you move on to the comments.
Thanks for writing to me. Appreciative and kind words like yours encourage me and provide me the vital motivation. Thanks for the same.
I think that it is important to make efforts to put pressure on IIT Kharagpur administration to cancel the expulsion of Ravi Raj. In this connection, I request you to kindly ask all your friends to write letters / e-mails to The Director, IIT Kharagpur / Mr. Arjun Singh, Cabinet Minister for Human Resources Development / Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam, President of India. The letter should state the following facts:
Education is a fundamental human right. Even a hardened criminal has fundamental human rights. Universities, across the world and even in India, permit convicted criminals in jails to appear for university exams. Denial of education to a convict is unconstitutional and inhuman. By expelling Ravi Raj, IIT administration has acted in gross violation of all constitutional norms and moral standards. The punishment meted out by IIT is worse than the crime. Instead of reforming the accused, it will create a hardened criminal since he would have no gainful employment. It is hence necessary that expulsion of Ravi Raj is revoked. In fact, Ravi Raj should be encouraged to complete his education even if he is convicted.
We should try to get hundreds or even thousands of letters sent on the above lines. Let us remember that we are not trying to help just one individual. We are trying to make our society more humane, compassionate and merciful. We are trying to reverse the increasing tendency towards barbarism in the society. This is in our own self-interest.
With Best Wishes and Regards,
7 January 2005
Your article judges the entire incident on a level-headed manner and i liked it. Being a Senior of Ravi Raj (same college same hostel) i understand the situation upfront.
A country where child rape happens every other day and where the parliamentarians and the upholders of Indian Constitution are themselves criminals such Media-splashes and crime-mongering by Authorities is the most severe hypocrisy that can ever be.
Thanks for raising your voice in Ravi Raj's support. I must say its not actually Ravi Raj, but all people who are convicted for some crime which they werent aware of!
I'm very happy after reading ur article:- "PROSECUTING STUPID INNOCENCE."
I beleive this can bring a change in the mind of a lots of people who r doing this type of small crime and also the people who r giving the judgement.
Hope to see a lot from u.
May be this can take us to the way where we can think positive & in a brotherhood manner.
Thanks a lot.
Rupak Kumar Sriwastwa
Read your article about Ravi Raj. he used to be a friend of mine in 1st yr. as I'm a 4th student of Electronics in IIT KGP too. I really appreciate ur views and glad that in a 'MAHAAN' country like india, people like you still exist. Thanks being a person like urself...!!
Take Care & Keep Smiling,
hello Mr. Anil Chawla,
I have just read ur article titled 'PROSECUTING STUPID INNOCENCE' published in http://www.samarthbharat.com. I fully agreed with you about the fact...u have highlighted in ur article.
Its really a great effort and encouraging to us.
wish u all the best to carry out such excellent writing.
I am a student of IIT Kanpur.You have rightly pointed out the fault in the indian laws.Ravi Raj has a done a mistake,he should be punished,but the real criminals are breathing in the open air. The main problems with us(INDIAN) that we punish those persons whom we catch easily.We don't want to go in the root of the evil. As earlier happend in other cases also.
As happened in the case of Mr. Satyendra Kumar Dubey. Nobody wants to get the criminals. Everybody is saying that we had not leak out the letter.
I am telling you because in this case also INDIANs have done the same thing. Didn't try to find out the real criminals.
Ravi Raj is an innocent criminal.He is not a proffesional. If we treat him in a very rude manner,his sharp mind can lead him to be an another Bin LADEN!.
What should we do now because of the fact that the present situation of the India is terrible.
A nice article over the perception of today's criminal scenerio of our country. Yes, u have said correct, "Compassion, mercy, love, empathy and brotherhood are not constitutional values, but are certainly more fundamental and important than anything written in any Constitution or law." In my view, now the whole society should learn that these unnecessary bonds should now be broken and adhesion and sticking to laws should be reverred.
A nice article with nice comments over the social views.
Hi Mr. Anil!
Nice and very relevant article. It was about time someone addressed the issue in a mature manner. Hope things change in our society.
Happy New Year n warm regards
Saurav Biswas,Graduate Student
Department of Geology,Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
It was a very well written article but sadly I am sure the Indian public is going to go through in their spare time and speak some angry words about the police and the judicial system and then go silent and after sometime when sufficient time has passed and something else has grabbed media atttention, this will again go to the background and people will forget everything. The ultimate result will be nothing. This is how India has been.
I appreciate very much your organization has been working in making India better and I am sure you will go a long way in doing this.
I along with my 2 friends have just read ur article regarding the over-exposing of Ravi Raj's scandal . We strongly agree with you. It's only because of the media which wants masala in any way. We can see this effect on other things also. News about hockey matches is so small and a small news about cricket takes hours to be explained. It needs to be checked or else it can show it's affect again.
Rohit Garhwal, Ankush Aggarwal, Shyam Mohan Agarwal
I got your article just now and it has been an eye opener for me.First of all ,I would like to congratulate Delhi Police and then news channels like Zee, Star and Aajtak for making a mountain out of mole of this entire issue.
Sir,if this is not hippocrisy than we can't get a better example.Almost every Indian (except some pseudo-moralists) must have handled pornography in one way or other. But the way Raviraj has been criminalised just shows how archaic and selfish we are.
And I am not blaming media either because it just shows what we want to see. I can't believe the way the entire issue has been twisted by the media.This entire episode has just served one purpose - I have lost my faith in media and the police.
How and why do I believe what is being shown on the TV or printed in the newspapers when I know that the truth is exactly the opposite ?
Hello Mr. Anil,
I just read your article about raviraj case, infact I was following that case right frm the begning. I completely agree with you, I work in UK, and if someone commits a crime like this in UK, he is just given some warnings, the Govt. takes care tht the future of the convict is not in vain.
If we talk abt Raviraj, he must be brilliant as he is an IITian. Our Govt. should not make him a criminal, they should not spoil his future.
I would blame media aswell, for the upliftment of raviraj case, our media is great but they should take care of futures of young students like Raviraj.
thank you for opening eyes of the world on Raviraj case,
Name -: Varun Binod Srivastava
Education -: Hotel Management
Occupation-: Working as a restaurant manager
Place-: Manchester, UK.
Giving a personal view of everything situation after just hearing or reading in papers is very much easy but judging it is as much difficult. I agree that people learn by the acts of others or themselves. Ravi Raj is a victim of his own self or circumstances is undecided.
He of course falls into the category of our brothers but judiciary is there to exert its social control on our country. every action teaches a lesson to someone. but the crime he has committed has a bad effect on the society at large. Dealing in pornography is still a taboo in our contemporary society. frankly speaking, i believe that a punishment should not be given after comparing with a crime of greater magnitude since it makes that particular crime look smaller. but it should be judged accordingly. For the safety of our next generation we have to assure people that the country is in the hands of efficient government.
Ravi Raj has definitely committed an offence which horrifies us all. but intention varies. the police and law should not be hard enough to punish him more that what he deserves.
Being a law student i feel that compassion, love, mercy, empathy etc should be used to give equal justice and not for other selfish motives.
hope u will neither mind the language structure and the fact that i am not writing about my identity after reading your article. It was very nice and speaks the stuff thats in our hearts among the youth who feel for ravi raj and who think the whole of the indian judiciary sytem ends up being a big farce.
but there is a request i wanted to make a similar article came up in the online notice board of iit kharagpur foundation by one of thei alumni from llr it was another great article stripping of the administration in iit kharagpur........is there anyway that u can publish these artiucles in the news paper and spread the word......if you are successful to do that then that will be your real success. a kid like me at the end of his teens has no power to do so but i am sure u must have enough power to pull some strings and make these articles come up on the first page of a leading news paper.
hoping for the best,
(a well wisher and supporter)
PS:- HOPE I CAN ALSO WRITE THESE DARING ARTICLES IN THE FACE OF ALL THE INDIANS.
Hello Mr. Anil,
I really appreciate the rational thinking reflected in your article towards Ravi Raj case.I and infact the entire student community not only at the IITs but at any institution across the nation thinks on your lines, as is evident from the public response on this case on various news sites.
The main culprit behind the ordeal that Ravi Raj is facing is Indian Media which is unfortunately unquestionable. On the next day of Ravi's arrest a team from Star News came to RP Hall of Residence at IIT Kharagpur to know the students' opinion. The team had taken no official permission to take any photos and the reporter tried to convince our group of 4 people to say something on camera but we refused. During this negotiation they rolled the camera a few times to take a few clips of our conversation. Now this was an act of perfidy from a reputed news channel.
As far as Ravi Raj is concerned I do not think anybody is interested in him, its the name of IIT that attracted the attention of media. Its like if you catch 5 people peeing on a roadside,you let 4 people go and arrest the 5th person because his jacket bears the logo of IIT Kharagpur on his back. This incident must also waken up the IIT KGP authorities who, instead of reacting sensibly to the situation have handed over their child to the brutal judicial system of our country and in turn have also given media a chance to demolish the name of their institute. The grudge against the media will not end for this incident even if I write pages on this because they have nearly spoiled the life of a senior of mine. So to end with I would thank you again for supporting the right.
Hello Mr. Chawla
I firmly believe what you have written about the case of Ravi Raj.
Infact I am a graduate student from IIT KGP only. When I was in KGP, there were lot of students involved in exchange of porno material. But Ravi was unfortunate to get caught. You can even get Porn stuff inside the campus in stores. Even the IIT officials don't take proper steps to stop selling of such stuffs in the market inside campus, but they are quick enough to expel Ravi without giving him any chance to repent. Can there be any way Ravi can be helped out of this ordeal?
Thank you for bringing out this for public opinion.
Research Assistant, MAIDROC Lab.
Department of Mechanical and Materials Eng.
Florida International University
Miami, Florida 33174
i read ur article the other day. it was a heart touching peace which left me feel cold inside. Being an iitian(iit-kharagpur), i strongly feel that whatever hype has been created around this issue was just merciless on the part of Ravi Raj. I felt sorry to see how unhuman can people become sometimes. they literally spoiled an otherwise bright career of this guy. but it should be looked from other point of view as well.
U r right in wat u said in ur article that the riggers of continous running from one court to other is like a stampede for him, but this is also a slap to the fate of the country, which is dreaming of becoming a developed nation by 2020. U hav rightly pointed that had this incident occured in America, for that matter, it would not hav created so much turbulence in the air.!!
At this point i take this oppurtunity to focus on the part of media in such cases. I felt very ashamed of seeing in one of the dailies a photo of ravi raj. the photo showed a masked man holding a mobile in his hand with his name written at its background. I failed to understand what did they want to prove with that photo!!! Is ravi raj a criminal? Let me throw this question openly, is this the way the media sld act ??
Media is known as the guardian of democracy. I wonder wat media did was the act of a guardian or something else?
Ravi raj should have been treated as one of our family members, he is one among us!!!! So according to me the whole episode compel me to think that how mean our thinkings are. Our country has a long road to travel before becoming a developed nation!!!!!!!!
i have just gone through your article http://www.samarthbharat.com/stupidinnocence.htm
yes..... it is very good to see somebody really try to judge Ravi by his heart, insted of using the book-form rules and regulation, which mathametically states that for what iligal activity........what shoud be the punishment.
But it is also true at the same time, that kind of sympathy could not be seen in case of a generel fellow citizen. i mean to say if Ravi was an ordinary graduate in Bihar, and commited the same, then Mr Anil Chawla may not spend much time on this matter.
Nobody borns as a criminal. our socio economical srtucture makes a boy to a criminal. also psychologically somebody borns with a criminal attitude, like, he has everything, still he has a intention to take others things away.
Do you give the guaranty that he will become a perfect citizen if court leave him after giving few slaps( as you say )? he does not have any criminal attitud in his nature?
It's really really a tough decision........ Ones you give a fevourable coment against him, numbers of generel public with same category ask you a question "why we do not get this favour?"
Our harsh reallity is, they will be nevr consedered , because they don't have an iit background. its painfull, but it is true.
It is true that Ravi Raj's case caught my attention because he is an IItian and I am an ex-IITian too. But my point is universal.
I call Ravi Raj as my brother and in the same para I call Zahira Sheikh as my sister.
I have been pleading for a different approach to crime in general. I had written about hanging of Dhananjoy. Surely, Dhananjoy was no IITian. I suggest that you read my other articles about crime, punishment and innocence. I am sure that you will then not accuse me of just trying to save Ravi Raj becuase he is a fellow IITian.
Lastly, there can be no guarantees whether a person would take to crime or not. We are talking of probabilities. The way things stand now, our judicial system creates conditions that make it most probable that a person who commits a petty crime gets converted into a hardened criminal.
With Best Wishes and Regards,
8 January 2005
Please give me those link, I apriciate your way of thinking, I am also belong's to iit kharagpur, right now i am doing research here,do you know to day is the alumni meet? oho..... you told that you are an ex-iitan, may not be ex-kgpian.
Actually my view on this matter is quite similar to your article, I am not accuse you, if you think so then i am really sorry for that, i put my emphasis not on iit, but on our judicial system, which is not consistent. We always try to solve our problem without go inside. Ravi is not the issue, he is a very very small player of this game, not even the tip of the iceberg.
this happenes every where. we become very harshfull to somebody who does not deserve that kind of severe punishment. like dhananjay the list is big. but nobody bothers, they never pass a single statement against authority. they are happy because that guy is not the member of their family.
We indians never try to cros this limitation, thats why we never stand as a nation. we are quite happy with individualism. isn't it? thats why you have to say "Ravi raj may be belongs to our family..." insted of Ravi is a real problem of our society, and we have to think sensibly for betterment of the nation. and you admit that Ravi caught your attention because you are also an ex-iitian.
why we don't make ourselves consitent and try to go inside of the situation? can you answar my question?
It was by sheer accident that i read ur article on the ravi raj case. I appreciate ur views, the views any sane person should have. The whole issue looked trivial, but for the hype the media built over it, and also for our age-old habbit of making too much fuss over nothing. To the millions of viewers bored by the mundane indian politics, it was nothing more than a chatpata news item. But for the IITian, it has been a doomsday.
Our media should learn to play a mature role in the society by creating an enabling and positive atmosphere. No news channel would now talk of Satyendra Dubey case, cos its no more a hot. I remember Dr. Kalam making a speech in Hyderabad where he questioned - "why is our media so negative. why do we always read about death, crime, rape and murder." Why should these hit the frontpages when there are better things happening around. He cited the example of his visit to Tel Aviv when the Hamas struck and there was death and destruction. But the next day the newspaper front page had a picture of a person who had helped change the desert of Israel into greenery. The gory details of the destruction were hidden inside the newspaper. We do need to learn a lesson here.
Another issue is need for judicial reforms in the country. I strongly feel that without certain rapid changes in our judicial system, the country would goto the dogs. The biggest bane of democracy is corruption in public life. And the best we know to do fight this is to handle the case to the CBI and wait for its report. If the report contains anything against a minister, we are more than ready to transfer the CBI director to the home ministry ( like what happened to Joginder Singh in the BOFORS case a few years back). Corruption may sound a bit off-the-track issue here, but it all gels up together to create a eerie picture. We need some quick judgements and special courts to look into the "CRIME" ( assuming that nobody watches porn ! ) Ravi Raj has committed.
The worst thing to happen to Ravi Raj would be to run from one court to the other, not for pleading justice, but just going through the motions. An IITians future is at stake. Even if the judicial system wants to punish him , let the action be quick so that he can get back to a normal life,which he rightly deserves.
I am just looking at your other articles, would go through them as and when time permits. But, Kudos to u for creating a honest forum for the unbiased voices to be heard.
"the men who make a difference are not the ones with credentials, but with concern."
The article is really great, and i personally feel that he should not be expelled from iit kharagpur.
Its really a great effort from u, wish u all the best to carry out such excellent writing.
Well whatever you said is just and appears very correct to me but I'm damn sure that people who really need to understand this never will.
In our country all the culture, ethics an principles that are illustrated in great books are no more seen in our society....so don't expect any chance of so called "Kshama" or "Prayaschit" in the case of Ravi. Whatever happened is unfortunate and of course Ravi is a guilty in this matter but people here have made him the prime convict and I guess that none is gonna ease his hold.
If asked I will make Politicians, media and police responsible for the poor condition our country is sharing. Of course we too are responsible in some sense but compared to what these hell people are doing, our deeds get negligible.
I wish and I pray that Ravi gets proper and just judgement.
For the original article PROSECUTING STUPID INNOCENCE, Please click here.
Please write to me your comments about the above debate.
ANIL CHAWLA is an engineer (and now a lawyer too) by qualification but a philosopher by vocation and a management consultant by profession.
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