This is a great moment for Indian democracy. The Rafale documents that were published by The Hindu are now admissible as evidence in court in the case on the Rafale deal. This will re-open the case for further examination by the Supreme Court in the light of the evidence that emerged. Adv. Prashant Bhushan, Arun Shourie and Yashwant Sinha ( two former BJP Union ministers) filed the review petition when the evidence of questionable ways of handling the deal emerged in public view.
The government threatened to try N. Ram, the current chairman of the Hindu Publishing Group and former Chief Editor of The Hindu newspaper, for treason, wanting to slap the Official Secrets Act, citing that the details of the evidence were matters of national security and that the documents were stolen from the Defence Ministry ( seriously? And we’re sending fighter jets across the border while we can’t keep a few papers safe in the Defence Ministry office!). They threatened his life and career.
The seasoned journalist of international repute who has been at the helm of one of the last newspapers in India to have a solid foundation of journalistic values, refused to budge. He said he stood by what he published saying that the Indian public had a right to know. The central government tried every tactic in the book and out of the book to crucify him. No avail. He stood.
He stood for the rights of the people, the right to free speech, the freedom of the press and the courage of journalism to stand for the people despite grave threats from high places. He stood his ground.
N. Ram and The Hindu newspaper, is a model not only for journalists but also for every citizen of India. As an Indian, I applaud the courage and determination that N. Ram and The Hindu displayed so that justice would be served for the people of the nation. Justice is at the core of the Kingdom of God envisioned in the Bible. The rights of the widow, the foreigner, the fatherless/orphan is enshrined in the scriptures of Judeo-Christian spirituality. It means taking a stand, even in the face of death, for the ‘other’, the marginalised, the community that suffers. The Kingdom of God transcends geographies, ethnicities, linguistic differences and is carried around in the heart of its members who strive to transform the society and make it a just community, based on love. This love is the ability to find my brother/sister in the face of my fellow beings no matter how different they are.
The Supreme Court decision reinforces our faith in the institutions of democracy and the rock-solid Constitution of India. Kudos to Bhushan, Shourie and Sinha.
N. Ram with his bold stand, inspires the citizens of the Republic of India and urges to work towards shaping of a just society by standing upto the forces of misused power and the ideologies of hatred. N. Ram rocks!