The Electronic Scientists and Engineers Society (ESES), Assam was founded in 1984 by eminent scientists and engineers as Late Prof. Paban Chandra Mahanta, the founder of the Department of Physics, Gauhati University and Late Prof. Debabrata Goswami, Principal, Assam Engineering College, Guwahati. This Society initially aimed at promotion of work culture in Electronic Science and Engineering, the most important fields of public interest. Later, the society had enlarged its scope of involvement to Scientists and Engineers of all allied disciplines. The ESES is a benevolent society surviving through donations and patronization of Scientists and Engineers.
The society also extends its activities to:
Science is the Truth and only Truth & one is free to offer once scientific proclamation "through logic observations and knowledge". But in the days of Galileo a such proclamation even based on actual observation was dangerous though he had the audacity to tell the world that the Jupiter has four moons as the one the earth possesses. This was a very dangerous revelation to the wise and elites of the time. They refused to look through the telescope Galileo had discovered at the Jupiter. They told him that the contraption was a witch beset epitome of the Devil. Galileo's scientific experiments were referred as devilish acts to the court where his discoveries were stoutly condemned. Galileo was never killed or burnt alive, but many others who followed Galileo were not so lucky. But how we can think that superstitious practices as witch hunting or lynching of innocents still exists in the ambience of Rule of Law.?
It is sad but exists.
I may refer here to a few events :
Recently killing of two promising young lives at Dokmoka on 8 June of 2018 has evoked world- wide public anguish in words, writings and with lamps, but the loss inflicted by this most Unkindest act is too deep for any of the above expressions , for the event amounts to assassination of the earthly values. Personally, I suffered the misfortune of witnessing more than one such crime. The first was in 1947, when I was too young. The second tragedy occurred in 1973 on the eve of Daul Yatra that year, while my brother was moving from Golaghat to Numaligorh. On the midway, his car was stopped by an armed mob and attacked the vehicle with Dao and axe. When my brother came out in surprise and awe, he was immediately attacked by the mob with the same weapons and mercilessly hacked him down. Two days later he succumbed to the injuries. The incident evoked a wide public anguish and in response to the public reaction, the late honourable Chief Minister (CM) of the time, Sarat Chandra Singha had made a statement on the State Assembly floor. We were waiting with great expectations for justice in vain and we are still waiting for the justice. So, this story adds no more basic facts than the many others published from time to time, except that the anguish and loss suffered by the near and dear ones remain un-mitigated and the pains last for life.
On a broader perspective, a major source that might make a mob is bystanders at street corners, because they might be manipulated to be accomplice in demonic acts. The modus operandi of a demon in such cases are: He sniffs out a minor clash or an argument, would take part in the event pushing anger into allegations/arguments (often unfounded) such that it may make a mob, or make a kangaroo court such as we see in road accidents, or in case of discovery of a hapless stranger at a lonely place at odd hours. The public around such troubled spots would generally not come forward for help but, some may go for a smart pick of valuables from the victims or take a video of the violence or of his sufferings for (sadistic) pleasure or profit.
In most cases of street violence or accidents, a gathering of spectators is formed immediately, but there will be few Good Samaritan in it, perhaps for fear of the subsequent harsh legalities and (the old fear of) unfriendly Public-Police relations and a very lengthy ,costly judicial process. Though the cause for such fear has been removed by law, the old fear still persists. So, casualties of mob ire, or of accidents etc. are still seen stowed on the roadside and a survivor begs God for help, while the passing motorist or pedestrian hurries past looking the other way. Why the rulings of the Supreme Court (SC) and directives of the government in the above context have not received an over whelming public respect?
Here I must state how the SC, the Government, the Police and the Good Samaritan NGOs came into the process of adoption of guidelines for removal of this public fear. A landmark PIL was filed by the Save Life Foundation to the court in 2012. The Supreme Court (SC) issued a distinguished ruling on 29 Oct., 2014, directing guidelines to the government to offer honourable treatments to the Good Samaritans. In 2016(May 30), the SC approves the proposed guidelines of the Central Government on the matter. I do not know if the guidance provides sufficient incentive for people to come forward for helping victims, as also if the guidelines take the victims, the ones who help in enforcement of law and the villains in the purview on the problems of security and legal aspects. If not, it is very desirable that the guidelines be expanded for inclusion of these factors and providing effective teeth to the law for, ensuring quick deterrents. At this point, one might even ask a question about the law itself. Is the Roman law adequate enough to handle the events as of 08/06 or the events as video-graphing the plight of a hapless stranger in a remote place? Or, t o provide security to those who provide evidence of crimes? Sadly, the answer is No. All such events point to the fact that our legal system may not be adequate for providing an effective atmosphere of Law and Order in the society. I may refer to the event of 25 June, 2013 in Diphu where Jhankar Saikia was lynched in public (and said to be in presence of policemen). The bereaved family received compensation for the loss but no justice yet for killing of their son. The suspects are said to be at large on bail. It is also very significant that, in the period from June 28 to July 1 this year, there are reports of repetitions of Dokmoka-like killings: in Tripura (5 kills), Bhupal (1 kill) and Maharastra (5 kills) and torture of helpless women in Tezpur . In the meanwhile, public discussions on the 06/08 event continues unabated especially in the electronic media. It is shocking to see the ghastly video of the criminal act, frequently flashed on the screen while the discussion goes on. One wonders about the rationale of the flash- backs. Does it work against promotion of sadistic pleasure, or enhancement of the sad aspects of the event? Therefore, one may wonder if in the long race between the law and the Dokmoka demon, the later has outpaced the Law. For reversing this harsh truth, perhaps the law has to be strengthened as has been done in other countries. All of us dream for a day when at the call of any citizen in distress, to Emergency-100, the police arrives at the scene in three minutes and justice effected in a few month time.
The question of adequacy of Roman Law brings to my mind about the 1973 event and the statement of the then CM on the Assembly Floor. Why this momentus action of the CM was quietly laid to rest? If it was fallout of the Roman jurisprudence, application of this system needs a review. Because it raises questions as: Does the Dokmoka demon merit the same legal protections received by law abiding citizens? What kind of crime would forfeit ones security provided by the Indian Juridical? Is Outlaw a valid concept in modern perceptions? On this background it is to be noted that, after the Dokmoka crime the High Court has asked by a notice to the Assam government about the measures the government has been following for ensuring security of citizens in the state.
All such questions require an erudite discussion and debate. I therefore appeal to the Home department, Assam , that it may kindly revive the landmark process, the late honourable C M had initiated in 1973.The state Assembly may put an agendum on the Dokmoka 08/06 like incident and discuss the problems in their various aspects of ensuring security to the citizens.
I dream of the time when the state learns to respect its citizens.
Also I dream of a time when people understand that there will be opinions other than theirs and respect the other's view.
I wish to see a debate in the State Assembly and a meaningful bill passed by our legislature and name the "Emergency Response Act," and name it in respect to the memory of the victims.