If America is home to white supremacy, India is home to caste supremacy. Supremacy puts an individual over another by virtue of his birth. A dalit who employs a Brahmin is therefore inferior to his employee. A supremacist will fight tooth and nail to preserve that birthright. It is no coincidence that all supremacists claim like the Nazis to be of Aryan descent. And that is why Hitler, Trump and Modi are so much alike. Eradicating supremacy is no easy task. It is a many-headed hydra; for every head chopped off, it regrows two heads.
Job reservation for lower castes was intended as a deathblow to caste supremacy in India. The rise of Modi – ironically with the enthusiastic support of the lower castes – has punctured that deathblow. It all began with Advani’s ‘rathyatra’ ostensibly for building a Ram Temple in Ayodya, but in reality to bring India back into the control of caste supremacists. After whipping up fervour in the caste supremacists, he led them to Ayodhya. The rest is history. The Supreme Court declared that the demolition of the Babri Masjid was a criminal act, but a lower court has let the perpetrators go scot-free.
The 9/11 attack by foreign terrorists was a terribly humiliating experience for America, which was then the world’s only super power. Vowing not to allow that to happen again, America invaded Afghanistan, where Bin Laden had hidden and hatched the plot. On 6/1 of the New Year, Trump dispatched thousands of white supremacists to raid the Washington Capitol. They had plans to drag out Vice President Pence and hang him in public for refusing to overturn Biden’s election. Thank God they did not succeed in publicly executing American democracy. But instead of doing all they could to ensure that it didn’t happen again, within hours of the attack by domestic terrorists 147 Republican Representatives sided with them by voting to negate Biden’s victory.
Social media have become a pandemic that is wreaking havoc on independent thinking by serving as platforms for vested interests to spread conspiracy theories. Sane voices are drowned in the din created by cyber armies that churn out conspiracy theories, which have in the Sr Abhaya Case got elevated to the status of truths by a court verdict. This three-decade old case has unequivocally proved that populism and conspiracy theories can form a deadly cocktail that could kill truth and possibly condemn innocent people to lifelong incarceration.
Investigation by the local police led to the conclusion that Sr Abhaya’s death was a case of unnatural death, widely interpreted as suicide. Later, a CBI enquiry came to the same conclusion. Not convinced, the CBI court ordered a fresh enquiry. The CBI then concluded it was a case of homicide, but submitted they were unable to zero in on the killers. Still not satisfied, the CBI court ordered another fresh enquiry. That enquiry and another that followed reiterated the previous conclusion. The shrill of conspiracy theories orchestrated by clergy baiters and nun baiters had become so overwhelming by then that the court ordered a fourth enquiry. Fed up, the CBI decided to fabricate killers to offload the case once and for all. They concocted a conspiracy theory within a matter of 17 days thanks to clerical rivalry that offered two priests and a nun on a platter as accused to them. Based on CBI’s desperate report, the court pronounced a verdict that gave credence to a fabricated tale.
The judge shot to fame and the whole of Kerala raised Christmas and New Year toasts to him. But a few who went through the verdict found many gaping holes in it. The verdict was based solely on shaky circumstantial evidences and self-contradicting statements of unreliable witnesses. Those who raised valid questions about the reliability of crucial witnesses and circumstantial evidences were subjected to mob attack on social media. In no way did the attackers lay out cogent arguments that would dispel the doubts raised. It was an all out beastly attack by a crowd that shed a lot of tears – or should I say spewed partisan anger – for a dead nun and feasted on the misery of another nun who was declared a lecherous murderer on hearsay. Justice is catching up with Trump. Let us hope and pray justice will vindicate Fr Thomas Kottoor and Sr Sephy, who are in jail for Sr Abhaya’s death, in the not too distant future.