Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy. Photo: Mint
Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy. Photo: Mint

Shoot at sight

The recording of Karnataka CM H.D. Kumaraswamy telling a police officer to 'shoot mercilessly' those who had killed a JDS worker has understandably sparked off a storm

On the ground, we know that one of the fundamental pillars of any civil society, that the rule of law is sacrosanct, is—more often than not—a matter of perception. If a victim feels that, whatever the crime, the police and courts will deliver justice, the system works. In India, unfortunately, there is a perception that the law only favours the rich and powerful. But another level is breached when lawmakers openly disregard the rule of law. That’s when everything starts to looks shaky.

The recording of Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy telling a police officer to “shoot mercilessly" those who had killed a party worker has understandably sparked off a storm. Sadly, this fits a pattern. Just a few days ago, after a CBI court acquitted 22 policemen in the Sohrabuddin case, D.G. Vanzara, Gujarat’s former deputy inspector general of police, justified and endorsed “post-Godhra pre-emptive encounters".

Many have expressed a desire to see more superheroes who “solve problems". They must be discouraged. The rule of law is crucial for society—and for business.

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