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Tuesday, Oct 19, 2021
Outlook.com

Guilt, An Associative Leap

The ‘creativity’ of the State can paint innocents black—or red

Guilt, An Associative Leap
Illustration by sandeep Adhwaryu
Guilt, An Associative Leap
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

They say poetry, memory and fantasy follow a logic of association. The Indian criminal justice system follows a more cold-blooded logic of association in which some associations are weightier than others. The association with big money can be so weighty that although your miserly cost-cutting may kill 5,000 people instantly and poison several thousands to slow death and hundreds of thousands to permanent disease or disability, the police superintendent will chauffeur you to the airport, the chief minister will arrange you a free air ride, the Union home minister will snack with you and you can, like Warren Anderson of Union Carbide, comfortably wave this rotten country goodbye, saying, “There is a law in the US.” The implication: there’s no law in India. In fact, Anderson’s pronouncement proved prophetic when the Supreme Court diluted the charges against the accused in the Bhopal gas tragedy and when it oversaw an out-of-court settlement for a ridiculously low compensation amount. Local moneybags also know well that for...

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