Friday, September 5, 2008

Sanjeev Nanda gets 5 years RI...

My Observations:
1. Saneev Nanda is the grandson of an ex-Army chief.
2. Nanda can still appeal against the court's ruling.
3. The Nandas were very emotional in the court.
4. It was a BMW.


1. So?
Should he be punished extra for being the grandson of a successful man?
Does his crime become larger?
Is the intense media scrutiny not a rigorous punishment?

Man's actions have more far-reaching implications than he allows himslf to understand. Surely, the respected Shri SM Nanda would not have anticipated that just because he is the navy chief, his grandson will receive extra attention from the judiciary and the media. Sanjeev Nanda mowed down 6 people while on a drunken drive. But what is of more noteworthiness, is that he is the grandson of 'someone'. He is already a hugely popular person, thanks to the media. So every thing he does is much bigger and larger than otherwise! Now, lets swap a few elements - if he had an ordinary birth, would he be subjected to such investigation? Or if he had been involved in a positive contribution to the society, would it be seen only on its merit? I guess the answer to both questions is a No. 

Would he have enjoyed attention all through his life because he is the grandson of SM Nanda? Of course, yes. So he might have to as well deal with this (negative) attention.

2. The court ruling does not hold much ground. In India, one can always appeal against a lower court's rulings, as long as funds are not an issue. The lawyers are capable of poking paradigm-shifting-holes in the other party's argument-balloon. A ruling is only temporary, can always be overturned/postponed. In these circumstances, what significance does 'justice' have? I am just too tired seeing these 'high-profile' cases being discussed with sudden, irritating bursts of enthusiasm. 

3. 'Sanjeev Nanda held back his tears.'
'Nanda's family broke down in the court.'

Maybe I am just too ignorant, but were they more at peace with themselves before the judgement? Does only the ruling bring out their tears; not the brutally murderous driving? Does the death of three innocent policemen not stifle their soul? What has the family tried to do in the (long) meanwhile? Did they help the vitims' families apart from just offering money?

This observation actually holds great scope for an understanding into such families. Sure, the family was hoping for a more lenient sentence - fair enough. They are crying that their son is to be jailed for 5 years. They are crying because the son's carrer will get affected. They are crying for their lost reputation in the society. But what could have been their initial reaction nine years ago? Shock? - I guess their first reaction would have been, 'Did anyone see you?'; 'How can we avoid a case?'; 'Jo ho gaya so ho gaya! Ab kya karen?'; so on and so forth. As time progressed, they would have gradually gained a confidence which told them that Sanjeev would not be jailed. (I mean, the expensive lawyer's fees must give them some psychological solace!) What really caused their new-found despair is when this bubble of self-justification burst. It is a pity that they are crying for all the wrong reasons. The loss of life is of no consequence. The grief that the accident caused to the victims' families is lost. They are not even crying that their foreign educated son didnt learn his driving lessons properly!

I am unaware if Sanjeev is a good person. But surely he deserves punishment, understanding, a chance and support to sincerely repent and correct himself. He can be a role model for other youth - his experiences can be of great value. They could go a long way in educating others about drunken driving. 

4. BMW, Pulsar, etc...

I just dont think they are suited for Indian roads. They are great vehicles, no doubt. But they are not capable of handling our roads and road-dwellers. Safety of an automobile has to be studied from a different point of view. Does driving a BMW induce me to more aggressive driving not suited for the roads? Can we understand the mindset of person driving a machine capable of doing more than just the ordinary?

Do we care?

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