TOPIC – Justice in ruins

 “(India cannot afford successive judicialsetbacks to secular values and the rule of law)”

TheruinsoftheBabriMasjidwereclearedinrecordtimebythehordesofvandals mobilized fordemolishing it. Some detritus was still left, though: a belief among many that justice would be done and the Constitution and the rule of law would be up held if the criminal court punishes those who plotted  the  events of December 6, 1992. Even when the Supreme Court handed over the empty site to those whowanted the mosque brought down to build a Ram temple, its recognition of the demolition as an “egregious violation of the rule of law” gave rise to hope that the ends of justice would be served by the punishment of those who mobilized the vandals. A Special CBI Court in Lucknow has now clearedtheremaining debris with an unconscionable judgment. Throwing to the winds the Supreme Court’s observations on the demolition, the trial court has in effect given judicial legitimation to the ‘Ram Janmabhoomi movement’ by acquitting all those indicted for  conspiracy  to  bring down  the structure. Itsconclusions are drastic and defy logic and fact. The court’s finding that the demolition was not planned in advance flies in the face of the entry of more than a hundred thousand volunteers into Ayodhya that day, armed with crowbars, spades, hoes, and ropes and every implement needed to bring down a sturdy structure and  clear  the site. The proponents of the movement, headed by L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, and Uma Bharti among others, had positioned themselves in vantage points to witness the occasion and celebrate with pride what ought to have caused shame and disgust. It is indeed true that it is not easy to prove a conspiracy, as it essentially takes place in secret. This is where courts must draw reasonable inferences from the circumstances. But in a conspiracy of this nature, it is easy to see that those involved were “marching under a banner”, an image the Supreme Court had once referred to while explaining the ingredients of a conspiracy. In this case, apart from the political mobilization and the purported intent to assemble on a particular day, the court had with it sufficient evidence that there was studied inaction on the part of the State, whose Chief Minister was one of the accused, and the unambiguous and open threats to the structure voiced by many of the movement’s protagonists.


Vandals (noun) – Someone who willfully destroys or defaces property

Synonyms – hoodlum, barbarian, hooligan, delinquent, saboteur

Antonyms – cops

Detritus (noun) – The remains of something that has been destroyed

Synonyms – debris, refuse, litter, rubble, trash

Antonyms – finery, valuable, contrive, overstory, a treasure trove

Plotted (adjective) – Planned in advance

Synonyms – aforethought, conspire, mark, trace, contrived

Antonyms – unpremeditated

Demolition (noun) – An event that completely destroys something

Synonyms – devastation, ruin, razing, wrecking, wreck

Antonyms – rehabilitation, renaissance, conservation, erection, composition

Egregious (adjective) – Surpassing, extraordinary

Synonyms – outrageous, monstrous, flagrant, heinous, atrocious

Antonyms – slight, piddling, shabby, venial, unpretentious

Unconscionable (adjective) – Not conforming to reason

Synonyms – outrageous, exorbitant, excessive, unethical, usurious

Antonyms – moral, conscientious, prudent, virtuous, legitimate

Conspiracy (noun) – A secret agreement between two or more people to perform an unlawful act

Synonyms – intrigue, cabal, confederacy, collusion, ruse

Antonyms – accuracy, faithfulness, chastity, confession, fork

Drastic (adjective) – Acting rapidly and violently

Synonyms – extreme, radical, harsh, draconian, dire

Antonyms – calm, foundation, indulgent, frivolous, gracious

Defy (verb) – Resist or confront with resistance

Synonyms – disobey, flout, contravene, violate, infringe

Antonyms – yield, comply, abdicate, capitulate, apply

Sturdy (adjective) – Inured to fatigue or hardships

Synonyms – strong, robust, burly, stout, brawny

Antonyms – fragile, feeble, frail, puny, crumbly

Proponents (noun) – A person who pleads for a cause

Synonyms – adherents, promoters, partisans, exponent, defenders

Vantage (noun) – Place or situation affording some advantage

Synonyms – advantage, ascendancy, leverage, bulge, boon

Antonyms – detriment, drawback, obstruction, strike, disgrace

Purport (verb) – Propose or intend

Synonyms – drift, intent, gist, spirit, tenor

Antonyms – exterior, unbraid, decline, spurn

Unambiguous (adjective) – Admitting of no doubt

Synonyms – unequivocal, explicit, univocal, lucid, clear

Antonyms – vague, ambiguous, obscure, imprecise, fuzzy

Protagonist (noun) – One who takes lead in some great scene

Synonyms – champion, booster, admirer, proponent, paladin

Antonyms – antagonist, oppose, nemesis, objector, rascal