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What Does ‘Rule Of Law’ Really Mean In India?

India is ambitious and this can be substantiated by the foreign policy of the country. There are efforts to attract investments in India by showcasing brand India (Digital India, Invest India etc) and the potential the country possesses. It is also a fact that the state governments are also focusing on ease of doing business, targeting foreign and domestic investments on a major scale. The state of Uttar Pradesh for example, is pitched as “Ummidon ka Pradesh” (land of hope). Expectations are at an all time high but the real question is whether India is prepared and whether internal factors in the country are supporting or hampering these efforts. What also needs to be addressed is whether there is a need for a holistic approach rather than merely easing out regulations.

For the past many weeks, the focus of media has been the incident that took place in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh (Ummidon ka Pradesh) which is just 40km from the national capital. A Muslim man was lynched to death and his family attacked because of (false) rumors that they had stored beef in their house. Adding to the misery of victim’s family, the police investigation took an appalling turn when they initially prioritized conducting a forensic examination of the meat rather than investigating the criminal act. Again, is this an isolated incident?

Other states like Karnataka, Haryana, Maharashtra, Gujarat are all in the race for investments. Here, Karnataka recently witnessed an incident where religious intolerance led to the murder of a former university professor; Haryana has khap panchayats running parallel courts; Maharashtra is trying to drive away migrant labors, Gujarat is affected by a Patel agitation whose leader declared that killing police personnel was a better alternative than suicide. Another example is Delhi police (under the central government) giving a declaration before the High Court that deploying more police personnel in the state is a costly affair and that they are observing austerity. This is the same state which is also called India’s rape capital based on the National Crime Records Bureau data.

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