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Monday, August 1, 2016

toddler in Cell; crimes, punishments ~ Madurai portrayal in movies !!!

The wildebeests, also called gnus,  are a genus of antelopes, native to Africa.  In the jungles of Masaimara, many wildebeest populations are experiencing rapid declines. Overland migration as a biological process requires large connected landscapes, which are increasingly difficult to maintain, particularly over the long term, when human demands on the landscape compete.  All such animals not capable of fighting face natural threats posed by main predators (such as lions, leopards, hunting dogs and hyenas) – and there are those hunting, illegal and trophy-hunting.

Thiruvilaiyadal  directed by AP Nagarajan, released in 1965, featuring  Sivaji Ganesan, Savitri,  Nagesh and K. B. Sundarambal in the lead roles, music by K. V. Mahadevan, lyrics by  Kannadasan and Sankaradas Swamigal will ever be remembered.  The film was inspired by the Thiruvilaiyadal Puranam, a collection written in the 16th  century by the Paranjothi Munivar. Four of the sixty-four stories were depicted in the film.  The one about the poet Dharumi;  the dialogue sequence between Siva Peruman and the poet is ever remembered. 

Madurai, of Sri Meenakshi Sundareswarar and Thiru Koodal Azhagar fame, slowly was getting painted as a violent town in all movies.  You can read news of rowdy sheeters in every town.  Recently,  Police arrested Madurai-based history-sheeter Varichiyur Selvam in connection with a highway robbery case. He was produced before Magistrate Court III here, which remanded him in judicial custody. – but he or people of his ilk do not represent the entire town or its activities.  There is a bad perception that people roam in Madurai with sickles hidden in their shirts !  No doubt, Cinema is an important visual medium – even the recent Ranji starrer Kabali is all about don and his exploits !  yet the Madurai formula - Murder, Mayhem, and Madurai, does not give the real glory of its cultural, political and the soft-heartedness of its people.

Meantime, every other day, we read about – Court acquitting people either for want of evidence or other technical reasons.  Poor Chinkaras, Gazelles and men on platform died on their own ! – none killed them – and you cannot harass famed people, who had done yeomen service with good acting and portrayal of good people on screen with insufficient evidence.  There was savage rape and murder which sensationalised the Nation.  Of the six men convicted of taking part in the savage 2012 gang rape of an Indian physiotherapy student on a moving Delhi bus was released -  there was no doubt of his participation in the most heinous of acts, but because he was just shy of his 18th birthday on the night of the rape, he served only three years in custody, a sentence that many felt amounted to a severe miscarriage of justice.

The crime shook the country, stirred global outrage and brought focus on India's attitudes and treatment of women. The victim died of her injuries 13 days after the brutal attack.  Under India's juvenile justice laws, a minor's maximum punishment is three years at a reform facility. The Indian government had opposed his release, but the New Delhi High Court refused to grant a petition for prolonged custody.  Putting the onus on lawmakers, the Supreme Court dismissed a plea by the Delhi Commission for Women against the release of the juvenile convict in the Nirbhaya gang-rape case. It observed: “We share your concern, but we cannot go beyond the law.”  Then there was the group of kind-hearted social activists to take care of him – by providing money and equipment for his livelihood ~ such great citizens caring for criminals too !

Times of India reports that [this was detailed more in Junior Vikadan too] the Madurai bench of the Madras high court pulled up a judicial magistrate in Kulithurai for sending a three-year-old boy to jail with his aunt who was accused in a theft case. The court ordered police to give the custody of the child to its mother.

A 31 year old woman  filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court stating that she had been living without her son for the last one month.  Their family  had been selling bangles during a temple festival at Nallur near Madurai from June 19. On June 21, the Marthandam police arrested a couple in connection with an old theft case. The three-old-boy was with them when the police arrested them. The mother of the child was unrelated to the case and was not arrested – yet as the child was with the relatives who were accused, the toddler too was taken to the cell. Police produced the three, including the child, in the judicial magistrate court I, Kulithurai. Magistrate  passed orders to detain them with the child at the Madurai Central Prison. Then the mother filed a petition for the custody of the child.

The division bench of justices K K Sasidharan and B Gokuldas directed the judicial magistrate to appear before it and directed the police to produce the child before it. Accordingly, the magistrate appeared in the Court; the Judge chided him and directed the police to hand over the child to his mother.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

27th July 2016.

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