Strong political will needed to take on regionalism: SC

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Nov 4 | Updated: Nov 6 2008, 04:05am hrs
The Supreme Court on Tuesday underlined the need for strong political will in tackling regional chauvinism and hate attacks, but rejected a PIL seeking judicial intervention in Maharashtra on the ground that Article 355 was available before the Centre to ensure that states fulfilled their responsibility of ensuring law and order.

The observations of the apex court came while hearing a petition linked to happenings in Maharashtra in the wake of the agitation by MNS led by Raj Thackeray.

Can it be done through an order of this court. It is a political question not a court issue. If there is a political will it can be tackled, a bench of Justices BN Aggrawal and GS Singhvi contended, when the petitioner pointed to the Mumbai violence and its backlashes in Bihar and Delhi.

The SC was earlier disinclined to entertain the petition but later agreed to hear the matter observing that the issue was serious. It, however, took the counsel to task for submitting a non-serious petition, directing him to suitably amend the petition so that it could be taken up for hearing next Monday.

In his complaint, the petitioner said that attacks on north Indians by the MNS has led to a chain reaction elsewhere in the country and it threatened to destroy the unity and integrity of the country. According to the petitioner, the Jharkhand chief minister, as a consequence to the stir against north Indians, had announced that he would not permit the rich mineral resources of the state to be transported to any part of the country. He claimed the threat, if carried out, would seriously affect the countrys development as 60% of the mineral resources originated from Jharkhand.

But can an order of this court have the desired effect. You educate the people, the bench told the counsel to which the latter replied that most of the victims are not well educated people.