So the 14 year long trail of the 1993 Mumbai blast has finally reached its logical conclusion and Sanjay Dutt has been sentenced to six years of imprisonment for illegal possession of arms under the Arms Act. Well, he ought to have been punished for possession of an AK-56 and Sanjay Dutt knew well enough that an AK-56 is not a shotgun which can be kept for personal protection. But wait a minute. isn’t this the same country where thousands possess the same weapon quite illegally and often hold the nation to ransom? Isn’t this the same country where the Naxalites, the ULFA, the Pakistan based Kashmiri militant groups often ambush military convoys with the same weapons and indiscriminately kill innocent people (albeit with similar weapons) for not toeing to their line? Isn’t this the same country where except the police, almost every organised gang has access to such weapons for the possession of which Sanjay Dutt has been punished? And if it is so and if it is illegal under the Arms Act then why does our judicial system not order the government to bring all those who possess such weapons to justice? And why do our typified governments (both center and state), inspite of their tall claims of protecting the sovereignty of this country, catch a cold whenever the question of hot pursuit of terrorist organisations is raised? Why is it that this country is more than willing to negotiate with armed terrorist organisations while putting a lone Sanjay Dutt behind bars? Is it because Sanjay Dutt cannot hit back and that he is honest enough to appear in every hearing and obey every thing that he has been told to do? In essence the message that we send
is simple. If you belong to a terror group, this country would negotiate with you and if you are alone while committing a crime then be prepared to get punished.