Prabhu Chawla in a conversation with Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid on a host of issues like the Law &Order, trial by the media and the UP poll debacle.
PC: You are law minister, do you feel that the law and order situation is fine in the country
SK: Law and order is different from law
PC: Law is not fine, order is
SK: Please see, law is a very big field, and order related to law courts, judges
PC: Yes, am asking about that, some problems are happening.
SK: Please see, in a changing society, where the expectations of the people are changing, where there are conflicts, different opinions of people, you will see a reflection of it somewhere.
PC: Law is troubling the government these days, even people, both of them
SK: Law is not troubling; one has to make an attempt to understand. Be it government, common man or an organisation, when society undergoes a change, and the results of a changing society show up, somewhere there is a situation where conflicts arise.
PC: It means there is a conflict between the government and at the
SK: There is no conflict. Like this time the debate which is on, in court, is about the media, that what kind of curbs should be there on media. Now there are different opinions on this issue, people are submitting their opinion before the court, people are telling their opinions outside the court.
PC: It seems this has been initiated from your side, because you are irritated with the media and want curbs
SK: No, no,no,no, there is no question on having curbs on the media, but the court is worried about one thing, that whatever matters are before the court, investigations are done and after that a case is before the court, now before the court takes a decision, the media announces a decision. This is not the right thing, in any set up, this is not fair.
PC: Congress ministers and Modi, are both telling one thing, that the trial is being run by the media.
SK: No, this is not issue concerning India only, you see in America, England, Australia, where all the government has used powers of contempt to say that you don’t take decisions pertaining to things that we have to take decision on. This is a true thing. For example, if there is an allegation against us, that allegations should be proved, who will prove that, that will only be proven in the court, and before it is proven in the court you people (media) create such an environment that in the court that decision…
PC: Let me do one Teekhi Baat, you feel that media trial is going on many times these days.
SK: It is not that media trial is happening all the time,
PC: We are over stepping our limits, that is troubling you.
SK: Somewhere, it is a cause of worry. There is no doubt about that, otherwise why would the Supreme Court listen to the matter for so many days. But to say that there should be total curbs on the media, media has no right to tell anything, that will not be fair. Want can constitute a balanced set up, in this arena even the people in media have a view, other people, Judges have their views. What will be the common ground among all these opinions, and what should be there, this will take the issue ahead.
PC: In UP you were bashed up, you will say I am being harsh
SK: We were bashed up, you have seen that when people are bashed up there, in what manner the are bashed up.
PC: That kind of bashing up you are not facing some others are these days. But I am taking about am talking about political bashing up.
SK: Please see, this word, when we had won 22 seats in the last parliamentary elections, from UP, we never heard the work that somebody was bashed up. That Mayawati was bashed up.
PC: Mayawati’s seats and yours were almost the same.
SK: Mayawati was being talked about in terms of 65 seats, but won 18.
PC: That was an assumption
SK: It was less than 50.
PC: You lost elections in UP, then you lost polls in Delhi, in Mumbai,
SK: What happened in Malegaon, Bhiwandi, Latur, we have won in all those places.
PC: If one takes 32 by elections in total, you have lost 23 of them
SK: Some where we lost somewhere we won.
PC: You have lost in many places
SK: We won by elections in Gujarat, in Karnataka
PC: In Gujarat, since Modi has been chosen this time, you have lost 70 per cent by election.
SK: Please listen, we had not won the seat for 30 years, but won it this time.
PC: You leader of opposition lost in Delhi after 30 years, this is no parameter, where you win you say you are ‘sikander’
SK: I am not speaking of any parameter, we will win somewhere, lose somewhere. There is no such condition, environment in the country today, that one party, be it one party or any opposition party,
PC: You are a senior minister, Punjab, UP, Delhi, Mumbai,
SK: What have we lost in Punjab,
PC: In 40 years for the first time a government was repeated.
PC: What do you feel the reason for the loss, corruption or inflation, I feel it is inflation, I may be wrong.
SK: People believe that there in an issue of inflation. But I will say the same thing again, in transforming economy and society, inflation would be zero, such a thing is impossible.
PC: But the speed of growth of inflation can be less
SK: It is somewhat increasing, now you have taught economics, then you know that in any society, which is developed, in that four to five per cent inflations is there, because if it does not increase then your development does not happen.
PC: But purchasing power should increase more than the inflation.
SK: Has the purchasing power not increased in rural areas? You see then whole world was facing economic depression, then purchasing power in rural areas had increased.