People live in constant fear, says Sibal at the book launch

There’s greed and lust for power in the country, and the present dispensation has all the investigation agencies, institutions and the police at its disposal, said senior lawyer, Rajya Sabha MP and former Congress leader Kapil Sibal as he launched his anthology of poems, Reflections in Rhyme and Rhythm (Rupa Publications, 2022), on Friday.

In the collection of poems, Sibal explores the topics of politics, justice, truth, empathy and love. “We are here for a short time. In this short journey, what are you going to take with you? Nothing. You were born naked and you’ll die the same way,” he reflected on his book. “Poets have the ability to see reality as it is. Religion is about supposition. Philosophy is about proposition. Poetry is about the way we are. A poet sees something from near and also from far.”

Highlighting the problems with the country’s judiciary, Sibal said that most of the litigation in the court is between corporations. “Where will the poor man go to get justice? They don’t have the money to fight court cases. How will people from the Northeast and the South reach the Supreme Court? They don’t have the means. People have family disputes in rural areas. Who is going to solve those? The system has to completely change. We need a set of rules and ideas.”

“The police are in cahoots with the politician and the local mafia. The truth is always hidden. If the investigation is not clean, the judge may not give you a result. The criminal justice system is much worse than the others. The real culprits are let off while the innocent people are implicated,” Sibal, who was in conversation with columnist and author Suhel Seth, said.

Sibal added that religion has become a weaponized tool all over the world and more so in India. “In India, the people involved in hate speech are collaborators of a particular ideology. The police is not ready to do anything because they are all collaborators. Whoever gives the speech is not prosecuted, and is emboldened to give another speech. In this process, the whole system of justice gets polluted. People are living in constant fear. We fear the ED, CBI, the state, the police – we fear everybody. We have no trust in anybody anymore,” he said.

Asked about his wish for a united Opposition, the senior lawyer said that all the parties want to fight the current dispensation, but the architecture for that is still not in place. “There are no cross discussions happening between these parties. They are definitely trying to oppose the present regime but doing so in their own states,” he said.

The veteran lawyer is working on a nonfiction book on what young lawyers should do when they enter the profession. Asked if this will be a guide, Sibal said, “Calling it a guide will be incongruous with my personality.”


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