Here a courtroom is set up. There a judiciary assembles in front of a TV camera. As soon as the former is set up, tickers start running at the bottom of every channel, telling us what the bench is up to every minute. Now it’s sitting down, now it’s scratching its head, now it’s coughing. Now the court is in a bad mood. It’s very angry; it asked this question or completely circumvented that one.
We have our court and then we have our public, who our court claims to represent and whose rights it protects. Our channels have made them become so entwined that nothing can part them. In any case, the court and the public are extremely close to each other. Whether the court can give justice to the people or not, it has the responsibility of making the effort of keeping up the façade in the name of the people. It’s a different matter altogether that the public either spend their entire life in courts trying to get justice or go on their last journey with the regret that they couldn’t get justice.
Another court takes a seat in every home each evening, sometimes stretching up to the later hours and is sponsored by multinational companies. Some can’t fit their trials and tribulations during the daytime so they award justice to one another in the nighttime courts. Well, everyone knows these programmes are labeled ‘Live’ as namesake. These shows are recorded when those who are scared of going into the courts held during the day present themselves at the TV courts instead.
Our Khan sahab has begun a tehreek to get justice for the masses. It even got the judges of its choice after a great struggle. But the public is still running from pillar to post for justice. Maybe Khan sahab will only be able to get justice for people through their votes. This is because the public still hasn’t obtained access to justice after the success of the last lawyers’ movement.
To make justice more attainable and quickly administered to people, courts are set up in deras, khanqahs, havelis and jagirs. These are known as jirgas or panchayats in general terms. Where official courts take years to resolve a case, there these protectors of the public’s fortunes take only a night to solve a case. Our certified courts don’t take notice of the fact that their work is being taken care of by these public courts.-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.
Well, our asli te vadi court convenes only so that tickers run across TV channels, lead and second-lead and sometimes even four- or five-column stories could be published in the next day’s newspapers. Our newspaper and TV reporters run to courts nowadays every morning instead of going to their offices. Some reporters’ children, when asked where their father works, reply that they work in the court.
The public, who is sick and tired of the courts’ drama and overcome with uncertainty and disappointment, has begun to offer justice on the streets. Everyday, the wrong-doers caught red-handed are administered the swiftest possible justice. What law, which law? In a country where lawmakers and law enforcers have withdrawn from the law and the courts run the nation’s affairs, justice in such a nation is either to be found in the jirgas or on the streets.
Now the message is that those who have enjoyed the last five years in power (successfully) and visited courts everyday will now have to present themselves in the public’s tribunal. They barely got a chance in the last five years to visit the masses. Now it’s time they took out time for this purpose. They say that they are prepared to present themselves with their clean hands, branded suits and the details of their ‘achievements’. They were already facing courts previously and are still ready to now face the public’s court.-Illustration by Khuda Bux Abro.
There are those who were born for staying in power, without them no government can taste the fruits of authority. They are constantly in power. They spent the last four years and 11 months enjoying their imperium, protesting everyday, which they are very fond of. Now, in the very last month, they wish to wear the cap of the opposition so that they can go into the public’s court and prove themselves deprived of power, using new justifications.