On Wednesday, I witnessed the most ‘disturbing’ event in my career as a practising lawyer.
It was around 1pm. Hundreds of lawyers had gathered at the entrance of Gate number 2 of Patiala House Courts to catch a glimpse of Kanhaiya Kumar. A policeman then announced that a limited number of persons will be allowed inside court premises.
That is when it all started. The announcement was a cue for the lawyers who demanded that all journalists and JNU students be thrown out. A group of lawyers assembled in the balcony, keeping an eye out for anyone making a video. It is then, when in an “act of patriotism”, one lawyer raised the Indian flag from the balcony to the chants of Bharat Mata ki Jai.
Another lawyer standing next to him said, “Laane do kanhaiya ko, yahi zinda jala denge (Let them bring Kanhaiya, we will set him on fire).”
Some lawyers standing next to a policeman were amused. One of them pulled out his phone and made a call: “Aaja tu bhi, ek do JNU walon ko tujhse bhi pitwa denge (Come, you can also beat up a couple of JNU students)”.
It was 2:30 pm. Kanhaiya reached court. He was taken inside the courtroom from a different entry. But the lawyers got a whiff of this and rushed to the gate. Kanhaiya was beaten . I saw lawyers returning later with a sense of pride “Do laatein jadi mast waali”... “mukke maare saale ke muh pe (I kicked him twice… punched him in the face),” one of them said.
Our black coats were meant to signify that we are an educated class, but some of the lawyers have tainted the image of the bar. What’s so civil about a war anyway?
It’s a first person account by a lawyer practising at the Patiala House Courts who did not want to be named.