I do not know how much right I am. But I personally feel, very strongly, that the ongoing Gujjar agitation for quota hike is a case of contempt of court. Their quota hike demand has been declined not by the Rajasthan government, but by the Rajasthan High Court. And by openly refusing to accept the Rajasthan High Court’s verdict, the Gujjar agitators have shown strong disrespect for the Indian judiciary. And I feel it qualifies, at least to some extent, to be a case of contempt of court.
I would have understood if there were no democratic way to challenge the Court’s decision. But that is not the case. The Gujjar agitators had the opportunity to appeal in a higher court challenging the Rajasthan High Court’s decision. But instead of doing that they went for certain disruptive activities in the name of protests and agitation.
There is another issue that I want to highlight here. One of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution is the “Freedom to assemble peacefully without arms”. And it is this fundamental right that many pressure groups, etc. use (and exploit) while launching their protest/agitation. And these Gujjar agitators are also using precisely this fundamental right to launch their protests.
However, we often forget that while guaranteeing the fundamental rights, the Indian Constitution has also mentioned that no such right is “unlimited”. And no person/group of people can exercise a fundamental right that will hamper the fundamental right of other people.
By disrupting the train movements the Gujjar agitators are depriving the train passengers of one key fundamental right guaranteed by the same Indian Constitution – “Freedom to move freely throughout the territory of India”.
More significantly, can such an assembly be called a “peaceful assembly” which resorts to activities like disruption of train services, thereby creating so much trouble for so many innocent people?