The Power of Law

In a few quick moments, two news headlines in The National of January 20, 2010 grasped my attention. The front page carried an applauding verdict – Human traffickers given life sentence. Abu Dhabi’s Criminal Court yesterday sentenced seven men to life in prison. On page sixteen was – Year of Tiger poses danger for big cats. India reports increases in poaching.

The surface similarities were far apart between the above two headlines. But, by the time I finished reading their content, I was making comparisons and relating them to the realities of law-making bodies and more importantly: their awareness to insist that laws passed should be capable of producing effective actions.

Kudos to Abu Dhabi’s Criminal Court for showing no mercy to those criminals who thrive on human misery. The National quotes: ‘Yesterday’s verdict is a victory not only for 18 women who faced unspeakable violence and humiliation. It is a victory for a nation that has made its position clear.’ I feel, Abu Dhabi Criminal Court’s verdict is a victory not only for the region of U.A.E. The way I see it is that it is a victory for the entire Universe.

Page sixteen draws our thought to the issue of – Tiger poaching in India. It is heart-sinking to learn that only 1,000 animals are left in India and this has to do, also, with an increased demand for the tiger’s body parts in China. The prices for wild tiger are doubling each year; a poacher earns 20,000 Indian Rupees ($ 432) for an Indian tiger killed in one of the reserves, but on the international market, the dead animal fetches one million rupees, with the skin alone priced at 50,000 Indian Rupees or even more in Beijing or Shanghai. What a mockery! to the Chinese Year of The Tiger, shaping up as a celebration for one of the most regal animals!

Alike the latest verdict of life imprisonment for the seven human traffickers in Abu Dhabi, India should also wake up now and catch the corrupt, evil forest rangers and officials who are equally encouraging the poachers to poach. Killing a tiger requires a team-work of sorts, and it is an open secret that there are far more greedy forest rangers and officials versus the good ones. Sky is the limit for law-breakers, but when the legal machinery comes into motion of shunting their breed into jails for a lifetime – human traffickers or poachers will think twice in defending their vile vocations.

Geeta Chhabra

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