The infamous faith-healer Gulzar Peer's acquittal has though shocked many, but can't be questioned. The decision can only be respected for any `insufficient evidence' can sufficiently spare you the conviction.
Acts done but unproved can outweigh acts undone but proved. Innocents can get punished, guilty absolved and that is what makes the administration of justice so complex.
Law operates within the limits of evidence. Hence this legal premise doesn't allow us to doubt the proceedings of the trial even though the general impression about the character of the accused can neither be summarily rejected as false nor blindly accepted as true.
On legal ground the debate ends but on social ground it must begin.
Gulzar Peer symbolises a disease far more dangerous than swine flu.
He may not have done what he has been accused of doing, but what about the very institution of so-called godmen where all fakery is practiced in the name of religion. Ours is the most fertile soil that grows godmen as weeds.
The way we encourage absurdity in the name of faith can only bear a fruit like this. Legally we may not prove the culpability, but morally we are letting the corruption of souls thrive as a fetching business. This sensex of spirituality is scaling new highs every day where the stakeholders craft newer tricks to seduce their potential customers.
We don't know how many Gulzar Peers will be silently active in our society. Unless the system takes the problem as problem and addresses it accordingly, we will be sold out to these merchants of mysticism and molested over and over again.
We are not interested to know the details of the case. Whether he is kept in a protective custody to avoid a possible law and order problem or tried again in the court of law will be seen. But what shocks us is the way our political system is actively patronising this crime.
Even during his detention the man continued to be a crowd-puller. Who facilitated that festival of faith celebrated in the confines of a prison. If a Tarun Tejpal finds no one to sympathise with him for his (still unproved) offence, how could a Gulzar Peer be allowed to be surrounded by his fans even when the rape charges were still being debated.
Let's crack down on this noxious trend of gurus and godmen who brothelize religion. Could we have an Amir Khan starrer PK on our version of faith-selling. That will strip all buyers, sellers and brokers of faith.