On Friday, a judge in the High Court of the Indian state of Gujarat dismissed opposition leader Rahul Gandhi's appeal to stay his conviction for defamation, crushing his hopes of attending the upcoming session of parliament.
Justice Hemant Prachchhak argued that Gandhi failed to provide a reasonable ground to have his conviction suspended, an order he stressed is an exemption to be granted in rare cases only.
The case against Prime Minister Modi's top opponent is, without question, politically motivated. The ruling government — headed by Modi — has prosecuted several politicians, none of whom have been members of the BJP. Modi and his accomplices are eradicating dissent in journalism and government, paving the way for an indefinite period of illegitimate one-party rule. However, the law will catch up with these machinations sooner rather than later.
No one is above the law, nor is anyone able to dodge due judicial process for scurrilous statements, scandalous comments, or defamatory remarks. Just because India is a democracy doesn't mean citizens are entitled to throw inflammatory abuses at anyone. The sentence sets a precedent that insulting people for their caste or targeting them over their surname is inexcusable. Rahul Gandhi must learn a lesson from his conviction and choose his words more carefully in the future.
There is a 52% chance that there will be a non-BJP Prime Minister of India before 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.