In India, there is this hugely successful actor called Sanjay Dutt. I am not a fan, and therefore know little about his biographical details.
At the moment, he has been given a 6 year sentence for his involvement in the Mumbai blasts. Some people think its unfair, because his public life has been spotless all these years, and there really is no justification to send him behind bars again. Some others think that justice has been done, and just because he is a much loved public figure, he should not be condoned by the legal system.
Central to this entire debate, imho, is the axiom that All Men are Equal before Law.
It is this axiom that one would like to challenge.
Why should all men be equal before law? The usual answer is, so no one receives an unfair favor.
But that axiom assumes that each act of the person must be viewed in isolation. That is like looking at one piece of a jigsaw puzzle, and taking a decision that will impact the entire picture. How is that logical?
My contention is this - not just for Sanjay Dutt, but for everyone, their position in a legal system should be a function of, not just an isolated act, but, (at the very least), their entire criminal history (or lack thereof).
It is not about Sanjay Dutt. Sanjay Dutt is, again, a metaphor we can use to examine axioms that we do not question. While we are at it, Why do we not question axioms?