New Delhi: Referring to the activists spreading negativity on the measures taken by Centre to provide relief to migrant workers during lockdown, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the Supreme Court that there are a handful of people -- "prophets of doom" -- who are always skeptical about everything.
Mehta submitted before a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S.K. Kaul and M.R. Shah that these people have been squabbling on social media, have been giving interviews, and writing articles against every institution and have not even acknowledged the humongous efforts made by the government.
Mehta said this has become a trend and the court, as an institution, has to prevent its spread. He added that the trend is that a handful of people give "certificates" to judges of neutrality only if judges abuse the Executive.
He submitted that none of these "prophets of doom" have shown any courtesy to the nation during the pandemic. "The government and ministers are working overnight to see that there is minimum spread of the virus. All these "armchair intellectuals" and so-called "public spirited" people have done nothing to contribute", Mehta told the Supreme Court.
Mehta cited the incident, where Pulitzer Prize winner photojournalist Kevin Carter had gone to Sudan in 1993, while the country was undergoing a serious famine. Carter took a picture of a vulture behind 3-year-old famine-stricken child, who was facing death due to starvation.
He pointed out the vulture was waiting for the child to die. Mehta stressed that the photographer may have committed suicide because he was not an "activist", and was not running an "NGO" and perhaps was man with conscience. He used this metaphor citing many interveners in the migrant workers' crisis before the court.
Attacking the interveners, Mehta said all those who have come before the Supreme Court in this suo moto petition by filing interventions, impleadment applications or petitions, must establish their credentials as to what their contribution is. He stated that real spirited people are out on the streets, helping/feeding the needy. He also pointed that there are thousands of NGOs working tirelessly along with the government officers.
On May 26, the apex court had taken cognizance of the plight of migrant workers and asked the Centre and states to provide them transport, food and shelter immediately free-of-cost.