The police must be given a free hand to deal firmly with those who indulged in violence irrespective of caste considerations.
As a journalist with over 36 yrs of experience, I have covered several riots. Even before I became a scribe I have witnessed the ferocious riots at BDD Chawl, Worli, which spawned the Dalit Panthers. I have also seen the Shiv Sena in action from close quarters. The December 1992 riots and the ones which followed in January 1993 were extremely violent.
But, in none of these riots have I seen the police being chased by a mob!! I have never seen the men in uniform run for their lives!! During the Azad Maidan violence involving a fundamentalist Muslim mob the cops, including women constables, were targeted. But even then the cops did not scamper to safety.
But on January 4, 2017, the cops were forced to run for their lives. It is not that they were afraid…it was just that no orders came from CM Devendra Phadnavis to them to deal with violence firmly. When the officers and men came out on the streets they were allowing themselves to be made sacrificial goats. The mobs simply took over the commercial capital of the country even as the cops looked helplessly. It was as if the State had withered away. Mr Phadnavis is to be squarely blamed for totally failing to provide effective leadership during a period of deep crisis. The paralysis in the CMO resulted in the unprecedented castration of the police.
We have to collectively thank Mr. Ambedkar for preventing a certain catastrophe.
Thank God, senior RPI leader withdrew the bandh well before sunset. Else the metropolis would have more completely taken over by the protestors. We have to collectively thank Mr. Ambedkar for preventing a certain catastrophe.
The need now is to quickly restore the morale of the police. They must be given a free hand to deal firmly with those who indulged in violence irrespective of caste considerations. Ambedkar has warned about more protests if rightwing leaders Sambhaji Bhide and Milind Ekbote who have been accused of desecrating the samadhi of Govind Gaikwad, a Dalit who performed the funeral of Sambhajiraje Bhosale when no one was willing to touch the body fearing the wrath of the Mughals. This matter needs to be resolved quickly.
And most importantly the increasing involvement of fundamentalist Muslims in Dalit politics need to be proved. The Wahabi fanatical Popular Front of India has majorly spread its wings in our state with its vast resources.
It’s time Mr. Phadnavis got his act together. Else he may have to run like the cops.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.