The ‘secularists’ have preferred to play down these Delhi violence incidents and have continued to train their guns on the BJP.
Two questionable narratives are being peddled by the ‘secularist’ lobby in the aftermath of the Delhi violence which claimed more than forty lives. The first equates BJP leaders Kapil Mishra, Pravesh Verma and Anurag Thakur with the likes of Sharjeel Imam, Waris Pathan, and Umar Khalid. And the second narrative argues that these BJP leaders are responsible for the Delhi tragedy.
If the ongoing Shaheen Bagh protest is considered justified, although it is in a public place, is not in a designated place for agitations, and has caused great inconvenience to the general public, how would be a counter-protest elsewhere be any less justified?
There is no doubt that the statements of the BJP leaders were far from responsible. They were in bad taste and avoidable — this much has been said by senior party leaders including Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah. However, let’s dispassionately look into those remarks. Kapil Mishra had spoken out against the protests that suddenly broke out on the streets in the Jafrabad area of Delhi during US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to this country. He asked the police to clear the area, failing which he would lead a drive to do so once the US President left India. He did not have to do so since the protests promptly ended with the conclusion of the President’s trip.
In any case, Mishra did not say that he and his group would resort to violence to achieve their goal. He was most probably hinting at a counter-protest to pressure the authorities. If the ongoing Shaheen Bagh protest is considered justified, although it is in a public place, is not in a designated place for agitations, and has caused great inconvenience to the general public, how would be a counter-protest elsewhere be any less justified? Is seeking an end to blocking roads and causing mayhem, isn’t this wrong? And yet, Mishra might have come across as aggressive. Similarly, both Verma and Thakur could have been more careful with the remarks they made.
That said, how can they be brought on par with Sharjeel Imam, who made a clear anti-national statement, when he threatened to cut off the North-East from the rest of India? Or of Waris Pathan, who said that “our 15 crore people” would outdo the “100 crore people”? He may have taken his remark back or lamely suggested that he was not referring to Hindu or Muslim, but the statement reflected his mindset — and that of his party, the AIMIM. Incidentally, his party chief Asaduddin Owaisi was present during that hate speech but did nothing to object. On the contrary, he later defended Pathan. It was not the first time that AIMIM leaders resorted to brazenly communal remarks. Many months before, the party chief’s brother Akbaruddin Owaisi had said that his community would teach the Hindus a lesson if the police were to be withdrawn for just fifteen minutes. It is a travesty of justice to put the BJP leaders — whose statements were unpleasant but not anti-national — in the same basket as that of the break-India gang.
The second narrative of blaming the three BJP leaders for the Delhi violence stretches the imagination. Their remarks in the run-up to the Delhi Assembly elections, while the violence happened almost a fortnight later. Many days after those remarks and in closer proximity to the violent incidents, came the provocation from Umar Khalid and the others. And these are just the most publicised ones. Videos have surfaced of an assortment of Muslim clerics, spewing venom on the Prime Minister and other senior BJP leaders, and threatening them with physical harm. One of them recently said ominously that his community knew how to disrupt communal harmony. Not surprisingly, the ‘secularists’ have preferred to play down these incidents and have continued to train their guns on the BJP.
It needs to be underlined that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is just an excuse; the real aim of the protestors is to incite hatred against the Modi government, defame it in the eyes of the people not just in India but across the world, and demonstrate the power of the minority.
A video has recently surfaced of former IAS officer and activist Harsh Mander, who said at a gathering that people had to come on the streets since neither Parliament nor the Supreme Court had protected their rights. If this defiance of constitutional authority and the highest court of the country is not provocation, what is then? The break-India gang has no respect for Parliament, for the apex court, for the police, for the law and order machinery — and yet they are waging an agitation under the banner of protecting the country’s Constitution!
Speaking of provocation, recall what senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said: That the fight is between the right-thinking people and “that murderer” — Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Also recalled the remarks of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi — that the Prime Minister would be assaulted with sticks if he comes out of his home, in case unemployment was not checked. There is no need at this stage to go into the various other provocative statements Congress and other opposition leaders have made in the past.
Whether this lobby accepts it or not, the fact is that the Shaheen Bagh protests have been the real trigger for all the gloomy incidents that have taken place. Inflammatory slogans were raised there and everything that happened subsequently is a direct fallout of Shaheen Bagh. Had those protests been handled with an iron hand when they began, perhaps the Delhi violence could have been averted. It needs to be underlined that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is just an excuse; the real aim of the protestors is to incite hatred against the Modi government, defame it in the eyes of the people not just in India but across the world, and demonstrate the power of the minority. While it is true that the Shaheen Bagh protestors come from various communities, it is equally a fact that the main script has been written and directed by certain leaders from the minority community. They remain in the background — which is why, when asked who their leaders were, the protestors have no answer. These agitators keep demanding a dialogue with the government, but where are those representatives the government is supposed to talk to?
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.