My Take 2020-03-10


Rohit Dhankar

Every day a host of disturbing news are reported in the papers that one feels distraught about the prevailing conditions. Maintaining a clear picture of what is going on and who are the wrong doers is becoming really difficult. No one can keep a full list of misdeeds of the government and different sections of the people. This is my partial attempt to point out some of them.

Arresting people without indicating suspected crimes

The Hindu of 10th March 2020 reports that three people (Muslims) are arrested by Delhi police. Two of them were guarding the colony, especially a temple, during the night. The families are not informed why they are being arrested. The Hindu news paper could not contact police officers to clarify the issue.

This kind of arrests will certainly aggravate the feeling of being persecuted among Muslims. Yes, the people who have taken part in the riots and/or have committed other crimes should be arrested. But, is there a law to inform the family members regarding the reasons behind such arrests? If yes, the family members should be informed. If the police have the legal provisions of arresting without telling reasons for a certain time period, the press should be patient till such a time.

Does any one know about the legal provisions in this regard? Please inform.  

Yogi Adityanath and hoardings of accused

The UP government on directions from its hate spouting CM Yogi Adityanath has put hoardings in Lucknow displaying names of riot accused from whom he wants to recover cost of property destroyed during unrest/riots. I am not sure if there is any legal provision for recovering costs of destroyed property from rioter. (1) if it is legally possible, and (2) if it happens through just court judgment its certainly is a positive step.

But displaying names of accused on hoardings before conviction in the appropriate court is certainly malicious and unjust. UP CM is known for hate speech against Muslims and this act of his is completely illegal as far as I understand. The motive behind it is certainly to shame defame people ahead of court cases against them. All right-thinking people should oppose and condemn such acts.

Shaheen Bagh

It seems there are about three hundred protests like Shaheen Bagh are going on in the country. They certainly indicate a wide spread opposition to CAA, NPR and NRC. The people who do see these as unjust and against the constitution, rightly or wrongly, have the right to protest, and as long as they please.

The government, of course, should open a dialogue with them and arrive at some conclusion. They should be listened to and their arguments should be publicly examined. Of course, I personally think that the protesters are wrong; but that does not matter. They should be heard and their genuine fears/grievances should be addressed.

But blocking roads for months should be allowed under no circumstances. It seems there are about 200 shops which had to close their business due to Shaheen Bagh protest. The owners of these businesses have suffered heavy loss, in addition to public inconvenience. A section of public can not hold at ransom and inflict losses on another section of public to get their perceived grievances addressed.

If this kind of protests are going on at 300 places in India, as a news channel claimed on authority of some report, then the situation is really grave and dangerous. The protests remain peaceful only because the public held on ransom is peaceful. Blocking roads and businesses in the name of protest is certainly an action designed to instigate violence. It might be a good strategy to instigate the inconvenienced public to through the first stone; but the real reason for violence, in case it irrupts, would be the manner of so-called peaceful protest.

Therefore, the government should suggest and provide alternative spaces for all such protests and clear the roads. The protesters, who claim to be saving the constitution, should show respect to others constitutional rights even if they do not support their ill-advised protest.

Kapil Mishra’s tweet

I saw a tweet by Kapil Mishra declaring that they have identified Hindu victims of Delhi riots and will organise help only for them. It is shameful if BJP does not stop such people. Having sympathy for one section of riot victims, Hindus, and ignoring others, Muslims who are more numerous, is certainly shows ill-will for the Muslims.

The one-sided narratives of Muslim pogrom by Hindus and one-sided help by politicians will create a permanent divide and distrust between the communities. Through these they may get accolades from their desired supporters but will harm the country. What is needed after this madness is healing touch to all sufferers.

Importance of speedy justice

The instigators and perpetrators of these riots should be brought to book with complete transparency and impartiality. There are accusations of partiality in arrests and FIRs registered. Also, partisan politicians are trying to defend their supporters and accusing others. The police have to do an impartial and thorough job of the investigation and bringing all culprits to book; irrespective of their religion and political affiliations.

The distrust being created in the machinery of state, the police and the courts by some people encourages the mischief makers to create doubts in every single act of the state and judiciary. Complete loss of trust in them is too dangerous for all of us. That however does not mean that one should not write about and protest where injustice and partiality is done. But those who claim partiality and injustice also have to make evidence-based arguments.

The police and state have to make efforts to win public confidence in the face of a deliberate propaganda war.

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