Neutrality at this point of time only means connivance with hate mongers

Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi government sanction to prosecute sedition charges against former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid and other unambiguously reflect the agenda that AAP is following and all those who believed that Kejriwal is a different politician ‘focused’ on governance model will be shocked, though people like us who have followed and known Kejriwal and Anna Hazare’s movement well would clearly suggest that what we are witnessing today in the form of Hindutva nationalism is nothing but a legitimised outcome of Anna Hazare movement, a majority of who were highly anti reservationists and against very concept social justice. It is the same people who during 2014 elections had said that ‘Ooper Modi, Neeche Kejriwal’ but the chronology of Arvind Kejriwal’s flirtation with Hindutva can be well judged during this election for Delhi Assembly where he refused to say anything about CAA and said that Shaheen Bagh protests are hindering the public traffic and creating obstacles for the smooth traffic. Afterwards, he continuously not merely evaded and send clear signal that he never wanted to be associated with anything which look like a support to Muslims, even if these demands would have been legitimate.

Now when Delhi saw an attempt to repeat the dark days of 1984, the chief minister like the other leaders of the BJP government did not bother to speak. Rather, he continued with we are helpless without a police. An elected chief minister, who got a massive mandate, Kejriwal might not have gone to Shaheen Bagh or any other protests for the fear of the ‘political compulsions’ but when people are dying in the street by thugs and goons openly supported by politicians, it was his duty as representative of the people of Delhi to visit these areas and apply soothing balm but he did not do so. Why ? Is it because, he would have seen what his ‘ I love you Delhi’ people have done to each other.

There is a clear pattern visible about Delhi’s violence which was clearly targeted against Muslims though a number of Hindus too have got killed in it but the role of police, BJP leaders should come for scrutiny including that of all those who raised slogan of ‘ Goli maaro saalo ko’ and these were encouraged by the top leadership. The fact is that there is a rising competition among the young ‘aspiring’ netas to speak such language in intimidating and foulest way to qualify as leader for future. Kejriwal failed to condemn BJP head on or ask for an accountability. The BJP leadership is expert in building up narrative and hence immediately after the Delhi violence when the role of Kapil Mishra came for scrutiny, there is no action against him, no police FIR even when the Delhi High Court Judge strong disapproved police behavior. Instead, the prime focus now is on two individuals Tahir Hussain and Shahrukh who was seen as wielding a gun on an unarmed policeman. The issue is, none defend any one who was engaged in the crime against humanity and police must probe, investigate and arrest all those who have been engaged but any attempt to ensure that the blame ultimately go to Muslims and their leadership will only expose the police further. The entire world has seen what has happened in Delhi and how Muslims shops and locations were targeted, how even the Ambulances were not allowed.

Kejriwal and Aam Admi Party remained shamelessly silent with one argument that ‘outsiders’ have done it. I can bet for the last thirty years, most of the time whenever such a violence happen, I have heard this argument that ‘outsiders’ came which is superfluous when we see how families have been targeted, business institutions, schools, homes were identified and put to flames. Outsiders cant do that easily unless there are insiders actively participating. It is basically the poison which we have seen in the past 10 years and particularly in the aftermath of 2014 victory of the Hindutva at the national level that most of their leaders and supporters have felt that the law cant do anything to them because the blessings of the power, the law these days is taking action against those who are not with the side of Hindutva. This reality is grim and extremely disturbing. And this process started from Rohith Vemula, to JNU incidents to Bhima Koregaon and everywhere. It has now become as if every violence, corruption, intimidation that the Hindutva groups are doing is in the ‘national interests’ and therefore after every big incidents, they started building up an alternative narrative and actively supported by the spineless and propagandist media.

Today, Kejriwal had the time to show his spine and strength on the JNU case. Not that we agree with what Kanhaiya Kumar says or his politics but one has to look at the broader picture of what is the track record of these individuals and whether they have been engaged in any violent or ‘anti national protests’. Sedition laws like beef and cow protection act have become our ‘blasphemy laws’. These are purely intimidating laws to keep people’s mouth shut. Kejriwal took law unto his hand. They tried to overthrow a duely elected government in 2011 when Anna sat on Dharana and in 2013 when Nirbhaya thing happened. Kejriwal forgot about his own Lok Pal and after Nirbhaya, violence against women in India has not reduced but increased and number of BJP leaders in these too increased. Why now silent on the issue. Why this balancing act.

It is good that the government has now given approval for cases to be filed against Kanhaiya and others. Hope the cases will be fast tracked and media will not be allowed to influence or create a Kangaroo court in their studios to influence the judicial opinion. Delhi police has not been able to file a single case against any one who attacked JNU and Jamia. The three days of non action of Delhi police in north east Delhi was clear example or copy of what Narsimha Rao did in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984 when despite grave situation, the government did not call for the army and allowed the goons and thugs to kill the innocent Sikhs. Such things does not reflect well for the democracy as well as image of this country.

Anyway, Kejriwal can do what is good for Delhi but if he want to communicate to us that ‘governance’ only mean ‘bijali, sadak and paani’ then he is wrong. For a party which want to be seen as national one, he will have to come out clean on the issues of security of minorities, Dalits, women, adivasis. He will have to speak on the issues of autonomy of states, federalism, secularism and caste oppression. You cant evade important critical questions and feel good about your so called ‘governance’ when the very edifice of our constitution is under the threat and when one set of people are being targeted as ‘anti national’, ‘infiltrators’ or parasite’.

Any attempt to look neutral at the moment will only mean that Aam Admi Party is not keen on taking a strong stand and afraid of its savarana cadres in Delhi who are not different from those who are spreading poison in the name of religion and identity.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social activist




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Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Vidya Bhushan Rawat is a social and human rights activist. He blogs at twitter @freetohumanity Email: [email protected]

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