Country to stand by gaddars?
That more than 50 persons lost their life in the north-east area of the national capital Delhi during three-four days of communal riots triggered by violent agitation on an issue which actually was no issue. Shaaleen Baagh —and Jamia Islaamia — hold-ups are also instances of the same malaise.
The NDA government reiterated numerous times inside parliament and outside that Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) was meant to grant citizenship to those Hindus, Parsees, Boudhs, and Sikhs who had sought refuge in India after they fled from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan following their persecution on religious grounds. Further, that it does not provide for snatching citizenship from anyone already a citizen of India. Government leaders even challenged those opposing the Act to tell where does the law provide against what they were agitating. Subsequent events made more than apparent that the sole motivating force behind the outrage was that some people were determined to indulge in violence at any cost not to let the US President’s India visit pass off smoothly. They failed in their design but the cost the country had to pay was very high in terms of loss of life, injuries to hundreds and loss of public and private property running into hundreds of crores. It smells of a deep conspiracy which needs to be exposed.
The unfortunate part of today’s agitations on any issue is that its success is measured by the extent of hardship it causes to the common citizens, violence and loss of life and public/private property. The Supreme Court has also said that while citizens do have a right to protest but they have no right to block roads and cause inconvenience to the innocent citizens. The Shaheen Bagh, Jaamia Islamia blockades and the bloody violence in the north-east area of Delhi are the latest instances.
The democracy in India is passing through a period of political churning under the too vocal ‘secular-liberal’ intelligentsia and a section of the media. The unfortunate part is that the silent voice of the majority remains unheard and ignored. They seem to be giving a new meaning and interpretation to the concept of patriotism and nationalism. In fact, seditious activities like shouting slogans “Pakistan zindabad”, “Bharat tere tukde honge, insha illah, insha illa”, “Bharat ho barbaad, ho barbad”, questioning the hanging of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab involved in 26/11 Mumbai attack, and earlier of Kashmiri terrorist Maqbul Butt are some of the numerous instances. The paid stone pelters in Kashmir were sought to be painted as innocent and even ‘freedom fighters’ but retaliation in self-defence by police and security forces was dubbed as a ‘heinous crime’. What a hypocrisy that these very ‘liberal-secular’ apostles of peace dub the hanging of 2001 Parliament attack accused Afzal Guru as ‘judicial murder’ and acquittal of his accomplice SAR Gilani by the same court in the same case as ‘justice’.
Dr. Binayak Sen was convicted for an act of sedition and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Chhattisgarh High Court. Within a week of the Supreme Court entertaining his appeal against conviction and granting him bail, the then ‘secular-liberal’ UPA government headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh felt ‘honoured’ by appointing Sen to an important health committee under the then Planning Commission. Such instances are innumerable.
A few years back, the veteran writer Ashis Nandy wrote an article in the weekly Outlook saying that patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel. This writer wrote back that if not more, at least 99 percent of Indians are ‘patriots’ and therefore, according to Nandi’s interpretation ‘scoundrels’ and asked why Ashish was then living among ‘scoundrels’. It was so kind of the Weekly to publish it in the ‘Letters to the Editor’ column. Ashish remained silent.
On February 29, 2020 about six persons were rounded up for the ‘crime’ of shouting slogans “goli maro gaddaron ko”.
Earlier, Union Minister of State Anurag Thakur and his BJP colleague Parvesh Verma MP had raised the same slogan during Delhi assembly election campaign. They have not named or alluded towards any individual or group, directly or indirectly, of being ghaddar. Identifying a ghaddaar is the duty of a crime investigating agency and sentencing him to death (goli maro) is the duty of the judiciary, as it had done in the case of Afzal Guru, Ajmal Kasaab, and earlier of Maqbul Butt in Kashmir. A person who has not committed any crime, including what a ghaddaar does, why should he worry or fear about?
Still some people are clamouring to file FIRs against these two leaders but for what — demanding punishment for gaddars (traitors)? When did the law or the judiciary make it a crime? They must, at the same time, not forget that by doing so they will be standing on the side of gaddar against the rest of the nation. Like terrorism, a ghaddaar has no caste or creed. But by doing so these ‘secular-liberal’ gentlemen are not only putting premium on ghaddaari (traitorous acts) but also, unfortunately, trying to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with ghaddars. For them ghaddars appear to be innocent souls and those demanding punishment to gaddar are enemies of the nation and must be given a deterrent punishment.
AIMIM leader Waris Pathan, a former Maharashtra MLA, in a rally in the last week of February 2020 said that when the entire Muslim community of 15 crores comes together, they can become a bigger force against 100 crore people (referring to Hindus) and that Muslims are capable of “snatching away the aazaadi” from the majority community. In other words, in the opinion of Pathan the Muslim population which did not migrate to Pakistan at the time of Partition did not do so out of their love for India but preferred to live here without aazaadi. Pathan’s utterances, in a way, amount to threatening something like a civil war between the two communities. Is it an act of piety or a crime? But the ‘liberal-secular’ intelligentsia, the Aamir Khans, Naseeruddin Shahs and the ‘heroes’ of award wapsi show are maintaining a stoic silence.
We need to understand that goli maaro is a phrase very frequently used in day-today life and dialogue. “Main tumhen goli maar doonga” (I will kill you) is an oft-used phrase even within a family when a child or wife/husband is going to commit something wrong which is not in tune with the family’s and society’s traditions. Generally, it is an empty threat. In cases where girls and infants have been murdered after rape, the victims, their families and general public have always been demanding “goli maaro un gunahgaron ko” (kill the guilty). In the notorious Nirbhaya rape and murder case, her mother has been running from pillar to post to get her daughter’s killers hanged at the earliest. Is it all a crime?
Even when two or more persons are discussing the conduct of some people for a long time, they usually say “goli maro yaar usko” (leave him) and let us talk something else.
When some individuals and groups chant “Pakistan zindabad” and want tukde-tukde of Bharat before the cameras that clearly means that they have no love for the country from which they derive all the benefits available to every citizen of the country. This situation requires immediate enactment of a law to deport them out of the country to go to the land of their choice to let them have the aazaadi of their choice. What a hypocrisy if we allow these people to shield themselves behind the right to opinion and expression and treats those as criminals who demand goli maron ghaddaaron ko!
The then Congress President Rahul Gandhi during his campaigning in 2019 elections to Parliament openly alleged repeatedly that “chaukidar chor hai” obviously alluding to PM Narendra Modi who had been claiming to be a chaukidar of the nation. Rahul Gandhi did demand proof of the surgical strike and Balakot operation but himself did not feel he was duty-bound to provide proof of his allegation. Surprisingly, the Election Commission too did not take note of it and go in for any action.
Our law says that murder/rape/ treason is a heinous crime and if anybody does commit it, his/her sentence could be as high as being hanged till death. Recently, a new law has been enacted providing for a very high punishment or fine for breaking traffic rules. Does this law amount to threatening people? Our law does threaten the law-breaker but not the innocent law-abider. If one is not a traitor, why should one feel hurt and lose sleep by people shouting goli maaro in gaddaron ko?
By Amba Charan Vashishth
(The writer is a Delhi-based political analyst and commentator.)