By Arun Srivastava
In its desperation to prove secularism irrelevant and worthless the rightist forces. BJP and RSS, are creating a Frankenstein monster by making the police into an arrogant force that turns democratic institutions into a ramshackle.
The saffron outfits are trying to depict secularism as fragile and uselss, making people believe that it has lost its relevance. BJP and RSS, in their mission to turn India into Hindu Rashtra, are out to prove secularism as worthless and ill-gotten idea.
Just a day ahead of the last day of the year 2021, Kerala BJP president K. Surendran had acknowledged induction of RSS supporters in the state police and said Sangh sympathisers could be found across the spectrum of society. Not only in Kerala in some other states too its cadres are found to be manning police stations. The fact is the governments have become more authoritarian since 2014. As an inevitable consequence, the police, deployed for internal security, have become more authoritarian.
The RSS and BJP leaders have launched a vicious campaign against Nehru and Gandhi who symbolise secularism. Though discrediting secularism has been the prime task of the rightist forces and RSS leaders it acquired a new dimension and pace during the rule of Narendra Modi.
Both RSS and Modi know that unless the images of these two leaders are tarnished and maligned and they proved to be anti-nationals and traitors, the character of the Indian state cannot be changed. The diabolical hate speech against Muslims and the clarion call to mercenary Hindus to kill Muslims are the manifestation of the malicious design to distort the Indian ethics and traditions.
The recent move of the Jammu and Kashmir police to terrorise the people and deny them the right to seek truth has to be seen in that backdrop. Instead of accepting the findings of the SIT about the killing of two businessmen by the state police, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dilbag Singh accused the political leaders of the Valley of “counting votes on dead bodies”. Only a person with sadist mindset could speak such language.
Singh’s deputy, inspector-general Vijay Kumar, had already accused a former chief minister of instigating people and told politicians, the families of the victims and media that they had no right to declare a police probe good or bad. Strange is the conduct of the police. Yet to be exonerated of the charge of being the killer, they are behaving like the judge. Obviously this behaviour of the police underlines that the state administration has lost its relevance.
The audacity of the state police is also manifest in the warning of Singh. He told media “Such utterances are violative of the law and may be at some stage, if people will not mend their ways, law will take its own course. Counting votes on dead bodies may be the mission but we will not allow them to succeed”. The IG has virtually redefined the entire procedure of law and civil rights. His observation “how somebody who was at a “higher post”, “served as CM” and had been in charge of the home department had passed judgement on the probe.”
The police has come to acquire power from the blessings and patronage of the Hindu and Hindutva leaders and mercenaries. They are no more willing to function under a secular and socialist state machinery. The police is no more content with their present power and authority, they intend to play more crucial role and control the administrative machinery under the Hindu Rashtra. For them India has already ceased to be a secular state. What is happening in JK is a part of the Hindutva design.
It was the realisation, the unification of politics of Hindutva with the state police and administration surrendering before this combination that forced former chiefs of staff and other veterans including intellectuals and academics to write to the President expressing concern about the implications that hate speeches and genocide.
The desperation of the Hindu bigots to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra is manifest in the call given at the Dharma Sansad (religious parliament) of Hindu mahants, seers and sants in Haridwar on December 18. They instigated them to pick up weapons to kill Muslims. Shockingly neither the prime minister nor home minister nor any other person reacted to this call for genocide. A Muslim group has moved the Supreme Court over hate speech stating that “insulting Prophet Mohammad is akin to attacking the very foundation of Islam”. With prosecution in the hands of the State, the Modi government does not prosecute the Hindutva hate-mongers while human rights defenders are placed behind bars. It is absolutely clear that under a deep rooted conspiracy the hate speech has been dropped off the front pages of newspapers. No media channel exposed the design.
Earlier several Supreme Court lawyers wrote to Chief Justice of India R V Ramana urging him to take suo motu cognizance of hate speeches calling for a genocide of Muslims to achieve ethnic cleansing. The letter cited the Dharam Sansad in Haridwar and a meeting in Delhi between December 17 and 19 and named nine persons against whom action should be taken on the basis of videos of their hate speeches. In the letter, the 76 signatories said the comments were not just hate speeches but they “amount to an open call for murder of an entire community”.
It is a fact that functioning of the Supreme Court is invariably impacted by the political dispensation. History underlines majoritarian government exercises its influence on the Supreme Court. We have seen how the former CJIs have ducked to the political pressures. It is widely known fact that during Modi rule Supreme Court has failed to protect fundamental rights.
The situation has changed somehow during the year 2021, especially since in April 2021 the new Chief Justice of India (CJI), a judge who has been hailed by some as a saviour, took charge of the office. Compared to his predecessors, he is more transparent, participatory, and committed to the right to life and liberty.
CJI Ramana is known for speaking his mind. His observation that the law of sedition belongs to a bygone era is a candid example. His participation at the social events provides rare glimpse into his mind. For the first time in the judicial history of the country he supported reservations for women in the judiciary and said, “It’s a women’s right. And they deserve to have it.”
The time has come for the CJI to intervene and take suo motu cognizance of hate speeches calling for killing of Muslims. The Haridwar incident is the tip of the iceberg. The presence of a senior BJP leader at the Sansad makes it clear that the rightists are working under a well planned design. Shah in a way was right in saying that “What they are calling for is a full-scale civil war. “ Modi government cannot throw 24 crores of Muslims out of India. They are born here, generations of their families have lived here. Mohan Bhagwat and Modi must adopt a rational political line and ensure that their politics of hatred does not destroy India. (IPA Service)