By Krishna Jha
In the name of Hindutva, deterioration of law and order situation is taken to unprecedented limits, which has been witnessed by the country only rarely. Fascism has entered in a new garb. With hands covered in gloves, politics is made to overshadow the Constitutional restrain, and dehumanize the multicultural ethos we stand for. It appeared in its true colour when the Central government refused to drop Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh despite the total breakdown of law and order in the state.
In Manipur, communities are pushed against the wall with an alien force inciting them to violate whatever was sacred for us all till today. The video showing two women dragged by a demonic mob, unclothed, tears in eyes, witness to the merciless killing of father and brother when they protested, were taken to jungles where they were tortured and molested. It was on May 4, 2023. They had managed to get to police in Kongpokpi district on May 18. For two months no action was taken. There was mention about gang rape, kidnapping, murder in the report, but still it was shelved. It was only after the video went viral that the arrests were made. But still police remained apathetic. In addition, despite the breakdown of law and order, neither the state nor the Centre rose to the occasion. There was absolutely no urgency to restrain the crushing engine of dehumanization. It was only after the video went viral that steps were taken.
Another example is violence in Nuh. It has a totally different flow of events. The story that has come out is that if the ruling regime is willing, there can be no riots. The Haryana administration did not allow Hindutva groups led by Vishwa Hindu Parishad to take out a religious procession in violence-hit Nuh district and instead asked locals to offer prayers in temples amid heavy police deployment on the last Monday of the holy month of Shravan.
According to sources, the BJP-ruled Haryana had asked police to strictly maintain law and order to avoid any untoward incidents ahead of the G20 summit in Delhi and Gurgaon. But people had themselves found alternative support against the injustice when the farmers came out to counter the aggressive forces. They declared that if Vishwa Hindu Parishad takes out the rally, they would stand against it.
Nuh is barely 90 km away from the national capital. The Haryana police were earlier accused of complicity in allowing a religious procession by activists of the Bajrang Dal and the VHP on July 31 that led to communal violence in Nuh, in which six people, including a cleric and two home guards, were killed.
“It is an open secret that if the administration wants, no violence will ever take place. What we witnessed in Nuh today is the rule of law, which was surprisingly missing when the violence had broken out last month,” a former Haryana director-general of police reportedly had said.
The administration, he said, was strict this time and a strong message was sent that those violating the law would be dealt with iron hands. “The administration swung into action this time as there was clear instruction from the top leadership that they did not want a repeat of what happened on July 31. Any violence would have caused serious damage to the reputation ahead of the G20 meet,” he said.
On Sunday, August 27, the VHP had announced that a religious procession would be taken out in Nuh district on August 28. Later that day, a Haryana police official said everything passed off peacefully as the entire area was turned into a fortress ahead of the proposed rally.
Outsiders were barred from entering Nuh, with security personnel being deployed at all entry points of the district. According to officials, 1,900 Haryana police personnel and 24 companies of paramilitary forces were deployed to keep a strict vigil. Multiple layers of barricades had been erected and anti-riot vehicles and drones were also pressed into service. There was peace, suppressed and significant in its own way.
Yet again, there is the mug shot of Tripta Tyagi in a class room of a school in UP laughing and asking the kids to slap the boy in tears before he leaves the school. She asked the kids to repeat it every day. UP police, instead of taking action against the principal, who issued the order to torture the kids, have filed an FIR against fact-checker Mohammed Zubair for sharing the video of a headmistress ordering children to slap a Muslim child in her school.
Zubair has been charged with the juvenile justice Act for sharing a video that other news channels and Twitter users also shared. While the teacher who actually got the Muslim boy thrashed is charged with non-cognisable offences. Zubair has been indicted for the illegal act of revealing the boy’s identity.
The lodging of the FIR raises several questions about the way a well-meaning law is being selectively invoked with the suspected motive of intimidating information gatherers and verifiers who are filling a yawning vacuum. Several of the legacy media outlets have been seeking to play down initially such gut-wrenching events that confirm the worst fears about the state of the nation.
Both the Muzaffarnagar atrocity and the Manipur savagery on two women, events that made large sections of Indians gasp in disbelief, were taken note of because of videos on social media, not because of reporting by the so-called mainstream media. (IPA Service)