While riots have abated in Northeast Delhi, the National Capital is still finding it hard to get over the level of religious bigotry, violence and horrifying murders like that of Ankit Sharma’s that played out on Delhi’s streets earlier this week.
Looking at the larger scheme of things however it is clear that it was the Shaheen Bagh road-block which is the root cause of Delhi’s misery.
The Shaheen Bagh protest was a sinister experiment- one that became a prolific ground for celebrating Islamist communalism and bigotry. Slogans and speeches of the most incendiary and provocative kind bordering on Hinduphobia were made- something that unsurprisingly found legitimacy with the anti-CAA lobby.
Shaheen Bagh had all the ingredients of incitement- the dead body of a four-month-old passed off as a ‘sacrifice’, polarisation towards the AAP and against the BJP on clear communal lines, slogans like ‘Jinnah wali Azaadi’, masterminds like a seditionist Sharjeel Imam and above all posters desecrating the Hindu Swastika symbol.
Hidden reason of all these protests is Gazba E Hind.
We know such a poster you also displayed to degrade hindus.
All protests against hindus religion. pic.twitter.com/FcVjarRiB7
— बेखौफ बाल्मीकि Hindu (@Milans96973051) January 16, 2020
— Saba Naqvi (@_sabanaqvi) January 15, 2020
While such slogans were raised, no State institution really tackled the issue correctly. The Delhi government, the Central government and not even the judiciary can claim to have taken the necessary action.
Modi government was already facing the manufactured outrage of the international media. With Delhi Assembly Elections around the corner, it seems to have given in to the Lutyens’ elite who were ready to cry foul if the Delhi Police or other forces took any step towards dispersing the unlawful assembly in Shaheen Bagh.
The so-called human rights activists and the leftist portals would have come out with bizarre allegations of police brutalities against the women sitting at Shaheen Bagh, viz. broadly the same kind of imaginary atrocities that such propagandists came up with during Jamia violence and AMU violence- bad PR that the Modi government probably didn’t want to afford especially with the Delhi polls around the corner. The Shaheen Bagh lockdown was therefore allowed to linger on despite all the obstruction that it was causing to the local residents and the sheer amount of venom it was spewing against a particular community.
Under blackmail by the leftist cabal, the Modi government allowed the proliferation of these protests despite being a threat to communal harmony. In fact, the government showed tremendous patience and tolerance for these elements despite the PFI links, and the violence we had seen in December right after the bill was passed. There was a known possibility that prolonged Shaheen Bagh protests brimming with misinformation, paranoia and fear were actually setting a precedent for riots, a buildup before wreaking havoc in the city. However, this was perhaps, underestimated. Further, the intelligence failure of the Home Ministry cannot be ruled out. While the Delhi Police top cops might have lagged behind in giving the right insight to the cabinet, more astuteness was expected from Amit Shah for the kind of effective Home Minister he has been since he has taken charge. Indeed, it was a little too late to send NSA Ajit Doval to take over command and the fact that he kept the DP Commissioner out of top meetings reflects that the government has realized its mistake.
As for the Delhi government, the AAP was neck-deep involved in the protests. Manish Sisodia himself stood up for the protests and Amanatullah Khan featured at the roadblock site regularly. AAP managed to polarise Muslim vote during the Delhi polls and the roots of this polarisation traces their origins into the Shaheen Bagh roadblock. When confronted with the question of getting the protesters removed due to the sheer obstruction and gross inconvenience that the roadblock was causing, AAP found it easy to pin the entire blame on the Centre.
AAP used the ‘Delhi Police is with Centre’ card really well. Then not many know that Sections 129 and 130 of the CrPC empower the Executive Magistrate, who reports to the Kejriwal government, to cause any unlawful assembly to be dispersed and can also seek the aid of Armed Forces in doing so, the latter being duty-bound to comply with such requisitions. But for reasons obvious to everyone, the Delhi government made no serious attempt to get the Shaheen Bagh protesters removed from the site of the roadblock.
The Judiciary too didn’t show much urgency. First of all, the matter came up before the Supreme Court only after Delhi Assembly polls. And even when the Supreme Court actually took action- it didn’t order dispersal of unlawful assembly, rather it appointed interlocutors who in turn appeared completely ineffective. Later, the top Court deferred the Shaheen Bagh hearing to March 23 stating that the timing was ‘unconducive’.
If the top Court cannot hear the plea to remove the unlawful assembly that has been continuously trying to foment trouble and incite communal bigotry due to the pressure of a charged up atmosphere, how can we expect the police force and paramilitary jawans to be extraordinarily competent and handle riots bordering on terrorism.
AAP pandered to Shaheen Bagh protesters, while the Centre remained reluctant to take them on.
The Supreme Court too has allowed Shaheen Bagh protesters to continue. But it is the people of Northeast Delhi who had to pay up for it.
A rot set in Delhi’s law and order machinery as far as Shaheen Bagh is concerned, which allowed the protesters at the area to lay down an open precedent for violence. This soft approach allowed Shaheen Bagh’s massive PR campaign to gain sympathy despite being the sinister conspiracy that it was.
With Donald Trump’s visit to Delhi, rioters knew that Delhi Police and Centre will have to exercise ‘restraint’. Those who orchestrated Shaheen Bagh protests wanted to end with a bang. They found an opportunity in Donald Trump’s visit- what better opportunity to tarnish India’s image and hog limelight in international media than the US President’s visit?
Shaheen Bagh organisers wanted a grand exit and they got what they wanted. Intelligence failures, police inaction, soft approach and sheer appeasement are to blame for not calling out the bluff of Shaheen Bagh roadblock and allowing them the bully the National Capital with impunity.