It was a few times back when I came across a statement written on some website – “Rulers fear the street”. However, I couldn’t understand the value that the statement holds. But what my eyes are forced to witness in today’s India has made me realise the exact meaning of the statement.
Forces are being pelted with stones, public properties are being damaged, effigies of the former BJP spokesperson are seen hanging and violence on the streets – This is what you will often see in the streets of the ‘new’ India. All thanks to street veto which is now being used by hooligans against the state.
Street veto and violence
It is no more unusual to witness angry protests against democratically elected governments around the world. However, in India, such protests are being witnessed quite frequently which has led the protesters to use street veto more than usual. Street veto is as old as civilisation and protesters resort to street veto to oppose the government. It has now become a menace in the country as in order to oppose the government, few hooligans and liberals have begun inciting the violence which has shattered the peace all across the nation.
The modus operandi is simple. First, the government introduces the scheme or laws. The hooligans then analyse these laws and schemes and find a reason to attack the government and come outside on the streets to oppose the government. The protests soon turn into violence which claims multiple lives and public properties are damaged causing huge loss to the nation.
Simply put, the street veto is being employed as a strategic tool to assert their hegemony, oppose anything in the interest of the nation and silence their critics.
The misuse of street veto
A pattern is now beginning to emerge. While you may think that the street veto has been brought into existence only after Nupur Sharma’s remarks, the truth is that it was prevalent a long time back too. The misuse of street veto existed in radicals facilitated violent protests too.
For those unversed, farm laws had held Delhi hostage for almost a year. Most of these farmers were in Delhi with political and religious motives, not economic. As far as the content of the bill is concerned, not a single decision was going to hurt the farmers and they have no idea of what the bills were all about.
The protest not only caused damage to public properties but also took several lives. It was the result of the farm laws that led to Lakhimpur Kheri violence and multiple other killings.
Talking about the violence and protests, how can one forget the anti-CAA protests that led to JNU violence, Shaheen Bagh violence and many others?
There were markings of PFI and SIMI’s involvement in the “protests” that turned violent across the length and breadth of India from Delhi to Assam, and even in Lucknow and Karnataka. This showed the level of elaborate planning by sinister elements that went into the staged protests, which were made to look like spontaneous and student protests by certain vested interests.
However, the anti-CAA protests were never about pursuing public good or preventing a real threat, nor did they have any popular support. This is why it could start all of a sudden as the perpetrators and rioters were already in position to foment violence.
Moving forward to 2022, the streets of India are now witnessing the protests against Nupur Sharma which are being shamelessly justified in the name of religion, and the imaginary hate against Muslims and the anti-minority stance of the government.
Calls for the beheading and hanging of effigies are normalised. The most recent use of street veto has been witnessed in the protest against newly introduced Agnipath scheme. The protesters have shattered the peace and the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are witnessing the most violent protests.
Yogi-Himanta model is the only solution
So, what is the solution for these rioters and arsonists? Undoubtedly, the government needs a policy in dealing with street veto and violence. This is the only solution to see motivated groups taking to the ground to disrupt reforms or policies.
As far as other solutions are concerned, these rioters need the Yogi-Himanta model. The bulldozer justice is required for sustainability. We have already seen in the last few years how both the CM of Uttar Pradesh and Assam have dealt with the rising crime and radicalisation in their respective states. Witnessing their past records, it can be believed that know the best how to deal with those inciting violence, hate speech, and so forth.
While Yogi’s bulldozer model is hailed by the CM of even non-BJP states, the fear of Himanta amongst the hooligans and Islamists needs no introduction. It is high time the rioters and arsonists are meted with the Yogi-Himanta treatment which they ‘rightfully’ deserve.
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