The latest string of scintillating attacks on the government from the left ecosystem is quite amusing. This time they aren’t demanding withdrawal of any bill or grant of special privileges for a community or reservations or funds or resignations. The appeal or rather ultimatum this time is that the criminals, or to say insurgents more aptly, charged of planning, sponsoring, executing, and participating in anti-CAA riots and violence be exonerated and freed. The frontrunners of this agenda are again the same set culprits who often play devil’s advocate for any violence in the nation leading to damage of property and threat to lives – few out of work Bollywood chaps, some sold-out journalists, attention-seeking comedians, anti-government warriors, opposition spokespersons and IT cells.
The narrative is once again baseless and hypocrite. I am sure none of the following bizarre reasons is enough to absolve criminals of their transgressions, especially for crime related to national security and peace: a rioter getting pregnant during the protests, their belief that Modi is a dictator, or the riots mastermind belongs to a special religion. Comrades are worried that their counterparts who are now facing jail time might prove to be good examples for anybody and everybody who partakes in violence, riots, murders, and loot under the shield of right to dissent.
The process is fairly straight-forward. Blame, disregard, and vilify the judiciary and investigative authorities when decisions aren’t in your favour; spread fake news and hateful content when truth doesn’t suit your agenda; play victim and minority card when you are straight up guilty of heinous deeds; invoke sympathy and pity on your condition when nothing else can save you from the consequences of your actions. Masses are very vulnerable to fall for such tactics.
The shamelessness and audacity is startling – all sympathetic notions arise only when the pawns of left-liberal propaganda are at stake. The murderer of IB officer in Delhi is suddenly reminded of his religion, and an ISIS operative inciting hate and violence all of a sudden wants mercy for pregnancy. For them, Afzal Guru should have been set free on humanitarian grounds and a blind eye be turned on Chidambaram because he is old and ill. Ironically, the same set of PR agents still want a cancer patient Sadhvi Pragya behind the bars despite a clean-chit from the courts. Same gang of Luteyans media wants hate-mongering fake news of Vinod Dua to be pardoned while giggling when Sonia Gandhi’s government in Maharashtra harasses Arnab Goswami.
The laws are clear and constitutional in every case – there is no need to debate about why one should or should not be persecuted for one’s actions based on the outrage among their sympathizers. You lose any right to ignite protests in India demanding justice for Blacks in the United States when you openly mock well-wishers of Kashmiri Pandits disregarding their decades of plight as non-existent. You should not have any face to defend allegations on Mrs. Vadra or Mehbooba Mufti in the name of feminism when you openly show middle fingers to Meneka Gandhi and Smriti Irani on social platforms. Don’t bring up regionalism when Kerala and West Bengal are accused of political killings when criticising and cursing Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat is your favorite pass-time. If Deepika Padukone floors you when she applauds the hooliganism in JNU, you are no one to question why Kangana Ranaut has strong opinions on any political issue.
It is such a paradox to have to argue the basic tenets of ‘equality’ with foot soldiers whose day and night job is to fuel anger and rally support against the ‘supposed’ intolerance and marginalization in India since 2014. We need to understand that our agreements or disagreements set aside, our adherence to judicial verdicts or administrative directives cannot be selective. Our compassion cannot be discriminatory if it is based on genuine emotion and not a selfish agenda. We are free to express solidarity with any individual or community but we cannot guilt-trip others of ‘whataboutery’ when we are questioned on our silence or opposite stances for others.
It is natural to have opinions and biases. It is also okay to choose sides. What is not okay is when we move beyond supporting ideologies, parties, and leaders to supporting and indulging in their criminal activities: spreading fake news, defending rioters and rapists, abusing and bullying online, raising voice for terrorists, slamming other religions, and other hate crimes. If we can’t hold our favorite leaders and governments accountable for their fallacies and wrongdoings, let us at least not jump the guns to defend their sins.