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Red Fort 26/1: Fall from grace for Government

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ogjatt
ogjatt
The author is an environmentalist and has been working in field of rain water harvesting, water conservation, forestation and afforestation. You can reach out to him on his e-mail [email protected]

No logic, explanation or means can justify or defend the vandalism of protesters on 26 Jan in Delhi. Time will tell the tale of ramifications of this act of vandalism on Republic day.

If you are a common citizen of the country, the events of 26 Jan 2021 at Red Fort would have caused deep anguish, anger and ripples down your spine. The vandalism and subsequent hoisting of a religious flag on the ramparts of historic Red Fort left each patriotic Indian with great shame- it is of course a national dishonour. A monument which is symbolic to the freedom of India and to its existence as a nation; a sacred place for Indians which holds highest regards as the Tricolour is hoisted by the PM each year on eve Independence day. Remember this day dear Indians.

Revisit of Jallianwala Bagh events

In college I was an NCC cadet and in 1991 as part of a cycle expedition we were to halt at Amritsar for the night. Our officer declared break next day to visit the historic city and we first paid our respect at Harmandir Sahib and then went to Jallianwalla Bagh. We have grown up on stories of our freedom struggle and the events of 13 April 1919 are deeply etched in our memory. A great sense of melancholy engulfed me as I saw the park, bullet marks and could visualise their jumping into the well in attempt to save lives. Little did I know that the country will see similar incident as we saw the Delhi Police jumping off the ramparts of Red Fort to save themselves on 26 Jan 2021.

Coup de grace and fall from grace

The act of flag hoisting at Red Fort by the mob was coup de grace served to the Govt which had failed to resolve the issue for past three months. Total inability of the Delhi and GoI to ensure law and order has pointed many figures towards them. It has pasted a stigma on the face of the country which should be and will be remembered in history. The high respect and admiration people had for the PM or HM has been shattered.  It has become apparent that no one in this country is beyond petty politics; yes, not even Modi. Each party wants to be on winning side of an issue irrespective of the cost.  What a fall!!

Failure of Modi & Co

Without going into any analysis of the bills, the events so far have only revealed failure of the PM and his team for two reasons. First, inability of the Govt to resolve the deadlock and second, inability to prevent an attack of mob on Red fort. Three months is a long time but neither could Govt convince the farmers about benefits of the bills nor could it finish and dispel the protests from the borders of Delhi. Why no action was taken on the protesters is the question which should trouble the minds of all sane citizens of the country.

Has the right to protest become an absolute right; the inaction of the Govt whether it was anti CAA protest earlier or now farmers protest, is beyond comprehension. By being non committal the Govt has legitimised the protests and if that be the case they should accept the mistake on both accounts and take back the bills. While, it is the same Govt which lathi-charged its own veterans in 2015 who were peacefully protesting for OROP at designated place without any obstruction to anyone. Different strokes for different folks and the only evident reason is votes. This dilly-dally of the Govt allowed time and space to anti national forces to combine hands and gather attention of international community through these protests. The intensity of such incidents is likely to increase in future.

The second question is as to how a mob can enter into the capital city when it had highest security arrangements in multiple layers in view of Republic day. Something doesn’t seem to be right! Was it a planned act to allow protesters to reach Red fort and let them carry out vandalism. May be the Govt was looking for some face saving and it was allowed as part of their strategy.

Vote bank first

Both anti CAA and farmers protest have one lesson in common. The ultimate aim of every party is to secure its vote bank and all means are acceptable to achieve it. No party can antagonise any community since we vote only for our caste or religion. This can be the only possible reason that Govt neither took any action on anti CAA protesters who blocked road for over couple of months causing inconvenience to public nor did it take any action on farmers who have laid seize on Delhi borders causing disruption of day to day life of other citizens. The message is loud and clear; you can hold the country to ransom and all eyes & ears will be shut provided you have sizeable vote bank.

End of reforms?

The nature of the protests has it made very clear that henceforth the laws will not be made in Parliament but on the streets. Protests are the norm of the day, challenging the sanctity of the Parliament itself. This will have serious repercussions on the future reforms in the country. It is but obvious the no Govt will take any strong stand against the protesters for fear of losing the vote bank.

Dangerous emerging dimensions of politics

The MPs are supposed to reason and discuss issues of concern in the house in a civilised way. We all know their conduct in the house, lesser said the better. But, a more alarming trend which has come to fore is opposing the Govt on the streets through protests/violence rather than logic and facts in the Parliament. So the question arises that if political parties themselves do not believe in the Parliament, then can a common citizen repose faith in it? Secondly, if the laws are to be made on the streets, then why have a Parliament at all? Anti CAA and anti farm bill protests are cases in point. May better sense prevail in my countrymen!

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ogjatt
ogjatt
The author is an environmentalist and has been working in field of rain water harvesting, water conservation, forestation and afforestation. You can reach out to him on his e-mail [email protected]
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