Jahangirpuri communal clashes are yet another grim reminder of the emergence of more violent and large-scale sectarian violence, a viciously churning communal conflict cauldron that can precipitate horrendous genocide reminiscent of 1947 partition riots.
After all, the Delhi riots in 2020 in Northeast Delhi resulted in the death of 53 people and the unprecedented destruction of public property. Islamophobia is a reality, particularly among the Hindu majority. Islam propagates the use of politically and religiously motivated violence to consolidate its hold and sway over modern India. Recurring riots are a natural fallout with the majority of “youth bulge” unemployed and underemployed.
In 1867, “politics is the art of the possible,” said Otto von Bismarck’s German statesman.
In today’s confrontational and conflictual politics of opposing political parties, contra negotiation, conciliation and consensus as to the bedrock of democracy, Bismarck’s statement needs to be consigned to the dustbin of history.
In retrospect, “Politics is the art of Opportunism” is more appropriate to India’s current political dynamics of “Aye Ram, Gaye Ram”.
The government must ban the PFI, SDPI, CFI, and other fundamentalist organizations without fear and favour. Why dithering and procrastination over the issue? Why did the Parliament not pass strict laws banning radical communal organizations besides clamping down on foreign funds flow to sustain, incite, and promote communal divide?
Why did the Judiciary fail to take suo moto notice of the emerging situation and direct all other administrative echelons to ensure the maintenance of law and order? Ironic that the Supreme Court has stopped even the “Bulldozer” drive to demolish illegal structures of all communities to deter and dissuade communal riots in the future. How can the Courts intervene and uphold illegal activities instead of fast pacing drives against them? Surely, it will encourage crooks to pursue criminal acts under the patronage of political masters.
Thus, all the government institutions, including the legislature, executive and judiciary, are to be squarely blamed for recurring communal clashes as a precursor to widespread breakout all over India.
Why is the visual media only reacting to developing events instead of directing their so-called investigative journalists to identify and expose the communal die-hards?
There was no point in “politicization of riots” after the event and playing “blame games” to score brownie points. Excessive politicization” only consolidates “Excessive Polarization” of society on ‘We “and ‘They “basis. There is no need for the intellect to predict future forebodings to break out sooner than later.
Why not formulate and execute “Preventive and pre-emptive Strategy and Policies”? Surely, the Home Ministry-CBI, IB, RAW and other intelligence institutions have provided their inputs on individuals and organizations and their foreign sponsors to the Ministry. If so, why even now the dithering and procrastination to ban the PFI, SDPI, CFI and other communal organizations?
The Ministry of Home Affairs must send clear directions to the Police and other administrative machinery to act fast, smart, proactive and pre-emptive, besides effectively implementing “instant justice” acts.
For example, if a policeman gets injured by a rioter, it is an attempt to murder. Why should the policemen spare such terror acts against them? They must also give spot retributive justice to send the right signal to all alike in self-defence. Otherwise, police forces would be looked upon like a “Joke”.
In fact, the prime five accused and all those wielding swords and sticks must be booked under criminal laws.
If Supreme Court is genuinely interested in its activism and intervention, it must constitute a “Fast Track Court” under its jurisdiction on its campus and deliver time-bound fast track justice, not exceeding 15 days at the most.
Otherwise, even the Supreme Court is culpable and accountable for the ongoing communal conflagration.
Next, why the Delhi Police has not arrested all the leaders and riot provocateurs before the event, particularly those possessing weapons and ammunition? They should have ordered all those possessing swords to deposit them in the police stations for temporary periods.
Time to review the policy governing ownership of a Sword or a Machete in India. As per current laws, it is illegal to carry the same when one leaves home. It is also illegal to brandish the same at other people as it is also construed as a weapon capable of causing harm.
If so, why has Delhi Police arrested only those five who used firearms during the riots? All those carrying “Swords” and brandishing them in public must also be arrested and criminal action initiated.
It is high time for the Parliament to pass an ordinance to ban the possession of swords without a license. Also, to possess and carry long sticks and batons! Take the cue from the US Law from banning the “Baton”.
India is passing through extraordinarily contentious times. No longer do various sections believe in shared bonds based on ‘live and let-live’ environments, which are ideals of the bygone past.
“Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, a Sanskrit phrase found in the Maha Upanishad, which means “The World Is One Family”, was a highly idealistic social philosophy when geographically, the world was mostly insular based on a single religious philosophy. Its invocation by political leaders in pursuit of “pseudo-secularism” is absolute utopia, mirage and mercilessly exposed intellectual stupidity.
Most importantly, Indian media is hell-bent on spinning and sensationalizing every single social institution in the name of news coverage. Add social media, a boon to democracy and freedom of speech and expression is viciously fragmenting society.
Conjointly, the media is spinning many different versions of political, economic and social ideologies besides history: radical and communal Hindu and confrontational Islamist ideologies besides pseudo-secular ideologies.
No wonder India, as a pluralist society, is fragmenting on every single social count. Almost every single institution of society is divided not only on red and blue, left and right, but also within each institution like government establishments, universities, professional associations and even families.
Social media is weaponizing the frivolous. The digital revolution has shattered social harmony. So the public isn’t one thing; it’s highly fragmented and mutually hostile. It’s mostly people yelling at each other and living in bubbles of one sort or another. Social media has made it easier to hold powerful people accountable for their shortcomings, not just in politics but in business, the arts, academia, and elsewhere.
Recent academic studies suggest social media is corrosive to trust in governments, news media, and people and institutions. This new game played out on social media is to encourage dishonesty and mob dynamics: Users were guided not just by their true preferences but by their past experiences of reward and punishment and their prediction of how others would react to each new action.
In reality, social media amplifies political polarization, fomenting populism, especially radical communal polarization, and is associated with the spread of misinformation.
In retrospect, media of all types are turning out to be the most pernicious threat to national security. Social media in toe with visual media has accelerated strained cross-political party relationships, particularly after 2014. Now its enhanced virility is more hazardous. It is also fraternizing with the enemy or even failing to attack the enemy with sufficient vigour.
Viewed in the framework of a vicious social, political and economic environment, persisting with laid-back status quo strategies and policies cannot anymore maintain social harmony and unity so vital for safeguarding national security interests.
Wake Up all alike before it is too late.