So secondary charge sheets were filed in the Delhi riots case. And to people’s surprise that the Delhi Police is hell-bent on linking all anti-CAA protests to the communal riots that left North Delhi scarred. So many prominent anti-CAA protestors like Yogendra Yadav, Sitaram Yechury, Jayati Ghosh, Apoorvanand, and Umar Kahlid, and Umar Khalid has already been arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act(UAPA). The funny part is a few days back a doctor from UP Dr. Kafeel AHmed who was arrested under the same act was released upon orders by the Allahabad high court and the charges under the act set aside.
Why have the people mentioned above have been named? Well, they gave speeches that exhorted the protesters to go to ‘any extent possible’ to stand against the law. The police in their hamhanded manner forgot nowhere the speeches attributed to the accused mentioned violent protests. They evoked Mahatma Gandhi, his principles, and national integration repeatedly. It is not surprising that 2 of the names in the list are professors, so if the govt. Can target the intellectuals it can scare the others into meek submission. And this is not even to do with the fact that BJP is the only party doing this.
In Maharastra, the Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has become suddenly the beacon of hope against nepotism and drug abuse prevalent in the industry. She said many things which make no sense but the ruling Shiv-Sena govt which is in alliance with Congress decided to respond first a minister abusing her and then the local municipal authorities moving onto her house to demolish ‘illegal’ constructions. Giving a 24-hour notice to a person and then initiating action against a person who has opposing views isn’t a sign of law enforcement but rather a dictatorship. This just goes onto show doesn’t matter who is in power, they love to use power to put down opposition.
Back to the Delhi riots and there were many prominent personalities who have voiced concern against the CAA law passed in December but if those speeches imply that a stringent anti-terror law like UAPA can be used to harass law-abiding citizens then it would put serious doubt in minds of dissenters. Many of us don’t have a safety net so if we choose to dissent against the govt, let it be policy or law we have to be scared that we might be branded terrorists and our careers ruined forever by an endless cycle of courts and becoming untouchable in the job market. This sets a dangerous precedent and reminds us of the emergency imposed by Mrs. Indira Gandhi, then the PM of India who incidentally jailed many of the leaders from the current ruling party including the PM. Hence it is more perplexing that the same leaders who have already bore the brunt of Govt. power choose to follow a similar path to cling onto power.