PM Statement On Manipur: Hypocrisy Ki Bhi Koi Seema Hoti Hai, Modiji!

Bail of Brij Bhushan, and parole to Ram Rahim on the day when PM spoke on Manipur, is a perfect example of impunity that the prime minister and his minister enjoy. And the role of the media is just to relay and broadcast their statements and accusations without any question. Have we seen such filthy hypocrisy anywhere else? I am saying filthy because 'hypocrisy kee bhee koi seema hoti hai'.. There is a limit to hypocrisy

As Pradhanmantri Modiji ‘expressed’ his ‘pain’ and ‘anguish’ on the horrific incident in Manipur suggesting all the state governments such as Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Bengal or Manipur, must do everything to protect ‘women’s rights and honour’. Can you imagine the level of contempt for the common people’s issues? One speaks after 78 days after the incident and that too for less than a minute’s monologue while refusing to have a debate in Parliament on the same. Can there be a bigger hypocrisy than this?

After the supreme leader had spoken, Bhakts were relieved. For the whole day, the story about PM’s concern was picked up by every channel. Actually, NDTV started the ‘desh seva’ in the morning giving us news about how Ms Smiriti Irani, Women and Child Development Minister, has rarely spoken about violence on Women and Children unless that happens in an opposition-ruled state or any matter that has a concern with Rahul Gandhi (She is actually a Minister for trolling Rahul Gandhi), she told NDTV that state chief minister has promised action on the incident. She was ‘concerned’ about the crime against women in the state.

However, everyone was happy that the Prime Minister had spoken. Then the usual loudspeakers came into action. Ravi Shankar Prasad, desperate to be in the Ministry said how come a crime that happened on May 4th is now appearing in the media on the first day of the Monsoon Session. Another minister said that ‘Twitter’ has to follow the law of the nation. Now, things were clear: Twitter must delete the ‘video’ of the incident or face action. Alas, our information and broadcasting minister asked for the deletion of all the despicable videos made by the bhakts about the Nehru-Gandhi family. Will he?

By the evening two great things had happened which made us ‘proud’ of our system. First, Delhi police had no objection to the bail of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, whose charge sheet suggests everything that could have made the arrest imminent. The Court happily granted him bail. It is the Delhi police which has arrested so many young students and opposed their bail on the ground of being ‘anti-national’ without any charge sheet or proof for the same. The police version goes like the Sanghis who are in disagreement with them are anti-national.

Then, another great news came from Haryana that a court in the state has granted parole to Gurmeet Ram Rahim, facing murder and rape charges. A perfect example of impunity that the prime minister and his minister enjoy today and the role of the media is just to relay and broadcast their statements and accusations without any question. Have we seen such filthy hypocrisy anywhere else? I am saying filthy because ‘hypocrisy kee bhee koi seema hoti hai’.. There is a limit to hypocrisy.

Clearly, the government and BJP have gone into a damage control mode and leaders go offensive which they are best in. First, bring stories from other states and say why we were silent on the issue. If that too does not work then bring a Hindu-Muslim issue. By the evening, the favourite news supplier of the government ANI reported from Manipur that somebody named ‘Abdul’ has been arrested in the related case and BJP leaders started trending it. Later the tweet was deleted by ANI. This is extremely dangerous.

There is no doubt that violence against women and marginalized people has been happening in India for a long and it is not new. Definitely, nobody can blame that these things suddenly started happening after BJP assumed power. We know well that the power elite remain the same whether any party comes to power but the impunity that these caste forces are enjoying right now is unparalleled. The complete polarisation of the administration has never happened in the past.

Even in the past, Muslims in India never got enough space in our administration as well as political sphere but things had not arrived at a state where you were asking them to leave the country or bulldozing their houses. The filth that entered our newsroom had never happened. Even when we might have differed with the media, the absolute shamelessness with which they have now started peddling the ruling party narrative has only emboldened these forces that they can do anything and can get away with it.

The point is why are BJP and the government deliberately resorting to such issues which are exposed now? The problem is in our response. In Manipur, they have created a total polarisation where the majority of Meitei is in a dominant position and the Kuki tribal dominates the hill tracks. Politically, it will be a win-win situation for BJP if outsiders make it an issue between Meitei and Kukis. It is to create a common agenda to protect Manipur and respect each other. While nationally and internationally we may vilify Meitei but it won’t help politically secular forces. Ultimately both communities have to live together.

It is to speak up about the ulterior agenda of the ruling party to create division just to exploit the forest and mineral resources of the North East. They have already started this in Tripura while Assam is already in their control. This is clearly a war to control people’s resources and hence they need a villain. For the rest of the country, they made Muslims as villains but where the issue is not Muslims then Christians will be made villains otherwise Dalits and Adivasis to be used or blamed according to suitability.

The Manipur crisis should not be allowed to escalate. All parties must ensure that peace is brought there. The modus operandi of the current regime is to drag an issue on and on as finally the more it lingers the better it becomes for them as frankly, minority rights can not bring political dividends. The politics of secularism will only succeed when it has social justice and inclusion as its main plank. BJP is an expert in exploiting the local contradiction and diverting the narrative.

All state governments must ensure that they respond quickly to any such situation of violation of the rights of the people. I am sure, the people of India know well that while things might happen in all the states as violence and prejudices against Dalits, minorities and marginalised exists everywhere but nowhere have the governments encouraged these things politically.

There may be delays in FIR and actions but the way BJP leaders and hate mongers have enjoyed complete impunity remains unparalleled in the history of independent India. It is this issue which needs to be highlighted. Rather than feeling ashamed for their inaction or rather encouraging their cadres to polarise society, they start giving sermons on the past. Stop this sermon in the past. Every government has to give an account of work for the term it has been elected to govern us so we can seek accountability from Nehru and Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi as their profit and loss account has already been ‘audited’. Right now, India will audit the five years of the Narendra Modi government in 2024 and they need to give us hisab of their work and not take us back to 1947. The biggest question is why no action in Manipur to date.

Frankly speaking, those who have heard and seen the story of Bilkis Bano will realise that what happened in Manipur was already done many years back in Gujarat. One need not think too much as to what will happen in the Manipur case. It will be delayed and after some time, the accused can become a ‘star’ too and who knows what will happen tomorrow, he may get a ticket too. The fact that Bilkis Bano is still fighting for her right and all those who were accused of assaulting her, and defiling her are ‘free’ citizens of the country, is a perfect example of our political hypocrisy. What is in store for Manipur will depend on political parties and civil society organisations not letting hate dominate their political discourse. Manipur in a real sense will progress and prosper only when both the Meiteis and Kukis live and work together defeating the hatemongers sitting outside their state to exploit their resources.

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

The author is an activist and is currently working on Impact of Ganga and its tributaries in the Himalayas and the plains of India

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