Congress' support to Delhi violence ridiculous
The streets of Delhi witnessed unprecedented mayhem on India’s 72nd Republic Day
The streets of Delhi witnessed unprecedented mayhem on India's 72nd Republic Day. This was perhaps the most violent one after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. While in 1984 antisocial elements and hooligans targeted Sikh community, in Tuesday's violence, men in khaki were hounded and targeted. About 5,000 tractors had a free run, breaking the barricades, chasing the police and people on the road and even trying to run over them and Red Fort was taken under siege.
Cops on duty at the Red Fort were forced to jump from 15 feet wall to save their lives and iconic fort came under siege of these unruly elements who used swords, iron rods and lathis to lynch the men in uniform. What is most unfortunate is the Opposition parties, instead of condemning such violence, are blaming the government. The attitude of the main Opposition party Congress indicates that the party has forgotten the history of freedom struggle and has resorted to another political misadventure.
The Congress so far did not say a word on the insult and desecration caused to the iconic ramparts of Red Fort. When 1984 riots took place, some Congress leaders then said it was natural. The parties should learn to separate politics from reality. While the debate on whether the farm laws are pro farmer or anti farmer will continue, by no means can they justify their support to the violence that was witnessed on the streets of Lutyens Delhi. The Congress should refresh their knowledge.
When Mahatma Gandhi launched a fight against the British, he never allowed violence in his agitations. Freedom fighters were always at the receiving end only because he knew that if it had used violence, the struggle would have gone out of control and it would lose its sanctity. The farmers were allegedly told to break into the barricades and go to the Red Fort. Why Red Fort? Because, the Republic Day Parade concludes there and all artistes including children who participate in the parade are housed inside the fort before they are taken back to their respective camps.
Targeting the Red Fort apparently was to unleash terror. A video had gone viral in which the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) leader Rakesh Tikait was seen saying, "Bring your lathis and flags as the government is not listening." Tikait however justified this saying that he had only asked the farmers to bring lathis to carry the flags. But it was not just the lathis that were used.
Certainly, it was not the farmers who created the mayhem. The Nihangs, in their battle-gear, were carrying swords while marching into the city, fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag on the ramparts of the iconic Red Fort. This is not the way farmers protest. Though the farmers have been on agitation for almost three months over the farm laws and the government has been holding talks with them, never did they resort to any violence. The Congress which holds the government responsible for the mayhem seems to have forgotten what the Congress government did 32 winters ago.
On October 25, 1988, at Boat Club which is within the earshot of North and South Blocks and Parliament, farmers led by Mahendra Singh Tikait began to trickle and within hours it became a flood. About five lakh farmers on trucks, tractor-trolleys, bullock carts and motorcycles showed up at the gates of Delhi and camped. They had taken over Boat Club for about a week.
The farmers sat out nights, policemen kept watch. There were attempts to wear them out. The Rajiv Gandhi government used every trick in the book to tire out the protestors. Loud music, at times western, was played at night to unsettle the farmers and their cattle and make them leave; water supply in and around the area was stopped, so was delivery of food packets to feed the vast gathering. But there was no violence as no outside elements could enter.