Punish those who shamed India on R-Day

The Red Fort was ransacked and religious flags were raised in the close proximity of the Tricolour, undermining its dignity and honour.

Published: 07th February 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2021 11:21 PM   |  A+A-

On January 26, anarchy prevailed in parts of Delhi and NCR for nearly 11 hours. Goons in the garb of protesting farmers took law into their hands and unleashed unprecedented violence. Policemen were attacked with tractors, spears, lathis, swords and stones injuring 394 of them; 30 police vehicles and 649 barricades were also damaged. The Red Fort was ransacked and religious flags were raised in the close proximity of the Tricolour, undermining its dignity and honour. An uneasy quiet returned to the battlefield by late evening with police reinforcements arriving. 

Farmers’ agitation was never meant to be peaceful and apolitical. You don’t block highways in thousands for months and issue threats daily, for fun. It had all the makings of an insurrection. The objective was always to force the government to bend on its knees before a mob, ignoring the will of Parliament. Hopefully, NDA will not set a bad precedent for million other protesting groups to have their demands met by creating chaos. The expression of shock to mayhem by opposition leaders and armchair columnists has been dishonest and their reaction, ridiculous.

They say, the government tested farmers’ patience to limits forcing them to fight back with vengeance; the BJP had planted criminals among protesters to engineer violence for discrediting farmers; the police knowingly allowed farmers to break away from designated routes and delayed deploying reinforcements and, there was no intelligence to identify and isolate miscreants or neutralise their plan, in advance. These are whines of frustrated people. 

Actually, farmers broke every term of agreement and left early by non-designated routes, catching the police completely off guard. At that time, a large number of forces were securing the Republic Day function. Intelligence was also available about the true intent of protesters, presence of miscreants and possibility of widespread violence. But the question was whether to carry out preventive arrests and use firepower to disperse the troublemakers on the previous day or contain them with maximum restraint. The government wisely avoided turning the protest sites into killing fields.

The issue is far from being dead. Surely, protesters will dig in as long as possible. As the police have swung into action, cries of repression and demands for withdrawal of cases will fume the air. The opposition parties will go all out to keep the cauldron boiling with an eye on elections in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.

Already, in a graceless response, they boycotted the President’s address on the eve of the Budget Session. In days ahead, they are bound to boycott and engage in fisticuffs, cat-callings and disruptions of proceedings, more often. A settled working environment in the country has always been an anathema to them, for it ensures security and economic prosperity for all.  

Amar Bhushan amarbhushan@hotmail.com
Former special secretary, Research and Analysis Wing


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