If this is not Emergency, then nothing else would be. If one were to treat the arrest of saner voices of the society as reasonable or as logical, it is a sad reflection on our society. The early morning swoop down on voices of liberty, freedom and civil rights across the nation is a telling commentary on the state of affairs. Modi government has only reiterated its commitment to fascism. Weaving a strange theory that Bhima Koregaon protests are linked to a larger destabilisation plot and to the probable assassination attempt of the Prime Minister himself is as thin as a super flop Bollywood plot.
First, the murders of Dabholkar, Pansare, Gauri Lankesh and Kalburgi. Now the arrests of Vara Vara Rao, Gonsalves, Navlakha, Ferreira and Sudha Bhardwaj. In between dozens of lynchings and butchering of minorities and Dalits. The Centre could claim that these were all isolated incidents and just crimes. But there is a pattern to the same. There is neither condemnation nor action against the 'mobs' that take law into their hands.
There is no condemnation of the rallies taken out in support of rapists of Unnao and Kathua. Murder of members of minority communities is being given a new spin and any one questioning the same is being asked to go to Pakistan. Supreme Court's observation that dissent should be allowed as it is the safety valve of democracy may not be palatable for the Hindutva forces. Maharashtra police claim that there is an anti-fascist plot to overthrow governments. It compared the situation to the one of a pressure cooker.
In fact, Bhima Koregaon rally was one such. The mobilisation of Elgar Parishad was a sign of restlessness of the oppressed society. Narendra Modi-Amit Shah combine should realise this. If the Centre wants to brand civil voices as 'Urban Naxal voices' then it should realise that this era of WhatsApps and 'MeToo' movements would lead to multiplication of such voices.
Those who are protesting against the oppressive methods of the Governments are not just the restless urban youth, but millions of farmers, Dalits and minorities, who are all an integral part of our society. Don't brand them as anti-nationals. This fear of shadows must go. Yes people need jobs, women need safety, farmers need better prices and Dalits and minorities need an equal social acceptance. But, more than any, all of these are seeking freedom from oppression. You don't need Maoism to protest.
All that it requires is some sense and sensibility. People have a right to take to streets in a democracy and it is not necessarily plotting against the PM or his confidantes. " Why read at all", was one of the questions the police raised. What next? Why schools and universities? And this is the same authority that questions the madarsa system of education! It is wrong to link political dissent to public dissent. The first one may not affect the government much, but the other could upset its apple cart. Modi cannot afford to turn everyone against him. Those protesting the present rule are the ones that protested the previous governments too.