A tale of few alleged slaps is now keeping the Delhi Police on its toes. Ever since, the Chief Secretary of Delhi, Anshu Prakash, alleged that two of the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs had assaulted him during a midnight meeting at the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the national mainstream media and the Delhi Police are chasing the AAP and its MLAs and ministers with a vengeance, unprecedented in nature and very vociferous in character. Two MLAs of the AAP, Amanatullah Khan of Okhla and Prakash Jarwal of Deoli are sent to judicial custody by a city court after their bail appeals were cancelled while Arvind Kejriwal’s residence is sniffed and searched to collect such evidence that can nail the AAP leaders and throw Delhi into tantrums.
It’s, of course, a crime to hit an unarmed civilian, official or otherwise, from whom no visible or potential threat is emerging. If the AAP MLAs slapped Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, then they must be prosecuted and punished for the crime. There cannot be any hypocrisy on this point. If this allegation by Anshu Prakash is correct then the police action against the alleged culprits, except its excesses, is absolutely justified and is the dire need of the hour. However, we are amazed and taken aback by several things that neither the Delhi Police nor the bureaucracy can answer with proper logic.
Firstly, if hitting someone, slapping someone by an MLA is such a dangerous act, like terrorism, then the Delhi Police, which reports to the RSS headquarters since 1990, should have shown some guts to actually book the “real powerful” Delhi MLA O.P. Sharma, who used his clout on the administration and judiciary to get out on bail as soon as he was arrested for attacking left-wing activists protesting against the RSS conspiracy over JNU at the Patiala Court compound in February 2016. Rather than arresting or even stopping the culprit MLA, whose crime was caught on camera, the Delhi Police, infamous for being a hardcore Brahminical, patriarchal-feudal and Islamophobic force, allowed MLA O.P. Sharma the impunity to carry on his violent assault on a CPI supporter, who could have died due to the attack. Yes, it wasn’t merely a case of few slaps, rather a premeditated attempt to murder! Yet O.P. Sharma, being the real ruling party’s MLA, got bail immediately with the active and the utmost shameless assistance of the Delhi Police.
We cannot forget the incidents that took place two years ago in the Patiala court, how a section of upper-caste elite Hindutva fascist lawyers and the RSS goons launched an attack against Kanhaiya Kumar in the court compound and how the prejudiced Delhi Police stood to watch the brutal assault and didn’t bother to stop the assaulters. Delhi Policemen were seen smiling at the scene, and they had been congratulating the assaulters soon after assuring them that the cases will be done away with. Though the Delhi Police couldn’t prove the case that its masters in the RSS headquarters and Rajnath Singh’s bungalow told them to plant against the JNU students, they never brought the case against O.P. Sharma and other assaulters in public. Why can’t the Delhi Police become more proactive and slap the actual charge of attempt to murder against the MLA? Why can’t O.P. Sharma be prosecuted like Amanatullah Khan or Prakash Jarwal? Is it simply because he is an upper-caste Sharma and not a Khan? Or because he has the certificate to kill people issued to him by Narendra Modi’s government?
Secondly, why would a government’s cabinet plan to beat up the senior-most bureaucrat at the residence of the Chief Minister that too in the presence of so many MLAs? Both Amanatullah Khan and Prakash Jarwal could have met the IAS officer somewhere else and could beat him up out of their grudge and then claim innocence? What makes the police search the residence of the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and check out when the paint was applied on the wall when the case isn’t of hiding a skeleton behind the wall but of slapping the chief secretary? Who is lying – the Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash said he went at midnight to the residence of the chief minister to discuss the problems in advertising the government’s three years in power, while the AAP ministers are claiming that they called the meeting to discuss the issues the government is facing in providing ration through PDS to 2.5 lac families in Delhi.
Now even in these contrasting agendas, we have two politics hidden. If we believe the statement of the chief secretary, uncritically, then we will come to the conclusion that the AAP is trying to outmanoeuvre the BJP and the Narendra Modi-led government in terms of self-propaganda. It’s more concerned about its image and doing PR than actually taking any real steps to bridge the gaps in governance. This is what Anshu Prakash would like us to believe. However, if we believe the AAP ministers who gathered there, then the core agenda was the complications faced by 2.5 million families of Delhi who aren’t getting their ration through the PDS. In this case, the government’s desire and intention looks better and less narcissist of course and then if there is a heated argument with the Chief Secretary then it’s ought to have taken place for the cause of the common people who are suffering due to unavailability of ration supply.
Apart from these two contradictory statements and volley firing between the BJP and the AAP, the case of the BJP’s assault on the AAP minister Imran Hussain and another AAP leader and DDA Vice President, Ashish Khetan, is swept under the carpet by the Delhi Police and the Modi government. If attacking an IAS officer is a crime then why not the attack on a minister is considered as a crime and the required action is taken to nab the criminals who belong to the BJP? Why is the Delhi Police reluctant to arrest the BJP leaders even when the AAP leaders have provided them with the video evidence of the attack? Are the policemen waiting for the perpetrators of the violent attack to flee from their homes so that the case can be easily closed by declaring them absconding? Is it the name – Imran Hussain that makes the Delhi Police reluctant to act as they would have for an Anshu Prakash? Why the people who plunged into the fray and took up their social media cannons to attack Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP government hesitates to condemn the attack by the BJP men on Imran Hussain and Ashish Khetan?
It depends on the political alignment of people that whose story would they believe. Neither the chief secretary nor the AAP is pious and none can claim a holier-than-thou immunity for themselves. However, given the political pressure that the Rajnath Singh-led Ministry of Home Affairs has exerted on the officials of Delhi government, the IPS officers, the Delhi Police and other organs of power, to disrupt and dismantle the rule of the AAP in Delhi, it becomes quite hard to believe that the AAP, which is now politically cornered and isolated all over the country and is running a deeply crisis-ridden government in Delhi despite securing absolute majority, will take the adventurist route of hitting out at a bureaucrat of the level of a chief secretary. The political optics of attacking a bureaucrat would be too much for the AAP in the current scenario to manage as it’s moving ahead towards a stage where its majority in the Delhi Assembly will be substantially lowered by the BJP using the bureaucracy and judiciary.
In case the AAP MLAs have attacked the Delhi chief secretary during the meeting held at the midnight of 19/20 February, then it could have been an attack that was provoked by Anshu Prakash himself, by creating a scenario that tempted the duo to attack him in front of Manish Sisodia and Arvind Kejriwal. An incident that the chief secretary was asked by his BJP handlers to enact and create a furore that can be used to reduce the numbers of the AAP legislators in the assembly. The other MLAs and ministers must have tried to cover-up the incident to save the party from embarrassment due to the egregious step that was taken by the two MLAs and that could be the reason that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is not strongly refuting the allegations rather seeking an avenue of rapprochement to appease a visibly angry bureaucracy.
The case of assault on the chief justice will soon be heard again in the court and the judicial process will take its course. However, though the ostensible goal of the chief secretary and the bureaucracy working in the Delhi Government look like taking on political heavyweights to avenge injustice, their actual goal is to pave the way for the BJP to re-establish its fiefdom in Delhi by becoming the ruling party. Now by blaming the AAP of resorting to “urban Naxalism”, the BJP will try to rally the middle-class and elite supporters of Kejriwal behind their own nefarious agenda and the bureaucracy and the police will help the BJP in realising its goal without any difficulty.
Be it in Delhi or in any other part of India, we have the IAS community, the most expensive colonial baggage, the burden of which is borne by the common people through their hard-earned money. Since the period of British colonial rule, the ICS and later the IAS and allied services of the bureaucracy have survived by exploiting the resources of the nation and by being a parasite on the Indian people. It’s not that these people who draw the highest salary, the fattest bribe and the exorbitant retirement benefits and pension, are gems or finest minds that the country should cherish, rather they are the sole cause why the country couldn’t progress on any front. Their colonial mindset, their loyalty to the feudalistic rule and traditions, their Brahminical casteist mindset and their sole aim of mere survival as the lackey of the force that holds power and live on the best crumbs trickled down, make the bureaucracy the corpse of the colonial rule that the people are forced to carry on their back.
On the other hand, we have the Delhi Police. Caste-wise the Delhi Policemen are drawn from the dominant caste groups and communities with a minor presence of minority community members, Dalits or tribals. Due to the colonial mindset and modus operandi, the Delhi Police never sanitises the mindset of its people and allows them to carry their communal, misogynist and Brahminical prejudice throughout their career, which allows the men to work with unconditional loyalty for a regime that uses its fire and muscle power to oppress the poor and the downtrodden mass. This casteist, feudal and patriarchal prejudices make the Delhi Police personnel conform to the Islamophobic propaganda of the Indian government and allow their men to persecute members of the minority communities, especially Muslims and the marginalised people like Dalits and tribals. The utmost abuse of power and position and sheer corruption is visible at all ranks of the Delhi Police. Remaining outside the purview of the Delhi Government and for being an unaccountable force, accused of extra-judicial killings, illegal detention and sexual abuse, this force in itself has become a monster that the law and order system was created to deter and neutralise.
During late 2013, the anti-Congress wave in the capital city gave the AAP a momentum and many RSS functionaries joined the organisation under the leadership of people like Kapil Mishra, who remained staunch communal black sheep within the flock that Arvind Kejriwal claimed is secular. However, the actual fight between the AAP and the BJP started when Kejriwal, much to his own surprise, swept the election of Delhi and rendered BJP to a microscopic entity in the legislative assembly in a state where it had bagged all parliamentary seats a year ago. Nothing slapped the Modi regime as tightly as its defeat in Delhi despite igniting flames of a communal riot in Trilokpuri area. The revenge started unfolding from 2015 onwards and in the last two years, the BJP has been able to cripple the AAP government by at least 30 per cent and in the next two years there may not be any scope left for the AAP to revive its fortune in a city that’s highly polarised on communal lines and where the dominant socio-economic groups now wear their religion and caste on sleeves.
By hyping the AAP assault on Delhi Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash, the BJP will try to garner support in its favour and the bureaucracy and police are also working to help the Modi government realise its goal of seizing Delhi and disintegrating the AAP. The corruption and crisis-ridden AAP is not in a position to thwart the aggression of the Modi government and it will try to restrict itself within political rhetoric mongering only. The common people, the working class, the youth and women must understand that the only and real opposition against the Modi government’s fascist rule can be formed by them. It’s they who are suffering the most under the juggernaut of Modi’s misrule and it’s they who have to take up the lead and charge of bringing down the fascist communal rule through people’s struggle. The Aam Aadmi Party may or may not survive, however, the common people will survive and certainly win their greater struggle against the fascist regime and its reactionary bureaucracy if they can fight till the end.