Deconstructing Shaheen Bagh experiment in light of Delhi Election
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 Muslim women protesting at Shaheen Bagh against Citizenship Amendment Act
What is sinister about Shaheen Bagh Model is the axis of Islamists and Marxist nexus. There was nothing spontaneous about Shaheen Bagh or succeeding sit-ins. The very fact that the Shaheen Bagh people went home on the very day the elections were over, shows the intent
I was waiting for Delhi elections to get over before I deconstructed Shaheen Bagh. I didn’t want it to be coloured by the shrill vicious campaigning. A lot has been written and spoken about it. However, my interaction with many politicians and spokespersons of different hues during last few weeks during Delhi elections and subsequent to results helped me understand their mindset.
Firstly, let us first look at Delhi through electoral glasses. It is clear that voters discriminate between local, state and national elections clearly. Delhi proved it yet again, and it works both ways. Since 2013 Delhi has elected BJP in national elections but preferred AAP in local elections. The trend in other state elections too show this. Voter in Delhi seemed to have discriminated between national and local self interest. Opinion polls showed heavy support for CAA but same voters seemed to have put more faith in AAP on issues of Delhi as seen in opinion polls. A BJP supporter may not agree with this, but this is the truth.
It can have other implications too. It is obvious that we Indians prefer Narendra Modi as Prime Minister, but are ready to experiment with other parties if they are not happy with regional BJP leaders. It seems people have higher expectations from BJP and it is always under microscope while opposition can win by default even with poorer track record. It is funny that every local election is a test for BJP but not others.
Delhi, it is a small city state. I had said it during election campaign that BJP should project a mayor for a city state. While opposition had a clear mayoral face with a solid vote bank, BJP wished to ride on central leadership. It was a major flaw. It started very late while Kejriwal launched his campaign a year ahead mostly false on claims that BJP never countered. BJP needed a campaign on city state with issues like CAA as additional.
Congress abdicated its role as the third biggest party that had ruled Delhi for 15 years till recently. Congress history tells us that wherever it has decided to abdicate its position, it has been relegated to the margins. Clearly Congress will no more be the centre piece of any opposition allliance. Arvind Kejriwal will try to usurp this position.
Shaheen Bagh blockade turned out to be a non-issue. It may be a surprise for BJP leaders and a delight of Left secular politicians. However it is a half truth. Shaheen Bagh was milked to the hilt for elections by Left-secular communal forces. It was nurtured by AAP’s minister Amanatullah Khan. Enough electronic evidence is available, so none can claim it is fake. Yes, it didn’t matter for “majority” community as its voting percentage and results show. They preferred the comfort of free facilities over frightening scenario they witnessed in the name of CAA protests. Minority bought Islamist line hook line and sinker. We had Jekyll and Hyde in the form of Amanatullah gangs and Kejriwal. We had special largesse for Muslim clerics with Hindus fed on hollow Bajrangbali slogans.
It is strange that many commentators see AAP win as a validation of Shaheen Bagh sit-in. Shaheen Bagh shows that with the willing media playing along, and a herd mentality centred around mosques and rabid organisations, an agitation can be propped up by misrepresentation of facts, falsehood and propaganda and get international echo too.
Shaheen Bagh was a cover up to give a sheen of respectability to Jihadi elements who had let loose violence in the name of anti-CAA protests claiming it was against Muslims, that they would be thrown out of Indian. You could hear this uniformly from Kerala to Kanpur. No leader actually showed the CAA act copy. An act that had nothing against Indian Muslims was abused as anti-Indian Muslims. Their leaders knew well that its utter falsehood. To put it simply, anti-CAA axis wanted the hunted minority be given same facility as the majority Islamic countries’ Muslim hunters. This agitation saw most poisonous hate mongering but critics blame it on BJP. Secular lobbies and their mentors haven’t changed.
While Jinnah was upfront, his successors of various shades have fine-tuned strategy and exploited democratic rights, claim to love Constitution even as they openly attack constitutional right of elected representatives of Parliament. Due to adverse reactions to violence let loose in the name of anti-CAA they turned to “Tequiah” or speaking untruth in the interest of long term strategy of turning Darul Harb into Darul Islam. Those who had debated endlessly that they would not stand up for National Anthem stood up. Suddenly Tricolour was taken out. Actual intent was to over awe the majority community, put across their supremacist agenda very clearly. A few Hindus or Sikhs were a smoke screen. Putting “shahada” in place of Ashok chakra, sloganeering about supremacy of Allah, Jinnah wali Azadi, open challenge to replace Constitution with Sharia, highly abusive video clips gave the game away. In fact the slogans raised in SB were the same used by Kashmiri hoards in 1990s. When one asks them what is anti Indian Muslim in CAA and which country in the world doesn’t have NCR of some kind or the other, they fail to answer. Then they talk of intent and fear, which they have created. It’s a Tequiah by toxic mixing up facts vs sentiments.
What is sinister about Shaheen Bagh Model is the axis of Islamists and Marxist nexus. JNU crowd openly supporting them. Most rabid Muslim party with a name like Majlis-e-Ittehad-UK claiming to be secular was guiding it. Secular of all shades, including Congress were cheering them on. These groups were so happy that there is no law and order repercussion from the government that they began replicating it in other parts of India. There was nothing spontaneous about Shaheen Bagh or succeeding sit-ins. The very fact that the Shaheen Bagh people went home on the very day the elections were over, shows the intent. All anti-forces happily say now, privately, that CAA is good for their politics and Shaheen Bagh is the way to bring down Modi.
Thus, it is not the end. Last six months have seen violence as a tool to unsettle the society, particularly Hindus. It is an idea found very attractive by Islamists, anarchists and and frustrated Marxists. This is bound to be used in coming days tellingly. With many friendly anti-Modi state governments, fomenting trouble and showing India as a highly disturbed nation will be easy. Chances of turbulence of last 5 years reflected more in Lok Sabha and TV studios spilling onto roads in widely spread manner are very high.
(The writer is Mumbai-based columnist and author of several books on RSS)