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An Open Invitation To Lawlessness On 72nd Republic Day

It is beyond belief that a government led by PM Narendra Modi could have learnt nothing from the past most unfortunate Shaheen Bagh episodes and the subsequent riots that claimed many innocent lives! It is beyond belief that PM Modi could have again allowed farmers to occupy all key entry points to Delhi thus giving green signal to lawlessness! It is beyond belief that PM Modi could again have given the green signal and an open invitation to lawlessness on 72nd Republic Day that is on 26 January 2021 for entry of so many tractors in Delhi inspite of receiving inputs from NIA and intelligence agencies about entry of Khalistani elements among the crowd thus learning nothing or no lesson from the Shaheen Bagh episode and allowing hoodlums, rogues and scoundrels to have a free run all over the way wherever they went in Delhi!

No doubt, any person with some wisdom could have easily guessed that farmers would resort to what they did in Delhi. Many of them had openly challenged and said that they would enter Red Fort and display their flag as shown in many news channels. Still everything was taken most lightly and they were allowed subject to certain conditions which they had already made up their mind to violate with impunity which they did also! It is our nation which has been made a laughing stock in front of the world.

From 1995 till 2021, I must have written 2000 articles on enacting strictest law for blocking of roads, rail tracks and allowing mob with majority to take India for granted but very few got published and even then we still see that with PM Narendra Modi gaining power, the hoodlums, vandalisers and goons started believing that they can occupy road and rail tracks whenever they wanted, wherever they wanted and as they wanted and which they have done on a number of occasions and for which the political establishment must take the responsibility and so also must the judiciary for kowtowing in front of them by not ordering immediate removal of all road blockers and rail track blockers as we saw in Punjab, Rajasthan and other parts apart from Delhi and then they would get the invitation to hold talks with them again and again! I was most amazed when I saw PM Modi ordering immediate eviction of retired defence services personnel who had gathered in Ramlila Maidan in Delhi against One Rank One Pension scheme as many felt it was not given in entirety and there was a lot of discrimination according to the ranks with only senior rank officers of rank of Maj General and above enjoying all the benefits! But why that same promptness disappeared during the Shaheen Bagh agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) and this further encouraged others to believe that they can hold the nation to ransom by occupying key roads and rail tracks! National interest must reign supreme and not vote bank politics!

Needless to say, there can be no excuse of any kind for blocking of roads and rail tracks under any circumstances. Senior and high profile lawyers like Prashant Bhushan and Dushyant Dave of Supreme Court must now learning from this most disgraceful episode of tractor rally which has left out whole nation shocked, shamed and sullied in front of the world never appear for any such group which wants Centre to kowtow before it after first occupying roads with full force as a brazen display of lathi power! This 72nd Republic Day celebration has ashamed all Indians as the rowdy elements under the garb of farmers were allowed free run in Delhi which they should never have been allowed!

What has happened at Red Fort is nothing less than a terror attack rather worse than it as those who have done this most cowardly, dastardly and shameful act have done it under the garb of farmers protest and it has hugely damaged our international reputation no matter how hard any one of us may try to deny! Why tractor rally with such huge crowd was allowed under such tense environment and that too right in the capital itself and that too on ‘Republic Day’? Our nation has become a laughing stock!

Why Centre kowtowed in front of them just like earlier they did during Shaheen Bagh movement which only emboldened them further and due to which many precious lives were lost from all sides? Why Supreme Court also refused to take a bold stand on blocking of roads and rails? Why Supreme Court stayed the “farm laws” when making laws is entirely in the remit of Centre and judiciary has nothing to do with it and this was acknowledged even by Justice Deepak Gupta who was not happy with Supreme Court’s interference in farm laws?

Bluntly put: Why Supreme Court never takes a strong stand on blocking of road and rail tracks and allowed it to continue for more than 100 days in Shaheen Bagh and so also for more than two months on rail tracks in Punjab and similarly in Rajasthan now also and earlier during Gujjar reservation stir also? Is this not an open invitation to lawlessness? Why do Supreme Court and Centre dare to allow blocking of rail tracks and roads?

It must be asked: Is this the best way to justify “right to dissent”? Shame on all of us who try to justify it under the most senseless ground of “right to dissent”! It is nothing but stupidity of the highest order that the blocking of rail and road tracks is becoming the order of the day especially during the second term of PM Narendra Modi!

Truth be told, I had stated in one of my earlier articles that  a new trend has started in India to block road and rail routes so that Centre or State can be compelled to toe the line which the protesters demand. We saw this abundantly in Shaheen Bagh which finally culminated in the Delhi riots in which there was huge violence as the protesters started blocking more and more roads and this led to unrest and clashes which left many dead and also many more injured. For this PM Narendra Modi is directly responsible as he is time and again succumbing in front of hoodlums who occupy roads or rail tracks! Now once again in protest against farmers bill the farmers of few states have occupied all key points to enter Delhi due to which thousands of crores of rupees worth business is suffering daily and the people are further made to face inconvenience since more than about fifty days and have threatened to carry out tractor rally on 26 January if their demand of withdrawing all the 3 farm bills are not complied with unconditionally and even Supreme Court has voiced its concern on the possibility of violence breaking out which cannot be dismissed lightly! Centre must promptly take adequate steps to ensure that road blockade is lifted and no one is allowed to hold the nation to ransom!

But Centre paid no heed to what I said and many others who voiced the strong apprehension of terrorists hijacking the agenda under the garb of farmers protest! The dangerous consequences are for now all out to see for ourselves as we saw on 26 January! Will Centre again keep allowing blocking of all entry points to Delhi?

What has happened under PM Narendra Modi’s regime of allowing the blockade of road and allowing the most dangerous tractor rally during Republic Day celebration has never happened before and what ensued was a direct attack on the very concept of India by the hoodlums who did not even spare Red Fort and planted their own flag on it! It is so shocking that all this happened so easily and that too right in the presence of police! Should such a huge crowd have been allowed the unfettered freedom to hold the whole nation to ransom?

It was vandalisers, hoodlums and rogues who were allowed the free run on our 72nd Republic Day celebration under the garb of tractor rally and our whole nation stands bruised due to it! We cannot be true Indians if we have not felt the pain of what has happened under the garb of tractor rally! Nothing on earth can be more unfortunate than this!

It is not for nothing that Kangana Ranaut has equated this barge into Red Fort with a terror attack and this is most shocking that all this happened on the eve of Republic Day celebration! If it was some other country those hoodlums would have been immediately shot dead but in India we still follow “Sab Chalta Hain” approach! Most shocking! Most disgraceful!

It is Centre which must own up its moral responsibility for what all has happened on 72nd Republic Day occasion and should now promptly remove all those who occupy road and rail tracks without any discrimination whatsoever! Targeting just retired defence service personnel is no solution. Law has to be same for everybody and if there is different standard then the perilous consequences are there for all of us to see for ourselves as we are seeing right now! Centre must now immediately stop allowing anyone from occupying road and rail tracks because allowing this is certainly the surest path to anarchy and an open invitation to lawlessness as we all saw for ourselves!

Sanjeev Sirohi

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