THE CITIZEN EDITORIAL | 26 JANUARY, 2018
Democracy in Danger: The Deep Strategy Behind the Movie Mob Violence
This was the message that emerged from the press conference held by the four senior most Judges of the Supreme Court, indeed the country. They warned with visible anguish, that if the nation did not act now it could be too late to save India from the forces that have been unleashed with such deliberate thought and design to subvert the Constitution of India and the law. The country has been pushed from one crisis to another--- with violence. Love jihad, Ghar Wapsi, Cow mob lynchings and now states burn, school buses are attacked, as virulent mobs take over the state and the police is reduced to an ineffectual shadow. Not a word of condemnation from the top leaders, be it the Chief Ministers of the States, or the Prime Minister of India, or indeed the Ministers in Government. It is as if the violence over a film that is as regressive perhaps as the crowds opposing it (but then who needs to see a film or read a book to ban it) is justified, and even today after the naked violence, the sinister endorsement was visible through a viral message on the social media listing ‘Muslim’ (who else) names of persons who had attacked the school bus. Totally false and fake, but then those who started it were not bothered about it being exposed as fake, so long as it reached the masses and changed the discourse.
The question bewildering the same people of India is: what do the mentors of the violence gain? What the perpetrators gain is clear: money, power, protection, loot. But after this assault on democracy with Padmavat being the excuse, there is a certain counter anger from even amongst those who had been excusing every incident of horrific proportions till date. The attack on the school bus conjured up visions perhaps of a similar attack by terrorists in Pakistan, and there was a visible sense of unease. Thus the viral message seeking to distort the facts. After all the headlines over this violence just when the Prime Minister had promised a red carpet to potential investors in Davos, and was receiving high profile guests for the Republic Day parade can certainly not be cheering news even for this government. Well clearly forces over and above the government are in play, and the effort is to:
i) train the lumpens who are the backbone of these mobs in what can be roughly described as ‘mob warfare;
2) give them employment and a crucial sense of power to keep them in the camp as it were;
3) make it clear to the country that the power has shifted from the police to these ‘armies’ controlled from invisible headquarters;
4) send out a message that the state is powerless to contain these groups that are certainly not ‘fringe’ as a section of the media still insists on describing them;
5) establish the violation of the Supreme Court orders and the rule of law, as the new law;
6) blatantly subvert the Constitution of India, and demonstrate that the executive is totally compromised under the ‘new order’;
7) And do this on the eve of Republic Day thereby sending out a message that this is little more than a dispensable nicety in the current context.
8) to perfect strategy through these wargames.
So while the rest of India is firefighting against the obvious, the mentors who have stitched together a strategy are executing it on the ground. Dalits, Muslims, Students are all under attack---the last few years having deliberately attacked, excluded, and pushed these sections of society out of what the media, the mentors and the governments now speak of as the new ‘mainstream’. The specific targeting is now being taken to another new level, where mobs are in play to ensure that nothing moves unless their mentors want it. So no film, regardless of the law and the Supreme Court directives. This can and in all probability will extend to other broader issues: even as the specific profiling and marginalising continues. In the process of course, the agenda to subvert democracy will gather pace, having little no time for issues of development and progress and injustice that will be pushed out of the public gaze with violence.
This is the attempt. Will it succeed or not will depend largely on the people of India. And what they choose to believe, and what they decide to stand with or for. Until then The Citizen wishes all readers a Happy Republic Day, raising the flag even as protestors march in Mumbai to Save the Indian Constitution.