By: Arun Srivastava
Prime Minister Narendra Modi once again mouthed empty shallow words before the people of India when he said, “Today, when I have come among you and am standing near this temple of democracy, then my heart is full of pain, full of anger. The incident that has come to the fore in Manipur is a shameful one for any civilised society”.
His articulation was deceitful, meant purely to conceal his nasty political agenda, which was primarily responsible for type of violent orgies taking place in Manipur. While he was trying to wash his hands off the heinous crime and pass the buck to the state governments, his own chief minister of the state came out with the chilling revelation: “There are 100 similar FIRs here. Don’t have to hear allegations. You have to see the ground reality. Hundreds of similar cases have taken place. That is why the Internet has been shut.”
The articulation of Modi is more shameful as he tried to pass the buck for his inaction to failure endemic to the system. For hiding his complicity, Modihas blamed of state, wanting to make the people believe that he was not aware of the heinous crimes, that hewas kept him in the dark.
But how could one believe that his home minister, Amit Shah, had not furnished him with the information about violence engulfing the state, which despite internet shutdown was spilling over into media reports? To let the saffron activists and cadres plunder the state and force the Kukis to fall in line with the RSS, PM Modi avoided visiting Manipur even once since the violence began in the first week of May. His attempt to portray the raging fire of ethnic brutality as a matter of law and order problem is meant to dial down the political import of the ongoing violence. Modi’s hollow condemnation is more shameful than his silence because he attempted to project it as systemic deficiency of states that needed to handle law-and-order issues more effectively. That he brought up stray incidents of small-scale violence in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan as if they were at par with what’s going on in Manipur is a political sleight of hand meant to deflect popular attention away from the crux of the situation.
Surprisingly, he did not mention Uttar Pradesh, which according to the NCRB, is the worst state from the perspective of violence on women. The names of Assam and Madhya Pradesh feature among the top five states with everyday violence against women being an intrinsic part of the polity. The utter lack of concern for the victims of terror let loose by the saffron goons was also manifest in his spending barely 36 seconds on Manipur in his address to the media.
Without making any direct references to the violence in Manipur, Modi urged chief ministers of the states to ensure the safety of women and said the incident is “shameful for any civilized nation. My heart is filled with pain and anger”. This was nothing but populist rhetoric. Modi while addressing media just outside parliament hall, used his oratory and theatrics to shield the BJP government and RSS cadres of Manipur from public rage.
Modi’shalf-hearted condemnation of the egregious crime paled before the pain, anguish and sufferings of the thousands of Manipuri women symbolised by the two Kuki women who were traumatised, molested, and one of them was even raped, by the Hindu tormentors.
Had it not been the threat of CJI D Y Chandrachud saying that the Supreme Court would take suomoto action on the Manipur violence against the two Kuki women,Modi, the modern Dhritarashtra of New India, would not have even acknowledged the sordid incident that happened on May 4. In the judicial history of the country, this was for the first time that even before the court resumed its proceeding for the day, the CJI put on record that the Supreme Court was “deeply disturbed” by the video of two women being paraded naked in strife-torn Manipur. The CJI made a very strong observation that using women as instruments for perpetrating violence is “simply unacceptable in a constitutional democracy. If the government does not act, we will”. As soon as the bench assembled, the CJI requested Attorney General R Venkataramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, to come to the court.
Justice Chandrachud directed the Centre and Manipur government to take immediate remedial, rehabilitative and preventive steps and appraise it of the action taken. The bench, which also had Justices P S Narasimha and Manoj Misra, was quite disturbed and observed that the visuals shown in the media indicated gross constitutional violation and infraction of human rights. “We are very deeply disturbed by the videos which have emerged yesterday about the way those two women were paraded in Manipur,” the bench said.
CJI informed the law officers that it would wait till July 28 for the government to take action. “I think it is time that the government really steps in and takes action because this is simply unacceptable”. He said; “We will give a little time to the government to act, otherwise we will take action if nothing is happening on the ground.” CJI also told Mehta and Venkatramani to inform the court of the action the government takes “to bring the perpetrators to book and second, what action is the government taking to ensure that this is not repeated because who knows, it may have been isolated, it may not be isolated, it may be a pattern”.
That the mayhem of Manipur did not occupy the mind of Modi is explicit from his utter disdain for the resolution passed by the European Union parliament last week condemning the state of affairs in India’s Northeast. The EU parliament had adopted a resolution calling on Indian authorities to take action to stop the violence in Manipur and protect religious minorities, especially Christians. India’s foreign ministry condemned the resolution, describing it as “interference” in its internal affairs.
Worth mentioning the court had said the visuals indicate “gross constitutional violations and infractions of human rights”. CJI said it did not matter if the video was not a recent one and from May. “What matters is that this is just simply unacceptable… This is the grossest of constitutional and human rights… We are expressing our deep concern… We will give the government a little time to take action or we will take action,” the Chief Justice of India warned.
Manipur mayhem uncovers that the design of the RSS chief Mahan Bhagwat and Narendra Modi to prepare a brigade of Hindu mercenaries has started taking shape. Apprehension has come true that RSS has been brainwashing, radicalising and militarizing the Hindu society, especially the youths, and leading them into a black hole of being intellectually captive to the RSS’s Hindutva agenda.
Parading two disrobed women on the village roads in full public view and scores of Hindu thugs touching their private parts, is the honest admission of truth that Bhagwat and Modi have successfully brutalised and communalised the Hindu society. If they did not have this design, they would have openly come out in public and not only reprimanded their cadres, but denounced them.
Sources in Manipur say that the two women, one in her twenties and the other in her forties, were from the Kuki community. One of them was forcibly taken to the paddy field by the mercenaries and was gang-raped. This occurred in the presence of Thoubal police. The father and the brother of the younger woman, while trying to resist and save the girl, were bludgeoned to death by the attackers. The sources maintain that the attackers were radicalised Hindu Meitei youths. They belonged to two armed outfits, Arambai Tenggol and Meitei Leepun.
Kukis, who are Christians, were under pressure from the RSS to convert to Hinduism. It is more than a national shame that Modi has allowed the situation to acquire this level of viciousness. He maintained the façade of business-as-usual to protect the fascist racists and marauders. His decision not to not to speak in public on the Manipur conflict, let alone visit the state, has been the part of the design not to create any kind of hindrance for the perpetrators of Hindu terror.
What has been most sickening is the BJP leaders seeing the video becoming viral as a conspiracy to defame the Modi government. The mainstream media, the Godi media, which does not fail to meticulously report even a small incident in opposition ruled states, preferred to maintain defeaning silence. How could one believe that the editors of TV channels and the editors of national newspapers were not aware of the grim violence overwhelming Manipur? Or, did their jobs require them to stay mum? Either way, it’s a disgrace. (IPA Service)