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OPINION | Propagandists Playing Victim as Law & Order Machinery Goes After Delhi Riots Accused

File photo of Jamia student Safoora Zargar.

File photo of Jamia student Safoora Zargar.

The ecosystem must be credited for manufacturing fake narratives so consciously and cunningly.

I came across some news articles and tweets this week about the judicial custody of the chargesheeted conspirator of Delhi riots, Safoora Zargar. She and Meeran Haider have been charged with sedition, possessing arms, murder, attempt to murder, inciting enmity and violence and more. However, Aljazeera gave it a headline ‘…Pregnant woman sent to jail’. Gulfnews and The Guardian have termed it as witch-hunting and Safoora Zargar and Meeran Haider as innocent Muslim students and ‘peaceful’ protesters against CAA.

The Left-liberal (a self-declared term though an oxymoron) eco-system in the country bombarded Twitter with posts which highlighted how a pregnant Muslim woman has been arrested during lockdown and the month of Ramadan for peacefully protesting against CAA. National Coordinator of Congress Party Hasiba Amin wrote on this: ‘Research scholar from JMI in second trimester of pregnancy’ arrested.

Yes, only a woman can be pregnant and secondly, no law stops a ‘student’ or a ‘woman’ or a ‘pregnant woman’ to be arrested if grievous charges of murder of more than 50 persons and rioting are levelled against her. If being a woman student and her pregnancy were no issues while she allegedly became a part of the conspiracy of riots, playing victimhood card for the perpetrators of a grievous crime must stop. These people must read the chargesheet filed by Delhi Police to understand the ‘crime’ she is charged with.

Nevertheless, the ecosystem must be credited for manufacturing fake narratives so consciously and cunningly. It is the same machinery which had tried to create a narrative of the Delhi riots 2020 as an ‘anti-Muslim pogrom’. Then they consciously chose a scapegoat to rest their narrative on Kapil Mishra who had addressed a pro-CAA crowd on February 23 at 3.15pm. Though the rioters had already blocked the Main Road under Jafrabad Metro Station on February 22 at 10pm. The planning of the riots had taken place weeks before.

The anti-CAA protesters-cum-rioters had attacked the police party on February 24 afternoon. Head constable Ratan Lal was shot dead and the DCP grievously injured as 20-30,000 strong crowd armed with rods, sticks, knives, pistols, stones etc. came out from the lanes and by-lanes of Chand Bagh vicinity and attacked police.

This is how the left-liberal propaganda machinery works, preparing a background for an issue, like opposition of CAA on half-baked truths; creating false narratives like CAA is anti-Muslim; then legitimising it through mainstream and social media and using some known faces as mouthpieces and play victimhood if caught. The politically-decimated yet active in media and academia, it thrives on known faultlines of this country- religion, ethnicity, caste etc. It incites an apparently disgruntled section and creates unrest in the society.

This is exactly what happened when this eco-system leapt an opportunity in CAA to use the old faultline, the Hindu-Muslim divide. Shaheen Bagh model of protest and rioting in Delhi was experimented with the support of Islamic fundamentalists. As the well-planned conspiracy of Delhi riots, which killed 53 persons and created mayhem for three days in the end of February 2020, is getting unfolded and arrests are being made, the ecosystem has become super-active in playing victimhood card. Fascism, pogrom, genocide, witch-hunting and Islamophobia are their darling terms as police and judiciary are at work. In the case of Safoora, being a ‘Muslim pregnant woman’ is a perfect combination for them to create an emotional narrative.

A few days back, the ‘hate-India brigade’ had discovered in Sharjeel Imam a meritorious ‘research scholar’ who had got admission in IIT and JNU. Sharjeel is the same person who was booked under UAPA for sedition and inciting violence through his comments to cut-off North-east from rest of India.

The hearts of Left-liberals ever bleed for rioters, terrorists, Maoists and all anti-India people who work against the unity of the country. Yakub Memon, a terrorist and mastermind of 1993 Mumbai blasts which had killed more than 250 people, was executed after appropriate judicial process. However, hearts of liberals went out for Memon and his family. Same way, they could not control their emotions after judicial death penalty of Afzal Guru, the mastermind of attack on Indian Parliament. The pro Afzal slogan-raisers at JNU on February 9, 2016 became their darlings.

When Burhan Wani, the area commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, a proscribed terrorist organisation under Prevention of Terrorism Act, died in an encounter, a TV journalist saw in him the “son of school headmaster who used social media as a weapon of war’’. Another digital platform found in him “a cricket fan, a class topper”, romanticising his image as a poster-boy, a “Kashmiri youth icon”.

This propaganda thrives either on lies or on manipulation of facts. A few days ago another propagandist vented her hatred for India in an interview to a German media network by making a mischievous claim that ‘situation in India is approaching genocide’. She compared Government of India with Nazis. However, her India-bashing outburst is as divorced from reality as were her half-truths in the case of Gujarat riots as she had conveniently hid the trigger of killing of 59 Hindu pilgrims at Godhra railway station.

The modus operandi during anti-CAA protests and Delhi rioting has been to inject communally divisive venom in Muslims, incite them for violence and then provide a shield through intellectual and legal support. All those persons, who lied to innocent people about CAA or NRC and incited them for violence or were active participants in the conspiracy of riots or its execution, are liable to be dealt with sternly as per legal provisions. No emotional narratives, no half truths, no pack of lies should influence the judicial action.

Disclaimer:The author teaches at Ram Lal Anand College, University of Delhi, and writes on contemporary issues. Views expressed are personal.
first published:May 06, 2020, 15:49 IST