BY RSN SINGH

The recent dharna at the venue of the Republic Day Parade was a perfect lesson as to how external security and internal security conflate with politics. When the politics of the day assaults on the integrity of India, it is the Constitution which comes to the rescue of the State. Perniciously, this time the assault was not from extra-constitutional forces, but the elected government in Delhi. The assault was spearheaded by the Chief Minister, who continued to spit venom on the State.

His venom was unforgivingly directed at the Republic Day, which celebrates the very Constitution that made him the Chief Minister. The Republic Day Parade draws men and women, boys and girls from all parts of India. It is a perfect symbol of national integration, sovereignty and aspirations of India. Young boys and girls of the NCC wake up at 4 O’clock in the morning in the Delhi cold to rehearse for the Parade. Those children who win the bravery awards come with their parents to the Capital, full of pride and enthusiasm. The young girls’ band of Birla Public School is a regular feature. Widows receive gallantry awards on behalf of their martyred husbands and children. It is these martyrs, because of whom we live in security, the same security without which Mr. Kejriwal cannot carry out his dharnas.

If Mr. Kejriwal really understood the élan and pride that the participants evince in the Republic Day Parade, he would have probably not decried it in the manner in which the Maoists, the insurgents and separatists do. This author while writing a book on Maoism, interacted with the District Magistrate of Gaya district in Bihar, the DM narrated an incident wherein the Maoists had issued a diktat that black flags will be hoisted on the Independence Day in all schools in the area under their terror. In one of these schools, one eight year old girl could not bear the sight of a black flag being unfurled. She in a patriotic rage brought the black flag down, tore it, and hoisted the national flag. The girl and her family were subsequently compelled to relocate themselves. Is it surprising that the core of the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ comprises over-ground Maoists, Maoist sympathizers and ‘collapsed ultra-leftists’?

A perusal of the documents issued by the Central Committee of the Maoists in India makes it evident that their final objective is to capture the Indian State. In the bid to capture the State the Maoists have divided their push for taking over the State into three broad phases, i.e. Phase-1 (strategic defence): capture of rural areas; Phase-2 (strategic stalemate): characterized by balance between security forces and Maoists armed strength; and Phase-3 (strategic initiative): capture of the epicenter of power. In this endeavor they elicit the support of all anti-state forces. Therefore, Prashant Bhushan’s advocacy for separatists and referendum on the deployment of State forces in Maoist affected areas should be seen in this backdrop. Also Mr. Kejriwal’s comments on Batla House encounter and his refusal to comment on Pakistan amounts to pandering to jihadi forces and Pakistan. One does not call a press conference to give merely inane remarks on issues of such vital security interests. The design is therefore obvious.

The Chief Minister could have gained equal amount of media traction, had he chosen to abide by the order of carrying out his dharna at Jantar Mantar. The purpose, however was sinister. It was to pose a threat to the nerve center of India, i.e. the South Block, North Block, Parliament and Rastrapati Bhawan complex. It is for this reason that he duped the authorities by first stating that only he and his cabinet colleagues would form part of the dharna. Once he established himself he gave a call to cadres from all parts of the country to converge on the nerve center of India. What saved the situation was the insipid heed to his call and the vigilance of Delhi Police.

The objective to capture the nerve center was betrayed by the very language of the Chief Minister. He went to the extent of saying that it was not for the Union Home Minister to decide whether he as Chief Minister will sit on dharna, instead it is he, who would decide where the Home Minister of India should have his office. Significantly, the target was not Mr Shinde, but the institution of Home Minister. He could have well issued the same threat to the Supreme Court of India?

All through the ‘Aam Aadmi’ leader emphasized on his status as Chief Minister and his right to dharna, anywhere and everywhere in Delhi, as ‘real democracy’. The Chief Minister should reflect on the outcome, if another group of ‘aam aadmi’ opposed to him occupy the same venue and contest his dharna in the same democratic refrain.

Apart from other pressing considerations, it is to guard against such imponderables of rogue Chief Minister that the Delhi Police cannot be placed under Delhi Government. Imagine what would have been Mr Kejriwal’s response when information was given about presence of terrorists in Batla House? He would have probably refused to order the Delhi Police to take action. It must be underscored that for most federal security and intelligence agencies located in the Capital, the Delhi Police is the armed executive force in support. A rogue Chief Minister with Delhi Police under him can even order the arrest of the Home Minister, an institution for which Mr Kejriwal showed complete disdain and disregard.

The plan of dharna was therefore well planned and calculated. It was a trial assault on India’s nerve center. What saved India from this assault was the Constitutional safeguards.

Democracy and Constitutional culture evolves. Every country passes through its period of trials and tribulations, hits and misses in the evolution of political culture and awareness. India is no exception. Even UK, the mother of Westminster democracy, has one of the most abnormal coalition government of Conservatives and Liberals, which some may say is travesty of democracy.

Mr Kejriwal displayed total hatred for national symbols and institutions. He has no business to abuse the same very system that subsidized his education and allowed him ‘study leave’ at Aam Aadmi (taxpayer’s) expense, which later had to be returned under legal threat.

Mr Kejriwal also said that from now onwards the Republic Day will be in his style. He did not have the intellectual capacity to appreciate that the Prime Minister of Japan was not coming as a Chief Guest to watch his style of Republic Day. I can bet that none repeat none in Mr Kejriwal’s cabinet knows the significance of emerging geopolitical equation between India and Japan.

The country cannot be hostage to such vicious plots by any Chief Minister in the garb of democracy. India cannot permit externally funded anti-national outfits to dismantle the constitutional framework, rather the country itself by such sophisticated plots.

(RSN Singh is a former military intelligence officer who later served in the Research & Analysis Wing. The author of two books: Asian Strategic and Military Perspective and Military Factor in Pakistan, he is also a Guest Blogger with Canary Trap)