BY RSN SINGH
The former Army Chief General VK Singh accompanied by half a dozen Lt Gens and Maj Gens proceeded to India Gate to pay homage to martyrs at Amar Jawan Jyoti on March 1, 2014. As they were preparing themselves to lay the wreath, they were suddenly hemmed in by personnel of anti-riot force of Delhi Police, some 150 in number. Soon water cannons were deployed all around. The police officers said that they were under the instructions of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The plausible mistake by the retired Army officers – they were going to join a political party, antagonistic to the ruling dispensation.
Ordinarily, every desirous citizen should be facilitated to lay wreath on Amar Jawan to martyrs as a mark of respect and gratitude. Whatever the occasion or motivation, obeisance to national symbols strengthens the process of nation building.
Nevertheless, giving the benefit of doubt to the authorities, one can grudgingly buy the argument that given the sensitivity of the area as the country’s nerve center, such activity needs to be monitored, regulated and if the situation so demands, prevented.
In the wake of Gujjar agitation in 2007, this author had written an article, “Gujjar Agitation: Internal Security Ramifications” published in Indian Defence Review (Jul-Sep 2007), in which the danger to country’s nerve center was highlighted as follows:
Decisive and appropriate action should have been taken once the critical links between Delhi-Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Rajasthan were blocked. The agitation was called off not owing to any pressure by the government, but because of the counter threat by another community i.e. the Meenas. In absence of any well-defined threshold levels and contingency plans, in future our Parliament or Rashtrapati Bhavan or PM’s Residence or Supreme Court may well be put under siege if mobs continue to have their way.
India’s political and social landscape is increasingly being characterised by mob culture, which constitutes the major internal security threat. It is the biggest distraction towards establishment of a civilised society. It is the biggest challenge to the rule of law. Larger the mob more is the impunity with which laws can be violated. A mob is a vicious phenomenon. It is basically a conglomeration of cowards, who seek refuge in collective courage and are therefore inherently violence prone.
However, considering the sensitivity of the nerve center, it is intriguing how Arvind Kejriwal was allowed to stage dharna at the Rail Bhawan days before the Republic Day Parade, against all norms, despite all intelligence warnings and in flagrant violation of laws applicable for the security of the country and the Aam Aadmi.
In democracy protests and demonstrations are not only permissible, but to a great extent desirable, as it serves as a safety valve and medium to ventilate frustrations and grievances. In all decent democracies, specific areas are marked for the purpose. Kejriwal, accordingly was allocated Jantar-Mantar. Yet, he chose the vicinity of India Gate – the same nerve center. Why was he not prevented as in the case of senior retired Generals, led by General VK Singh?
Kejriwal was in violation of Section 144. He duped the authorities and the nation by undertaking the promise that he will protest alone with just four or five colleagues. Once plonked, he began to abuse the Republic Day Parade and functions, symbols on which patriotic Indians are weaned on. He then urged police personnel to shed their uniform and join his dharna. In other words, he instigated them to revolt. Further, he abused India’s Constitution by saying that it is he who, as Chief Minister will decide where the Home Minister of the country will have his office. He incited people of the country to congregate at his dharna site. The government till then was a mute spectator.
In drawing a parallel with the treatment meted out to Gen VK Singh and other former Generals, one cannot but be compelled to conclude that Kejriwal’s actions were facilitated by the ruling dispensation. The government in fact showed no urgency as if it was indulgent in allowing a script to unfold.
All items of food and comfort were allowed unhindered access to the dharna site. It was a satyagrah with quilts, mattresses and pillows. It was a satyagrah where the leader was allowed to bring his car and function from there. It was a satyagrah where the leader as a Chief Minister was perusing and disposing files in the comfort of his car. It was a satyagrah which in its wake left behind empty bottles of liquor. It was a satyagrah where media personnel were threatened and intimidated.
The facilitation angle by the government and foreign powers is quite evident. Looking in retrospect, it emerges that there was a desperation to meet a dictated deadline, against which Kejriwal was working. Within that deadline, it is now apparent, that he had to be mutated from a reluctant Chief Minister, to a national leader, to sacrificer and finally as counterpoise to Narendra Modi. This mutation could not have happened in Jantar-Mantar, as there would have been little media traction. The desired level of traction was only possible if Kejriwal was allowed to attack symbols of India’s sovereignty, the Republic Day Parade being the most profitable.
This script by a very small core group of the ruling dispensation is targeted at marginalization and destruction of most of the old members. To maintain credibility, the script also necessitates calibrated assault on its own top functionaries, not to include the main architects. Guess who? If one were to delve deep into Kejriwal’s and Yogendra Yadav’s association with the key-group and members of ‘National Advisory Council’, it is not very difficult to unravel this script from the time Kejriwal was made to infiltrate Ramdev’s camp.
Politics notwithstanding, the worrying part is that the impetus behind Kejriwal is not only the political segments in the country. He is a sort of trained agitational mercenary being used as a political front by vested interests within the country and outside. It is these forces that have made him travel this distance from Magsaysay Award. In this journey he has fine-tuned himself in the art of ‘destabilization’. Assisting him in this bid has been one Shrimit Lee, allegedly a CIA agent, who is Kejriwal’s mentor and associate in destabilization games, the kind one witnessed in various parts of the world including Egypt and now Ukraine. Shrimit Lee, an American national, an associate of Kejriwal in his Kabir Foundation, traveled from India to Egypt to bring back Arab Revolution technology. It is for this reason, Anna’s agitation, purely masterminded by Kejriwal and his associate, had vulgar resemblance with the agitation at Tahrir Square in December 2010.
Indians need to ponder about the consequences, if at the call of Kejriwal, lacs of people had made a concourse for the dharna site at Rail Bhavan during the period of Republic Day Parade and celebrations. They would have then taken over India’s nerve center, i.e. the North Block, South Block, Rastrapati Bhavan and the Parliament.
India was saved of the consequences by the President, who reportedly conveyed a strong warning. But in Ukraine only a month later, in somewhat a similar situation, the President of that country, Viktor Yanukovych, was not so lucky. His official residence was taken over by the mob and vandalized. He was forced to leave the country.
India does not deserve to be Ukraine and no patriotic Indian deserves to suffer Kejriwal.
(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. The opinions expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Canary Trap or any employee thereof)