A repression the rulers will rue

June 6, 2011:
Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad, says an ancient proverb. This is what comes to mind in the context of the Government’s unprovoked resort to Operation No-Holds-Barred in the early hours of June 5 against Baba Ramdev and his followers at the Ramlila maidan.

While creating an impression of responding to the call of the Baba against corruption and black money, the Government had already drawn up a full-fledged Orbat for neutralising the Baba. For the meticulous planning, stealthy preparations and thorough-going execution, even the colonial, Imperial British can learn a lesson or two from Independent, democratic India’s present-day powers-that-be.

Coming to think of it, there are many uncanny similarities between the crushing of the Quit Corruption movement by the Manmohan Singh Government and two other defining moments of modern Indian history: The Quit India movement of 1942 and the infamous Internal Emergency of 1975.

The Quit India gathering at Bombay on the fateful night of August 9 was also peaceful. Mahatma Gandhi had, no doubt, called upon the British to Quit India, warning them of a ‘mass struggle on non violent lines on the widest possible scale’. But, at the same time, he had expressed his intention to first meet the Viceroy to explore a decent way out of the impasse.

As in the case of the Quit Corruption movement of Baba Ramdev, well past midnight a huge contingent of Imperial police force swooped on the Congress leaders and dragged them post-haste to railway trains standing at the ready on the platform and spirited them away to unknown destinations. One white Inspector of Police had the barbarity to bodily pull and shake the 73-year old Gandhiji so as to wake him up, and directed the blinding blaze of a five-cell torch on his face from close quarters.

REVOLTING CASES

The Internal Emergency too was similarly sprung on an unsuspecting Jayaprakash Narayan, Acharya Kripalini and other noble heroes who fought the British, putting up with unbearable privations, suffering and sacrifice.

A thousand leaders — outstanding patriots all who had served the country with distinction for far longer periods than Indira Gandhi — were ruthlessly rounded up well past midnight and lodged in jails at places far away from their home States, keeping their kith and kin in the dark about their fate. Even after the names of their prisons were made public, their close relations were made to undergo the mental, physical and financial torture of having to travel long distances at heavy expense to unfamiliar places if they wanted to exercise their right of meeting the detenus at prescribed intervals.

Thus, in all the three revolting cases, the fact that saintly figures (Gandhiji, Jayaprakash Narayan and Baba Ramdev) were leading the movements was of no consequence to the cruel rulers.

In all the three cases, the common ruse employed was to strike well past midnight so that the media did not get wind of the loathsome repression, and the rulers had a respite from public outrage for at least 30 hours.

In all the three cases, the rulers tried to stamp out movements demanding purity in public life and protesting peacefully against monstrous evils (slavery, authoritarian suppression of civil rights, and corruption-cum-black money) which were making a farce of the Constitution and democratic institutions.

In all the three cases, the rulers justified their indefensible excesses by resorting to calumny and vilifications against those speaking for the people.

In the case of Quit India, the British painted it as a ‘deliberate fifth columnist conspiracy’, for strengthening the Axis powers; in the case of Quit Murdering Democracy, Jayaprakash Narain was almost physically eliminated; and a sustained character-assassination of the Baba followed his launch of the Quit Corruption campaign.

What an atrocious irony that those fighting corruption are sought to be traduced and evicted from their legitimate spaces, whereas those who should have been stripped of all their unmerited positions and ill-gotten possessions and thrown into prison for good are indulging in loot and plunder with impunity, right under the noses of the UPA Government!

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/b-s-raghavan/article2079373.ece

Posted on June 6, 2011, in Baba Ramdev's Arrest and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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