Mangaluru incident: another Davinder Singh model operation?text_fields
Most of the debates coming as offshoots of the controversy around the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), will tell us the depath of penetration of the impact of Islamophobia into the body politic , drummed up by the sangh parivar ever since its formation. Indian Muslim has become an individual constantly under suspicion. The criteria to decide right and wrong and the parameters of evaluations all undergo a sudden change depending upon the religion and caste of the ones listed among the accused. A clear example has emerged in the aftermath of the detection of a bomb in Mangaluru International Airport.
Even before any facts about the incident could be ascertained beyond the CCTV image of a suspected culprit coming out of an auto, it was portrayed as an attempt for a terrorist attack. Karnataka's home minister Basavaraj Bommai's first reaction was with an allegation by attributing the act to the anti-CAA protesters in Mangaluru and to Keralite Muslims groups. Soon came news coated with a communal colour to the effect that the next target of the terrorists was Kadri temple in Andhra Pradesh and that some questions the man asked the auto driver were about this location.
Simple rational questions like whether a terrorist would ask an auto driver about a temple in Andhra may not have any place in such fiction. Sangh parivar social media and papers lost no time in celebrating this propaganda and thus promoting hatred against Muslims. But before the suspect was arrested, JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy had called a press meet and raised some doubts about the mysteries in the incidents. And later he came to the picture again through a presser in Chikmagalur with a severe criticism that the incident was part of the government plot to make Mangaluru a communally disturbed area in which City Policfe Commissioner PS Harsha also had a role.
Kumaraswamy also charged that what was behind the episode was a plan to alienate Muslim community with a fear of the other, and to destroy Mangaluru economically. For over a decade, the Muslim youth of Mangaluru have been given the image of anti-nationals. But the key question whether this was a design to ignite a fire of riot in a region where communal polarisation had already created social chasms, will remain without an answer.
Both the police and the Karnataka government had called those who had conducted peaceful protests in Mangaluru against the citizenship law, anti-nationals. The chief minister of Karnataka BS Yedyurappa, who refused to offer compensation to two youths who lost their lives in the one-sided police violence, said that those who died while committing anti-nationalist acts could not be given compensation. And the BJP government followed it up with a fiat that if all Malayalis who were present in Mangaluru on the day of protests had to be exempted from the allegation of being anti-national, they had to give an explanation.
What Kumaraswamy's allegations point to is that Mangaluru's police, notorious for its communal bias, tried and failed in its atttempt for a 'Davinder Singh model conspiracy' of Kashmir. The accused, Aditya Rao is one who was listed among the accused of making a bogus bomb scare in Bengaluru International Airport in 2018. News coming in now about the accused tell that the life of Aditya Rao, who leads a life isolated from family, is riddled with mystery and bearing a criminal background.
The interest of the ruling dispensatios in generating racial prejudices and in the manufacture of artificial consent, is all too evident. The still unanswered questions around the parliament attack also convince us that the way the ulterior motives of governments function is even beyond common sense. The real picture of what was detected about the bomb discovered in the Mangaluru international airport is also likely to be dissolved in infinity without any answers.
The explanation given by police after the arrest of the engineering graduate named Aditya Rao, is that he was prompted to commit the crime by the despair following failure in the interview and resultant mental stress. In books of history, we can also see a justification for the assassination of Mahatma Andhi that Nathuram Godse was a psychic youth. In an era when hatred is a hallmark of a government, it would be nothing but absurd to demand before the Centre or Karnataka government to make an honest probe into what exactly happened in Mangaluru airport.