The pictures of the racial massacre in Delhi are getting clear. Even after a week, victims of the most bizarre communal violence ever witnessed by the capital, have not recovered from its trauma. They are yet to regain the strength to reknit the shattered warp and weft of life and the strength to move on amidst the losses incurred. The hapless men and women struck with a stalemate in Delhi represent the total failure of a great country. Their losses are no small, nor ones that can be easily repaired. But there is one loss that stood out amidst everything – the fall of the modern nation called India.
Independent India would not have seen another incident in which all the foundations of a state have been demolished with such precision and in so planned a manner. In previous cases of genocides – the massacre of Sikhs in Delhi and the Muslim pogrom in Gujarat - even when the ruling establilshments failed, there were minor silver lines of hope in the form of Opposition and the judiciary. But now it is not only the legislature and rulers, but even the judiciary and Opposition that become party either through silence or participation, to the annihilation of the nation. And allegations about the judiciary also being guilty of failing democracy and the constitution, come from none other than former judges and students of law. In earlier era, Fascists and Nazis had implemented racism using democracy. By keeping law on their side, they were suppressing their critics and adversaries by nothing other than the instrument of law; that process included bringing judiciary under their command. And now here, parliament which is supposed to be the house of people's representatives, inaugurated a murder of formal democracy by enacting the citizenship amendment bill even without any meaningful debate.
When the government started implementing its racist agenda with remarkable urgency, the people pinned their hopes on the Opposition and the judiciary. Both have failed on that hope. Needless to say, the opposition is extremely weak; nor does it have a strong leadership. Even then, they were found incapable of rushing in with succour during the days of Delhi's massacre or even of opening their mouth. But the biggest failure was that of Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party government and of its chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. It was a demonstration of Kejriwal's lopsided approach that was witnessed in his inertia even during the dark days of genocide and thereafter his granting of sanction for the probe into charges of sedition against Kanhaiya Kumar and others. True, Delhi's police is under the control of the Centre. But that need not prevent Kejriwal or his party from giving words of solace to the victim and being present with them. In the process he was letting down the huge sections of people who gave him a sterling win against the BJP amidst an extremely communal campaign during the assembly election. And now he has granted sanction for enquiry into sedition charges against Kanhaiya Kumar and other fellow students; the sanction that had been withheld earlier. The moment BJP started hurling charges of blame against AAP, the party suspended the accused Tahir Hussain from membership. The sanction for filing cases against Kanhaiyya and his associates also came together with this.
Kejriwal's acts show that his decisions are not based on any rational principles but taken in an opportune manner with scarce regard for principles. He is not unaware of the circumstances in which sedition charges had been slapped against the students. There was only a single forged CD as evidence in favour of the allegation. Government sanction for the case was earlier denied on the grounds that criticism of the government would not constitute sedition. And only when Kejriwal's earlier public praise for Kanhaiya's stances is put in perspective, do we come to realise in what light fashion he has reneged on the mandate given by the people. Today there are still isolated voices remaining among politicians and judges. But at the same time, the practice of using law and governmental in an anti-people manner is becoming common and accepted. When the law and ruling dispensation turn instruments of suppression, when credible rulers and judges shrink in numbers, the relevance of people's politics above the limitations of party politics is increasing. For a society that had driven away colonial lords using tools of non-cooperation and non-violence, perhaps they have the same means of perseverance at their command even now.