The bulldozer rule in Uttar Pradesh is emblematic of how far fascism will go when it starts extending its sinews. The Hindutva governments in various states have developed a knack of setting traps for those who protest against the reactionary mind-set and deeds of the rulers. What they carry out are various programs to racially divide the people and herd them to disaster. The brutal demolition of the house of Javed Ahmad, leader of the Welfare Party of India in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh, for allegedly taking to the streets with protest against derogatory remarks about the Prophet , has to be seen as part of this modus operandi.
Several BJP governments are busy cooking up repressive laws to stifle opposition against governments. In UP, the Yogi government introduced a legislation in 2020, providing for recovering compensation from those who destroy private and public property. According to this, government entities or private enterprises who suffer losses as a result of hartal, shutdown or public protests, can lodge a complaint before the Claims Tribunal within three months. The Tribunal will be the final authority to inquire into the case and hand down punishment. Lakhs of rupees in compensation were imposed on protesters against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), by invoking this law. However, the Supreme Court which rejected this as out of line with rule of law, ordered that the compensation amounts be returned, but the apex court allowed the government to proceed with the legislation. That is being used by Yogi's UP, followed by Haryana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Coupled with this, BJP governments entered the scene with a bulldozer raj that annihilates the property and belongings of those who venture to stage protests. When the experiment, which was started in Madhya Pradesh, reached Delhi, the Supreme Court intervened. It was in the same manner that the house of Muslim activist Afreen Fatima in Prayagraj, UP, who was in the forefront of the anti-CAA agitation, was demolished. As was done in Delhi's Jahangirpuri, it was done at very short notice; denying even the natural justice of giving time to seek legal redress, the government arrested Javed and his family and friends, put them in jail and then razed down the house of Javed.
Sporadic clashes had happened in the state in the protests on Friday against the derogatory comments about the Prophet. Under the pretext of those protests, hundreds of people were rounded up in Kanpur, Saharanpur, Prayagraj, Lucknow and Aligarh. Instead of proceeding as dictated by law, what the government did was to slap the new draconian laws, which were made with their typical racial agenda. The BJP-ruled states including UP are thus implementing an malicious justice system, that would dwarf the British rule, in which they block the sources of income of the protesters, confiscate their assets and destroy their property without waiting for trial or judicial decisions. In Madhya Pradesh during April this year, during the developments following the clashes perpetrated by sangh parivar outfits in connection with Ram Navami celebrations, Muslim and Bahujan volunteers who tried to defend victims from attacks were framed in cases and their houses were razed to the ground. The Madhya Pradesh government of Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who earned the sobriquet of 'bulldozer mama', has been pursuing atrocities over the last five years under cover of this law. As revealed by former Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur, in four states including MP, the victims of the attacks were Muslims. When Javed's house was being demolished the other day, what the media advisor to the chief minister of UP, Mrityunjay Kumar officially stated via Twitter was nothing other than this anti-Muslim hatred.
In a way , the BJP is overstepping law to subdue Muslim protests against the revenge politics of sangh parivar outfits and governments. There are land laws in place that give authority to tehsildars to prevent unauthorised construction, and legal procedures in the cities with municipal corporation and town planning departments to deal with such violations. There are also provisions to catch those complicit in clashes under sectdions of 146 and 153 of Indian Penal Code. But without responsibly complying with any of these, the BJP governments have been running roughshod over adversaries in an anarchical march by arbitrary acts and making law a cover for it. It ill-fits democracy to apply law selectively and leave legal system to the mercy of mob pubishments. But none of the precedents of democracy seem to appeal to the Hindutva communalists, who believe in 'apad dharma' which gives a licence to do anything against opponents. What the Nazi bulldozers did in Germany in late 1930s, and what the bulldozers of the Zionist racial regime of Israel is committing in current times are the same revengeful devastation. And to gauge where this will take the country, it is enough to look at such experience of the past and present.