Bulldozers over a community's chesttext_fields
The earth-moving equipment popularly known as JCB was built by the British entrepreneur Joseph Cyril Bamford in 1945. But the current expansion of the abbreviation given by the sangh parivar troll army is 'Jihad Control Board'. For quite some time, BJP governments have converted this equipment to one of the weapons to attack Muslims, and the new nickname represents that. Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is now getting known as 'Bulldozer Baba', a name given with respect, and which he won thanks to his method used to attack opponents. But last week showed the extension of UP's bulldozer to Madhya Pradesh too, where in the name of Ram Navami celebration in the town of Khargone, anti-Muslim violence was carried out, like in several other places. And the Muslims who resisted the assaults were framed on riot charges by the police. By normal practice, those booked in riot cases would be arrested and taken through due process of law. But in Khargone, the government adopted curious methods: it went on a demolition spree on the houses and shops of the accused. And now MP chief minister Shivraj Chauhan has taken the pseydonym of 'Bulldozer Mama'. Dozens of Muslim shops and homes have been brought down in the area. Thereafter, the bulldozer raj has crossed over from UP and MP to Delhi. In Jahangirpuri in Delhi, the municipal corporation authorities razed many residences and business establishments, again using bulldozer. The demolition operation was launched with a huge presence of armed police. Muslim body, Jamiatul Ulama-i-Hindi took up the matter before the Supreme Court. The apex court stayed the demolitions. But the authorities still went ahead with the operation on the pretext that they did not receive the order. It was only after the lawyers made a second plea before the Supreme Court, and the bench ordered immediate cessation of demolitions that the officials agreed to stop the operation.
A few days ago, there were some clashes in Jahangirpuri in connection with Hanuman Jayanti. But the residents stood as one to resist the riot created by Hindutva extremists. The new bulldozer operation jointly conducted by North Delhi Muncipal Corporation and the Union Home ministry was a revenge against this. Ever since then, the BJP state president had been demanding the eviction of Jahangirpuri residents saying it was a camp of Bangladeshi migrants. Wednesday's operation came as its sequel. Only thanks to the apex court's mercy were the houses and means of livelihood of many spared from destruction. But by that time, a good number of the owners had lost them. The BJP argues that the government was only evicting illegal occupations. But even if they were encroachments, the eviction process has to follow certain rules and procedures, including serving due notice and hearing the alleged violators. But displacing batches of hapless people from where residents have been living and working in for generations, is nothing short of a fascist fast-track. It also needs to be noted that these premises had water and power connections granted by the government. It was in such circumstances that the poor residents were suddenly deprived of their livelihood built with years of toil. If at all it was an operation of evicting illegal occupants, the question arises why that is applied predominantly in the case of Muslim-occupied structures. That gives a clear clue that the authorities were evidently aiming at not eviction encroachment, but uprooting Muslim lives and insulting them. Through all this, the BJP establishment has been consistently giving the message that Muslims are a despicable lot and deserving to lead their lives only at the majority's mercy. True, contrary to previous experience, a modicum of resistance to the sangh parivar attacks has been coming from the victim community. And the bulldozer technique aims at nipping such resistance in the bud. The aim of the assailants is sending a message that Muslims would not be allowed to live a life of self-respect.