Let me, first of all, reiterate and support that the Idea and ethos of India are that it is a nation of the multi-cultural and multi-religious nation. It is also a nation of that prescribes fundamental rights to all its citizens under its written constitution and where there is the rule of law – that governs the conduct of every one of its citizen.
Sir, So let's be clear that we as a house must say loud and clear that use of violence to settle any dispute is wrong. The right to movement, liberty and life are fundamental and guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Using violence and taking lives is wrong even when it is about issues sensitive to many like Protecting cows.
And so our Prime Minister and government is absolutely right to condemn it and ask State governments and their police to ensure that the law is followed
I want to make three broad points in this issue – Let me start by establishing one basic principle – The Constitution provides explicit protection against cow slaughter in Article 48 except for a few exempt states, and there are laws that prohibit cow slaughter.
There is a need to do some plain speaking - The sensitivities of the Hindu community are as important as the sensitivity of the Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Parsi communities. I am sure none of my colleagues will have a problem accepting that principle. So if the large majority of Hindus in some parts of our country have strong views about the treatment of Cows - there is no escaping the fact that those views have to be addressed and debated and not just trifled with or dismissed as inconvenient.
That is the nature of our democracy. So when members of the Congress or the Left slaughter a cow on the streets of Kerala or have beef melas – let us be clear that these are provocative acts against the sentiment of one community. Again just doing some plain speaking.
Secondly – That of this prevailing double standards and hypocrisy that some in Politics practice towards this issue of life and liberty and violation of the law.
As I have said On the issue of intolerance and lynching. This is clearly wrong and needs to be dealt with all severity under the law. But violent crime should not have double standards. Take my esteemed colleagues from the Left – They have made it almost a practise to talk of Intolerance – almost trademarking that phrase and of course practising a high degree of sophisticated hypocrisy.
I heard with rapt attention my friend Sitaram Yechury – and his eloquence in unmatched – referring to Mein Kampf to Swami Vivekanada to Shakespeare. I am Kendriya Vidyalaya and Engineering/Computer Science product and can't compete at that level of literature but I can for our benefit of all of us repeat what he said –“Cult of violence”.
NYT quote of “Pandering to Hindu right”, “Antithetical to constitutional values, “Diff human images into one” “What did mother India teach?” etc etc.
I have no dispute with him on his commitment to constitutional values and the law. That is to be welcomed. But he must answer why his followers in Delhi and other intellectual capitals who are now finely honed intolerance protester group are strangely silent when Scores of political workers and innocent family members are hacked to death in Kerala or Karnataka. In Kerala, in the 14 months since the Left government has taken over 15 killings have been reported. In Karnataka 25 killings of RSS/BJP workers since 2015. There is a deafening Silence when vicious violence is perpetrated on a woman actress in Kerala abducted in broad daylight and molested till the media raises a furore.
Not a word or Interview or wisdom or pontification. Is this not a cult of violence in Kerala? Are these killings not antithetical to constitutional values? Isn’t Intimidating political opponents in Kerala n Karnataka closer to Mein kampf or Stalinist description of different human images into one? Isn’t your stand Almost signalling that some violent crimes are ok so long as some are not.
This silence is also as stark and obvious from the Congress Ghulam Nabi ji
So Sir, let us please stop this charade of hypocrisy and double standards. Let us agree here today that ALL violence and crime should be treated as that – violent crime. Not thru the selective prism of political expediency or rhetoric. All crime and criminals must only be tested through law and constitution.
Third point - Let us focus where the problem is- The need to modernise and depoliticize our Police. The police have over the last 5-6 decades in almost all states been hopelessly corroded, politicised and corrupted. Instead of being public servants police forces including the most dedicated of them are being forced to toe political lines and priorities rather than safeguarding the right to safety of the citizen.
Only over the last few days, we have seen the shameful sight of Karnataka CM shunting out a Lady officer DIG for outing corruption in Bengaluru Jail system. This is on the back of multiple suicides of officers both in Police and bureaucracy. In Kerala for example – the left was silent here when an honest bureaucrat V Sriram was first intimidated by the CM and then transferred out when he tried to take on the vested interests encroaching the Eco sensitive zones and forests of Munnar.
So if you corrode, corrupt and intimidate the police and bureaucracy like this – how can they discharge their duty of safety of common citizens. They can't. So sir, I humbly submit let's brush aside this selective outrage that reeks of double standards - and be outraged at every instance of violent crime and determinedly bring justice for every crime committed – by not politicizing crimes but instead focus on modernising police, re-establishing a nation and states built on principle and the rule of law and robust prosecution.
That is the only guarantor of our plurality and multi- cultural nation and ensure the respect that is due to all faiths and religions that are guaranteed under our Constitution.
(Rajeev Chandrasekhar is also the Chairman of Jupiter Capital, which has investments in Asianet News Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd that publishes Asianet Newsable.)