My AICC Press Brief dated 22.05.2017

Dr. Singhvi said a lynching movement of innocent people has begun in BJP- ruled States. Lawlessness aided and abetted by the State has become the new India of today. This is the real new normal – not just the new normal you are being taught and told about this is the new India and new normal of the BJP. That is intolerance galore, innocents targeted, State-sponsored violence. This is the new norm. I am going to show you pictures in a moment. No one seems to have forgotten so quickly hands holded, blood soaked body and picture of a man begging for life and I am not talking of Gujarat, I am talking of Jharkhand. They are circulating all over.

This BJP-NDA Government is a Whatsapp Government, a Whatsapp driven Government. It thrives on emotions and vulnerabilities of the people and the uses it deliberately and mischievously to target those who may have different views, different ideologies. It has become the ‘Pehchan’, the modus-operandi and identity of the BJP. What is worse, it amounts to almost State-sponsored activity because every time we find, and some of these pictures in Media which show that the Police act as mute spectators. Law enforcement agencies are mute silent spectators – turning a Nelsonean blind eye but actually encouraging as there is no punishment, there is no fear, in fact therefore, is an encouragement. In Jharkhand, in fact, Police were present – seven people were killed by mobs and figure may increase – I was astonished and shocked to find that even an 80 years old grandmother of the victims was not spared – badly beaten. What is this India we are living – this un-Indian idea of the ‘Idea of India’? Is it the India of mob justice, instant nearest tree hanging, lynching justice in the world’s largest democracy which we are proudly practicing because the philosophy of the ruling dispensation encourage it. Is it a methodology used as an excuse, it is a mindset which covers up the real object which is anti-human rights which is anti-dalit, communal, which is divisive and which is anti-humanity.

This is my sad duty to remind you that Una in Gujarat when people were stripped, paraded naked, who were they, they were human beings like you and me.

Similarly Dadri and Mohammad Akhlaq are not just a statistics – they are imprinted through media into our collective memory. Gruesome incident and Union Minister Mr. Mahesh Sharma termed this gruesome incident as an accident. Is this an accident when people are picked, singled out, plucked out for instant mob justice on mere rumour, on mere suspicion, on mere finger pointing, on mere suggestion, on mere innuendoes, insinuation. 23 former Bureaucrats – some of them very senior level – urged the CM of Rajasthan to arrest those who killed Pehlu Khan. How long could it take? What happened – insensitivity happened, stony silence, inactivity and cover up followed – how many examples – from Jammu to Rajasthan to Haryana. They all happened to be BJP-ruled States is one part of the theory – whether it is Haryana gang rape of 20 years old in Rohtak, whose face was smashed with brick, whether it was the cow vigilantes’ brutal assault on a nomadic family in Jammu – so many examples. The point is that multiplication of examples really does not convey the agony and pain of this country. So, we ask you again is this the new India, is this the new normal of Modi Ji where Modi Ji practices either great ‘Jumlas’, high-sounding sermons or eloquent silence. But in fact, this practice is license to kill which would make James Bond gush. Is this the New India which Modi Ji wants to create, the so unindian India where ruthless mobs take law into their hands, where lynching is instant. Is this the intolerance – intolerance of majoritarianism and they are all encouraged, supported indirectly or directly promoted by the regressive and intolerant remarks of the BJP Leaders and senior bureaucrats and we are not talking of ordinary people, we are talking of Leaders like senior, MPs, MLAs, senior office-bearers.

Ultimately this is because the object is to either get or cling on to power by these divisive tactics, practiced through subterfuge. I have many more examples and particularly remind you of Dabolkar, Pansare and Kalburgi examples where for months and years, the PM has practiced a stony silence and I also remember Rohit Vemula’s example and I also remember the comments of Genl. VK Singh referring a Dalit child as a dog.

The rise of atrocities against Dalits has increased by 38% under the BJP Government at the Centre. Please note the year and the figure – 39,408 in 2013 and 54,355 in 2015 – this is the data of the NCRB – the highest were Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh in the top four States as far as crime against Dalits are concerned.

On the question of reaction of the Congress Party on Mr. Paresh Rawal, BJP MP’s comments on Ms. Arundhati Roy, Dr. Singhvi said it is an important question, you have just validated it. The point of your question is larger and that is not that – I or you have to agree with Arundhati Roy. There are many people in this room who disagree with her including me.

It is precisely the definition of democracy that even when you violently disagree with someone, you will defend to death their right to disagree with you. She is a citizen of this country and for an MP, for the smallest ordinary citizen to express this view shows the mindset which has been and now that you have raised the question, consistently since 2014 they have an anti-NGOs mindset. They may disagree with you, what is the problem.

On the question on Manipur CM’s son, Dr. Singhvi said let me tell you that a man is convicted in 2017 – blunder No. 1 he is charged not for murder but for man slaughter. No. 2 – he is given 5 years and No. 3 apparently he is let off on bail and No. 4 from what we hear, the bail was not opposed. Now the question I am asking you – did this person become CM, did he break parties and defect only to ensure his son’s freedom? What is the object of the political shenanigans we saw in Manipur or is it contemplated that you pick up someone and shoot in road rage. And you are prosecuted and then in 2017 after four years convicted only of man slaughter and that too only 5 years. I think it is very sad and what pictures we have seen of the old mother and the family, is extremely tragic. The most important is that all the homilies that Mr. Modi gives, the NDA gives or the BJP gives, Goa and Manipur, you remember the actual results and this is the true face of the BJP who gives you homilies and sermons on clean governance.

On the situation in Kashmir and especially the incident in Pulwama, Dr. Singhvi said let me make it clear that in the sad trajectory since 1987 in Jammu & Kashmir and we now are roughly 30 years down the line, things have never spiraled out of control to the extent they have now under this Government for 2-1/2 years. Secondly, it is tragic because there is a tremendous theoretical synergy in between the same colour of Government at the Centre and the same coluor of Government in State which rarely happens in J&K. Even in spite of that we are in shambles. Civilian casualties, police casualties, and terror incidents numbers you see. Fourthly given this fact and every segment of the Opposition is very-very sensitively and gravely concerned about this rise, perhaps everyone except the Government of the State and the Centre. Therefore, it is not surprising that initiatives are being undertaken for this purpose. Initiatives have been taken by even former BJP Ministers – whether inside or outside the ‘Margdarshak Mandal’.

And therefore, in case the Government abdicates its constitutional duties for a sensitive State as J&K, it is but natural for Opposition that otherwise may differ across the board on many issues to get together and try their best although they were powerless beyond a point.

Regarding the violence in this connection, Dr. Singhvi further said we have as Congress Party condemned all symbolic, direct, indirect and other activities which are intended to promote separatism. We have condemned it and I repeat its condemnation but it raises a far more important question and that is that we have had the highest, largest number of homilies and sermons on Nationalism from this Government both at the Centre and at the State for the last 36 months. Never before have we been taught about so much about Nationalism – true or fake – and yes under the nose of this Government for the last 36 months, never before has J&K spiraled out of control with such incidents happening. So, follow up your question with the second question – why how is it happening, why is this Government failed at the State as well as at Centre level and yet shamelessly giving us sermons on Nationalism.

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