Members of the civil society of Lucknow were seen urging the common man to topple the BJP government at centre in 2019 general election
Ghazanfar Abbas |Caravan Daily
LUCKNOW — Concerned about the dangers posed by the ‘anti-constitutional policies’ to the pillars of Indian democracy, members of the civil society urged the common man to topple the Bharatya Janata Party in 2019 elections, in order to save India from becoming a complete lawless-fascist state.
They during the conference, “Attacks on Constitution and Our Role” to commemorate Dr BR Ambedkar at Kaifi Azmi academy in Lucknow, also spoke at length about issues like communal polarisation, fake encounters, rise in crime committed against women and Dalits, and how media and judiciary were losing its credibility.
However, it was Uttar Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act (UPCOCA), 2017 which stole the limelight. This recently passed law by Yogi Adityanath’s government is an adaptation of the controversial Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Speaking about the same, former Inspector General (IG) of Police, S R Darapuri, said: “UPCOCA is more draconian than UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) and MACOCA. BJP is passing such draconian laws to suppress dissent.”
He then went on to speak about police encounters in UP. He said, “Fake encounter of Muslims, Dalits and other backward classes have become a norm in Uttar Pradesh. I am confirmed that 99 percent of these encounters, which is being, carried out in Yogi’s regime are fake. These are extra judicial killings, which the government is presenting as a big achievement.” After a pause, Darapuri asked, “Are such encounters allowed in our criminal justice system?” He then rhetorically answered, “The pattern is similar to the fake encounters carried out under the direction of the then chief minister and home minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, respectively.”
During the conference he claimed that the legislative, executive and judiciary, the three pillars of democracy, were all in danger.
He scathingly attacked the recent Supreme Court verdict, which many have termed as dilution of the SC/ST Act 1989. He said: “The accused in this case had approached the court seeking justice by claiming that the SC/ST Act had been wrongly imposed on him. The SC/ST Act had not been challenged. Despite central government being a party in the case, when the judge gave judgment by generalizing that the Act was being misused by many.”
He further accused the BJP of now consolidating the upper caste vote. “Till now the polarisation was happening on the basis of religion. But on realizing that they were losing out on Dalit votes, they are now focusing of consolidating the upper caste vote. Dilution of the SC/ST Act is a move in that direction.”
He warned people that resisting the policies will not be the way out to contain fascism. “We will have to vote in such a way that BJP doesn’t come into power in the 2019 elections.”
It was not just Darapuri, but several other eminent civil rights activists, academicians and writers, who called for unity and public mobilization to kick out BJP from power.
Activist Shabnam Hashmi said: “All the experiments including fake encounters, panic in the name of terrorism, controlling over media, lands grabbing, atrocities against Dalits, use of cow for riots and mob lynching have already done in Gujarat. Those who really want to kick out BJP and RSS (Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sangh) need to understand that those very experiments are now being implemented in various parts of the country.” She added that the emergence of youth leaders like Alpesh Thakur, Jignesh Mevani and Hardik Patel were the outcome of the fight of the civil society against hatred and communalism in Gujarat.
“People have understood that those in present regime are criminals, murderers and goons, so there is a need to bring the people together and speak the truth as it is the only weapon to defeat the fascist forces,” she said.
Adding to that academician KK Katheria said: “Congress also had damaged the Indian Constitution, but in the past four years it feels as if it has been kept in an almirah and the country is being run from Nagpur (referring the RSS headquarters). We have to stop BJP in 2019; otherwise it will gift a Hindu Rashtra, RSS on its 100th anniversary, which is in 2025.”
While, Rajeev Yadav of Rihai Manch said: “All political parties are trying to hijack Dr Ambedkar, today. But at the same time there is a sudden rise in the number of Dalit atrocity cases. Plus an anti-Muslim environment has also been created by BJP. Surprisingly, we are now witnessing Muslim women being arrested on charges of cow slaughter. And through fake encounters and mob lynching, the concept of civil society is being suppressed.”