It is outrageous that police stood idle when an armed mob got menacingly close to the guest house where former Vice-President Hamid Ansari was staying.

Was the violent demonstration by a Hindu mob at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) only an expression of patriotism by people angry about the presence of M.A. Jinnah’s portrait on the campus?

Is it only a coincidence that members of the Hindu Yuva Vahini chose to launch the assault on a day former vice-president Hamid Ansari was in the university to receive lifetime membership of the AMU student union?

What is being portrayed as a clash between a “mob of patriots” and AMU’s “angry students” should be seen as an attempt to attack the former Vice-President.

The demonstrators were allowed by police to reach AMU’s Bab-e-Syed, which is very close to the guest house where Ansari was staying. Arms were openly brandished and abusive slogans raised by the mob, which was being allowed to move towards the guest house.

When AMU students saw that the mob was not being stopped effectively by police, they decided to resist them. Six members of the mob were overpowered and handed over to police. However, instead of booking them, police let them off.

When the students decided to go to the police station to demand an FIR against the six, police lathi-charged the students and used tear gas.

Now, the media is presenting it as a clash between “patriots” and AMU students, and the subsequent episode as a “clash” between students and police.

It is outrageous that police stood idle when an armed mob got menacingly close to a guest house where a former VP was staying. The media distracts itself by a portrait while not questioning the deliberate negligence of police.

A teacher friend from AMU told me that the BJP MP who raised the portrait issue first gave the vice-chancellor a 48-hour notice to get it removed.

Then why did he and his followers not wait for the notice period to get over before launching the assault? The only explanation available is that it was, in fact, Ansari who was the target of the attack.

The animosity of the BJP and RSS affiliates towards Ansari is a known fact. They have mocked him, and abused him. The Prime Minister even used the occasion of his farewell to target him with barbs.

Abhishek Srivastava of Media Vigil takes us 10 years back to help us understand the seriousness of the attack on Ansari. In a similar, but more violent and effective, attack, a mob had vandalised the studio of Headlines Today at Delhi’s Videocon Tower on 17 July 2010. None other than Ram Madhav, now the BJP general secretary, owned the action even as he apologised for the “minor damage” caused to the studio. Why was the channel attacked? Because it had run a tape that exposed a conspiracy to physically target Ansari, then the Vice-President.

It is interesting that there was no follow-up of this sensational exposé. Headlines Today did not withdraw or disown the report, which is still available on the India Today website.

The chargesheet is in the record of the courts dealing with the Malegaon blast case. But everything has been conveniently forgotten. It is this amnesia that prevents us from connecting the dots.

The armed demonstration near the AMU guest house will be dismissed and justified as an expression of nationalist emotions; its criminality forgotten.

Apoorvanand teaches Hindi at Delhi University.

 

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  1. In words of the ever great and funny Kunal Kamra ” Agar Pakistan nahi hota toh tu patriotic hota Kya?”. I genuinely believe that we’re walking back towards middle age and there is no one more responsible to this than BJP. People assume crap like it’s their job to make a fuss about anything to sound like they’re protecting the country. These are students. That’s their university. Imagine barging into someone’s house with guns and it’s natural that they will try to protect it. It was never about Jinnah but made out to look like it by our very own Kyunki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi media. But tell me this, China is our enemy because they’re enroaching our territory. But how many of us not use made in china products? But I guess, our Patriotism depends on how much attention we can grab and how convenient it is. Fight for women safety. Fight for freedom of speech. Fight for a better country. A picture hanging in a university which can never rape a women can wait. Shame on you BJP. Shame on the government. Oh wait, ache din agaye. But what do they have against students? First DU, JNU and now AMU. Focus on better things that does not involve lathi charge on students trying to file an FIR against those who tried to attack the former Vice- President of India. But who gives a damn. Let’s protect cows and not humans.

  2. Wow.Hindu mob.That’s intetesting.Do you call the mob that vandalised Shaheed Smarak at Mumbai as Muslim mob?Probably you did’t dare.

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