By deploying bulldozers without due process, Yogi has made it clear he couldn’t care less for Constitution

For UP CM Yogi Adityanath, whose govt unapologetically razes properties of alleged law breakers with bulldozers, the Constitution is merely a book containing some articles


Arun Srivastava

In the New India of RSS and Narendra Modi, it is the lathi and not the rule of law that defines and underlines the character of India. Though the RSS and BJP leaders don’t tire of claiming that India has not deviated from its traditional path and continues to be a democratic country, the fact is that in New India, the Constitution and democracy have lost their relevance.

The best example has been Yogi Adityanath’s governance model in Uttar Pradesh. For him, the Constitution is merely a book containing some articles.

What is worse, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi prefers to maintain a studied silence on this trampling of the law of the land and the Constitution. It is well known that Modi did not ever pull up or chided Yogi for his misdemeanours. Modi’s silence is pervasive and loud. By maintaining a passive attitude, he simply endorses Yogi’s actions.

In a civilised, constitutionally-run government with a vibrant democratic functioning, a government is not supposed to resort to any kind of unconstitutional action. These measures are pursued by autocrat rulers and kings. Strangely enough, Indian history is replete with instances where even the rulers and maharajas did not resort to such nasty highhandedness.

The use of bulldozers to smash and shatter residential houses of perceived dissenters and ‘enemies’ is a sad commentary on the times we are living in. The RSS and BJP have been projecting the use of bulldozers to punish political rivals as something of an innovative idea to promote its hate politics, imbedded in the innocuous framework of ‘good and effective governance’.

The use of bulldozers underlines the government’s utter lack of confidence and trust in the country’s laws and statues. It is a shameful development. If an ordinary citizen violates the law of the land and goes against the rules, he is instantly penalised by the police, even sent to the jail and described as anti-national and criminal, but a chief minister who indulges in such acts is being eulogised and projected as ‘visionary’. What a paradox indeed.

The politics of bulldozer is also a challenge to the higher judicial system. The government has virtually bulldozed the judiciary. If the government had any respect for the higher judiciary, it would not have acted in this manner.

Under basic rules, the police must investigate if any crime has been alleged to have been committed. If evidence of the same is found, the police can proceed legally. But no law grants right to the police to demolish the house of an alleged breaker of law.

The Supreme Court and higher judiciary should have taken suo motu action.

It seems that the government intends to send the message that the courts can’t harm it and that it is above the judiciary. The SC and HCs should have stepped in to preserve the fundamental rights of the people, but they haven’t done so till date.

The Muslim community also nurses the feeling that since Union Home Minister Amit Shah is preparing the ground for implementation of the CAA, such actions are being taken to terrorise them and force them to refrain from resorting to any protests by them.

But the ‘credit’ for bringing heavy-duty bulldozers into political use and limelight undoubtedly goes to Yogi Adityanath. He deployed the bulldozers with the alleged task of upholding the rule of law.

Significantly, the prime targets for demolition have been members of the Muslim community. Due to its ‘success’ in demolishing the homes and hopes of the Muslims in UP, bulldozers have been effectively used on the plea of upholding the rule of law in Khargone in Madhya Pradesh and in Jahangirpuri in Delhi after communal riots.

Ironically, the rulers in their zealousness to punish their ‘rivals’ often ignore even directives issued by the Supreme Court. Demolitions in Jahangirpuri didn’t stop even after the apex court issued a stay order. Such incidents lay bare the intentions of the government.

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has criticised Yogi and his government for ‘exempting itself from the Indian Constitution,’ a day after the UP chief minister said that bulldozers will continue to crush ‘criminals and mafias’ in the state. Yogi has made it clear that he cares little for the Constitution and the rule of law.

(IPA Service)

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