September 29, 2022

Malik’s public statements have tarnished the decorum that a Governor should be displaying. The SC naturally would remain bystander because of the laws as mentioned above. But Malik’s behavior needs to be taken note of by the President, who appointed him, as well as the Prime Minister who recommended his appointment – as he is besmirching both.

By Lt. Gen. Prakash Katoch

Criminalization of politics is becoming more and more pronounced in India. It is not the pre-poll and during polling violence only but also putrid statements by politicians aimed at dividing communities and inciting violence that are causing unimaginable damage to the solidarity of the nation. Ironically, these individuals go scot free with their political parties at best disassociating with the statement. The laws appear ineffective in such cases because how can one prove the damage caused.  

In 1995, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice AS Anand and Justice Faizan Uddin had ruled that raising slogans couple of times without anything more did not warrant action under Section 124A pertaining to sedition; more overt act was needed to bring home the charge of either sedition or Section 153A, which makes creating disaffection between communities a penal offence. The court was dealing with the case of two public servants who had raised slogans like ‘Khalistan Zindabad’, ‘Raj Karega Khalsa’ and ‘Hindustan Murdabad’ during violence in the country post the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

The massacre of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination was no doubt politically instigated by the then government. Hence, ‘governmental instigation’ could have been cited for these individuals shouting slogans and absolved? But what about these laws that no government has dared to amend? So the ‘Tukde Tukde Gangs’ can multiply, with some joining politics and the nation can be damned. So who can question nonsensical statements by politicians especially during election times?

The massacre of Sikhs after Indira Gandhi’s assassination was no doubt politically instigated by the then government. Hence, ‘governmental instigation’ could have been cited for these individuals shouting slogans and absolved? But what about these laws that no government has dared to amend? So the ‘Tukde Tukde Gangs’ can multiply, with some joining politics and the nation can be damned. So who can question nonsensical statements by politicians especially during election times?

At the Herat Security Dialogue IV in Afghanistan during October 2015, Salman Khurshid, former External Affairs Minister of India was the Keynote Speaker. In his speech, Salman Khurshid spoke of inter regional civilization influences and explained that Hinduism is a way of life that embraces all and that India has Hindus, Muslim-Hindus, Christian-Hindus, Buddhist-Hindus, Jain-Hindus etc.; Hinduism being a common phenomenon. 

But now Salman Khurshid in his just released book ‘Sunrise over Ayodhya’ compares Hindutva to Boko Haram and ISIS (sic). Surely Sallu Mian as some call him knows the characteristic of these two terrorist organizations, also that they are not only among the top 10 terrorist organizations of the world but also among the richest top 10. So why is Sallu denigrating Hinduism after extolling it as “a way of life that embraces all” to delegates from 17 countries including Pakistan and three organizations (UN, NATO and OIC) at Heart? Has he sold his soul, is he seeking membership of ISIS-Boko Haram or is he on their payroll?

The reaction from Congress was a statement by Ghulam Nabi Azad saying, “We may not agree with Hindutva as a political ideology distinct from the composite culture of Hinduism, but comparing it with ISIS and jihadist Islam is factually wrong and exaggeration.” Khurshid’s book is about the Supreme Court judgment on Ayodhya on November 9, 2019, which he has lauded. But does Sallu remember that Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 was when Congress was in power at the Centre and Shilanyas of the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya was done by none other than Rajiv Gandhi in 1985?

Interestingly, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered an official inquiry against a joint secretary for comparing the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party with Taliban on social media. And here Sallu is publishing a full book.

Now Satya Pal Malik, present Governor of Meghalaya is polluting the environment. The chameleon in him can be seen from: MLA from Baghpat (1974-77) on BKD ticket, MP from Aligarh (1989-91) on Janata Dal ticket; lost Lok Sabha election from Aligarh (1996) on Samajwadi Party ticket, and; appointed National Vice President of BJP in 2012. Thereafter this ‘Ganga Gaye Gangadas, Jamuna Gaye Jamunadas’ variety is reaping the bonanza – Governor of Bihar (October 2017 to August 2018), Governor of J&K (August 2018 to October 2019) and Governor of Meghalaya 2020 onwards. 

Malik has been indulging in more baloney after moving out from J&K. He perceives that occasionally extolling Prime Minister Narendra Modi is license for speaking trash publicly. Himself a Jat, Malik addressed the Global Jat Summit on November 9, 2021, saying:   

“You cannot defeat the Sikhs. The four children of their Guru were killed but the Guru did not surrender. You cannot defeat the Jats as well, if you think that the farmer protestors will go back on their own, then, you are wrong. Give them something (accept their demands) and get them going. But don’t do two things. First, do not use force against them. Second, do not send them home empty-handed. Because they (Sikhs) do not forget easily, not even after 300 years.”

“When Mrs. Gandhi destroyed the Akal Takht, she performed a ‘Maha Mritunjaya Yagna’ at her farmhouse. Indira Gandhi knew that she would be killed and she was killed. They killed General Vaidya in Pune and General Dyer in London. I have even said that don’t test the patience of the Sikh community.” 

“Farm laws have led to discontentment within the Army. Anything can happen. Today, you are in power. You don’t know what can be the consequences.”

Closer scrutiny of Malik’s statement brings out the following:

  • He perceives that the circumstances and reasons for the assassination of General Vaidya and General Dyer were the same.
  • By doing so he cannot tell the difference between nationalist Sikhs and Khalistanis because General Vaidya was killed by Khalistanis while Dyer was killed by Udham Singh – a nationalist Sikh. 
  • Indira Gandhi performed Maha Mritunjaya Yagna implies she believed in such Hindu rituals but that such yagnas are ineffective.
  • By saying “you cannot defeat the Sikhs and you cannot defeat the Jats as well, Malik earns his political brownies with both communities.
  • Malik is conveying he warned PM Modi of an Indira Gandhi-type assassination and mutiny in the Army (by Sikhs and Jats?) if the farm laws were not withdrawn? He managed to spook the Prime Minister?
  • It is because of Malik’s warnings that Modi withdrew the farm laws – after 15-moths protests? So what does Malik deserve – ‘Spook of the Year’ award or Bharat Ratna? 

Naturally, Malik would not mention why despite the Supreme Court nominated committee on farm laws having submitted its report on March 19, 2021, the SC did not find it important enough to take it up for the last nine months, on whose behest and no one is questioning why, and why is even the media silent?

By such public statements, Malik has committed sacrilege on two counts: one, painting the Khalistanis and the Sikh community as one – a direct affront to the Sikh community, and; two; insinuating mutiny in the Army. For the latter, he may have taken the cue from the clown called ‘Walky-Talky-Baldy’ (WTB) who after being ‘briefed’ by a Union Minister posted the fake news of a purported Army coup (sic) in a national daily.

By such public statements, Malik has committed sacrilege on two counts: one, painting the Khalistanis and the Sikh community as one – a direct affront to the Sikh community, and; two; insinuating mutiny in the Army. For the latter, he may have taken the cue from the clown called ‘Walky-Talky-Baldy’ (WTB) who after being ‘briefed’ by a Union Minister posted the fake news of a purported Army coup (sic) in a national daily.

Malik’s public statements have tarnished the decorum that a Governor should be displaying. The SC naturally would remain bystander because of the laws as mentioned above. But Malik’s behavior needs to be taken note of by the President, who appointed him, as well as the Prime Minister who recommended his appointment – as he is besmirching both.

Much is being written about why the farm laws were withdrawn; like Punjab regressing into terrorism and Khalistanis planning to plant their flag on the Parliament. But what is new about this threat and surely the Home Minister and the NSA are not wearing bangles. Has the Indian State become so weak? Has the number of Khalistani grown overnight under the noses of the police, IB and other intelligence agencies? Or are they all too in league with the Khalistanis, which led to extended area of responsibility given to the BSF? How many Khalistanis have been rounded up anyway and what about their political patronage and narcotic links?

The fact is that anything and everything that happens in India is connected to vote banks. If it were not for the upcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, the protests would have been continuing. Otherwise, why would it take 15 months to do so? It is the votes of Sikhs and Jats in Western UP and Punjab that were the catalyst, and importantly tie up with the newly formed Punjab Lok Congress for upcoming elections.

Other explanations like WTB’s write up that it is to save Hindutva are trash. So is the theory that NSA will ‘now’ not allow Khalistani supporters to enter India or come back to India. Were they being given unchecked entry and exit earlier by design? Or is that we had no idea of their identities?

It is political free-wheeling all the way; the Agriculture Minister’s photo-op with a Nihang leader and subsequent barbarity at a farmer protest site, Pakistan asking for reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor, Sidhu calling Imran Khan “Bada Bhai” with Kejriwal appreciating Sidhu and promising Rs 1,000 monthly pay for every woman in Punjab no matter where the money will come from. These are but few examples.

The author is a veteran of Indian Army. Views expressed are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of https://strategicaffairsindia.in

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