OPEN LETTER

A major letdown

A major letdown

Open Letter to Delhi Police Chief B.S. Bassi for downplaying the Patiala House Court attack by lawyers

Dear Bassi

There's a very old saying: You can wake a sleeping man but you can't wake a man who pretends to be asleep. Not surprisingly, you are proactive in sending your team to haul up people serving beef in Kerala Bhavan and don't even think twice to arrest students for sloganeering! The slogans are condemnable but did it make for a case of sedition? Using an elephant to kill an ant? Seriously! I am disheartened that you are not alone but a certain section of our society also thinks that our Constitution is so weak that our country will disintegrate with slogans or did you err in underestimating the intelligence and patriotism of the common man? Or did you, for a moment, thought that you are the Army chief at the battlefront? Does it matter to you that an innocent student is behind bars for alleged sedition? I hope you know that jostling means to push and shove in a bid to get past. These are exactly how you described the incidents of lawyers physically attacking and beating up the students, journalists and teachers on the Patiala House Court premises. Now I understand why we there is no intolerance. We only jostle each other! As a proud Indian let me make some fundamentals clear to you. A country is made up of its people and likewise, India is made up of its citizens like you and me. So, doesn't attacking a fellow Indian for any reason whether big or small make you an anti-Indian? Isn't taking law into one's own hands against the tenets of the Constitution and hence being anti-national? Doesn't defiling our courts—the temple of justice—with violence, an act of anti-nationalism? If the slogans could amount to sedition then won't these shameful acts amount to sedition? Your force chooses not even to arrest these attackers but treat them with kid gloves by giving them invitations of summons. Their anti-social acts were captured on camera and not on a doctored video! Shockingly, these lawyers proudly claimed that they accomplished what our Army could not. Didn't these insult of our bravehearts make yours and your supporters blood boil? You claim to have acted in best interest then. Now that the secrets are out in the open, would you be proactive, just and swift to arrest the conspirators who plotted and propagated this sinister plan? We beg to differ with your thought of nationalism but please don't brand us anti-nationals for being patriotic.

Jai Hind.

Anil J. Rebello

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What a shame!

Greetings from a true nationalist. You must be wondering, whether, as a nationalist, I fall under the category of those who abide by the laws of the land and love their motherland or one who conducts himself as per the diktats of the right-wing elements of the RSS. Sorry sir, I have to disappoint you. I fall under the first category and not under the second one, which, in your perception, personifies ‘nationalism’. There can be no second opinion that one will have to be loyal to his master and perform duties entrusted to him to his satisfaction. That doesn’t mean that one will have to become a slave and do wrong things much against his conscience to gain pecuniary benefits by pleasing his master. We, as citizens of this land, have a lot of trust and confidence in our IAS and IPS officers who are our administrators and keepers of discipline. We also had same respect for you as an IPS officer, which got a lot diluted after you started behaving like the henchman of the ruling dispensation at the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and acted against the elected government of the Union Territory of Delhi. With your confrontational actions against the Delhi government, you confirmed your desire to become a blue-eyed boy of the Union government, which has, allegedly, determined to be a thorn in the flesh of the AAP government at Delhi, for obvious reasons. Then came the JNU sedition drama with you in the lead role ably aided by your team in khaki, which has resulted in a nationwide stir by the students and put the Union government in a spot. However, all this did not deter you from showing your loyalty to your masters. The nation subsequently witnessed an ugly scene when a large band of right-wing goonda-lawyers attacked the students, teachers and the journalists and also manhandled and injured JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar at the Patiala House court premises right under the nose of a posse of your men who stood as mute spectators giving a hunch to the onlookers that all that happened was pre-planned. As if it was not enough, the most nauseating and unkindest cut of all came when you brushed aside the entire dastardly goondaism and assault as an ‘extremely minor attack’! Sir, we learn that you are going to retire at the end of this month. You have shown your loyalty to your masters and you would definitely be rewarded for your ‘valour’ and ‘duty conscious’ deliveries. Though the position of CIC has eluded you now, maybe, for the reason that it would look blatantly preferential, please don’t worry. You would definitely be awarded with a much higher position soon. But don’t you feel that you have sacrificed the respect and reverence that an IAS officer deserves, at the altar of selfishness? I beg your pardon if the anguish of a true nationalist like me is wrong and unwarranted.

Tharcius S. Fernando
Chennai

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On the way out

The primary purpose of a University is to impart quality education to its students. It is not a place for political drama. What happened in the campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University should have been investigated without partiality. But the Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi failed to do so. By arresting the JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar on the charge of sedition, Delhi police have earned a bad name. A mob attacked journalists, teachers and students in Patiala House Courts complex even during the hearing of Kanhaiya's sedition case. But the police chief was not able to control the violence. It shows his inefficiency. At the time of violence, senior advocates came to the court complex as per direction and instruction of the Supreme Court and the advocates witnessed the violence. The TV channels telecast all these scenes. Can Bassi deny it? He said that the police would not oppose Kanhaiya's bail plea. But now he changed his mind by justifying it. It seems he is a man of confusion. Therefore, I suggest Bassi should be removed from the post of Delhi police chief.

A. Bright Rathinam
Chennai

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Respect the law

Dear Commissioner of Police,

I address you not by your name, but by your role to remind you about the responsible law-serving position that you hold for Delhi. I feel that in last few weeks your force's actions and your comments have reiterated the fact that Delhi Police is either a mere spectator or sometimes even the perpetrator of the crime. I use this harsh word “perpetrator” for your department because as a woman I can relate to the feeling of unease approaching a stationed police van even when I am feeling unsafe in an isolated stretch of road. But what transpired on the premises of Patiala House Court is even graver. Do we, citizens of India, need to remind you about the role of a law-server? It is the responsibility of the police force to curb any act of violence, especially, if it’s occurring in front of their eyes without taking sides. If lawmakers and law-servers start to take decisions based on their political leanings, then democracy is bound to suffer. Anyone can make out the difference in proficiency of your department with which Kanhaiyya Kumar was arrested, whereas a blind eye was turned towards ruckus-creating lawyers and the venom-spewing BJP MLA. On top of it you term Patiala House Court incident, minor. I wonder where our country is heading to when disregarding the law of the land, and law-makers become perpetrators and law-servers mere spectators of the violence.

Sehar Tahir
Delhi

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Do your duty

As video clippings clearly show that a section of hooligan lawyers manhandled the students who protested the arrest of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, it is utterly disgraceful that men in black acted irresponsibly by attacking mediamen who came to cover the episode. As if this not enough, it is shocking that they became unruly and attacked the senior lawyers who were directed by the Supreme Court to report the entire incident. Thus, when lawyers became beasts, attacking students, journalists and senior lawyers without any provocation, it was distressing that men in khaki posted at the court premises and who were meant to avert unpleasant and ugly incidents stood watching the horrendous incident like bystanders doing nothing. It is baffling that Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi gave a clean chit to unruly lawyers who behaved in an inhumane manner. It has sent a wrong message, which is not only unbecoming of a senior police official but also unacceptable in a civilised society.

K.R. Srinivasan
Secunderabad

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