It seems making gaffes and senseless comments isn’t just the sole prerogative of the Home Minister Rajnath Singh these days.
Giving him stiff competition is the Delhi Police commissioner BS Bassi, who reports to him.
The recent JNU protests and the subsequent crackdown by the cops have left both the MHA and Delhi Police equally exposed, at least going by the reaction on social media.
On Sunday, the home minister, dropped a bombshell by alleging that the protesting JNU students enjoyed support from the Lashkar-e-Toiba chief Hafiz Saeed.
Usually, this should have been taken with utmost seriousness as a perceived terrorist extending support to a democratic movement by Indian students within Indian territory must be deemed as seditious. There can be no two ways about it.
However, there was only one problem, which unfortunately has become a distinctive feature of the Modi government particularly while dealing with the dissenting voice.
These days, they seem to draw plenty of inspiration from their own created philosophy i.e. When corned, try every trick in your book to discredit your opposition. And what’s the best way to discredit your ideological opponents than to declare them anti-national, traitor and what have you.
Members of Modi government used this to utter perfection while dealing with the dissent in Hyderabad (Rohit Vemula), against the visiting faculty in BHU and now against the Left leaning and progressive students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University.
But, in the JNU case, the government’s strategy appears to have backfired spectacularly, leaving them incredibly rattled. And it’s this visible nervousness that appears to have pushed the likes of Singh and Bassi to commit embarrassing gaffes with considerable consistency.
On Monday Bassi said that he had evidence of the arrested student union leader Kanhaiya Kumar making anti-India speeches.
He then followed it up with another more extraordinary comment.
Bassi said, “We are looking into the content of various tweets which are blasphemous and objectionable.”
Objectionable alright, but blasphemous?
As expected, the eagle-eyed social media users, which there are plenty now a days, were quick to remind Bassi that there was no legal provision to prosecute anyone under this newly created ‘crime’ called blasphemy by Delhi police.
Supreme Court advocate Sanjay Hegde said, “By which holy book do you define blasphemy? Neither the Constitution of India nor the IPC do not provide for it.”
By which holy book do you define blasphemy? Neither the Constitution of India nor the IPC do not provide for it https://t.co/HLvbbP8GAf
— SANJAY HEGDE (@sanjayuvacha) February 15, 2016
Hegde’s comment was not in isolation. It opened the floodgate for many other social media users to begin to ridicule the Delhi’s top cop, whose perceived desperation to go overboard in proving his ‘loyalty’ to Modi government has already been widely condemned.
Many say it’s because of his ambition to be rewarded with a respectable post after he retires as Delhi Police Commissioner later this month, which keeps prompting him to make pro-Modi government statements. Neither does it matter nor does he care as to how ridiculous those comments are.
This is how social media users reacted in sarcasm;
Blasphemy? You mean by speaking against religion? lol. Does Delhi police know what is blasphemy. https://t.co/bLDNodOU0j
— German Rossonero (@_tanmay_) February 15, 2016
Rem now even tweets being monitored to check by Delhi police to blasphemy 🙂 https://t.co/hoZenU3BSe
— Mahesh Langa (@LangaMahesh) February 15, 2016
So Delhi police is not arresting lawyers for contempt of court but chasing random Twitter users for blasphemy? https://t.co/YIqUQamyLI
— Payal Puri (@payalpuri) February 15, 2016
— Swati Chaturvedi (@bainjal) February 15, 2016
Blasphemous? Lashes, Public Stoning or Execution – which is the Punishment? https://t.co/a2eWaJ2HC0
— Joy (@Joydas) February 15, 2016
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) February 15, 2016