Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reliving Tendukheda

शीशे का बदन था, पहाड़ों का सफ़र था
घर आ गया हूँ, आपकी दुआओं का असर था

I’ve read Le Bon’s fascinating treatise on mob mentality (La psychologie des foules). Last night, I lived it: on my way to Jabalpur from Mehaka, the farthest outpost of Jabera cut-off from the rest of this assembly constituency by incessant rains and floods, I stopped to have tea at a Congressman and former Nagar Panchayat president, Ramkumar Sahu’s home at Tendukheda; half an hour later, at about 9 pm, when we were about to drive off, a mob of about 200 armed hoodlums, led by Vinod Gotia, the BJP’s state vice president, and Ujiyar Singh, brother of BJP candidate Dashrath Singh, forcibly entered Mr Sahu's house, stoned our car, dragged us out, and beat us mercilessly till we lost consciousness. (Frankly, they could have done a lot worse, especially given the fact that we were totally defenseless and offered relatively no resistance: in that sense, at least, I am grateful to the mob that they- it- didn't go any further.)

Swatantra Agrawal, a close friend of the family, received heavy blows all over his back while bravely defending me from the assailants; Sandeep Sahu, the PYC state general secretary, sustained serious head injuries, and has partially lost hearing in his left ear (even so, he is more scared about what his wife, Seema, would do to him!); Anil Chouhan, my PSO (personal security officer), had his weapon, a pistol, snatched from the mob before he could do anything; Pratap Singh Lodhi and Sachin Yadav, two local Congress leaders, were, I am told, also beaten rather badly.

Mr Sahu’s home, where this incident took place, is less than 50 metres from the local police station. Despite repeated calls, no one came to our rescue. In fact, later at the police station, when Anil complained about the mob having taken away his pistol, the local SDOP, a certain Mr Tiwari, retrieved it in less than 5 minutes; we also heard him receive telephonic instructions from his superior, the SP of Damoh, to ensure that FIR is lodged against us as well (apparently, in the regime of Shivraj Singh, MP’s chief minister, getting beaten is also an offense): to my mind, this is as good a proof of police complicity as any.

Lying here in my bed in room 286 at the Dr Rajendra Prasad Eye Centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), fully conscious for the first time since last night’s incident, I cannot help but recall that this is not the first time I’ve witnessed the BJP resort to violence to brutally crush all opposition for the purpose of electoral gain: Dilip Singh Judeo, BJP MP, did it to Shailesh Nitin Trivedi, my father’s then-Political Secretary, on the eve of polling for Bilaspur Lok Sabha (April 2009); Kedar Kashyap, BJP minister, did it to Pappu Tiwari, a dhaba owner in Bhanpuri, on the eve of polling for Bastar Lok Sabha bye-election (May 2011). In both cases, the police turned a blind-eye- before, during and after the incidents. I have little doubt that this time would be any different.

In fact, the way I see it- unfortunately, now, with only my left-eye!- things are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better. My only hope is that the people of Jabera, when they rise to go to vote this morning, will not succumb to the BJP's terror tactics; that they will see it for what it really is, a neo-fascist outfit out to manipulate people’s mind with all sorts of lies and cheap-tricks; and that, when all is said and done, truth and justice- and tolerance- will prevail. For that is precisely what my late Mamu (Mummy's kid-brother), Ratnesh Solomon, who served this constituency with all this heart, mind and soul for the past 30 years, stood for.

With that happy thought, I shall now lie down, to let the painkillers take their affect.

PS- To read comments on this post, please visit here, here and here.

6 comments (टिप्पणी):

Sanjeet Tripathi said...

पूरे मामले की जानकारी अब लगी। यदि आपके उपर हुए इस हमले में भाजपा पदाधिकारी शामिल थे तब तो यह वाकई एक राजनीतिक हमला है। जिसकी न केवल निंदा करनी चाहिए बल्कि कड़ी कार्रवाई भी होनी चाहिए।
वैसे फिलहाल आपको आराम करना चाहिए।
शुभकामनाएं

Anonymous said...

Get well soon. Get up. Fight.

Atul said...

BJP workers have incorporated this as a part of their election strategy.

To all to the attacks that you have mentioned in the post, BJP workers had also attacked Uncle's vehicle on 20th Nov 2008- 2nd phase of 2008 assembly elections in Chhattisgarh.

I am fully with you that neither the Govt nor the police is going to take any action against the people involved. They will try to suppress the matter pointing fingers on you which they are presently doing.

But at the same time, I have firm belief in God. Almighty is there to do justice. Justice by the supreme power takes sometime but no one gets spared.

I pray to God to give you speedy recovery. The people of Chhattisgarh want you back amongst them at the earliest.

theforceofchange said...

dear amit ji

your life is as important as chhattisgarh pride and unsocial element are trying to do something bad . please beware of them.

and change your strategy , from your activity they are jealous and afraid of you popularity .

your presence only is fear for them beacause of your local educated and knowledged persona. nobody like you in chhattisgarh for chhattisgarh.
so please dont be like general people you are vip and take care of you in future.

you will definetly win.

Anonymous said...

Please support Anna Hazare Ji and contribute towards having a corruption free India.

Arkitectindia said...

It is really sad to learn this news and i am happy that finally things were controlled and Amitji cameout with Gandhi's message.

EVery right thinking citizen will condemn it with the strogest possible words.

In solidarity
Shaheen

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