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Freedom at Midnight and so was its Murder

At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long supressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of Inida and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.

These are excerpts from the famous speech delivered by Pandit Jawaherlal Nehru when India became Independent on the midnight of August 15 1947. The world’s largest democracy became functional on that midnight with the hope of millions of building a nation strong and vibrant, a democratic republic providing justice to all, treating all humans with equality, with the mantra of peace and progress, a society free of corruption and social evils.

At the midnight on June 5 2011, not far away from the place where Pandit Nehru delivered his Indian independence speech 64 years ago – thousands of people who had gathered to join Baba Ramdev to peacefully protest against the rampant corruption in the administration were denied the same Freedom – Freedom to peacefully protest, freedom to speak against the evil of corruption and the mindless looting of the country’s wealth.

Freedom at Midnight and so was its Murder

64 years ago Nehru had promised

We shall never allow that torch of freedom to be blown out, however high the wind or stormy the tempest.

64 years later, his very own Congress party sent thousands of policemen to forcefully evacuate peacefully gathered protesters led by Baba Ramdev whose demand was to bring back the thousands of crores of Indian Black money illegally stashed away abroad by corrupt people in power. The freedom of torch was blown out when a case of rioting was booked against peacefully demonstrating protesters. The freedom of Torch was blown out when the government forcefully evacuated its very own citizens in the darkness of midnight.

The reason police gave for evacuating Baba Ramdev and other protesters? Baba Ramdev had booked the Delhi’s Ramleela ground to conduct an Yoga camp and not for organizing any agitation! Fair enough. But hadn’t Baba Ramdev and his followers declared about carrying out the fast against corruption and the protests weeks ago? Government knew about this, every school kid knew about it, TV channels were running 24×7 coverage about the protest, didn’t the Delhi police knew about it then? Why didn’t they question the organizers then? Why did they allow the protest to start in the first place?

Why did they wait even after the protests started, and till the midnight of the next day? What was such an emergency to arrest and evacuate protesters in the midnight when they were sleeping? Cant they have waited till next morning?

The government says that they have agreed to all the demands of Baba Ramdev, that they will start monitoring the moves of those who visit Tax Havens unnecessarily, that they will declare Black Money as national asset and so on. First, the government should slap itself with shame. Does the government require a Baba Ramdev or Anna Hazare to start a movement to make the government realize that its important to recover all illegal Black Money stashed abroad, or to pass a Lokpal Bill after 64 years in an effort to eradicate corruption in day to day life?

If people of a country are required to PROTEST demanding for basic cleanliness in public life, that itself is the biggest shame for any government. For it is the basic duty of every government and political party to ensure that people have faith in the democratic process and to make sure that the public do not have to face corruption in the society. Instead what government does is, use police force to silence the peaceful protesters. Isn’t this murder of democracy? How different was the attack by police at the midnight at the Ramleela ground from the attack by British on peaceful protesters led by Mahatma Gandhi in the pre-independence era? I am not sure that even under British rule was there ever an incidence of attack on peaceful protesters by police during a midnight.

If the government cannot guarantee basic cleanliness in public life and requires protests to be organized to force it to eradicate corruption, what bigger hopes and dreams can its citizens have about larger development of the society, strong nation, superpower country etc? India aspires to become a global power, wants a global role, a permanent seat at the UN security council, wants an Indian to be IMF chief and what not – can such an aspiring role in the democratic world be possible when back at home you are arresting and evacuating peaceful protesters making legitimate demands about eradicating corruption in the society? Can somebody imagine this happening in any democratic western society where police pounce upon peaceful protesters in the darkness of midnight when you are at sleep? What right does the Indian government now have to talk about human rights violations in China?

Not in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine the possibility of the Government of India using force and that too at midnight against peaceful protesters, who had raised an important issue of utmost national interest. Without eradicating corruption in the society, forget about becoming a super power, India cannot even provide two meals a day for its entire population- not everybody works in a multi national company or a software company.

The government had started NREGA scheme with the good intent of providing employment to all youth in the rural areas, and rampant corruption had ensured that those in power make quick bucks by falsely listing thousands of non-existing beneficiaries. Is this how we aspire to become a super power. If a government can’t even ensure that its well intended schemes are not executed properly and the benefits not receiving the true beneficiaries, and in contrast it uses force to climb down on peaceful protests against this corruption – where is the hope of a prosperous democracy?

Digvijay Singh has called Baba Ramdev a “Thug“. Isn’t it obvious from the midnight drama who the real “Thug” is? Only invaders from outside are known to attack in the midnight. How many criminal cases have been registered against Baba Ramdev so far? Has Digvijay Singh ever looked at the number of MPs, MLAs and politicians in this country with criminal track records related to heinous crimes? Digvijay should remember that the lakhs of people gathered at the Ram Leela Maidan or the millions supporting these protests across the country are not paid or hired crowd, the way political parties organize their gatherings, where people are paid to attend their political meetings. The people gathered at Delhi not just came on their own will, but they themselves donated money for this cause, to organize fans and shades to help the children, women and elderly citizens participating in the protests withstand the summer heat.

Not a day passes in this country  without the honorable Supreme Court taking government to task on corruption, scandals and black money, so much so that the CBI is made to investigate 2G spectrum scandal under the directions of the Apex court itself. Even after repeated queries from the Supreme Court, the government has not yet agreed to make public the list of Black Money offenders it has.

I sincerely hope that the judicial system of this country will intervene if legislature fails to protect the democratic rights of its citizens and the future of this great democracy – great not by its administrators, but by its people. As I keep chanting the same Mantra – China is whatever it is today because of its government, and India is whatever it is today INSPITE of its government.

If India could achieve SO MUCH inspite of rampant corruption, vote bank politics, red tapism and inefficient administration. Just imagine how much we can achieve if we are able to get rid of all these evils in our society.

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Gurudev is the developer of Gurunudi AI Platform. This is his official website where he pens his thoughts on a wide range of topics, answers queries, shares resources and tools developed by him.

27 COMMENTS

  1. I really hate even to see Digvijay singh. He is full of disgrace. I m sure he might have hundreds of crores in swiss banks.

    • He is the most disgusting politician I have ever seen, he refers to Osama as Osamaji, it is politicians like these who create divide in the society by practicing dirty votebank politics.

  2. When there are anti-India statements made by Kashmiri separatists in the speeches at New Delhi, that does not become a law and order problem for the government. When people are protesting peacefully against corruption, now that becomes a law and order problem for this government. 

    • UPA Government has no guts to show where showing guts is required, but is full of arrogance when interacting with democratic movements.

  3. Baba Ramdev has said “Delhi kisi ki baap ki nahi hai”. But he does not want to break the law since the police have imposed a two week ban on his entering Delhi. He will wait till the ban is lifted, either by a court order or by the police themselves, and then will again come to Delhi.

    • Yes, especially to say dont enter Delhi for somebody protesting peacefully, it only shows government arrogance. Good that Supreme Court has taken government for a task on this.

  4. All the things happening related to this satyagraha look so filmy.. so much masala.
    I was surprised to see cheques being collected as donation for this satyagraha shown live…
    Also Baba was arrested and then released what is the idea/logic behind this…if you had to release why arrest first place ???

    • The collection of funds was to provide basic amenities like public toilets and shade for thousands gathered, to provide fans for all the elderly people, women and children gathered there in the hot sun for a cause. Baba Ramdev himself was heard saying, Dont think you are doing a favor for me by coming here, you are doing a favor for yourself and for your country. The collection of funds happened in public, people donated willingly, not behind backdoors but in front of the media, and even got receipts. So what is wrong with it? After all even just booking the maidan will cost you money. Baba’s intention is that, it is your country, you want to reform it, and for that you need to spend whatever you can, be it time or money.

      The arrest happened in the midnight when all were sleeping which itself is barbaric and inhumane. To fire tear gas shells inside a closed ground at 1 am or 2 am when there are women and children and elderly people inside is not an act of heroism. He was arrested to be deported out of Delhi in the garb of avoiding a law and order problem. He has been told not to enter Delhi for next 15 days, while he has committed no crime. Which is why the Supreme Court has taken the government at a task today.

      • this could have been told to baba beforehand that we will catch you and deport out of delhi then all this cat and mouse situation wudn’t have arised…
        Also Baba was ready to get arrested, then why did he flew away… may be he was told his life was in danger.. ???

        • Arrest Baba for what crime? They could not have done it, so they cited law and order problem if Baba continues to remain in Delhi so deported him forcefully out of Delhi, which was the reason why Baba was trying to escape from the police – to remain in Delhi.
          First government tried to use him to divide the movement, and when he did not give in, they use force. What law and order threat can sleeping people cause at 2 am in the night? With basic decency they could have waited till the morning. They did not wait because they were scared that more people will join Baba.

          • Baba ramdev had sensed something, may be thats why he was trying to tell people that day that if anything happens he won’t be responsible and was also asking people to vote if they want commitie or not… he kept on saying shadayantra, shadayantra racha ja raha hai… etc

            • I think the baba episode, as felt the film has come to an end it seems.. nothing has happened apart from 10-12 days of 24X7 news…. congress just removed him away, like one removes a fly from tea… and now it seems it’s the turn of anna’s men… congress is ruthless….

              • For the entire political establishment too much of money and power is at stake to allow the formation of a strong Lokpal. Look at the bill itself, it has been lying in dust for the past so many decades. While a bill increasing MPs salary gets passed instantly without any debates, a bill demanding accountability from the same elected representatives doesnt even come to discussion for decades! So much about India being a democracy.

  5. Just as you had hoped at the end of you article, Supreme Court has taken suo motice action on the illegal and untimely eviction of peaceful protesters and has issued notice the Central government :)

  6. It took 3 years to arrest Hasan Ali, 2 years to act against A.Raja,6 months to arrest Kalmadi and 1 day to arrest Baba Ramdev!

    • That shows the order of their preference in dealing with such things – first act against movements against corruption, act against corruption only when there is pressure from supreme court

  7. In a way, the congress has dug its own grave with their June 4 act. Now, the entire opposition is united, many of the passive and silent intellectuals have realized they too need to take action and all those who were actively involved in this fight against corruption will have renewed energies to fight the government until their demands are met. Baba Ramdev, however eccentric, he is portrayed to be, is really close to achieve the impossible. lets all actively participate in whatever ways we can to fight against corruption.    

    • True, if there were elections tomorrow Congress would lose even its deposit in most constituencies. Inflation, arrogance of the government, inefficient administration, loads of scams, blind eye towards peoples movement against corruption – all together will ensure Congress defeat – the coming UP elections will serve as semifinal for 2014 finals.

    • True, if there were elections tomorrow Congress would lose even its deposit in most constituencies. Inflation, arrogance of the government, inefficient administration, loads of scams, blind eye towards peoples movement against corruption – all together will ensure Congress defeat – the coming UP elections will serve as semifinal for 2014 finals.

    • True, if there were elections tomorrow Congress would lose even its deposit in most constituencies. Inflation, arrogance of the government, inefficient administration, loads of scams, blind eye towards peoples movement against corruption – all together will ensure Congress defeat – the coming UP elections will serve as semifinal for 2014 finals.

    • True, if there were elections tomorrow Congress would lose even its deposit in most constituencies. Inflation, arrogance of the government, inefficient administration, loads of scams, blind eye towards peoples movement against corruption – all together will ensure Congress defeat – the coming UP elections will serve as semifinal for 2014 finals.

  8. The crackdown by Police on Baba Ramdev’s fast is the Tianenmen Square of India. In China Tianenmen Square occured on June 4th, so did the one in India.

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