Lament of an anti-national

Send Delhi’s nationalist lawyers to the Kashmir front to do some real soldiering.

Written by Julio Ribeiro | Published:February 29, 2016 12:03 am
JNU row, patiala house court, JNU case, patiala house court violence, JNUSU president, kanhaiya kumar, kanhaiya kumar speech, anti national slogans, #traitorTapes, newsX, india news, indian express opinion Advocates clash with the JNU students who were protesting against the arrest of JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar at Patiala House Courts in New Delhi. (PTI Photo by Atul Yadav)

“Why have you not written for the past few months?” my granddaughter asked. I did not want to tell her that I am a bit of a coward at heart, afraid of being dubbed “intolerant” and — the latest insult — “anti-national”! So, I produced the time-tested excuse of “being busy”, an excuse that can only be partially true, but always difficult to disprove.

Governments in power do not like criticism. Like god, they crave approval and praise. “The king can do no wrong” is the applicable proverb. But, unfortunately, there is democracy to consider and modern democracies throw up far too many voices of dissent.

Our present government came in riding on people’s expectations and hope. It came in on the back of a leader who promised to concentrate on development and governance. Nobody, just nobody, can say that he is not trying. The ministers at the Centre are running scared, even those who had acquired adverse reputations in the past are presently on good behaviour. There are some like Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal and Nitin Gadkari, who are working overtime to deliver. Of course, there is also Smriti Irani. She was specially chosen to saffronise our temples of learning. And she is going about her job with a sledgehammer that is bound to prove counter-productive.

There are many plus points that this government can justifiably be proud of. The use of the Aadhaar card and the opening of bank accounts that the poor never dreamt of owning and the direct transfer of subsidies to their accounts is a miraculous cure for a vital deficiency in governance. There are many such healthy schemes that state the intent of the government. They will require time to bear fruit.

But at the cost of being classified as anti-national, I must boldly state that I disapprove vehemently of doctored and concocted videos designed to send leftist students to jail. To my mind, such concoction of evidence is worse than the crime the student is supposed to have committed and deserves a punishment equal to the one sought to be inflicted.

It frightens people like me when Delhi’s lawyers ape their counterparts in Pakistan and go on a rampage in the hallowed precincts of our temples of justice, attempting to lynch prisoners in the custody of the police. It frightens people like me when the police force, of which I was once a proud member, stands and stares and does nothing when nationalists take the law into their own hands in the very presence of the upholders of the law. It frightens me even more when I suddenly realise that the man at the head of this force is studiedly selective in the enforcement of the law.

If shouting slogans against the injustices of the caste system or against the perceived inequalities suffered by the poor in our land is interpreted as being anti-national, I am afraid that many, many more students, activists and others crying out for justice are going to be branded in a similar manner. That is totally unacceptable.

And where will so many anti-nationals be sent? Our jails are full already. They cannot be sent to the developed countries of the “Christian” West. Those countries do not operate on the basis of religious beliefs. At present, they seem to be accepting only nationalists who welcome PM Modi every time he visits their shores. They are hardly likely to return to Mother India because they like the quality of life there. The people there do not care what religion you follow or what you eat and how you are attired. If you cheer the Indian cricket team though they are playing Test matches against your new country, that will not be cause for painting you as anti-national.

Assorted minorities (Sikhs exempted as they are partners in the Punjab government), Dalits, leftists, intellectuals, NGOs funded by the Ford Foundation and, of course, people like me who refuse to vote for the party on ideological grounds, have all been categorised as anti-national. The nationalists, on the other hand, are those who support whatever the party says or does, even if that entails murdering the father of an IAF corporal for allegedly killing a calf (which he did not) or beating up an accused in a courtroom for raising anti-national slogans (which he did not).

There are “nationalists” in Pakistan who speak and act in this very manner, all for their fatherland. Our nationalists are all for our motherland. The rub lies in the fact that both, the ones on the other side of the border and within ours, will not take up arms to fight in real wars. They prefer to prove their might against captives and soft targets. My suggestion to the high court and Supreme Court is not to send these nationalist lawyers to Tihar jail. They should be sent to the Kashmir front to fight the enemy that lurks there. At present many “anti-nationals” are part of our fighting arms, like Akhlaq’s son. They get killed at times. Why should out nationalist lawyers not be made to do some real soldiering?

The writer, a retired IPS officer, was Mumbai police commissioner, DGP Gujarat and DGP Punjab

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    Sirius
    Feb 29, 2016 at 5:24 am
    Reposte by a 'nationalist' : Mr Reberio, please do not lie to your gchild and to yourself. The reason you were unable to write was your loss of face after ' Christians being systematically attacked' was proved wrong in Delhi and West Bengal incidents. If you analyze the JNU incidents from your policeman lens (not your rabidly anti-majority lens) and discuss with your colleagues from police and ATS, you will conclude that it was a very serious incident with possible security ramifications. For parallels, please recall the incident in IISc where a retd. IITD Prof. lost his life. Next, about the Delhi lawyers, similar enquiries to your intelligence colleagues will reveal that it was an elaborate charade planned by the 'star' lawyers defending the 'conscience of nation' to derail the court proceedings, and the riotious lawyers were paid for beating up Mr. Kanhaiya. Next, on the RSS 'agenda' of HRD minister , you are wrong because her decisions are subject to legislative and judicial scrutiny, whereas you conveniently forget the blatant communalism agenda of your very own Rev. ('Bamboo') Thampu at St. Stephens , Univ. of Delhi, which is subject to a religious congregation . On sending nationalists like me to border, I am ready for that anytime, only that my nations army is a thorough professional and needs people more capable than me. So I contribute my bit by raising my productivity and skill level, donating blood, contributing taxes, observing nations laws with complete honesty and integrity, avoiding wastage, buying only nations produce, remaining positive in these adverse economic climate and others. Tell us, do you or you gchild do what a 'nationalist' like me does ?
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      Asma
      Feb 29, 2016 at 4:47 am
      Rightly said. Excellent comment.
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        Vikrant
        Feb 29, 2016 at 10:12 am
        Borders are safe. Its the termites within that need to be taken care of. While the soldiers were taking on the terrorist at pampore, there were people who were throwing stones at them and trying to form a shield against the terrorists. Time has come for those who love the country to start taking care of these traitors within so that our soldiers are not stabbed in their back.
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          Ajay Sunder
          Feb 29, 2016 at 11:24 am
          Excellent article.Thank you IE for getting people like Julio Ribeiro to write for you.Those who are familiar with his work will like to read him and others will try to attribute all sorts of motives to him and you .But does it matter?
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            Kamal
            Feb 29, 2016 at 1:38 am
            Nonsense! Sikhs are exempted? How did Ribeiro claim this? Did he forget Sikhs were shot dead in protest against Bir desecration last year in Kotkapura in Punjab? And all those who organised Sarbat Khalsa were arrested for sedition? Even agitating Sikh farmers faced lathi charge and jail. He just chooses to ignore facts out of bias. All have suffered.
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              Hemant
              Feb 29, 2016 at 5:20 am
              I am really disgusted by the short-sighted vision of some media groups,,they are being manited..The latest fashion is to be Anti-Modi..it establishes you as 'liberal' and 'intellectual'. A lot of the rot of 60 years is being corrected, like the stridently anti-national voices in Universities, and other real enemy collaborators within the nation, NGOs who work for foreign interests and help prevent India from developing its own resources (this will kill their markets!) - they are being displaced and are now pushing 'intellectuals' to howl against Modi..do you notice that after going after the NGOs, this has increased 10 fold? Demons cannot be exorcised quietly..this anti-Modi clamour is a sign that things are on the right track..the protest by anti-national spirits being weeded out one by one!
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                A
                Feb 29, 2016 at 11:57 am
                I have great regard for Shri Riberio.Is it correct on the part of the student leaders to support a section of students who shouted that " We will break India into pieces"? He knows very wekll along with Shri K P S Gill who have successfully outsmarted the terrorists aided by ourvknown enemy .Why he has not written about the incidents happened a Malda
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                  Apoorv Garg
                  Mar 4, 2016 at 8:05 am
                  'Bharat ki barbaadi tak jung rahegi, jung rahegi', and 'Bharat tere tukde honge' are indeed anti-national slogans, and Not "slogans against the injustices of the caste system or against the perceived inequalities suffered by the poor in our land". Whether such slogans were actually raised, and if yes then who raised them, must surely be investigated, and that's what the law-enforcement system is doing. Neither of Kanhaiya, Umar, and Anirban has been convicted and hanged. They are being investigated because there was an FIR and 'prima-facia' evidence against them. Of course, the veracity of that evidence has also to be investigated. However, you are right in recommending military service for the rowdy lawyers. I would like to have the arsonist Jat quota agitators also join them. Let the JNU slogan-shouters also join (communist Chinese army would be better and more satisfactory for them instead of the Indian army!), if and when they are proved to have actually raised the anti-national slogans.
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                    Apoorv Garg
                    Mar 5, 2016 at 3:29 pm
                    Kanhaiya is just another wannabe politician. Just as Kwjeiwal used the anti-corruption plank, he is using the freedom of expression, poverty, care, etc. to fulfill his political ambition. These ideologies and discourses thereon are to fool the common public into becoming their unsuspecting followers. However, these communist ideologues are much more dangerous than others. There is no other political ideology in which practice is as different from theory as in communism/socialism. That is evident from the many examples of communist states: Russia, China, Cuba, etc. It's for every one to see how much freedom (of expression or profession or even existence!) the common people enjoy in those nations, and how much tolerant are those countries towards criticism of the state. Or own domestic example of West Bengal under the left parties' rule is no different.
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                      arati
                      Feb 29, 2016 at 2:56 pm
                      Nobody said raising caste issues is anti national. Calls for breaking up India into pieces is definitely anti national The author and his ilk are trying to confuse people as they have been caught on the wrong foot.
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                        Sanjay
                        Feb 29, 2016 at 3:06 pm
                        Mr Jolio, it is need of the time that esteemed and valued persons like you write more and more even though you are a retired person quite a long back. We are aware of immense contributions you made to this country and society and we are very proud of you. Constant vigil by people like you will inspire thousands like us to keep our society and democracy vibrant. Thanks, Mr Reibero.
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                          bitterhoney
                          Feb 29, 2016 at 3:14 am
                          Hats off to you Mr Ribeiro for your courage to expressing your anguish. Present government is bing all its critics as anti nationals.
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                            Dr B
                            Feb 29, 2016 at 3:19 am
                            Shameful article don't like the arguments to support the anti national elements
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                              Kaliyug
                              Feb 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm
                              The lawyers have brought disrepute to the entire judiciary with their actions, so far no one has been punished which should include the end of their law career. The courts are supposed to be pillars on which democracy exists, it is step away from anarchy, so those who disrespect the court should be punished severely. Thank you Mr. Julio Roberts for your input.
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                                drywpande@yahoo
                                Feb 29, 2016 at 11:23 am
                                Debate on nationalism is meaning less in present form and format since the main objections has been nationalism of Adolf Hitler and his nationalism. Hitler was not the first person to start conquering world but surely was the last. Till then many tried to conquer the world starting with say Chengizkhan , Alexander etc till British ruled most of the world and so Spanish and then USSR. In killing millions in the name of any philosophy may be very important for those who are raising the bogeys of nationalism but not factually as it is diverting subject from Anti India slogans. And if any group is opposing Anti Slogan this time may be Lawyer but next time it could be Persons in Uniforms they need not be sent to Kargil. Don't forget Mr. Rebero that Muslims leaders have asked to withdraw police from Hyderabad for fifteen minutes has deep meaning and that is even person in uniforms can't be taken for granted.
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                                  Deepak Sethi
                                  Feb 29, 2016 at 6:24 am
                                  For development we need peace in our country , and if there is no peace how can there be development , the latest incident being the Jat agitation of Haryana . India's size is more than Europe and is inhabited by people of different religions , culture , food habits etc . for a country of this size and diversity , there needs to be unity in diversity and respect for the other human being . That would ensure peace and development .
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                                    Satya Paul
                                    Feb 29, 2016 at 5:55 pm
                                    How many persons did he convert to Christianity during his hay days?
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                                      Satya Paul
                                      Feb 29, 2016 at 5:46 pm
                                      The article shows the deep rooted personal hostility such persons have to Modi and BJP simply because Modi will oppose tooth and nail illegal conversions.
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                                        Satya Paul
                                        Feb 29, 2016 at 5:47 pm
                                        You may be right. He killed and is still killing lethargy, corruption, bigotry!
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                                          POLITICALONION
                                          Feb 29, 2016 at 8:31 am
                                          A better suggestion would be, " Send all Kashmiri separatist sympathizers to Kashmir".
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                                            POLITICALONION
                                            Feb 29, 2016 at 8:23 am
                                            A better suggestion would be, " Send all Kashmiri separatist sympathizers to Kashmir". Those to be sent should include politicians, media personal, religious preachers, teachers, anyone from general public who sympathizes with them, plus the slogan shouting students. They can all go there, live in that paradise and protest as much as they like. But hold on, these people can't go there, because of the very 370 they support; even if they were allowed to go, they won't go because they want to leach on India, enjoying safety and subsidy living here, while at the same time shouting for separation of Kashmir. What a bunch of hypocrites!
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