‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.’
This quote is attributed to Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels. And Hitler’s Indian followers, the Hindutva jingoists, have been practicing this since 1947 to demonise Indian Muslims. For the last 70 years they have been accusing Indian Muslims of supporting and sympathising with Pakistan and chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ in their gatherings. They have been shamelessly playing this old and worn-out record despite the fact that this is a brazen lie and they have no proof of it.
Because of internet shutdown, stories of Muslims having been deprived of their democratic right to peacefully protest and being brutally punished for exercising this right are still coming out from Uttar Pradesh, the state-run by a bigot and shamelessly Islamophobic chief minister, Yodi Aditiyanath in whose presence one of his chief speakers had exhorted Hindus to open the graves of Muslim women and rape them.
One of these is the bizarre video clip of a Superintendent of Police (SP), Akhilesh Narian, along with his subordinates, chasing a couple of Muslim youths — who are not even visible in the clip — in Meerut and threatening residents of the neighbourhood that he would set right the whole locality, for no other reason than that the youths in question had worn a black badge as a mark of protest against CAA and NRC.
Thanks to the new technology and handy facility of video recording that the evidence of brazen violation of law by the keepers of law themselves become easily available online. Mr Narain did not know that his unlawful act was being recorded. When the clip went viral and was reported to his superior, he used the old and tested defence: accuse the Muslim youths were chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan.
Below is the English translation of his verbatim of what he said to the residents of Muslim neighbours.
Mr Narian’s subordinate (shouting at someone at the other end who is not even visible): Where are you going? Come back.
Mr Narain (turning to elderly Muslim onlookers standing there): Where will you hide? I will set this whole neighbourhood right. You have given me the chance [to do that].
One of the Muslims says something which is not audible. The only word that is audible is namaz [prayers]
Mr Naraian: That’s fine. But when you wear that black and blue badge, ask them to go to Pakistan. [Note, there is no mention of ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ slogan; only of black badge. Interestingly the boys who allegedly chanted ‘Pakistan Zindabad’ are not there and the threats are being given to the residents of the neighbourhood — UMM].
Mr Narian’s subordinate: To make everything black will take us only one second. In just one second we will turn your whole life into black.
Muslim onlooker [nervously and helplessly]: You are right [Sir. What they have done] is wrong.
Mr Narian: If you do not want to live here you can leave. Will you eat here and sing [praise] for another country? Tell these dogs.
Muslim: What they did is wrong [clearly referring to the black badge — UMM]
Mr Narian: No, I have taken their photographs. Tell these dogs, the bastards.
Mr Narian’s subordinate: They were four. We have taken their photographs.
Mr Narian: I have recognised this neighbourhood. And when I recognise, I reach to one’s nani [maternal grandmother] Bear this in mind, if anything happens, all of you will have to pay the price.
Mr Narian walks to leave then in a fit of rage returns to the Muslim and shouts: ‘Come to me then.’
He starts leaving but again returns and goes to the elderly Muslim in a belligerent manner, pointing finger at him, almost in a mood to punch and beat him. Had poor guy uttered a word, he would have found himself behind bars. Narian then looks at him and points towards the other side of the street and says, ‘They are bloody dogs. I will set this street right. I will imprison one member from each house of this neighbourhood. I will destroy their careers. Tell them.’
Not even a single time does he mention anywhere that the boys in question were chanting, ‘Pakistan Zindabad’. The only thing he and his subordinate mention is the black badge worn by the boys.
Excerpts from Mr Narian’s defence later:
…We were informed that in a street — ADM City and some force was with us — that some boys were preparing to create trouble. When I and ADM city reached there, some boys were standing there. As they saw us they shouted, ‘Pakistan Zindad’ and ran towards the neighbourhood. This confirmed that their nature matched with the information we had received and that they could create trouble. They ran away but we found some of them. We warned them. Chanting Pakistan Zindabad was not the right thing to do.’
Reporter: What did you tell them in the video that went viral?
Mr Narain: I told them about those boys. I recognised the street that such mischievous elements live there. So I told them you better go to the place you talk so much about.
Reporter: So you asked them to go to Pakistan?
Mr Narian: Yes because when they saw the force and said Pakistan Zindabad. In the atmosphere at that time such slogans were objectionable. So I told them if you love them so much and have such a hatred for this place and it has come to a point when you are pelting stones and indulging in such activities, then this is not right.
Reporter: Has any case been filed against them?
Mr Narianan: Yes they have been recognised. A case will be filed against them.
If Mr Narian’s defence of his outburst and his Islamophobic views is not ridiculous enough, then read the explanation of his superior, Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Mr Parshant Kumar:
‘Not only the SP City is there but ADM City is also present there. The video clearly shows that stone pelting was going on there. Stones can be seen [scattered on the street]. Anti-India slogans were being chanted. Slogans of long live the neighbouring country were being chanted. PFI(?) and SEPI(?) leaflets were being distributed. And that day the situation in Meerut was very dangerous. In such a situation the only thing the officer said was that if you want to go [to Pakistan], then go but don’t throw stones and that I have recognised the people. You will have noticed that the elderly people standing there were not misbehaved with. No one was insulted. No one was manhandled or beaten. Full restraint was used. Yes in a similar situation … better words could have been used. But in a situation in which SP City and ADM City are the incharge of the whole city and everywhere stone pelting and burning was going on, in such a situation they exercised full restraint. They did not resort to firing and controlled the situation in very difficult circumstances.’