I have never met Shabnam Hashmi who runs ANHAD (Act Now for Harmony And Democracy). But we are in regular touch on WhatsApp. She is a brave lady. When dark clouds of fascism gather on the horizon, she keeps the torch of liberty burning. She is the sister of my hero Shaheed Safdar Hashmi . Safdar, a theatre activist, was killed by goons when he was staging a street-corner play Halla Bol. I have read his biography The Fifth Flame, penned by his doting mother Qamar Azad Hashmi. She wrote the original book in Urdu: Paanchwa Chiraag. As I can’t read Urdu , I read the English translation. Safdar was a versatile genius. He was also a starry-eyed idealist. He taught English in Srinagar and lived in a houseboat! What a romantic life. He married a Hindu girl Moloyshree. Such inter-faith marriages are called “love jihad” by hatemongering RSSwallas. But the “love jihad” was quite successful and Moloyshree completed the street-corner play after Safdar attained martyrdom!
Shabnam Hashmi is married to Gauhar Raza, an eminent scientist and a Urdu poet. Once, I suggested Shabnam to write a book on her hubby. I also suggested her the title of the book: Gauhar Mera Shauhar (My husband Gauhar).
I write all this because yesterday I saw a picture of a cop who was busy taking notes at an ANHAD meeting. He was obviously keeping an eye on the goings-on. I have nothing against the poor chap. He was only carrying out orders of his seniors. But as a former IPS officer, I hang my head in shame. In a Hindustan, full of mafias and criminals, cops are spying on ANHAD which works for harmony and democracy!
Indian police can’t nab Dawood Ibrahim. So they shadow Shabnam Hashmi! Our men in khaki, ever ready to please their political masters, have turned into stooges. I pity them. Police officers forget that they have taken an oath of allegiance to the SECULAR Constitution of India, that is Bharat. They HAVEN’T taken an oath of allegiance to a chaiwalla-turned-Prime Minister or a “tadipar”-turned-Home Minister!
Things have come to such a stage that Sadhvi Pragya is an “honourable” Member of Parliament! Charges have been framed against Sadhvi in the Malegaon bomb blast case. But the BJP made her its candidate from Bhopal and our “sharm-nirpeksha” Prime Minister Narendra Modi campaigned for her! She routinely abuses Hemant Karkare, a shaheed IPS officer who charge sheeted her when he was ATS Chief. But no cops dares to speak up against Sadhvi Pragya. Top IPS officers, with gallantry medals, urinate when Sadhvi Pragya’s name is mentioned . And these spineless creatures are trying to intimidate Shabnam Hashmi for spreading harmony and brotherhood. If Shabnam Hashmi had detonated some bombs, the same cops would have been saluting her!
And now contrast ANHAD with RSS. The RSS was banned in the wake of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination. Then Home Minister Sardar Patel wrote a letter to Guru Golwalkar. The Iron Man’s letter stated that the Mahatma was assassinated because of ihe environment of hate created by the Nagpur-based organization . But how many police officers have guts to peep into RSS offices? Like pet dogs they wag their tails and chew upon bones (transfers, postings and promotions).
Giriraj Singh is a Cabinet Minister in the Narendra Modi Govt. This politician from Bihar, my home state, routinely spews venom against minorities specially Muslims and gets away with his poisonous barbs. He has close links with the Ranveer Sena, an outlawed private militia of landlords. When I worked with the Bihar Human Rights Commission, I submitted a report against him. And I paid a price for telling the truth. I was hounded out of the Human Rights Commission within days! In May, this year, Giriraj Singh was promoted and made a Cabinet Minister. Earlier, he was a Minister of State. With his links with a banned outfit, Giriraj Singh is a fit case to be persecuted under UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). But who will bell the cat? For the appeasement of Bhumihar voters in Bihar, Giriraj Singh is indispensable to Modi.
So ladies and gentlemen. Shed some tears. We are living in a Hindustan where Sadhvi Pragyas are feted and Shabnam Hashmis are attacked! “Hans chugega dana-dunka, kawwa moti khayega!” Kalyug is finally here.
(Mr. Amitabh Kumar Das is a 1994 batch IPS Officer. His views are personal.)