Whose freedom are we celebrating on our Independence Day?

 Two Kuki women were paraded naked on camera by a mob of men in broad day light in Manipur on May 4, 2023. They were groped and molested. One was also gang raped by the mob. They told media that they were taken by police from their Neighbour's house and were handed over to the mob in the outskirts of their village. It's been more than 3 months since this incident. A short video surfaced on social media sites on 19 July 2023. Around 25 men were part of that mob. Only seven men were arrested even after video creating massive public outcry and media uproar. So, whose freedom are we celebrating on this Independence Day?

There were several stories in media and social media sites after the video emerged. All those stories convey that the violence was spontaneous. They wanted to tell that it is due to the issues between majority Meiteis and minority Kukis which is ongoing from several decades. It is true that there were issues between these two communities from several decades. But the recent violence in Manipur is due to political parties taking advantage of the situation.  It includes the opposition parties in Manipur. After reading this article, one will find it meaningless to kill and die for a political ideology, caste or religion.

The conflict between Meiteis and Kukis started long ago. Manipur was ruled by Meitei kings in the past and they lived in the valley. Nagas were the aboriginal tribal community of Manipur who lived in the hills. They were not part of Meitei kingdom. British supported Meitei Kings in their war against Burma. It is said that people belonging to Kuki tribal community are migrants from Burma. They migrated long ago during British era. They even fought for our independence. Kukis were driven out of the valley by Meitei kings with the help of British. Kukis settled in the Hills in Manipur.  Back then, elite Methis were not interested in the land in hills.

Two years after independence, Nagas wanted separate country and thus began Naga insurgency in Manipur. Soon Meiteis took up arms dreaming their glories kingdom and the power they enjoyed. Kuki started their own insurgent group and demanded a separate state in India for Kukis. Kukis and Nagas were considered as Scheduled Tribe. They enjoy reservation in education and government jobs. The Meiteis are not allowed to purchase land in the hills which is reserved for tribal.

Meiteis complain that they live in 10% of Manipur's land despite they being the majority with 53% of state's population while Kukis and Nagas occupy 90% of land in the state with just 47% population. Meiteis blame that Manipur's demography is changing due to illegal immigration of Kukis from Myanmar. Now Methis are demanding Schedule Tribe status for their community which will ensure equal rights for land ownership, reservation in education and government jobs. Kukis don't agree with reservation for Methis who ruled Manipur in the past. The government has not done much to  stop illegal immigration.

Most of the Kukis converted into Christianity. In India, caste is more important than the color and religion. There are people from upper caste who converted to Christianity, but they still maintain their last name. For example, the chief minister of Andhra is a Christian, but his last name continues to be Reddy, and it represents his caste. Similarly, we will come across people with names like Nancy Mishra where Mishra is upper caste name, or Christine Talukdar where 'Talukdar' is their caste name. 

The people who take pride in their caste name are not comfortable telling people abroad that Shetty, Sharma and Patel are names representing their caste. Instead they say that it is their family name. They know it is stupidity. But back in India, this wickedness is above all other sentiments. Dalits (Sc/St) will continue to enjoy special privileges given by the government to their caste even after becoming Christian. 

Three churches were demolished by the administration in Imphal East district on 11 March 2023. It was days after Manipur high court vacated its 2020 order which stayed demolition of churches constructed illegally. Manipur state government destroyed nearly 15,500 acres of poppy fields. All militant groups in Manipur depended on drug trafficking for money. Almost 85% of poppy fields destroyed by the government were in Kuki dominated districts. The government's 'war on drugs' to crackdown narcotics and the poppy cultivation in the state was made to appear like targeting Kukis and their livelihood. The drug cartels in Manipur wanted to topple Biren Singh government.

Manipur state government was against illegal migration and encroachment of forest land. The indigenous Tribal Leaders Forum (ITLF) has been protesting against government surveying wetlands, reserved and protected forests and the eviction drive. On 27 April 2023 evening, a mob vandalized and torched gym-cum-sports facility in New Lamka in the Churachandpur district. Chief minister Biren Singh was scheduled to inaugurate it on the following day. Due to this incident internet access was momentarily suspended and section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) was imposed in the area.

On 19 April 2023, Manipur high court ordered state government to consider granting Schedule Tribe status for Meiteis community. On May 3, 'All Tribal Students Union of Manipur' organized a 'Tribal Solidarity March' protesting against the inclusion of Meitei community in Schedule Tribe. More than 60,000 people were estimated to have taken part in the rally. Violence erupted during the rally in the Torbung area of Churachandpur. At least 60 people died on 3 May 2023 as per some news agencies. Since March, the situation was very tense in Manipur. So, either the government shouldn't have allowed this Solidarity March, or they should have taken adequate security measures to avoid this violent clash which became a  civil war.

Over 160 people died, hundreds were wounded, 60,000 people were displaced and 1700 houses were destroyed in this tragedy. This ethnic violence  which started on May 3 was well planned and organized by both communities. There are several incidents which appears like immediate cause for this violence. But a mob violence or a riot often takes place only if it helps multiple entities involved in it. It is said that photographs of women dead elsewhere was circulated through internet saying that they are Meities women who are  brutally raped and killed by Kuki men. A picture of a Delhi women by name Ayushi Chowdary, murdered by her parents was the first one. Then there was a fake story of 37 dead bodies of Meities women (rape victims) in Sheja hospital in Imphal.  

The incident which took place in Nuh district of Haryana on 31 July 2023 is another example of a pre-planned communal riot. The violence erupted  when a group of young Muslim men stopped Vishwa Hindu Parishad's Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra near Khedla Mod in Nuh and pelted stones. Two home guards on duty were killed and 15 others were injured. Five civilians were killed, at least 70 injured, several vehicles and private properties were damaged. 312 people have been arrested and 152 FIRs have been lodged so far.

On the following day, residents of slum cluster in Palra village of Gurugram's sector 70 A were threatened and were asked to go back to where they came from. 90% of the families fled the area. It is alleged that many of them are illegal migrants ( Rohingya Muslims). One can only imagine the pain involved in having to leave the country for life. The country where they go find asylum will not entertain them even if they try to be friendly with the administration. They are  left with no other choice than to join the communal fringe elements. But they will be the victims in any communal clash. Thus, they find no solace in life. Nuh administration demolished at least 50 houses belonging to or used by suspects involved in the clash. These houses were constructed illegally. 

Home minister of Haryana Anil Vij said that the Nuh violence was pre-planned. He said that bullets were fired from hills, stones were collected on roofs, and fronts were set up. If I am not wrong, he and his government was very much part of this planning. Days before the incident, prominent figures from both sides made several provocative statements on social media to incite violence. The government just cannot blame intelligence failure. Political leaders and their men are far better than police in gathering information. So, what happened to their intelligence? 

The force deployed on ground was just 30% of last year for the same procession. Just 800 policemen in the place of 2500 last year. Many of them were home guards and personal security officers (PSO). They do not have specialized training to tackle serious law and order situation. They were not equipped with anti-riot gear, tear gas and water cannons. The police with just lathis ran for safety when stone pelting started. Some policemen from Nuh were sent to Rewari on VIP duty. 

Nuh superintendent of police (SP) Varun Singla  was on leave and  Palwal SP Lokendra Singh was given additional charge of Nuh. But he wasn't there on the ground. As per The Times of India, senior government official  said that an incident of this scale cannot happen spontaneously. They believe that the arms were brought into the district days before the procession. No discussions took place between religious leaders and authorities to avoid this communal flare-up, despite reasons to do so.

Prime minister Narendra Modi recently said that 140 crore people in India are insulted by the actions of few. It is true that 140 crore people in our country are ashamed of what few political leaders are doing. 140 crore people who are ashamed of what happened in Manipur don't control our country.  What few people in the helm of affairs do is what brings pride and shame to our country. If I am not wrong, prime minister Modi takes ownership for India becoming 5th largest economy in his regime.

We will celebrate 76 years of independence on this August 15. For common man there is no much difference between British rule and independent India. We have laws to protect every aspect of our life. Unfortunately, the police will not accept a petition against someone rich, or against any atrocities which is organized by the elite. At the same time, if the victim were to react violently, then the police will book him/her under various sections of law. The court will be more than happy to harass and punish the victim. The entire government mechanism meant for law enforcement including police and court will support the elite, regardless of right and wrong. This means, the law enforcement agencies in India are meant to punish the poor and to safeguard the interests of the elite, regardless of right and wrong. Watch the below video to see this Kuki women talking about she taking up arms to protect herself. She will be branded as militant, if she shoots down someone to save herself from rape or murder. But a complaint by a rape victim will never be taken seriously. 

I am sharing my own experience to show what 'law and order' in India is. There was a case against me in Judicial First Class Magistrate's court in Malappuram, Kerala. It was for an unpleasant conversation with an MLA. I was attacked by a gang of contract killers and I suffered a liver injury. This was after me requesting court to provide protection for my life. Justice Anne Marie Kuriakose Manalel had nothing to say when I visited court with 4.2 cms wound in my liver. She sat on the case for two years as an item for bargain if in case I approach high court. After her transfer, the new magistrate disposed case with a fine of rupees 1000. In between, I approached free legal aid in High court of Kerala and a panel lawyer, Adv. Sherly Mol Thomas advised me to approach lower court. In April 2023, I filed a writ petition in High court of Kerala after a thorough research into applicable laws in India. The court officials approved my case file after they spending several hours scrutinizing it. In other words, the petition was accepted by the high court of Kerala, because it was a criminal case worthy enough for high court to address. Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas dismissed case stating that High court of Kerala do not have jurisdiction to take the case.

This is what happens when incompetent people get job through reservation based on caste and religion. They will get into the government system and will grow with the nasty culture of nepotism and cronyism. They misuse their official power. They will abuse their official powers to the extent where the institution becomes meaningless.  This means, most of the courts in India are biased and verdicts are on sale.

It is a universal truth that people wake up every day to earn a meal, or to accumulate more and more wealth. If the country where we live is not a level playing ground for education and employment opportunities, then it will divide society. The gap will keep increasing with each passing day. In India, the reservation is given in education and for government jobs based on caste and religion. It should be for the poor. It shouldn't be based on caste and religion. Since Independence, these people who got government jobs through reservation always abused their official power. India National Congress who ruled India for more than 50 years encouraged it. The resentment in people is what made BJP grow strong enough to grab power. we should appreciate BJP government's efforts to bring equality and the crack down on decades old practice of minority appeasement. But inciting violence and allowing riots is not at all acceptable.

Surat court convicted Rahul Gandhi in a criminal defamation case. The High court of Gujarat rejected Rahul Gandhi's plea and upheld Surat court's verdict. Rahul Gandhi is a national leader. He was an MP when Surat court convicted him. Indian National Congress has its presence across India. Indian Overseas Congress members addressed Rahul Gandhi as future Prime Minister of India even after his conviction and disqualification. Our conscience will not allow us to accept that Rahul Gandhi should be kept in prison for his Modi remark in Karnataka. Yet, Surat court and high court of Gujarat found that it is appropriate to award him two years prison term. Finally, he approached Supreme court of India and is back in parliament.

When former union minister and Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal criticized Rahul Gandhi in May 2021, Congress workers protested outside his house, threw tomatoes and damaged his car. When this happened, Kapil Sibal was a member of parliment. But none did this to Surat court magistrate. None protested against Surat court magistrate or against Gujarat high court magistrate. This means, a magistrate in any court has so much of power to punish anybody under applicable laws. But they ignore cases and deny justice deliberately because they believe that justice is a privilege meant only for the elite. Established procedures and laws will be followed, only if it is a legal battle between two entities who are equally wealthy and powerful.

There were videos of Meitei women stopping paramilitary forces and blocking their way to save culprits. This is because, for them it was truly a clash between Kukis and Meities. And they wanted to avenge one another. They were completely unaware of the fact that it is politically motivated where both opposition and the ruling BJP had their own agenda. BJP pleased majority Meiteis and are pretty sure that they will win the next election in Manipur. On the other hand, it increased support for Congress among the minorities. It was palpable when Kukis demanded government to allow Rahul Gandhi to visit Manipur. If I am not wrong, same is the cause and effect of Nuh violence.

Rahul Gandhi wouldn't have been in parliament now, if there was no violence in Manipur and Haryana. Instead, he would have been preparing to spend two years in prison. So, Rahul Gandhi sitting in parliament is due to many sacrificing the lives, chastity, dignity and their property. So, when Rahul Gandhi speaks about his Manipur visit, it should include an element of guilt as well. Or, at least he should acknowledge it in parliament as fellow Manipuri tribal and not as a leader.

The opposition disrupted parliament for several days continuously since the video surfaced on internet. Then the riot took place in Nuh district of Haryana on 31 July 2023. On 3 August 2023, union minister Piyush Goyal and Pralhad Joshi met Mallikarjun Kharge in his chamber at parliament house to break the deadlock in Rajya Sabha. It is a strange coincidence that the supreme court of India stayed Rahul Gandhi's conviction and reinstated him to India's parliament on the following day. This conclusion is not entirely based on the above facts. The hidden message in the below video vindicates it. 

 I would like to tell all my readers that India is a country where we really don't care much about women's chastity and dignity. We also don't care much about caste, unless it is to wage a war on other caste members. Such incidents are often motivated. It exhibits opportunism. Below is an example.

Saritha S Nair, famously known as Solar Saritha is from Nair community (Shathriya) in Kerala. Nairs are the meities of Kerala. They are the Shettys in Kerala. She was a divorcee and was engaged in fraudulent activities while working in a bank. Her second husband killed his wife to marry Saritha Nair. Despite all this, she was close to the then chief minister of Kerala Late. Oomen Chandy. Kerala solar panel scam came to light in 2013. Firstpost published an article about Saritha Nair in 2016. The article states: If beauty can be boon for women, it could also be a curse, as is evident from the life of Saritha.

After the scam came into light, the political leaders belittled, ridiculed and victimized Saritha Nair. Her husband who killed his first wife was able to go scoot free in the initial investigation. The case was reopened after the scam came into light. Saritha's husband was found guilty and was punished. It is alleged that many political leaders in Kerala had sexual relationship with Saritha. Later, Saritha's nude videos were uploaded in internet. Saritha's father worked for Nair Service Society (NSS), a welfare organization of Nair community. After her father's death, her mother worked for NSS. Neither a Nair leader from across political parties in Kerala, nor a NSS leader condemned it. Instead, people in Kerala rejoiced it.

Former chief minister of Kerala Oomen Chandy passed away recently. In March 2023, there was news that Saritha S Nair was poisoned, and she is suffering from four different ailments which are life threatening. This could be true. Or it could be a ploy to avoid prison term. But the journalists who called her were curious to know if she wants to apologize to Oomen Chandy for tainting him. None of them said that she deserves an apology from political leaders who used her in all possible wrong ways. Above three paragraphs are only meant to explain that 'rape' and 'murder' of women from a community won't result in any sort of violence, unless there is some sort of political conspiracy.

It is not AMRIT-KAAL for common people in India like what our prime minister said last year, while addressing our nation on Independence Day at Red Fort. 

So, whose freedom are we celebrating on our Independence Day? 

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