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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Did the secular Indian state’s inherent Hinduphobia kill former BJP councillor Harish Sharma?

The knee-jerk cracker ban has finally claimed 2 Hindu lives, apart from landing 100s of Hindus in jail for the ‘crime’ of selling and bursting crackers & dealing a death blow to the cracker industry in Sivakasi, TN.

Senior BJP leader and former councillor Harish Sharma died after jumping into a canal in Panipat, Haryana on Thursday morning; his body was fished out earlier today. Harish Sharma was under severe mental tension as police was pushing for his arrest over allegedly selling crackers on Diwali night. His friend, Rajesh Sharma, jumped into the canal to save him but he, too, drowned. Harish’s brother Satish also tried to save him, but failed and was saved with the help of a stick by an eyewitness Sonu Saluja.

As per local news reports, police was arresting fire cracker sellers on Diwali night in Tehsil Camp area of Panipat, when Harish Sharma appeared and in trying to save the sellers claimed that all the crackers were his. Police immediately slapped a case under 11 different sections of the law against him, his daughter Anjali Sharma (councillor Ward 3), and 10 others.

Harish’s family alleged that the police was pressing for his arrest on Wednesday night. That night, he slept at friend Rajesh Sharma’s house due to pressure from police. Next morning, he made a call to his brother, Satish Sharma, and family that he was going to end his life.

Deceased ex-Councillor and BJP leader Harish Sharma (L); Officials involved in retrieving his body from a canal (R)

Anjali had made a stunning charge against Harayana police that they threatened her father that he should commit suicide or they would eliminate his entire family. Both Anjali and her father had met Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij on 17th November, and he had assured them they would not be harassed by police and had phoned the SP (Panipat SP is Manisha Choudhary IPS, as per the police website) in front of them only. Yet, they were harassed – now the Home Minister has ordered a high-level probe into the incident. Even the local MLA Pramod Vij had assured the Sharma’s of all help, but to no avail.

Haryana had made a series of U-turns with its firecracker policy this Diwali. Initially, a state-wide ban was announced, then 5 days before Diwali the CM announced a two-hour window to burst crackers on the festival night, but then just the day before Diwali the state-wide ban was reinstated (except for Panchkula) in adherence to a last-minute NGT directive.

The Diwali cracker ban is a prime example of how various arms of the colossal Indian state combine to pass arbitrary rulings against Hindu traditions, which sadly are cheered on by deracinated/confused Hindus of various political ideologies, with tragic consequences.

If the brutal police crackdown on cracker sellers in Bulandshahr, UP and visuals of a little girl chasing after police to free her father had jolted Hindus awake about their plight under the secular state, the death of former councillor and BJP leader Harish Sharma in BJP-ruled Haryana just confirms that reality check. The brutal shooting of Anurag Poddar during a Durga Puja procession in Munger, Bihar, allegedly after police opened fire at orders of SP Lipi Singh has also seen no justice for his bereaved parents, apart from the usual cosmetic shuffling of police officers.

Can we imagine an AIMIM councillor taking his own life due to police pressure in Hyderabad, Telangana? Remember, AIMIM has just 7 MLAs out of 119 seats in that state, and is not even a formal alliance partner of ruling TRS. The answer to this question will reveal useful insights to Hindus about how to get out of their current predicament.

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