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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath goads party workers to ‘Aag lagao’ over farmers protest

A video of veteran Congress leader Kamal Nath has come to light which shows him inciting Congress workers to ‘aag lagao‘ i.e. ‘set fire’ using the ongoing farmers’ protest against the new farm laws passed by the centre.

The video is a recording of a virtual meeting in which Kamal Nath is addressing Congress workers and he says, “Tum logon ko aag lagani hai….yeh aag lagane ka mauka hai. Kisaano ke saath nyay ho… dusra kaam hai aag lagao” (You people have to set fire. this is the opportunity to set fire. Let there be justice for farmers…The second task is to set fire).

The ‘farmers’ protest which started with active-backing of Congress government and leaders in Punjab, soon spilled over to Delhi’s borders where the protestors have laid siege for around 6 months now, disrupting normal life. The protests are being led by a section of middlemen and Jat Sikh farmers upset over loss of their privileged position in the agrarian economy due to these reforms. They were soon infiltrated by several dubious players like Maoist sympathizers, Khalistanis and anti-establishment anarchists. The protests have spilled over into violence more than once, with the deadliest violence witnessed on Republic Day, 26 Jan, when sword-wielding Nihangs and others clashed with police injuring around 400 cops, and briefly taking over Red Fort and raising a religious flag.

A few days back, BKU (Bharatiya Kisan Union) leaders like Gurnam Singh Chaduni were seen instigating farmers to  gather in large numbers and surround police offices in Hisar to force police to withdraw cases against farmers booked for violence during a 16 May inauguration of a Covid-19 hospital by the Harayana CM. 20 police officers, including 5 women cops, were reportedly injured in that violence.

So such words inciting further violence over these protests by an ex-Union Minister and ex-CM of Madhya Pradesh, a long-time Nehru-Gandhi loyalist to boot, should logically have been front-page news. More so because this comes soon after the Congress stands accused of developing a toolkit for its workers on how to milk the pandemic and malign the centre and Hindu festivals like Kumbh Mela over the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Said toolkit also contains instructions on how some beds in ‘friendly’ hospitals should be hoarded for handing out to influencers and others in dire need, to generate good PR for Congress.

However, while most mainstream journalists are pretending as if the leaked video just doesn’t exist, some hardcore party loyalists are furious at the ‘disloyal’ Congress worker who leaked said video.

Inflaming passions is nothing new for anti-Sikh riots accused Kamal Nath, who was also heard polarizing Muslim clerics and issuing veiled threats to Hindu RSS/BJP supporters in a closed-door meeting before the 2018 MP assembly polls.

And inciting violent stirs to come to power is nothing new for Congress.

In Feb 2016, BJP-ruled Haryana was rocked by the violent Jat reservation agitation in which people 30 died and which caused loss amounting to Rs. 34,000 crore. The hidden hand of the Congress and its ex-Haryana CM Bhupinder Hooda behind the violence soon became clear after a leaked audio tape of Hooda’s political advisor, Professor Virender, asking a ‘Captain’ (name unconfirmed but purportedly the spokesperson of the Dalal Khap Chaurasi) to stir up trouble in more areas while commending the ‘work’  (violence) achieved in Hooda’s home constituency.

Then in June 2017, what began as a farmers’ agitation for better crop prices and debt relief in BJP-ruled MP soon descended into violence in Mandsaur district.  Rioters attacked police officials, pelted stones, beat up the district collector, torched vehicles and warehouses and looted shops and toll booths. Five people were killed in police firing to control the rampaging mob. Soon, multiple pieces of audio-video evidence emerged showing the direct involvement of Congress MLAs and local leaders in inciting mobs and instigating violence.

DP Dhakar, a local Congress leader from Ratlam, was caught on camera telling a crowd, “Have the courage to set any vehicle on fire that comes in your way. ******* (expletive), we will face whatever happens. No ifs and buts, don’t be scared of police. If I get arrested tomorrow, then you will be responsible (to avenge my arrest) – we don’t need those who are still in two minds. Everything is fair in war.” 

Shakuntla Khatik, Congress MLA from Karera, was caught on video telling protesters to burn down a police station in Shivpuri district while a police officer attempts to pacify her. “Thaane mein aag laga do, thaane mein aag laga do” (burn down the police station, burn down the police station),” she incited the crowd.

Then, as now, media just swept the brazen incitement to violence by a Congress MLA under the carpet.

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