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Jahangirpuri demolition: Where is the Opposition?

People residing in the Jahangirpuri area did not wake up to a normal morning like any other day. The roads were packed with cops, bulldozers had replaced normal cars and hundreds of people had gathered to witness a scene that many would not forget in a long time. Soon, started the demolition. While all of this was happening and people blaming the government, the most important question that came to our mind was, where is the Opposition?

Nivedita Dash Written by: Nivedita Dash New Delhi Updated on: April 20, 2022 22:31 IST
A bulldozer being used to demolish illegal structures
Image Source : PTI

A bulldozer being used to demolish illegal structures during a joint anti-encroachment drive by NDMC, PWD, local bodies and the police, in the violence-hit Jahangirpuri area.

Highlights

  • Nine bulldozers rallied in to demolish the illegally encroached areas
  • Left leader Brinda Karat stood in front of one of the bulldozers
  • The drive was later stopped after SC ordered to stop the demolition

Wednesday morning was not like a normal day for many residing in the Jahangirpuri area of the national capital. Just as when they were preparing to start their day in the usual way, nine bulldozers marched forward to kill their hopes, future, source of income and livelihoods.

Reason: Govt's anti-encroachment drive

The bulldozers demolished several structures at Jahangirpuri amid a heavy paramilitary and police presence during the NDMC's anti-encroachment drive that was stopped within hours following a Supreme Court order. If this was not enough, the drive continued even after the apex court directed the authorities to stop it. Officials said it was because of the absence of a written order from the court. Audacious, I would call. The debris of the demolished structures was seen strewn across streets in the area after the drive.

Heart-wrenching tales

People residing in that area majorly belong to the hawker-society or low income group - tea stall owners, fruits and vegetables vendors etc. Malika Bibi's hopes to secure a better future for her children shattered when her fruits and vegetables shop, the sole source of her income. Hours after the demolition drive a photo of a young boy collecting coins and juice tetra packs after his father’s juice shop was demolished, went viral. Family said they suffered a loss of at least Rs 20,000. Various such stories have been floating since morning.

Where is the Opposition

Congress ex-chief Rahul Gandhi was quick to tweet about the incident and accuse the Centre of 'bulldozing the Constitution.' Was it enough? Were you not supposed to take up the poor's cause and take forward the banner of protest. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra - Are you in Delhi? Weren't you the one who spearheaded a protest when the Lakhimpur incident occurred, where 8 people lost their lives in a violent incident. But where is she now? If you could stand by the farmers in their point of crisis, why can't you do it now? 

Why is Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal MIA?

It has been more than 10 hours since the demolition took place, why hasn't Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal or any of his Cabinet minister not visited that place? Weren't you the lone Chief Minister who sat on a dharna against the Centre over the Lokpal Bill. Or

Do you think that anti-encroachment drive is justified? If yes, then why has illegal constructions in posh areas like Vasant Vihar, Sangam Vihar, Panchsheel and Shanti Niketan has not been touched yet. Why only one place which is dominated by one particular community.

Was Brinda Karat's visit only for mileage?

As senior leaders from various political parties watched on, the 74-year-old Left leader, Brinda Karat, dared to stand in front of one of the bulldozers — that razed several shops — in an attempt to stop the demolition. But the question remains the same, was she enough? Obviously, not. This is a battle she could not have won alone or for that matter win with others from her party, which basically has no presence in Delhi.

Be it political parties or an individual, we all tend to stop when it comes to caste and religion because we know if we step on to that — it's all murky waters. No political worker would, in his/her senses, battle on the lines of religion because they would eventually risk losing a large number of votes. There is a very thin line between gaining mileage and actual work. To understand who is right and who's wrong, the only card to play is "wait and watch".

Also Read: Use bulldozer to demolish BJP headquarters, Amit Shah's house: AAP's Raghav Chadha on Jahangirpuri demolition

Also Read: Akhilesh Yadav slams demolition drive in Jahangirpuri, says 'BJP should make bulldozer its party symbol'