Hardik’s arrest, but no internet ban, RAF deployment this timeOctober 20, 2015
By Rupang Bhatt, Ahmedabad
Most people in Gujarat are happy with the arrest of Hardik Patel under sedition charge. But then even more important thing to be happy about is that the Patidar community or Patels in Gujarat have not protested Hardik Patel’s arrest this time in any corner of Gujarat. The state is totally peaceful and it’s just another normal day. Nuisance value was after all the only value attached to Hardik Patel. Patidars are as usual into their routine activities. The bubble of Hardik Patel has been burst.
Remember that 25th August evening when Hardik Patel was just briefly detained? Many Patel populated areas of Gujarat had seen violence in reaction. Army had to be called, 10 persons including a police man was killed. Over 100 buses were burnt and damaged. Crores of Rupees of public property was ransacked and destroyed.
Then came 19 September, when Hardik Patel was arrested in Surat for holding Dandi march programme which was not permitted. Contrary to Hardik’s claim, hardly two dozen people gathered for his Dandi march programme. This time Patel people reacted to Hardik’s detention in fewer areas compared to 25th August. Say for example, contrary to the month of August, the western side of Ahmedabad’s Patel populated areas didn’t react to Hardik’s arrest at all and were completely peaceful, while in eastern side, Ramol-Bapunagar areas saw road blocks. That’s it. In August, both eastern and western sides of Patel populated areas had seen violence, but in September only one pocket in eastern Ahmedabad lodged protest. Same happened in Patel populated areas of north Gujarat. Some towns that had joined the violent protests in August were completely silent and they just didn’t react to Hardiks’ arrest in September. Some other towns joined the protests, that were limited to brief road blockades. Geographically saying, the appeal of Hardik’s agitation was shrinking.
Then there was another antique. One day, Hardik Patel disappeared from Tenpur village in north Gujarat after a public meeting which was not permitted. The story of Hardik’s abduction was circulated by Hardik’s brigade. However there was no reaction on the ground. No protest, no road blocks, no burning of buses, Gujarat remained peaceful. Next day in the morning Hardik reappeared on his own.
The latest in this series. Hardik who was on way to a cricket stadium in Rajkot to convert the cricket stadium into protest place during live international cricket match was detained by police. Even after best attempt of his cadre, a few brief road blocks with hardly dozen odd people at several places happened. Two buses were torched, again by very small groups, and that too in one pocket. Hardik was asked to take bail from police, but he denied and choose to get bail from court. He could be thinking that his arrest would attract violent protests across the state, and government would be under pressure, but nothing like that happened. Brief road blocks at hardly dozen places were cleared in minutes by cops. There was noone to come as ‘jaamin'(guarantor) for Hardik’s bail! He had to therefore give surity of Rs 10,000.
Finally yesterday evening, Hardik was for the first time arrested under the sections pertaining to serious crimes.
Did you observe? There was no ban on internet this time, no heavy police and Rapid Action Force bandobast in Patel populated and other areas.
Even the ‘bandh’ call given by Congress against so called attack on Patidar agitation office in Morbi has been unsuccessful today.
The message is clear, there’s not much interest attached to this one whimsical, immature and directionless, casteist fundamentalist youth’s vicious anti-government agitation. It has been lately realised that the agitation of Hardik Patel is not against the reservation system, it is not for inclusion of Patels in OBC category, it is clearly clearly an anti-BJP anti-government caste oriented agitation with clear political motives, backed by political opponents. People have seen ample examples during all these days. Purpose of this directionless agitation doesn’t seem pure, people associated to it don’t seem pure. Political nexus and goals are exposed.
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