Friday, July 30, 2021
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‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ not a real threat to Indian democracy?

Since JNU students Kanhaiya Kumar and his batchmates were caught up in the controversy, this term “Tukde Tukde Gang” was coined for them and in addition to that, whosoever supported them or whosoever follows leftist ideology or support minority voices, are termed as “Tukde Gang”. People are made to believe that these are the people who are hell-bent on slicing India in parts. Prominent TV anchor Arnab Goswami was obvious on reminding viewers of the golden moment of his journalism career, when he had taken on the likes of Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid three years ago. In his excitement, he even got the date wrong. He said that it was January 2016. In fact, it was February 2016 (To be precise February 9, 2016, the third anniversary of the hanging of Afzal Guru). There are those who feel that Afzal Guru had been unfairly charged and not given a last chance to save his life. Those who feel this way may be a handful of leftists in Delhi, and this position by no means endorses the Parliament attack of 2001 in which Afzal Guru was convicted for abetting. Neither does it amount to supporting Kashmiri separatism or Pakistani terrorist groups. On February 9, 2016, some JNU students (former members of the Democratic Students Union or DSU) had organised a protest against the hanging of Afzal Guru. This protest was an annual affair, and the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, the student wing of the RSS, was prepared to counter it. Since Afzal Guru was a Kashmiri, radical Kashmiri youth had reached the event, just like they land up at any Kashmir-related event in Delhi. Most of them were students, but they were not affiliated with JNU. The Kashmiris and the ABVP activists provoked each other. The Kashmiris shouted pro-Azadi slogans, and the ABVP activists shouted slogans about Kashmir being an integral part of India. Amongst the slogans, the Kashmiri students shouted, was perhaps one about India breaking into pieces — Bharat ke tukde. Eyewitnesses said that the three organisers of the event — Khalid, Banojyotsna Lahiri, and Aswathi — had tried to make the Kashmiri students stop with these slogans.

“The “JNU nationalism row”, as it came to be known, was an out-and-out fake news operation with the joint collaboration of ABVP, news channels like Zee News and the Delhi Police, which picked up people on the basis of doctored videos.”

The Delhi Police and some news TV cameras were present in advance, as the ABVP had decided to make an issue out of it. It wasn’t eyewitness accounts but videos that became proof of what had happened. The videos, that later turned out to be doctored, showed Khalid and JNU Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar and others chant anti-India slogans demanding Azadi for Kashmir and promising to break India into pieces. Khalid and Kumar were arrested, but curiously, the Delhi Police, ABVP and news channels including Times Now, then led by Goswami, never asked about those Kashmiri students. The Kashmiri students were asked to lie low, because arresting them could have raised tensions in Kashmir. This would have adversely affected the BJP-PDP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir. The “JNU nationalism row”, as it came to be known, was an out-and-out fake news operation with the joint collaboration of ABVP, news channels like Zee News and the Delhi Police, which picked up people on the basis of doctored videos. The incident helped paint JNU in particular and left-liberals in general as anti-national. In the history of fake news in India, ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’ is eventually a fake news.

Soon after the arrest, Kanhaiya Kumar returned to JNU from jail to a hero’s welcome. The police found no evidence against him. But two years later, Arnab Goswami has revived the fake controversy with ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’. That is the power of catchwords and hashtags. JNU was used as a center for communal violence. After Modi came to power, the BJP and its supporters somewhat attacked left ideology going to any length. Narendra Modi whips up a feeling of devotion and hope in his support base. He has followers in all shades; they are not a uniform bunch. Most of them are courteous and civil both online and offline. The problem is with his vocal fanboys, these people have a simple motto that is Modi ji ney kiya hai to sahi hi hogi (If Modi did it then it must be right thing) and if you disagree with that you are deshdrohi (traitor) and go to Pakistan or you too belong to “Tukde Tukde Gang”.

Modi is a nuanced leader who appeals to emotion using both substance and rhetoric. He knows how to trigger emotions in his supporters and people associate with him. He is considered as a messiah who will undo all the historic ills that have plagued the nation. He has followers who believe that they have been wronged and Modi is the messiah who will bring good days back. There is another sect, the same so-called Tukde Tukde gang, who expose every claim made by Modi, they not only criticise the ruling government but are always in a scuffle with Modi supporters. Social media is a toxic cesspool. You can get away with almost everything, even death threats and rape threats without any consequences. The Internet provides you with a mask and power that has no parallel in history. It gives you a platform to portray your hopes and fears in the worst possible way. If Modi has a percentage of devotional angry followers and who are aggressive to opposing views, the Internet just provides safe space for them to vent out their anger. At the same time, there are leftist brigades who are all set to counter them with a befitting reply. Five months after the JNU fracas, Dalits in Gujarat’s Una were flogged for doing their caste occupation of skinning dead cows. In reality, it was to drive them out and grab the village land. Dalits in Gujarat protested against this for weeks. The protest threw up a new national face for the Dalit movement, Jignesh Mevani. In JNU nationalism row, Media somehow made Jignesh Mevani a kingpin of the ‘Tukde Tukde Gang’. In our polarised times, #TukdeTukdeGang is at war with BJP supporters and its pro Media. Nation has another kind of Tukda gang those are manufacturing hatred based on religion, language, ideology, food habits, clothing, name, place, and animal for their divisive political agenda. In politics, publicity attraction and shamelessness are crucial skill sets. You need publicity attraction to win elections and contest them. Elections are a popularity contest between the candidates and especially when your party is involved in a riot and you’re told to lead it.

“Social media is a toxic cesspool. You can get away with almost everything, even death threats and rape threats without any consequences. The Internet provides you with a mask and power that has no parallel in history.”

Conclusion – the “Tukde Tukde Gang” has not proven to be a real threat to the Indian democracy, in turn it is helping to confirm the democratic principals among general masses. Because it reminds us, what is the purpose of Indian Democracy, which is not only the development of mainland India but also the progress and development of the underdeveloped parts of India, by highlighting their grievances and false promises, they are just standing by their point of views, being the citizen of India, they too have every right to voice and make the government accountable. By countering them the ‘Divide’ gang is also playing its crucial role, the question here is whom to be blamed?

 


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Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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