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In Karnataka, The Police Are Interrogating Children And Putting Their Parents In Jail For A Play. We Can’t Even…

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My mother always tells me that one should never be too quick to judge someone, especially if you’ve only seen them during times of extreme duress or joy. According to her, and I agree with this, certain situations bring out certain kind of sides of people. It is how you react under compromising situations that shows who you really are, and with the kind of a political pandemonium that we find ourselves in right now, especially the government after introducing the Citizenship Amendment Act, and facing nationwide dissent over it, seems like a mask has been lifted off the people running the show.

We say this after witnessing several accounts of a deeply mismanaged and manipulated defenses from the government, faced right now with a tremendous amount of criticism and vociferous protests. From leaders literally urging and provoking staunch  nationalists to resort to violent means to now filing cases of sedition on women who are just expressing a thought, the government has hit a new low in an attempt to feel a little less threatened by the growing voice of dissent in the country.

Eleven-year-old Ayesha recently got caught in the middle of this political warfare after her mother, Najbunnisa got slapped with a case of sedition after her daughter Ayesha allegedly took part in a play that was promoting an anti-CAA idealogy. The offence here was taken not just over the fact that the play stood against the government imposed CAA but also an insinuation that it insulted the Prime Minister of the country.

Also Read : “Vote for BJP or you will get raped!” Women Activists Question Campaign Messages In An Open Letter to PM Modi. We’ve The Same Question

The allegation was made by an Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) worker in Bidar in Karnataka, and since then the eleven year old girl has been living with her neighbours, because apparently a play by a citizen was too much of a threat for the government to handle, that they have now resorted to blaming children, and putting their parents behind bars for it.

Talking about the situation, Ayesha said, “The purpose our play was to remove the misunderstandings in our society (regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act,” but clearly it was a tad bit too much to handle for the people around. Najbunnisa who works as domestic help, shared how a few hours before her arrest, her daughter Ayesha was also pulled in for an interrogation. She said, “After coming home (from the police interrogation), she was very upset, and she did not speak much.”

The Bidar police team that is being led by Deputy SP Basaveshwara Hira has been questioning little children over the content of the ‘seditious’ play that has landed their parents in the jail. One of the parents spoke about it and said, “They have interrogated our children for more than four days. Even today, (3 February) they questioned the children for about two hours. The Deputy SP is visiting the classrooms. Some students were taken out of the classrooms and he interrogated them in some corner of the school, where there is no CCTV.”

And the fact that the police is more concerned about having a thorough investigation over a school play with 11-year olds acting in it, is just, messed up.

The parents shared how they were disappointed in the misplaced priorities of the authorities. They said, “When a shot is fired in Shaheen Bagh, when a shot is fired in Jamia Milia, there no cases are registered. In Mangaluru, a drama was organised on demolition of Babri Masjid, there was no inquiry into that. But because Shaheen (Educational Institution) is a Muslim-affiliated school, that’s why they have been booked (for sedition) without reason.”

Maybe it’s time that the government begins to practice the same kind of patience and temperance they so demand from the protestors, and start watching a play as just a play, for starters. Truth after all, does sting, even if it’s coming from the mouths of young children it seems.

Also Read : Where Is The Bravery In Shooting At Unarmed Women And Children At Shaheen Bagh? What Kind Of Nationalism Is This?


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