Delhi Police last month arrested Jamia Islamia Student Safoora Zargar for arranging a flash protest at Jafrabad Metro Station in Delhi on February 22 that later culminated into a full-scale communal riots, leaving 53 killed and countless others injured.
Zargar was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and has been in jail since April 10. She was pregnant at the time of her arrest. Her persistent bail pleas have been summarily rejected by the courts.
Recently, Delhi sessions court made a scathing observation when Safoora Zargar and her legal aides tried to pull out the ‘pregnancy’ card as grounds for seeking bail. Denying the bail to the Jamia Islamia student, the court remarked, “When you choose to play with embers, you cannot blame the wind to have carried the spark a bit too far and spread the fire”.
Deflated by the courts’ refusal to grant Safoora bail, liberal intelligentsia is having a hard-time stomaching the reality of the law having caught up with one of their foot soldiers. They fear that Safoora is just the start, none of those who were involved in inciting the Delhi riots under the guise of leading “peaceful anti-CAA protests” will be spared the judicial scrutiny. The frustration among them is palpable given that the halcyon days of the past when they could swiftly thread their way out of the legal disputes are no longer possible under the rule of PM Modi. Perhaps, this fear and apprehension of being held accountable for their activities is what is triggering them into going on an overdrive to defend Safoora.
As the left realises their avenues of beating the imminent legal rap in connection with the anti-Hindu Delhi riots are shrinking, liberal ideologues and leftist portals have leaned on the pregnancy of Safoora Zargar to mount an attack against the central government and hustle them into releasing the Jamia Millia student.
Never has been the skulduggery of the left-liberals more apparent than in a recently published article on the leftist propaganda website ‘The Wire’. An article published by the portal titled- ‘Safoora Zargar Case Lays Bare How Superficial India’s Respect for Motherhood Is’ called into question the sanctity of motherhood held by Indians while criticising the Indian political class and judiciary for the continued incarceration of Safoora who is 21-weeks into her pregnancy.
Citing the case of Safoora’s internment, the author attempts to draw a differential between the exalted status that motherhood enjoys in the society and the treatment meted out to women, especially pregnant women, to impugn the popular narrative build around motherhood as honest and sincere. The author avers that the continued imprisonment of Safoora Zargar, an expectant mother, is a scathing indictment of the country’s selectivity in glorifying motherhood.
It is pertinent to note here that the entire charade of defending Zargar completely hinges on her motherhood and not on her innocence. Ideally, her innocence (that the Left claims) should have been grounds enough to mount her defence but it appears that even the author is of the opinion that extrication of Zargar based on her innocence might be beyond the realm of possibility. Struck with this sobering realisation, the author seems to have left with no option but to evoke the high ideals of motherhood to bring to fore the perceived inequities faced by Ms Zargar.
While the article published on ‘The Wire’ lays a strong groundwork arguing in favour of Zargar’s release and pitting the prized notion of motherhood held by Indians against the Jamia Islamia student’s continued imprisonment, what it fails to grasp is that motherhood is not an official sanction to commit a felony with impunity. It is not an approval authorised by the state to commit crimes without having to face the consequences. Moreover, it would not bode well for the law and order in the country if offenders are granted clemency on the account of their pregnancy.
Furthermore, it is profoundly disingenuous on the author‘s part to conveniently gloss over the fact that Ms Zargar, while leading an anti-CAA protest at Jafrabad Metro station on February 22, was well-aware and conscious of the fact that she was pregnant and on her path to attain motherhood. Yet, she persisted to be involved in the protests that often turned violent. More than the state, judiciary or the civil society, it should have been the mother herself, in this case—Ms Zargar, who should have weighed the consequences of being a part of a violent protest that touched off communal riots in Delhi, killing 53 people and leaving hundreds injured.
However, Ms Zargar paid no heed to her imminent motherhood and continued participating in the protests. Expediently, the author does not seem to hold Ms Zargar to the same scrutiny as the rest of Indians, state and civil society while denouncing the “selectivity” in celebrating motherhood. The author fails to question Ms Zargar’s gross disregard to her pregnancy while waxing eloquent about the pervasive hypocrisy around the narrative of motherhood.
If this was not enough, the author also cites the public outrage that followed in the wake of the death of a pregnant elephant in Kerala after it was inhumanly fed with a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers, to reinforce her belief that pregnancies in India are subjected to selective discrimination. Here again, the author fails to note the obvious difference that exists between the pregnancy of an innocent animal who stoically endured human cruelty with that of a lady who is accused of conspiring to instigate communal riots in the national capital.
While the author accused the Indian society of being selective in upholding motherhood, the article itself appeared to subordinate motherhood to pregnancy alone. Safoora Zargar’s pregnancy warranted a mention but the same courtesy was not extended to slain IB sleuth Ankit Sharma’s mother. IB officer Ankit Sharma was brutally lynched by a mob after anti-CAA protestors flared up communal strife in northeast Delhi. The incident permanently deprived his mother of her motherhood but yet the author seemed indifferent to her agonising loss. His mother did not sign up for her son’s death. By contrast, Ms Zargar was fully conscious of her pregnancy and the consequences that her actions might invite.
Why did Safoora Zargar’s pregnancy deserve a reference but Ankit Sharma’s mother’s motherhood did not merit a mention? Why is Safoora Zargar’s pregnancy a focal point of liberal discourse but the loss of motherhood of Ankit Sharma’s mother unworthy of acknowledgement? Is Ankit Sharma’s mother’s motherhood of lower significance than Ms Zargar’s pregnancy? And lastly, why such selectivity exhibited by the author in highlighting the motherhood of Safoora Zargar while disregarding the motherhood of those mothers who lost their progenies in the vicious anti-CAA riots?
The answers to the above questions are pretty intuitive, provided if one looks in the right direction. They are rooted in the author’s ideological slant—left-liberalism. For a long time now, it has been a standard tic of the leftists to victimise the victims and glorify the oppressors. More often than not, leftists paint the victims as oppressors while oppressors are characterised as victims. By this token, Delhi riots were characterised as the handiwork of the central government while the rampaging anti-CAA protesters were described as victims by the liberal establishment. The ability to effectively feign victimhood has lately become a touchstone of liberal fulfilment.
It is this victimhood that the author of the article on ‘The Wire’ taps to project Safoora Zargar as a hapless pregnant woman squaring up against a repressive regime bent on punishing her. By painting her victim and denigrating India’s cultural practices of being misogynist, the author tries to render Safoora’s judicial incrimination extraneous. Her criminality or innocence was never the concern of the liberal establishment. All they care about is safeguarding the top liberal mandarins who are equally, if not less, culpable of inciting violent anti-CAA protests, because if the bulwark of foot soldiers is breached, it usually doesn’t take much time for their commanders to perish as well.