Even as radical Islamists, foreign-backed communists, and assorted Breaking India forces have been hard at work trying to divide India over the CAA issue, the ordinary Indian has had enough of their propaganda — and he’s willing to step in to stop it.
Rohit Singh, an Uber driver in Mumbai quietly took a Jaipur-based poet to the Santa Cruz police station instead of his destination after he heard him talking over the phone to a friend back home about the anti-CAA/NRC protests around the country. After reaching the police station, as policemen came towards the car, Singh told the protester, Bappadittya Sarkar: “You think we will just sit and watch as you people go about destroying the country.” He then asked the policemen to arrest the protester. “Sir aap isko andar lo. Yeh desh jalaane ki baat kar raha tha. Mere paas pura recording hain” (Please arrest him. He was talking of setting the country on fire. I have recorded the entire conversation.)”
The protester allegedly talking about setting the country on fire is one Bappadittya Sarkar, who performs at festivals across the country and was on stage at the Kala Ghoda festival on February 3. He also has been singing almost every day at “Mumbai Bagh”, the non-stop sit-in against the CAA/NRC at Nagpada.
The police interrogated Sarkar for close to two hours. Sarkar said the police questioned him about his family, work, friends, ideology and political views, and checked his WhatsApp chats and phone book records. “They asked me all sorts of questions like who sponsors your travel, what is my source of income, they even asked me to furnish the email address of Kala Ghoda festival organisers, even asked me to recite some of my poems,” Sarkar said. Sarkar was also asked about Communist countries, the literature he read, his parents’ salary, and why he went around attending protests. “I told them we must oppose the CAA to save our country.” Sarkar was eventually let off after the intervention of a lawyer.
The Uber driver’s presence of mind, though, is commendable. Mumbai has been the site of several terror incidents, from the Mumbai bomb blasts in 1993 to the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008, and citizens are repeatedly urged to report suspicious conversations to the police. When Uber driver Rohit Singh heard his passenger engage in a conversation around “setting the country on fire”, it was quick thinking on his part to wheel his passenger straight to the police station. CAA protesters might claim to be patriotic and carry national flags in public, but one wonders why they discuss how to “set fire to the country” in private.