Prashant Dayal, Ahmedabad: In the past two years, there have been several changes in the demands and ideologies of Hardik Patel during his agitation for reservation to the Patidar community. Despite his young age, Hardik is well versed with the rules of the game, which move has to be made at which juncture and when to call it quits. Hardik has been currently making guest appearances in the ongoing ‘Shahid Yatra’ by the Patidar community which is being organized to remember those who fell to the bullets of the police in the violence that had gripped the state after the August 25 GMDC Ground rally two years ago. He recently announced his decision to sit on a fast-unto-death starting August 25 to demand reservation.
While this announcement has reignited the hopes of Patidar community in getting the reservation, Hardik seems to have already made plans to quit this round of battle. Within two days of announcing his fast, Hardik made a post on his social media account that the BJP government will arrest him under IPC section 309 and the regional unit of BJP is already planning the move with the party high command at the centre. This comes even as there is more than a month to go for his fast to commence. Every jail in this country is similar to a university, and Hardik is an alumnus of the Lajpore Jail in Surat.
Hardik has studied the nitty-gritty of law at a young age. He is very well aware that no police or government in India can arrest him on charges of an attempt of suicide under section 309 of IPC for his fast unto death because the law decides the crime based on the person’s act. It cannot be termed as an attempt to suicide if a person thinks or speaks of going on a fast unto death. Thus, Hardik’s claim of the BJP government planning to get him arrested before his fast doesn’t hold any water, and he is aware of it.
There has been an amendment in the IPC Section 309 too; that if the person tries to commit suicide, the investigator will have to prove it in court that the said person has attempted suicide without any kind of mental pressure. Only then, it will be considered a crime and action taken against the person. Because Hardik is well aware of this too, then why is making shallow statements like if he gets arrested, he will be fasting from the prison? The direction in which he is trying to lead this whole reservation agitation is something worth understanding.
Hardik has been demanding the removal of BJP government as they aren’t granting the community the reservation as demanded. It is obvious that if not BJP, then it would be Congress who would come to power. And Hardik is well aware that it is going to be very difficult for the Congress to grant reservation to the Patidars. Let's believe that the BJP is not at all interested in making a law that will grant the Patidars the reservation they are demanding. But why is the Congress or those PAAS leaders who have become MLAs on the Congress ticket not introducing a bill seeking reservation for the Patidars?
It is obvious that because the BJP is in majority and the Congress in minority, the party in power will reject the bill raised by the minority faction in the assembly. But for the Congress to come clear in the open about its support, at least it should table a bill on reservation for Patidars in the assembly.
But even the Congress won’t do so. Right after Hardik’s announcement of his fast, his partner in the ‘Janata Raid’ in Gandhinagar distanced himself from it. Similarly, everyone has their own personal agenda. Hardik is very well aware that no government will ever give the Patidars the reservation they are demanding.
No matter he announces a fast or further claims that he will get arrested for it, it is to be seen if Hardik is trying to befool himself, or the Patidar community. Because Hardik is just an actor, the script in his hand is not his; the director and the producer of his ‘play’ are someone else. The common men are of the false belief that Hardik is a pawn of the Congress. While the truth is something else.