In a space of 24 hours, Punjab was shaken by two attempted and alleged cases of sacrilege, followed by lynchings, on 18 and 19 December in Amritsar and Kapurthala districts respectively.
In the case in Amritsar, there is CCTV footage showing a man jumping the railing of sanctum sanctorum at the Golden Temple and grabbing the Siri Sahib, the sacred sword and was then a split second later, tackled by the Sevadars and was seen being dragged out.
And with these cases, sacrilege has returned to the center stage in Punjab politics, with condemnations pouring from politicians across the spectrum. From the Congress and BJP, to the SAD and AAP, all described the “heinous act to attempt sacrilege” and that it can be part of a larger conspiracy. The Punjab government has also constituted a special investigation team to investigate these two cases.
However, while the acts of sacrilege are a terrible and a serious crime, none of these politicians from any party condemned the lynchings which followed these sacrilege attempts at the hands of the public.
With assembly elections around the corner, what gives the politicians uproar over sacrilege but not on what followed it?
In today’s episode, we will look at the political reactions to these cases, the track records of the SIT probes and how this will impact the upcoming polls.
Joining me today is Aditya Menon, The Quint’s Political Editor and Aarish Chabbra, a senior journalist and professor at the Bennet University.